MLS Watch: Belmont Lofts now selling

Belmont Lofts, yet another Capitol Hill conversion, had 5 units hit the MLS today.

I really could tear into their listing photos but I’ll just leave the issue to you all and point out that my favorite photo they posted is this one:

27158982 13 0 MLS Watch: Belmont Lofts now selling

Now their website has a choice quote on it that the bubble heads will love:

These 42 studio, one- and two-bedroom condo homes are projected to sell out in 30 days or less. Beat the crowds with a private sneak preview today! Models Open Saturday Aug 25th.

I guess they haven’t seen my more affordably priced unit languishing for 62 days.

Now I didn’t get a chance this past weekend to check the project out but one of you did and sent in your review (thanks!):

Last Sunday, my friends and I took a tour of Belmont Lofts, which is a conversion of an apartment building that suffered heavy water damage. All sidings are being replaced with vinyl. The roof will be replaced to correct water problem. The finished model units have the standard stainless steel appliances, engineered hardwood floor, and granite countertops in kitchen. The bathrooms are tiled and have Kohler toilet and sink. The bedrooms have modern ceiling fans. The west-facing 1 BR+den lofts starting a little over 400K have views of Space Needle and downtown.

Now for the scary part when we toured units and common areas that are in the process of conversion. The ceilings and walls in some units have water stains. Although the roof will be replaced, we wonder how the builder is correcting water damage on structures and insulation between units. From the looks of it, the walls and ceilings are being refinished flat and painted over (not gutted to the studs). The common deck on the west have a pool of water. This deck will be covered with brick-red tiles, which hide the pool underneath. In the common garage, water from the deck is seeping through and forms another pool. Now it wasn’t raining Sunday, so the water was from what little rain Seattle had on Saturday.

But don’t believe everything you read on the Internet, go see the project yourself and let us know what you think.

Elsewhere: Wendy blogged about this project, Belmont Lofts Update:

Overall, the quality of the finishes is slightly above average, a condo with a good location and accessible price points.

About Matt

Matt , Urbnlivn's publisher, has a love for lofts, floating homes and mid-century moderns.

For years Matt resisted becoming a real estate agent preferring to be an executive in the startup world but he recently caved in the spring of 2014 and became an agent.

You can also find Matt on Twitter or skiing.

  • Bob

    My friend used to live there. I wonder about mold and insect infestation *cough*. What were they thinking letting people tour before they are done converting (hiding the warts)? $500/sqft for this mess?

    The listing photos are as unprofessional looking as their website. I hear the management is top notch too *cough*.

  • Bob

    My friend used to live there. I wonder about mold and insect infestation *cough*. What were they thinking letting people tour before they are done converting (hiding the warts)? $500/sqft for this mess?

    The listing photos are as unprofessional looking as their website. I hear the management is top notch too *cough*.

  • EconE

    Boy…you sure weren’t kidding when you said you were a late night blogger.

    Now…no comment on the covert surveillance teams write-up…but thanks for the invite to critique the photos.

    Anyhow…I saw those online today before the meet-up. Now admittedly I didn’t click on it as the artist’s rendering really didn’t “inspire” me to say the least. I did get a good chuckle out of it though.

    Now…let’s tackle the photos and give it a play by play.

    -Sweet wires!

    -Granite, Stainless…sweet! Why didn’t anybody else think of that?

    -more granite

    -WOW…acres of the stuff! They weren’t kidding when they said luxurious!

    -Oooh…what an artful presentation of the cupboards!

    -Television is too high…could somebody please invent a shorter fireplace.

    -What’s the deal with this sink style? They are EVERYWHERE including 2200, Cosmo, Madison Tower…I mean really…was there somebody standing outside some builders convention saying “pssst….buddy….want to buy a few thousand sinks?”

    -yup…that’s that sink I hate so much!

    -Straighten out that bathmat…better yet…ditch it.

    -Door. I wonder what’s behind it?

    -OMG…you’re kidding…nice bedding! Colorful!

    -Am I in a funhouse? What’s up with that wierd angle?

    -YAY! A fan!…wait a second…does that mean there is no AC?

    Sell out in 30 days…nahhh…

    Hours I tell ya…Hours.

  • EconE

    Boy…you sure weren’t kidding when you said you were a late night blogger.

    Now…no comment on the covert surveillance teams write-up…but thanks for the invite to critique the photos.

