Thursday, January 24, 2008

Seattle bubblicious fence

Finally, it has happened.  The bubble has popped in Seattle.  Wash DC had its celebrated Bubblicious Bench, now I give you the Bubblicious Fence.  Behold: 
I count 7 lockboxes on the fence, and it's not even Spring Selling Season yet!
I know this building.  I lived here.  It's in Lower Queen Anne, a fashionable area just north of downtown.  I moved to this building in 2000, coming from Chicago to work at a dotcom called Onvia on Lake Union.  
I rented a tiny 407 sq ft studio unit for $1000/mo, with a nice view of downtown, Mt Rainier, the Space Needle, and the Olympic mountains.  It was all the space I needed, and I was seldom home, always out hiking or climbing in the mountains, or at work.  
A couple of years ago, the Athena went condo, and some fool bought my tiny studio for $215K, or $528/sq ft!

I'll keep tabs on this situation throughout the spring.  Seattle, you have finally arrived!  Welcome to Deflation Land!  Congratulations, Athena!

Surely, you must be joking

MLS 27202179, Whitman and 105th in N. Greenwood, Seattle.  Yes, tenement-town!  Better hope no one falls asleep smoking on a hot, dry, windy summer night in this 'hood, or the whole place will go up like a 19th century American city.  A million board feet of pressed sawdust and glue lives up here.
Here's what you get for a mere $529,950:

Don't you just love the columns in the front?  Did some Boy Scout or high school shop student tack those together?  1818 sq ft, or a mere $291/sq ft! But you get a piece of dirt in Seattle, Washington, the greatest, smartest, coolest city on the planet.  It's cheap!  We're the next San Francisco.  Sell it in two years for double.

Granite counters and murder-holes!

I played a lot of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons as a kid, where I learned about a "murder-hole", basically a slit in a castle wall where some rogue can stick a crossbow or spear and give you a nasty surprise.
Why do cardboard townhomes in Whittier Heights, Seattle, now come with murder-holes?  Wouldn't a nice picture window make for a nicer home?

My theory is that the builder wisely thought of the coming deflation, and added this feature in an attempt to defend the property from looting mobs.  Does it come with a crossbow?
Two of the eight units have sold!  The remaining few are $375K and $380K.  The street facing units must be worth that extra $5K.  By the way, bagholders, in this neighborhood, that nice wood fence will be a magnet for graffiti.  Get ready.

Ruh-roh, Seattle!

Looks like the Seattle cardboard townhome sector is slowing down!  Here's a tenement block on 85th Street in Greenwood, FOR LEASE:

LOL, too funny.  Welcome to Deflation Land, Mr. Builder-Bagholder!

Staging in N. Greenwood

I giggled the first time some Californian referred to "Fontucky" in a Bubble Blog, in reference to Fontana, CA.  Every city has a Fontucky, Seattle's is North Greenwood.  A lot of the houses up here are little more than shacks, there are few if any sidewalks, and cars and garbage are common.  It's not a rough neighborhood, just shabby and scummy.  
It's also the hotbed of all kinds of flipper speculation, crappy townhouse construction, and the general silly gold rush that is the Housing Bubble.  Here is how Greenwood residents stage their houses, er, homes:

One of my favorites

Here is a debt-trap on busy 105th Street in N Greenwood that has been on the market for many months.  I love this one.  In the flyer, we learn that it is a "craftsman", when to me it just looks like they stapled a couple of cross-beams on the eves.

The kicker is the mess they have made of the yard, probably justifies a lawsuit against HGTV.  They put in a slab patio with these horrid giant ceramic tubs, with oversized bamboo poles sticking out the top.  What's funny has been watching this disaster sit on the market, and the bamboo poles weather and age!  

I walk by it on my way to donate blood every few weeks.  If you're in good health, you should donate blood, too.

Townhouse buyers are so smart!

Here are a couple sawdust disasters going up in Crown Hill:
These are the tenements of tomorrow.

Cement slab, check.  Cheapest possible materials, check.  $375K price tag, check.  Now where are the dumb buyers?

Three Hundred and Sixty Thousand Dollars

... buys you this rat trap in Crown Hill, Seattle:

860 sq ft!  That's a mere $428/sq ft. ... to live on a crummy street behind Dick's Drive In off Holman Road.  Built 1943.  20% down is $72K, leaving a $288K balance.  To live here.  In 860 sq ft.  Behind Dick's.