Condo happenings this weekend

Brix

Brix is unveiling their new full size model unit today from 6-8pm. I stopped by yesterday to see it and it looks good. I’m mostly puzzled why for $495,000 I can buy a two story 917 square foot loft there but can only buy a 761 square foot view unit at Trace. It’s too bad Brix is so far north.

Cosmo vs 2200

According to my score board Cosmo has pulled ahead of 2200 in terms of active re-sales.

Equinox

The Equinox grand opening is this weekend from 11 to 6pm both Saturday and Sunday. I’m puzzled about why they’re holding it so late. I believe they’ve already sold 30% of their inventory and have already listed 7 units on the MLS. Shouldn’t they have had their grand opening a month and a half ago before sales started?

Expo 62

Did anyone wake up at 7am to go to the Expo 62 sneak preview? While that time is early I hate how most sales centers are open from 11am – 5pm because I’m usually at work from 9-7. Now what I don’t like is that they haven’t updated their website in forever and they sent the invite out Thursday night (not even 12 hours notice!) and their style is too out there, but I’ll let you be the judge:

Hey Daddy’o!

The time has come for you, our snazzy VIP friends and family to see what the buzz is all about at Expo 62. That’s why we’re inviting you to visit our groovy presentation center for a first glimpse at our happenin’ pad!

Who: Yes, you!
What: Swinging Soiree
When: Friday, April 13th from 7am-7pm
Where:156 Denny Way, Seattle WA 98109

You might think 7am is a bit early to get the party started, but don’t worry your curls because we’ll kick start the morning with breakfast and a cup o’ joe. You late risers can swing by for sandwiches in the afternoon, or play hooky from the daily grind for swanky cheese and wine before 7pm!

Yeah, we know its late notice, baby! So if you’re all booked up and can’t make it to our shindig, we’d love to get you in to the presentation center for a little one on one! Katy or Peter will get you hip to the latest and greatest at Expo 62! We anticipate personal appointments will begin on this coming week.

Give us a ring’a’ding schedule your one on one appointment with an Expo 62 agent!

Our Digits: 206.448.3427

Hope to see you soon…. after all, It happens at Expo 62

South Lake Union

Sales have seemed to stall out completely at Enso and Veer (~49 units left) with no movement since last time I was there. Rollin is off to a slow start with ~40 sales/reservations (there is still lots of inventory left.)

Trace Lofts

If you’ve reserved at Trace you can join our price discussion in the forums (no I will not be staying at Meritage and decorating with Pottery Barn.) Also, it is likely you will spend this weekend agonizing over how over priced your unit is, playing with rental calculators (12th and Pike Lofts are looking mighty tempting now) and reading the 197 page public offering statement [3MB PDF].

About Matt

Matt , Urbnlivn's publisher, has a love for lofts with industrial features and new construction condos that is only eclipsed by his passion for outdoor sports and urban living. Phrases such as “polished concrete” and “exposed brick” are music to his ears. You can also find Matt on Twitter or skiing.

  • chris

    Any hint from sales agent that Veer or Rollins might stall out prior to delivery? I suspect the Enso will move forward regardless due to a large office component for which there seems to be some demand

  • chris

    Any hint from sales agent that Veer or Rollins might stall out prior to delivery? I suspect the Enso will move forward regardless due to a large office component for which there seems to be some demand

  • aly

    A bird told me that during the construction of 2200 all the architects that were on the job at CollinsWoerman quit their job, and most people that were put to replace them did the same thing.. so imagine that…

  • aly

    A bird told me that during the construction of 2200 all the architects that were on the job at CollinsWoerman quit their job, and most people that were put to replace them did the same thing.. so imagine that…

  • aly

    and..do you know why W+T is hired over and over for these jobs? because they offer cheap labor! in the architectural community their designs are a joke! but the developers are always about the bottom line! I mean look at the Pine and Belmont project, or the equinox interior finish boards which I was told the interior designer was W+T there too…

    I was at ‘green drinks’ last week. it was held at the 5th and Madison Presentation Center. I think those finishes are much nicer. I liked the tilt-turn windows too. it’s an unfortunate location for that project.. what do you do right in the middle of “financial district”? I guess you can argue that we have a small downtown, and you can get to capitol hill or pikeplace market in 5 minutes… and it’s a green project :)

  • aly

    and..do you know why W+T is hired over and over for these jobs? because they offer cheap labor! in the architectural community their designs are a joke! but the developers are always about the bottom line! I mean look at the Pine and Belmont project, or the equinox interior finish boards which I was told the interior designer was W+T there too…

    I was at ‘green drinks’ last week. it was held at the 5th and Madison Presentation Center. I think those finishes are much nicer. I liked the tilt-turn windows too. it’s an unfortunate location for that project.. what do you do right in the middle of “financial district”? I guess you can argue that we have a small downtown, and you can get to capitol hill or pikeplace market in 5 minutes… and it’s a green project :)

  • Cameron

    The thing I like about 5th and Madison is the view from the north-facing units…the library and a nice number of downtown highrises. Excellent aspect. Its a very short stroll to Westlake from that location with the symphony, art museum and many choice restaurants within just a few blocks. Also, will not have the nighttime noise of Belltown.