    Anyhow…I saw those online today before the meet-up. Now admittedly I didn’t click on it as the artist’s rendering really didn’t “inspire” me to say the least. I did get a good chuckle out of it though.

    Now…let’s tackle the photos and give it a play by play.

    -Sweet wires!

    -Granite, Stainless…sweet! Why didn’t anybody else think of that?

    -more granite

    -WOW…acres of the stuff! They weren’t kidding when they said luxurious!

    -Oooh…what an artful presentation of the cupboards!

    -Television is too high…could somebody please invent a shorter fireplace.

    -What’s the deal with this sink style? They are EVERYWHERE including 2200, Cosmo, Madison Tower…I mean really…was there somebody standing outside some builders convention saying “pssst….buddy….want to buy a few thousand sinks?”

    -yup…that’s that sink I hate so much!

    -Straighten out that bathmat…better yet…ditch it.

    -Door. I wonder what’s behind it?

    -OMG…you’re kidding…nice bedding! Colorful!

    -Am I in a funhouse? What’s up with that wierd angle?

    -YAY! A fan!…wait a second…does that mean there is no AC?

    Sell out in 30 days…nahhh…

    Hours I tell ya…Hours.

  • Dan C.

    Can’t wait to see the lawsuits stack up against this converter (What is the conversion liability period? Three years? Anyone know?). If they truly are not gutting the units to the studs AND pulling up the floors, you are going to see some real structural issues, along with possible future health hazards!

    Anyone have an idea of who is doing it? Please tell me it is the Northlake Group! I f**cking love the “Ballard Collection!”

  • Dan C.

    Can’t wait to see the lawsuits stack up against this converter (What is the conversion liability period? Three years? Anyone know?). If they truly are not gutting the units to the studs AND pulling up the floors, you are going to see some real structural issues, along with possible future health hazards!

    Anyone have an idea of who is doing it? Please tell me it is the Northlake Group! I f**cking love the “Ballard Collection!”

  • jo

    My favorite are the action shots…the pictures of the door open and the cabinet doors open. WOW. Impressive.

    A developer spends millions converting the place, yet won’t spend a few hundred dollars putting decent pictures up…scares me to think of how he skimped on the actual units.

  • jo

    My favorite are the action shots…the pictures of the door open and the cabinet doors open. WOW. Impressive.

    A developer spends millions converting the place, yet won’t spend a few hundred dollars putting decent pictures up…scares me to think of how he skimped on the actual units.

  • Dan C.

    jo,

    Fully agree. Cabinet doors that OPEN! HOLY CRAP! These units come with DOORS? You don’t have to pay $10,000 more in price for that privilege?

    I am surprised they don’t have a pot full of 7 foot tall fake ferns near the door. That is a classic touch. Or perhaps a picture of the actual building that you will be buying? That would be nice as well…although that artist rendering is second to none.

  • Dan C.

    jo,

    Fully agree. Cabinet doors that OPEN! HOLY CRAP! These units come with DOORS? You don’t have to pay $10,000 more in price for that privilege?

    I am surprised they don’t have a pot full of 7 foot tall fake ferns near the door. That is a classic touch. Or perhaps a picture of the actual building that you will be buying? That would be nice as well…although that artist rendering is second to none.

  • jo

    just noticed this from the website…

    Bathroom and loft sconces by renowned designer “Michael Graves”

    is this the same renowned designer that sells stuff at target?

  • jo

    just noticed this from the website…

    Bathroom and loft sconces by renowned designer “Michael Graves”

    is this the same renowned designer that sells stuff at target?

  • Dan L

    Yeah, the open cabinet door pic is my fave because, well, WTF is that supposed to be?? Who looks at that pic and says “Damn, that’s sweet. I think I’ll buy there”?

    Jo – yes, Michael Graves designed a line for Target, but he also produced many of his own signature pieces and some cool stuff for Alessi (high-end Italian kitchen gadgets). So while it is a respectable name, most people will probably still associate it with Target. Oops.

  • Dan L

    Yeah, the open cabinet door pic is my fave because, well, WTF is that supposed to be?? Who looks at that pic and says “Damn, that’s sweet. I think I’ll buy there”?

    Jo – yes, Michael Graves designed a line for Target, but he also produced many of his own signature pieces and some cool stuff for Alessi (high-end Italian kitchen gadgets). So while it is a respectable name, most people will probably still associate it with Target. Oops.

