Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tonight Laurelhurst Home And Couple Featured On "House Hunters" HGTV Show


 HGTV camera man filming owner, Nick Graber, in his Laurelhurst home

Inline image 1
Graber's home in Laurelhurst

Tonight (on Comcast's channel 68, check local listings, either 7pm or 10pm), HGTV's House Hunters show will air an episode featuring a neighborhood couple and their interesting story of looking for a home in Laurelhurst and is the first episode of House Hunters that has had Laurelhurst as the featured/desired neighborhood.

Cassie Daughtrey, a realtor with Sothebys, told us that her clients, Nick and Hillary Graber,  who are the focus of the episode, "had their hearts specifically set on the neighborhood," as Hillary grew up in a Laurelhurst waterfront home and wanted to come back. 

The show, which  focuses on in-city neighborhoods in Seattle, of with Laurelhurst at the center of the episode, goes through the process of Cassie showing the couple over 20 homes throughout Seattle as well as Mercer Island.

Cassie had filmed a previous episode of House Hunters in 2011, in which she helped a coast guard family find a home in Seattle who had just moved from New Orleans.  The first time home buyers had a relatively small budget and needed to be near where the husband's ship was docked and where the wife taught Special Education in a West Seattle school.

Earlier this year, HGTV asked Cassie again to film another episode about clients with an  "interesting house hunting story" and she immediately thought of Nick and Hillary.

Cassie told us that the Nick, a wine representative and Hillary, an attorney, were recently married combining homes and each selling their respective homes.  However Nick's house sold right away, and therefore Cassie was up against a big challenge to quickly find a home in Laurelhurst within their budget and needs, with very little inventory at the time, especially in Laurelhurst. 

Cassie told us this interesting back story about the couple's search for a home in the neighborhood and how they finally found their home on 42nd Avenue NE between NE 38th Street and NE 41st Street:
Nothing was a right fit for Nick and Hillary, or the homes sold too fast, or they were getting outbid (a common problem in the current market). After a lot of frustration on all of our ends, I decided to explore some other options. (House Hunters doesn't want to commit to your episode unless you are nearly certain there will be a house purchased.)
I went back in my archives, scoured all of my clientele list, and found three houses that could potentially work for Nick and Hillary. A house in Green Lake for about a million, a house in Magnolia for $900k, and a house in Laurelhurst for $800k. But none of them were actually "on the market."
The houses in Green Lake and Magnolia were homes of my own clients who were opening to selling for the "right price" and the house in Laurelhurst had been on the market earlier last year (2012) and failed to sell.
So I reached out to my clients as well as the owners of this previously listed home in Laurelhurst. The home was owned by long-time Laurelhurst dwellers, Chris and Ed Curtiss. They were surprised by my call when I asked them if they'd be willing to sell their home now if my clients paid their previous asking price of $800k. They told me they'd consider it. So between these three "off-market" homes for sale, I was confident I'd be able to find something that would make the Grabers happy.
Nick and Hillary had all but given up on the idea that they'd actually be able to buy in Laurelhurst. But when they saw the home on 42nd Avenue NE, in the Beach Club boundary, they basically told me I had to make it happen.
I had a ton of pressure to finesse this sort of lofty idea into an actual sale. But I did it. In the end, everyone was happy. The way we worked so fast was because I was able to look at homes off-market. Otherwise, Nick and Hillary would be living with her parents or renting something until we could find something else!
Very few homes have sold for less than a million in Laurelhurst this year. And nearly nothing has come on the market that fits what they were looking for. And bonus is that they even got a lake view!
The Laurelhurst home purchased had a unique floor plan in that it had four bedrooms upstairs. It's hard to find 3 bedrooms, so four was bizarre! But, there was no master bath, and closet space left a lot to be desired.
As part of my real estate services, my clients have a trained designer at their disposal, and he  was able to give the Grabers intensely detailed drawings, incorporating two of the four bedrooms into one very spacious master plus master bath and walk-in closet. Troubleshooting with the desinger helped the Grabers feel secure in this purchase because they knew they could ultimately make it their dream home.
Since finding Nick and Hillary's house using "creative methods" I've had a lot of clients and people coming to me asking me to find their dream home, dream neighborhood, dream price. This is actually much harder than people realize and while I've done it several times this year, it's significantly harder than looking at homes using only conventional methods.
Laurelhurst is a neighborhood that is transitioning and a lot of young(er) families are moving in, which is so great for everyone I think. It's one of my favorite neighborhoods, personally.

Cassie told us that HGTV's House Hunters is currently looking for "higher-end" or "luxury homes" for upcoming episodes. She said that one of the reasons the producersy loved Nick and Hillary's story was because they were not a-typical of most episodes of House Hunters, in that they were looking at a higher price point, and they weren't first time home buyers.

Cassie writes about  her experience filming the show on her blog. She can be reached at Cassie.Daughtrey@SothebysRealty.com or by phone at 206-448-5752.

 Nick and Hillary


Anonymous said...

The Realtor is almost being rude to these two homebuyers. A lot of rolled eyes and backtalk, calling the couple "freakishly tall." Are they maybe really friends and just talk this way to each other?

Cassie Daughtrey said...

Hi, I'm the realtor! These clients have become dear friends of mine! And the show thrives on a bit of "drama." I love Nick and Hillary like family! They're both very sarcastic and that's their sense of humor! Apologies for coming across as anything but sincere. Wish I had control of some of the editing! Alas--out of my hands! But thanks for watching!


Anonymous said...

We watched the episode last night and thought the Magnolia house was beautifully decorated to maximize light with all the white furnishings and millwork. Are photos of that house posted anywhere? I wanted to look at that house again. A day later I'm still thinking about it.

Great episode - Seattle doesn't get enough HGTV shows and Laurelhurst looked beautiful

Anonymous said...

I was really amazed at the creative solution this real estate agent came up with to find a home for their client. While I know the show is about finding the house, but they actually found a REAL agent who did not give up. I've had several home sales in the last 25 years and I know our agent would have just shrugged their shoulders and walked. Bravo to Daughtrey and her clients who were very lucky!