Upscale, in-city Denny-Blaine is rich with history.

Johnny Andrews The Seattle Times

(Johnny Andrews/The Seattle Times)Originally published October 4, 2016 at 4:48 pm Updated October 4, 2016 at 4:49 pm By Seattle Times staff

There’s really no business district here — just spectacular homes and views

Population: 1,030

Location: With Capitol Hill to the west and Madison Park to the north, Denny-Blaine is bordered on its eastern side by Lake Washington and on its southern side by Madrona.

Why people move to this neighborhood: Denny-Blaine is an upscale in-city Seattle neighborhood that is quiet and peaceful and rich with history; it features early-20th-century mansions on large lots. Residents must go into neighboring communities for services, but otherwise can enjoy living in luxurious tranquillity, with several parks. The neighborhood is home to private nursery and secondary schools (Bush School).

Distance from downtown: Roughly 3.5 miles, with a 15-20 minute drive at rush hour and a 12-minute drive otherwise; 22 minutes via bus (with some walking).

School district:Seattle Public Schools

Major employers: Denny-Blaine is more or less wholly residential, but offers close access to corporate employers in downtown Seattle, small businesses in the Madison Park area and the SR-520 bridge to Eastside employers such as Microsoft.

Housing: Denny-Blaine is dominated by mansions of varying architectural styles built in the early 20th century (many from 1905-10), many of which are situated on larger urban lots. Most homes available here sell for $1 million or more, but there are exceptions on side streets and for homes with no view.

Walk score (out of 100): 55

Bike score: N/A (For leisure bicyclists, the neighborhood features attractive waterfront stretches and is hilly and scenic.)

Transit score (out of 100): 46

Historical facts: Also known as Harrison, this neighborhood was annexed in the early 1900s following the arrival of the Madrona trolley line, and named after Charles Denny (son of pioneer Arthur Denny) and Elbert Blaine. With its rich history as a home for Duwamish Tribe members, and its hilly terrain and water views of Lake Washington, the area is among Seattle’s most affluent in-city communities. Rock star Kurt Cobain lived here along Lake Washington Boulevard until his death by suicide in 1994.

Recreation: Denny Blaine features multiple parks, including 2-acre Denny Blaine Park, with a grass beach and volleyball courts; 4.5-acre Lakeview Park; and Viretta Park (home to Nirvana singer Cobain’s memorial site). The Washington Park Arboretum, with extensive walking trails and gardens, is in nearby Montlake, and the 19-court Seattle Tennis Club outside the neighborhood’s borders is also nearby.

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Renting Vs. Buying

Rent vs. Buy: Be Haunted by Prices, Not Rates

Rent vs Buy Fall2016_Hero

By Ralph McLaughlin | Oct 20, 2016 12:01AM

Buying a home is 37.7% cheaper than renting on a national basis, which is up just a bit from last year. Though the Fed is likely to raise rates by year’s end, homebuyers should be more concerned about rising prices.

While the Federal Reserve Bank will likely increase interest rates later this year, rates would have to turn sharply higher to push the rent vs. buy decision towards renting. In fact, nationally and in the 100 largest markets, rising home prices are more likely to have an impact on homebuyers’ bottom line than increasing rates. In this edition of Trulia’s Rent vs. Buy report, we look at where, and by how much, rates and prices would have to increase to erase the financial benefits of homeownership. We find that:

  • Nationally, the benefits of lower mortgage rates have been mostly offset by higher prices. For households who move every seven years and can afford to put 20% down, it’s 37.7% cheaper to buy this year. This up just slightly compared to 37.2% last year.
  • Buying is cheaper than renting in each of the 100 largest metros. The range is from over 50% cheaper in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to under 20% in Honolulu and San Francisco.
  • Homebuyers should be more concerned about rising prices than rising mortgage rates. Rates would have to more than double to wipe out the financial advantage of buying, whereas prices would only need to increase by 67%. In San Jose, Calif., prices would only need to go up by 24% for the cost of buying to be the same as renting, whereas rates would have to jump by 45% – or 1.6 points – for buying to cost the same as renting.

