Bellevue homes: from split-level to luxury and beyond
Last year’s listing of a $6-million Bellevue home put my name on the map and in the media. It also was the fifth transaction with the same client. Number six was the recent purchase of another Bellevue property. Over time, Bellevue homes have played an increasingly more significant role in my real estate business.
When the Gambles took a gamble
2002 was our third year in Seattle and my first in real estate. We had few friends apart from our church. The members witnessed the loss of my job, for which my family had relocated across the country. The pastor’s counsel and the congregation’s compassion proved invaluable as I sought employment and eventually settled on a new career in real estate.
Not surprisingly, my first pieces of real estate business were two listings for church members. The first was a parishioner’s rambler in Renton. Ironically, their name was Gamble, and I did everything to ensure the result was not eponymous with their name. The result was so successful that I helped the Gamble family with the sale of another home and the purchase of a condo over a decade later.
Bellevue homes: moving steadily up to luxury
My second listing also originated in our church. Located in the Summerset area of Bellevue, it was a split-level home that I sold in 2003. Two more listings of Bellevue homes followed: one in 2008 and another in 2013.
One year later, in 2014, I helped two clients purchase homes in the Meydenbauer neighborhood of Bellevue. Interestingly, both Bellevue homes carried the same price tag of $870,000, and the same experienced agent listed both.
Both clients were motivated to move to Bellevue by the desire to have their children attend Bellevue schools. I helped them sell their existing homes to accomplish that, one in Kirkland and the other in Redmond.
Crossing the $1 million threshhold
I sold one of these two Bellevue homes for my client in 2016 for $1.1 million. I identified a home for purchase with the proceeds just to the north of downtown Bellevue within walking distance to Bellevue Square. The plan was to demolish the existing structure and build a custom home. The home is worth approximately $2.75 million today.
While the other client stayed in the Meydenbauer neighborhood, he likewise built a custom home. The 1950s one-story with basement, purchased in 2014, is now a Northwest contemporary with an estimated value of $4.5 million.
Building a Bellevue home to sell
With the experience of building his own home, he set his sights on other Bellevue homes needing renovation. He found what he was looking for right next door. Although the seller canceled the listing for the Holidays, we managed to purchase it for 1.4 million.
While waiting for permits, we rented the home out. The same team that designed and built his own home now worked together to create what we called “989.” Nine-eight-nine was the new house number and 100th Avenue SE was the home’s new address. Watch the video to learn how this Bellevue home moved to a new address.
Watch the 989 Story
The future of Bellevue real estate
Absent an economic collapse, the value of Bellevue homes will continue to rise. The main reason is that high-tech investment continues to pour into Bellevue, some from California, some more recently at the expense of Seattle. While opportunities for new construction and renovation of existing homes west of I-405 are limited, developers have begun to transform some areas to the east. The most prominent example is the new Bellevue Spring District.
It is a new kind of urban development that describes itself as “the epitome of mixed-use neighborhoods… with spaces devoted to office, apartments, retail, dining, transit, and hotel.”
A new component in the development is public transportation. The Spring District/120th light rail station will be built as part of the Central Bellevue Segment of Sound Transit’s East Link network. The light rail line will extend 14 miles from downtown Seattle to the Overlake area in Redmond. Passenger service is scheduled to begin in 2023.
We have come a long way.
Over the past 19 years, I have helped many people make the move to Bellevue, some from another Seattle Eastside city, others from out-of-state and from overseas. One couple sold their Eastgate Phantom Lake home and purchased a condo within walking distance to Bellevue Square mall. The home sold for $506,000 in 2008 and sold for a lower price, $437,500 in 2012. It also rebounded nicely to an estimated value of $1.2 million today. The condo they purchased in 2008 for $485,000 is worth approximately $750,000 today. Compared to single-family homes, condos tend to appreciate at a lower rate.
I am especially happy for a family who, as first-time buyers, snagged a Lake Hills home for $450,000 in 2015. It is estimated to be worth $850,000 today. Now a family of four, they recently purchased, with my help, a property in Mount Vernon, which they will run as a nursing home.
Next, my attention will be on the most recent Bellevue property purchase in the Enatai neighborhood. While we will not be able to give the home a new address, it will be another Bellevue masterpiece.
Published originally as the 132nd issue of The View from the Street.