Housing in Seattle - Seattle Times Price Map

The Seattle Times just published another article about housing costs in the Seattle market.

I have attached the link and especially found the interactive pricing map informative. With the average home price in Seattle and the suburbs continuing to grow at a record pace, this article points out neighborhood by neighborhood where the AVERAGE price of a home or in some neighborhoods a building lot is $1 million dollars and more.

Seattle housing is in the news a lot lately due to having one of the highest increases in housing costs in the country with record yearly growth and limited inventory. In certain areas, a  large number of homes are also sold to foreign investors placing all cash offers to purchase.  Currently, 40% of all homes in the Seattle area are listed for $1 million dollars or more.  The median time a home is on the market is 7 day with 62% of all listed homes exceeding the asking price.

Housing continues to be the number one concern of my client families especially when pairing with their desired public school district and specific school.  I partner with several realtors to assist their clients with school information to help the family not only find the right fit school, but right fit house within their budget.  Unfortunately, more and more I see families having to give a bit on their desired commute time to meet their school and housing goals.





Racial diversity and Seattle area schools

Racially diverse schools and communities are top of mind for many of my client families moving from outside of the Seattle area.  Many families are coming from international schools, large metropolitan areas (like Boston, NYC) and have questions about Seattle area public schools with regards to race and family income. 

I find many families unfamiliar with Seattle view it as a very homogeneous city and are surprised when they see how diverse many of the schools are with regard to race and income.  I also assist families coming from smaller school districts and city suburbs and their children have not been in a racially diverse school and they have questions about how schools in the Seattle area "look and feel" compared to their current district. 

Seattle no longer buses students outside of their neighborhood schools and schools reflect the population of the neighborhood. The Eastside (Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland) never bussed outside of area and their schools racial make up has changed along with the changing population following the tech industry. 

Recently, The Seattle Times published this very informative article about race and our public schools andincluded an interactive tool to view your school or target school and look up the diversity index score for any school in King or Snohomish County.


I am available to discuss these statistics and specific schools assisting you in finding the right fit schools for your children. 















Washington State National Merit Semi-Finalists

Every Fall, high school seniors are notified if they are a semifinalists for the prestigious and financially rewarding National Merit Scholarship program.  More than 1.5 million juniors across the United States entered the 2016 National Merit program by taking the 2014 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. 

The nationwide pool of semifinalists, which represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

Approximately 16,000 high school seniors across the United States were named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists for 2016. This year, Washington State seniors tied with New York for #8 in the country with a qualifying score of 219*. All semifinalists are eligible to compete for 7,400 National Merit Scholarship awards worth $32 million, to be awarded in spring 2016.

For Seattle area schools and a list of all qualified students by high school, please see the Seattle Times link:  http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/education/national-merit-scholarship-program-announces-semifinalists/   Please keep in mind the schools vary in student size from 400+ to 50 seniors with the higher percentage of overall semifinalists attending Seattle area private schools.   

*The top 7 states by scores for 2015-16 are:  District of Columbia 225, New Jersey 225, California 223,  Massachusetts 223, with Maryland, Virginia at 222. 


Harvard University Family Education Engagement Workshop Coming Summer 2016

I am anxiously awaiting the release of Seattle dates for the Harvard University sponsored Education and Family engagement workshops.  The current plan is for the summer of 2016, with the University of Washington as the pending host.  My colleague, who attended the workshops in Boston last month, learned so much and came back with tons to share.  It should even be of more value when it is held locally and deals with issues directly related to family and education in the Seattle area.  I always said that I could be a permanent student, and by working in education I get pretty close!  I am not sure if this event will be open to the public, but worth looking into once the final plan is in place. 

Here is a link from The Seattle Times on the July 2015 event held in Cambridge, MA. 


Dim Sum = Yum

I don't think my family had any idea how much we would miss the food we discovered while living in Singapore, especially since Seattle is home to so much truly great, local food.  We all left Asia with new favorites and an appreciation for hand-pulled noodles, soup dumplings and fresh tropical fruit. (except for durian!)

