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.

22 responses to “Real Actual Listing Photos: Picture in Picture Edition”

  1. Kary L. Krismer

    The B&W photo looks like something from the assessor’s office. I like to look at those pictures because they typically show the house when it was brand new, and sometimes before/after major additions.

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  2. Blurtman

    Perhaps the flat screen should have been showing porn.

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  3. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Blurtman @ 2 – That’s a different type of hard wood.

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  4. Astro Kermit

    Haha Kary you are a silly b-i-t-c-h.

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  5. Sean P.

    To the “unique” home’s credit, it does have lemon yellow walls and lime green cabinets in the kitchen.

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  6. redmondjp

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 1 – You beat me to it, Kary. That’s exactly what it is. You can now see similar examples on the county’s website (I’m not sure when they added the pictures, but it was within the past few years).

    I have pictures of my house before they had even installed the windows.

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  7. softwarengineer

    Is the Cartoon Ren and Stimpy?

    Or is the one running away on the cartoon horrified, the hypothetical buyer?

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  8. mike

    #2 is interesting because it’s been on hold since 2006. The thought of paying $1M+ for a suburban house with a THIRD story entry door makes me wonder who the intended buyer is? Someone expecting to defend the place from roving hordes?

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  9. Dan Ryan

    The last listing has been updated with additional photos. pic #3 is of the Realtor’s vehicle parked in front of a hydrant.

    I guess this is better?

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  10. Kary L. Krismer

    When was it decided that instead of placing TVs close to the floor they would be placed close to the ceiling, typically above heat generating objects? Seems like an odd and possibly uncomfortable change–one I’ve never made.

    (And I’m not talking about that particular listing, because they have a second floor that could view the TV. I’m talking about mounting TVs over fireplaces.)

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  11. Erik

    Show me the data! These pictures and the under 200k post is lame. Sorry, but true.

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  12. softwarengineer

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 10

    Yes Kary

    An LCD pinned to a flat wall may have a big clear picture for the chair looking straight on; but the rest of the living room chairs watch it dimmed out at an angle, sometimes severely dimmed out. Now most pinned to the walls LCDs have a big couch in front of them, even though it makes the living room look unorganised. The Plasmas don’t have that problem, but the 42″ ones eat electricity like a 2nd refrigerator with the door cracked open. Do they even sell the “energy pig” plasmas anymore?

    One good thing about LCDs, compared to plasmas/crts, the EMF radiation is almost zero, even sitting a foot or two from it. I have a 32″ LCD for single viewer watching…..I’ve moved my chair right up to it….it looks like a 70″ TV then and I don’t need glasses to watch TV anymore. I bought it when my CRT finally went dead [after 17 years of perfect picture]. I don’t use it in the living room though….that room has a swivel TV stand mounted CRT, for all the chairs to view without LCD dimming.

    When you grab up an LCD flat screen, look for [even pay more for, like I did] the biggest base you can find [that won't tip over easily if you bump it]. Hades glue the base to a swivel TV stand for extra safety sake, if you have to….now you can swivel point the TV at any chair you want to sit in the living room without dimming [and your living room won't look like a dorm party mismatch]. You also won’t develop a stiff neck “looking up” all the time, like watching a movie theater picture in the front row seat.

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  13. Erik

    RE: The Tim @ 12
    This is my favorite site online. You do a great job. I personally prefer the data, but I’m sure some people like the non quantitative posts.

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  14. ARDELL

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 10

    “When was it decided that instead of placing TVs close to the floor they would be placed close to the ceiling, typically above heat generating objects?”

    A TV housed in a “console” close to the floor basically went out of style around 1962. :)

    By the mid 80’s the “TV Stand” raising it above floor level, but not as high as above a fireplace, was replaced by a builder upgrade that created a space in a built in, usually to the right and/or left of the fireplace. That TV opening can still be found in many homes. It is usually too small for a TV of today and also made of a darkish wood, often oak.

    By 1991 the darkish wood went out of style and the trend became what we called “light, bright and airy” with many, many more windows and white millwork. This would be the beginning of “over the fireplace” being a more common place for builders to put the TV “hookups”. Mainly because there was less wall space because of all of the windows. This initial change created an opening either above the fireplace or somewhere else nearby created entirely of drywall vs darkish wood or even white wood. Again…this trend came before flat screens and so the opening by the late nineties again became too small, and frankly people don’t always agree with the place the builder chooses to put the TV “hookups” or the size of opening the builder created.

    Tossing in a quick reply to SWE’s “living room” comments, TV in living room vs den or family room went out after the 50s. :)

    The reason why the TV is now almost at the ceiling is because the mantle height has been changed fairly recently by fire codes. Not having anything to do with the TV placement, the height of the mantle from the fireplace opening has been increased such that if you want to modify your 80s brick fireplace today, the permit will likely require that the surround be taller and the mantle higher than the original building requirements from when the home was built. Even without TV issues you may have noticed fireplace mantles getting higher and higher.

