July 1, 2021

5 Seattle Staycation Ideas

With more than 46 percent of the U.S. population fully vaccinated, it appears that life as we once knew it is returning. Meeting with friends and family for dinner and gatherings is becoming more frequent, and offices all around the country are slowly opening their doors and welcoming employees back to work in person. Although we are making progress, there are still many parts of quarantine life that are still with us. Restrictive international travel is just one of them.

While many sought-after countries by American tourists are starting to open such as Mexico and Netherlands, there are still many countries in Europe and Asia that are closed or restricted to US tourists. Europe is often one of the most popular destinations among American tourists; in fact, according to ETIAS US, each year, approximately 12 million Americans visit countries like France, Italy, and Germany.

But what are we to do while some of the most enchanting cities and countries to visit are still approaching proper conditions to open their borders to American passport holders? Many people in the US have been doing their best to create exciting and innovative “staycations”. In fact, one of our Queen Anne clients decided to treat their family to a staycation in West Seattle by the beach. They packed up and rented a beach house on Airbnb with a pool and lived there for a week to enjoy beautiful Alki Beach and its many amenities. 

Our team was inspired by this idea and understand the rich opportunities there are for Seattle residents to engage in their own “staycations” with an area featuring such diverse experiences. So, for you and yours, here is a list of the top five Seattle staycation ideas as the world slowly starts opening again.

1.     Rent an Airbnb in a Seattle Neighborhood You Have Yet to Explore

There are plenty of beautiful neighborhoods in Seattle with many reasonably priced Airbnbs in good locations. Some of the best areas to explore with options on Airbnb include Ballard, Capitol Hill, Fremont, Belltown, and South Lake Union.

These neighborhoods are great spots because they are all close to the water, and all are uniquely Seattle. Ballard has historic sights to see, Capitol Hill offers some of the more beautiful architecturally significant homes in the northwest, Fremont boasts some of the best parks for an afternoon picnic with views of the city, Belltown is perfectly located by Pike Place Market, and South Lake Union is the ideal summer spot for anyone who would like to boat, swim, or urban sightsee.

2. Reserve a Campsite in a Washington State Park.

One of the reasons so many people end up permanently relocating to Washington state is the proximity to nature and outdoor activities within an hour's drive of the city. Many Washington State Parks have available campsites and make reserving a spot inexpensive and easy. Go to www.Recreation.gov to access a multitude of state parks with an easy reservation system. The campsites make it easy to either car camp, or if you are feeling adventurous, pitch a tent and set up a proper site. Each park offers unique amenities and often features hiking trails and sights for the whole family. Some recommendations for parks close to the city include:

       Lake Sammamish State Park

       Yakima River Canyon

       Denny Creek Campground

       Olallie State Park

3. Book an Urban Nature Home

One urban treehouse in Seattle has garnered a lot of attention from staycationers and tourists alike. On VRBO the “Seattle Urban Tree House” is located just ten minutes from downtown and offers the beautiful, lush nature of the northwest while still being centrally located. Perfect for people wanting a quiet weekend by the pool (yes, there is a pool) or people looking for an ideal location for a night out on the town.

4. Rent a Houseboat

This is one of the best ways to experience life on the water unique to only a few Seattleites. For a weekend or longer, you can experience peaceful life on the water. There are many services that rent these precursors to the tiny home, including Airbnb, VRBO, and private rentals from residents. A perfect location to the University District, Fremont, and Queen Anne. Don’t forget that Ivar’s Salmon House is just down the way for a relaxing sunset dinner on the water.

5. Rent a Room at the Westin Hotel Seattle

The pinnacle of class in Seattle, this 891 room hotel is the perfect city getaway for a weekend or extended stay. Fully airconditioned, it fills up when the temperature goes up. The Westin features gorgeous views of the Seattle skyline, a fully operational gym, the famous 1900 Bar and Lounge, and they welcome Fido. In addition to the luxurious dining options the hotel provides, there are several restaurants within walking distance. Don’t forget about Dimitriou's Jazz Alley!

We hope that this list inspires you to get out and see what the city has to offer. Sometimes we forget about the treasures in our own backyard.  We also encourage you to come up with your own staycation ideas and share them with our team. Now, get out there and explore!

