On Sunday September 27th, more than 200 registered guests joined members of the Fort Lawton Sales Team for a special preview of the sales center and model home in advance of the Sales Debut beginning Saturday, October 10th (by appointment). This encore was a follow up to a series of events that took place over the previous week, including an initial preview weekend and a private reception hosted by Rise Properties in recognition of their broader development team.
As the opportunity to own one of twenty-six heirloom homes within Discovery Park comes into full view, the excitement is building toward the Grand Opening Sales Event. Local media has all been keen to follow the developing story, with recent media coverage by the Seattle Times, the Daily Journal of Commerce, the Seattle PI and King 5 TV, in addition to popular blogs such as UrbnLivn andCurbed/Seattle.
“There’s plenty of anticipation for the first home to be sold after more than a hundred years – this is a historic event,” said Stephanie McMahon, Community Sales Director for The Homes at Fort Lawton. “Now we are less than a week from that happening. Additional homes will be released for sale as they are restored, priced and listed on the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.”
As a best practice, McMahon recommends prospective buyers become pre-approved to purchase with the preferred lender, Caliber Home Loans, even if their offer is in all cash. By working with their broker or with one of the buyer’s agents appointed by Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, each buyer is encouraged to present their offer as the homes are released for sale according to the restoration and sales release schedule. The seller has expressed a preference for “first and final” offers over escalation clauses so that the best offer is clearly evident. It is not necessary to waive inspection or to order pre-inspections because the seller is granting 5-day inspection opportunities after reaching mutual acceptance on the purchase offer. The selected buyer will also have a similar review period to accept the Public Offering Statement and other seller disclosures.
“The seller is receiving a lot of praise for a very scheduled and respectful sales process,” adds McMahon. “Buyers realize that the market will ultimately speak to the value of the homes and that those sales will influence the release pricing on the future home sales.”
The profile of guests have been diverse, ranging from first time buyers and retirees to new families and empty nesters. The interest is overwhelmingly local, yet there are plenty of interstate and even international inquiries as these heirloom homes make their way to market.
“It’s an opportunity to own a piece of American history,” said Dean Jones, President & CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. “It’s inspiring to meet the guests and to hear their stories. Some have lived in the homes and many have fond memories of playing in Discovery Park as kids. I even met a family member who is a descendent of General Lawton – wow! All have such great respect for the legacy of Fort Lawton – the opportunity to also call this home is extraordinary.”
Jones referenced one couple who discovered the community by way of their broker’s Facebook page,Mary Norris of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. Despite the fact that they were not actively considering a move, they were so struck by The Homes at Fort Lawton that they were prompted to have a look for themselves.
“We literally just dropped our last child off at university an hour ago so now we are empty-nesters,” muses Jeff Bannister who toured the property with his wife Candy. “This was our first stop before we head to the Seahawks game. It may be time to sell our Mercer Island home and downsize to the Homes at Fort Lawton.”
The Bannisters join a growing number of prospective buyers who were not in the market but are considering a move with the recognition that this kind of opporunity doesn’t come around often.
“It’s the kind of property that moves you,” acknowledges Norris, who had previewed Fort Lawton the day before adding her Facebook post. “I’m not surprised that Eastsiders would be interested – there has been a trend for selling the family home in favor of a second home in the San Juan Islands and a condo in the city. Living in Discovery Park is like a hybrid of the two. To look out over the parade grounds or sit on the beach at West Point offers a space where the world-class city in your background melts away.”
Like the Bannisters, Jones says would-be buyers appreciate the transparent sales process and release schedule of the Homes, allowing them to plan ahead and be prepared to purchase when their preferred home becomes available.
“We understand that many buyers, especially those that are only now flirting with the idea of moving, have a home to sell, financing to arrange or even a spouse to convince,” adds Jones. “Fortunately we have some time to accommodate these requirements as the homes will only be priced, released and sold as they are fully restored.”
In addition to individual homebuyers, many brokers have been touring for their own account and for that of their clients. A new listing at 4426 Montana Circle was posted on the Northwest Multiple Listing Service last week, a three bedroom, two and a half bathroom residence of 1,675 sq. ft. offered at $799,000.
“The development team is working hard to deliver additional homes for sale,” adds McMahon. “Buyers have been waiting a century for this opportunity so another few weeks seem fair enough. I fully expect to have all homes at Montana Circle completed, sold and occupied by the end of 2015 before we move forward with Officer’s Row in early 2016.”
The Sales Debut begins October 10th, by appointment only. Interested parties may register for an appointment here >>