Seattle has buses. (Really, they're throughout King County, and reach into the neighboring counties, too.) Use them! In which case you might as well find a place to live along a line. One line at a time. Here's the next one, selected at random for the fun of it.
From Kent to Renton or Renton to Kent, some commutes don't make it north of the south end of Lake Washington. Route 169 takes you from the valley, up onto the ridge, then back down into town, regardless of the direction. The tourists may never see it, but it may be the best route for you.
↑ The neighbors may have conventional sized lots, but this property managed to hold onto 2.39 acres, a chance for a bit of rural beside suburbia. It and the 5 bedroom, 3 bath house are listed at $950,000. That means a lot left over even after finding space for a 3,200 square foot house. With that much room the fruit trees can become an orchard, the dog run could actually let the dog run, and the outbuilding is a barn instead of a shed. The style is a notch or two above standard rambler, with enough design leeway left for you to express yourself, or to take it easy by leaving it as is. In any case, you'll have plenty of options. Check to see if you can go up a size or two for your pet and turn that dog run into a horse pasture.
↑ When a house is over a hundred years old it is easy to bring out the labels of classic, heirloom, heritage, and historic. This Craftsman got its start in 1907 on Scenic Hill. It retains 0.3 acres, with landscaping that can be more mature than most of us, could include trees whose fruit is considered heirloom, and has that settled in feel of Olde English gardens but without the formality. Inside is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2.810 square foot reminder of the work put into simple things like window and door frames. The price is $385,000, which may be less than what it would take to make a replica. Be original.
↑ Do you want low maintenance? The backyard was designed for it, just a simple lawn and fence, with some accommodations for seating. The real low maintenance is out front: gravel. For $334,950 they are offering a 4 bedroom, 2.75 bath, 2,200 square foot house that endeavors to be easy to live in inside and out. They haven't gone so minimal as to make it boring, though. There's enough style to make it home for someone; especially, someone who wants to spend less time mowing and weeding and more time doing something radical like living.
↑ 2007 is modern enough for the trendy solution to lowering lawn maintenance, put a 2,412 square foot house on a 2,613 square foot lot. If it wasn't for the three level design, there wouldn't be elbow room between the siding and the fencing. It is a townhouse for $325,000 with the emphasis on the inside, which is easier when less had to be spent outside. The fireplace, pillars and posts have a bit more flair. Appliances are stainless steel. Balconies come in multiples. There is a lot for a little for some.
↑ Not quite a tiny house at 1,120 square feet, but small enough to be naturally low maintenance. A lot that isn't too big or too small at 6,534 square feet, big and flat and unobstructed enough for a garden. A small family can fit in 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, or a single person can spread out or a larger family can get cozy. At $209,900 the rambler and the lot cost a lot less than most properties in King County, which either means a smaller mortgage or living debt-free. Architectural magazines may use it as a Before picture, but for many people it is fine as is. Its greatest luxury may be a freer lifestyle, and that can be worth a lot.
· Route 169 [Metro]
· All Bus Tours coverage [CS]
Written by Tom Trimbath