Residential Space A creative outlet during residency, turned ongoing virtual soap box

Seattle Housing Market Likely Strong  0

Posted on February 20th, 2006. About Home, Money.

For months now, as the pessimistic “experts” have predicted that the general housing market is nothing more than a bubble that is about to burst, I have insisted that the Seattle housing market is more immune to this gloom-and-doom forecast. My argument goes something like this:

  • The median income for the city is very respectable, and from what I am observing, those who are relocating here are educated, employable people.
  • There are a vast number of companies headquartered here that are going strong – the best known are Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon.com, Starbucks, and Real; biotech continues to grow as well in the South Lake Union area. In short – there are jobs (well-paying, stable jobs).
  • It may be a shock to people from the Carolinas (as it was to us) to learn how much housing costs here (I challenge anyone to find a nice three bedroom, two bathroom 1800 square foot house for less than $325,000+ in Seattle or in any town within ten miles). However, folks from California are flooding into the city because the housing, relatively, is so affordable. Real estate is not nearly as expensive as it is in San Francisco or Los Angeles. Yet, Seattle is just as nifty of a city (I would argue, even niftier) than these two locations. A well-kept secret.
  • Therefore, with employed, educated individuals quickly relocating to this area and wanting to invest in property, I’m doubting that there is a bubble here, ready to burst.

Anyway, an article in The Seattle Times peaked my interest (thanks to Evan for showing it to me). Lawrence Yun, the senior economist for the National Association of Realtors, studies home trends across the nation regularly (he is located in Washington, D.C.). According to this article, he “predicts that the Seattle area will lead the nation’s major metro areas this year in home-price growth, even as prices moderate in some cities and perhaps fall in others.”

I have included a table from the article, demonstrating that the median home price in Seattle has increased by 56% from 2000 to 2005, as compared to San Francisco’s 60% (from a much higher starting point) and Los Angeles’ 124% (also from a much higher starting point). The other part of the table outlines job growth, which shows that the U.S. average is currently at 1.5%, San Francisco is at 1.6%, and L.A. is at 1.2%. I am pleased to see Seattle’s employment growth rate at 3.3%, more than double the U.S. average.

seattlerealestate.gif

I would love to see this on the one hand – my condo would appreciate, and I could finally pat myself on the back for making a smart investment decision. However, should I remain in Seattle following my neurology residency, it doesn’t help my situation if I want to move to a larger place. If my condo is worth $500,000 by then, it will just cost me $1,000,000 for a house. I suppose it only makes a difference if one sells and moves to a less expensive area. But then – interesting cities are expensive for a reason. People want to live in them, and they are willing to pay for such exciting and amazing lives.

The Condo is Painted!  0

Posted on October 10th, 2005. About Home.
My mother and I spent the weekend painting my living room and hallway, and what a difference a bit of color makes! We did not drip on the carpet, and the ceiling was not harmed in the process. If you glance at the photos, the “before” shots demonstrate white walls (or, rather, “bone”) and there is no furniture, so it is a bit difficult to compare. But wow – look how different everything appears with color! I just love it.
The excellent artwork was given to the Evan and Jodi Dodds Collection by the artist himself, Dr. Curt Grob. You may check out his online gallery by clicking here.

Big step towards maturity…  0

Posted on October 7th, 2005. About Home.
I have never painted walls. Ever. Up until this point, I:
  • Never had the desire to do so while living with my mother as a child/adolescent.
  • Lived in the college dormitories and was not allowed to paint the walls.
  • Rented during medical school and, again, was not allowed to paint the walls.

Evan and I bought a condo in May, and after months of tormenting myself with questions such as – “What if I screw it up?” or “What if I drip on the new carpet?” or “What if I hate the color?” I have finally worked up the courage to try it. I have lived with white walls for too long (or, as my friend, Beth, has informed me, the current color is actually “bone,” even worse than “white”). My mother is in town from South Carolina and has graciously agreed to assist me, having painted numerous times and with a knack for decorating.

So here goes – hopefully my walls will still love me, and when Evan arrives home this evening, his home will not look the same. Hopefully I will not be convincing him that paint drips on carpet are all the rage and that it was supposed to turn out that way. Heh.

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