Higher Prices Have Eroded Benefits of Lower Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates – as measured by average rates reported by the Mortgage Bankers Association – have dropped sharply over the past year from 3.9% to 3.7%, but buying has only become a little cheaper than renting. It is now 37.7% cheaper to buy than rent on the national level and that’s only slightly better than this time last year, when buying was about 37.2% cheaper. What gives? Home prices have outpaced rents, which erased most of the savings that homebuyers received from lower mortgage rates. Nationally, prices have increased by 5.9% since last year compared to an increase of 3.5% for rents. But thanks to low mortgage rates keeping pressure on prices, buying a home today continues to be the best deal since 2012.

Rent vs Buy Hero
the largest financial advantage of homeownership are there, with Philadelphia and Syracuse, N.Y., being the only non-Southern markets to make the list. Buying a home in Miami and West Palm Beach, Fla., will be the easiest on your wallet: after seven years of homeownership, buying a home is 53.2% cheaper than renting. Buying a home in nearby Fort Lauderdale isn’t a bad deal either, where homeownership is 52.9% cheaper.

Where Buying a Home Beats Renting

U.S. Metro Median Home Value, Fall 2016 Median Rent, Fall 2016 Cost of Buying vs. Renting (%), Fall 2016
1 Miami, FL $259,527 $2,000 -53.2%
2 West Palm Beach, FL $241,509 $1,950 -53.2%
3 Houston, TX $176,513 $1,575 -52.9%
4 Fort Lauderdale, FL $217,342 $1,800 -52.9%
5 Charleston, SC $218,090 $1,575 -52.5%
6 Baton Rouge, LA $158,405 $1,350 -51.7%
7 New Orleans, LA $171,302 $1,450 -51.2%
8 Syracuse, NY $122,040 $1,400 -51.0%
9 Philadelphia, PA $141,176 $1,300 -50.8%
10 Columbia, SC $124,733 $1,125 -50.6%
Note: Negative numbers mean that buying costs less than renting. Data for all metros and all scenarios presented in this report can be downloaded here.

Potential homebuyers in the West and Northeast have a more difficult decision to make, although it’s still significantly cheaper to buy than rent. Eight of the ten markets with the slimmest rent vs. buy margins are there. The financial advantage of homeownership is narrowest in Honolulu, but still 17.4% cheaper over 7 years with 20% down. In San Jose, the margin is just 18.6, and in Milwaukee – one of only two not in the West or Northeast – it’s 19.6%. Those considering buying a home in the other seven metros where the financial advantage is narrowest should fear not: it is at least 22% cheaper to buy a home than rent one in each of these markets.

Where the Financial Advantage of Buying is Slimmest

U.S. Metro Median Home Value, Fall 2016 Median Rent, Fall 2016 Cost of Buying vs. Renting (%), Fall 2016
1 Honolulu, HI $629,606 $2,500 -17.4%
2 San Jose, CA $954,153 $3,600 -18.6%
3 Milwaukee, WI $203,148 $1,300 -19.6%
4 Newark, NJ $331,086 $2,200 -22.9%
5 San Francisco, CA $1,094,742 $4,300 -25.9%
6 Madison, WI $224,918 $1,525 -27.4%
7 Sacramento, CA $348,813 $1,750 -27.5%
8 Fairfield County, CT $396,892 $2,400 -28.6%
9 Oakland, CA $658,223 $3,000 -29.2%
10 Ventura County, CA $540,662 $2,600 -29.4%
Note: Negative numbers mean that buying costs less than renting. Data for all metros and all scenarios presented in this report can be downloaded here.

Prices More Threatening to Homebuyers than Mortgage Rates

There’s been much speculation that the Federal Reserve Bank will increase rates in December, but homebuyers should be more concerned of rising prices than rising mortgage rates. The tipping point, that is, the price or rate at which the cost of buying equals the cost of renting, is much higher for rates than for prices. For example, the median home value tipping point for the U.S. is $467,772, which is 67% higher than today’s median value of $280,103. In comparison, the tipping point for U.S. mortgage rates is 9.1%, or 145% higher from today’s average mortgage rate of 3.7%.

