'80s Splendor

Property Watch: Waterfront Drama on Mercer Island

We're not talking Real Housewives drama. More like "Lake Washington views from nearly every room."

By Haley Shapley February 1, 2023

The 1980s gave us so much—personal computers, slap bracelets, the one-two punch of big hair and big shoulder pads. And, this pretty legit house on the shore of Lake Washington.

Custom-built in 1987, the house does not lack for dramatic postcard vistas. The location on the west side of Mercer Island helps, with its dead-center view of Seattle’s skyline, as does the wide lot set on more than half an acre. This allows for water views from most of the home’s rooms, including all the bedrooms.

Speaking of location, it’s just a handful of steps away from the lake. You’re not even allowed to build this close to the shoreline anymore. The ’80s were a different time.

Through a set of glass-paned front doors, the entrance immediately frames the photo-worthy view. This home was made to seamlessly blend indoor-outdoor entertaining—the main level, primarily tiled, has plenty of sliding glass doors to get you outside quickly and onto the patio that leads straight to Lake Washington.

The living area takes the concept of high ceilings to a whole new level, with two full stories of space bathed in natural light. There’s a sunken living room, a dining room, and a kitchen that features a sunny breakfast nook right off the patio. Across from the kitchen, a seating area with a fireplace fronts a spacious mudroom with laundry machines, an informal half-bath, and a built-in desk. This space conveniently has its own door that goes to the side yard, so you can come straight from the lake and into the mudroom.

The main level also includes the primary bedroom, a bathroom with sunken tub and curved shower, and a hodgepodge space that includes a wet bar, a desk, and a lounging area—choose your own adventure depending on your mood. (On that note, Choose Your Own Adventure books are just one more great thing from the ’80s.)

Upstairs, two bedrooms each offer a dedicated bathroom—one en suite, one off the hallway—a loft office that takes advantage of those double-height windows from the dining room, and a large rec room with built-in cabinets around the perimeter, a sink, a refrigerator, a fireplace, and, oh yeah, more views.

While there’s plenty to like indoors, a major appeal of this property is all the outdoor space—including more than 100 feet of shoreline. There are two boat docks, one with a covered house boat and lift, and the other built in 2018, providing lots of options for different types of watercraft.

From here, you’re just a hop, skip, and a paddleboard away from Seward Park.

Listing Fast Facts

5237 Forest Ave SE, Mercer Island
Size: 4,280 square feet, 3 bedrooms/4 baths
List Date: 1/23/23
List Price: $6,895,000 (pending)
Listing Agent: Kelly Weisfield, Compass

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