Bussing Broker: Week 26

Queen Anne hill remains my great nemesis.  Someday I will take my bike there without suffering ignominious defeat.  Today was not that day because I opted to leave the bike home.  I have no regrets.

If we use a very generous concept of lunch break, I snuck off to tour during today’s.  The 8 runs very near to my office, so I hopped on, took it all the way to its end, and got started.  A new townhouse development on Olympic was open for tour and I checked out the offerings there.  (I’m only counting it as two properties even though there were technically four.)  Between that, the nearby co-op apartment, and the condo on Roy, it’s very fresh to me right now how easy it is to have a gorgeous view in Queen Anne.

After the condo on Roy I hopped on the SLU Streetcar toward Denny and took a look at two condos on Blanchard.  More views, but very different.

The best part was the lucky timing; the 8 arrived to take me back to the office just as I reached its stop.  Very efficient!  And this was yet another tour where I noticed distinct envy from others when I didn’t have to find parking.  I’m definitely a huge fan of that part.

Location: Lower Queen Anne, Cascade
Time: 2.5 hours
Transit modes: Bus, Feet, Streetcar
Cost: $4.50
Cats petted: 0
Tea consumed: Honeybush with Lychee Syrup, Iced
Properties Viewed: 6

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 23

The business continues, so it’s another sneaking out on Thursday lunch break for tour week.  I originally intended to see only three properties for a fairly quick tour, but the weather was so nice that a tossed in a fourth that wasn’t that much further away.  Also, it was a penthouse with a view, and it’s rarely a mistake to spend a little time taking a look at those.

This is definitely another week where I’d have skipped tour if not for my dedication to science.  Even if I’d had a car I probably would have walked; parking in Capitol Hill is not fun and things were close enough that they’d have likely had overlapping parking spots.

Location: Capitol Hill / East Lake
Time: 1.5 hours
Transit modes: Foot
Cost: $0
Cats petted: 1
Tea consumed: Strawberry milk tea
Properties Viewed: 4

Bussing Broker: Week 21

This week has been super busy the good way.  Lots of time with clients, lots of time out and doing showings.  Today’s been the first day where things have been slow enough for me to get some time in at my desk, which I really need.  Nevertheless, I took some time to slip away for a short tour today.  I ducked out to three different condos in Capitol Hill.  They were all fairly near each other, and did a really great job of showing off the spread of options available in established condo buildings in the neighborhood.  It was a fun tour!

I’m a cook, so when I’m touring like this, I pay a lot of attention to how the kitchens are laid out.  This can wind up telling you a lot about a unit, too, since kitchens are both fairly expensive to update and also the most effective in terms of increasing a unit’s marketability.  People want modern kitchens, even when they generally favor a more vintage or historic look.

One of the units today managed to really impress me with its kitchen layout.  It was a small one bedroom in an older building – arched doorways, old hardwood floors, plastered walls.  It had an eat-in kitchen with a galley layout which means small but, if well done, extremely functional.  They crammed in a ton of cabinet space, and by choosing their appliances really carefully, got in a fridge/freezer unit and a dishwasher.  Both were small, but they were there.  I don’t normally wax on about a given property I see when I’m touring, but that impressed me enough I had to share.  Getting to see that was, on its own, enough to call today’s tour a win.

Location: Capitol Hill
Time: 45 minutes
Transit modes: Foot
Cost: $0
Cats petted: 0
Tea consumed: Assam Black Tea
Properties Viewed: 3

Bussing Broker: Week 18

I tried Queen Anne again.  I was more sensible this time.  Instead of tackling the whole hill, I just hit three properties in lower Queen Anne.  Lower, as in, trying to bike there isn’t an act of idiotic masochism.  (For me, at least.  I’ve seen other people bike up that hill.  I am in awe.)

Okay, I confess, I had an ideal list of seven properties, four of which required me to get all the way up the hill.  I thought, perhaps, if I was feeling very athletic, or if bus timing was convenient, I’d hit the whole list.  It was looking possible for a moment, there, even.  The third property I went to was a sort of transition property.  It was on Ward street and to get there you have to tackle a non-tiny part of the steep incline.  But the best route there, as determined by me in the moment, was to take a public set of stairs.  My bike is heavy.  I chained it up at the bottom of the stairs rather than carry it up, in anticipation of yet more uphill biking.

And then I was done.  Also, sun burned.  All of a sudden, a lot of people are sunburned this week.  I’ve already complained about this weather, but I’d like point out, it’s too early for it to be this sunny!

Location: Queen Anne
Time: 1.5 hours
Transit modes: Bike
Cost: 0
Cats petted: 0
Tea consumed: Blushberry black tea
Properties Viewed: 3

Bussing Broker: Week 17

This week was a Tuesday tour week.  I’ve been running from appointment to appointment ever since and this is the first chance I’ve gotten to write it up.