Thankfully, Seattle's internationally diverse population means easy access to great Asian restaurants and stores right in our own back yard, including the large Asian grocery store, Uwajimaya, with locations in downtown Seattle and Bellevue.  We also enjoy a booming Chinatown neighborhood, which my daughters recently toured with their Mandarin teacher and classmates coming home excited to share with us their many new finds.  

Those familiar with Asia's Din Tai Fung restaurant chain know how lucky we are to have two of just four US locations right here in Seattle.  If you haven't had their Xiao Long Bao (pork soup dumpling) dipped in a sauce of fresh ginger, dark vinegar and soy sauce, you are missing out on a great Taiwanese specialty - one that is quickly becoming a Seattle favorite!  It won't take any convincing to get my family to try the spots listed in the following Seattle Times article for Dim Sum Yum! 




Tourist Time - Seattle Style

The Seattle Times recently published an article on the top 5 tourist attractions in the Seattle area.  I know when we moved with our elementary age children to Singapore, the first thing we did was "pretend" like we were tourists and spent a couple days with guidebook in hand exploring all the popular tourist destinations.  When we relocated back to Seattle, we did it all again - this time with preteens in tow - but they loved getting to know Seattle again, eye rolls not withstanding.  Enjoy Seattle and get ready to do these things over and over again when family and friends come to visit. 


Row, Row, and Sail your boat

Here is another link from the Seattle Times "Summer Guide."  My kids vote for Wild Waves Park but I plan to put that one off for as long as I can in the hope that another family invites them!  My vote is for a paddle around Lake Washington into Lake Union starting and ending with time at the Agua Verde Café near the University of Washington. 


Free Fun in Seattle

Another great link from The Seattle Times:


I find myself no longer reading a hard-copy paper and spend more and more time getting my news on my laptap and iPhone.  I do worry, however, that I am missing out on a lot of local happenings and so I love these pieces put together by The Seattle Times.  Just added a few of these to our summer bucket list - even as a native, I have a lot more new places to explore around Seattle. 

Go Ride A Bike

The Seattle area offers many local car-free bike trails, most notably the Burke Gilman Trail, as well as wide roadways and a fast-growing number of dedicated bike lanes.  The Burke Gilman Trail is 27 miles long and the terrain stays fairly flat, so it is suitable for families as well as more serious cyclists.  The trails run from Golden Gardens Park in Ballard all the way to Redmond's Marymoor Park via the Sammamish River Trail. It has many access points, making it easy to ride just a few miles or all 27 with many stops along the way at beaches, breweries, parks and the University of Washington campus. 

A great resource for cyclists is the Cascade Bicycling Club, a non-profit organization with over 16,000 members (in fact, Cascade is the largest cycling club in the country). The club organizes daily rides for all skill levels as well as big events like the Seattle to Portland, Oregon (STP) ride every July, and is a leader in bicycle advocacy and education. Check out http://cascade.org for more info.

The Seattle Times also published a brief article for family-friendly bike rides that featured one of our favorites - "Bicycle Sunday" is a very flat, 8.5 mile ride along Lake Washington via the lovely Olmsted-designed roadway.  The ride has been taking place one Sunday of every month from May to September for the past 50 years.

The roadway is closed to car traffic on this day, beginning just south of Mt. Baker Beach and ending at Seward Park, where you'll find a play area, beach and perfect picnic spot.  While this ride is appropriate for all levels of cyclists, it is particularly inviting to kids with training wheels and parents pulling bike trailers.  The route is a popular ride in general, but is recommended for children only when the road is closed to car traffic during "Bicycle Sunday" events. 



Outdoor Preschool Comes To Seattle

I have yet to assist a family with outdoor preschool, but find the concept very interesting and look forward to following this "new to Seattle" development.  Check out the link below for an NPR story on the concept. 

I have a good friend that was an American expat in Norway and one of the things that caught her off guard was the amount of time her preschool children spent outside - rain, shine, snow or wind. Being outside was a big part of their preschool day and they quickly adjusted to bundling up to eat their lunch in the wooded area on school grounds - snow or no snow. To say the least, she didn't join them for lunch too often!  Kids adjust quickly - parents, it seems, sometimes take a little longer. 


I also thought it worth sharing this recent article from "The Seattle Times" about an outdoor preschool program setting up at the Seattle Arboretum - June 15, 2015