June 26, 2021

1512 - 1st Ave West House History

Bessie Phillips, Seattle Actress, Circa 1905Walking through the house and gardens at 1512 – 1st Avenue West, (listing here) one can only imagine what it must have been like in 1905 when this enchanting home was built. Who were the original owners? What brought them to Seattle? What did they do for work? Thanks to census reports and meticulously kept records at the University of Washington and the Washington State Archives, we can share the story of Corry and Harriet Bushnell, the original owners, who made this their home.

Corydon “Corry” Addison Bushnell was born in Eugene Oregon in 1866, one of 8 children born to John Corydon “J. C.” Bushnell, a homesteader and farmer, and Jemima Melvina Bushnell. Corry’s parents came to Oregon from Ohio, taking full advantage of the Homestead Act of 1862 which gave individuals from the United States and around the world the opportunity to claim free government land. Over 1.6 million people were offered the opportunity to claim and settle more than 270 million acres of public land, including single women over the age of 21.

We do not know about Corry’s youth in Oregon, but we know that he grew up to be a revered photographer of the time, capturing stunning photographic portraits of local actresses, musicians, opera singers, politicians, business owners, and notable suffragettes. About 159 Bushnell portraits are preserved in the University of Washington Archives.

Corydon and Harriet were married in Oregon, then a few years later moved to Seattle where he established the James and Bushnell Studio in 1902. Harriet Jane Hattie Herron Bushnell purchased the home; her name alone was on the deed. This was quite unusual for the time but would have been practical if Harriet were protecting an inheritance or if the couple wanted to shelter their largest asset from creditors in case the newly founded photography studio was not a success. Corry Bushnell did indeed have a successful and prosperous career documenting Seattle’s elite, and the studio was in business until 1922, when Bushnell joined forces with the Pinney Photography Studio.

Not much is known about Harriet, and the couple never had children, but they lived in the beautiful home at 1512 – 1st Avenue West for more than 40 years. In his retirement, Corry took photographs to accompany a volume of poetry written by Pearl Riggs Crouch, a notable author of the time. This volume can be seen at the University of Washington Archives.

Of interest, occupations among neighbors in the 1930s included a train conductor, a ship captain, a painter, a candy maker, a billing clerk, a gardener, and a fireman. This historic home is waiting for the next owner to continue the story of trailblazing in a city that has seen much change and opportunity in the last 100 years. If you would like to learn about the history of your old home, contact our team.

Posted in House History
June 3, 2021

Compass Concierge: 7 Reasons We Love This Program

Your home is most likely your greatest investment. For most of us, there is a lot of equity locked up within those walls. But what if there was an easy way to tap into that equity and use it to elevate your home? By providing upfront costs associated with those improvements and services, Compass Concierge does just that. Our team will help you develop a plan with suggested home improvements to prepare your home for the market so you can get top dollar without tapping into your savings or taking out a high-interest loan. This program is a no-interest loan (up to $50,000) to sellers so you can make all those improvements that will make your home more desirable to today’s buyers.

1. Maximize the value of your home.

Most Seattle buyers are looking for turnkey properties. Projects are not for everyone, and it is our experience that buyers want a house that is ready to live in, and they are willing to pay a premium for that option. This will easily increase the market value of your home and make it attractive to a wider range of buyers. 

2. Show your home in its best light.

From fresh paint to refinished or new flooring, the Compass Concierge program can help your home look its very best before going on the market. Everyone enjoys walking through a beautifully maintained and well-appointed home.

3. Sell your home faster.

We have watched over the years how fast homes sell when they are “move in ready”. The Compass Concierge program will help you attract more buyers, which translates into your home selling more quickly.

4. Reduce the risk of buyers backing out.

Offering a home for sale that is in pristine condition reduces the likelihood that a buyer will pull out of the sale after the home goes to escrow. Buyers feel most comfortable purchasing homes that are in good repair and ready to live in. Flaws and “projects” sometimes scare buyers, especially as the closing date gets closer. Offer a home that is move in ready, and your buyer will be excited about closing quickly.

5. No upfront costs or interest to homeowners.

The funds will be advanced to you for home improvement services, and you can use any provider. If you have a favorite painter or handyperson, hire her/him/them. Do you need some help finding good people? We have worked with many wonderful vendors over the years and can help you find just the right person. When your home sells, you pay back the costs of services rendered and nothing more. 

