9600 Roosevelt Wy NE Seattle Townhome South Facing End Unit

9600 Roosevelt Wy NE Seattle Townhome South Facing End Unit

New to the market this weekend, this one will go fast. The super convenient location of the Maple Leaf neighborhood along with the high end finishes makes this a very desirable home.  3 bedrooms, 2 baths, open floor plan and smart design stand out in this wider than normal townhome footprint. Nicely fenced front yard separates you from the street with lovely plantings along the south side of the building. There is ample space in the auto court to access your oversized garage with room for a workshop and extra storage.


Town home Maple Leaf
Spacious south facing end unit

Built in 2007, this home was one of the first to be certified in the ever popular Built Green of King and Snohomish Counties, and comes with the official certificate. Radiant heat and efficient design with lots of natural day lighting will be there for year to come, saving the occupants money on their monthly utility bills. No homeowner dues in this small grouping of homes, and the established landscaping allows the residents to enjoy their free time strolling down Roosevelt Way enjoying the great Walkscore of the area instead of home and yard maintenance.


Open house at town home
Room for outside grill just outside kitchen door. Stainless steel appliances.

Close proximity to Northgate and the transit hub for buslines and new light rail, Maple Leaf is a highly sought after part of Seattle, with easy routes to Lake City Way and Interstate 5. On street parking isn’t a problem here either when you entertain using the space for an outdoor grill right off the kitchen.


9600 Roosevelt Way NE Seattle
Open floor plan with inlaid cherry floors, crown molding, natural stone & tile finishes, new paint through out.

Stop by this weekend at this townhome and experience the neighborhood at the open houses Saturday and Sunday from 12-4. If you aren’t familiar with Maple Leaf you’ll want to be! (sold)

Value it Green Home Tour In Portland OR

Value it Green Home Tour In Portland OR

Portland, our like-minded city to the south will be having their Green Home Tour on September 9, 2014. Put on by Earth Advantage it offers continuing education and clock hours for Real Estate Professionals. One can take the tour, and for an increased price attend the mixer after.

Green Home Tour Draws Chinooks
A father and son Design/Build came all the way from British Columbia just to see the tour

Unlike Seattle’s own NW Green Home Tour which is self guided and free to the public, the commonality at the heart of each tour is education and “normalizing” green building. There has been so much “greenwashing” the greater public and real estate professionals may have a distorted sense of what green building truly is, not to mention the benefits to residents and owners.

If you like comfort, low maintenance demands, low utility bills, more free time, economy of scale, universal and smart design, healthy indoor air quality, and sometimes just really beautiful finishes, you might be a candidate to be the owner of a green home.


NW Green Home Tour

These NWGHT 2014 attendees came in style. On their bikes complete with a growler cage on board.

One of the best ways to learn about green homes and green living is to attend a local green home tour.  You can stand inside of the homes, talk with the homeowners and contractors, see, touch, smell, and imagine what it would be like to live in a more efficient home

Modern Madison Valley New on Market

seattle real estate
Central Seattle Easy Living

Modern Madison Valley New on Market

Have you been looking for a modern home in Central Seattle? Do you want a walkable lifestyle with options for entertainment and recreation just minutes from your front door. Do you like the idea of a 4 star Build Green certification? This may be the house for you!

Modern Construction
Open floor plan with lots of natural light

New construction from Cascade Built highlights the 21st Century lifestyle. Nestled just off the Madison corridor, this home and the neighborhood is so close to many other well known neighborhoods: Madrona, Capitol Hill, Lake Washington Park, Denny Blaine, Madison Park, the Arboretum, and of course, Downtown Seattle. With a Walk Score of  77, and a Transit Score of 57, this is one of those places one can get by without a car.

The top floor has a master suite with a rooftop deck above to watch the Blue Angels fly overhead during Seafair, or to entertain guests for a nitecap after walking to dinner at one of several nearby restaurants. This is urban Seattle living at it’s best!

