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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    around Seattle, WA
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    3,238

    townhouse choices

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    I'm looking at two townhouses, one on Talbot Hill (Renton), one in West Seattle - both essentially the same price rent (two arms and two legs), 1300 sq ft vs 1060 sq ft. WSeattle will be closer to the office, thus lower commuting cost, and "more trendy". Talbot Hill is a larger place, I get one more room, but further from the office, and from the satellite maps - the suburbs.

    Any TE thoughts?? I'm looking at the Talbot Hill place tomorrow afternoon after work. Don't have an appointment to see the W Seattle place yet.

    I don't have to make an immediate housing choice - I could let these pass by, but do need to find a place in the next month.
    Beth

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    1,993
    My advice: pick the one with the shorter commute.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    1,645
    I think West Seattle has the advantage on shorter commute plus convenience to lots of shops & restaurants, plus beach!

    Renton is indeed further out, but you might have proximity to good cycling out there.

    I think it helps a lot to check out a neighborhood in advance of seeing a house/apartment. You need to be able to picture yourself spending time out and about in your neighborhood.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    Quote Originally Posted by NbyNW View Post
    I think it helps a lot to check out a neighborhood in advance of seeing a house/apartment. You need to be able to picture yourself spending time out and about in your neighborhood.
    Agreed.

    I live in a small 1BR condo. I would love to have a larger place, but not as much as I love living in a good neighborhood with a short commute.

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Renton, Wa
    Posts
    432
    We essentially did the same type of looking when we bought our condo. The condos were so tiny in West Seattle though and so expensive, we didn't think it was worth it. Now we live in Renton. We've been here almost 6 years. We love that our condo has enough room (1100 sq. feet. I think the condos in W seattle were like 800), and we're saving to build our own house in the Tiger Mountain area. We have amazing cycling opportunities out here. I currently work in Tacoma and my husband in Seattle, so that also works out (although I may be working in the downtown/capitol hill area soon). It depends if a commute would bother you. During the warmer months you could look into riding your bike to work. My husband does that. Driving wise, West Seattle isn't that bad. Usually traffic slows down after that exit going into Seattle on I-5, but ultimately I would say it's a 20-30 minute drive.
    Last edited by XMcShiftersonX; 10-06-2010 at 09:57 AM.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    DE
    Posts
    1,209
    Well we can't really put this in perspective without the actual mileage between work and the 2 options. If commute A is 3 miles, and B is 5 miles, that's a lot different than if A is 10 miles and B is 25 miles.....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    around Seattle, WA
    Posts
    3,238
    Quote Originally Posted by withm View Post
    Well we can't really put this in perspective without the actual mileage between work and the 2 options. If commute A is 3 miles, and B is 5 miles, that's a lot different than if A is 10 miles and B is 25 miles.....
    15 miles vs 6 or 7 miles depending on which bridge one crosses
    Beth

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,557
    I have several friends who live in West Seattle, been there 15-20 years, raising kids, etc.

    They talk about how they like the smaller-town feel of it and the strong sense of community. The views are gorgeous, too! Lots of nice parks.

    Closer to Seattle than a lot of the suburbs, but it has a strong identity of its own (partially because it is a bit isolated by the water).

    I've always had a good time in West Seattle. It's pretty low-key, lots of local artists, easy-going.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,043
    I know nothing about Seattle, but I do understand commutes. How long timewise would it take to commute those 15 miles versus the 6-7? Do both places lend themselves to commuting by bike? How much does it mean to you to be able to ride easily from your home? Does driving stress you out?

    I went from being 5 minutes from work to being 45 minutes to an hour. And from a small home of about 1,000 sq. feet plus a garage to a bigger home. I miss the ease of my former life in many ways. Driving and traffic wear me out. On the plus side, I can easily ride from home now, but it doesn't make up for it.

    I don't have a strong sense of community at either place, but that would be a huge selling point for me, especially if I were new to an area.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,557
    Oh, and from West Seattle, if you don't feel like dealing with the bridges, you can take the very cute little pedestrian/bike ferry from West Seattle to Seattle.

    (you can also take the ferry home again)

    No cars allowed on the West Seattle ferry, just bikes and pedestrians. One of my coworkers was doing it every day while she worked down town, she really liked it. I've never ridden it, so I can't tell you much about it personally.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,203
    I've only been to Seattle once, in 1996, when West Seattle was just starting to get trendy according to my host. I loved it then, with all the water.

    And with the closer commute and the ferry--it's a no brainer in my book.

    Of course, I've never been to Renton.

    I live quite comfortably in 900SF, so both options seem quite big to me.

    Wherever you end up, I hope you enjoy it!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    around Seattle, WA
    Posts
    3,238

    house report

    Well the house was really too big for me - it was a single family house, not a townhouse. So the search continues.

    Unfortunately my office isn't in downtown Seattle, it's in "South Seattle" - in an industial area, north of Boeing Field - so lovely ferry rides to work aren't in my future. Or taking the light rail.

    The daily hunt on Craig's List continues...

    And I came "home" to a sick diabetic kitty.
    I have some recovery Rx food that I'll try to feed him to see if he can hold that down. Finding a new Vet wasn't exactly in my plan right now.
    Beth

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Renton, Wa
    Posts
    432
    Quote Originally Posted by bmccasland View Post
    Well the house was really too big for me - it was a single family house, not a townhouse. So the search continues.

    Unfortunately my office isn't in downtown Seattle, it's in "South Seattle" - in an industial area, north of Boeing Field - so lovely ferry rides to work aren't in my future. Or taking the light rail.

    The daily hunt on Craig's List continues...
    There are at least two townhouses for sale in my neighborhood if you're interested, it sounds pretty close to the area of the place you just looked at. I think some people may also be selling their condos. I PM'd you the name of the development earlier, I'm sure you could find info. online if you were interested.

    I feel like I should chime in on the opportunities for water enjoyment since others have been doing the same about W. Seattle In Renton you have Coulon Park, which is on Lake Washington, and then maybe 15 minutes south, Lake Meridian in Kent. There's also the Cedar River in downtown Renton, with an 11 mile paved trail that runs right next to it that is fun to ride on in itself or to use as a connector to go many places including up to Tiger Mountain, or to go on some longer loops like a 45 and 55 miler through country roads with farms, etc.

    Commuting to S. Seattle via bike wouldn't be too bad either. In fact, that's part of the S. Lake Wa loop that many people really enjoy. By car you could also take back streets that are not very congested and prettier than I-5 too because they go along Lake Washington (I used to do it all the time when I was going to Seattle U)! Good luck in your search!
    Last edited by XMcShiftersonX; 10-06-2010 at 06:36 PM.
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,932
    Shorter commute always wins. People with shorter commutes are happier according to research cited in Carjacked (could look it up if challenged).

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    1,993
    Quote Originally Posted by Grog View Post
    Shorter commute always wins. People with shorter commutes are happier according to research cited in Carjacked (could look it up if challenged).
    I'm living proof of this!! Next week, I start a new assignment, and my commute will be just 5.5 miles (all inside the beltway). Hope to stay there until I retire.

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