Post by Category : On the Road With Roger

South Lake Union, Seattle – On the Road With Roger

South Lake Union (sometimes referred to as the SLU) is named because it is at the south tip of Lake Union in Seattle. It seems that people can’t get enough of South Lake Union these days. Everyone wants to either live here, work here, or come visit. New businesses are opening daily, transportation options are improving, and hip restaurants seem to open almost weekly. The neighborhood is quickly being dominated by local technology companies.’s new headquarters is in the neighborhood, and you’re sure to see thousands of Amazonians roaming the streets at lunch time. Other stalwarts like Microsoft and UW Medicine also have a large presence in the neighborhood, along with plenty of up-and-coming tech startups.

Alki, Seattle – On the Road With Roger

Head to Alki Beach to enjoy the long stretch of sand and view of downtown. In Seattle, this is as close as you can get to living in beach paradise. Well into the 20th century, Alki was reachable from most of Seattle only by boat. Alki today is reminiscent of Pacific Northwest beach town, with a mix of mid-century bungalows, medium-rise waterfront apartment houses, more expensive condo with amazing Puget Sound view, waterfront businesses, a thin beach, and a bike/foot trail running several miles along the water.
This section of West Seattle is bound on the northwest by Elliott Bay; on the southwest by Puget Sound; and on the east by the West Seattle hill. Its main thoroughfares are Alki Avenue S.W; Beach Drive S.W.; and S.W. Admiral Way.
As with the rest of West Seattle, Alki has a relaxed feeling, and you can tell the residents are ultra-proud of their hood. Visitors covet the beachfront condos and the place is packed during the summer for beach volleyball tournaments and picnics. In the off-season, locals claim their neighborhood back and it’s a great place to visit during the winter months, it’s overcast and you want the area more to yourself.
Alki Beach is the principal tourist attraction at Alki Point. It features sand, saltwater, bungalows, and unique local restaurants. It is generally not a popular swimming beach, owing to the cold waters of Puget Sound. It offers stunning views of the Olympic Mountains and downtown Seattle from all points. Alki Beach is also a place to “people watch” or get a tan, and it provides a casual environment for people to gather and hang out. There is access for wheelchair users and roller-skaters.
In the summer months, Alki Beach becomes crowded, especially on weekends. Alki Beach is also famed for its biking and walking trail, which provides a picturesque view of nearby Blake Island. Sunbathers, volleyball nets, and barbecues fill the beach while teens cruise in eye-catching cars. Tourist attractions include the miniature of the Statue of Liberty, the iconic Alki Point Lighthouse and the Birthplace of Seattle monument. The main commercial strip in West Seattle, uphill from Alki Beach, California Ave SW provides five-and-dime shops and diners that recall earlier decades.

Haller Lake – On the Road With Roger

Let’s call Haller Lake a ‘late bloomer’ of a neighborhood. No one really settled in the area until the mid-1900s; with the many other smaller neighborhoods nearer to downtown, there was no reason to. The majoring of households were on large plots of land with enough room for farm animals and orchards. The small lake was the most desirable place to settle. Residents of the community have long resisted expansion and population growth due to their love of the environment and their disdain for traffic congestion.
The boundaries of the neighborhood are N. 145th Street to the north, beyond which is the city of Shoreline; N. 110th Street to the south, beyond which is NorthgateState Route 99 (Aurora Avenue) to the west, beyond which is Bitter Lake; and Interstate 5 to the east, beyond which is Jackson Park.
The atmosphere in Haller Lake varies widely depending on where you are in the neighborhood. On its edges, near Aurora Avenue to the west and Northgate Way to the south, are the business districts (and the traffic we mentioned before). As you head towards the center, the activity fades and quiet residential streets take over. With larger plots of land than other places in the city, residents can spread out a little and enjoy the quiet.

Haller Lake itself has a ‘secret garden’ kind of feel; only one road lends public access, and the four or so parking spaces only further the sensation that you’ve stumbled across something private. The water has that glassy quality from being sheltered from wind and watercraft, and the small shore is perfect for a picnic or just sunbathing.

Nearby Northacres Park is perfect for letting the dog out for some off-leash time on the woodsy trails, or bringing the kids for some wading pool action. Haller Lake also offers the only granite curling facility in the area. Grab a broom, join a team, or sign up for some practice time at one of their monthly open houses to try your hand at that newly-famous sport!


Madison Valley, Seattle – On the Road With Roger


Though it hasn’t always been considered such, Madison Valley is a desirable neighborhood in the middle of the Capitol Hill/Central area of Seattle. With tons of parks and a growing business district, this place has it all. Close proximity to downtown makes it a sought after place to live.
Madison Valley is a neighborhood in Seattle WA, adjacent to Capitol Hill, Madrona, and Madison Park. Located near the Washington Park Arboretum, Madison Valley is two miles east of downtown Seattle and one mile west of Lake Washington.
About half of residents are singles of all ages, and about 17% of households have children. The public schools that service the neighborhood are McGilvra, Stevens and Madrona. According to Zillow, 57% of people in Madison Valley own homes vs. rent. The neighborhood is composed of 67% single family homes and 22% condos. There are active email lists that keep neighbors in touch with each other. Over the years there have been and continue to be many groups of neighbors who are doing habitat restoration, participating in babysitting co-ops, exchanging tools and advice as well as enjoying block parties and a good neighborhood vibe.
The Washington Park Arboretum is a hidden gem on the shores of Lake Washington. Free and open to the public daily from dawn to dusk, its 230 acres are a dynamic assortment of plants found nowhere else. The Japanese Garden, located at the south end of the Arboretum. Madison Valley is a quiet Seattle neighborhood with a European flavor. Madison Valley is known for its French restaurants, and is sometimes referred to as Seattle’s French Quarter. Anyone who loves a good neighborhood stroll will adore the shops and restaurants on Madison Avenue.

