Queen Anne, one of Seattle's most lovely neighborhoods

by Cantu Group Real Estate 1. September 2010 07:12

This week’s neighborhood is one of Seattle’s oldest and nicest. Queen Anne, on the north end of downtown, is home to some of Seattle’s oldest and most distinguished homes. There are also beautiful view homes, classic craftsmans, (many done in the Queen Anne style from which the hill takes it’s name), as well as post war, mid-century styles, and hip new condomiums.

Several hills in Seattle are of similar or elevations, Queen Anne is the highest named hill in Seattle, with a maximum elevation of 456 feet. Queen Anne is north of Seattle Center and south of Fremont across the Lake Washington Ship Canal. The hill early became a popular spot for the city's economic and cultural elite to build their mansions, and many of Seattle’s pioneers are now resting in the cemetery on the top of the hill.

While there are not a lot of activities on the hill itself, at the base (lower Queen Anne) has many cool things to do on a nice afternoon. There is Seattle Center, with all that it offers, including the Science Fiction Museum, the Experience Music Project (history of rock museum) and the Pacific Science Center, the Center for Wooden Boats that rents boats, which has a museum of ship building, and also offers free boat rides on the weekends, and Theatro Zinzanni, which is a must see for locals or tourists alike. If you are feeling adventurous, you can take a seaplane flight with Kenmore air! You can also easily spend your day visiting the boutiques, restaurants, and lounges which make up several of Queen Anne's business districts.

Some of these include Intermezzo Spa, Blue Highway Games, Chocolopolis (best name ever!) Tea Cup Tearoom, Easy Street Records, Canlis fine dining, Nielsen’s Authentic Danish pastry, Muse Coffee Company, Barking Lounge pet store, Café Vita coffee, El Diablo Coffee Company, Monkey Love Rubber Stamps, 5 Focus fitness gym, Look Cupcake, Rhodie’s Smokin’ Barbecue, Queen Anne Books, Top Pot Donuts, and for fine dining, try Opal or The Ruins for a private event, or for simpler fare, check out Buckley’s, 5 Spot, Asian Breeze, Athina Grill, Bamboo vegeterian Chinese Cuisine, or Bahn Thai. There is much to discover in this wonderful neighborhood!

If you want to take in a show, there is the Seattle Ballet, The Intiman Theater, the Imax Theater, and The Seattle Rep.

Homes and condos are not inexpensive on Queen Anne, but there are some good deals and any home purchase can be counted to be both a lovely home and a great investment. Queen Anne even boasts several houseboat moorage spots, for truly unique living. 

Currently, on Queen Anne, there are 46 houses available under $500K, and 102 over $500K. Queen Anne has many older but nice, and new condos and co-ops as well, many with great water views. There are currently 208 condos and/or co-ops available under $500K and 23 over that price point.

The market is strong in this desirable neighborhood. In the last six months, 168 homes have sold and 208 condominiums. This is a very good sign for the Seattle real estate market, and is a testament to what a great neighborhood this is.

We hope you will discover and enjoy this great neighborhood!

Wallingford!

by Cantu Group Real Estate 15. July 2010 07:46

Today I will be telling you about a neighborhood close to our heart and close to our office. Wallingford is the central neighborhood of North Seattle, and a perfect example of what a Seattle urban neighborhood is all about.  Set between I-5 an highway 99, Wallingford is easily accessible and very convenient to downtown and North Seattle.  It was founded in 1891 and named after John Noble Wallingford ( died 1913).

