Bussing Broker: Week 12

I have declared iced tea season open.  I even have fresh basil growing in my window sill to mix in with the tea.  I’m originally from Virginia: Iced tea season is a big deal.  (Though, technically, thinking of iced tea as seasonal is not terribly Virginian.)  Still, it’s warm, it’s sunny, and this time I’m even more sure that my cursed bike tire is lastingly fixed.  Just to be safe, I didn’t put the wheel back on until before leaving for tour today.  I’m happy to report that this level of caution worked.

I’m still utterly enamored of the new train stops, and today marked my first light rail trip with bike in tow.  I could have biked the whole way, but the train gets across the canal faster than I do, and leaves me much less sweaty.  I’m pretty sure listing agents appreciate it if I at least pretend to be professional when I show up to tour their property.

My plan had been to see five properties spread across Bryant and Ravenna, but client work held me up longer than anticipated and I didn’t make it to one of my intended opens before it closed.  I think that would have been the case even if I’d driven, so I’m not counting that against my success rate.

I covered a lot of the same ground I covered a couple weeks ago when I toured Ravenna.  It’s much, much faster on bike.  Hopefully I’m right about curing my tire of recurring-flat-itis and can keep using my handy bicycle for efficient touring.

Also, if you’re interested in a fixer-upper for under $600,000 in Bryant, there’s a good one on offer right now.  It’ll either go super fast or linger, depending on whether people feel like taking on a project.  I’d love to pair it off with somebody charmed by the bones that are there rather than seeing it torn down for a modern build.

Location: Bryant, Ravenna
Time: 2hr
Transit modes: Train, Bike
Cost: $2.25
Cats petted: 0
Properties Viewed: 4

Upcoming Home Buyer Education

I’m happy to announce two upcoming dates for home buyer education classes sponsored by the Washington State Housing Finance commission.  Both sessions will take place in the big meeting room at the Rainier Public Library, and I’ll be the broker half of the two part Loan Officer / Broker team for both.

This is a great class to take, especially for first time home buyers.  It covers a ton of material, including whether you should buy, how to budget, how to get a mortgage, and how to find a house.  The class is free and doesn’t come with any obligations.  I literally will not even send you a “Thanks for coming,” after the class unless you explicitly give me permission to.  This is about giving you information that’ll help you make the right choices for you.

It also meets the education requirement necessary to qualify for WSHFC commission programs.  If you’re a challenged buyer (meaning low income, low savings, or shaky credit), these programs can be a huge help.  The class is worth going to on its own, but this is a big bonus.

The room space is generous, but not infinite, and we have to make sure we bring enough material for all attendees, so if you’d like to come, please register ahead of time.  You can do that by contacting me by phone or email.  (Check the bottom of this page for contact info.)  The dates and times for the classes are below.

April 23, 11:00 am – 4:30pm
June 23, 2:30pm – 7:30pm
Rainier Public Library
9125 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118

Bussing Broker: Week 11

The light rail station opened!  That didn’t help me all that much with today’s touring plans since I was up to the northwest neighborhoods, but I’ve been on and off the train more since the new Capitol Hill station opened on Saturday than I think I had the whole year prior.  It’s very nice to neither walk up the hill, nor wait for a bus that may or may not be faster than just walking.  Everybody else on the train seems pretty pleased with it, too.

Today’s tour was a bit complicated from the outset.  Getting from Capitol Hill to Greenwood isn’t the most direct or speedy of commutes in general.  Today had the extra foil of a man in a tree causing quite the diversion of attention downtown.

I’d like to take a moment just to pause here and reflect on this: my commute was disrupted by a man in a tree.  I’m not sure you could get more quintessentially Seattle, unless he was drinking coffee up there.

