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.

35 responses to “Poll: You get to live rent-free in a downtown condo penthouse for a year. Which US city do you choose?”

  1. Blurtman

    It’d have to be Chicago. I’d use the penthouse for porn videos starring Paula Deen.

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  2. Eleua

    Pysht

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  3. One Eyed Man

    RE: Eleua @ 2

    And I thought Emmett Watson was dead. Is the penthouse on the second floor of one of the remaining houses? Or inside an old cedar stump, cause I got dibs on the stump.

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  4. BitFiddler

    Is Chicago a gag option?

    New York City, of course. The prices are astronomical despite high supply because demand is out of this world, and demand is outrageous for good reason. Even as a happy Seattleite I have no trouble admitting NYC is the best city in the world.

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  5. Aria

    Las Vegas

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  6. Macro Investor

    I guess Tim is limiting it to the US because that is where he believes condos will soon be worth a big rent-free zero. I’ll go with Helsinki or Stockholm.

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  7. Ira Sacharoff

    Bismark, North Dakota. Do they have a downtown? Condos? Penthouses? Or is the closest thing a room in the back of the Grange?

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  8. Huck

    Chose “Other…”. I wouldn’t be caught dead anywhere on the east coast, but I would probably prefer Portland’s downtown to Seattle or even have some fun in New Orleans.

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  9. Erik

    I wouldn’t go to the East Coast either. I would rather go to NY than Everett though, but I thought we weren’t suppose to comment on areas to live anymore as it was upsetting people. Silver lake area in Everett is alright, but North Everett is much poorer.

    I think the areas differ so much within cities, we need to be more specific. In Seattle, Ballard is way nicer than White Center. In NY, Manhattan is much nicer than Queens. I would rather live in Manhattan than White Center. I would rather live in Ballard than Queens.

    When I was a kid I lived a little outside Chicago towards Gary Indiana, so it left a bad taste in my mouth. Bars on most houses windows at the time and lots of murders in the 80s. Lots of racial tension when I lived there, which wasn’t fun.

    I chose San Fransisco because it’s all pretty nice. For some people it may be too sterile. Those people that like dirty cities should move to Chicago. If you like dirty cities, Chicago would be your first choice.

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  10. mmmarvel

    Why not a ‘none of the above’ choice? Given choices, I’d stay as far away from ANY urban downtown as I could get. Give me a couple hundred acres with a good size pond and a 2000 – 3000 square foot home; now I’m a happy camper. Stick me in a condo in the city, yuck (to me).

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  11. David B.

    NYC, though I’d rather the stay be more like 6 months. I say so because I’ve often said I’d love to get a temp job assignment in NYC for 6 months or so. I’ll be thoroughly sick of the big city by the time a year goes around, but on the way to getting to that stage I’ll have a lot of fun exploring the city and all it has to offer.

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  12. David B.

    RE: Erik @ 9

    “I would rather go to NY than Everett though…”

    Troll much?

    “I chose San Fransisco because it’s all pretty nice. For some people it may be too sterile. Those people that like dirty cities should move to Chicago. If you like dirty cities, Chicago would be your first choice.”

    Get back to us when you’ve actually *visited* both SF and Chicago.

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  13. AndySeattle

    San Diego

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  14. Erik

    RE: David B. @ 12
    I use to live in Chicago when I was younger and I have visited San Fransisco a couple times. Do you think I’d comment if I’ve never been? That would make no sense.

    I thought it was interesting that Tim wanted people’s opinions on areas after I thought we agreed to no longer comment on where people live. I lived in Everett for 6 years and it was terrible. I voiced that on here and got beat down. I was surprised to see Tim later asking for people’s opinions on areas to live.

    I can see from your comments that you don’t like me David B., but I don’t lie. I have been honest and open on here. I don’t yield to people’s feelings on here, so the emotional people turn their anger towards me. I am brutally honest on here. People less callassed turn this into a drama feelings fest. That is what you are doing. Please comment on the cities and stop trying to crank up the drama.

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  15. softwarengineer

    LOL, the Penthouse is Free

    The parking [if available] is $2000/mo?

    Are the $1000-1500/mo condo fees free too?

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  16. David B.

    RE: Erik @ 14 – Do you think I’d comment if I’ve never been?

    I think you would do anything to troll here. As such, this will be my last response to a posting of yours.

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  17. David B.