Call to Action for NW Green Home Tour Volunteers

Call to Action for NW Green Home Tour Volunteers

Do you have an interest in home building, building or interior design, urban landscaping or urban planning? Come be an essential part of what could be the largest Green Home Tour in the United States. It’s powered by two non-profit organizations “pushing the envelope” on what green and sustainable housing can be. Our motto is “any shade of green”  and with the building industry catching on and embracing green building concepts it’s only getting better and the buzz is catching on. This year is the largest NW Green Home Tour yet. For 2014 there are improvements any homeowner or renter can make in their own home.

Some common topics are:

  • Site planning
  • Landscaping
  • Water Usage and Design
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Energy Usage
  • Transit , Bikealibity and Walkabilty
  • Universal Design
  • Daylighting
  • Smart Planning

Within these topics are several mini topics. Therefore, many in the Green building industry refer to this type of building as “high performance” or “smart built”.

Go to the website and sign up to be a greeter for the tour. No green building knowledge required, just an open mind to learn new concepts and make sure others get their questions answered by the site hosts. The shifts are 3 hours which gives the volunteers time to check out more of the 35 site hosts and 12 sustainability stops. As always feel free to contact me if you have questions.


NW Home Tour Committee Chair
For your Sustainable Real Estate needs from now into the future




NW Green Home Tour

NW Green Home Tour

It’s getting toward the end of April, for many that means taxes are done, but for the NW Green Home Tour committee that means we are busier than ever. We have been working hard since November scoping out the local neighborhoods for interesting sites for our third annual NW Green Home Tour.


North Seattle Green Homes
Some committee members of the Green Home Tour who have been putting this together since last October

If you have been on the tour in one of the previous years, then you know what a fantastic opportunity this FREE tour is to garner information and see what real life solutions look like.  Generous homeowners open their doors and allow the public to see what kind of improvement they have made to their homes.  This not only usually benefits their utility bills, but also quite often their indoor comfort and indoor air quality. There is something for everybody here. This year will also feature the rain gardens in Ballard, the subject of some controversy lately.  There are experts at each site there to answer whatever questions you may have about what makes these homes and sites so special.

There will also be several Sustainability Stops this year. Some will be offering drinks and snacks. Others will be offering product information and other services.

So mark April 27th on your calendar and reserve the whole day. Sometimes you get more than you paid for!

Go Green & Go Home!


Ballard New Construction Townhouse

Ballard New Construction Townhouse

The could be the Ballard beauty you have been looking for!  This town house has everything you need and a few perks you didn’t know you would want. High walkscore, transitscore, bikescore, and a NW Energy Star, 5 star Built Green rating (pending) that not only will save you money in the long run, but it has thoughtful and healthy design and construction. You don’t have to be “green” to appreciate the bells and whistles on this one!

Ballard Townhouse
This is a home your friends will envy for location and beauty

There are many features and building systems that go into a home such as this, I am certainly happy to explain them if you are curious, however anyone, one can see attention to detail and thoughtful design the architects and builder have put into this townhouse.

Just a few of the features not often seen in other Ballard or Seattle town tomes:

  • LED Lights through out – beautiful & you may never need to change a bulb
  • Mini Split Heat Pumps- remote controlled, highly efficient heating & air conditioning
  • Water Saving Fixtures- dual flush toilets, water saving faucets & shower heads
  • Windows Above Code -allows for an abundance of light & no cold spots
  • NW Energy Star Appliances -again another opportunity to save on utility bills
  • Induction stove top range – for added savings & safety & indoor air quality
  • Low VOCs – means better indoor air quality for decades to come
  • ERV – for healthy indoor air & energy savings
  • Green Roof-  this almost no maintenance gardening is good for the environment & beautiful
  • Ready to go for PV Solar panels (incentives & co-ops are available)
  • Wired for whole home sound & alarm, even on the roof deck with sweeping views!
Healthy Built Homes
Great entertaining spaces practical and beautiful

People have misconceptions about what “green” means. If  one didn’t know how green this home is, they might just think it was smart, hip and had thoughtful design.