At any rate, the delays were enough, given the ground I needed to cover, that I cheated a little.  The Car2Go membership I signed up for after my car wreck so I could have it in case of emergency gave me 30 free minutes since I haven’t actually used it.  (Hurray, no emergencies!)  When I got downtown and realized I could drive to the first property in Greenwood before I could even get on the bus I wanted to get there, those 30 free minutes were looking pretty attractive.  So I hopped in.  Overall it was a pleasant experience that definitely rescued my day from becoming a cascading spiral of travel delays, but I’m also glad my first time driving a smartcar wasn’t while I had a client with me.  There was definitely some adjusting to do.

It was all feet and buses from there.  I didn’t quite get to everything I wanted to see, but I think it was a good showing all the same.

Location: Greenwood, North Beach, Ballard
Time: 3 hr
Transit modes: Feet, Bus, Car2Go
Cost: $5
Cats petted: 0
Tea consumed: n/a
Properties Viewed: 3

Bussing Broker: Week 10

Today will get no prizes for efficiency.  The sun was out, I didn’t have any client commitments, and it feels like ages since I got in a good bike ride.  I had a productive morning and when lunch time came around I tromped merrily to my bike, ready to go look at some property.

I’m officially convinced that my front tire is cursed.  I thought it was fixed.  The very friendly folk at the bike shop assured me that everything was fine and diagnosed my series of flats as “bad luck.”  It must be very persistent bad luck because it struck again! So, no bike ride for me.

But the sun was still out, I still had a few hours I could comfortably spare, and there was still property I wanted to tour.  So I changed plans, hopped on the bus, and set off.

My original plan had been to take a look at properties in Laurelhurst and Ravenna.  The new plan required me to scale back and I only made it to Ravenna.  Bus service through those areas is not awesome in the middle of the day, and my feet are only so fleet. I only made it to half the properties I wanted to.

I’m not going to put this one in the fail column, though.  I didn’t realize it until today, but I’ve never walked up 55th through Ravenna.  You get a different feel for a commercial street on foot than you do driving, and I’d been missing that for this neighborhood.  So I may have seen less of what’s on the market, but I got a better feel for a neighborhood and that, especially in a market moving as quickly as this one, has much more value.

Also, I may or may not have spent some time at the Queen Mary Tea room.  If I did, it was entirely because I am that dedicated to knowing the gritty details of neighborhoods.

Location: Ravenna
Time: 2.5 hr
Transit modes: Feet, Bus
Cost: 2.50
Cats petted: 0
Tea consumed: Queen Mary Tea Room
Properties Viewed: 3

Bussing Broker: Week 9

Granny successfully turned 95 and I got back late Tuesday night.  Despite starting the week behind, I made property tour happen.  I’m feeling extremely virtuous about this.  Also, I saw the sun!  It was out several times.  Also, it rained several times.  Many of these times overlapped.  I genuinely adore Seattle springs.

Tour today was a lunch time walk around Capitol hill.  Listings have been thin here so far this year, but it looks like they’re picking up a bit.  One of the units on tour today I’d seen last summer when I had clients looking at another in the building; it was impressive how much better it looks now.

Location: Capitol Hill
Time: 1.5 hr
Transit modes: Feet
Cost: 0
Cats petted: 0
Tea consumed: Tea Republik Peachy Litchee, Iced
Properties Viewed: 5

Bussing Broker: Week 8

It is a fact that has been consistent for every single one of the 5+ years I’ve been doing this: business picks up right before I go out of town.  In this case, I’m taking a long weekend in Virginia to visit my grandmother for her 95th birthday.  I’ve told her she should have scheduled turning 95 for a more convenient time of the year, like November, but she just pointed out that she’s been getting older in March several decades longer than I’ve been alive, let alone selling houses.  Fair point, Granny.  Fair point.

That does mean, though, that this week has been the sort of busy where I’m not going to get in a proper property tour trip.  I did drop into a couple opens in Laurelhurst and Windermere between clients, but I don’t think any of the data from this week will be useful for tracking carless property tour convenience.

Location: Laurelhurst / Windermere
Time: ?
Transit modes: Car
Cost: 0?
Cats petted: 0
Properties Viewed: 4