Poll: If I could afford just one, I would choose a house…

If I could afford just one, I would choose a house...

  • with a killer view. (16%, 49 Votes)
  • on a lake or saltwater. (15%, 45 Votes)
  • on a river or creek. (3%, 8 Votes)
  • in a super-walkable neighborhood. (42%, 129 Votes)
  • that is as big and nice as I want. (8%, 23 Votes)
  • with a large amount of acreage. (17%, 51 Votes)

Total Voters: 305

This poll was active 03.25.2012 through 03.31.2012

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

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. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1
    ray pepper says:

    In the past I would have always said a “super walkable neighborhood” with lots of stuff to do (West Seattle/Ballard/DT Kirkland) but after having acreage now and less restrictions on projects, toys, parking, our dog, and being able to “lock the gate” when we leave for extended trips I think its the best. Also, and most importantly, having neighbors distanced an acre+ away truly adds pleasure to our lives..I don’t think I could ever live in a “standard” development again with lots under an acre or 2.

  2. 2
    wreckingbull says:

    I’d add another option, although this is sometimes related to some of the above choices. My #1 criterion for a home is a location without noise or light pollution. Everything else is secondary.

  3. 3
    gardener1 says:

    @ray pepper

    I have only ever owned 2 properties. Both of them were houses on acreage, in two different states.

    Both times the gubment stole my land. First time my place was forcibly annexed when a new state law for annexation was passed by the state legislature. Second property was forcibly rezoned 4 times in two years by the county to finally rezone my ag property into something tied up in knots called “urban reserve”. Unsurprisingly, both times my property taxes skyrocketed.

    I’m now a committed renter for the rest of my days. Never again.

  4. 4
    me says:

    If it doesn’t have a large garden, it’s a no-go.

  5. 5
    Peter Witting says:

    Great question. Like Ray, I always thought in-city living was the thing, until I moved to the country. Alot more freedoms out here all the way around. Paradoxically, the neighbors know and help each other out far more than in the city, even though lot sizes are between 5 and 40 acres.

  6. 6
    ARDELL says:

    Today I would have to say near my grandchildren. Having my first grandson right now…my daughter’s been in labor since yesterday. Hopefully soon. :) I have three daughters and 2 grand daughters…time for a boy! :)

  7. 7
    Dweezil says:

    I had to go with walkability, but lot size would be a very close second. Anything less than 5k sq ft would feel worthless.

  8. 8
    Peter Witting says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 6 – Congratulations on the new arrival, Ardell!

  9. 9
    ARDELL says:

    Thanks Peter! His Dad’s name is Peter. :)

  10. 10
    ARDELL says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 9

    Just Born! 10 lbs, 6 oz! No wonder he took so long!

  11. 11

    Definitely salt water view in particular the Puget Sound (lakes don’t do it for me). I can smell the sea weed from Golden Gardens in Ballard when the tide is out but alas no view quite yet. I’ll get there eventually.

  12. 12
    T. Y. Lee says:

    Big and nice, followed by Walkable. I have square footage requirements that mean that I will probably always live out in the ‘burbs. Though when comparing various houses, I ultimately ruled out any that would require me to drive if I wanted to run some quick errands.

  13. 13
    kfhoz says:

    In this part of the world my #1 requirement is sunshine, which is not on the list, so I will skip this poll.

  14. 14
    John Bailo says:

    For me, the problem is they haven’t invented the house I want..yet.

    My key factor would be energy independence and producer-consumer oriented.

    I don’t want a house to live in — I want a place in which I can be productive and make overvalue as I live my live.

    Ideally I would be in a rural area with about 10 acres…but I want a solar powered hydrogen generator with a fuel cell. I would be “loosely coupled” to the grid.

    I would have a long lasting fresh water supply.

    I would be in range of Clear Wimax tower for internet.

    Ideally my home would be modular, like those new IKEA homes — not not as expensive.

