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What's Long, Short & Small? This Long-Lister in Riverton

Some houses are snapped up in days. Others take years. The sellers should be commended for their patience.


Three dimensions describe this house: long, short, and small. It's been on the market for a long time, over a year. Which has led to a short sale. And yet, it must appeal to someone in the small house crowd because it is under 1,000 square feet. For a house built in the Great Depression (1933), this is probably just another chapter. The 2 bedrooms and 1 bath and 930 square feet are available now for $160,000.

Frugality was a necessity before it was a style. Some houses are on the market for a long time because they're asking for millions. This short never had such expectations. Look at it. Even when it was built, it steered away from ostentation, or undo ornamentation. It is a good basic house in a style that is easily overlooked until you notice the details like the coved ceilings and the arched room entrances. If the lighting fixtures are original, they may be pieces of art that stand out from today's mass produced shades.

A few things have been modernized: the windows and cable. A few things are an opportunity to stay retro or upgrade by several decades: the kitchen and the linoleum floor. A few things may have been there throughout: the trees and the basement. The oil heat probably isn't new. You get to make a lot of interesting choices with a house that's old enough for social security.

Location matters. Riverton and Boulevard Park are along the bus lines, within easy reach of Seattle, Tukwila, and the airport. Boeing field is a neighbor, which is handy if you work there. Convenience has a value, especially, when you consider that it saves you that precious commodity called time.

Check with the neighbors. There must be a story from these last few years about whether the owners wanted to stay or had to go. The house hasn't been on the market because it was too expensive, at least not relative to the mansions that get snapped up. Save a bit by buying a $160,000 house and use the extra for making it a much sweeter place.
· 10662 22nd Place S, Seattle [Redfin]
Written by Tom Trimbath