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.

18 responses to “The Future of Seattle… According to 1962”

  1. toad37

    Fun post, thanks. Had to chuckle at the Lake Hills part..

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  2. Marc

    “I don’t recall my real estate agent pointing out two pools in a home even once while I was home-shopping. I got ripped off.”

    Guilty. As I recall, we only saw two houses with “pools.” The very first one with that weird open-well death trap and then a sweet REO with a basement completely full of water.

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  3. Kary L. Krismer

    The fact that other cities didn’t develop monorails didn’t keep the voters of Seattle from deciding to spend (waste) money on an expanded system.

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  4. Kary L. Krismer

    A house with two pools would be valued at $50,000 less.

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  5. Dweezil

    RE: The Tim @ 4
    From the looks of that dangling extension cord, it must be a heated pool! Fancy!

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  6. Marc

    RE: The Tim @ 4 – Can’t believe you passed on that Gem! Just look at that sturdy, pre-war construction. A house built today wouldn’t last a month with 10,000 gallons of water in the basement.

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  7. Kary L. Krismer

    By Dweezil @ 6:

    RE: The Tim @ 4
    From the looks of that dangling extension cord, it must be a heated pool! Fancy!

    My guess would be it’s a cord to the non-functioning sump pump.

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  8. ChrisM

    Over the weekend I heard an amusing tale of a bank-owned property in Hillsboro, Oregon. The agent toured it, then toured again about a month later. During that time, the basement got refinished, but w/ no explanation. After speaking w/ the neighbor, turns out the house basically serves as a creek during heavy rainfall, and the creek is supposed to flow through the *unfinished* basement of the house.

    Agent contacts the bank, who blows him off. No disclosures, as is, end of story.

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  9. ray pepper

    looks like a large dead fish….orange one..maybe its alive still? ..sting ray type…fishing in your own basement could be a GREAT marketing tool!

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  10. ChefJoe

    “Fair officials are predicting the Monorail will be the exposition’s “main gate,” carrying perhaps 40 per cent of the paying customers.”

    I’m curious if the monorail actually came close to bringing that many people through the gates of the expo or if this really is the first documented occurrence of transit planners vastly over inflating the significance of Seattle monorail infrastructure.

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  11. Feedback

    Wow! I can’t believe that Realtors were this stupid 50 years ago. If only we had a Tim back then to tell us the truth!

    Thank you, Tim, for this article. I learned a lot from it, such as that the Key Arena was formerly called the “Coliseum.” (What a grandiose name!)

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  12. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: ChefJoe @ 11 – I doubt 40% came in through the Monorail, but I bet a larger percentage rode the Monorail. It was probably grossly undersized, and that was likely what limited the number of riders. It was an attraction, like the Space Needle and the Bubbleator.

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  13. Kary L. Krismer

    By Feedback @ 12:

    Thank you, Tim, for this article. I learned a lot from it, such as that the Key Arena was formerly called the “Coliseum.” (What a grandiose name!)

    It was then remodeled for the Sonics in about 1994, and obsolete less than 10 years later. Which makes me very surprised that there are any private investors willing to build the NBA a new stadium.

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  14. softwarengineer

    Ahhhhh….the days of My Father’s Generation

    When America was inventing things right and left:

    Plasma TVs
    Internet
    LCDs
    Miicrocircuits
    Space Shuttle
    Ultra Sound

    etc, etc….

    Now, the best we can do in radical new inventiveness the last 4 decades is reverse engineer those old 50 yr old American inventions for foreign manufature/outsourcing and miniaturization [which breaks easier too BTW]…

    Where’s my 1962 Flying Car they promised by the year 2000? I’d love to see obsolete internal combustion engines replaced with viable flying alcohol powered jet engines with GPS computer control 4-5 passenger affordable vehicles [they fly themselves without a pilot]. The 1962 Fair promised an American 3 day work week by now, with the same pay too, that was eliminated with cheap labor insourcing/outsourcing too.

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  15. Kary L. Krismer

    By softwarengineer @ 15:

    The 1962 Fair promised an American 3 day work week by now, with the same pay too, . . ..

    No, they got that one right. With a part time job you now make much more than back in 1962. Just don’t factor in inflation! ;-)

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  16. Tom

    Housing prices inflate with incomes, not with consumer goods. GDP per capita can serve as a rough proxy for income, at least until 1990. After that point, GDP per capita grew 30%.

    Inflating $45,000 using GDP per capita rather than CPI yields about $700,000 today. Divide by 1.3 to adjust for the stagnation of household incomes after 1990, and you get about $540,000.

    You certainly can’t buy the nicest house in Lake Hills for $540,000. But you can buy a pretty nice house in Lake Hills for $700,000.

    (Recall that the rule of thumb for mortgages is 3x annual income. It’s not 100x the cost of a television, or 25x the price of a car, or any other bundle of consumer goods. Over the long-term, people buy as much house as they can afford, and prices follow.)

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  17. John Bailo

    Looking at that picture of downtown with it’s “vertical sprawl” and highway (or “parkway” as they might have called it back then) with 10 cars on it…one has to ask…what were they thinking?!

    Was anyone supposed to be inside those towers?

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