About 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.

17 comments:

  1. 1
    Blurtman says:

    I’d have to move the kidnapped hitchhikers from the basement to remodel. I could work around the missile launcher in the attic.

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  2. 2

    Just Leave the Garage Alone

    A waste of money making the house worth less.

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  3. 3

    By softwarengineer @ 2:

    Just Leave the Garage Alone

    A waste of money making the house worth less.

    If you convert a garage into living space, where will you store all your junk? ;-)

    It amazes me how little some people value parking their cars inside.

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  4. 4
    redmondjp says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 3 – I visited a house in the Lake Hills section of Bellevue yesterday – the single-car garage on the end of the rambler had been nicely converted into a heated bicycle workshop. An attached carport provided cover for the vehicles.

    When you have a small (by today’s standards) house, any increase in living space is appreciated. I would rather have a garage myself since I do my own auto maintenance. An outdoor shed can help clear out some of the ‘junk’ from the garage. That’s one of the advantages of home ownership; the ability to modify your home to suit your own needs.

    As far as this poll goes, assuming that the drainage was properly addressed, I’d choose basement, as one can stay cool there over the summer months w/o adding air conditioning to the house. It’s quieter down in the basement as well.

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  5. 5
    Erik says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 3
    What is so bad about parking outside? Would you rather spend 20k more on a house or park outside? I would rather park outside. It yields the same result and you save 20k.

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  6. 6
    The Tim says:

    By Erik @ 5:

    What is so bad about parking outside?

    • much higher chance of your car being broken into or otherwise vandalized
    • scraping ice/snow/frost off your car windows all winter
    • bird crap

    To name a few.

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  7. 7

    By The Tim @ 6:

    By Erik @ 5:
    What is so bad about parking outside?

    much higher chance of your car being broken into or otherwise vandalized
    scraping ice/snow/frost off your car windows all winter
    bird crap

    To name a few.

    I’d add: Life of the car. One of the worst things for paint and the interior is sun.

    But the discussion was in the context of converting garage space to living space. I’ve seldom seen that done well.

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  8. 8
    Mike says:

    We have a rambler where the old garage was converted into additional space and there is a carport off the front. Garage would have at best held one car, so our other would have been in driveway or street anyway. I guess I’m just not that concerned about the once every decade risk of being the random car that has a window broken (hasn’t happened yet in Seattle in 7 years). The carport not only keeps bird poop off, but does an amazing job of keeping frost off the windows somehow. Our other car on the street was all iced over last week and each morning the carport car was frost free and ready to go. House has a big unfinished basement for storage and a shed in back, so in at least this case converting the garage (done before we bought) was a great choice and gives us more pleasant space than a finished basement room would have been.

    That said, a faux craftsman is going to look silly/junky with a carport, so what works for a mid-century rambler probably doesn’t fit other styles.

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  9. 9
    The Tim says:

    RE: Mike @ 8 – Indeed, except for the security, parking under a carport has most of the same advantages as parking in a garage. We only use our one-car garage as a workshop, and park our cars under the oversized carport/deck. Never have any frost, although we do still get pollen accumulation at certain times of year.

    That said, the question from Erik was about the disadvantages of parking “outside” and I don’t really consider parking under a carport to be the same thing as “outside.”

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  10. 10
    mmmarvel says:

    Here in Houston Texas, we don’t (very hard to) have basements. But after you’ve had a two story with the extra heat the upstairs gets, well, you wish you had a one story. I live in a two story, the AC works decent, our master bedroom IS on the first floor – BUT – if we had to do it again, we’d mostly look at one stories.

    The garage issue. Yup, down here too, I see way too many folks who treat/use the garage as an extra storage area. Again, with the heat, you would have to be careful exactly what you stored out there. For me, we have a two car garage and surprise, we actually park two cars in there … every night.

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  11. 11
    joedirt says:

    Assuming it’s legal to add a bedroom in the basement …

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  12. 12
    James says:

    I am under the impression that only above grade living areas count in the square footage when advertising a home, so converting attic space would have a better payoff than basement space.

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  13. 13
    The Tim says:

    By James @ 12:

    I am under the impression that only above grade living areas count in the square footage when advertising a home

    Nope. In fact the NWMLS guidelines even specifically allow unfinished space to be counted in the total advertised square footage.

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  14. 14
    Peter Witting says:

    Basement – quieter space for listening to hi-end audio.

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  15. 15
    mike says:

    By Erik @ 5:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 3
    What is so bad about parking outside? Would you rather spend 20k more on a house or park outside? I would rather park outside. It yields the same result and you save 20k.

    Depends on the neighborhood. Initially I thought they were a big selling point but after watching for a while I’ve noticed hardly anyone uses them to park a car unless they’re driving a Maserati or equivalent. Carports and uncovered parking are littered with Subarus, Toyotas, Hondas, Audi’s, BMWs and Mercedes and the occasional pickup truck.

    In a perfect world, I’d love to add a real garage to replace the carport but I don’t think its much of a value add on houses under $1M.

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  16. 16
    Erik says:

    RE: mike @ 15
    My vehicle is worth about $1k. Probably why I dont care to have a garage. If multiple animals relieved themselves on my vehicle, I wouldnt even notice. :)

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  17. 17
    David B. says:

    Attic. Basements are dank and often musty. Especially in the Pacific Northwest.

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