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.


  1. 1
    toad37 says:

    Hell yeah I’d buy one. But since that is not reality I am selling one instead. :-)

  2. 2
    Andrew Szafran says:

    Well, I did buy one, but it was in NYC not in Seattle. And yes, it cost less than a house in most safe/walkable/easily commutable areas of the local suburbs.

  3. 3
    HappyRenter says:

    Buying a condo downtown just because it costs less than something else seems a poor decision. If you don’t want to live downtown anyway, why does it matter what a condo there costs? The question should include the words at the end “… IF you don’t mind living downtown?”

  4. 4
    David B. says:

    RE: HappyRenter @ 3 – Precisely.

  5. 5

    I wouldn’t want to live in downtown Seattle, but if there were a condo that could be rented out for a positive cash flow, then maybe. But generally speaking, that would be unlikely at this point in time.
    But as a place to live, downtown Seattle wouldn’t do it for me. Or downtown Bellevue. Downtown Everett and downtown Burien just seem more comfortable.

  6. 6

    And the Reality Is

    The HOA dues, parking and grocery hikes to Pike Market may seem feasible as DINK [double income no kids] in your 30s or 40s….if you are the small minority wirth two incomes and your household income is in the $200+K area….but you get older and ya won’t want to walk and carry groceries 4 miles….

  7. 7
    David B. says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 6 – As one moves through life, one’s needs change. That goes for housing needs as well as any other kind of need. So you could make the same general sort of point about any sort of home.

    I had a grandmother who stayed in a large, 3-bedroom home after becoming widowed, imposing a high house and yard work burden on herself for 25 years. And I certainly wouldn’t want to move back into either of the two homes I have owned in the past.

  8. 8
    Ron says:

    The market is tighter downtown/or close to downtown, the prices of Condos run about 150,000 on the fringes of downtown… at current borrowing costs about 800+about 225. taxes insurance… now comes Hoa Dues depends is there a Athletic Room etc. that can really effect the dues.. How Old is the building? is there some special assessments lurking around the corner??

    Lots of variables…. If you add everything up and it comes in at a lower price compared to what your paying in Rent… IM ALL IN…

  9. 9
    Ron says:

    The Truth is…
    I purchased a condo, Short Sale over a year ago for $60,000. cash
    Total housing costs on my 700 foot condo comes in at just over $400. a month.
    Building is 11 years Old, Concrete based floors, Super Quiet top floor- in between
    2 hills surrounded by woods, I have NO COMPLAINTS.. I gutted the unit spent
    20,000 all new appliances hardwood floors- people that visit says it has a Bellevue Appeal.

    Im not looking for the price to go up… I want the price to stay down for tax purposes. Im not shooting for home equity, My gains are based on how much money I save and invest every month.

    I have also rental houses (out of state- Its not probably that great of idea being a long distance landlord- it can be tricky, then again those houses are only about 5 years and Ive had to really shop hard for a good property management company, However- Im not that crazy about houses in Seattle) (cash flowing properties seems to be to much a challenge in Seattle), Im not planning on being here in Seattle for longer than 15 years.

  10. 10
    Ron says:

    Overall From everything Ive seen, Condos are where the actual deals are.. I just made an offer that was on a short sale several months ago, Crazy price- 79,950. short sale on 950 foot condo, that sold back in 2005 for 230,000 it was a great deal it was in a newer building with low monthly dues, easy 1,300. rental value- its carrying costs would of ran about 650.00 dollars a month…. I was unlucky I was 1 day to late, and ended up being a backup offer- of course the person in the primary position accepted it… funny the one downstairs same unit had closed for 125,000. just a couple months earlier. I don’t understand what the person/agent listing the property was thinking? Im surprised the bank didn’t counter back at a higher price, I would of paid it….. I would of easily gone 95,000. and considered it still a bargain.

    The deals if you know what your doing are in my Opinion in the Condo market in Seattle/Renton area… I think Bellevue/Renton just didn’t crash as hard.

    There is some deals to be had in certain areas…

  11. 11
    David Losh says:

    I’ve lived in downtown Seattle a couple of times, and enjoyed it. I did get a lot of parking tickets though.

    The homeless situation really bothers me. It’s getting worse.

    In terms of value I think downtown Seattle condos are a bargain. I know the sidewalks roll up at 10 PM. I know we don’t have great entertainment variety, and we are slow to change. The fact is the price per square foot, here, is cheap compared to other major cities around the world.

    The development at South Lake Union, in my opinion, has changed everything. I go down there some nights for WordPress meet ups, and there are always people around. It has a good feel to it. The Whole Foods has given an alternative to the Pike Market. I think things are coming along.

  12. 12
    wreckingbull says:

    David, what you describe reminds me of the Seattle of the 1980s. I would hardly say the sidewalks roll up at 10, especially in the areas of greatest condo density. It is quite the opposite. Perhaps when you say “downtown” you really mean “the downtown financial district”. Not many condos there, though.

  13. 13
    Oberon says:

    Amazon fresh

  14. 14
    Matt the Engineer says:

    These polls are really tough for me. Compared to a house in the far suburbs? Definately condo. Compared to a similar house on Capitol Hill? Depends!

    If we’re talking about a unit identical in every way, placed on a neighborhood street somewhere in the near suburbs of Seattle with no yard… I’d take the condo, for all the conveniences of living in a dense area. Add in a yard and garage and a basement… and it’s close.

  15. 15
    mmmarvel says:

    Absolutely NO desire to live in the downtown area of ANY city – so guess how I voted – lol

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