The QFC <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QFC> supermarket <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermarket> at the corner of N 45th Street and Wallingford Avenue North may be regarded as the center of the neighborhood; its large WALLINGFORD neon sign is made in part from letters in the old FOOD GIANT sign that adorned QFC's predecessor for decades. It provides great shopping having been newly remodeled, and caters to the upscale urbane residents. Wallingford's main business district stretches along north 45th Street and features many small interesting shops, two banks, a pharmacy, taverns <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tavern> and bars <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bar_(establishment)> , the two Guild 45th movie theaters <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Movie_theater> , the Wallingford Center (the former Interlake Elementary School, now turned into shops), and numerous restaurants, including Ivar’s Salmon House on Lake Union, Tilth for great organic local new American cuisine, Blue Star Café and Pub for great traditional food with an urban flair, and Dick's Drive-In <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick%27s_Drive-In> , founded 1954 for a great alternative to McDonalds. There are other super restaurants in the  neighborhood, including Bizzaro Italian Café, Elemental at Gasworks, Perche’ No Pasta and Vino, Eva Restaurant and Wine Bar, Kisaku Sushi Restaurant‎,  Elysian-Tangletown‎, Kabul Afghanistani Restaurant, Sea Thai Restaurant, Sutra Vegeterian Restaurant, Chutney’s Bistro, Smash Wine Bar and Restaurant, Julia’s (traditional food, and well known for their brunch) Olympia Pizza and Spaghetti, Pudge Brother’s Pizza, and my personal favorite, Chinoise café, Pan Asian food that is fantastic, and priced well. But don’t forget about desert! Stop by Molly Moon’s for exotic and creative ice cream flavors such as lavender and salted caramel, or, try a cupcake at Trophy Cupcakes, La Boulangerie for traditional French pastries, or, if you lean towards the risqué, Seattle’s only “erotic bakery” The Erotic bakery features cakes and pastries. For daytime coffee drinking and people watching, check out ZokaFuel Coffee, or Diva Espresso.

Wallingford is not short on Night life. Check out Babalu, Seamonster Lounge, or any number of small dive bars along 45th.  Also, many of the restaurants in the area offer drinks and lounges.  If you want to travel just a little, pop into Fremont, or the U District for a lot more options. For outdoor activities, check out Gas Works Park <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_Works_Park> , (bring your kite) Meridian Playground <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meridian_Park_(Seattle)> , Wallingford playfield, and Lower Woodland Park <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodland_Park_(Seattle)> . Or run, bike or roller blade along the Burke-Gilman Trail <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burke-Gilman_Trail> , or go sailing on Lake Union to the south, or check out Lower Woodland Park featuring athletic fields, a skate park, tennis courts, and connections to the Woodland Park Zoo <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodland_Park_Zoo> , Seattle’s great zoo, and Green Lake <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Greenlake&amp;action=edit&amp;redlink=1> . A secondary concentration of mostly retail businesses on N 55th Street near Meridian Avenue is known as "Tangletown" <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tangletown,_Seattle,_Washington> . The likely source for the name Tangletown is the irregular configuration of the blocks, some of which follow the contours of Green Lake, others conforming to the city's basic grid <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_layout_of_Seattle> . Meridian sometimes refers to a wider neighborhood than Tangletown, which refers strictly to the retail district. The region south of N 40th Street is also known as Northlake <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northlake,_Seattle,_Washington> .

Prices for homes in Wallingford are higher than some neighborhoods. Homes start at about $350K. Currently, there are 48 houses in Wallingford on the market right now, 30 of which are under $600K. 20 have recently gone under contract. And in the last 6 months, 84 houses have sold, 60 of them under $600K. If this is a little out of your range, Wallingford offers many nice condos starting at $165K. There are currently 27 available. For a more adventurous existence, join Wallingford’s houseboat community, with cool houseboats starting at $125K for a boat on rented moorage.

To find out more about these great living opportunities, contact us today!

Discover Georgetown!

by Cantu Group Real Estate 22. June 2010 08:11

Georgetown is a fascinating, ultra-hip neighborhood on the south end of Seattle, in the heart of the industrial district.  It is this very fact that makes it what it is.  Years ago, when Seattle's downtown and Pioneer Square, populated by artists, musicians, and other creative types gave way to urban professionals and renovated lofts, what became of them? Simple, they simply moved on to cheaper pastures, and they didn't have far to go, migrating just a few miles to the south to Georgetown, where they could still find large open studio and workshop space, alternative culture, and cheap rents.