  • brian

    mg’s association with target, for better or worse, is respectable. the intention was alwys high design for the masses. that should not affect these condos. but as an designaholic i am fascinated by the relationship and dialogue of people to target to michael graves. and NO, i wouldn’t spend the extra $5 for one of his toilet brushes.

  • brian

    mg’s association with target, for better or worse, is respectable. the intention was alwys high design for the masses. that should not affect these condos. but as an designaholic i am fascinated by the relationship and dialogue of people to target to michael graves. and NO, i wouldn’t spend the extra $5 for one of his toilet brushes.

  • brettro

    what’s most disappointing to me in MLS listings is the lack of pictures of floor plans. Even with professional pictures, it’s hard to get a sense of the actual layout of a unit. Sellers of older units that don’t have the luxury of grabbing the floor plan photo off of a developer’s website can still spend the 10 minutes in MS Paint to sketch something out.

  • brettro

    what’s most disappointing to me in MLS listings is the lack of pictures of floor plans. Even with professional pictures, it’s hard to get a sense of the actual layout of a unit. Sellers of older units that don’t have the luxury of grabbing the floor plan photo off of a developer’s website can still spend the 10 minutes in MS Paint to sketch something out.

  • Paul

    you’d think the marketing folks would know how to spell “Capitol Hill”

  • Paul

    you’d think the marketing folks would know how to spell “Capitol Hill”

  • jo

    since we’re ripping on the site…

    i also like the tool tips over navigation bar on the drop the “Lofts_up”, “Management_down”, “Contact_up”. oh, and the comcast email address is nice as well.

    one thing i believe the site could definitely use – more bolded words.

  • jo

    since we’re ripping on the site…

    i also like the tool tips over navigation bar on the drop the “Lofts_up”, “Management_down”, “Contact_up”. oh, and the comcast email address is nice as well.

    one thing i believe the site could definitely use – more bolded words.

  • JasonC

    -Whats the deal with this sink style? They are EVERYWHERE including 2200, Cosmo, Madison TowerI mean reallywas there somebody standing outside some builders convention saying pssst.buddy.want to buy a few thousand sinks?

    Tell me about it! Blech! I think they are Vancouver’s cast-offs….every new Vancouver, BC condo bldg built in 2005 had those sinks. I guess now its Seattle’s turn.

  • JasonC

    -What’s the deal with this sink style? They are EVERYWHERE including 2200, Cosmo, Madison Tower…I mean really…was there somebody standing outside some builders convention saying “pssst….buddy….want to buy a few thousand sinks?”

    Tell me about it! Blech! I think they are Vancouver’s cast-offs….every new Vancouver, BC condo bldg built in 2005 had those sinks. I guess now its Seattle’s turn.

  • Gus

    I passed by the Belmont Lofts yesterday.

    Pricing:
    The sales manager said they sold 8 units yesterday alone, he said they’re aiming for a quick sell and they priced the units right under market to be able to do that. The last project this developer did was in The Sapphire (spelling?), and they sold 51 of the 55 units in 48 hours recently. They think their pricing strategy works and they’re repeating it here.

    Layouts:
    There are 1 and 2-bd units in the building. First floor have a 10ft ceiling, and are on the common patio. The lofts are on the 4th floor.

    Despite the questionable quality of the pictures, I did like some of the layouts, especially the 2-bedroom units. One of the downside of the layouts was a lack of designated dining area space. In the model units, the dining table felt crammed in the hallway next the living rooms.
    Natural light is important to me and the units that I looked at were well lit despite a cloudy day, even in the east-facing units.

    I didn’t understand the emphasis on the ceiling fans either, a marketing gimmick I assume!
    And I am not bothered by the fact the sink style in the bathroom is popular with developers recently. So what?

    Water problems:
    The developer is redoing the entire siding of the building in vinyl, and is replacing the roof and windows. They believe that the work they’re doing should resolve the water problems. I can’t comment on the water stains on the interior walls, I didn’t see any on the units that I saw (I did look at units on all the floors, many of which were still under renovation and had not been painted yet). Also, Bill said the developer is addressing *all* the issues that were rated less than “good” on the inspection.

    They’re still working on the building exterior and their goal is to get done with the project before the end of the year, with units closing as early as October.

    Financing:
    Also, the building is not Fannie Mae approved yet, but they do have a preferred lender (First Horizon) present on site.

