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.
Skip pesky I-5 and take a ride down 15th and Eastlake from Jackson Park to Downtown. It may not be the quickest, but Route 73 manages to through enough of Seattle's neighborhoods that it can be a mini-tour of Maple Leaf, Cowen Park, Ravenna Park, Roosevelt, and the U District. Always something different to see.
↑ If your house is a period piece, you might as work from those strengths like hardwood floors and solid doors. The sellers will probably take the chairs, but they set an example with vinyl and chrome that goes with the all-white kitchen - good for those who like diners. The house is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath rambler that has 1,560 square feet; so, don't expect large rooms. Of course, smaller houses carry smaller prices and at $445,000, this 1949 piece is near the median putting about half the houses above it and half below it - in terms of price, at least.
↑ Seattle had growth spurts before, and a bunch of those World War II era houses are for sale. This one was built in 1941, near the start (depending on your point of view). They're asking $499,000, which would've bought a lot back then; for a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1,660 square foot one story that was probably typical for its time. The house has enough remaining features to remember the era, like the brick fireplaces; an updated kitchen, because quaint gets old with old appliances; and a layout that hasn't dramatically changed things like bathrooms. They've made it more vibrant with bold paint, which shows how a little improvement can have a big effect.
↑ It hasn't been on the market in 45 years, so maybe you could be the third owner of this 1947 3 bedroom, 2 bath that comes with a lower level including a garage and possible apartment. Take a tour to find out if that bookshelf is filled with encyclopedias, that low-tech version of wikipedia that is inevitably a snapshot of a period's perspective. The house was built before Northgate, which managed to fit in within walking distance. Accidentally, the house ends up with a very walkable Walk Score of 85. Is its 1,260 square feet and the 5,000 square foot lot worth $425,000? That's up to you, or an eventual buyer.
↑ Change the floors to tile and install a pair of French doors and the change the character of a 1939 house. It has 2 bedrooms and 1 bath that fit in 1,260 square feet, which provides the opportunity for roomy rooms. The lot is 7,440 square feet; so there's plenty of room outside, too for landscaping, patios, and our inevitable moss. The asking price is $379,000 for a house that has long sightlines, exposed beams, and just enough upgrades to remove many of the hints of its history.
↑ At 780 square feet, the smallest house in the list may just have the largest lot, 8,109 square feet. It is a 1947 bungalow with 2 bedrooms and 1 bath and a list price of $330,000. For almost seventy years it has been lived in, maintained, and the lawn mowed. That's an impressive accomplishment considering Seattle's quakes, storms, and economic swings. Now, it is tidy and unpretentious with features like linoleum, a standard bathroom, and subtle elements like archways that fit between being too showy or dreary - you know, comfortable for the right person.
· Route 73 [Metro]
· All Bus Tours coverage [CS]
Written by Tom Trimbath