5 TIPS TO HOME OWNERSHIP IN SEATTLE DURING COVID

 

 

On March 23rd, our world in the State of Washington changed as we know it.  As we all hunkered down into our homes, many of us realized that perhaps it was no longer the “right” home.  With more free time available, and little to do but shop online, we have noticed an uptick of interest among Seattle home buyers.

Prior to the impacts of COVID-19, Seattle’s real estate market was in full force.  We saw a slow down after Gov. Inslee’s Stay at Home Order went into effect, but once real estate was deemed an essential service, we were back in action.  While there are strict guidelines in place on how and when we can show homes, we continue to see multiple offers on homes that are in tip-top shape and priced accordingly.

In other words, there are no great “deals” to be had right now in Seattle.  And now, more than ever, buyers need to be prepared.  Here’s a few tips and tricks for success in Seattle’s real estate market during the time of COVID:

 

  1. KNOW THYSELF:

It’s time to take a deep dive into your home ownership desires and truly understand your wants and needs.  With the current restrictions, gone are the days of open houses and full day tours. In fact, your broker may only be able to show you 2-3 properties in person.  So it’s crucial to be laser focused on what you really want.  Try using a helpful tool like our Buyer Brainstorm to explore all of the characteristics in a home that you might want to consider.  If you have a spouse or partner purchasing with you, have them fill out the Buyer Brainstorm separately, then compare and contrast.

 

  1. GET APPROVED:

At this point, no real estate broker is going to take on the risk of public exposure if you are not fully pre-approved for a loan.  The loan application can almost entirely be processed online and you will receive the knowledge and assurance that you can afford the right home.  Ask your friends, colleagues, family or your real estate broker for lender referrals.  Most importantly, you should be working with seasoned mortgage broker who has experience with lending in challenging times and is willing to answer your call on a Saturday.

 

  1. FIND AN EXPERIENCED REAL ESTATE BROKER:

Now is not the time to work with your cousin’s dog walker who just got into real estate.  More importantly, working with a discount brokerage will more often than not, cause you to lose money in the long run.  Let’s be honest, the market is still active, but it’s challenging . . . very challenging.  You need a full-time professional broker on your side advocating for you every step of the way.  Ask your friends, family and colleagues for a referral.  Then check their online reputation.  How are their reviews on Google or Zillow?  Have they given attention to their website?  If they can’t be bothered with presenting themselves professionally online, how well will they represent you?

 

  1. BE INTENTIONAL:

Because public open houses are not currently permitted, your opportunity to explore options is limited.  While some listings have virtual open houses or 3D tours, you can be proactive by first driving by properties of interest before scheduling showings.  Explore the surrounding neighborhood amenities to ensure it has your list of requirements.  While there, use Google’s Commute tracker to ensure the commute will be livable once we are all back to “normal.”

 

  1. KNOW THE RULES:

As of today, only two people are permitted to view a home at once, one of which is your real estate broker.  You must wear a mask, and will be asked to sanitize hands as you enter. You may also be asked to fill out a survey of your health history and exposure to anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19.   Each showing is by appointment only, and limited typically between 15-30 minutes.  It is important to remember that we are all under the same restrictions and need to practice extra patience, understanding and flexibility.

 

The good news is that inventory is up and there are several opportunities for Buyers.  With knowledge and patience, you can be successful in this market.  Ready to explore home buying in Seattle?  Download our Buyers Guide outlining our simple 8-Step plan to home ownership and contact us to setup a Zoom intake call.

 

Buy a Home in Seattle

 


Posted on May 18, 2020 at 12:31
Jeremey Johnson | Posted in DISCOVER | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

HOME MAINTENANCE SURVIVAL GUIDE

Home Maintenance Survival Guide

5 TIPS TO SURVIVING WITH SUCCESS

We admit it . . . home ownership isn’t always about pretty paint and home decor.  As we pump the water out of our basement for the third time this week, we are reminded that surprises happen (especially in the Seattle rain) that can throw even us for a loop.  But with with the right tools, resources, black book of vendors, and patience, any home emergency can be resolved.

Here are a few tips to help any home owner maintain their property:

1) Tackle maintenance on a monthly basis

Trying to accomplish all of your tasks in one weekend is simply impossible, even for a professional.  We recommend a monthly maintenance calendar that divides up the list into 12 months based on the season.  Download our Monthly Maintenance Guide to track your progress.

