Election Day is just 20 days away. Washington State ballots will be mailed this week, so watch for yours in your mailbox. A brisk voter turnout is expected, so it’s recommended you complete and return your ballot early – either by mail or deliver it to one of the official ballot drop boxes.
Bellevue has three ballot drop box locations:
Downtown Bellevue/Bellevue Library
1111 110th Avenue NE
Crossroads Mall (south entrance)
15600 NE 8th Street
Newport Way Library
14250 SE Newport Way
To find ballot box locations in other cities, if you have questions about or need to update your voter registration, or if you need assistance call or email King County Elections at 206-296-8683 or email@example.com. You can go online and track your ballot after you’ve delivered your ballot.
Every year Livability.com ranks the best 100 small to midsize cities to live in the country based on affordability, safety, economic stability, outdoor recreation, accessibility and community engagement. This year the survey added an “opportunity score” which reflects the city’s job offerings, economic resilience and growth.
Fort Collins, CO was ranked the best place to live in 2020 followed by:
- Fort Collins, CO
- Ann Arbor, MI
- Madison, WI
- Portland, ME
- Rochester, NY
- Asheville, NC
- Overland Park, KS
- Fargo, ND
- Durham, NC
- Sioux Falls, SD
The Pacific Northwest was well represented with nine cities making the list:
Corvalis, OR #19
Bellingham, WA #33
Bend, OR #45
Eugene, OR #46
Spokane, WA #49
Vancouver, WA #59
Olympia, WA #66
Beaverton, OR #67
Tacoma, WA #75
To view the entire list of this year’s best places to live visit Livability.com.
Social distancing restrictions are going to limit traditional Halloween activities this year. If you’re looking for a fun family event, check out Bellevue’s Vasa Park Resort Drive-In Theatre. Classic Halloween movies will be shown this weekend and again the weekend of October 23rd/24th.
Some dates are already sold out . . . visit Vasa Park’s website (https://www.vasaparkresorteventcenter.com) for the movie schedule, tickets and concessions menu.
Friday, October 9th Hocus Pocus sold out
Saturday, October 10th Coco: Day of the Dead sold out
Friday, October 23rd Addams Family
It looks like fall weather and rain are the new normal. I can’t remember the last time our morning walk required rain gear for both me and the dog. Fall arrived this week leaving no doubt there has been a change in seasons. Fortunately Duffy loves wearing his rain and winter coats. He’s built pretty low to the ground, so the rain coat only keeps the upper half of his body dry. Love that wet dog fragrance.
As we enter the seventh month of pandemic survival all indications are the downtown Bellevue condo market has remained strong. Media articles predicted homeowners, driven by pandemic concerns, might choose to abandon the city for suburban homes offering more indoor and outdoor space. Homeowners may be departing Manhattan and San Francisco, but Bellevue’s urban condo marketplace is doing just fine. There was a slight and not unexpected decline in real estate activity in the early weeks of the pandemic – we all had to learn how to move about safely – but recent NWMLS data shows condo sales in downtown Bellevue have rebounded. Fifty condos in the central business district sold in the last 3 months and half of those sold at or over the list price. Those homes were on the market an average of 34 days and had a median sales price of $865,100. (An increase of just over 6% over last year.) Currently 68 condos are listed for sale with a median list price of $874,975.
While many are still working remotely, it’s unlikely that will continue either full time or permanently. Half a dozen office projects are under construction downtown, most of which are already leased. Amazon, along with many other companies, are continuing to expand or relocate to downtown Bellevue and the Spring District. Employees are expected to start returning to downtown office buildings next year which is likely to add to the demand for housing near workplaces, amenities and light rail.
Bellevue is a great example of a desirable live/work/play community. It has a vibrant central business district with an active arts and entertainment scene supported by world class dining and shopping options. Easy freeway access and the completion of light rail will add convenience and speed to getting around Bellevue and the Eastside.
Is everyone rushing to the suburbs? No. The pandemic may have inspired some to seek a permanent, more remote lifestyle. As the city returns to normal and continues to grow, urban living will continue to be in demand.
Did you know . . . there are King County real estate property tax relief programs for qualified senior citizens, disabled persons and veterans. It is estimated that many qualified seniors and disabled persons are not registered for available exemptions and only 1 in 100 of those eligible for deferrals are enrolled.
The application process is fairly easy. There are income, age, disability and ownership/occupancy guidelines that must be met. Details can be found on the King County Assessor’s Office website.
There is also a tax relief program that may assist those who own property damaged in the recent wildfires. The program assists homeowners of properties damaged or destroyed by flood, storm or something beyond the property owner’s control. Owners may be eligible for a reduction of assessed value resulting in lower property taxes. Information and forms for the destroyed property tax relief program are on the King County Assessor’s site.
Detailed information, forms and instructions for applying for all tax exempt or tax deferral programs are available from the King County Assessor’s Office. Applications for the 2021 tax year may be submitted starting in January 2021. Contact the King County Assessor’s Office at 206-296-3920 or on line at www.kingcounty.gov/depts/assessor/taxrelief.
Robin Myers is a Realtor® with Windermere Real Estate/East, Inc. specializing in Bellevue’s urban condominiums and townhomes.
Matthew Gardner, Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist, is back from vacation (sporting a new look) and talks about the relatively unknown U.S. Household Debt and Credit Report. While this may not sound very sexy, it actually contains interesting information. The report provides insights and data on national housing finance. Not surprising, mortgages and student debt represent the largest debt numbers, but the good news is that mortgage delinquency rates are down. Take a quick look, and have a great week.
I like to support local businesses, especially these days, and this one has special importance as a townhome owner with a pet. Condo Pet Pals has been a lifesaver. I live downtown and while I walk my dog several times a day, sometimes there isn’t enough time between business appointments to fit in a walk. It’s also not nearly as much fun to walk in the wind and rain and there’s a safety issue when nature calls at odd hours of the night. I’ve worked with Condo Pet Pals for nearly four years – this is a great solution for urban pet owners and coping with foul weather and late night potty trips.
Condo Pet Pals provides a tray and fresh grass delivered to your deck, patio, courtyard or garage. (Not “fake” grass that can retain odor.) Tray size options are available as well as a bi-weekly or weekly delivery schedule depending on the size or number of dogs. The crew is efficient, always on time and quickly remove soiled sod and replace it with fresh new grass. The soiled grass is taken back to their facility and composted or used as fill. Its an ecologically friendly and sanitary alternative for keeping your pet’s potty area fresh and clean. (Keep poop bags handy for clean-up of solid waste.) It took no time for my dog to figure out this was his personal potty space – even bought a little fire hydrant to improve his aim.
Love the convenience and the sanitary, odor-free, safe alternative for both my dog and me – makes those occasional midnight potty trips a lot easier and safer too.