With a deep knowledge of local culture, Galya Kristine and Jason Foss are the perfect realtor team to connect homebuyers with the right TJH home in the Pacific Northwest.
It’s all about balance in the Pacific Northwest—a place for both urbanites and outdoor aficionados to dive in and experience the best of a downtown lifestyle with a natural playground just beyond the city. So when launching our Pacific Northwest division, we knew we needed to partner with Realtors that understood our vision along with both types of local homebuyers. When we met Galya Kirstine and Jason Foss with Compass Real Estate, we knew they were the perfect balance to represent Thomas James Homes.
Galya is a Seattle native and real estate veteran that’s known for her deep knowledge, relationships, and experience of the Greater Eastside market. Jason is a recognized expert in urban properties that fell in love with downtown Bellevue and the “city living lite” vibe when he moved to the area 15 years ago. Together, they work like a well-oiled machine, so it’s no surprise that they sold the first TJH home in the Pacific Northwest.
To kick off our realtor partnership with Galya and Jason, we invited them to Southern California. It was a chance to meet the TJH team, learn more about our vision for the Pacific Northwest, and see some of our new homes firsthand. They also helped us understand the wants and needs of homebuyers in their region.
“It was exciting to see what TJH could bring to the Pacific Northwest market,” Galya said. “One of the distinguishing features of TJH is that they have a different design sensibility,” Jason adds. “Thomas James homes don’t look like production builds. For TJH to come into the market and offer some really smart and fresh design perspectives and floor plans has been fantastic for the market and exciting for buyers.”
Image courtesy Bellevue Downtown Association
Bringing New Homes to Desirable Neighborhoods
Demand for homes in Seattle and Bellevue neighborhoods has only grown as companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Verizon bring new job opportunities to the area. It has also become one of the most competitive housing markets over the past year as people realize they can work from anywhere. And rightfully so. The Pacific Northwest offers an authentic culture, easy access to all things outdoorsy, plus an approachable urban-suburban lifestyle. Unlike most big cities, residents here don’t have to forgo a spacious home with a yard in order to frequent walkable restaurants, craft bars, local coffee shops and eclectic boutiques. It’s a way of living that is rare to find.
The downside? An influx of buyers without a housing market to match. As the demand for larger homes in Seattle and Eastside neighborhoods grow, it can create a stressful market for buyers. But as more TJH homes break ground, there will be more opportunities for buyers to find the right home for them. Jason reminds anyone searching for their forever home to keep their focus on the fundamentals of what’s important to the way you live—especially when it comes to the location of the neighborhood.
“We’re seeing more people settle for less than favorable areas just to be able to buy,” says Jason. “It’s okay if you have to wait a few months, but just keep thinking about what’s important for you to have in a home. TJH has homes in all the right locations. Bellevue has a great downtown with so many restaurants to choose from. And when weather permits, the city loves to be outside. Kirkland is also very popular. It has more of a waterfront lifestyle and walkability to plenty of shops, cafes, and restaurants.”
Making Customizations Customary
Custom homes aren’t new to the Pacific Northwest, especially when you get into neighborhoods that offer larger lots. But traditional custom home building isn’t for everyone. Its process is notorious for unwelcome surprises, from timing delays to budget overages. One of the differentiators that TJH homes bring to the area is a library of thoughtfully designed home plans that give buyers a platform from which to make changes and customizations. Less decision fatigue, transparent pricing, and a home with a personal touch. It’s all about balance.
“Working with TJH and their business model has shown how they listen to buyers. They’re willing to work through the customizations that buyers want,” says Galya. “There are a lot of spec builders in the area that just won’t budge when it comes to making changes for buyers.”
“It has also made the process better for our clients,” Jason says. “Being able to customize a home from a library of plans—I don’t think that’s a concept that exists here. It’s pretty intriguing. Traditional custom homes come with unknown timelines and unknown costs, so TJH is really that sweet spot in between. It’s a brilliant concept.”
“The principles of how TJH operates, it’s a long term vision. It’s not about a transaction for them. They’re putting together programs, processes, and relationships that will serve [homebuyers] for a long time.”
—Jason Foss, TJH Realtor