Situated in northeast Seattle along Lake Washington, Windermere is a highly desirable neighborhood of tree-lined streets known for its resplendent waterfront homes. Though Windermere may feel secluded, this community is only seven miles northeast of Downtown Seattle. Some locals contend the neighborhood was named after the Lake district in England. Others believe that Windermere and the nearby area, Wedgwood, were named for the favorite china of one of the area’s founders: Wedgwood Windermere. Whatever the truth, Windermere is now a cozy, comfortable neighborhood with both pre-war and modern homes which boast some of north Seattle’s best views of Lake Washington.
The district’s development is similar to that of Laurelhurst, a popular upscale neighborhood that borders Windermere to the south. Both communities were cleared of forest area in the 1800s to make way for homesteaders. By the early 1900s, however, developers began to see the region's potential for waterfront residential real estate.
Windermere was annexed into Seattle in 1910 and its proximity to the University of Washington infused its development with an educated, cultured feel. The district now spans approximately 1 square mile and is home to nearly 6,000 residents. This population density is significantly lower than the Seattle average of 8,161 inhabitants per square mile. It's bounded to the north by the community of Sand Point while the southern border with Laurelhurst is divided by Ivanhoe Place. According to the city's official atlas, Windermere's western boundaries include the neighborhood of Hawthorne Hills and a mile of Lake Washington coastline makes up the eastern border.
Windermere maintains a quiet mostly residential feel though it has a few small boutiques, restaurants and salons dotted along its edges. This comfortable lifestyle attracts affluent urbanites who prefer leaving a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. With the world-renowned University of Washington Hospital and Research complex only two miles away, it's unsurprising that many Windermere residents work in the tech, medical or educational fields.
As a bedroom community, Windermere is geared toward residential livability rather than business development and tourism. The main thoroughfare that runs through the neighborhood is Sand Point Way, which runs parallel to the Burke-Gilman trail, a former railroad which has been converted to exclusive use by bikers, joggers and rollerbladers. Windermere residents also have potential access the Windermere Park & Beach Club. This private park features tennis courts, a boat dock and beach area.
As a community with a median annual household income of well over $100,000, Windermere features many luxury homes and condos with long-term residents. The neighborhood's housing market is very strong and highly favorable to sellers. During 2016 alone, home values in the community rose by nearly 14 percent. The median value for a home in the neighborhood is about $1,265,000. Analysts predict that Windermere real estate values will continue to rise well into the future.
While Windermere homes for sale are certainly priced on the higher end, such an investment will pay off to buyers who like living in an elite neighborhood that's only 20 minutes from Downtown Seattle. Windermere residents often prefer to use surface streets to get around, but the neighborhood is quite close to the interchange of the 520 floating bridge and I-5, adding options for those who commute.
Naturally, the most prized Windermere real estate is located right on Lake Washington. These properties can be found just off of NE Windermere Road on the eastern end of the neighborhood. Since many of the homes come with docks on the lake, they are especially suited to boating enthusiasts and swimmers. Of course, owners don't need waterfront property to enjoy beautiful vistas of the lake. The neighborhood features many estate-sized homes with larger grounds just a few blocks inland from the lake. Smaller homes, yet still elegant, homes as well as upscale condos can be found in the north end of the neighborhood near Sand Point Elementary School.
As with most of Seattle’s top neighborhoods, those interested in purchasing Windermere real estate should seek qualified advice on pricing strategies and be prepared to act quickly. At VDB | Compass, we pride ourselves on knowing the sales and improvement history of Windermere homes, and can provide unique insights into this private, quiet district.