2) You may delay but time will not

Yes, the to do list is long but procrastination can lead to expensive damage.  Neglecting to disconnect your exterior hoses prior to a freeze could cause your pipes to burst.  Forgetting to service your furnace annually could lead to failed burners and a full replacement.  Taking small steps to make sure your list is completed on a monthly basis will not only help your systems last longer, it will ultimately save you money in the long run.

3) Keep a black book of vendors

Even with our extensive remodeling and property management experience, we rely on professional vendors to help us maintain our home.  If you are just starting out with home ownership, your black book may be sparse.  Don’t fret, we have a vendor guide that we consistently update to ensure you have a reliable list of professionals to help, even in an emergency.  Better yet, download our app for quick and easy access to Seattle area professionals.

4) Don’t panic

Every time it rains, we can’t help but wonder who’s basement is flooding, who’s roof is leaking, or who’s yard is flooding.  It’s natural to panic when our homes are affected by external forces.  But we can assure you, basements will dry, roofs can be repaired, and insurance can help cover the cost.

5) Review your home owner’s insurance policy

On that note, now is a good time to review your insurance policy, coverage, premiums and exclusions to ensure you have the right coverage.  Will they reimburse you if your basement floods?  Are there opportunities for a discount, for example, if you have an alarm system?  Will they pay for a hotel if your home is deemed uninhabitable?  Take the time to read your policy to ensure you understand the coverage.

Taking small steps to accomplish a bigger list will lead to successful home ownership as well as a much happier, and more efficient, home.

 

Cassie & Jeremey

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Cassie Walker Johnson and Jeremey Johnson are real estate consultants who serve buyers and sellers in the greater Seattle area.  Their home is with Windermere Real Estate where they have been based for over 15 years. 

 

 

 

 

 


Posted on January 27, 2020 at 22:39
Jeremey Johnson | Posted in DOORSTEPS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

WASHINGTON STATE EXCISE TAX IN 2020

CHANGES COMING JANUARY 1st

As of January 1st, 2020, important changes will be made to how the State of Washington charges excise tax as it applies to the sale of a home.  Windermere Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner explains:Washington State Excise Tax changes

 

 

 


Posted on December 17, 2019 at 13:58
Jeremey Johnson | Posted in DATA |

2020 ECONOMIC AND HOUSE FORECAST

BY: MATHEW GARDNER, CHIEF ECONOMIST, WINDERMERE REAL ESTATE

 

As we head toward the end of the year, it’s time to recap how the U.S. economy and housing markets performed this year and offer my predictions for 2020.

U.S. Economy

In general, the economy performed pretty much as I expected this year: job growth slowed but the unemployment rate still hovers around levels not seen since the late 1960s.

Following the significant drop in corporate tax rates in January 2018, economic growth experience a big jump. However, we haven’t been able to continue those gains and I doubt we’ll return to 2%+ growth next year. Due to this slowing, I expect GDP to come in at only +1.4% next year. Non-residential fixed investment has started to wane as companies try to anticipate where economic policy will move next year. Furthermore, many businesses remain concerned over ongoing trade issues with China.

In 2020, I expect payrolls to continue growing, but the rate of growth will slow as the country adds fewer than 1.7 million new jobs. Due to this hiring slow down, the unemployment rate will start to rise, but still end the year at a very respectable 4.1%.

Many economists, including me, spent much of 2019 worried about the specter of a looming recession in 2020. Thankfully, such fears have started to wane (at least for now).

Despite some concerning signs, the likelihood that we will enter a recession in 2020 has dropped to about 26%. If we manage to stave off a recession in 2020, the possibility of a slowdown in 2021 is around 74%. That said, I fully expect that any drop in growth will be mild and will not negatively affect the U.S. housing market.

Existing Homes

As I write this article, full-year data has yet to be released. However, I feel confident that 2019 will end with a slight rise in home sales. For 2020, I expect sales to rise around 2.9% to just over 5.5 million units.

Home prices next year will continue to rise as mortgage rates remain very competitive. Look for prices to increase 3.8% in 2020 as demand continues to exceed supply and more first-time buyers enter the market.

In the year ahead, I expect the share of first-time buyers to grow, making them a very significant component of the housing market.

New Homes

The new-home market has been pretty disappointing for most of the year due to significant obstacles preventing builders from building. Land prices, labor and material costs, and regulatory fees make it very hard for builders to produce affordable housing. As a result, many are still focused on the luxury market where there are profits to be made, despite high demand from entry-level buyers.