Low VOC Home
Well sized bathroom with beautiful water saving features

This is the home where your friends will want to meet you for dinner parties and sunny day BBQs on the roof deck high above Market Street in the tree canopy watching the sunset over the Olympic Mountains.


Built Green Eastlake Townhome

Built Green Eastlake Townhome

Now is your chance to move into the active Eastlake community.  If you aren’t already familiar with this hip neighborhood you will be.  Segways, kayaks, bicycles, skateboards, rollerblades, public transit and two feet are all common forms of transportation.  This is one of those neighborhoods one might only need a car to get out of town. A Built Green Eastlake townhome is one of those properties that Seattlites seek out. This is a great central location for the University of Washington, or for those who have jobs in the Downtown core of the city.


Lake Union Town Home
Start your Spring Training in active Eastlake!

A high walkscore of 80 means you can walk to a different breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday of the week. If you work Downtown or want to hang out at South Lake Union, it’s a doable walk or you can just hop on a bus and be there in just a few minutes. After work you can enjoy walking or kayaking  just down to the hill as you admire our own Lake Union Floating Home community. Take a walk along the lake trail, or cycle up the hill to the Mountain Bike Park. When you are done you can go back home and get Fido and head back up to the Columnade undercover off leash dog park.

Beautiful finishes
Main entertaining level with access to fenced back yard with deck.

While this neighborhood might be the center of it all,  you can choose to hang out at home in your comfy townhome with its extra dose of already built-in flexible storage solutions. Maybe it’s the great elementary schools that attracts to to this area, the neighborhood eateries and entertainment, convenient transportation options or something else. In short this home has something for everybody! Check it out, this home will be in demand.

Phinney Ridge Home Design and Remodel Fair

Phinney Ridge Home Design and Remodel Fair

Home Design and Remodel Fair
Stop by and say hi when you come to this great event on Sunday

Even if you don’t live on Phinney Ridge, this is a home show of a different color. Mainly of the green shade. Not all the exhibitors are green or sustainably minded, however a large portion is. You can meet all kinds of people involved in everything to do with homes. One of the most popular tables there is comprised of the very people who approve your building permits. That alone is worth the price of admission!

A couple must-sees are the NW EcoBuilding Guild Booth. They will be promoting the free NW Green Home Tour this April. Of course not to be missed is the friendly neighborhood Green Realtors with Cooper Jacobs Real Estate promoting “Green” in the “Red Room”. Stop by the booth and I will be providing useful information if you are in the market to purchase, build or remodel your home. This is one of my favorite events of the year, a home show in a relaxed informative setting, very different than the  typical corporate home show. Think home show on a human, Norman Rockwell scale!0rr

Green Building in Seattle

Green Building in Seattle

Are you new to Seattle? Are you thinking about relocating here? Are you considering a remodel or perhaps building a green home from the ground up? Below are some ideas on how to start your research. When investigating you will find each organization takes you somewhere on another tangent. With Seattle homes and commercial properties, there’s an integrated web of people and organizations, with each one supporting the others. People aren’t involved in this movement because some might consider it trendy. The people at the core of these organizations are in it for the long term and are deeply committed while constantly sharing and supporting each other to advance the knowledge and options for the greater community. We are convinced it is the wave of the future, and it’s here now, and getting easier to find every year.

So where to start? . . . . . Dip your toe in the water

  • The Green Pages

Pick up a copy. It’s a local publication highlighting people active in Green Building.    This year it’s published by Natural Awakenings Magazine and available throughout the Greater Seattle area.

The Seattle Waterfront
Green Homebuilding In Seattle

Then it’s time to strike out into the Green Building community.

  • Green Drinks

Start by attending a Green Drinks event. The Seattle Chapter is well established. The get-togethers are often held in local LEED rated buildings. The topics and locations vary every month and is a great way learn about general green building concepts. See if you can take a tour of the various host’s site. Many of the commercial concepts can be put into service in a residential application.  The quality of food and beverage and company of Green Drinkers is never to be under estimated.

