Local Holiday Light Shows

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Ready to lift your spirits? Shimmering light shows are a brilliant way to celebrate the winter holiday season. Grab a warm coat and go exploring in gardens, zoos and even on the water. Here are five local venues that are worth braving the cold to see…

1. WildLights at Woodland Park Zoo

5500 Phinney Ave. N, Seattle WA 98103
www.zoo.org/wildlights | click here to get tickets

  • Dates/Times: Open nightly 11/25/16 – 1/1/17 | 5:30-8:30 pm
  • Cost: $7.95-$9.95 per person (ages 2 and under are free)
  • Promotion: Zoo members who purchase tickets by 12/9 get a $2 discount off each adult ticket
  • Parking: Free parking at the north (Bear Lot), inner north (Otter Lot) and and northwest lot (Penguin Lot)
  • Food: Refreshments are available at food kiosks, Pizza Corner, the Rain Forest Pavilion and at the Pacific Chowder House (with covered seating). Outside food and non-alcoholic drinks are permitted.
  • Special Events and Activities
  • Holiday Closures: 12/24 & 12/25

Wildlights at Woodland Park Zoo

 

2. Garden d’Lights at Bellevue Botanical Garden
12001 Main Street, Bellevue WA 98005
www.gardendlights.org | click here to get tickets

  • Dates/Times: Open nightly 11/26/16 – 12/31/16 | 4:30-9:00 pm
  • Cost: $5 per person (ages 10 and under are free)
  • Promotion: Free admission on 11/28, 11/29, 11/30, 12/1, 12/5, 12/6, 12/7 and 12/8
  • Parking: $5 per car in the Garden’s lot (cash only) as space allows OR park for free at Wilburton Hill Park
  • Food: Hot drinks and snacks are available at the Aaron Education Center
  • Holiday Closures: None

Garden d'Lights at Bellevue Botanical Garden

 

3. Snowflake & Celebration Lane at the Bellevue Collection
Bellevue Way & NE 8th Street, Bellevue WA 98004
http://bellevue.com/snowflake-lane

  • Dates/Times: Nightly 11/25/16 – 12/31/16 | 20 minute show starts at 7 pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Parking: Free parking at Bellevue Square, Bellevue Place and Lincoln Square.
  • Food: A variety of dining options (from happy hour, to kid fare, to gourmet meal) are all within walking distance
  • Special Events & Activities: Ice Skating, Santa Parade & Tree Lighting
  • Holiday Closure: 12/25

Snowflak Lane at the Bellevue Collection

 

4. Christmas Ship Festival
Launch locations include Lake Union Park, Kirkland City Dock, Leschi Marina, Des Moines Marina, Poulsbo Marina, Seattle Waterfront – Pier 55, Tacoma (Dock Street Marina), Port of Edmonds Marina, Fishermen’s Terminal, AGC Marina, and Shilsole Bay Marina
www.argosycruises.com | click here to get tickets

Christmas Ship at Lake Union, Photo Courtesy of Seattle Parks

 

5. Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
5400 N. Pearl Street, Tacoma WA 98407
www.pdza.org/zoolights
click here to get non-member tickets OR click here to get member tickets

  • Dates/Times: Open nightly 11/25/16 – 1/1/17 | 5-9 pm
  • Cost: $8.50-$10.00 per person (ages 2 and under are free)
  • Promotions:
    -$5 tickets for zoo members
    -Combo Pass that includes daytime zoo admission ($12-$16)
    -Military Nights ($8 for US Veterans): 11/28, 11/30, 12/5, 12/7, 12/12 & 12/14
    -Scout Night ($8 for registered Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts): 12/6
  • Parking: Free parking in zoo lots (entrance on Pearl Street)
  • Food: Hot drinks and treats are available at the café and kiosks throughout the zoo
  • Activities
  • Holiday Closure: 12/24

Zoolights at Point Defiance

©Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island

This blog post originally appeared on the MercerIslandPulse.com blog.

 

Posted on December 7, 2016 at 2:11 pm
Oscar J. Diaz | Category: Community

Seattle’s Red Hot Housing Market and Its First-Time Homebuyers

En este blog se pueden enterar de noticias importantes sobre todo lo relacionado con el mercado de bienes raíces en los condados de King, Snohomish y Pierce. Si tienen alguna pregunta (o solo buscan información al respecto), estamos aquí para lo que ocupen y para ayudarlos a comprar o vender su casa.

According to an analysis by The Seattle Times, Seattle-area home prices are now rising at their swiftest pace in 2.5 years. While we missed out on taking over Portland for the top spot on the Case-Shiller index, Seattle did increase its lead over third-place Denver where prices only rose 8.8 percent over last year.

Portland, having led the Case-Shiller index all year, had the fastest-rising home prices up 11.7 percent over a year ago. In Seattle, home prices were up 11.4 percent over 2015. Both Pacific Northwest cities saw home costs increase at more than twice the national rate of 5.3 percent. By this point, the “record-high home price” headlines are trite. So what makes this time so important?

Well, for starters, this is the eighth straight month of double-digit growth. That in itself is something fairly noteworthy. Additionally, as The Seattle Times states, homes across all price levels are getting more expensive, but “the biggest increase was in the cheapest set of homes” which were up 12.4 percent. The smallest jump was for luxury homes, up 10.9 percent.