    Today’s trend, and this trend has been expanding more and more during the last decade, is that people not only want more and more windows and natural light, they also want open floor plans with fewer interior walls. Most want there to be no wall between the kitchen and family room. Most want to be able to see the TV from the kitchen. Most want LOTS of windows and natural light in the family room. Add NO wall between kitchen and family room to a full wall of windows almost from floor to ceiling in the family room plus a fireplace wall…and that leaves you only ONE wall in the family room without obstruction. Do you put a couch there or a TV there? If you place a couch there you are looking at the wall of windows. If you put a TV there then you are facing it by placing a couch in front of your wall of windows.

    Decorators advise that the furniture be placed facing the fireplace as “the focal point” of the room as if people want to stare at a fireplace. So it was a natural conclusion for home builders to start putting the hookups near the place everyone should be staring at.

    Summary…TV on the floor has been out of style with regard to new home construction for decades. Whether it is mounted on a wall depends on whether or not there is a fireplace in the family room and which wall is changing as we speak by the current demand for fewer walls, more windows and the ability to see the TV from the kitchen.

    My assistant sitting here whose husband creates games often played on the TV added that since the advent of the wii people are often standing at the TV vs sitting. They are also jumping around and swinging their arms and they might kick the TV if it is on the floor. :)

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  15. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: ARDELL @ 15 – I wouldn’t rely on what builders do for advice on anything. They were very late figuring out TVs were moving to a 16:9 aspect ratio. So people with houses built this century have openings for a TV that was last built in the 20th century.

    Also, I disagree with you on the time periods. Rear projection TVs only went out of favor perhaps 10 years ago, if not more recently, and they were almost always close to the ground.

    As to your focal point comment, I once saw someone somewhere on the Internet with the following exchange:

    Person A: “We don’t have a TV.”

    Person B: “What do you point the furniture at?” ;-)

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  16. ARDELL

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 16

    “Also, I disagree with you on the time periods. Rear projection TVs only went out of favor perhaps 10 years ago, if not more recently, and they were almost always close to the ground.”

    As I mentioned in my comment” “By 1991 the darkish wood went out of style and the trend became what we called “light, bright and airy” with many, many more windows and white millwork. This would be the beginning of “over the fireplace” being a more common place for builders to put the TV “hookups”. Mainly because there was less wall space because of all of the windows. This initial change created an opening either above the fireplace or somewhere else nearby created entirely of drywall vs darkish wood or even white wood.”

    See picture 3 in the listing below built in 1995 as an example of the deep set drywall opening for TV over fireplace. This was the accommodation before flat screen TVs and after on the floor or housed in an 80s oak built in next to the fireplace.

    http://www.redfin.com/WA/Issaquah/25235-SE-Klahanie-Blvd-98029/unit-G205/home/18139

    That is the deep opening created above the fireplace during the “rear projection” TV time frame and before flat screens. You see them more in mid 90’s homes, townhomes and condos and what I was referring to in my comment above.

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  17. mike

    Having last shopped for a television in 2008 I was surprised to see how many 70″-80″ models were available and how inexpensive the 60-65″ screens were (less than the 42″ from 2008!). I lucked out in that my 1950’s era house had just enough room for a 65″ between the windows and fireplace – the location originally reserved for a console TV. In another 5 years when the 90″ budget models come available I’ll be out of luck as the original layout is maxed.

    The current tv above fireplace trend will likely die out now that screens are beginning to dwarf even the largest modern gas fireplaces. It looks like we’re well on the way to the ‘Fahrenheit 451′ style TV’s that take up an entire wall. Making that visible from the kitchen with no furniture in the way will be an interesting challenge. Maybe the 1970’s style drop living room will come back as a potential solution?

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  18. Peter Witting

    People still have televisions??

    / t.v. free since 1988 /

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  19. Erik

    RE: Peter Witting @ 19
    I did that for like 5 years. I started drinking and hanging out at the bar too much, so I got a tv to entertain me.

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  20. mike

    RE: Peter Witting @ 19 – Yes, with no cable or antenna hooked up.

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  21. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: mike @ 18 – Good thoughts.

    I’ve had one more thought, although I think it’s a bit of a stretch to think that builders/architects thought of this, but maybe consumers did.

    About the time mounting over the fireplace became common, TVs were becoming larger and flatter (different than thinner). That meant reflections were more of a problem, particularly with plasma devices. Reflections would be less of an issue if the surface reflected was the ceiling, which would be the case if you’re watching from below the level of the TV.

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