Leschi – On the Road With Roger

Off the beaten path, once you discover Leschi you’ll wonder why you’ve never heard of this lovely neighborhood before. Maybe because those in the know want to keep it as their little secret. Perched atop Lake Washington with fantastic views, a harbor and a sweet business district, Leschi has a very casual, laid back feeling. Close to downtown, the scenic drive out to Leschi puts you in a relaxed state of mind – far from the frenzy of the city.

Central District, Seattle

The culture and demographics of the Central District has changed repeatedly throughout the years. The Central District is on the east side of Capitol Hill and is considered one of the oldest surviving neighborhoods in the city. Throughout its history it has seen many changes in demographics and politics, but has recently seen a period of new construction and community improvement projects. The Central District’s main thoroughfares are Martin Luther King J Way (or MLK) and 23rd Ave (north and southbound) and E. Union, E. Cherry and E. Jefferson Streets and E. Yesler Way (east and west bound). It is indeed, very Central, and it borders Capitol Hill, First Hill and the Madison Valley areas. The area was first cleared for development in the mid 1800’s. It was the ideal place to settle because of its close proximity to the business district of Seattle. Some homes in the CD have recently undergoing extensive renovation. Many houses are being replaced by multi-unit townhouses and condominiums. Easy access to Interstate 5, Interstate 90 and downtown, as well as ample street parking, makes the CD an attractive and convenient place to live.
In the 1970s, the CD became largely an African-American neighborhood and the center of the civil rights movement in Seattle. The Central District is currently home to the Northwest African American Museum.

Condo Hot Buttons

One of the first questions I get asked is Can I rent the place? Some units have rental restrictions and that can be changed at any time by a vote of the homeowners. There is a love/hate with renting. Of course, as the owner, you want to be able to have that option. But when you sell, if the owner occupancy is too low, a lender could turn down your loan. The owner occupancy rate needs to be 51% or higher to obtain a loan. I personally think it’s good to have rental restrictions because a day will come when YOU will want to sell and you don’t want the building to have turned into too many rentals. Owners have a tendency to also take better care of their places than renters.
Logical question to ask and you must do your due diligence to get the answer. When you buy you get a resale cert, and meeting minutes come with that. That is also a question that is answered in the resale certificate you get as a buyer and have 5 days to review. But there is a difference between knowing about an assessment or the board just discussing an issue that could lead to an assessment. Assessments can be ok if the dollar amount is specified, and either paid by buyer or seller at closing.
Limited litigation can be ok if dollar amount specified and insurance is enough to cover the full amount. I lived in a condo once that had a litigation issue, and I couldn’t sell until the litigation was resolved.
If there is work being done on the complex, many loan programs require the work be completed prior to funding. The association must have a current and approved budget with at least 10% reserve funds.
The complex must be FHA or VA approved and most are not. There is a process to obtain this approval and most associations don’t want to do what it takes to obtain this qualification. It is more frequent to see VA financing in newer condo construction.

Fantasy Month – On The Road With Roger

Fantasy Month – On the Road with Roger – Roger Morris Real Estate, Seattle, WA | This explains how your first month’s mortgage payment works, turning out to be a “Fantasy Month” for YOU! On the Road with Roger is a series of exciting videos about Seattle neighborhoods and real estate topics. If you are looking to buy or sell real estate in the Seattle metro area, Roger Morris Real Estate can help you! Contact me for more information about this or other real estate questions.

Click Here to contact Roger Morris.

International District, Seattle – On The Road With Roger

The International District is commonly referred to Chinatown-
International District – made up of three neighborhood names
of Chinatown, Japantown and Little Saigon, or simple the CID
and it is the center of Seattle’s Asian American community and
one of eight historic neighborhoods recognized by the City of Seattle.
Much like First Hill, condos and apartments are the main housing options in the International District. The First Hill Streetcar has opened which connects First Hill with the International District and the Capitol Hill light rail station.
Hing Hay Park is a popular gathering place in the Chinatown International District and the Wing Luke Asian Museum is an
important cultural institution in the neighborhood. There is an extremely rich history for this area with Chinese immigrants first coming to the Pacific NW in the 1860’s. The impact of I-5, immigrants from other countries arriving and land use conflicts, the area has endured through many transitions but it’s a wonderful neighborhood to live in and enjoy.

Pioneer Square, Seattle – On the Road With Roger

Pioneer Square is the neighborhood served by more modes of transit than anywhere else in the city. It’s easily accessible from Interstate 5 and 90, as well as Highway 99. Via light rail, there is easy access to Sea-Tac International airport. The retail downtown core is to the north & the Chinatown/International District is to the east. The SODO district is to the south (home of the two major stadiums –Century Link for the Marinars and Safeco Field for the Seahawks and Sounders), and the waterfront is to the west. The heart of the business district of Pioneer Square is 1st Avenue.
Because Pioneer Square is Seattle’s original neighborhood dating back to 1852, most of the housing options are older condos with character and some apartments. This is where you will find units with exposed beams, high ceilings and walls of bricks. If you are looking for that loft/NY type feel, Pioneer Square is one of the best places to find it. Pioneer Square features a balance of old that coexists with new. Two unique activities in Pioneer Square is the Beneath the Streets and Underground Tour, since much of the neighborhood is on landfill.
There are a number of interesting museums that you won’t find elsewhere including the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park and the Police Museum on 2nd Ave. In 1914, the Smith Tower was completed, which at the time was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. The Chinese Room and observation deck offers some of Seattle’s best views.