Frequently, when talking about any new real estate market, you go in blind and just hope for the best. It happens because you don’t have a local network, trusted friends who know the market and have no real estate agenda to drive their opinions.
We can’t give you an actual friend but one of our writers has the next best thing: a son and daughter-in-law who have lived in Bothell for the past 17 years and know it, inside and out.
We sat down with them – a doctor and a graphic designer with two teenage sons – and basically said “Tell us about Bothell.” This is what they said…
“Bothell…well, first, you should know that we never intended to move here at all. (laughter) No, really. We were looking in north Seattle and just kept discarding listings and the listings kept creeping outward and we found ourselves looking in Lake Forest Park and Northgate and Lake City. Before one listing that we both liked happened to show up in Bothell, which was right on the same page as the Lake Forest Park ads. The house had everything we wanted, plus a little bit of land, which had suddenly become important, with our oldest just six months old.
So, we looked at each other and realized…neither of us had ever gone to Bothell for anything. It seems crazy, since I’m from Kirkland and she’s from Bellevue but Bothell is just…well, it’s kind of a secret, even today. It’s really tucked back into this ring of hills and sits in a little bowl-shaped flat place and there’s nowhere in the area that you can’t get to faster by not going through Bothell. (laughter)
Anyway, we liked the house so much that we drove out there and looked around. And, it was a beautiful little home. So, we turned it down! (laughter) No, it was just about perfect but it had one problem that wasn’t mentioned in the listing: the back yard was almost a cliff. It went up for about fifty yards and ended in a stone wall and the total play area of the yard was about the size of a roomy closet. But, after we saw that one, the realtor said, “Well, I do have one more listing, about a quarter mile from here” and that was this place. This had everything we wanted and then some: quiet cul-de-sac, nice neighbors, close to the schools, right next to downtown and a big supermarket, a half mile from I-405, and close to a pizza place (laughter), which was a BIG selling point.
From literally Day One, we fell in love with the town and the people and this almost manic devotion this city has to preserving its small-town feel. The pace…the pace is so different from Seattle. When we came there, it almost overwhelmed us, even back there in 1999. People walk here. They get to know each other and you and have block picnics and barbecues and socials. They let the kids run loose – some would say “amok” – (laughter) in each other’s yards, and there’s nothing we need for our basic life that’s not within a ten-minute drive. And, maybe best of all, it’s QUIET! Holy Cow, we never knew how important that could be until we left Seattle and realized that we could sleep at night and not hear cars and sirens and people partying. Is it as exciting as Seattle? No, of course not. But we’re fifteen minutes from Seattle and can go there when we want to. We LOVE this place and can’t imagine ever living anywhere else…Unless maybe somebody would like to give us a villa on the Amalfi Coast? That MIGHT get us out of here…”