Builders are aware of this and are doing their best to deliver more affordable product. As such, I believe single-family housing starts will rise next year to 942,000 units—an increase of 6.8% over 2019 and the highest number since 2007.

As the market starts to deliver more units, sales will rise just over 5%, but the increase in sales will be due to lower priced housing. Accordingly, new home prices are set to rise just 2.5% next year.

Mortgage Rates

Next year will still be very positive from a home-financing perspective, with the average rate for a 30-year conventional, fixed-rate mortgage averaging under 4%. That said, if there are significant improvements in trade issues with China, this forecast may change, but not significantly.

Conclusion

In this coming year, affordability issues will persist in many markets around the country, such as San Francisco; Los Angeles; San Jose; Seattle; and Bend, Oregon. The market will also continue to favor home sellers, but we will start to move more toward balance, resulting in another positive year overall for U.S. housing.

 

 

About Matthew Gardner:

As Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level. Matthew has over 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Matthew sits on the Washington State Governors Council of Economic Advisors; chairs the Board of Trustees at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington; and is an Advisory Board Member at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington where he also lectures in real estate economics.


Posted on December 17, 2019 at 13:45
Jeremey Johnson | Posted in DATA |

IS YOUR HOME SMARTER THAN A 3RD GRADER?

SMART HOME TIPS FROM A POWERHOUSE SEATTLE TECH COUPLE

 

Matt Thomlinson and Dana Hurley are a powerhouse Seattle couple, and one of our most favorite clients (and friends).  We are frequently in awe of their ability to fine tune house management while conducting a busy work and travel schedule.  As SVP of Security Engineering at Electronic Arts, Matt has always been at the forefront of cyber security both at EA and previously with Microsoft.  Dana, a voice over actor has perfected both a home and portable studio so she can record anywhere in the world.  Together they have mastered technology to its best use in their home and daily lives.  We asked them to share with us a few of their tips for keeping their busy lives so well managed.

 

Password tools

 

Q: First things first, how do you keep track of all of your passwords?

A: Most security experts will tell you – use a password manager! They have several benefits – not only can you start using longer passwords without forgetting them, you’ll also stop reusing passwords across different internet sites. We both use the same app, and have individual passwords saved but also some that are shared between us (Seattle City Light, Comcast, etc.) which has been a real help. Reputable password managers include Keepass, Lastpass, or 1Password.

 

 

Q: You have a newer construction home, what devices did you implement to help manage the house on a daily basis?

A: We built a number of “smart home” systems into our house to automate lights, shades etc. However, some of the best upgrades we made after the fact:

  • We added an internet-based doorbell camera, which helps us communicate with workers arriving when we’re not at home or monitor Amazon package drop-offs, all while automatically storing security video footage. Common systems include Nest, Simplisafe, and Ring.
  • To control irrigation, we skipped the bulky, seemingly over-expensive Rain Bird type system and went with a smart irrigation system. It is smaller, touchscreen and phone-app controlled, pulls in and changes your program based on weather forecasts, and provides us with usage stats. Plus, the interface is so much easier to understand than the old systems. Some of the nicer systems are RainMachine, GreenIQ, Blossom.
  • We installed a whole-house water flow monitor that has a shutoff valve. It has to be plumbed into the main water line, but has the advantage that you don’t have to distribute water sensors throughout the house. This is great peace of mind – not only does it give usage stats, but in the case of excessive usage that looks like a pipe break, it automatically shuts off the water main and calls/texts us. Systems like Flo by Moen, Water Hero, and Phyn.

 

Travel schedule

 

Q: How do you keep track and coordinate both of your busy travel schedules?

A: Probably the biggest thing is our ‘joint email account’ – we each have personal email accounts but we also share a joint account. That joint account gives us an easy way to communicate externally on house matters, and a single joint calendar we can add appointments to. That part is magical – our phones show us all of the calendars at once so it’s an accurate view of what’s going on, and it syncs immediately if our plans change. That joint account has removed a ton of sync communication that would otherwise be necessary.

We both travel for work and fun, and so we use TripIt to keep those details straight. It’s pretty easy to use – once you buy a plane ticket, hotel booking, or car, you send the email confirmation to TripIt and it automatically builds your trip schedule for you. It’s super easy to coordinate all of our travel there, make sure have the bases covered on complex trips, and we use it on the road to look up all of the original confirmation details.

 

Meal Planning

 

Q: We know you both love to cook, any tips on apps to help manage recipes and shopping lists?

