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

    Short Commutes

    Can also be arranged with regular telework from the quiet subarbs.

  2. 2
    redmondjp says:

    By softwarengineer @ 1:

    Short Commutes

    Can also be arranged with regular telework from the quiet subarbs.

    Assuming that your employer allows this; many still don’t.

  3. 3
    Matt the Engineer says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 1 – That sounds distasteful to me. It’s hard enough to develop good relationships at work when everyone’s at the office. There are certainly jobs where these relationships aren’t important, but I don’t want any of those jobs.

    Also, if you’re in the unwalkable suburbs, suddenly every other part of your life becomes difficult. You have to drive your kids everywhere, have to fight traffic and parking to go to the grocery store, cleaners, school, restaurants, etc.

    I’ll take a little “noise” (interaction with neighbors isn’t all bad), and a little “crime” (suburbs have similar residential crime rates per person as cities) in exchange for walkability please.

  4. 4
    Bryce says:

    Where’s the “I’m a lucky bastard that didn’t have to choose between the two” option?

  5. 5
    The Tim says:

    RE: Matt the Engineer @ 3 – Heh, I can always count on posts about commuting to draw you in. :)

  6. 6
    Joe M says:

    RE: redmondjp @ 2

    I would’ve guessed most employers don’t allow telecommuting–I’d be curious about a poll on that. My employer allows it but only in a quite limited fashion: one day per week.

  7. 7
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: Joe M @ 6 – It is an interesting subject. I have been doing it since 2006 without becoming a miserable hermit, as Matt suggests. I have a group of work friends that I see once every few months, and I have a group of non-work friends which I see more frequently. My cars don’t get driven much, I live on a farm, and I have a very low cost of living. For me, it has worked real well.

    Oh yeah, and I am about twice as productive as I have ever been in an office environment.

  8. 8
    Matt the Engineer says:

    RE: The Tim @ 5 – I was dead asleep and something woke me up, pulled me to the computer, and my fingers started typing your URL. Now I know why.

  9. 9
    Mike says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 1 – Or quiet in-city neighborhoods. You don’t have to be stuck in some boring suburb with an Applebees just because you work from home.

  10. 10

    My neighborhood is quiet and my commute is a stroll across the hall in my robe.

  11. 11
    mmmarvel says:

    No desire to live on top of, or beside, or below someone else. No desire to live so close that I can open my bathroom window and hand the bottle of shampoo to the neighbor. No desire to listen to drunks yell, people getting mugged, loud people. No, keep your ‘living downtown’ doesn’t impress me. Never understood this ‘walkable’ phrase – when I go to the store, I usually have much more to take home than what I could carry or even deal with on a bike. No problem dealing with commutes, more personal time rather than dealing with people, people and more people.

  12. 12
    Matt the Engineer says:

    What to you is “personal time” in a car to me is a waste of my life. Maybe I just don’t like driving enough to appreciate that lifestyle.

  13. 13

    RE: mmmarvel @ 11 -It’s not that bad, but you did forget to mention the worst thing–Car alarms.

  14. 14

    RE: mmmarvel @ 11 – Here’s a list for San Fran you might enjoy–particularly the 5th (or is it the 6th) picture.


  15. 15
    redmondjp says:

    By Matt the Engineer @ 12:

    What to you is “personal time” in a car to me is a waste of my life. Maybe I just don’t like driving enough to appreciate that lifestyle.

    I don’t enjoy commuting from Redmond to Renton every day on 405, but taking the bus (ST or Metro) doubles my normal commute time with no flexibility in my schedule.

    Even where I live in Redmond, the traffic noise from nearby 148th Ave NE (posted speed 40mph, actual speed much higher during non-peak hours) and Highway 520 doesn’t quiet down until nearly midnight. And with a fire station a mile away, it’s closer to Seattle (sound-wise) than out in the exurbs.

  16. 16
    Matt the Engineer says:

    Actually, the city’s pretty quiet unless you live near a bar. There’s a pizza place 1/2 block from me with a bar that stays open late, and I can’t hear it at all. I sleep with my windows open in the summer, and unless someone’s talking loud while walking down the sidewalk I don’t hear anything but the wind in the trees.

    Seattle’s lucky that it mostly developed before cars existed. Unless you’re near I-5, 99, or a few of the larger arterials, most cars are going 30mph or less. And most of our buses are electric.

  17. 17
    mmmarvel says:

    By Matt the Engineer @ 12:

    What to you is “personal time” in a car to me is a waste of my life. Maybe I just don’t like driving enough to appreciate that lifestyle.

    I play my music or (since I carpool with my wife) I check email or the web or whatever. I don’t have to listen to other people’s music or rants. No putting up with other people’s hygiene (or lack there of).

    Kary – I too tried the bus for a while, like you it took twice as long to get there. Plus we just bought a new 2014 Camry, 25 minutes at 75 mph and I’m at work. Oh, I didn’t mention I work at an airport, so imagine what the bus looks like in the morning. Don’t care for downtown, you won’t see me bidding up the prices for property down there. Just one man’s opinion.

  18. 18
    Mike says:

    RE: redmondjp @ 15 – We live in the city and don’t deal with any of that kind of noise. I do hear fog horns in the morning every once in a while.

    Almost Live had a bit where they mentioned “scientists finally discover a lot on the Eastside where you can’t hear the freeway” – perhaps that was a bit premature 25 years ago!

  19. 19
    Peter Witting says:

    RE: Matt the Engineer @ 16 – Agree…I live in View Ridge, and the primary noise pollution comes from jets flying over on their landing route to SeaTac.

  20. 20
    David B. says:

    Personally, I’d much rather do my ferry/bicycle commute (on the one or two days a week I go to the office instead of telecommuting) than to enjoy the dubious “freedom” of sitting in traffic jams in my personal vehicle.

    Time spent behind the wheel of a car is basically wasted time. On the bike, I’m getting exercise. On the ferry, I get comfortable, open my laptop, use the wi-fi and do my first (or last) half-hour of work while commuting. And (oh, the horror!) sit next to a stranger.

  21. 21
    KH says:

    I lived in Tokyo before moving back to the Seattle area – I don’t care how bad it gets, there are less people and less noise almost anywhere, Seattle or suburbs, than in Tokyo.

    The mass transit leaves a LOT to be desired though – Any system where it takes LONGER to take the mass transit than to drive is pretty messed up. You end up with only very low income people taking mass transit, making it even less of a desirable option than it already was.

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