Posted by: Timothy Ellis (The Tim)

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

46 responses to “What a Million Bucks Buys: West Coast Edition”

  1. Scotsman

    Seattle is special. Bellevue- even more so. Blech.

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  2. softwarengineer

    The San Francisco Home Made Me Laugh

    From the view you showed, hades, I wouldn’t rent it for $1500/mo.

    And if its 2000 SF you got a bridge ya can sell SWE.

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  3. Ray Pepper

    Gig Harbor ALL DAY LONG!

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  4. Lake Hills Renter

    Oh those tiny lots. Except Snohomish and Pierce. I’ll take a smaller house on a larger lot any day of the week. I don’t want neighbors. But then I also don’t want a huge house.

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  5. robotslave

    No offense, Tim, but I don’t come to Seattle Bubble to read the New York Times Style section.

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  6. Jesse

    That W. Seattle house looks pretty sweet, I think. I mean from what I can pick out of the photos… They should bump up the contrast and saturation a little bit, don’t you think? I can barely count the flowers in the planters…

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  7. Matt the Engineer

    Your samples are pretty skewed:
    Snohomish: Average = 3,945 sf, Sample = 11,984 sf
    Pierce: Average = 3,819 sf, Sample = 6,304 sf
    San Diego: Average = 2,861 sf, Sample = 4,057 sf

    SF: Average = 2,010 sf, Sample = 1,312 sf

    It would have been much more useful to have samples close to the average, so we could see what an average home looks like. As you’ve presented these, the SF home is 1/9 the size of the Snohomish sample, even though the average million dollar home in SF is really just over half the size of a home in Snohomish.

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  8. Jeff Murdock

    Wait, Vancouver’s on the West Coast too. Here’s what you can get there:
    http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=11105691

    Unfortunately up in Canada your mortgage interest is not tax deductible, and you can’t lock in a mortgage rate for 30 years.

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  9. Matt the Engineer

    “I find it interesting that as far as lot sizes go, only San Francisco has smaller lots for a million bucks than Seattle.” That’s not terribly surprising. The only cities more urban than Seattle on your list were SF and LA, and LA has strange zoning laws.

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  10. Matt the Engineer

    RE: The Tim @ 10 – What was the criteria for the sample? It ended up skewing far in favor toward the suburbs. Was there a point you were trying to make?

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  11. Matt the Engineer

    RE: The Tim @ 13 – I’m just saying your home choices come across – from someone who lives in the suburbs – as “what a great deal the suburbs are!”. Whatever.

    Anyway, didn’t mean to be so negative. I actually like the post, but wish the samples were closer to the averages..

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  12. Vancouverite

    RE: Jeff Murdock @ 9

    These houses make me want to cry. What value compared with Vancouver!
    Why am I living in Canada, again?

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  13. 3rd Generation

    8. Matt the Engineer
    November 16, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink
    “It would have been much more useful to have samples close to the average, so we could see what an average home looks like. As you’ve presented these, the SF home is 1/9 the size of the Snohomish sample, even though the average million dollar home in SF is really just over half the size of a home in Snohomish.”

    You have to get in a proper frame of mind when browsing this blog. Remember, up is down, left is right, realtors only help clients, lawyers speak truths, etc. If you look at the topics and most of the posts as comedic relief from reality, you at least come away with the feling that your time wasn’t completely wasted. Once in a while, but not often anymore, there is a nugget takeaway, or good piece of information that could even maybe somehow be useful in the real world, thats what brings me back… Also some of the posters that are in business locally are good to know, some to avoid at all costs. Browse a few of the recent topics and posts, you’ll see.

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  14. Scotsman

    RE: Vancouverite @ 15

    “Why am I living in Canada, again?”

    So you won’t get shot by one of those free-range Americun cowboys with all their guns and violent attitudes? Plus, Canada has FREE health care!

    Did I miss anything? ;-)

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  15. Scotsman

    RE: 3rd Generation @ 16

    Hey, the link to your blog isn’t working. . .