    They have the “grand opening” this weekend, with incentives ranging from a scooter to an LCD TV (and a barbecue on the patio). See you there? I want to go back and look at the units without the pressure of a salesperson behind my shoulder.

  • Gus

    I passed by the Belmont Lofts yesterday.

    Pricing:
    The sales manager said they sold 8 units yesterday alone, he said they’re aiming for a quick sell and they priced the units right under market to be able to do that. The last project this developer did was in The Sapphire (spelling?), and they sold 51 of the 55 units in 48 hours recently. They think their pricing strategy works and they’re repeating it here.

    Layouts:
    There are 1 and 2-bd units in the building. First floor have a 10ft ceiling, and are on the common patio. The lofts are on the 4th floor.

    Despite the questionable quality of the pictures, I did like some of the layouts, especially the 2-bedroom units. One of the downside of the layouts was a lack of designated dining area space. In the model units, the dining table felt crammed in the hallway next the living rooms.
    Natural light is important to me and the units that I looked at were well lit despite a cloudy day, even in the east-facing units.

    I didn’t understand the emphasis on the ceiling fans either, a marketing gimmick I assume!
    And I am not bothered by the fact the sink style in the bathroom is popular with developers recently. So what?

    Water problems:
    The developer is redoing the entire siding of the building in vinyl, and is replacing the roof and windows. They believe that the work they’re doing should resolve the water problems. I can’t comment on the water stains on the interior walls, I didn’t see any on the units that I saw (I did look at units on all the floors, many of which were still under renovation and had not been painted yet). Also, Bill said the developer is addressing *all* the issues that were rated less than “good” on the inspection.

    They’re still working on the building exterior and their goal is to get done with the project before the end of the year, with units closing as early as October.

    Financing:
    Also, the building is not Fannie Mae approved yet, but they do have a preferred lender (First Horizon) present on site.

    They have the “grand opening” this weekend, with incentives ranging from a scooter to an LCD TV (and a barbecue on the patio). See you there? I want to go back and look at the units without the pressure of a salesperson behind my shoulder.

  • Bob

    I see that they have fixed the spelling of “Capitol” on the website.

    Gus, that kind of sink is annoying because they can’t fit anything larger than small plates. Do you work for them by any chance? ;) How could they say they priced it under the market? $500+/sqft for a conversion is steep. The only good thing price wise is that the units are relatively small so the prices aren’t insane like the downtown condos.

    As for the water damage, the developers think they are doing enough? Of course they do. What else was he supposed to say? I guess the problems won’t pop up immediately.

    What is their condo fee and what amenities do they offer?

  • Bob

    I see that they have fixed the spelling of “Capitol” on the website.

    Gus, that kind of sink is annoying because they can’t fit anything larger than small plates. Do you work for them by any chance? ;) How could they say they priced it under the market? $500+/sqft for a conversion is steep. The only good thing price wise is that the units are relatively small so the prices aren’t insane like the downtown condos.

    As for the water damage, the developers think they are doing enough? Of course they do. What else was he supposed to say? I guess the problems won’t pop up immediately.

    What is their condo fee and what amenities do they offer?

  • Gus

    Bob: no, I don’t work for them but I’ve been shopping for a condo for 2-3 months now, and all the ones that I liked were beyond my budget. These units seem to be well priced, have a good layout, they’re very well located. The other project in the area that has comparable offerings is the Vertigo, but I wasn’t comfortable with what I heard about its developer.

    For the price point of the belmont lofts, I would expect to make some compromises on size and view, hopefully not on quality, but all in all it seems that it’s a good project. I am interested in one of the units, and I am sharing with you guys everything I learned about this project (and answer Matt’s call for more content from the readers of his blog :)

    Anyhow, the sink I am referring to is the bathroom sink, not the kitchen sink. That’s the one I believe EconE commented on. I agree though that the kitchen sink is not the most practical – I guess that’s why they added hose faucets.

    As far as amenities go, you get an underground parking spot and storage with every unit, as well as access to the common patio and the barbecue pits. For the 762sqft ($349k – 3rd floor) units, the HOD are estimated at $246/mo.

    I am not the most experienced person with building renovations, and I relied on my agent’s opinion about the developer’s work.