    RE: softwarengineer @ 15 – As to the parking, I’d just put my vehicle into storage and rely on NYC’s excellent public transit while living in that penthouse. As for the HOA dues, Tim mentioned “rent free”, which implies it’s a rental, so such dues would be rolled into the (free) rent.

    If your housing costs are zero and you don’t take a car there, NYC isn’t a particularly expensive place to live.

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  18. Erik

    RE: David B. @ 16
    To me the word “troll” is people that don’t go along with the status quo and are willing to argue about it. I guess I’m a troll then. If you aren’t already a member of wreckingbull and the goon squad, you should join. They just pat one another on the back and stroke eachother. They have pack mentality and never see things differently. Anyone that sees things differently they beat down. You are probably a member of the good squad.

    Anyone I see as smart on here gets massive thumbs down for exposing reality. Monitor this. It’s like they hit the nail on the head and it opens other peoples scars and they get a beating.

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  19. Ira Sacharoff

    By Erik @ 18:

    RE: David B. @ 16
    To me the word “troll” is people that don’t go along with the status quo and are willing to argue about it. I guess I’m a troll then. If you aren’t already a member of wreckingbull and the goon squad, you should join. They just pat one another on the back and stroke eachother. They have pack mentality and never see things differently. Anyone that sees things differently they beat down. You are probably a member of the good squad.

    Anyone I see as smart on here gets massive thumbs down for exposing reality. Monitor this. It’s like they hit the nail on the head and it opens other peoples scars and they get a beating.

    I usually get thumbs ups. Does that make me a moron, since people getting thumbs downs are geniuses? I give thumbs downs when I see personal insults or name calling, but maybe that’s just me.
    San Francisco is a big city. If you’ve been through Hunter’s Point or the Tenderloin districts you probably wouldn’t say ” It’s too sterile.”. You’d more likely say ” Get me out of here.”

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  20. wreckingbull

    I second San Diego. That place simply kicks ass. I was tempted to move last fall after I attended a conference down there. I rented a 16′ sailboat and sailed Mission bay; that hot wind was intoxicating. Then I looked at home prices. If The Tim is picking up the tab, that is where i am heading.

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  21. ARDELL

    RE: Erik @ 18

    If you can’t automatically see the difference between “I’d rather live in NYC than Downtown Chicago” and I’d rather be where I am in Kirkland than where Tim is in Everett, it will be hard to help you with this.

    Clearly it’s time for you to hit a reset button and change your thinking a tad. You are at a party, and this is Tim’s party. The other people posting comments are his guests, as are you. You may have a different reason to be at the party than the host has for giving the party, but it would be rude for you to walk into his party and piss on his carpet just the same. To piss on the carpet AND slam the host both, well…yes, bordering on troll-like activity.

    The primary purpose of the party is to abhor rapidly rising home prices, especially when the price rise is not based on sound fundamentals. So cheering for home prices to rise so you can exact your pound of flesh from some member of the home buying public, well…that’s kind of like wearing a clown suit to a Star Trek themed costume party.

    I’m sure you understand I am not lecturing you, just trying to be helpful as you seem genuinely confused by the rash of thumbs down lately. Before you point fingers at other “guests” who are more troll-like than you, that is like telling the cop who is writing you a speeding ticket that there were other people on the road going even faster than you.

    The difference between you and a troll is that you have a sincere interest to learn more about real estate. You are getting a bit off track in that regard by jumping from wanting to make a wise purchase decision in your next go round as a buyer, and being a cheerleader for rapidly rising prices to support the means by which you will acquire the funds to complete that next purchase.

    If you pay closer attention you will see that when doing the former vs the latter, you get less thumbs down. But once you become known as that guy who wants a buyer to overpay for his condo, it will be hard to reverse the opinion of the crowd.

    It is not a goon squad. It is common for a troll to “be immune to other people’s hurt feelings”. You are insulting the domicile choice of this party’s host. It is reasonable for the other guests at his party to take offense to that.

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  22. Blurtman

    RE: Erik @ 18 – Goon Squad BASH!

    http://goonsquadskateboarding.blogspot.com/

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  23. Erik

    RE: ARDELL @ 21
    I got side tracked… Back to discussing real estate for me. I felt the topic asked my opinion of where I want to live, so I gave it.