    I really like the tiny homes — but think they are too expensive as well. (Please no Ted Kaczynski jokes.)

    Maybe on my 10 acres I would have some small guest homes as well…each as far away from me as possible with a common area like a brook or a bar-b-que in the center of the land. Also, they would have some loud birds near them so people don’t stay too long.

  15. 15
    Scotsman says:

    Congrats, Ray @ #1!

  16. 16
    Scotsman says:

    Land- space to roam, have a garden, park the toys, create real privacy. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll never go back.

    Interestingly, in the country where more privacy and distance exist between neighbors they seem more willing to initiate and build positive relationships. Maybe it’s because they aren’t looking into each others windows all the time? I know a large number of the people on my mile+ dead-end street where in the past I may not have known everybody on the cul-de-sac.

  17. 17
    ARDELL says:

    RE: John Bailo @ 14

    Love the loud birds ending sentence. On the day you want them to leave you can bring in the parrot that says repeatedly…”Time to go…Time to go.”

  18. 18
    Dave0 says:

    I’m surprised only 13% chose water-front properties; that was an obvious choice for me. If I won the lottery, I’d buy a house on Lake Washington with a private dock for my ocean-worthy sailboat. I’d have the ability to go for a lake swim whenever I feel like it, have the privacy of no neighbors being able to see in my windows from the lake side, yet still be close-in the city. Lake Washington also has the advantage of being fresh-water (favorable for boat moorage and swimming), yet still has ocean access through the locks. As you can tell, I’ve thought about this a lot, yet I’m realizing in adulthood that I’m not willing to maintain the stressful career needed to afford that sort of lifestyle. In the meantime, I’ll settle with living on my sailboat on Lake Union.

    In response to everyone’s observation that out in the country neighbors talk to each other more, my theory is that it is a consequence of population density. People are social creatures, they need friends and people to socialize with. In the city, there are so many people that if you tried to be friends with everyone in a 1-mile radius, you would be overwhelmed. So, in the city people pick and choose who their friends are, and where those friends live isn’t very important. Someone that lives in Fremont can reasonably have friends in Capitol Hill, Wallingford, Ballard, Green Lake, etc. and not know anyone else that lives in Fremont. On the other hand, if someone lived on 5-acres somewhere between Duval & Carnation, it would be much easier to maintain friendships with everyone in a 1-mile radius, and they are more likely to talk to each other because they all share a relatively uncommon trait of living in this location. It doesn’t mean that people in rural areas are more friendly, it is just a situational difference. People in the city are constantly surrounded by people, and so they rarely feel socially deprived. Personally, I prefer being in the city, have having that wide choice of social options rather than social deprivation.

  19. 19

    RE: Dave0 @ 18 – Waterfront is nice, but for me it wouldn’t be Lake Washington. Noise travels very well across water. Lake Washington has a lot of water traffic and has I-405 on most of it’s east side and two freeways running across the middle. That’s a lot of noise.

    If I bought waterfront it would be quiet waterfront, preferably a no motors allowed lake.

  20. 20

    RE: Dave0 @ 18
    I chose waterfront. I don’t think Bill Gates of Medina or Paul Allen of Mercer Island are too concerned about traffic noise. I wouldn’t mind living in one of those lakefront homes just south of Seward Park. I just wouldn’t want to pay for one.

  21. 21
    tina says:

    RE: kfhoz @ 13

  22. 22

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 20 – I guess I have higher standards than Bill and Paul. ;-)

    Seriously, I wonder whether either of them even ever sit out on their front lawn?

  23. 23
    Dorothea says:

    RE: kfhoz @ 13 – My variation on that requirement is lots and lots of natural light, with a house designed to maximize what little we do get around here.

    Tall trees, north slopes, poorly sited houses, few south or westside windows ==> depressing

Leave a Reply

Use your email address to sign up with Gravatar for a custom avatar.
Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Please read the rules before posting a comment.