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A Love Letter to 1222 NW 117TH ST 98177

21 April 24


This is a letter to folks who might want to buy my home in Seattle.

It used to be common in real-estate transactions for home buyers to send a letter introducing themselves to the seller. This was called a “love letter” in the real estate world, and it’s no longer allowed. However, as far as I know, it’s totally okay for a seller, such as myself, to write a letter to prospective buyers. So, if you googled the address above, or you’re researching our names from the parcel viewer, maybe you found this.

Why am I doing this?

Obviously, I’m trying to sell my house. But there’s more to it. I want to share the experience of living here, the physical, emotional and practical things that I appreciate about being on this piece of earth. This is a letter to you, but it’s also a chance for me to reflect.

Who are we?

Peter and Kim Mitchell have lived here for fifteen years. Raised two children (who were born in the home) and connected with a wonderful community of neighbors and friends.

Why are we moving?

We’re moving to Issaquah to be closer to Kim’s parents who are getting up in years and will likely need our help in the near future. Also, living in proximity to nature is important to us. After being so close to Carkeek, and loving it, we’re looking to get deeper into the woods.

What about the house is so great?

The house is fine. It has a very practical layout. The kitchen is great for entertaining. There’s a full on rumpus room downstairs. There’s enough room that everyone can spread out and do their own thing, but there also a feeling of connection throughout the space. It’s a split level. It has two furnaces, three bathrooms, three bedrooms, two refrigerators, a hot tub and a two car garage.

Living here is cool

This neighborhood is cooler than the rest of North Seattle. We’re on a kind of peninsula of homes that plunges into Carkeek Park. Many people don’t know that this neighborhood even exists. There are a lot of great things about this, but to me the coolest thing is that the air temperature is typically about five degrees cooler. The air currents sweep off the water, up through Piper’s Creek valley, and behind us in Mohlendorph Creek. It’s common to see wafts of fog traipsing from east to west out of the valley and across 12th. In the Summer it’s absolutely delightful.

There are critters all around

Since we’re surrounded by the park on three sides, so there’s tons of wildlife. The most magnificent are the bald eagles that nest to the West along the cliff. Their cackling shriek never fails to thrill me. You can also hear Pileated Woodpeckers, Bard Owls, a million other birds and Sea Lions at various times of day. I’ve seen deer, beavers and coyotes in the park.

It’s really quiet

As you approach the neighborhood on 12th ave there’s a sign warning of a dead end, which wards off most casual explorers. There’s almost no traffic down here. Mostly you see people from the neighborhood walking to the park on the weekends. Many areas in North Seattle have had issues with property crime, but since we’re so separated from the main corridors there’s been very few incidents down here. Also, we feel very comfortable walking and playing in the street. We’ve had several driveway parties with the kids playing and biking in the street out front. We just put up a few warning signs and everyone in the neighborhood is cool with it. And, of course, it’s really quiet, meaning unless someone is running a leaf blower, all you hear all day is wind and birds.

There’s a beautiful solar pass

The passage of light is very important to me. This home is oriented towards my favorite section of sky, the south west. So many moody Seattle mornings erupt into glorious sun at about 1pm, which is when the sun starts to grace our yard. As the year progresses, you can enjoy the ever changing orientation of the afternoon and evening light as the sun traverses the western horizon. During Winter solstice the setting sun shines directly into my office. At Summer Solstice it sends golden sparkles through the distant forest on the North West side of the home. This experience is best had while cooking burgers, sipping tequila and listening to “Stairway to Heaven”.

There’s a gorgeous tree

The Ponderosa pine out front was planted by the first owner of the home, Mr Smith. It’s magnificent. It offers glorious shade when it’s hot, and it deflects the rain on your way out to the car. It whispers gently in the wind and on Summer days the needles sparkle in the light. It also drops thirty million pine needles every year, but it’s totally worth it. Please don’t cut down this magnificent tree.

You’ll live in the park

The park is literally thirty steps out of the front door. A huge mental and physical health benefit comes from walking in it almost every day. It’s so easy to immerse yourself in the forest here. It’ll keep you young and healthy, and you’ll gain an intimate understanding of the cycles of nature within. We’ve had a blast watching the beavers gradually modify Pipers Creek into habitat to their liking. If we didn’t live so close, I won’t have been able to truly appreciate this wonder.

Other nice features

Have you ever had a hot tub? Owning one is way better than using one at a VRBO, you can use fewer chemicals and it stays clean longer. There are a bunch of really nice skylights, and they’re easy to clean because the roof it at a mellow slant. The neighbors are all really nice, and there’s a community potluck once a year. When the windstorms come, they seem to blow right over this area because we’re in a little valley. When it snows there are a lot of fun places to sled in the park and on the street out front. At night you can hear owl families calling to each other, they hoot and hiss.

- Peter Mitchell


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