    This last weekend I drove around Seattle to look and see what I areas liked the best. I like Ballard a lot and I’d love to live there next. I don’t see any remodels in my price range though. I was hoping to see something in disrepair that I could buy and save some money by repairing as I did in Kirkland. I didn’t see anything in bad shape online. Everything in that area looks polished, so there isn’t too much opportunity to buy low and sell high. How do I find fixers in that area? Are there fixer uppers in that area?

    RE: wreckingbull @ 20
    Whoa, we agree on something. I think San Diego is awesome too, but it is too pricey for me. Plus I’m not sure where I’d work. I could work at Tesla, but I think that is closer to the bay area which is even more expensive.

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  24. Erik

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 19
    I was mostly referring to Corndogs. He is hated on SeattleBubble, but at the end of the day, I’d say he has been pretty dead on. I found the place he bought. What an awesome buy. Perfect timing and a great deal. I guess i’m saying is that some villains on here are really good with real estate. Some of the heros on here don’t seem that good. It’s a mixed bag. Not saying you aren’t good because I don’t really know for sure since I haven’t seen your buys or investments.

    When someone insults me, I laugh and chalk it up as them being fun or playful. Hurl the insults my way! They will probably just make me laugh if they are well thought out.

    I don’t know that much about San Fransisco, but i’ll take your word for it there are bad areas. When I was there it all seemed kinda nice. Thanks for the information.

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  25. Blurtman

    RE: Erik @ 23 – There is only one place to live in San Diego, and that is the North County. Encinitas, west of 5, would be a good choice. No penthouses, though, just million dollar plus “bungalows.” Definitely bubble prices there, fo sho. Buy an old beater pick up, get a quiver of boards, and surf.

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  26. David B.

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 19 – Heck, even Market Street around the Civic Center / Powell St areas is pretty rummy (“sterile” is just about the last adjective I’d think of to characterize that area). And that’s in one of the areas frequented by tourists!

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  27. One Eyed Man

    RE: wreckingbull @ 20

    My wife and I used to drive down to Mission Bay and rent 16′ sailboats when we lived in the OC back in the mid 1980′s. It was the endless summer. It was the Garden of Eden. It was truly seductive. Welcome to the Hotel California . . . You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave . . .

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  28. No Name Guy

    Ok now….back on topic.

    Other.

    I’d sublet out the silly free penthouse and pocket the money. I guess this makes it NYC, since I could hose some Goldman banker.

    I picked other since I wouldn’t actually want to live there (NYC, or Chicago, or ‘Frisco) for a year, free or not.

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  29. Blurtman

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 27 – I was there at the same time, took lessons at the rental center, started off on the dinghy (forget the name), then Lasers and Omegas. Got more into Hobie’s, but ultimately settled on windsurfing. 1980 in San Diego was a truly magical time.

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  30. ARDELL

    RE: Erik @ 23

    18 homes sold for $350k or less in Ballard in the last 60 days. Only 5 of those were $300,000 or less. 3 of the 5 that sold for $350k or less were short sales. None of those 5 were bank owned. Of the 13 that sold between $301,000 and $350,000 only 1 was a bank owned and 1 was a short sale, so best to set your parameters at $350,000 or less without any restriction as to owner type.

    I wouldn’t touch a condo flip in that area, so your best bet is to wait until you can spend about $350,000. There is some opportunity for less than $300,000, but the locations of those will make it imperative that you look hard for something that is a cosmetic fixer vs something that needs tens or thousands of real repair work.

    (Required Disclosure: Statistics in this comment are not compiled, verified or published by The Northwest Multiple Listing Service.)

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  31. Peter Witting

    RE: wreckingbull @ 20 – San Diego for the win!

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  32. Peter Witting

    RE: ARDELL @ 21

    Nicely put, Ardell, thank you.

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  33. Matt the Engineer

    RE: BitFiddler @ 4 gets it. The cost of living is high in Manhattan because the pay is high in Manhattan. Get a good job there, and live in a wonderful city while making some multiple of what I make here. Then either stay on once I’m established, or write it off as a fun time in the city and pocket the profit.

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  34. sniffy

    I’d sublet the apartment in NYC and use the proceeds to pay my mortgage in Seattle.

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  35. Lo Ball Jones

    RE: sniffy @ 34

    With you up to the word “Seattle”….but yeah, it’s like the Price Is Right. I want the cash, not the Broyhill Sofa.

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