    What is clearly visible is that they are gutting the building inside out: redoing the siding in vinyl, and fixing the pitch of the roof, they’re replacing it (40-year warranty) and regrading it. They’re also replacing the windows and fixing the balconies; they were gathering water because of their wrong pitch/angle. These are the envelope fixed that I noted down, I would appreciate it if someone on this blog can give me more pointers for what to look for, and what questions I should be asking.

    I’ll give an update here if I put an offer and get a copy of the public offering document.

    Thanks!

  • Gus

    Bob: no, I don’t work for them but I’ve been shopping for a condo for 2-3 months now, and all the ones that I liked were beyond my budget. These units seem to be well priced, have a good layout, they’re very well located. The other project in the area that has comparable offerings is the Vertigo, but I wasn’t comfortable with what I heard about its developer.

    For the price point of the belmont lofts, I would expect to make some compromises on size and view, hopefully not on quality, but all in all it seems that it’s a good project. I am interested in one of the units, and I am sharing with you guys everything I learned about this project (and answer Matt’s call for more content from the readers of his blog :)

    Anyhow, the sink I am referring to is the bathroom sink, not the kitchen sink. That’s the one I believe EconE commented on. I agree though that the kitchen sink is not the most practical – I guess that’s why they added hose faucets.

    As far as amenities go, you get an underground parking spot and storage with every unit, as well as access to the common patio and the barbecue pits. For the 762sqft ($349k – 3rd floor) units, the HOD are estimated at $246/mo.

    I am not the most experienced person with building renovations, and I relied on my agent’s opinion about the developer’s work.

    What is clearly visible is that they are gutting the building inside out: redoing the siding in vinyl, and fixing the pitch of the roof, they’re replacing it (40-year warranty) and regrading it. They’re also replacing the windows and fixing the balconies; they were gathering water because of their wrong pitch/angle. These are the envelope fixed that I noted down, I would appreciate it if someone on this blog can give me more pointers for what to look for, and what questions I should be asking.

    I’ll give an update here if I put an offer and get a copy of the public offering document.

    Thanks!

  • EconE

    Wow…not interested in Vertigo because what you “heard” about the developer but you are interested in a previously water damaged condo conversion?

    I’d take Matt’s unit at Meritage loooong before I’d pick one of these units. Of course…that’s if I was in the market to buy. And I’m not saying that just because I think Matt’s a cool dude.

    And the bathroom sinks still suck.

  • EconE

    Wow…not interested in Vertigo because what you “heard” about the developer but you are interested in a previously water damaged condo conversion?

    I’d take Matt’s unit at Meritage loooong before I’d pick one of these units. Of course…that’s if I was in the market to buy. And I’m not saying that just because I think Matt’s a cool dude.

    And the bathroom sinks still suck.

  • http://wedgwoodblog.spaces.live.com Eric

    We just installed that very Minke Air fan in our house! sucker cost 250 bucks. It is a “hugger” meaning it is designed for a space with low ceilings.

  • http://wedgwoodblog.spaces.live.com Eric

    We just installed that very Minke Air fan in our house! sucker cost 250 bucks. It is a “hugger” meaning it is designed for a space with low ceilings.

  • Gus

    I decided to move forward with the purchase of the unit I was interested in.

    Urban Living Seattle has a review of this project. Heather was my agent, and I trust her.

    Also – shameless plug – I get a little bonus if you buy at that property and mention my name.

  • Gus

    I decided to move forward with the purchase of the unit I was interested in.

    Urban Living Seattle has a review of this project. Heather was my agent, and I trust her.

    Also – shameless plug – I get a little bonus if you buy at that property and mention my name.

  • jackie

    Gus, it’s been about a year now…how is the place treating you, if you are living there?

  • jackie

    Gus, it’s been about a year now…how is the place treating you, if you are living there?

  • Bob

    I just looked on the King County website. 30% of the units are still available, almost the entire 4th floor is vacant. I guess people don’t like the lofts.

    I can’t believe “Gus” actually bought a unit there after reading everything on here. Did he buy #301? That’s the only one that has a buyer with a similar sounding name.

    I too would love to hear some updates about this place.

  • Bob

    I just looked on the King County website. 30% of the units are still available, almost the entire 4th floor is vacant. I guess people don’t like the lofts.

    I can’t believe “Gus” actually bought a unit there after reading everything on here. Did he buy #301? That’s the only one that has a buyer with a similar sounding name.

    I too would love to hear some updates about this place.

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