6. Compass Concierge is hassle free.

From assessing which updates will increase your home’s value the most, to recommending the very best professionals and trades, we will be there every step of the way.

7. No loans or lines of credit to apply for

Getting a home equity loan or a line of credit to pay for repairs and improvements is expensive and time-consuming. There are loan origination fees, interest, and other expenses, not to mention your time with a banker or a loan officer. With the Compass Concierge program, you are granted a line of credit in the form of a no-interest cash card. Use it to pay your favorite vendors!

Many services are approved, but not limited to:

Interior Design

General Contractor

Handyperson

Stager

Plumber

Roofer

Electrician

Professional Cleaner

Landscaper / Designer

Gardener

Contact us today to find out more about this innovative program. We are here to help you get your home in top condition and ready to sell.

Posted in Compass Concierge
Dec. 16, 2020

10 Safe Holiday Activities in Seattle

The holiday season is here! The kids will soon be out of Zoom school and most of us will have some time to relax, rest, and in some small way, celebrate the season. As I write this, one COVID-19 vaccine has been released and others are on the horizon. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is cautioning against most in-person gatherings, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find other creative, fun, and safe ways to celebrate.

We asked our clients and team members to share their favorite unique, fun, and safe ways to enjoy the season this year. Some ideas we expected, but others were so darn creative that we can’t wait to share them with you! I hope you find an activity on this list for everyone.

1. WildLanterns – Woodland Park Zoo

New this year, a stunning outdoor lantern festival at the Zoo is unlike anything we have seen. WildLanterns, presented by Sound Credit Union, offers a larger-than-life, immersive experience perfect for all ages. Tickets are $28.95 for adults, $23.95 for children, and admission is free for those 2 and younger. There is a limit on how many people can be in the Zoo at the same time, so visitors may purchase tickets for a specific entrance time. Masks are required, so this is the perfect occasion for that animal-print mask you have been saving. Visit WildLanterns here.

2. Rick Steve’s Europe

More than 1 million armchair travelers have subscribed to Rick Steve’s YouTube channel, and for very good reason. The best-selling travel author and host of public television's "Rick Steves' Europe" has posted over 1800 videos to his channel, all streaming now. If your travel plans were put on hold or if you would like to investigate some new spots for future travel, spend some time this month learning from this Northwest travel guru. Visit Rick's YouTube Channel here.

3. A Christmas Carol – ACT Theater Virtual Event

It wouldn’t be Christmas without this Seattle Holiday Tradition. With a 45 year run, the ACT was very creative this year and brought the magic of Charles Dickens’ classic ghost story to life in an all-new radio-style audio play. Put on your favorite pajamas and pop some corn, then listen anytime you like and as often as you like until December 27. “Tickets” are available here. In the spirit of the times, the ACT is offering tickets at a “what feels right” price. You are also able to purchase this radio show as the perfect gift for those missing live theater this year.

4. Canlis Community College

2020 has been especially hard on restaurants. Queen Anne’s beloved Canlis has pivoted beautifully offering drive-thru burgers, a crab shack, a yurt experience, and our favorite, Canlis Community College. Canlis designed and executed a six-week “semester” of programming that featured cooking classes, wine tasting classes, and some fun sections about Seattle history and culture. Our favorites were the bread baking and jam making classes! Find them at Canlis Community College

5. Write a COVID-19 Journal

This has been a year like no other, and we have heard some incredible stories of resilience and grit. If you have been asked by friends and family to write your pandemic experiences down, you may feel like saying, “It’s just not that interesting”. But yes, your stories are interesting. And they will be even more interesting to future generations. Write about first hearing that a worldwide pandemic had been declared. Where were you? How did you feel? What did you do? How did school, work, or volunteer activities change? How did life change? You have a compelling story and a unique perspective. Write it down.

6. Candy Cane Lane

A team member has fond Seattle memories of her parents packing the car with kids, giving each a candy cane, then driving through “Candy Cane Lane” to look at the beautifully decorated houses. A Seattle institution since 1949, Candy Cane Lane is located in the Ravenna neighborhood at N.E. Park Road. A loop of just 23 homes, all the neighbors participate and go over the top with decorations, lights, and music. Since you don’t need to get out of your car, this is a great activity to do with your Bubble crew. Betcha can’t drive through just once!

