South Seattle: Future Retro Real Estate

Before this was a house it was a hole in the ground with a real estate sign nearby, and it cracked me up every time I drove past because I couldn’t see anyone forking out serious cash for dirt on a well-traveled arterial street. This was prior to me clueing in about how valuable Seattle earth actually can be.


$285/sq. ft. gets you all new construction throughout this home. That’s actually better than the square foot pricing for a nearby property also currently on the market. Also note that Zillow has the total purchase price far below the asking $969,500. I don’t know that Zillow has all the saleable details on this place but new materials or no, I have a hard time believing this place is priced to move. A cool near million seems pretty steep to me, especially for this particular location, which is close to but not amidst other properties of that value.

I’m not a huge fan of seeing garages and front entrances simultaneously but I recognize it is space efficient and convenient for users. Overall it appears this home has been nicely put together, though it’s a tad generic for my taste. What you see are the very trends that will designate such houses as turn of the millennium or early twenty first century to future buyers hoping to purchase a period piece. For now you score an open kitchen with island/eating bar, the ubiquitous granite countertops, “designer light fixtures”*, high ceilings etc. A view of the lake and mountains is promised but not evident in the accompanying photos although viewers will clearly see the park right across the street. More granite awaits you in the master bath*, by the way. I have a suspicion that the listing photos don’t actually do this place justice but as I haven’t toured the interior this is simply speculation.

My absolute favorite thing about this place is the dual fireplace in the master suite. I wish more houses integrated this charming feature in their exterior or interior design. It worked in castles for centuries and insulation has come a long way from the days of hanging tapestries (although my bedroom could still use a little extra Bayeux in the winter).


Beds: 4
Baths: 2.5
Size: 3,400 sq. ft
Lot Size: 4,800 sq. ft
Last Sale Price: $250,000 (May 2005)


* Description from the flyer available on the listing sign. Flyer makes sure you know “Information is provided as a courtesy and is not warranted“. Ditto for my opinion.

  • Simon

    Did you actually go into the house? Or is this a review based on a flyer and a driveby?

  • SEA_Realty

    The locally legendary 4807 50th South (Future Retro Real Estate) has now gone down from original laughable listing of 969K to either 839K or 799K, depending on where you look, though I have to say it is still overpriced, if you look at other, better offerings in this neighborhood, where 800K can get you a real water view and plenty of mid-century charm. The view is paltry and no doubt threatened by a bad as-is fixer to the north. The lot is quite small, the landscaping chintzy, and the house sticks out like a sore thumb on this block of quaint post-war homes. And if newness is the only selling point, then the finishes seem to be wearing already, as they’ve just recently painted the woodwork. A shining example of developers’ myopia about location; a block-and-a-half or two east, and this would have made sense.