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    David Bell's Real Estate Blog

    Stay tuned to David's blog for updates on the Seattle Real Estate market, as well as other information from David's experience as a Seattle Realtor.

    Radio Segments

    David regularly appears on the Brashenomics Radio Show Wednesdays at 3pm on 1150 KKNW and occasionally on other radio shows around the region. Click here to view his previous radio appearances.


    Neighborhood Guide: Downtown

    When you are considering a move to the Emerald City, it is crucial to understand the different amenities that each neighborhood has to offer. As the epicenter of Seattle’s thriving business district, the Downtown neighborhood has become one of the most sought-after locations to live in the nation. With a mix of historical sites, modern architecture, and nature, the downtown area of Seattle has a something for everyone.

    Public Transportation

    One of the best resources in Downtown Seattle is the accessibility of the city’s public transportation system. Most of the Downtown area’s light rail system runs beneath 3rd Avenue in the Downtown Seattle Transportation Tunnel. The City’s bus system is also more extensive in the Downtown neighborhood than it is in the surrounding areas. Between the light rail and bus systems, you can go anywhere in the greater Seattle area with ease.


    The educational options in the Downtown neighborhood of Seattle are extensive. The downtown area’s scholastic opportunities are governed by the Seattle School District which contains more than 90 elementary, middle, and high schools throughout the city. Additionally, there is a moderate number of private schools throughout the city. If education is important to your decision, you will be interested in learning that many of the public schools have been ranked near the top of the best schools in the State of Washington.

    Parks and Recreation

    Seattle is home to hundreds of public parks that offer a number of amenities. The City’s largest park, Discovery Park, lies just northeast of the Downtown neighborhood in the Magnolia neighborhood. Denny Park, the City’s oldest and most popular park, is located on the border of the Downtown area and the South Union neighborhood.

    Restaurants and Bars

    Downtown Seattle is home to many of the City’s best restaurants and bars. Better yet, the cuisines are very diverse, so whether you are in the mood for classic American, Italian, seafood, or Korean, Downtown Seattle has something for you. There are also many amazing bars in the downtown area, including Radiator Whiskey which has been rated the 15th hottest bar in America by Zagat.  

    If you are contemplating a move to the Downtown Seattle area or if you plan on selling your Downtown Seattle condo, you can contact Seattle’s Best Real Estate agent, David Bell, here or call 206.283.9100.



    Neighborhood Guide: Magnolia

    When you are considering buying a home in the Seattle, Washington area it is important to know the differences between the many neighborhoods in the Emerald City. Magnolia is the second largest neighborhood in Seattle and is located just northwest of the Downtown district, directly adjacent to the Queen Anne neighborhood. If you are in the market for a new home in Seattle, Magnolia might be exactly what you're looking for.

    Public Transportation

    Magnolia is serviced by both public transportation agencies in Seattle, Sound Transit, and King County Metro. The Sounder commuter rail runs from Seattle to Everett and runs directly through both the Magnolia and Queen Anne neighborhoods. Bus routes are also in service and provide Magnolia residents access to the Downtown district easily. Nearly 61,000 Seattle residents utilize the bus services every day, making it one of the most popular forms of transportation in the city.


    Magnolia is one of the most family-friendly neighborhoods in Seattle. The schools in the area are top of the line; Lawton Elementary School, and Catherine Blaine Elementary and Middle Schools have been ranked as some of the best in the area. The Magnolia neighborhood is also a short 15-minute drive from the University of Washington (UW) for those who are pursuing higher education. UW has been ranked as one of the top public universities in the country. Magnolia is also home to its own branch of the Seattle Public Library System.

    Parks and Recreation

    One of the major selling points about Magnolia is Discovery park, the city's largest public park which contains nearly 12 miles of trails. In addition to Discovery Park, Magnolia houses Ella Baily Park and a 12-acre park named after the neighborhood. The Magnolia Community Center is also located in the historic neighborhood and provides residents with the ability to participate in classes like pottery and children's ballet. 

    Restaurants and Bars

    One of the things that makes Magnolia one of the best neighborhoods in Seattle to live in is its restaurant and bar scene. Several four-star eateries call Magnolia home, so whether you are in the mood for fresh seafood or Italian, Magnolia has a diverse selection of restaurants. A number of Seattle's best bars lie within the Magnolia neighborhood, making for an entertaining nightlife.

    If you are in the market for a Seattle area home and you are interested in homes available in the Magnolia neighborhood, you can contact us here or call us at 206.283.9100 to find out more information.



    Tips for the First Time Home Buyer

    Buying your first home can fill you with pride, but it can also be an intimidating process. There are horror stories of people who have purchased their first home only to find out it was ridiculously overpriced or that there are major problems with the property. Here at Seattle’s Best Real Estate, we want to provide everyone with the knowledge and advice they need to buy their first home. Here are our Top 5 Tips for the First Time Home Buyer.

    1. Get a Credit Check

    The first thing you need to do when you decide to buy a house is to get a credit check. The higher your credit score, the better deal you will get on a mortgage rate. If you have bad credit, or no credit at all, you should prolong buying a house for at least six months to a year to build or repair your credit.