7. Join the SIFF

Have you watched all the things on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, PBS, and Disney? SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival) has gone virtual with indie films and from all around the world. They offer gift memberships for those hard to buy for friends. Running right now, the SIFF is featuring French Cinema Now, featuring nine recently-released French language films, hand-picked by SIFF staff. Vive la France!

8. Secret Santa with Elfster

Secret Santa gift exchanges are fun, but sometimes difficult to organize when we can’t be together. One of our team members gathered a group of people, all ages, and gave Elfster.com the names and an email address for each participant. Then, the elves took care of the rest. Players receive an email inviting them to join in the Secret Santa exchange. The elves generate the game pairing up the people in your group and set the parameters (which are set by the organizer, like price, date, etc.). Good old fashioned fun shipped right to your door!

9. Worship Services

Houses of worship are almost entirely online now in the Seattle area. While you may have your own place of worship, this is also a great opportunity to attend a virtual service and learn about another church or another faith. Whether you respect Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, Christianity, Taoism, or Judaism, there is an online service for you to enjoy and learn from.

10. Play in the Snow

There is nothing quite as wintery as a walk in the snow. It is sometimes hard to imagine that just an hour away from Seattle is a winter wonderland for skiing, snowboarding, sledding, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing. If you don’t have the right gear, rentals are available at Summit East Nordic Center, off I-90 at Exit 54. Be sure to check the road conditions first!

Oct. 29, 2020

Halloween Chili Recipe

We call this “Halloween Chili” because beginning in 2009, one of our team members began making gallons of this tasty dish on Halloween night for whoever might want to come in out of the cold (and often Seattle rain) for a hot bowl of traditional chili. It is reported that there were rarely leftovers. The recipe is for one batch that fits in a large crockpot.

Ingredients

·        2 pounds ground beef or ground turkey*

·        2 (15 oz.) cans tomato sauce (Glen Muir Organic if available)

·        4 (15 or 16 oz.) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed

·        1 (15.5 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes (add everything in the can)

·        1 sweet onion diced

·        1 green pepper diced

·        1 red pepper diced

·        1 diced jalapeño pepper (wear gloves to chop)

·        2 cloves minced garlic (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)

·        5 tablespoons chili powder

·        1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder (it adds a nice smoky flavor)

·        4 tablespoon dark unsweetened cocoa powder

·        2 tablespoons Mexican oregano

·        2 tablespoons honey

·        1 teaspoon cumin

·        1 tablespoon salt (or more to taste)

·        1 teaspoon black pepper

·        1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)

·        1 teaspoon allspice

·        1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

·        2 bay leaves

Directions

1)     In a large pan, saute the onion and peppers until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and jalapeno near the end so these do not scorch. Remove and set aside. 

2)     Cook ground beef or turkey over medium-high heat until browned, stirring frequently. Drain the excess fat.

3)     Place chili powder and cumin in the pan and heat until aromatic; toasted, but not burned. This gets rid of that “raw spice” flavor.

4)     Add all ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes.

5)     Alternatively, put everything in a crockpot and let it go on low for 8 hours. Season to taste before serving.

6)     Serve warm with additional toppings such as shredded cheese, chopped green onions, sour cream, and cilantro.  Cornbread and a salad make it a meal.

What you don’t eat will refrigerate well for about 3 days and freeze beautifully for up to 6 months.

*If making this a vegetarian dish, substitute 3 cups sautéed vegetables (such as mushrooms, zucchini, an extra red pepper, sweet potatoes, and corn) for the meat.  I usually made an extra vegetarian batch for gatherings.

Posted in Cooking
Oct. 27, 2020

Ideas for Halloween 2020

Halloween is Saturday, and it will be like no other Halloween our little goblins have experienced. Many gatherings, traditions, and local festivities like trick-or-treating on Queen Anne Avenue and in Magnolia Village have been canceled. Other close contact activities such as haunted houses and costume parties have been put on hold.  Disappointing, yes, but this year is an opportunity to be creative. We asked our team members and several clients how they would be celebrating, and this is what we heard. We hope you find inspiration!