Georgetown has an interesting history, first settled by Luther Collins in 1851, Outside Seattle city limits, Georgetown became a natural home for breweries, including the famous Ranier Brewery, founded in 1882.  At one time, the large brick building was the sixth largest brewery in the world.  Georgetown incorporated in 1904, largely as a defense over a growing prohibition movement sweeping the area.  It was incorporated shortly after that in 1910.

But over the years, as a home to breweries, industry and rough and tumble saloons, Georgetown fell on rough times, with a deteriorating infrastructure, and encroaching industry.  At one time the city planned on rezoning the whole area as industrial. But in recent years, the area has undergone an amazing revival, thanks to those displaced artists and other can-do renters and home owners. Georgetown still boasts some amazing old homes, owned by the brewery owners. And as it was well beyond the reach of the Seattle fire, some of these homes date back to the late 1800s,rare for Seattle. The neighborhood also has many simple but well built working family homes, many of which have been renewed, restored and revitalized, as has the small business district.

This business district boasts everything an urban pioneer could want. Trendy bars and restaurants, many featuring live music, such as 9 lb hammer, Jules Maes, (the oldest bar in the Seattle area, dating back to the 1800s), Smarty Pants, Mix Lounge (a lounge and art gallery) The Georgetown Liquor Company, which features a great vegetarian menu, Via Tribunali, and Stellar Pizza, (two of Seattle's best pizza restaurants)  Squid and Ink, and Calamity Janes.  Many of these serve as restaurants in the day and hang-out bars at night. Both for local residents, and a growing number of outside people coming to take in one of Seattle's last old-school urban areas.  No urban neighborhood in Seattle would be complete without an independent coffee shop, All City Coffee fills the bill nicely. If you like your grub and coffee more traditional, try the Hangar Cafe, Randy's Diner, or Slim's Last Chance Chili Shack. Or, for some great mexican food, visit Coliman, for authentic, cheap delicious food dished up by Elvira and family.  For other diversions, visit one of the new boutique shops, antique shops, or Helle skin sanctuary and boutique.  Also, don't miss Fantagraphics comic book store.  They not only feature many cool alternative comics, but they are largely responsible for the resurgence of comics and graphic novels in the last 20 years.

Georgetown is not a large neighborhood, and some of the homes sold never even reach the market, being sold between friends. But great homes, from fixers, to already renovated classics, to modern industrial style town homes, do come on the market regularly.  And when they do, they are quite reasonable by Seattle standards.

Currently, there are 6 homes available, 4 under $350K.  Well priced homes do not last long here, as evidenced by the 5 homes currently under contract.  In the last 6 months, 5 homes have sold.  Of these last two categories, 9 of the 10 were under $350K.

If you have not heard of this great neighborhood, or have heard old information as to it's appeal, I encourage you to swing by for a visit, and check out the revitalized neighborhood and meet some of the friendly locals.  Or, meet us for a tour of some of the available homes and see just how far your money can go in this close-in, vibrant neighborhood.

Summer in Ballard is Almost Here!

by Cantu Group Real Estate 16. June 2010 07:36

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The Ballard Community Center and the Loyal Heights Community Center have been saved from closure in 2010, although local wading pools have been affected.
Ballard Chamber of Commerce
 
June 22 (Tuesday) 8:00-9:30 AM
SeafoodFest Meeting
Vera's Restaurant
July 1  (Thursday) 6:00-7:30 PM
SeafoodFest Volunteer Party

July 11 (Saturday) 9-6 PM
Second Saturday ArtWalk
See link for map.
http://www.ballardchamber.com/sites/default/files/June%2012%20Website%20Map_0.pdf
 
Second Saturday ArtWalk

sans-serif">Don't Miss
NIGERIA MONTH
at Sev Shoon & BallardWorks


sans-serif">Opening Reception Saturday, June 12, 6 - 9PM

sans-serif">.

sans-serif">NIGERIA MONTH showcases over 150 prints created during the four-day UNN workshop; pictures of her trip; artwork produced by Haroutunian in response to her experience; beautiful Nigerian textiles.

sans-serif">For the event, Ballard welcomes Professor Uka and his wife Ola, and Ngozi Omeje. Ngozi, the current Sev Shoon artist in residence (from mid May to mid June), will share the work she produces during her residency at the opening reception.

sans-serif">Highlights at ArtWalk:         
- A traditional tie dye demonstration by Professor Uka and his wife Ola.
- Artwork by Sev Shoon artist in residence Ngozi Omeje
.