A: We use a great app called PlanToEat – it holds our recipes and easily imports ones we find on the internet. When we want to cook something, a click automatically creates a shopping list for us. It’s another shared resource, so when Dana adds something to the list it shows up immediately on my phone. Scaling recipes up and down is simple, and when it’s time to cook, the app breaks the recipe into a step-by-step cookbook view that we use in the kitchen.

 

Occulus

 

Q: What new gadget is on your Christmas wish list this year?

A: I work at a video game company, so we’ve already got more Xbox games than we can play, but Dana is quietly lobbying for an Oculus virtual-reality headset to play with. Virtual Reality (VR) is in its early stages, but some of the games look great and seem more accessible because you’ve got physical movement involved vs. playing with a controller.

We are so thankful for the opportunity to work with great clients like Matt and Dana.  Their technology skills always keep us on our game!

dana hurley matt thomlinson

Dana Hurley & Matt Thomlinson

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Cassie & JeremeyJeremey Johnson and Cassie Walker Johnson are managing brokers and real estate agents for Johnson & Walker, based at Windermere Real Estate in Seattle, WA.  They specialize in consulting with home  buyers and sellers in the greater Seattle area.  Thinking about buying or selling in Seattle?  Reach out to us and let’s begin the conversation.

 

 

 

 


Posted on December 17, 2019 at 12:39
Jeremey Johnson | Posted in DISCOVER | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

THE ‘”R” WORD

Will a recession affect Seattle’s housing market?

“How’s the market?”  It’s the number one question we get in any given conversation when people discover we’re in Real Estate.  Here is an old question we haven’t been asked in nearly decade, “How do you think the recession will affect Seattle home prices?”  The answer is a bit more detailed, so of course we have to blog about it. 

While 42% of economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal estimate that the next recession will begin in 2020, and another 28% believe it will begin in 2021, what’s top of mind for us right now is how this will affect the Seattle real estate market. 

 

It’s important to know that of the last five recessions that occurred since 1980, only two out of five saw home price decrease.  Of course, in 2008 with the Great Recession caused by the housing crash and mortgage meltdown as well as the 1991 recession caused by oil price shock. 

Recession and the Seattle real estate market  

While an economic slowdown is predicted, early projections tell us that home prices won’t be impacted to a level that they will depreciate.  While appreciation rates are no longer accelerating at the same rate as previous years, we are still seeing year-over-year increases which are predicted to continue at 5.3% for the state of Washington in the next 12 months.  Compared to the national average of 4.5% appreciation, home prices for Washington state should still maintain steady growth.

 

We anticipate that the inventory supply vs. demand ratio will remain low as Seattle continues to see a low inventory supply of 1.7 months of inventory vs. the national average of over 3 months. 

In summary:

Is there a recession coming?  Yes.

When? Soon (or maybe not)

Will it affect Seattle home prices?  Most likely not.  Either way, when it does come, it may be over before we notice.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

 

Jeremey Johnson and Cassie Walker Johnson are principals and managing brokers for Johnson & Walker, based at Windermere Real Estate in Seattle, WA.  They specialize in consulting with home  buyers and sellers in the greater Seattle area.  Thinking about buying or selling in Seattle?  Reach out and let’s begin the conversation.

 

 


Posted on October 28, 2019 at 17:34
Jeremey Johnson | Posted in DATA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Q3 2019 Western Washington Economic Update

 

The following analysis of the Western Washington real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

Washington State employment has softened slightly to an annual growth rate of 2%, which is still a respectable number compared to other West Coast states and the country as a whole. In all, I expect that Washington will continue to add jobs at a reasonable rate though it is clear that businesses are starting to feel the effects of the trade war with China and this is impacting hiring practices. The state unemployment rate was 4.6%, marginally higher than the 4.4% level of a year ago. My most recent economic forecast suggests that statewide job growth in 2019 will rise by 2.2%, with a total of 88,400 new jobs created.

HOME SALES

  • There were 22,685 home sales during the third quarter of 2019, representing a slight increase of 0.8% from the same period in 2018 and essentially at the same level as in the second quarter.
  • Listing activity — which rose substantially from the middle of last year — appears to have settled down. This is likely to slow sales as there is less choice in the market.
  • Compared to the third quarter of 2018, sales rose in five counties, remained static in one, and dropped in nine. The greatest growth was in Skagit and Clallam counties. Jefferson, Kitsap, and Cowlitz counties experienced significant declines.
  • The average number of homes for sale rose 11% between the second and third quarters. However, inventory is 14% lower than in the same quarter of 2018. In fact, no county contained in this report had more homes for sale in the third quarter than a year ago.

