Monday, September 28, 2015

country living

As our City Council, government officials and planning execs push for more urban density, finding greener pastures is becoming more difficult. Heading north to Arlington use to get you some countryside. My grandparents, Harry and Fannie Black owned a 20 acre cattle farm. 

My brothers and I spent our summers there. Our days were spent putting up hay, riding the tractor (and occasionally the cows),  taunting the bull, gathering eggs and picking dahlias. Dinner was overcooked, but always homemade and dessert was most likely canned fruit from the larder. After dinner, Grandpa and I took long walks through their small orchard. Before leaving the house, he would tuck a small salt shaker into his buffalo plaid shirt (I loved that shirt and how it smelled of his pipe tobacco). He would pick an apple, cut it deftly with his pocket knife, throw a little salt on it, then hand me a wedge with a sweet smile and never a word.  

Life was idyllic on the farm - some of my favorite childhood memories have Grandpa and Grandma Black's white farmhouse and barn in the background.

I realize that I'm not giving  my girls these same memories. Theirs are of an instant commute to downtown, a quick jaunt to a neighborhood park/lake/cafe, a 'turn your head quickly' thought as they see their neighbor through a bedroom window, and a vibrancy that comes from urban living. It's all good, but I miss the quieter, softer side of life, and I have missed showing that to them.

Perhaps that's why I have been so excited to list a charming country estate on Vashon Island this week.

Before I get to my sweet new listing, I must mention a property currently on the market just around the corner - Misty Isle Farms. It is perhaps one of the greatest privately landscaped properties in the country. The farm is situated on 47 separate land parcels, totaling 525 acres with 8 homes and many supporting outbuildings and is being offered for $43,000,0000.
MISTY ISLE FARMS - video tour

If Misty Isle seems a little daunting, or perhaps out of your price range, consider this new listing of mine - a 3+ bedroom, 3 bath home sited on 4+ rolling acres, next to a babbling brook and just a stones throw from Misty Isle.

Absolutely idyllic setting - 4+ acres of rolling hills,
mature landscaping and gorgeous gardens.
1,400' of covered porch allows you to soak
in the captivating views from any side of the home.
Gorgeous use of rustic materials combine to create a warm and inviting
backdrop to this thoughtfully designed open floor plan.
4,500+ sq. ft. home with 3+ bedrooms, 3 baths, sitting room, media room and more
Beautiful use of rustic materials like fir and brick.
Second floor sitting area with brick fireplace, gorgeous fir floors
and windows, captivating light and soaring ceilings.
Charming farm house kitchen with in-floor radiant slate floor, hand crafted
fir cabinets and windows, Russian stove, and gas stove top.

Located on a quiet lane, this updated take on country living brings together natural beauty and rustic styles with elements of modern materials. Built to exacting standards in 2001, this country home features an open-concept floor plan with expansive rooms anchored by two gorgeous brick fireplaces. Walls of fir wrapped windows capture the pastoral views and French doors lead to the wrap around covered porch and grounds beyond. In-floor radiant heat warms the slate and cement floors. Sitting room and master en suite are located on the second floor, and two large bedrooms, charming full bath and laundry/mud room are off the main living/dining/kitchen area. Fabulous space in the daylight lower level offer walk-out to the rolling pasture. Great wood working area, tons of storage and partially finished media room and guest suite complete this residence. Offered at $790,000. Co-listed with Heather Brynn of Windermere Vashon.

Until next time,

la chasse au bonheur

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The benefits of Townhome living

The Townhouse is design's answer to the demands of individuals looking for comfort, proximity to work and ease of maintenance. It merges the convenience of a condominium with those of a single-family residence to address the changing lives of many homeowners.

Living in a townhome is the perfect answer for many people who are looking for convenience, ease of maintenance, security and a feeling of community. These homes are similar to typical homes, but unlike single-family houses, they are connected to each other on either side of the unit. Townhomes bring the best of condominium and single-family living together.

For many, these advantages make buying a townhome a wise alternative to buying a single-family home -

For home buyers worried about square footage, a townhome offers a perfect solution. Generally buyers are able to afford more living space in a townhome than in a typical stand alone, single-family home. The townhome occupies a much smaller amount of real property, and builders use vertical space to get lots of square footage between the walls. Townhome builders design compact stairways and efficient hallways to give homeowners the greatest amount of square footage possible. The result is usually a much more convenient, comfortable, and spacious living area than would be achieved by purchasing a similarly priced single-family home.

Townhome living offers the benefits of limited responsibility and cost of upkeep for the property and yard. Since a townhome is attached to another dwelling, the exterior maintenance is drastically reduced. Most townhomes have smaller yard areas so yard work is minimal. To maintain a consistently well-manicured landscape, the front areas are typically maintained by homeowner association fee. The homeowner association bylaws spell out what the HOA is responsible for and what is expected of homeowners.  At the end of the day, less exterior maintenance translates to money saved.

Even though the units are connected, each unit remains separated from the rest due to a private entry to each property. The noise reduction provides a welcome benefit, because even though traditional town homes are built with neighbors on one, or both sides, no residents live above, or below you.

You own the land on which your unit is built and any outdoor living space attached to your home.

With neighbors close by, it is difficult for a burglar to go unnoticed. Most town home developments are well lit and the close proximity brings neighbors together. Often a sense of protectiveness between residents exists and many residents find meeting people and making new friends easier.

A townhome is the perfect alternative for people with busy schedules. Less maintenance is ideal for homeowners who lead fast paced lives, travel extensively, and who cannot dedicate time to the many chores associated with single-family homes.

For first-time buyers and retirees, or those who travel a lot, townhomes offer an affordable alternative to single-family homes.

If you think a townhouse is right for you, check out this fabulous, smart and sunny new listing ideally located between Capitol Hill and Madison Valley - with three bedrooms and two and a half baths, this 2007 built home captures stunning easterly views in a thoughtfully designed open concept floor plan ideally sited just a few blocks from fun shops, hip cafes + restaurants and grocery stores. Smart urban living with a great commute!

1,510 sq. ft. residence with captivating views.

Slate floors, fir doors and tall ceilings create a warm and inviting home

Gleaming hardwoods, artisan lighting, gas fireplace, and expansive use of windows
combine to create a gorgeous home.

Top of the line stainless steel appliances, including Cafe five burner stove and
plenty of maple cabinetry and granite counters makes this kitchen chef ready! 

Rare, private patio/yard/garden space is fully fenced
and is perfect for BBQs and entertaining. 

Sumptuous master en suite captures breathtaking sunrises and views.

Soaring ceilings, neutral color palette and lots of windows for great light.

Captivating easterly views of the lake, Bellevue skyline and Cascades beyond. 

If you would like more information on this new listing, please contact me.

Until next time,

la chasse au bonheur