The Eastside Green Drinks is starting up their own chapter. If you live closer to their location, stop by and give them some support.

  • Green Home Tour

This self guided tour will probably have more homes than you can possibly visit in a weekend.  You can meet the contractors and architects in the actual homes and see sustainable systems in place.  There are non-residential sites with additional classes and product displays where you can get more in depth information on particular concepts. Some of the education might even be a hands on experience. These often occur in the Spring, so keep and eye out for next tour, the date will probably be announced at the beginning of the year. The most common comment is people think they know what a green house looks like, and they learn what a huge variety there is. Be sure and wear slip-on shoes.

Seattle Green Home Tour
Earth Day 2012 Green Home Tour
  • Mother Earth News Fair

Held about an hours drive south of Seattle, any one of a certain age has certainly heard of this former “hippy” magazine now considered an “early adopter” in ways of living simply and off the grid. Much of the information has been tested for years, if not centuries. Combined with newer products and newer technology. Much of what they encourage is long forgotten common sense of our ancestors or new technology.

  • 10x10x10 Building Slam

An annual September event where 10 people talk for 10 minutes and present 10 slides about their green projects. Not alway on the subject of homes, but something to take away for everyone.  It can include innovations, lessons learned (often the hard way), and interesting anecdotes.


So you decided the water’s fine, you want to go in up to your waist. Still not fully committed but more than curious:

  • NW EcoBuilding Guild

This is the parent organization and participator of many of the local building events in the region. Membership is encouraged but not required. You can tour their website and just drop in on a monthly meeting that interests you. You will be asked to donate a modest amount at the door. There are many layers to this dedicated group

  • Master Builders Association Built Green Program

The local industry standard for green certifications of homes in the Built Green Program.  3 stars is self-certifying by the builders and remodelers, 4 and 5 star requires 3rd party sign offs, also known as 3rd Party certification. This is part of the Master Builder’s Association of King and Snohomish Counties.  Many people believe there is an advantage to 3rd Party certification when you go to resell your home.

  • NW Energy Star

Our NW certification is more stringent than the national program. Due to our higher code for energy savings than other parts of the country, this is a rating based solely on energy use.  It also requires a 3rd Party certification.

  • West Seattle Tool Library and PNA Well Home Program

These organizations have home and garden tools to use for a modest fee to homeowners. They offer a wide choice of how-to-classes.  Gardening, tilesetting, drywall repair and rain water cisterns, etc.  If you don’t know where to find something, they most likely will have the answer.  Go here for more information: Well Home Program, West Seattle Tool Library.

OK, now you’ve drunk the Kool-Aid and are a little bit proud of your self. You realize you have the foresight to increase the resale value of your home in addition to living a more comfortable and healthier life while you are in your house. You are fully immersed in the concepts of why these buildings make sense. You want to know how far other people are pushing traditional boundaries.

  • Passivhaus Model

Originally during the 1970’s energy crisis this concept was starting to take off in the US . Interest was lost when heating prices came down.  In Europe in the meantime, the movement took off and was perfected in places like Germany and Switzerland where there were much higher demands than ours at the time.  This matrix is back in North America and is a very intricate and carefully planned system of modeling where the heating and cooling load cannot exceed the energy required to operate a blow dryer. Passive Houses are being built again to much higher standards. To be certified one must go through the institute.

Don't turn those Wheels
Don’t turn those wheels, unless they are going backwards
  • Net Zero Homes

There is one in Ballard  and some town homes in Issaquah that meet this challenge. These homes use the same amount of electricity, but often less than they generate in a year. Usually accomplished by the use of solar panels, they also incorporate passive concepts for movement of air, day lighting and heat sinks.

So that should be a decent start!

Of course there are several other programs when one digs deeper. Curious if there is one you think I should also include on the list?