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  16. Pegasus

    By Ray Pepper @ 4:

    Gig Harbor ALL DAY LONG!

    The Tides tavern makes it all worth while!

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  17. Pegasus

    By Vancouverite @ 15:

    RE: Jeff Murdock @ 9

    These houses make me want to cry. What value compared with Vancouver!
    Why am I living in Canada, again?

    What a difference a border can make. Everything in America is cheap, cheap, cheap! Until you cross the next border south of here…..

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  18. Peter Witting

    I’m familiar with the ghastly monstrosity in Snohomish County. Medieval castle on the outside, hunting lodge on the inside. Don’t you think that for a million bucks, they could have at least finished the drywall job in the dining room before putting this hideosity on the market?

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  19. Pegasus

    Here is one that was asking over one million in 2009 and is now asking $650,000:

    http://www.redfin.com/WA/Maple-Valley/21004-244th-Ave-SE-98038/home/375846

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  20. Michal

    By The Tim @ 1:

    Even sunny San Diego averages lots over twice as large as Seattle for the same price.

    Come on – you are showing an Escondido house as a San Diego house??? Let’s see – Escondido is 30 miles from San Diego, so that’s like Everett or Tacoma to Seattle.

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  21. Ray Pepper

    RE: Azucar @ 19

    lol..Gig Harbor is the Center of the Known World! We all know it here.. You gotta check out the New Costco. Imagine this…Its 330pm on a Saturday. You can walk in, grab a rotisserie chicken, some 3.99 water bottles (32 pack), grab a hot dog and coke and be outta the store in less then 10 minutes.

    Best Costco in the land!

    and Tides Tavern rocks as well. But, last time there I had the Clam Chowder Bowl and suffered for a couple days with bad cramps and horribly loose stools..

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  22. deejayoh

    By Michal @ 24:

    By The Tim @ 1:
    Even sunny San Diego averages lots over twice as large as Seattle for the same price.

    Come on – you are showing an Escondido house as a San Diego house??? Let’s see – Escondido is 30 miles from San Diego, so that’s like Everett or Tacoma to Seattle.

    Too true. Here’s a comparable home that’s actually IN San Diego

    http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Diego/1279-Bangor-St-92106/home/5735997

    little less glamorous…

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  23. Scotsman

    Re: Snohomish:

    ” on the Silly River. . . . in Eagle Ridge . . . worthy of it’s name Graystone Manor. This amazing property is partially finished ”

    Why do I think this was a Lotto winner’s dream? Where’s the beater Chevy up on blocks?

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  24. Peter Witting

    RE: Scotsman @ 28 – You’d think they would at least get the name of the river correct! However, the “Silly” River sounds a little more playful than the “Stilly”.

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  25. fred

    reading these comments is a good example of how it only takes an internet connection to be an expert.

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  26. David S

    RE: The Tim @ 27 – I LOVE the fact that the sky view map of the one on Michelangelo Ln shows the neighbor’s house wrapped up in the red and yellow termite death tent. Down there that sort of tenting and gassing could be called “preventative maintenance”. Dry wood termites are more common than rats in Seattle down there.

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  27. David Losh

    RE: The Tim @ 27

    Wait a minute, I just clicked on all of those redfin links. Is this a part of the paid redfin advertising campaign? Did you get paid to put up this post?

    Anyway you didn’t compare apples to apples here. The San Diego properties are out in the hills, while San Fransisco is West of the Mission District. Snohomish, and Seattle properties are not at all comparable.

    I hope this helps you out with the clicks.

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  28. David S

    RE: David Losh @ 32 – If you want hills in SD check out Mission Hills. You’ll find what you are looking for.

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  29. Dirty Renter

    RE: Scotsman @ 17
    They also get to put those red maple leaf’s on all their travel gear, so as not to be confused as Merikuns?

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  30. tomtom

    By David Lush @ 32:

    Anyway you didn’t compare apples to apples here. The San Diego properties are out in the hills, while San Fransisco is West of the Mission District. Snohomish, and Seattle properties are not at all comparable.