  • Cameron

    The thing I like about 5th and Madison is the view from the north-facing units…the library and a nice number of downtown highrises. Excellent aspect. Its a very short stroll to Westlake from that location with the symphony, art museum and many choice restaurants within just a few blocks. Also, will not have the nighttime noise of Belltown.

  • EconE

    Matt…I hope you are reading all the posts…I know you’re busy looking for moorage et al.

    I’d like to dedicate a post to a new type of loan that has been cooked up out of OC (Orange County) that is ONLY for people that have condos that they are trying to rent.

    Can it help…possibly…yes.

    Is it one that I think I can explain better than the people who are selling these loans…yes, IMO FWIW.

    Are you able to start an entry so that your readers that have a condo that aren’t renting can be informed as to the particulars of these new loans? Nothing fancy…just a one liner that says…EconE…what are these new loans that you speak of?

  • EconE

    Matt…I hope you are reading all the posts…I know you’re busy looking for moorage et al.

    I’d like to dedicate a post to a new type of loan that has been cooked up out of OC (Orange County) that is ONLY for people that have condos that they are trying to rent.

    Can it help…possibly…yes.

    Is it one that I think I can explain better than the people who are selling these loans…yes, IMO FWIW.

    Are you able to start an entry so that your readers that have a condo that aren’t renting can be informed as to the particulars of these new loans? Nothing fancy…just a one liner that says…EconE…what are these new loans that you speak of?

  • chris

    Aly,

    I may be looking for a architect for a MF projecy shortly. What do you think of Ankrom Moisan? I really like the stuff I see in their portfolio online but I’m cringing at the new design for Rollins Street….Who are the tops in the field (I’m assuming you’re an architect)

  • chris

    Aly,

    I may be looking for a architect for a MF projecy shortly. What do you think of Ankrom Moisan? I really like the stuff I see in their portfolio online but I’m cringing at the new design for Rollins Street….Who are the tops in the field (I’m assuming you’re an architect)

  • jo

    I went to Expo62 over the weekend…oh boy. You should see the model kitchen – red cabinets. It’s hideous. In my opinion this has had the worst marketing campaign of any development out there.

    My guess is that this will compete with Trio and Domaine for biggest failure.

  • jo

    I went to Expo62 over the weekend…oh boy. You should see the model kitchen – red cabinets. It’s hideous. In my opinion this has had the worst marketing campaign of any development out there.

    My guess is that this will compete with Trio and Domaine for biggest failure.

  • http://twitter.com/mattgoyer mattgoyer

    Jo, I went to see it too and totally agree. I’ll have photos and a write-up posted later tonight. It definitely has the possibility of beating out Trio.

  • http://urbnlivn.com Matt Goyer

    Jo, I went to see it too and totally agree. I’ll have photos and a write-up posted later tonight. It definitely has the possibility of beating out Trio.

  • http://twitter.com/mattgoyer mattgoyer

    EconE, there are always the forums if you want to get a discussion going. Otherwise, if you have a link to an article I can link to or want to e-mail me your thoughts I’d be happy to post something.

  • http://urbnlivn.com Matt Goyer

    EconE, there are always the forums if you want to get a discussion going. Otherwise, if you have a link to an article I can link to or want to e-mail me your thoughts I’d be happy to post something.

  • EconE

    red cabinets are a little overstimulating IMO also.

    Matt…here’s the site detailing the loan.

    http://www.whypaydouble.com

    read the FAQ

    if there are enough readers that want me to explain it…I will…if not…then I’ll let them try to figure out where the “catch” is.

  • EconE

    red cabinets are a little overstimulating IMO also.

    Matt…here’s the site detailing the loan.

    http://www.whypaydouble.com

    read the FAQ

    if there are enough readers that want me to explain it…I will…if not…then I’ll let them try to figure out where the “catch” is.

  • Jason

    “Im mostly puzzled why for $495,000 I can buy a two story 917 square foot loft there but can only buy a 761 square foot view unit at Trace. Its too bad Brix is so far north.”

    That’s why its cheaper–it is farther north and not as close to the what the Pike/Pine corridor has to offer in terms of bars, restaurants, etc. It is sleepier (I currently live in that neighborhood) and you do feel less in the thick of things.