·       Dress up, everyone! If you ask a group of kids, they will tell you that their favorite part of Halloween is choosing a costume. Allow kids to choose and assemble a costume that makes them feel proud and strong, and we highly recommend that adults dress up as well. Do share photos on social media (please ask permission first) to stay connected.

·       Share one of your favorite movies with your family or whoever is in your bubble. The team recommends the first Harry Potter movie, Nightmare Before Christmas, Hocus Pocus, and Frankenweenie.

·       Since Halloween is on a Saturday this year, it’s a great day to enjoy more time-intensive projects. Pumpkin carving is fun, but this is the year for baking and decorating cookies, a cake, or anything else your kids can dream up.

·       Host a virtual Halloween party so kids (ok, and adults) can show friends their costumes. Plan a game or two, and just let the kids (and adults) have fun together, Hollywood Squares style.

·       One of our team members is staying home, filling a piñata with candy and trinkets rather than taking the kids around the neighborhood.

·       This is also a great time to “Boo Your Neighbor”. Fill a bag with wrapped treats and leave it on your neighbor’s doorstep with a nice note and a tag. Don’t forget to wash your hands before packing bags.

If your family participates in trick-or-treating this year, check out the guidelines The Seattle Times has shared in this article. Here are some of our favorite suggestions:

·       If anyone in your family is ill or has symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home.

·       Do not go to homes with porch lights turned off. This is a universal sign that they are not participating or that someone in their family is ill and they don’t want to expose anyone.

·       All people 2 years and older should wear face masks. Plastic masks and most fabric Halloween masks don’t offer adequate protection, so wear an approved mask under your costume or decorate a mask to coordinate. Parents, please set a good example and wear your masks.

·       Carry hand sanitizer and use it.

·       Don’t travel in packs and try to stay at least 6 feet from other groups.

·       No eating candy while out and about. Rather, bring it all home and wash your hands, and wipe down wrappers.

Whatever new traditions or options you choose, we hope you enjoy the weekend!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Halloween
Oct. 1, 2020

Prohibition, Bootleggers, and Rumrunners in Seattle

Vintage homes comprise a special type of charm. Classic architecture, fine craftsmanship, and rich history help us imagine a bygone era. What was daily life like? What ideas were valued by people of the time? And what was happening in this young city in 1922? Thanks to accurate records, we can piece together the life of the young couple who would call 1510 Warren Ave N home (it's for sale! Click here). We also know that this home was built during the height of Prohibition in Seattle.

Harold and Ella Mae Wiedemann purchased this house new from the builder in 1922, moving from a rented home in the Greenwood neighborhood. We know that Harold was employed by Fisher Bros. Co. a food wholesaler located in the 1201 Western Ave. building. This architecturally significant office building was constructed in 1910 and was home to many of Seattle’s most prominent maritime businesses and food wholesalers. The Queen Anne location would have been convenient for Harold, and this beautiful Queen Anne home would have been a smart purchase for a hard-working young family.

Harold began work in the grocery industry as a porter then worked his way through the ranks to become a wholesale salesman of canned fruits, a very lucrative career in the early 1900s. Seattle was disrupted by Prohibition between 1916 and 1933, which played out on Puget Sound, in the local waterways, and in town hall, as Roy Olmstead, a former Seattle police officer, operated Seattle’s largest booze smuggling and distribution operation.

Speed boats or “rumrunners” were in high demand as locals purchased alcohol from Canadian wholesalers then transported it to Seattle for distribution. These fast vessels were able to outrun U.S. Coast Guard vessels, thus their notorious nickname.

In 1922, the year this home was built, the first bootleggers' convention was held in Seattle. More than 100 “ booze runners and wholesale dealers” meet for the first time to form an alliance/association/cartel. While we have no evidence that Harold Wiedemann was at the meeting or involved in the distribution of liquor, it was well known that Seattle grocers and food wholesalers were deeply connected in the distribution of illegal beverages.

The smugglers and distributors agreed on rules and regulations for their new association. They regulated prices, called for use of approved business methods, agreed to purchase liquor from both Vancouver and Victoria wholesales to keep prices down, and unanimously agreed to boycott drug smugglers and to assist law enforcement in their capture and arrest. The group was well organized.

