Wednesday Links: July 26

Another area has approved the MHA upzone plan.  The first portions of the Central District, focusing primarily near 23rd St. and Jackson.  This is part of the city-wide plan to create areas where developers can take advantage of increased zoning limits in exchange for contributing to the affordable housing stock in the city.  The University District and portions of downtown have already been through the process, and the rest of the city will go through it between now and the end of the year.

Case-Shiller numbers for March are out and it’s more of the same.  I’m waiting on the numbers for June (I’m still dancing about inventory going up), but we have a little to wait for those still.

In objectively cheerful news, the Fremont Solstice parade is safe for another year.  This is relevant since it was in danger due to a lack of real estate; specifically, they couldn’t find anywhere to affordably store their floats.  Seattle City Light saved the day.  It’s a summer miracle!

Wednesday Links: April 26

Transportation is this week’s theme, with SDOT announcing a new pilot program that will allow shuttles for private companies to use regular bus stops for their pick ups and drop offs.  This is pitched as an effort to more efficiently use public curb space.  The shuttle stops are currently available only to Microsoft and Children’s Hospital shuttles, and the shared stops are concentrated mostly in the dense neighborhoods near downtown and the canal, but there’s also a pilot stop in West Seattle.  It’ll be interesting to see how sharing the space will work out.

Sharing space is part of what helped the new 520 bridge bag the prestigious ACEC award for engineering on an infrastructure project.  Not only does the bridge float, but it has capacity to support pedestrian and bike traffic and, someday, will support the light rail’s expansion across Lake Washington.  That is, in fact, pretty nifty, and it’s great to see our bridge get that level of recognition.

Speaking of congestion and increased capacity…okay this is a stretch, but the Seattle Bubble has a good analysis of the new Case-Shiller numbers for February.  We’re still growing faster than we were before.  Yay!  (This is going to be a long, long summer market.)

Bussing Broker: Week 25

We’re back!

Happy autumn.  I really should have expected that the entire summer would go by before I had time to make a habit of property tour again, but here we are.  I did get back in with enthusiasm.

Yesterday I hopped onto my bike and took a look at two properties, a house in Wallingford and a condo in Fremont.  Round trip was two hours, but most of that was time on the bike.

Today I hit four condos in Capitol Hill (and returned a stack of books to the library).  There were a lot more buyers out doing the open house tour than I’m used to seeing which was fun for me.

How was your summer?

Location: Fremont, Wallingford, Capitol Hill
Time: 3
Transit modes: Bike, feet
Cost: $0
Cats petted: 0
Tea consumed: Early Gray
Properties Viewed: 6

Bussing Broker: Week 14

Spring has definitely kicked off, because this week has been astonishingly busy, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to let up any time soon.  Despite that, and clients running me from hither and yon, I did make it out on tour this week.  (I suspect next week isn’t going to happen, though.  We’ll see.) I went on Wednesday, and this is the first chance I’ve gotten to sit down and write it up.

Given the frantic pace this week had, my goals for tour were pretty modest.  Three properties, a condo and two single family homes, in Fremont and Wallingford.  I caught the bus to the first property, walked to the other two, and then used a bus-train combo to get back.  This was slightly less than two hours round trip, including the tour, and I got a lot of correspondence and planning taken care of while I was on the bus, so it worked out pretty well.  Also, the weather on Wednesday was gorgeous, and everything is in bloom, so that was a really nice walk to take in the middle of the day.

Location: Fremont, Wallingford
Time: 2 hr
Transit modes: Bus, feet, train
Cost: $2.50
Cats petted: 0
Tea consumed: No tea
Properties Viewed: 3

Bussing Broker: Week 2 Part 2

There were four properties in Fremont and Ballard I wanted to see today.  The weather was okay and I was pretty excited because today was the day I was going to try biking to showings.  I was so excited, in fact, that I went rushing out of the office and left my helmet in the office.  I didn’t notice until I’d gone far enough that I did not want to turn around.  My office is on Capitol Hill – leaving is a much more pleasant experience than coming back by bike.  So I chased down a bus and still made it to Fremont in time for the first property I wanted to see on tour.

Half way between property one and property two, I noticed that my front tire was going flat.  I had just changed the tube in my front tire, so this was rather inconvenient.  I was already sticking to low traffic residential streets because I like my brains to stay securely inside my skull, but even I am not so stubborn as to try being a bicycle rider with one tire and no helmet.  I walked to the second showing, then hopped a bus back to the office.  My first great catastrophe of the experiment, but I still made it to half the tour, so I’m feeling more put out about missing a chance to get in a daylight bike ride when it wasn’t pouring down rain.

I’m counting the cost of the new tube against this tour, though.

Location: Ballard, Fremont
Time: 1.75 hr
Transit modes: Feet, Bus, Bike
Cats petted: 0
Tea consumed: One bottle water, no tea
Properties Viewed: 2
Cost: $7.98

Bussing Broker: Week 1

I may have been slightly too enthusiastic about this project.  I dashed through my work for the morning and then hopped a bus up to Fremont with a plan to see four properties.  The bus got me there much faster than I’d expected it to.  So much faster that I was awkwardly early for the open of the first property.  I was forced to pass some time browsing the cookbooks at the Book Larder.  I’m feeling generous, so I’m not counting the expenses involved in that diversion against the project.  This time.

The weather was pretty pleasant, and I was armed with a thermos of tea which I sipped quite contently while wending my way from one property to the next.  It was definitely a bit slower than if I’d driven from property to property, but as anybody who’s tried to park in Fremont can attest, I saved a bundle of time by not having to park.  Probably a net loss for time by the clock, but definitely a huge gain in terms of avoiding frustration.

All told, it was an excellent and very encouraging start to the project. I’m excited to see how next week goes.

Location: Fremont, Green Lake, Ballard
Time: 2 hr
Transit modes: Feet, Bus
Cats petted: 1
Tea consumed: One Thermos
Cost: $5
Properties Viewed: 4