Mukilteo's spectacular views no longer a secret

One day the trees on the hillside behind Mary Epps' Mukilteo home were there, and the next, they were gone. And there stood a cluster of mammoth houses.

"It was so bizarre," Epps said. "They built all the houses first and then cut down the trees to open up the view. It was quite a surprise when I came home that day."

But Epps says it's no wonder that trees in Mukilteo occasionally vanish. The coveted views make real estate there so desirable.

"Mukilteo is one of the most charming undiscovered gems in the region — but not for long," said Lee Gallaher of Gallaher Real Estate, who recently moved from Edmonds to Mukilteo.

The Puget Sound city, 25 miles north of Seattle between Edmonds and Everett, is home to 19,360 residents and has an active real-estate market.

Sales of single-family homes and condos are brisk. In the second quarter of this year, the median price of a home in Mukilteo was $379,475, up 11.6 percent from the same quarter a year ago, according to DataQuick Real Estate News.

There are several new developments in the area, including a sold-out Centex development in the north part of town, and The Mukilteo Village Center, near Harbour Pointe, a complex with commercial space on the ground floor and condos above.

A 110-home development is under construction on former Boeing land. Gallaher said he expects development to continue, especially near Paine Field.

"Land in Mukilteo is evaporating quickly," he said. "People are snatching up anything they can get their hands on, especially if there's a view."

In addition to sweeping panoramas, the city is home to an active waterfront, several parks, a strong school system, a historic lighthouse and one of the busiest ferry terminals in the state, serving Clinton on Whidbey Island.

Major renovations are in store for the city's shoreline, including plans to move the ferry terminal a half-mile to the east.

For longtime residents like Epps and her husband, Jerry, growth in the area is bittersweet.

"I hate to see some of the green disappearing, but the city has grown up a lot," she said. "The old town used to be full of elderly people, and now there's a whole new generation buying and renovating homes."

But the Eppses love Mukilteo, even with all the changes.

"We just love the overall feel of the place," Mary Epps said. "The people are friendly, and we can walk to the beach. We think it's paradise."


Population: 19,360

Schools: The Mukilteo School District serves a diverse population of about 14,000 students who live near Puget Sound north of Seattle in the Mukilteo and South Everett areas.

Housing: Of 8,068 homes, 64.3 percent are owner-occupied; 30.3 percent are renter-occupied; 5.5 percent are vacant.

Nearby medical facilities: Providence Everett Medical Center, 1321 Colby Ave., Everett; Stevens Hospital, 21601 76th Ave. W., Edmonds

Shopping: The Mukilteo Farmers' Market, 3 to 8 p.m. Thursdays through Oct. 20 at the ballfield next to Rosehill Community Center at 304 Lincoln Ave.; Alderwood mall, 3000 184th St. S.W., Lynnwood

Public facilities: The city is a regional transportation hub for the Washington State Ferry System, hosting the highest volume run in the system; Mukilteo Lighthouse Park, 609 Front St., Mukilteo; home to the historic Mukilteo Light Station with an accessible beach, picnic area, restrooms and boat launch.

Miyoko Wolf, Times staff researcher