If you would like to see any Green Homes on the Market in the Greater Seattle Area, I’m here to help. Building lots are hard to come by, especially in the city limits. Several contractors specialize in deconstructing a “tear down” and reuse or recycle what they can. If you choose to go the reconstruction route, your building permit can be fast tracked and you can save money on your carrying costs

West Seattle Home on April Green Home Tour

West Seattle Home on April Green Home Tour

Seattle area residents are lucky enough to have a Green Home Tour that is drawing interest other parts of  the country.  This years tour is appropriately on Earth Day weekend. A popular home is back this again this year so more people can be inspired by seeing how one growing family did so much for less money than you may think.

Does “green” mean:

Using fewer resources?

Re-purposing existing elements?

Saving energy and costs?

Improving indoor air quality?

Solar power?

Saving water?

Renewable materials?

Improved indoor air quality?

Increased comfort and simpler lifestyle?

Planning for the future?

In short, YES!!!

Here’s an opportunity to see why simple (and not so simple) things can make a difference, why it may not look like you think it might,  and why it’s worth it!


From the SeattleGreenHomeTour.org  website:



A [Little] Mighty House


3108 SW Webster StWest Seattle, WA 98126

Mighty House Construction

This West Seattle home provides a story of innovative use of materials, green and healthy finishes, energy conservation, integrated, expandable solar, and a multitude of solutions to accommodate the ebb and flow of a young and growing family.

Mighty House Front DoorThe mainstay of this project is conservation — conservation of costs and conservation of materials; all the meanwhile maintaining a high level of sustainable building measures and excellent indoor air quality.

The house is a 1980, rambler which when purchased in 2006 had clearly not had any finishes or renovations made to it since it’s completion in 1980. A remodeling plan was put into place to update the home’s aesthetics, remove low-quality and crummy fixtures, and to find better solutions for a growing family’s spatial needs.

As we mentioned, the big story in this home is conversation and simplicity. The projects feels tangible, something anyone can do to make big change to the use and/or aesthetics of their home… although truth be told, the work not only took fine craftsmanship, but a dedication to thoughtfulness and a lot of patience. The budget was a driving force to the schedule of projects and part of keeping to the budget often meant waiting for the ‘right’ salvaged or re-purposed materials to present themselves.Mighty House Office

The scope of the remodel to-date includes:

  • Maintaining existing footprint to maximize outdoor spaces
  • Salvaged or re-purposed materials in every room.
  • Low-impact flooring (including bamboo and remnant marmoleum) replaced vinyl and carpet.
  • Low-/No-VOC or reused paints throughout.
  • “Water-wise” fixtures.
  • “Energy-star” appliances.
  • Tool-shed entirely from salvaged materials.
  • Smart powerstrips throughout (as appropriate).
  • Radiant ceiling heat (office only)
  • Expandable solar installed (1-panel up, brackets ready for 3 more next spring, system ready for 23 more!)
  • Redesigned yard for fun, privacy, and low-water and low-maintenance with a few edibles thrown in for yum.
  • And more.

The kitchen itself is exemplary of all the attributes of the remodel:

  • Mighty House VanitySalvaged cabinets
  • Butcher block countertops re-oriented and re-worked into an island top
  • Paperstone countertops surround
  • Bamboo flooring
  • Salvaged garden window
  • Low-voltage pendant light
  • Dimmers on all switches
  • Low-VOC paints
  • Salvaged pantry shelf
  • Marmoleum backer for future wine rack
  • Energy Star and Water Wise appliances/fixtures
  • Smart cell phone charging station

Some of the other features of this sustainable home are in the choices made on a daily basis furnishing and living in the home. From homemade cleaning products to a “no-more new plastics” intention, every decision is made with indoor air quality, health, and sustainability forward.

A [Little] Mighty House

The kitchen is exemplary with salvaged, low toxic materials and energy-efficient appliances
A [Little] Mighty House

Low-impact flooring and re-purposed materials make this living area supremely sustainable

Stay tuned to learn more about a post-tour class about buying or greening an existing home April 28, 2012