Let’s follow up yesterday’s heavy downer of a post with some lighter fare. I think it’s time for another link roundup.
So you say they’re not making any more land, huh? Well, maybe not, but that doesn’t mean we’re running out of places to build houses. No, I’m not talking about condos. I’m referring to something a little more green…
A few years back, when Lolly Shera’s son was 9, he peppered their yard with four treehouses he banged together from scrap lumber, like a modern-day Huck Finn.
His mom can still glimpse some of them — from the window of her own treehouse, a professionally built getaway she uses as an art studio.
Unlike the kiddie versions, Shera’s Fall City treehouse has power, insulation, plug-in heat, alder paneling, stairs and a deck. Its expansive windows mimic the fire lookouts she stays in when she’s hiking and climbing in the backcountry.
Check out some of the pictures. Those things really are amazing.
On less of a fun note, much like the rest of the area, over in West Seattle rental prices are on the rise:
Rental rates have increased in West Seattle by 7 percent to 10 percent in the last year, but the demand for rentals is stronger than ever.
“For landlords, this is the best rental market I’ve seen,” said Mike Gain, of Cayce and Gain Real Estate Management. “We don’t have any vacancies that just sit.”
…rental rates have climbed “back to reasonable rates,” said Gain.
So if you read a little bit into that last line there, you’ll catch the implication that rental rates for the last few years have been artificially low, and their recent increases are simply a return to the mean. That sounds fairly reasonable actually, and makes the media’s scare-mongering over rent increases even more amusing.
Over in Ballard, some developer is apparently unaware of just how late to the party they would be if they began yet another condo conversion in a year or two.
Officially, Lock Vista residents don’t even know for sure they’ll be ousted. But a city inspector canvassed the buildings earlier this month offering “condo conversion” as an explanation, residents said, and that was enough to set off a chain reaction that’s led to an outpouring from community members — including a number of other Seattle residents who say they also lost their apartment homes to condos recently.
Seattle condo-development company the Northlake Group is interested in buying the apartments. But Lock Vista residents don’t even know exactly who’s selling the complex; they’ve never met their landlord. John Fox, a representative of the Seattle Displacement Coalition, said the apartments belong to a Bellevue-based businessman.
Good luck with that.
And lastly, let’s end on an amusing note with a press release from King County titled: Wise real estate investment could fund numerous county service improvements.
A wise real estate investment eight years ago has put King County in position to possibly consolidate more services downtown in a new King County Administration Building at no new cost to taxpayers. The economics of replacing the deteriorating, 37 year old administration building would be strengthened with the possible sale of the eight-story King Street Center in Pioneer Square.
Unsolicited private sector inquiries into possible purchase of King Street Center illustrate the high demand for quality office space in Pioneer Square. Analysts think the county could possibly sell the property for more than double its original $65 million cost. If the county gets the price it wants, it would move two of the county’s largest departments from King Street to a planned new Administration Building at Fourth and James. The consolidation would create new efficiencies and give citizens easier access to services.
“Our smart investment in King Street Center could return tremendous new value to citizens in both dollars and services,” said King County Executive Ron Sims.
Yeah, it was a “smart investment” to buy property in 1999, just before the biggest real estate bubble the nation has ever seen. Not “lucky,” but “smart.” Because, you know, they saw the bubble coming.