    Another factor to keep in mind with Trace Lofts is that some people (like me) are willing to pay for the unique old/new combo. I’ve always lived in pre-1940 places (currently in an Anhalt) because I found most new constructuon condos (that I could afford) bland and cookie-cutter, but I think Trace knows/knew they could get that category of Cap Hill dwellers who’ve eschewed the new projects thusfar (and would never live in Belltown) but harbor a secret burning desire for the advantages of brand!new!place! living. :)

  • Jason

    “I’m mostly puzzled why for $495,000 I can buy a two story 917 square foot loft there but can only buy a 761 square foot view unit at Trace. It’s too bad Brix is so far north.”

    That’s why its cheaper–it is farther north and not as close to the what the Pike/Pine corridor has to offer in terms of bars, restaurants, etc. It is sleepier (I currently live in that neighborhood) and you do feel less in the thick of things.

    Another factor to keep in mind with Trace Lofts is that some people (like me) are willing to pay for the unique old/new combo. I’ve always lived in pre-1940 places (currently in an Anhalt) because I found most new constructuon condos (that I could afford) bland and cookie-cutter, but I think Trace knows/knew they could get that category of Cap Hill dwellers who’ve eschewed the new projects thusfar (and would never live in Belltown) but harbor a secret burning desire for the advantages of brand!new!place! living. :)

  • brian

    chris –

    It’s hard to say with architects. The portfolio might be fantastic, but they might a real pain in the tail too. I hear good things about Mithun all the time…

  • brian

    chris –

    It’s hard to say with architects. The portfolio might be fantastic, but they might a real pain in the tail too. I hear good things about Mithun all the time…

  • http://designlines.wordpress.com/ kh

    of course GGLO is a great A&D firm :)

    http://www.gglo.com

  • http://designlines.wordpress.com/ kh

    of course GGLO is a great A&D firm :)

    http://www.gglo.com

  • Matthew

    Econe,

    Please explain that site to me, I don’t get it.

  • Matthew

    Econe,

    Please explain that site to me, I don’t get it.

  • EconE

    Matthew…

    Lots of people won’t get it…that’s what I’m afraid of.

    Yen Carry Trade.

    got it?

  • EconE

    Matthew…

    Lots of people won’t get it…that’s what I’m afraid of.

    Yen Carry Trade.

    got it?

  • richard

    EconE, thanks for posting the Yen link. Interesting site. Why do you think they’re only willing to lend on investment properties rather than primary residences?

    From what I can tell, these loans have both interest rate risk, as they are adjustable, and they have exchange rate risk since they’re in Yen. Interesting that this popped up right as the carry trade is making news.

    I can see how they would be desirable to short term investors, but the 25% down payment makes me wonder if the issuer believes there is a high risk of default, even in the short term.

  • richard

    EconE, thanks for posting the Yen link. Interesting site. Why do you think they’re only willing to lend on investment properties rather than primary residences?

    From what I can tell, these loans have both interest rate risk, as they are adjustable, and they have exchange rate risk since they’re in Yen. Interesting that this popped up right as the carry trade is making news.

    I can see how they would be desirable to short term investors, but the 25% down payment makes me wonder if the issuer believes there is a high risk of default, even in the short term.

  • EconE

    Good eye Richard. Being that the Yen is considered to be an artificially undervalued currency…much like the Yuan. I think that the exchange rate risk is the largest factor here. They state that you can make your quarterly payment on any date that you want in order to get the best exchange rate but for myself…I’m not going to bank that the Yen is going to stay undervalued for the life of a 30 year mortgage.

    We’re currently pushing 120 on the yen even as the USDX has been falling. If the yen “hypothetically” slips to 60 over a long period (30 years is a long time) then the principal also rises…Imagine the person who takes the I/O Yen loan and then finds that not only does the interest rate hikes (The BOJ can’t really lower it much from .5) and a potentially strengthening Yen affect the quarterly payments…but in the end…the 500k balloon payment will actually be 1M while the payments have increased the whole time.

    Why do they only offer it to investors? My guess is because they know there are a ton of extra condo owners who can’t rent their condos and get them to cash flow even at a 3-4% I/O loan. Why not homeowners? Look at who’s writing it…Lloyds…they love risk…they write the extreme insurance policies for things like pianists hands. I’d assume that they will look at a homeowner in an entirely different way than an investor who bought an extra condo. Investment involves risk…they just brought it to the next level…one that I don’t consider myself savvy enough to handle.

    The only way I myself would use a loan like this is if I were flush with the cash to pay for the unit. Took the loan…gambled on Japan pushing the envelope on the carry trade to 130 or more…then at that point…switch $ for yen and pay off the loan before the potential unwinding.