Rent vs Buy Supporting Graphic

Home Value and Mortgage Rate Tipping Points: Metros with Slimmest Price Margins

U.S. Metro Median Home Value, Fall 2016 Median Home Value Tipping Point % Home Value Increase to Tipping Point Mortgage Rate Tipping Point % Rate Increase to Tipping Point
1 Honolulu, HI $629,606 $774,415 +23.0% 5.3% +44.8%
2 San Jose, CA $954,153 $1,183,149 +24.0% 5.4% +47.5%
3 Milwaukee, WI $203,148 $257,998 +27.0% 6.6% +80.3%
4 Newark, NJ $331,086 $437,034 +32.0% 7.2% +96.7%
5 San Francisco, CA $1,094,742 $1,488,849 +36.0% 6.1% +66.7%
6 Madison, WI $224,918 $319,384 +42.0% 7.9% +115.8%
7 Sacramento, CA $348,813 $495,315 +42.0% 6.9% +88.5%
8 Fairfield County, CT $396,892 $567,556 +43.0% 7.6% +107.7%
9 Oakland, CA $658,223 $947,841 +44.0% 6.8% +85.8%
10 Ventura County, CA $540,662 $783,960 +45.0% 7.0% +91.3%
Note: Negative numbers mean that buying costs less than renting. Data for all metros and all scenarios presented in this report can be downloaded here.

There are some markets, though, where the tipping points are relatively lower. Prices in Honolulu, San Jose, and Milwaukee would only need to rise between 23% and 27% to reach the tipping point, while rates on the hand rates would need to increase between 44% and 80%. While such a large increase is unlikely to occur anytime soon, the point is that any threat to the financial benefits of homeownership are more likely to come from price pressures than rate pressures since rates would have to go up by a much larger proportion than prices to affect the rent vs. buy decision.

Rent vs Buy Supporting Graphic

The Recap

It is slightly cheaper to buy than rent this year compared to last. While rates have dropped significantly compared to last year, rising prices have eroded much of the financial benefits of lower rates that would accrue to homebuyers. Homebuyers should also be more concerned about prices outpacing rents than any possible rate hike by the end of the year. This is because the tipping point for rates is proportionally much higher than the tipping point for prices. In other words, rates would have to go up much more than prices for the costs of buying a home to be parity with the cost of renting. But buyers don’t need to fret too much. Even in markets where it the rent vs. buy decisions is toughest, Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) would have to raise rates aggressively. For example, in Honolulu and San Jose, the FOMC would have to increase six times at a quarter point each to reach the tipping point, and even if they did there’s no guarantee that mortgage rates would follow suit since they are more closely tied to the 10-year bond. On the other hand, price increases to the tipping point in some markets are not unprecedented. Prices in San Jose, on the other hand, climbed to near tipping point rates in 2013 at 21% year-over-year. Still, we think either scenario – aggressive price or rate increases – is unlikely to play out anytime soon. The FOMC has only raised rates once in the past 10 years, and prices would have to grow to their tipping with little movement in rents. The latter of which hasn’t happened since the housing market recovery began in 2012.


Trulia calculates the costs of buying and renting by:

  • We use our quality-adjusted measure of home prices and rents, which allows an apples-to-apples comparison between rental and owner-occupied housing units. We looked at median home value and rent in March 2016 in each of the largest 100 metros.
  • We calculate the initial total monthly costs of owning and renting, including mortgage payments, maintenance, insurance, and taxes.
  • We calculate the future total monthly costs of owning and renting, taking into account expected price and rent appreciation, as well as projected inflation.
  • We factor in one-time costs and proceeds, including closing costs, down payment, sale proceeds, and security deposits.
  • We calculate net present value, which reveals the opportunity cost of using money to buy a house instead of investing it. Net present value is the worth in today’s dollars of a future stream of payments and proceeds, taking into account expected interest rates.

Trulia’s Rent vs. Buy Calculator lets you compare renting and buying costs using other assumptions about prices, rents, and other factors. It uses the same math that powers our interactive map and this report. You can read our extended methodology here.

– See more at:…

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Free Tickets to the Northwest Remodeling Expo this Weekend!

Thinking about starting a remodeling project this Spring? Or maybe you’re interested in doing some landscaping this Summer? Stop by our office at 4452 California Ave SW Seattle 98116 and pick up free tickets to this year’s Northwest Remodeling Expo!

The 2017 NW Remodeling Expo

The 2017 NW Remodeling Expo brings together hundreds of local and regional home improvement companies for one weekend only. It’s the perfect way to jumpstart your remodeling project — meet hundreds of contractors face to face!