This Queen Anne block must have been a vibrant place to live and thrive, as U.S. Census reports list neighbors from all over Europe and the UK including Norway, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, and Germany. Occupations on this block included teachers, accountants, stenographers, a pharmacist, and an insurance agent. This beautiful Queen Anne home is ready for the next generation to tell a new Seattle story.

Sept. 5, 2020

10 Ways to Engage Kids During the COVID-19 School Year

For many families, school is in session or will begin next week. Whether your child is in elementary school or college, the pandemic has changed the way communities learn and educate. Online classes, remote work, and physical distancing can be challenging for parents to navigate. We asked our own team members how they are handling this unprecedented time and new ways of attending school. For bigger questions and in the spirit of “Making you an Expert”, we interviewed Beaven Walters, a certified parent coach, podcaster, mom of four, and the owner of The 3D Parent. Below we have listed ten ways to engage with our children and some recommendations from Beaven.

1. Set up a schedule the night before and have your kids help. When kids are given choices and their voices are heard, they are much more likely to stick to a plan.

2. Get dressed and ready for the day. If your children are required to wear uniforms to school, have them suit up. Jen Svrcek of the Steve Kennedy Team says no to pajamas during the day. “It’s tempting to let kids wear pajamas or sweats for online learning, but kids should be dressed, face washed, hair combed, teeth brushed, ready to learn, just as if they were attending in-person classes.”

3. Getting homework finished can be challenging during the best of times. For this topic, we turned to Beaven. “All schoolwork right now is homework. Try breaking homework into chunks. Accomplish one task then move on to another. Spending the day learning in one location may become monotonous for kids. Mix it up by allowing your child to work outside or in another space. Allow for flexibility as this is still new for everyone.” For example, Beaven recommends that if a child is having trouble sitting still for reading time, give them another option such as an audiobook.

4. Schedule creative time (not video games). Kids will be online for many hours each day. Beaven advocates for scheduling creative time away from screens each day. “This is a time for creating something, writing a poem, making music, building, or dancing. Whatever it is, it should be fun, creative, and engaging.”

5. Ask children to help plan meals for the week and assign tasks to everyone. Even the youngest child can assist with meal prep.

6. If you have not started a journal with your kids, begin today! These are unprecedented times, and while it may not feel interesting, this journal may become the equivalent of Little House on the Prairie to future generations. Beaven recommends spending even a few minutes daily talking about the day and your child’s feelings. Snap a picture, make an album, and offer prompts: “What is the best part about working at home? What is the worst? What things are you missing the most?”

7. Set up Zoom calls and playdates to keep kids engaged and connected with their friends. “All kids have their own feelings of isolation to varying degrees. Helping children to keep friendships strong is important.”

8. Allow children to feel loss and disappointment. Last spring graduations were canceled. Proms, vacations, religious services, summer camps, funerals, weddings, and study away trips were canceled or postponed. Colleges closed, theater, musical performances, and recitals were canceled. Beaven said, “Let kids know that it is OK to feel sad. Talk with them and help guide them through the grieving process.”

9. Do something for someone else. Beaven recommends inviting children to help check in with neighbors. Ask if they need anything, even if it is just a few items from the store. What seems simple may be just the help someone needs

10. Do not overly expose children to stress. “Kids are smart, and they listen to everything we say. They understand that the world is in crisis and that many families are suffering,” said Beaven.

Yes, kids do need to know what is going on, but extremely sensitive conversations should happen in private, away from little ears. In closing, Beaven said, “Education is important, but the parent/child relationship must come first. Mental health days are OK. Our children are strong and resilient, but we must also allow space and permission to rest.”

Aug. 28, 2020

The Best Milkshake on Queen Anne

After the closing of Cupcake Royal on Queen Anne, many locals wondered if another business could take on the space and deliver sweet treats to the plethora of foot traffic on “The Ave”. Max and Jennifer Petty answered the call in 2019 when they opened Eden Hill Provisions, delivering the type of food and atmosphere many Queen Anne residents craved; think fine dining meets high-end burger joint.

Perfectly situated on Queen Anne Avenue, Eden Hill Provisions has been able to pivot beautifully from a sit-down bistro style restaurant featuring inventive food combinations to a gourmet take-out destination. Check out their menu at Toast Takeout. Order ahead for pick up.