    Regarding the 25% down…would you loan your own money out like this without the borrower having some skin in the game?

    Damn this stuff is confusing…even for me…they should coin this the “crystal ball loan” because you really need to see into the future to know how a loan like this could pan out.

  • EconE

    Good eye Richard. Being that the Yen is considered to be an artificially undervalued currency…much like the Yuan. I think that the exchange rate risk is the largest factor here. They state that you can make your quarterly payment on any date that you want in order to get the best exchange rate but for myself…I’m not going to bank that the Yen is going to stay undervalued for the life of a 30 year mortgage.

    We’re currently pushing 120 on the yen even as the USDX has been falling. If the yen “hypothetically” slips to 60 over a long period (30 years is a long time) then the principal also rises…Imagine the person who takes the I/O Yen loan and then finds that not only does the interest rate hikes (The BOJ can’t really lower it much from .5) and a potentially strengthening Yen affect the quarterly payments…but in the end…the 500k balloon payment will actually be 1M while the payments have increased the whole time.

    Why do they only offer it to investors? My guess is because they know there are a ton of extra condo owners who can’t rent their condos and get them to cash flow even at a 3-4% I/O loan. Why not homeowners? Look at who’s writing it…Lloyds…they love risk…they write the extreme insurance policies for things like pianists hands. I’d assume that they will look at a homeowner in an entirely different way than an investor who bought an extra condo. Investment involves risk…they just brought it to the next level…one that I don’t consider myself savvy enough to handle.

    The only way I myself would use a loan like this is if I were flush with the cash to pay for the unit. Took the loan…gambled on Japan pushing the envelope on the carry trade to 130 or more…then at that point…switch $ for yen and pay off the loan before the potential unwinding.

    Regarding the 25% down…would you loan your own money out like this without the borrower having some skin in the game?

    Damn this stuff is confusing…even for me…they should coin this the “crystal ball loan” because you really need to see into the future to know how a loan like this could pan out.

  • Aly

    Chris – Of all the current large size developments I like the Lumen by Hewitt.
    I really love the Banner building on vine and Westlake (I think..) I visited an artist studio there once and it blew me away :) that was done by Weinstein.
    However I’m a fan of smaller size developments myself like the Boulder at Greenlake that was done a couple of years ago by Johnston Architects.. Pictures on their website do it no justice though..
    I think urbansight (developers) is in the right direction, but the construction quality is lacking..

    I don’t know too much about the Ankrom Moisan you mentioned.

    What is the scale of the MF you’re considering?

  • Aly

    Chris – Of all the current large size developments I like the Lumen by Hewitt.
    I really love the Banner building on vine and Westlake (I think..) I visited an artist studio there once and it blew me away :) that was done by Weinstein.
    However I’m a fan of smaller size developments myself like the Boulder at Greenlake that was done a couple of years ago by Johnston Architects.. Pictures on their website do it no justice though..
    I think urbansight (developers) is in the right direction, but the construction quality is lacking..

    I don’t know too much about the Ankrom Moisan you mentioned.

    What is the scale of the MF you’re considering?

  • EconE

    The Banner Building is one of the gems of Seattle.

    Too bad the view was blocked.

    Tadao Ando should do a small complex in Seattle. He’s considered to be the Frank Lloyd Wright of Japan. Now that would be sweet.

  • EconE

    The Banner Building is one of the gems of Seattle.

    Too bad the view was blocked.

    Tadao Ando should do a small complex in Seattle. He’s considered to be the Frank Lloyd Wright of Japan. Now that would be sweet.

  • Aly

    GGLO used to be great. But they’re getting too big now.. Their office was way too crowded and messy. But the general air was very friendly and casual.. and they were in the process of adding more office space when I visited…
    Mithun does great things if you have the budget. They care about detail. I love their office on one of the piers.
    of course the biggest design names in seaatle would be Olson Sundberg Kundig Alan, they actually did the park and virginia building. and Miller Hull partnership, hmm yummy stuff :)
    These guys have published books, awards, they teach at UW, so the superstars of seattle:) and so they must be expensive!

    So you should tell us more about this project..

  • Aly

    GGLO used to be great. But they’re getting too big now.. Their office was way too crowded and messy. But the general air was very friendly and casual.. and they were in the process of adding more office space when I visited…
    Mithun does great things if you have the budget. They care about detail. I love their office on one of the piers.
    of course the biggest design names in seaatle would be Olson Sundberg Kundig Alan, they actually did the park and virginia building. and Miller Hull partnership, hmm yummy stuff :)
    These guys have published books, awards, they teach at UW, so the superstars of seattle:) and so they must be expensive!

    So you should tell us more about this project..