Bigger and better than ever– at Seattle’s comprehensive “one stop” home improvement marketplace, you’ll discover new resources and companies to help you update and maintain your home — from the smallest design details, to the largest additions, and everything in between, including the latest in:

Kitchens | Bathrooms | Cabinetry | Countertops | Flooring | Sunrooms and Additions | Basement Finishing | Waterproofing | Smart Home Automation | Energy Efficient Windows | Exterior Products | Painting | Roofing | Handyman Services | Hot Tubs and Spas

Expo Highlights

Artisan Showcase

Find unique objects and artwork for your home while supporting local artists at the new Art & Design Showcase. See a preview of the artwork here.

Home Improvement Seminars

Learn and have fun at 20+ home improvement seminars and demonstrations. See the weekend line-up here

“Designer Matchmaker”

Take advantage of the Free Interior Design Consultations with NWSID designers during the Designer Matchmaker events. Click here to learn about the designers and how to prepare for your consultation.

Where: Washington State Convention Center – Halls 4AB 800 Convention Place, Seattle, WA 98101

When: January 13-15, 2017

Friday, Jan 13
12:00 PM – 7:00 PM Saturday, Jan 14
10:00 AM – 7:00 PM Sunday, Jan 15
11:00 AM – 7:00 PM

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4 Closings This Week for the Beth G Homes Team!

Congratulations to our Agents, Sasha Blume, Gale Burbach, Jaime Egan-Beal and Maria Genett for each having a closing this week!

A great condo in Wallingford

Sasha’s client bought a great condo in Wallingford.

Two bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen has stainless appliances, gas stove, & marble counter tops. Living room has an adjacent private deck and gas fireplace. Common rooftop terrace with unbelievable views of the city, Mt. Rainier and Lake Union. Plus close to Gasworks Park, the Burke Gilman Trail, the UW and Green Lake!

1310 N Lucas Place #404, Seattle 98103 – $469,900

A house in West Seattle.

Gale’s seller sold her condo in Magnolia and is in contract for a house in West Seattle.

Private top floor End Unit Condo w/Phenomenal Views & Fantastic Magnolia Location. Vaulted Ceilings, Fireplace & View Deck. Great Open Floor Plan with Floor to Ceiling Windows. Easy Access to Discovery Park, Ballard via Locks or Bridge & Just a Few Blocks from Stores, Bus Lines, Bike Trails & Fisherman’s Terminal. Excellent Schools.

3700 25th Pl W #301 Seattle 98199 – $467,500

A rambler in the gated community

Jaime’s clients bought a rambler in the gated community of Cedar Bend in Orting.

The home is situated in a cul de sac close to riding/walking paths, community park and golf course. Excellent open floor plan. Bright kitchen looking into living and dining room with vaulted ceilings, split floorplan, master bedroom has a 5 piece bathroom. 3 car garage with keyless entry. The backyard is fully fence and territorial views from the front and back.

14716 147th St E Orting 98360 – $270,000

a gorgeous home view in West Seattle

Maria & Beth’s clients bought a gorgeous view home in West Seattle.

Spectacular City View home in desirable North Admiral! Grand 3 bedroom, 3 bath with over 3000 sq ft of living space. Keep as ADU or easily convert back to single family. Oversized 2 car garage, meticulously landscaped yard, romantic master suite offers breathtaking views, gas fireplace, enormous closet with skylight and 5 piece bath with oversized soaking tub. Sweeping views from roof top deck with hot tub. Enjoy all this location has to offer.

4057 SW Holgate St. Seattle 98116 – $1,173,900

Put us to work for you today!


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Seattle Rent is 5th Most Expensive in U.S. and 9th Worldwide


Nested’s 2017 Rental Affordability Index ranked Seattle fifth in a nationwide survey of cities and ninth worldwide, with a cost per square foot of $3.07. Monthly rent for a single person, according to the survey, is $1,288.76—so a single person needs to earn around $53,000 a year to afford living in the city. The numbers jump up for a family of four: $2,445.34 in rent, with a $101,186.48 salary to afford it.

San Francisco took the top spot both nationally and worldwide, with an $85,985.38 required just to support a single person. Other cities that ranked higher than Seattle include New York, Boston, and the other Washington—although we rank higher than London, Miami, Chicago, and Vancouver, BC.

Zumper’s February 2017 report ranked us not quite as high nationwide, but we still landed in tenth place. The median rent, according to Zumper, is higher than the rent by Nested’s methodology: $1,790.

One thing is clear about the rent here, though: It’s high, and most Seattle renters don’t need a study to figure it out.


There are some renters who have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

Seattle Rent is 5th Most Expensive in U.S. and 9th Worldwide

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