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Making Sense of Numbers With This $800K West Seattle Home


You can get a headache trying to make sense of the numbers bouncing around descriptions of Seattle's housing market. Prices change. Lots are subdivided. In the time it takes one house to sell, the market shifted again. Here's a house where the number of bedrooms (3) and the number of bathrooms (2.5) seem normal enough. Even the square footage seems common (1,964 square feet) until you realize that square footage inside is greater than the square footage outside. Maybe someone invented the housing version of a TARDIS from Doctor Who, or a tent from Harry Potter. Assuming Seattle isn't morphing into the world of sci-fi or fantasy (which wouldn't necessarily be bad), when the square footage of the house is greater than the square footage of the lot, it has to be a house that is tall and skinny; otherwise it would be hanging over the neighbors' lots. This $799,950 Alki property has a three story house on a 1,481 square foot lot. The idea isn't new because the house isn't new. It was built in 2006. As housing gets more expensive, it gets to be more economical to pour a smaller foundation and stack the rooms high. At least that gives a nice view, unless everyone does it. As people get busier, smaller yards make life easier because there's less to maintain. Put it all together and it starts to make sense. But, then there's the price. It may be about $800K now, but five years ago, when the real estate market has having trouble (not really that long ago, eh?) it sold at a foreclosure auction for $1,154,708. That's a depreciation of over $350K in five years. That's a number that can cause a headache.

· 3817 59th Ave SW [Zillow]
Written by Tom Trimbath