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Five Properties Worth Buying Along Metro Bus Route 178

Seattle has buses, and they aren't limited to the city limits. 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.

Federal Way may not sound as trendy as downtown Seattle, but you can end up with more money to spend on luxuries if you're willing to commute by bus. Route 178 gets you from within a couple of miles of unique things like Wild Waves to downtown Seattle in less than an hour. Trendy may be good, but your kids might like the water park.

↑ This is the first time this house has been for sale since it was built and bought in 1996. Less than half a million ($473,900) buys 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, and 3,060 square feet. There must be some value in the fact that the place looks new; so maybe it was well taken care of for the last 19 years. If the appliances are original it might time to replace a few, but at least this isn't some grand fixer. You also get space. The lot is 0.44 acres, which leaves a lot of room for lawn, garden, and an acoustical buffer so you and your neighbors can make a bit more noise. But not too, much. It is suburbia.

How many people can you fit into a house? Start with the 4 bedrooms, then add in the office which they claim could be a fifth bedroom, and then add the RV parking, and get to enough beds to house a traveling baseball team. There might be a bit of a line at the 2.5 baths though. Ah, but most folks would buy a place like this 2,890 square foot two story to have a bit of suburbia for $329,999. There are touches like wainscoting that are less common, but the heart-shaped bath for two may be even more uncommon. Hmm, does that make it a gift house for Valentine's Day?

↑ Get a smaller house (2,010 square feet) for less money ($275,000) but get the same number of bedrooms (4) and extend out to 3 baths? Sounds better, but that probably means the rooms are a bit smaller. Something has to give. Skip the comparison and the house looks fine. The price, however, has been a variable. For over a year the house has been on the market, then off, then back on with a price that started high, went low, and came back up again. What is this, a litmus test of the market? If it sits there some more, will the price go up more, or back down?

↑ With price shifts that range from about $121,000 up to about $160,000 then back down to $101,000 and now settling at $220,000 after visiting $230,000 you might get the impression that this house has been flips and foreclosures and has stories to tell. Regardless of all that, it is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2,124 square foot rambler with lots of new things: roof, floor, paint, appliances. There's also a third of an acre for the lot, which gives you a lot to work with.

↑ Most people only need 1 bedroom, 1 bath, and may not want to deal with a yard. There are condos in Federal Way. Suburbia is not just houses and cul-de-sacs. For the price of a very nice car, $77,500, there's a 685 square foot condo that has all the basics, access to the complex's amenities, and leaves you with a lot more money than a house. Whether condos appreciate at the same rate as houses or not, spending less money means saving more money. Save up, and then buy what you really want, or realize that what you have is good enough. Buy an early retirement instead.
· Wild Waves [WW]
· Route 178 [Metro]
· All Bus Tours coverage [CS]
Written by Tom Trimbath