The weather on Tuesday was pretty nice, so I caught the train downtown and took a look at condos.  I had five I wanted to see, the last on in Belltown, but I cut the Belltown condo from my plans because I was getting tight on time.  The downtown condos were all clustered fairly near Pike Place Market, so walking between them was quite easy – I probably would have opted to walk even if I’d had a car with me just because parking downtown is such a hassle.  My favorite part of looking at condos downtown: the views were fantastic.  Mount Rainier wasn’t out – it was hazy enough in the distance to hide a shy mountain – but the sun on the water was great.  Days like that, I spend a little time wishing I worked out of an office downtown instead of in Capitol Hill.

This tour was definitely a clear victory over using a car, though.  The train to Westlake was easy, and not having to find parking and debate whether I should move the car from one showing to the next was a huge improvement.  So far, the tours in the denser parts of the city have been strong arguments in the no-car column.

Location: Downtown
Time: 1.5 hours
Transit modes: Train, Feet
Cost: $2.25
Cats petted: 0
Tea consumed: No tea
Properties Viewed: 4

Bussing Broker: Week 16

You may recall earlier this month when I decided to conquer Queen Anne Hill with nothing more impressive than my bicycle and my poor judgment.  You may also recall that this wasn’t one of my more graceful tours and I may have been inclined to deploy some choice language on the subject of me and foolish ideas.  I short, I was defeated, heartily, and though I persisted and completed tour, there was a reckoning left to be made.

This week, I decided to make that reckoning.  Monday night I worked out the plan for where I wanted to go and it looked easy enough.  Tuesday dawned, the weather was great, I didn’t have any appointments until the evening, and I had a hill to bike.

You can probably guess where this is going.

The morning went haywire and I didn’t leave until much later than I’d meant to.  Then, after I made it to the first property I got a call form a client and suddenly I had an appointment to get to.  Tour canceled.  I did get to stop and pet a cat before abandoning my plans, at least.

But the spring market means more things on inventory and Capitol Hill’s broker tour today had more offerings than I’ve seen so far all year.  I ducked out on my lunch break for a stroll to four different places and made it back before anybody missed me.  It’s not the same as settling accounts with the hill that shamed me, but I’ll have other opportunities for that.

Location: Capitol Hill
Time: 45 min
Transit modes: Feet
Cost: 0
Cats petted: 1 (I’m counting Tuesday’s cat)
Tea consumed: Assam milk tea
Properties Viewed: 4

Bussing Broker: Week 15

A last minute cancellation means I got to sneak out for a very quick tour this week after all.  That would have been a victory on its own, (sort of.  Clients getting swamped by work isn’t fun for me or them.), I also stuck by my guns and took my bike, despite the presence of August in this fine third week of April.

It’s too hot.  Oh my goodness, is it ever two hot.

Still, I checked out two condos right near the canal, and Burke Gilman, in Wallingford.  Then I made it to the University District on the awkward side of early for my first afternoon appointment.  It was warm, but I was out in Columbia City on Monday and that was worse, so I won’t complain about today too much.

Still, somebody should tell August to stick to its own month.

Location: Wallingford
Time: 1 hr
Transit modes: Train, bike
Cost: $2.25
Cats petted: 0
Tea consumed: Tea Republik Peachee Litchee, iced
Properties Viewed: 2

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 13

My front bike tire continues to do an excellent impression of being uncursed, which has been great fun.  I may have skipped checking out the festivities around the opening of the 520 bridge over the weekend in favor of making my meandering way up the Burke-Gilman trail just to test how broken the curse might be.  It was lovely – people can say what they like about Seattle weather being dreary and gray, but I adore it.

Which is the present prelude to a story of agony and woe.  I had such a nice time over the weekend that I came up with the, in retrospect, terrible idea of biking through a Tuesday tour of Queen Anne and Magnolia.  I had a meeting in Fremont at 1pm and the timing seemed perfect to me.

Here’s some interesting trivia: The office where I spend most of my desk time is in Capitol Hill, which is on the fifth tallest hill in the city.  That makes going other places by bike fairly pleasant, and coming back less so.  Queen Anne hill, however, is the third tallest hill in the city.  The part of Queen Anne Ave that climbs the hill is one of the steepest streets in the city.  The alternative routes near it aren’t exactly flat.

I’m not eager to go biking up Queen Anne Hill again any time soon.  Once I got to the first property everything was great because I’d more or less finished the whole climb, but getting there was a beast.

The ride to Fremont when I was finished was glorious, though.  Biking down one of the steepest hills in the city is great fun.

Getting to Magnolia later for evening tour probably would have just been a nice challenging ride.  I made it, but it was a little much after the morning.  Next time I think I’ll take the bus up the hill and reap lazy rewards.

Location: Queen Anne, Magnolia
Time: 2.5 hr
Transit modes: Bike, Sheer force of will
Cost: $0
Cats petted: 1
Tea consumed: Tea Republik Vanilla Chai, all the water
Properties Viewed: 5