On the sunny side of the Cascades, 80 miles from downtown Seattle, Suncadia enjoys a well-established and cherished legacy as a unique mountain resort community. We recently caught up with Jeff Rau, named Suncadia’s top broker, to get a sense of what really makes the community so irresistible—and he had a lot to say!
Who would you say is the Suncadia community ideal for?
I would say the majority of our buyers are young families looking for a second home they can just drive to. We also get older buyers looking for larger homes, where their adult kids and grandkids have enough room to enjoy. Of course, with the pandemic, we’re seeing a lot more families coming this way looking for a full-time residence—now that virtual learning and working from home are the norm, families would rather spend more time here with a bit more space and fresh air than they would being back home in Seattle (where most of our owners are from.)
Which of the neighborhoods do you think is the most popular? What do you think are the draws of these neighborhoods?
I wish I could name one or two as most popular, but in my opinion, there is a neighborhood just about for everyone. If you like to be close in to the amenities and be walkable to them, we have it. If you like action and to be more social you can purchase in some of the higher-density areas. If you want more elbow room and space we also have those areas. Many homesites back up to our 1200 acre conservancy so you feel like you’re on 5-10 acres even though it’s a ½ acre site.
Even though the homes are all individual designs, what is the common thread that is consistent throughout all homes?
Having an open floor plan where you can entertain family and friends, plus great outdoor living spaces is kind of a running theme in most homes. I also feel having a home with ensuite bedrooms is very common—more so with the newer builds.
What is the advantage of buying a homesite in the community?
A definite advantage is you get what you want. We have so many quality builders in here and are up and current with the trends. They also work well with the clients and have homes they can take them around to for ideas. I work with 7 or 8 builders and they all have relationships with their clients. They’re also so gracious; the’re open to inviting prospective buyers into their homes…that’s huge as many clients gather ideas from existing homes and incorporate those ideas into their homes.
Finally, tell us a little about your journey with Suncadia and your experience with the community.
I got here in August of 2005. I was a golf professional at a private golf course community in Northern California when I came up and interviewed for the job. Never thought I’d move to Washington as I had never been to the state and only heard that it’s always raining here. I flew into SeaTac on June 15th and it was a gloomy, misty day about 55 degrees in Seattle. I jumped in my rental car and drove over Snoqualmie Pass; it was when I was near exit 70 (10 miles from Suncadia) that blue skies appeared and it was about 70 degrees. The sales manager at the time, Tom McMenemon, showed me around the community for about 4 hours. After the tour I really felt I was done being a golf professional—15 years later I look back at that as one of the best decisions I’ve made. My wife and I own a condo at The Lodge and a townhome here; many of my owners have become dear friends. It’s such a great community and the social aspect keeps getting better.
Where would you go to relax in the community?
I have a huge passion for Tumble Creek. The golf course is absolutely spectacular. One evening this Spring we went over to Tumble Creek with my brother Mark (also a Broker at Suncadia) and our families—armed with 4 golf carts, 4 sets of clubs, a fishing pole, and a frisbee. All day, we played around, on the course and with the kids—it was pretty magical, and I love to share that feeling with everyone!
How does being named Suncadia’s top broker feel? What’s next in your plans?
I really don’t feel like I’m the top broker—we have so many good agents in our office and we have built a good team. I’m very fortunate that I have a great ownership base that refer a lot of friends; I’m thankful for their support but I’ve also been pretty lucky! I have a great assistant as well that helps me with my business and keeping me in line with all the transactions. I’m also fortunate to work alongside my brother Mark who is one of the best relationship builders I’ve ever met. I hope to always have a presence at Suncadia and continue to work for many years as it just keeps getting better and better!