Meet the Mavens

House hunting has made me bi-polar. The high of reading a listing describing my dream home and then the depression that ensues upon getting there and it’s anything but. Meanwhile, I’ve hired a therapist to help me forget about that perfect house I was outbid on, and that one killer deal I just missed. To keep me from losing my mind and for the benefit of everyone in a similar predicament, the Sweet Digs blog now has a group of real estate mavens writing about homes for sale in the Seattle area (read the CEO’s take on it). They’re scouring the market for the hottest properties, best deals, hidden gems, and white elephants, giving honest opinions and detailed reviews to help people find new digs.

Sweet Dig bloggers visit homes in their area and get the straight story behind listing remarks espousing “a charming kitchen” or “great potential” and let’s not forget that classic “lovingly maintained” house that hasn’t been updated since 1967. As neighborhood residents who know the area well, they’ve got the inside scoop on the best schools and how bad the morning traffic is. They know what to look for and what is easily overlooked.

Redfin brings you real estate advice from house hunters for whom real estate is a passion. We also know there are thousands of Sweet Digs readers out there that have great tips to share and we can’t wait to hear their comments. We’re starting small with just a few neighborhoods – West Seattle, Wallingford, Fremont, Ballard, Phinney, Green Lake, Capitol Hill, South Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland and Bainbridge Island. We’ll expand the program based on your feedback so if you have ideas post them or email me directly – Marie Hagman, Seattle Editor at marie(dot)hagman(at)redfin(dot)com.

Let’s meet the team!

Elizabeth Chapman
A West Seattle transplant for three years plus, Elizabeth is in-tune with trends (lifestyle and housing), neighborhoods, and knowing the almighty deal when she sees it. Before meeting her “West Seattle native husband” while vacationing in Las Vegas, she thought all Seattle had going for it was Starbucks and Microsoft with a thin layer of Pearl Jam. After one visit she was hooked (on him and Seattle), they settled into their first home, started a family, and now spend weekends and spare-time hunting for their dream house.
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Amy Helen Johnson
Amy Helen Johnson covers Wallingford, Phinney Ridge, Fremont and Ballard for Redfin. She favors bungalows, natural woodwork, gourmet kitchens and rational floor plans. Her real-estate fantasy is to renovate the University Branch of the Seattle Public Library into a home for herself, her husband and her brace of black cats.
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Anna McClain
Anna McClain is a writer and editor with a fabulous husband, two teenagers, a pug–and a two year old (their gift with purchase). She’s watched Bainbridge Island grow up around her family, and both are putting on inches–and square feet–at a rapid pace. She owns a condo and a three bedroom home on Bainbridge, and since she’s out shopping real estate the way a shop-a-holic trolls eBay for Paul Revere punch bowls, she’s eager to bring you updates on the market!
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Polly Meyer
Polly Meyer grew up in the Bay Area and attended college in New York before moving to the Pacific Northwest. Her first Seattle home was in Columbia City and ten years later she’s still living in the south end – only one block away from the original homestead. Much to the chagrin of her neighbors, her long list of home improvement projects is perpetually postponed in favor of reviewing real estate, attending yoga classes and eating out as often as possible.

Jessi Princiotto
Covering the East side with a focus on Bellevue, Jessi Princiotto is a real estate addict who’s delighted to bring her writing talents to Redfin. Though a native New Yorker, she’s lived in the Puget Sound for 16 years, the last seven of which have been in Bellevue. She’s been obsessed with mid-century modern architecture and design ever since seeing a flat-roofed, nineteen-sixties classic while house-hunting in 1998. While not gleefully touring open houses, she devotes her time to art and design, independent film-making, jewelry-making, writing, and doting on her two canine children (her husband occasionally gets doted on, too).
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Laura Reiter
Laura Reiter is a lifelong resident of Seattle. Aside from a couple brief, shallow flings with Europe and the East Coast, she has remained faithful to her moss-covered hometown. Born and raised in scenic Northgate, she attended the UW and Cornell University, pursuing studies in the oddly dissimilar fields of zoology and art. Currently, she resides in Columbia City, where adventures include: finding new leaks in the basement, nabbing the last bear claw at the bakery, watching bufflehead ducks at Seward Park, and picking up styrofoam peanuts off her lawn. Don’t worry, more excitement is to come!
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Claire Tarlson
Claire has been living on Capitol Hill for six years now and loves it better than anywhere else in Seattle. Living in lots of subpar rentals throughout college has made her pretty positive she knows what not to look for in a condo or house. When she is not looking for good deals on real estate, she’s out trying to find a good deal on yarn, books and shoes.
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