    San Diego and San Francisco homes aren’t the same as Seattle homes?

    We’ve found a rocket scientist here.

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  31. joe dirt

    The house in Bellevue (Lakemont) is not in the Bellevue school district, its in Issaquah otherwise it would be much more.

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  32. JoeBlow

    That Bellevue location is barely even in Bellevue. Anything east of 148th or N/S of 520/I-90 should not be considered Bellevue.

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  33. Scotsman

    RE: JoeBlow @ 37RE: joe dirt @ 36

    Yup- here’s what $1M gets you in traditional south Bellevue- a nice $450K home anywhere else:

    http://www.redfin.com/WA/Bellevue/10215-SE-16th-St-98004/home/253688

    Side note: that’s a couple thousand square feet of wood flooring- bonus points if it’s real, but it looks like Pergo Plastik’.

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  34. David Losh

    RE: tomtom @ 35

    You need to look at proximity to the urban center.

    But that’s not the point.

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  35. ARDELL

    RE: David Losh @ 39

    You need to “get over” Redfin links being “adverstising”. We all talk about property via “Redfin links”. Agents to clients, me to my children in L.A.

    Redfin Links are to Real Estate as Kleenex is to tissues. They are “the bomb”. :)

    My clients send me Redfin links, and vice versa, all the time. Your perception that that is “advertising Redfin” is erroneous. Any agent who isn’t viewing the Redfin link of the property before writing an offer…or viewing the property on Zillow before Listing a property, is negligent in this day and age in the Seattle Area.

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  36. David Losh

    RE: ARDELL @ 40

    And that’s also not the point.

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  37. Jonness

    By Ray Pepper @ 4:

    Gig Harbor ALL DAY LONG!

    Kind of makes you think twice about moving to San Francisco doesn’t it? I can’t even afford a food cart down there.

    BTW Tim, I think this topic was a great idea.

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  38. Jonness

    By Pegasus @ 20:

    By Ray Pepper @ 4:
    Gig Harbor ALL DAY LONG!

    The Tides tavern makes it all worth while!

    Most definitely. Just pull your boat up to the dock on a warm summer day, and a good looking gal will come aboard and serve you dinner.

    OTOH, when you pull up to the waterfront restaurants in downtown Seattle, they tell you to get your boat the heck off the dock. Are you kidding me? Ivar’s wont even let you dock while you eat. That place has really went downhill. Way back when, they even put signs underwater to direct the submarine traffic in for a meal.

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  39. Jonness

    By Scotsman @ 18:

    RE: 3rd Generation @ 16

    Hey, the link to your blog isn’t working. . .

    Maybe you need to pay to read it?

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  40. John Bailo

    Suppose you could get a zero interest loan.

    A 30 year “mortgage” for a one million dollar home would then result in payments of $2777.

    Or about the monthly rent on a New York City one bedroom apartment!

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  41. ARDELL

    I think you are totally skewing it to make Seattle look pricier than it is. Here’s a little two bedroom shack of a house from where I used to work in CA…and still hang out…heading there for Thanksgiving.

    $985,250 buys you this beauty 2 miles from the beach (not close at all) and backing up to a main arterial with businesses on it. 2 doors away is a lot full of cars. You picked some serious beauties up there…to represent “West Coast” and in particular CA. We all know there are many places in CA where a million dollars doesn’t get you a 30′ X 45″ piece of dirt.

    Use THIS for a comparison and Seattle doesn’t look as bad and overpriced as you make it out to be in this post. I could find a million more million dollar homes like this one in CA.

    http://www.redfin.com/CA/Manhattan-Beach/1308-Oak-Ave-90266/home/6706209

    Here’s another one on the other side of town. Also nowhere near “the beach”. One bathroom and the lot is less than 5,000 sf for almost a million dollars.

    http://www.redfin.com/CA/Manhattan-Beach/3528-N-Poinsettia-Ave-90266/home/6707905

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