Seattle has buses. 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.
Start with a swing around Avondale, sweep on into Bear Creek and Redmond, then pass Rose Hill on the way to Kirkland. That's a half hour ride taken care of by Route 248.
↑ If you think biggest is best, then here you go, at least in this neighborhood a 5,5052 square foot house is the largest. If you like privacy, they claim the 9,003 square foot lot is private. If you want a house that's been on the market for half a year, a surprise in this market, then here it is. For $1,178,880 you can buy a 6 bedroom, 3.5 bath, 5,502 square foot house in Tora Crest. New construction means not having to spackle anyone else's old holes in the walls. You get to be the first to patina the place with the bumps and nicks of moving in, and moving in, and keep moving in, because there's a lot of house to move into.
↑ Live someplace learned, or that at least sounds that way. There's a house on Education Hill asking $780,000 for 4 bedrooms, 2.1 baths, and 2,710 square feet. The lot is only 5,708 square feet, so there's less to take care of; but the property is backed by a greenbelt, so there is a natural break - and it doesn't even take tending. Inside there's an open foyer with a winding stair leading to the second floor. Height helps open space, and the great room concept extends sight lines making the place feel bigger without having to buy something bigger. There's even a porch out front with room for a couple of chairs, and a deck out back for when you want to lounge out of sight of any pedestrian.
↑ There's a bit of lawn out front, so you can remember what it is like to mow, but it looks small and flat enough to cut in a few minutes, not even enough to just the post-grass cutting beer. The back appears to be paved, so just some weeding in the cracks and your work is done. Take that as one of the luxuries in this $699,999 house that has 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and 2,440 square feet. The kitchen has a lot more to offer than just storing beer. There are good appliances, with a proper vent hood, and plenty of counter outlets, a kitchen that works well for a host that doesn't want to be walled off from the party.
↑ If the houses cost too much or are too much work, buy a townhouse. In Willow Grove you can find a 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath on 1,182 square feet asking $357,000. Inside (because what else is a townhouse than what's inside) is a kitchen updated and whitened enough to suggest efficiency, or at least meticulous cleaning. It comes with a garage already prepared for parking bicycles. If you're using bikes and mass transit, maybe the garage becomes a shop, a luxury unavailable in many apartments. Or, as with so many houses, it becomes the extra large closet. You've got options.
So much comes down to perspective, and so for some a 30 year old condo is considered new, especially because it was remodeled in 2007. All the amenities of a condo complex, and 2 bedrooms, and 1.75 baths for a quarter million dollars, $250,000. It certainly looks new enough. When the size gets down to 823 square feet it is good to hear that there is tons of storage. There's a fireplace too, just what you might need during the area's ten-month wet season. At least you don't have to go outside to take care of everything. That's someone else's job.
· Route 248 [Metro]
· All Bus Tours coverage [CS]
Written by Tom Trimbath