Summer in Ballard is Almost Here!

by Cantu Group Real Estate 16. June 2010 07:36

Thankfully, the Ballard Community Center and the Loyal Heights Community Center have been saved from closure in 2010, although local wading pools have been affected.

Ballard Chamber of Commerce
 
June 22 (Tuesday) 8:00-9:30 AM
SeafoodFest Meeting
Vera's Restaurant
July 1  (Thursday) 6:00-7:30 PM
SeafoodFest Volunteer Party

July 11 (Saturday) 9-6 PM
Second Saturday ArtWalk
See link for map.
http://www.ballardchamber.com/sites/default/files/June%2012%20Website%20Map_0.pdf
 
Second Saturday ArtWalk

Don't Miss
NIGERIA MONTH
at Sev Shoon & BallardWorks


Opening Reception Saturday, June 12, 6 - 9PM

NIGERIA MONTH showcases over 150 prints created during the four-day UNN workshop; pictures of her trip; artwork produced by Haroutunian in response to her experience; beautiful Nigerian textiles.
For the event, Ballard welcomes Professor Uka and his wife Ola, and Ngozi Omeje. Ngozi, the current Sev Shoon artist in residence (from mid May to mid June), will share the work she produces during her residency at the opening reception.
Highlights at ArtWalk:  
       
- A traditional tie dye demonstration by Professor Uka and his wife Ola.
- Artwork by Sev Shoon artist in residence Ngozi Omeje
.



Summer in Ballard is Almost Here!

by Cantu Group Real Estate 16. June 2010 07:36

Thankfully, the Ballard Community Center and the Loyal Heights Community Center have been saved from closure in 2010, although local wading pools have been affected.

Ballard Chamber of Commerce
 
June 22 (Tuesday) 8:00-9:30 AM
SeafoodFest Meeting
Vera's Restaurant
July 1  (Thursday) 6:00-7:30 PM
SeafoodFest Volunteer Party

July 11 (Saturday) 9-6 PM
Second Saturday ArtWalk
See link for map.
http://www.ballardchamber.com/sites/default/files/June%2012%20Website%20Map_0.pdf
 
Second Saturday ArtWalk

sans-serif">Don't Miss
NIGERIA MONTH
at Sev Shoon & BallardWorks


sans-serif">Opening Reception Saturday, June 12, 6 - 9PM

sans-serif">.

sans-serif">NIGERIA MONTH showcases over 150 prints created during the four-day UNN workshop; pictures of her trip; artwork produced by Haroutunian in response to her experience; beautiful Nigerian textiles.

sans-serif">For the event, Ballard welcomes Professor Uka and his wife Ola, and Ngozi Omeje. Ngozi, the current Sev Shoon artist in residence (from mid May to mid June), will share the work she produces during her residency at the opening reception.

sans-serif">Highlights at ArtWalk:         
- A traditional tie dye demonstration by Professor Uka and his wife Ola.
- Artwork by Sev Shoon artist in residence Ngozi Omeje
.



Summer in Ballard is Almost Here!

by Cantu Group Real Estate 16. June 2010 07:36

Thankfully, the Ballard Community Center and the Loyal Heights Community Center have been saved from closure in 2010, although local wading pools have been affected.

