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.
Metro's Route 201 is a single-minded route: a couple of laps around Mercer Island in the morning, and one more at night. Evidently, commuters on Mercer start their commutes at about 7:30 in the morning and end them at about 6:30 at night. Those folks are working long and very inflexible hours.
↑ Yes, you can find homes on Mercer Island for under a million. Step back from the water, of course, but for $928,000 there's a chance at 5 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and 2,400 square feet of 1975 two story house. The real size is in the 3 car garage, which has enough room for a work bench, and on the property that is 0.27 acres. Evidently, the fig tree is worth visiting for its size. If it's productive, then you can try making your own cookies - or posing for Renaissance paintings with the fig leaves strategically placed.
↑ Everything is relative, and they consider this 6,969 square foot lot to be a small lot, and therefore easier to maintain. Considering that there's a 2,410 square foot house on it, they're right that there's a lot less to mow; and that the landscaping takes the place of a broad swath of two-inch talls plants. The real deal, of course, is the $1,089,000 house that has 3 bedrooms and 3.5 baths. It was built in 2001, so it is reasonably up-to-date. The simple and useful extra element is a den, for when you want the commute to be just a few stairs.
↑ Now, here's a yard; 0.47 acres of landscaping that opens to a view of Lake Washington. Most of it is backyard, because the house is out by the street. It is a 5 bedroom, 2.5 bath one story with 3,236 square feet. They're asking $1,199,000, and offering a house that has a laundry on every floor and 2 kitchens. That 'one story' doesn't fully acknowledge the useful basement. You could live the upstairs, downstairs life by putting one generation on each floor. Kids, clean up your own mess!
↑ You know it didn't look this good in 1934, maybe good for then, but the remodel has turned this 4,300 square foot two story into a marvelous example of how to use lots of windows, not just in the walls but in the ceilings, too. If you can make it work, go beyond skylights and head towards a greenhouse style for those winter days. The work results in a house with an asking price just under two million, $1,995,000. The landscaping is intricate and natural, and probably benefits from eighty years of trial and error, florally editing the 0.61 acres.
↑ On the same 0.64 acre property you can find a solarium (possibly totally passive heating) and a sauna (very active heating), a pond and 100 feet of Lake Washington waterfront, a three car garage and a dock with a boat lift. The house is 6,520 square feet, with a 2,030 square foot basement; so, it's no surprise that it has 6 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms. And, of course, it is all done to an impeccable style. That much house, property, and style adds up to an asking price of $3,950,000 when the house is on Mercer Island. Just to put that in perspective, the bus ride is only about one-millionth the cost of the house. See, the price for using public transit is hardly anything at all.
· Route 201 [Metro]
· All Bus Tours coverage [CS]
Written by Tom Trimbath