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Five Properties Worth Buying Along Metro Bus Route 342

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.

Okay, so maybe you worked at Boeing in Everett so you moved north, and then they moved you to Boeing in Renton. It happens. Or, anyone living and working along an arc from North Seattle to the south end of the Eastside can find Route 342 useful. Shoreline, to Aurora Village, to Kenmore, to Bothell, to Totem Lake, to Bellevue, and eventually Renton - there's a lot to pick from.

↑ Repeat it to yourself, look past the clutter, look past the clutter. Maybe that's why the listing starts off with the suggestion that you look out at the view instead. Lake Ballinger is one edge of the 0.44 acre property, a bit of nature with an Edmonds address. That can be valuable, but most people will want to live indoors. Inside, there are 2 bedrooms and 2 baths and 2,050 square feet. For a 1956 house, a Baby Boom house, it's surprising there aren't more bedrooms. They're asking $505,000, but you may want to drop by for a tour to see what's really there, like maybe a view of the house behind those bushes.

↑ Come on, say flip. You know you can. It's a simple word describing lots of houses bought during the downturn and being resold during the rise. Maybe this is one, maybe not; but, the house sold in May for $275,000 and now has an asking price of $484,950. It certainly looks more modern than its 1960 build date. The house is a split entry with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and 1,911 square feet - and a lot of modern touches. The kitchen looks new, and the bathroom looks very modern. Do it right, and age really doesn't matter. Take advantage of that split and let someone live downstairs where there's a second kitchen. If the bus isn't your preference, grab your bicycle and take the Interurban, which is in the neighborhood.

↑ They suggest a little TLC, but what house doesn't need that? This tri-level in Richmond Heights, however, is closer to a blank canvas - which could benefit from some elbow grease and some upgrades. Nothing looks too out of place in this 4 bedroom, 2.25 bath, 2,150 square foot 1970 house, but there's a smoke smudge over the fireplace (proof that it has been used) and there's some strange marks on the bathroom floor. They're asking $405,000. Maybe a bit of work will raise the value enough to make it worth your time. Paintings are worth much more than their canvas.

↑ A few months after it sold in March for $237,500, this 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1,330 square foot Echo Lake home is listed at $379,950. Yet another flip? That's one way to bring this 1958 one story up to more modern standards. One thing that hasn't changed is the nearness of Lake Ballinger. One thing that has changed is I-5. It was there when the house was built. (Check the Story of I-5.) Now, the house has great access to the highway, if you want that sort of thing. But, hey, maybe that's why the bus goes by.

↑ Either scaling back or just beginning to build up, there are good reasons to have a tiny condo: no lawn, less to clean, smaller mortgage. There's an Echo Lake condo with an asking price of $110,000 (go ahead, offer $111,111), which gets you a top floor (does that make it a penthouse?). It has 1 bedroom, 1 bath, and 535 square feet so some minimalism is suggested, or renting a storage unit. It still has granite and cherry decor, nice touches appreciated that much more in a tiny space.
· Route 342 [Metro]
· The Story of I-5 [CS]
· All Bus Tours coverage [CS]
Written by Tom Trimbath