    2. Stay within Your Budget

    One of the biggest mistakes a first time home buyer can make is buying a home that is out of their budgetary restraints. Many banks and mortgage lenders recommend that you spend no more than 25% of your month income on your mortgage or rent. Going over your budget can have negative impacts on your mortgage and credit score.

    3. Know What You Want

    Do not go into this process without some idea about what you want in your house. Figure out how much space you and your family will need, whether you want a house or a condo, and how many bathrooms and bedrooms you will need before you talk to Seattle’s Best Real Estate about buying your first home. We recommend that you make a list of “dealbreakers”, things you must have in your new home, and a list of “nice to have”s, accessories that you would like but don’t necessarily need.

    4. Get an Inspection

    Once you have found the house of your dreams for you and your family, get an inspection completed by a quality inspector, even if its a newly constructed home. The inspector will discover any flaws in the home and help you determine if your offer is too high or just right.

    5. Make an Offer

    Once it’s time to make an offer for the house, you should get advice from friends and family who have purchased a home and your Seattle’s Best Real Estate Realtor, David Bell. David will help you figure out, construct, a submit a fair offer for your first home.

    If you are a first time home buyer in the Seattle, WA area, you can contact us here or by calling us at 206-200-7737.

    Benefits of Buying a Home

    There is a plethora of advantages when it comes to buying your own home. While purchasing a home is a big commitment in terms of time and money, the benefits of such will outweigh the disadvantages—that is, if you are well prepared. Fortunately, Seattle’s Best Real Estate has the knowledge and services to make sure you know the ins and outs of buying a home.

    When considering buying a home, many people question whether they’re ready in terms of money, commitment, and responsibility. Aside from having a place to call your own, buying a home can be a great investment opportunity and it eliminates the many downfalls that come with renting.

    The Downside of Renting

    Whether it’s an apartment, a condo, or even a house you are renting, it always comes with a list disadvantages. First and foremost, the money you put into an apartment never comes back to you. A rented property is never truly yours, and you’re restrained from making any rental property your own. Some other cons to renting may include:

    • Lack of Control – Renting property—even a home—doesn’t allow you to control a variety of factors. From noisy neighbors to home repairs, a landlord must always be consulted when problems arise. The process of dealing with any problem can easily be delayed when you’re at the mercy of a landlord. 
    • No Investment Opportunity – Buying a home gives you a chance to make money down the line. Typically, the value of homes increase over time, especially in Seattle, and as a renter you can’t take advantage of investment opportunities. 
    • Unstable Costs – Buying a home often comes with a fixed mortgage, so you can plan ahead on finances and know what you’re paying for. Such is not the case with renting, as property owners have the power to raise rent.

    Buying a home doesn’t just rid you of the disadvantages of renting—it also has its perks. The pride of being a homeowner is like none other. It ties you into your community and gives you a reason to care about the place you live.

    Seattle’s Current Market

    If you refer to one of my previous blog posts, you’ll see the state of Seattle’s real estate market is booming. As both the price and sales of homes are steadily growing with no signs of abatement, now is the perfect time to buy a home in Seattle. With Seattle’s Best Real Estate, you can find a home to suit your needs and get the help of experienced professionals. Contact me today to get started on your hunt for the perfect home.


    5 Ways to Improve the Value of Your Home

    Before you decide to put your home on the market, you might want to consider ways to increase your home’s value. Many people believe that in order to increase your home’s value, you have to sink a lot of money into multiple projects, but this is not necessarily the case. Sometimes it's the little things that can go a long way.

    1. Upgrade Your Kitchen 

    This may sound expensive and time consuming but it doesn’t have to be. Minor upgrades like changing the color of the paint or updating the handles on your cabinets can make a noticeable difference. If you want to spend a little more money, upgrade the tile on your backsplash or replace your old appliances with modern stainless steel replacements.

    2. Bathroom Remodel

    Just like the kitchen, bathroom remodels don’t have to be pricey. A simple paint job and fixture updates can go a long way toward increasing your home’s overall value. Heated bathroom floors can also attract potential home buyers but can cost a little bit more and can take time since floor tiles would need to be replaced as well. Remember, keep the bathroom clean and free of grime. Buyers hate filth.

    3. Landscape

    Your yard might not be the first thing you think to improve when preparing to sell your house, but it is the first thing potential buyers see. A messy yard with dead patches of grass can be a turnoff for buyers and appraisers both. Spending a little bit of money on sod to patch up brown patches of grass and planting shrubs and flowers out front will make your home feel more inviting and comfortable.

    4. Update Light Fixtures

    Every five to ten years light fixture styles change and out of date fixtures become less popular. Updating the light fixtures across your home won’t squeeze your wallet too much, but can help give your home a new look. The same goes for wall outlets and light switch fixtures as well.

    5. Hardwood Floors

    Cleaning hardwood floors is much easier and requires a lot less upkeep than cleaning carpets. Replacing carpet with hardwood can take a little bit of time and money, but everyone seems to want hardwood floors now. If you have a little bit of a larger budget, installing hardwood floors could be the best investment you make.

    If you are interested in buying or selling your Seattle area home, click here and we will help you every step of the way.