Ballard Chamber of Commerce
 
June 22 (Tuesday) 8:00-9:30 AM
SeafoodFest Meeting
Vera's Restaurant
July 1  (Thursday) 6:00-7:30 PM
SeafoodFest Volunteer Party

July 11 (Saturday) 9-6 PM
Second Saturday ArtWalk
See link for map.
http://www.ballardchamber.com/sites/default/files/June%2012%20Website%20Map_0.pdf
 
Second Saturday ArtWalk

Don't Miss
NIGERIA MONTH
at Sev Shoon & BallardWorks


Opening Reception Saturday, June 12, 6 - 9PM

NIGERIA MONTH showcases over 150 prints created during the four-day UNN workshop; pictures of her trip; artwork produced by Haroutunian in response to her experience; beautiful Nigerian textiles.
For the event, Ballard welcomes Professor Uka and his wife Ola, and Ngozi Omeje. Ngozi, the current Sev Shoon artist in residence (from mid May to mid June), will share the work she produces during her residency at the opening reception.
Highlights at ArtWalk:  
       
- A traditional tie dye demonstration by Professor Uka and his wife Ola.
- Artwork by Sev Shoon artist in residence Ngozi Omeje
.



Cantu Group Real Estate Neighborhood Blog -This Week, Green Lake!

by Cantu Group Real Estate 7. June 2010 12:07

Hello! Welcome to the Cantu Group Real Estate neighborhood blog. This is the place to get information on everything you need to know about all the best Seattle neighborhoods. We will be informing you on not only real estate sales and statistics, but also on great local businesses, points of interest and neighborhood goings on. This week we will take a look at the wonderful Green Lake neighborhood.

Green Lake is a lake, a park, and a neighborhood in the north end of Seattle.  The lake is a beautiful gem that is part of what makes Seattle the wonderful city that it is. The surface covers 259 acres, and the depth is a maximum of just 30 feet. The area around the lake was developed in the early part of the 20th century. By 1910 there was a sawmill, an amusement part as well as trolley lines around the lake and to Seattle. In 1903 the lake and park became part of the Olmstead plan of interconnected green spaces around the city. The neighborhood’s east and west boundaries are between Highway 99 and Intestate 5, its southern boundary is NE 55th street, and the northern boundary is NE 85th street.

The park still remains one of Seattle’s most popular destinations. The 2.8 mile path encircling the lake is open to walkers, runners, bicyclists and roller bladders. A sunny day in Seattle will find hundreds of locals participating in these activities, swimming, or just relaxing on the grass. The park also features baseball and soccer fields, a track, a golf range, a popular live theater, boat rentals, paddling and crew, as well as a community center.

There are numerous business districts that surround Green Lake, providing an eclectic mix of restaurants, coffee houses, pubs, and entertainment. Some of the most notable include the Little Red Hen, a real live country honky tonk in the middle of the city, Botega Italian Gelato, café, Lulu, a charming hole in the wall coffee shop, St. Andrew’s Bar and Grill, featuring European soccer matches and an expansive scotch collection, Mona’s Bistro and Lounge, featuring live jazz, Dukes Chowder House, and of course, the world famous Beth’s Café, known for their magnificent 12 Egg omelets.

The neighborhood features many beautiful craftsman homes, as well as cape cod and ultra modern designs. As of this writing there are currently 46 homes, 18 condos, and 9 town homes on the market in the Green Lake neighborhood. Of those, 38 are below $500K, and 34 are above. There are currently 24 homes under contract. In the last six months, there have been 92 sales.  56 of those were for below $500K, and 36 sold for above.

From grand, lake view homes, to simple but stylish town homes and condos, the Green Lake neighborhood features homes in many different price ranges. Prices have declined since the fall of 2007, along with the rest of the city, but they are now holding steady and can be expected to appreciate in the future due to the desirability of this amenity rich, beautiful neighborhood.

Recurring and one-time events near and around Green Lake include:

Green Lake Annual Seafair Milk Carton Derby, July 10.

Greenlake PCC Food Bank packaging work parties

Wednesday, June 16, 7 p.m.Wednesday, August 18, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, October 20, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, December 15, 7 p.m.
Where: Greenwood Food Bank, 9747 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle

Help package bulk foods purchased with PCC Food Bank Program donations from PCC shoppers. Everyone is welcome.

Afternoon Book Group at the Green Lake Branch Library

Join us for a book group at the Green Lake branch. Everyone is welcome. This month's title is "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Tuesday, June 15th, 6:30-7:45 p.m.

The Wallingford Farmer’s Market kicks off at 3 pm on Wednesday, May 19 at the Wallingford Center on the southeast corner of Wallingford Avenue NE and NE 45th Street. The market will run every Wednesday from 3 to 7 pm through the summer.