HOME PRICES

  • Home price growth in Western Washington notched a little higher in the third quarter, with average prices 4.2% higher than a year ago. The average sales price in Western Washington was $523,016. It is worth noting, though, that prices were down 3.3% compared to the second quarter of this year.
  • Home prices were higher in every county except Island, though the decline there was very small.
  • When compared to the same period a year ago, price growth was strongest in Grays Harbor County, where home prices were up 22%. San Juan, Jefferson, and Cowlitz counties also saw double-digit price increases.
  • Affordability issues are driving buyers further out which is resulting in above-average price growth in outlying markets. I expect home prices to continue appreciating as we move through 2020, but the pace of growth will continue to slow.

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home dropped one day when compared to the third quarter of 2018.
  • Thurston County was the tightest market in Western Washington, with homes taking an average of only 20 days to sell. There were six counties where the length of time it took to sell a home dropped compared to the same period a year ago. Market time rose in six counties, while two counties were unchanged.
  • Across the entire region, it took an average of 38 days to sell a home in the third quarter. This was down 3 days compared to the second quarter of this year.
  • Market time remains below the long-term average across the region and this trend is likely to continue until more inventory comes to market, which I do not expect will happen until next spring.

CONCLUSIONS

This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s real estate market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors. I am leaving the needle in the same position as the first and second quarters, as demand appears to still be strong.

The market continues to benefit from low mortgage rates. The average 30-year fixed rates is currently around 3.6% and is unlikely to rise significantly anytime soon. Even as borrowing costs remain very competitive, it’s clear buyers are not necessarily jumping at any home that comes on the market. Although it’s still a sellers’ market, buyers have become increasingly price-conscious which is reflected in slowing home price growth.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

As Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level. Matthew has over 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Matthew sits on the Washington State Governors Council of Economic Advisors; chairs the Board of Trustees at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington; and is an Advisory Board Member at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington where he also lectures in real estate economics.

This post originally appeared on the Windermere.com Blog.

 

 

 

 


Posted on October 23, 2019 at 00:27
Jeremey Johnson | Posted in DATA | Tagged , , , , ,

OCTOBER 2019 MARKET STATS


Posted on October 21, 2019 at 22:55
Jeremey Johnson | Posted in DATA | Tagged , , , ,

Top 5 Seattle Area Picks to Get Your Pumpkins

 

It’s Fall y’all, therefore it’s time to plan your great pumpkin adventure.  So grab your PSL, check out our Pinterest Board for pumpkin carving ideas, and let’s get to it.  Here are our Top 5 Picks to Get Your Pumpkins:

 

 

1) FOR THE SLACKER PARENTS:

We totally get it – busy lives, kids, soccer and more. Who wouldn’t want to spend the weekend in traffic only to arrive at the farm in a muddy bog while your toddler is screaming because the stem on their pumpkin broke off and the baby needs a diaper change and everyone is STARVING!

We got you!  Head over to the our very own “in-city” Hunter Farms to let the kids frolic in the manageable sized pumpkin parking lot to their heart’s content.  The perfect opportunity to quickly grab your pumpkins and head to your next soccer game in Poulsbo.  Enjoy!

PS: while you’re there, consider purchasing a pumpkin to put in the donation box for children to decorate that are receiving services from Ryther Center.

Hunter Tree Farm Pumpkin Patch

7744 35th Ave NE

Seattle, WA  98115

Hours: Open weekends only through 10/27

Admission: Free

 

                                             

 

TODDLER HAVEN:

Fox Hollow Farm has everything you need to get the toddler wiggles out.  Animal sanctuary and petting zoo, bouncy castles, hay maze, toddler tractor races, scenic hay rides, hot cider and of course pumpkins!  While you’re there, don’t miss the corn bin, a tactile experience that even adults enjoy.

Fox Hollow Farm

12123 Issaquah Hobart Rd SE

Issaquah Wa 98027

Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, opens at 10:00 AM

Admission: $10 (Advance Purchase)

 

 

BARGAIN DEALS:

You’re on a mission – round, orange and cheap.  We’ve got you covered!  Our research team conducted an intensive investigation to find the least expensive jack-o-lantern in Seattle.  Here’s what we uncovered:

Trader Joe’s – $2.99

Walmart – $3.28

Grocery Outlet– $4.99

Safeway – ($0.39 per lb) about $5.50

 

 

FUN FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY:

With one of the best corn mazes west of the mountains, Remlinger Farms has enough to entertain the entire family including hay rides, roller coaster, pony rides, pedal go-carts, animals, climbing wall and canoes.  And, of course loads of pumpkins!