Our favorite menu item is the Huckleberry Cheesecake Milkshake (say it three times fast). It’s the perfect treat for your early autumn walk after a hard day of Zoom calls and online school with the kids. This decadent flavor attracts adventurous eaters and lovers of classic American milkshakes in equal measures. And as many of you already know, Eden Hill Provisions is famous for the Pink Milk Shake Truck. To reserve the Jeep or find out where they are hanging out for the day, go to Pink Milk Shake Truck.

Upon the first sip, it is somewhat surprising that a shake can taste so much like dessert. The sweet and tart huckleberries combine with the rich elements of the cheesecake to create the illusion of a full slice of fruity cheesecake with a scoop of ice cream on top. A thick straw, usually reserved for boba (bubble tea), accompanies this work of genius. At first glance, it is confusing as to why one would need such a big straw to enjoy a milkshake. All becomes clear as you continue to sip and are greeted by subtle pieces of pie crust; not just any pie crust. Flakey, thick, and buttery Grandma style pie crust; essentially everything a pie crust should be.

This simple shake is just one of the menu items that turned Eden Hill from “the new restaurant on the Ave” into an instant Queen Anne favorite. Before COVID-19, this was one of the most sought after tables for a date night or meal between friends. They were always packed. High-end bottles of wine and cocktails could be seen sitting comfortably on the bar next to beautiful burgers and fries.

Their open garage door leads to a counter where you can either place an order or pick up your online purchase. We are all eagerly awaiting the day we can sit down inside with friends to eat a burger and sip a milkshake, but until then, we will continue to enjoy Eden Hill Provisions as one of the best options for take-out in the city.

Aug. 15, 2020

COVID-19 and Low Interest Rates Lead to Demand for Larger Homes

Over the last 5 months, there has been a major shift in our households. Empty nesters who were planning on downsizing are staying put as their adult and college-aged children return home. Many colleges are closed and relying on remote learning. Entry-level jobs are scarce. Many families have invited elderly parents to live with them as we have seen nursing homes and assisted-living facilities devastated by COVID-19. Living in a three bedroom home with two or three (or four) kids seemed very doable last year; it becomes more challenging as everyone at home jockeys for desk space and internet access. Those living in “just right” family homes now find that they are bursting at the seams.

Work, Zoom calls, play, learning, streaming, online lessons, fitness, and cooking/meal prep are all happening in the home. We have all enjoyed videos staring executives, experts, and journalists that feature a rogue child, adult, or pet in the frame. When dining rooms become classrooms, it just might be time for a bigger place.

“We are 6 months into the pandemic, and people are adjusting to a new way of working and learning. I am working with several clients who have asked for more space,” said Jen Svrcek, a broker with the Steve Kennedy Team. Many local tech companies have told employees to expect remote work well into 2021, and are assisting employees with virtual office setup.

The desire and need for more space isn’t the only variable driving people to trade up, as mortgage rates are at a historic low. Seattle home sales are brisk right now, which means your current home is likely to sell quickly.

According to the National Association of Realtors® 2020 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report, the median sized home purchase last year was 2,060 square feet. That number has increased to 2,291 square feet.

Melissa Klinnert, a broker with the Steve Kennedy Team is seeing another trend; buyers looking at properties further out of the city either as primary residents or vacation homes. “With this shift to working remotely combined with low mortgage rates, folks are weighing their options. Larger second homes further out of the city are a popular choice right now. The Steve Kennedy Team works from the south of Olympia to Anacortes. We have helped many people buy and sell properties outside of King County.”

Depending on the length of the pandemic and the availability of an effective vaccine for everyone, this trend may persist. The Steve Kennedy Team is available to assist you to determine what is right for you, whether it is a simple remodel or a new property. Our brokers not only hold the #1 spot for home sales on Queen Anne and Magnolia but the #3 and #4 spots as well. This year, we were named by The Wall Street Journal (REAL Trends Tom Ferry America’s Best Real Estate Professionals) as #3 in volume amongst small teams in Washington State and #10 in transactions. With over 60 years of combined experience, it is an honor and a privilege to faithfully serve our community.