Featured producers include, Full Circle Farm, Stoney Plains, Summer Run, Tall Grass Bakery, Ia’s Garden, Pa Garden, The Old Farmer, Olsen Farms, Whidbey Island Ice Cream, Zaw Pizza, Pasteria Lucchese, La Pasta and Golden Glen Creamery.

Welcome to the Cantu Group Real Estate Neighborhood blog!

by Cantu Group Real Estate 29. May 2010 13:01

Hello! Welcome to the Cantu Group Real Estate neighborhood blog. This is the place to get up to the minute information on everything you need to know about all the best Seattle neighborhoods. We will be informing you on not only real estate values and statistics, but also on great local businesses, points of interest and neighborhood goings on. 

 

Today we will be focusing on Ballard. Lying on the far west of the city, Ballard has a character all its own. Originally Ballard was a city across the bay from Seattle. In  1907 Ballard was annexed by Seattle, but not without opposition. To this day, there are those who have not gotten over it, as evidenced by the Free Ballard bumper stickers on local cars!

 

The Scandinavians, many of whom made their livelihoods fishing in boats setting out of Salmon Bay, heavily populated Ballard. Up until not that long ago, Ballard was a sleepy community of people who had been living there for many years. However, things have changed dramatically in the last ten years. Ballard, with its charming old downtown area of brick buildings and streets, and many old craftsman, cape Cod, Mid Century and even Victorian homes, was discovered by a whole new generation of home buyers.

 

Today, Ballard is a vibrant neighborhood of old timers and new residents. It is very family friendly, has a great business district full of quaint and hip shops, bars, and restaurants, and is a short walk or ride to the Ballard Locks, Shilshole Bay beach and marina, and many parks and other amenities.

 

Ballard certainly was not immune from the market downturn, but seems to be holding steady, and with its popularity, should not be dropping any time soon. That said there are some bargain priced homes available that will get you into this great neighborhood for a price that would not have been possible two years ago.

 

Sales have been good lately in Ballard.  In the last six months, a total of 184 homes have sold and 53 condos.  There are currently 106 homes on the market. Of those, 68 are under $500K and 18 are over.  56 of these homes have been listed in the last sixty days.  In the last two months, 48 homes have gone under contract, but have not yet closed.

 

Ballard has a great farmer’s market, every Sunday from 10 to 3. http://ballardfarmersmarket.wordpress.com/  

 

Recurring and one-time events in Ballard include:

 

·       After school board games at Ballard Library
May 28, 3:30pm


·       Ballard Senior Center Rummage Sale
June 4, 9:00am

The Ballard NW Senior Center (5429 32nd Ave NW) is holding their Summer Rummage Sale on Friday, June 4th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, June 5th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

·       Market Street Singers: 'Hits of the '60s (1360s, 1460s, 1560s…)'
June 5, 7:30pm

The Market Street Singers present “Hits of the 60s! (1360s, 1460s, 1560s at the Ballard (at NW 65th & 20th NW). This is a free event, but donations are gratefully accepted. 

·       Parade of classic Ballard homes
June 6, 10:00 am
Contact Coordinator Lesli Billings at (206) 992-7010 or visit www.ballardhistory.org for more information. 

·       West Woodland’s 100 Year Celebration
June 9, 2:30pm

West Woodland Elementary (5601 4th Avenue NW) invites the public and alumni of the school to join in the 100 year celebration. 

·       Outdoor Bounce Fest - Hawaiian Style
June 11, 4:30pm

Outdoor Bounce Fest - Hawaiian Style - at the Loyal Heights Community Center (2101 NW 77th St) on Friday, June 11 4:30-6:30 p.m. Jump into summer with this fun-filled jumping extravaganza. Bounce houses, game stations, prizes and more to jump

Salmon Bay sculpture dedication
June 12, 10:00am

Salmon Bay Natural Area sculpture Dedication Ceremony on June 12th from 10am to noon at NW 54th St @ 34th Ave NW, next to The Canal.

 

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