 

Remlinger Farms

32610 N.E. 32nd Street

Carnation, WA 98014

Hours: Weekends only through 10/27, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Admission: $22.75

 

 

ORGANIC LOVERS:

Oxbow Farms offers all shapes and sizes of certified organic pumpkins.  Fall festival activities include hay rides, farm tours, arts and crafts, scavenger hunt and the house of hay.  While you’re there, stock up on their seasonal vegetables grown right there on the farm.

 

Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center

10819 Carnation-Duvall Rd NE

Carnation, WA 98014

Hours: Weekends only through 10/27, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Admission: Free

 

 

PS: Don’t forget to check out our pumpkin carving Pinterest board for some great Pinspiration!

 

 

 

 


Posted on October 11, 2019 at 09:54
Jeremey Johnson | Posted in DISCOVER | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

TOP 5 PLACES TO SEE FALL LEAVES IN SEATTLE

 

 

Today is officially the first day of Fall.  While letting go of summer in Seattle is indeed challenging, any true Seattleite will be hard pressed to deny how they feel “at home” in Autumn.  Curling up on the couch, watching their favorite sitcom, fire set and the rain pouring down outside – all of the elements that concoct the perfect Fall evening.

This year’s Fall season will officially end on Sunday, December 22nd, therefore the prime time to take advantage of all that Autumn has to offer (and get your family portraits scheduled) is October.  As the leaves turn, so do the days of our lives, and school, and work . . .  and as a result: life gets busy.  For that reason, visit a local jaunt to stop and enjoy the leaves, or consider taking a quick day trip.  Whether you have 60 minutes or 6 hours, October is the time to stop and enjoy our beautiful and lush city.

Here are our favorite Top 5 Places to See Fall Leaves in Seattle:

 

1) BEST LOCAL SPOT:

Japanese Gardens at the Arboretum

1075 Lake Washington Blvd E, Seattle

With plentiful Japanese maples igniting a red, orange and purple pallet, this is a beautiful and easily accessible spot to roam. 

ADMISSION: $8 for adults, $6 for Seattle residents and $4 for youth.  Kids under 5 are free.

PRO TIP: If you are exploring with children, make sure to purchase the food at the ticket booth to feed the Koi.  It is great entertainment for the entire family!

 

2) BEST LOCAL ADVENTURE:

Kubota Garden

9817 55th Avenue S., Seattle

With over 20 acres of foliage, this Japanese/Northwest garden located in the Rainier Beach neighborhood is worth the trek. 

ADMISSION: Free.

 

3) BEST EASTSIDE SPOT:

Bellevue Botanical Gardens

12001 Main Street, Bellevue

While most visit during the holidays with their Garden d’Lights show, consider touring during the day time to see over seven acres of foliage separated into more than 10 different style gardens. 

ADMISSION: Free.

 

4) BEST DAY TRIP:

Mount Rainier National Park

Nisqually Entrance

Fall is a stunning time to visit Mount Rainier. While a scenic drive is worth the trek, consider packing a picnic and hiking through all that this active volcano has to offer. For an easy stroll with little ones try the Trail of the Shadows at Longmire.  For more adventure, consider hiking to Bench & Snow lakes, or one of these 10 Fall Hikes

ADMISSION: $30 per vehicle, $55 for an annual pass. 

PRO TIP: Have a 4th grader?  Get a national park pass for free.

 

5) BEST VIEW FROM THE CAR:

Stevens Pass Scenic Byway

Monroe to Leavenworth

Not in the mood to weather the reain?  The Stevens Pass Scenic Byway is a great way to see the leaves from the comfort of your car.  Start in Monroe heading east on Highway 2.  While there are several roadside burger joints along the way including Vick’s Burger Shack in Sultan, we recommend holding out for lunch in Leavenworth. 

PRO TIP: Great news for Leaf, Tesla and other EV Car owners like us, there are charging stations all along the way.

 

PS: Forgot to schedule your fall family portrait session?  No worries, we’ve got you covered.  Head over to Shannon Garbaccio photography and book your session now!

 

 

 


Posted on September 23, 2019 at 13:23
Jeremey Johnson | Posted in DISCOVER | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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