Home prices have been soaring consistently for more than four years having jumped 59 percent since 2012. Starter homes have seen prices jump 75 percent in that time frame. Our local millennials are ready to take advantage of the low mortgage rates, but the starter home just is not what it used to be.

What does this mean for the Eastside?

We want to take a look at Windermere Real Estate’s latest housing market updatewhere we reported the median home sale price at $750,000. That is a solid 10 percent increase over the home prices we saw last year. By comparison, the median sale price of a single-family home was $630,000 last month.

First-time buyers are faced with these skyrocketing home prices, and even though other housing market factors are playing in their favor, it can be an intimidating time to jump into the real estate world. Make sure you team up with a Windermere broker who can help you navigate the real estate market and can turn your homeownership dreams into a reality.

Read more from our source, The Seattle Times.

This post originally appeared on the Windermere Eastside blog.

Posted on November 9, 2016 at 11:26 am
Oscar J. Diaz | Category: Community

Windermere Welcomes Cuba to 30th Annual Windermere Cup

photo-1Along with our partners at the University of Washington, Windermere Real Estate is excited to welcome the Cuban Men’s and Women’s National Rowing Teams as the headlining opponent for the 30th annual Windermere Cup, scheduled for Saturday, May 7, 2016. Rounding out the event will be the Stanford men’s and University of San Diego women’s teams.

The annual spring rowing event on the Montlake Cut is held prior to Seattle Yacht Club’s Opening Day festivities which signal the beginning of boating season in Seattle. The entire event is a joint effort between the University of Washington, the Seattle Yacht Club, and Windermere Real Estate.

Windermere Cup History and 30th Anniversary

The 2016 Windermere Cup matchup with Cuba is significant due to the reestablished diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba on July 20, 2015. It also marks one of the few times a Cuban National Team has competed in the United States since the U.S. and Cuba severed diplomatic relations in January of 1961 during the Cold War, roughly 55 years ago.

The matchup is a fitting tribute to the history of Windermere Cup, which got its start 30 years ago when Windermere Real Estate founder, John Jacobi, joined up with the University of Washington to create the annual rowing event. They wanted to bring the best team in the world to Seattle’s Montlake Cut, which at the time was the Soviets. That occasion marked one of the few athletic competitions for the Soviets inside the U.S. in 25 years, since relations were strained during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The Soviet Union brought both its men’s and women’s crews Sovietsand won both races in convincing fashion. After that, the precedent was set for what has become one of the world’s premier rowing events, and certainly a staple of Seattle’s rowing community.

The Windermere Cup will include a number of events during the week leading up to race day. The Seattle Yacht Club’s Opening Day parade through the Montlake Cut will immediately follow the racing.

You can follow all events and find future announcements on the Windermere Cup Facebook page and on Twitter @WindermereCup.

Posted on January 21, 2016 at 1:50 pm
Oscar J. Diaz | Category: Community

Are You Ready for Halloween?

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Believe it or not, it's almost the end of October! Haunted houses, hay rides, pumpkin patches, and even a special harvest market from the Bellevue Farmers Market are waiting for you in the days ahead.

If you're looking for something to do on Halloween Day, make sure you check out the Halloween Market with the Bellevue Farmers Market. They're transforming their typical Saturday Market into something fun and full of treats. There will be pumpkin painting, face painting, live music, a family photo booth, costume contest, fresh cider, and a scavenger hunt for kids at the vendor booths.

If you still need to visit the pumpkin patch this weekend, here are a few great farms for you:

Dr. Maze's Farm

Fall City Farms

Fox Hollow Family Farms

Remlinger Farms

Looking for something spookier than pumpkin patches and hay rides? Here are some haunted houses and events:

Spookfest Zip Tour

Nightmare at Beaver Lake

Fright Fest

Haunted Farm at Fox Hollow Family Farms

Posted on October 22, 2015 at 2:22 pm
Oscar J. Diaz | Category: Community

Community Service Day 2015

mammashandsOne of our favorite days every year is Community Service Day. All of our Windermere offices close so the brokers and staff can spend the day volunteering with local non-profit organizations. This year, our Windermere Bellevue South office will be spending the day helping out Mamma's Hands.

Mamma's Hands was founded to provide hope and support to those in crisis. Their mission is to help those in crisis regain their self-respect, and to provide them the support and direction they need to become productive members of society. Their vision is "Hope in Every Individual." To accomplish this mission, Mamma’s Hands has created two programs: The Phone Home program and the House of Hope program. This year marks their 25th year anniversary of helping those in the Puget Sound area! 

BellevueSouthWindermere Bellevue South brokers and staff have a lot of work ahead of them. Mamma's Hands has three homes for women and children in crisis on 15 beautiful acres in North Bend, and that's where they'll be for Community Service Day. They'll be helping Mamma's Hands by installing security cameras, staining eves, installing base trim, and installing cabinets and shelving. They'll be building deck railings, roofing the shed, and doing plenty of yard clean-up by weeding, mowing and preparing the flower beds for summer. It should be a great day to accomplish a lot!

Want to learn more about Mamma's Hands? Visit their website or follow them on Facebook.

Posted on June 3, 2015 at 5:26 pm
Oscar J. Diaz | Category: Community | Tagged , , , ,