Viv and I spent the day tear-assing around West Seattle looking at rentals. Our apartment building is for sale, and we’re already actively looking for a house to buy, so we’ve decided to move as soon as possible into a rental house. We have not had a lease here for nine years, so as soon as any sale goes through, we’re, ah, well, I’m sure you can fill in the vulgarity.
It will suck to leave this place, though. While I am sick to death of apartment dwelling, and eagerly anticipate dwelling in a place in which sunlight actually reaches the interior, I dearly love this building, and all the buildings that Fred Anhalt erected hereabouts some eighty years ago. It’s just not realistic to expect to find a place this size in another Anhalt, and while we certainly will take a look at what’s available in Anhalts, four years ago they were running a solid 20% premium over other 1920s condos. I can’t imagine that that’s changed much, as there is a solidly finite supply of Anhalt units in Seattle, and an apparently infinite demand for real estate.
Last week we looked at at least three houses that were absolutely appalling, each well under 1000 square feet in interior space, nearly collapsing, and stinky like old socks, cat feces, or other repugnant material. Each one of these houses was priced at a clearly insane $250,000.
This morning in bed, I awakened and cranked out a Filemaker database to track listings. I combed the Sunday paper and the online listings for houses that met our minimum spec, and populated the database with the listings that might fit. As I showered, Viv called and gave the listers a quick rundown designed to narrow the choices. By the time we were ready to leave, we had about twenty houses to check out.
We started in West Seattle. I self-consciously used my cell phone’s newly-hacked capability to act as a bluetooth modem for my laptop to spot each location in Google maps, and felt quite absurd on several locations as I called the rental agent from the lawn in front of the property’s sign. We saw a predictable mix, from terrible – even tragic – to spectacular and underpriced. While we did not get to second base with any of the renters, we identified two possibilities.
Man, it’s gonna be a busy month.