South Seattle: Welcome to My Winter Palace

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Good to know that for the 2004 cost of my tiny primary residence others are buying places to ‘get away from it all’. For that same price you too can summer in the south end; consider this little cottage as a good example of our priced-to-move urban retreats. Think we can arrange for a Skyway jitney?

Yes, I am being a little cantankerous and a tad bit sarcastic. What plagues me is that it seems like those who are shopping for Seattle houses* with a budget of $300K or less – the price point for most of my friends in the last two years – are gradually getting squeezed out of the in-city market or at least relegated to heavy reliance on their DIY skills and vision. While second-home buyers are not likely to be the culprits here, I do ponder whether I’ll ever be able to afford another Columbia City address, let alone a vacation abode.

Realizing that in the grand scheme of things I am lucky to have a place at all, and that our real estate costs are nothing compared to SF, LA or NY, I am nevertheless curious to know if it’s pie in the sky to think of buying in at a quarter mil these days. Thankfully a quick Redfin search assures me that South Park** is brimming with options.

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Is the moral of the story go south or go condo? Am I bearing witness to gentrification in action? Or perhaps my paycheck and I are just having a hard time catching up with the market.

*Stand alone properties, nothing with a shared wall.
**And it’s within city limits…