If you dream of keeping up with the Gateses and Jeff Bezos, now might be the best time to buy a house in their neighborhood — if you’re a multimillionaire.
About 30 homes are listed for sale in Medina, the small city on the shores of Lake Washington that’s best known as an enclave for the ultrawealthy. Real-estate agents say that’s more than they usually see in the 2-mile-long shoreside community: A year ago, there were 17 homes for sale.
So if you’re a buyer with millions to spend, you have options. The homes range from a 1,720-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom listed for $1.7 million to a $28.5 million estate that has four bedrooms, seven bathrooms, an indoor pool and 172 feet of private waterfront.
There’s also more than the usual number of homes in the $2-$3 million range, for those looking for a less-expensive (perspective is key) selection.
“For people who want to be in the neighborhood, it’s a little more accessible, depending on their income,” said Moya Skillman, a broker at Team Foster of Compass. “It’s the first time we’ve seen that in the last five to 10 years.”
Some possible factors: More retired couples wanting to downsize, and oft-moving tech execs at growing companies relocating to other cities. Some owners who would have listed their homes earlier delayed putting them on the market after the snowstorms in February, Skillman said.
If the waterfront views, company executives as neighbors, and proximity to Seattle and Eastside companies weren’t enticing enough, Anna Riley, a luxury agent with Windermere Real Estate/West Bellevue Partners, says that the neighborhood is “tremendously low-key.”
“You have local billionaires holding hands with their spouses on walks, without security,” she said. “It’s a friendly place that places value on allowing people to live their lives quietly without much fuss.”
It’s not all Champagne wishes and caviar dreams, however. The city of millionaires and billionaires is facing a budget crisis, with one council member saying that they’re in “dire straits.”
A property-tax levy on the November ballot would raise the rate of Medina’s portion of property tax bills to 84 cents for every $1,000 of assessed property value.