Most expensive home in county ‘takes your breath away’

It looks like something plucked out of a European countryside and dropped along the shore of Puget Sound.

The French chateau-like estate on Woodway Park Road in Woodway sold for $8 million last year, making it the most expensive home sold in Snohomish County in 2016, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

The sale also tied for the top 5 biggest sales in the region.

“From the minute you pull up to the gate, literally, and the gate swings open to the circular drive and the sprawling landscape and the fountain, it really just takes your breath away,” said Taji DeGross, the listing real estate agent for the property.

The 11,663-square-foot home sits on 10 acres along high-bank waterfront with views of the Sound and Olympic Mountains. Built in 1992 and extensively renovated in 2003 and 2006, the home has stucco walls, gable shake roofs and Venetian plaster walls. It features four bedrooms, 5.25 baths and five fireplaces.

“A house that has seven dishwashers, you know is a large house,” DeGross said.

The property has all the amenities that would come with an estate of this type: the swimming pool, the tennis court, the English-style garden, the greenhouse, the guest house, the pond and the orchard. It also includes a music studio, exercise room and THX-certified home theater.

“There’s nothing it doesn’t have, to tell you the truth,” DeGross said.

DeGross described the bright, open foyer with a grand piano bearing pictures of celebrites and icons of business in the Puget Sound area.

Another selling point: the home has enough space to land a helicopter.

“There’s very, very few places you can land a helicopter,” DeGross said. “You can’t do that in Mercer Island, you can’t do that in Medina.”

The property sale last June was more than double the selling price for the most expensive home sold in the county in 2015 — an Edmonds house — and the most expensive home sold in 2014 — a home in Woodway.

The website Seattle Curbed named the seller as American Seafoods CEO Bernt Bodal. Property records show the buyer was Clay Siegall, president and CEO of Seattle Genetics, the Bothell biotech firm.

DeGross grew up in Edmonds and went to Woodway High School: “I’m old-school Edmonds, my family has lived there forever.”

She worked out of a real estate office in Edmonds until 2015 and now works for Winderemere Real Estate in Kirkland. She knew Siegall and knew that he wanted to stay in the Woodway area, where he already had a home.

She reached out to the homeowner in 2015 and asked if he would ever be willing to sell the property. She didn’t immediately get a response.

“A year later, I get a phone call, ‘I got your message and I’m considering buying a house. Do you still have a buyer?’” DeGross said.

She reached out to Siegall, but it turned out that he had already bought another home in Woodway.

She still became the listing agent for the house.

She put it on the market for $8.5 million. The number of prospective buyers for a property of that value is limited, but the home is well known in the Woodway area and she received several inquiries.

In the end, Siegall called her back and told her that he had a change of heart and wanted to buy the home. The property was only on the market for a little more than a month.

DeGross is still relatively new to the business; she’s only in her third year as a real estate agent. She owned a personal assistant company and has worked with foreign buyers who have purchased expensive properties.

She maintains her county roots and notes that she’s selling a Lake Stevens property.

“I go out and make people’s dreams come true,” DeGross said. “That’s what I tell myself that I do.”

Biggest property transactions of 2016

1. $9.751 million on Mercer Island

2. $9.7 million in Laurelhurst neighborhood in Seattle.

3. $8.18 million on Mercer Island

4. $8.02 million on Hunts Point

5. $8 million in Redmond

5. $8 million in downtown Seattle

5. $8 million in Woodway

Source: Northwest Multiple Listing Service

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