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Seattle (Bremerton?) moving update, still in need of guidance
July 19, 2014 3:29 PM   Subscribe

Moving in two weeks, and we've got a bit more information. The listings online have us a little worried, so I'm asking for some more guidance.

So, I asked this question about a month ago but now I have some more info and the details have changed a bit.

Mr. Patheral still doesn't have a job, but he's got a strong lead on a company that has offices on the 1900 block of 3rd street, but they plan on moving to the lower Queen Anne area. The thing is, if he gets this job, they won't be able to pay them as much as a bigger company because they're a smaller, start up company. This means our uppermost rent changes from $2K to about $1.2K maybe $1.5K a month if we really stretch things, all the stars line up, I get my disability straightened out, and we get a good buyer for our house. That cuts down on the number of affordable places in the city significantly, especially since we have the pets.

We are looking in Bremerton and possibly Port Orchard, but I honestly don't know if he can do that commute for a year. I love my guy dearly, but it'll start to weigh on him after a while. He loves the idea of Bainbridge Island, but yeah... there isn't much there that we can afford.

We've been looking on Zillow, Craigslist, and a bunch of real estate websites, but mostly it's just casting about and seeing what pops up in our price range. We're not familiar with the area... Any clues on where two forty-somethings without kids but three pets can find a place in our price range to rent for a year that's in a nice-ish neighborhood? It doesn't have to be grand, but it would be nice if it was safe to walk the streets because, you know, dogs gotta be walked and all.

Anyway, he's heading out there next week (the 25th) for in person interviews and to look for a place. I'll be following shortly after as soon as he finds one. I'd really like to give him a list of areas to focus on if y'all can help me out.
posted by patheral to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
 
It's an hour crossing on the ferry from Bremerton to downtown Seattle and at least another 20 - 30 minutes from there to lower Queen Anne. That sounds like a dreadful commute to me, but maybe not to your husband?

Try Greenwood, Broadview, Northgate, or Crownhill neighborhoods in North Seattle.
posted by brookeb at 10:11 PM on July 19


Don't go across the sound for housing, the ferries are problematical at best. North of Seattle for a selection of good housing, start with the bus routes as a location guide as the same routes would be for car/bike mostly. Also research which transit routes are getting cut back soon.
posted by Freedomboy at 10:58 PM on July 19


Anecdotes from coworkers suggest that living on Bainbridge is nice and quiet, and if you can telecommute and count that time towards your working day it lowers some of the time suck, but as someone who used to have a 1.5 hr commute, sometimes you just wanna get home. Your schedule then revolves around ferry departure times, and it is possible to miss the last ferry if you work late. Also add an hour every time you want to go to he airport, Seattle, the eastside, or any of the popular hikes in the east.

We were in a similar situation to you and we decided to rent downtown close to work for the beginning until we learned about the different areas and knew where we'd really like to live. There are plenty of folks with dogs in our apartment building too, Seattle is a very doggy city, so perhaps don't discount that as an option.
posted by Joe Chip at 7:03 AM on July 20


We're looking at apartments too. Maybe if someone can suggest a pet friendly apartment/townhome complex in Seattle? We're not opposed to living in an apartment for a year or so. We just don't know where in the city to look.

I mean, I don't want to wind up locked in a lease in a neighborhood where I'd be too afraid to walk the dogs at night because there's gunshots ringing out at all hours and you can't get food delivered or taxi service after dark, and random people keep trying to open the apartment door -- just because... It's happened to me before, even though the apartments looked nice (newly renovated) and the neighborhood itself seemed to be clean and well kept; it was right on the border of a "good block/bad block" kind of thing. Anyway, I don't want to end up in that situation again.
posted by patheral at 9:00 AM on July 20


Oh, and don't they still have foot ferries? I remember the foot ferry being only a half an hour ride across as opposed to an hour. The company he's looking at now is only 1.5 miles from the ferry terminal. That's easily walkable, or busable. I never took my car into the city when I lived in Bremerton and commuted to Seattle back in the stone age (1998)... way too much hassle.
posted by patheral at 9:05 AM on July 20


If you're willing to come this far north, there's a 200 unit apartment building near my house on Bothell that has rents like you describe and is explicitly pet friendly. The building isn't finished yet (but one of their previous projects nearby is, so I trust that it will be) but they are taking applications now. My husband commuted from here to LQA for more than a year, and it was a long commute but not longer than one from Bremerton. Memail me for the website for the apartment complex if you're interested.
posted by KathrynT at 9:21 AM on July 20


We are looking in Bremerton and possibly Port Orchard, but I honestly don't know if he can do that commute for a year.

Everyone has a different tolerance level for commutes, but I personally would not commute from Port Orchard/Bremerton to lower Queen Anne. It'd be brutal commute - you'd have to drive to the ferry, wait in line, travel via ferry, then drive through immense Seattle traffic. And then do it all again in the afternoon. It would be the kind of thing that would really wear you down over months.

We've been looking on Zillow, Craigslist, and a bunch of real estate websites, but mostly it's just casting about and seeing what pops up in our price range.

If you want to do a house, you'll need to be this flexible - open to many neighborhoods and just jumping on anyplace nice you see. I do think it'd be possible for you to find a small house in the north part of Shoreline, or even possibly verrrrrry north Seattle, at $1500. But not at $1200.

I'd really like to give him a list of areas to focus on if y'all can help me out.

Houses: I would specifically keep an eye out for Greenwood, Shoreline, Northgate, and Haller Lake. But I'd search craigslist constantly in the first 12 days of the month and be open to anything north of Queen Anne, up to about 175th. When you see a posting, I'd cross-reference the location with a transit map (if he's open to busing) or with google's driving directions (if he wants to drive). Some places at 150th will have shorter commutes (if they're near 99) than places at 100th (if they're over by Lake Washington).

Apartments: If you're open to the right apartment, I think this would really make your life a lot easier. Here are some areas in the city that you might be able to find more of the slightly-rural feel you're looking for (ok, they're not really rural, but there's nice walking with lots of greenery): Magnolia, Crown Hill/Broadview (near Carkeek Park), Greenlake.

I don't want to wind up locked in a lease in a neighborhood where I'd be too afraid to walk the dogs at night because there's gunshots ringing out at all hours and you can't get food delivered or taxi service after dark, and random people keep trying to open the apartment door.

There is essentially nowhere in Seattle like this - it has an extremely low crime rate. There is definitely nowhere in the north half of the city where taxis won't go or food won't be delivered. This will give you a neighborhood breakdown if you want to get detailed crime info, but really I wouldn't worry about it (just don't live within a few blocks of Aurora/99 and, if you really want to be careful, walk around the neighborhood at night to see how it feels).

Best of luck in your house search! The rental market's crazy in Seattle right now.
posted by leitmotif at 9:59 AM on July 20 [2 favorites]


North Seattle or Shoreline around 99 (Aurora) will be your easiest commute by car. I would do whatever I could to avoid taking I-5 into Queen Anne, or dealing with the ferry every day. For $1200 you can maybe get a one bedroom apartment in one of the less hip neighborhoods, pets shouldn't be a huge issue. I would try to find a spot at least a few blocks off Aurora and take my walks in the opposite direction.Things will get cheaper the further North you go. The RapidRide E Line runs up and down Aurora and has a stop within about a dozen blocks from Lower Queen Anne. It would be a convenient enough commute. though it's an... interesting... bus.

Alternatively, somewhere in South Seattle near a light rail station would get you a larger place and a great commute. Crime will be higher overall, but there a plently of perfectly nice and safe neighborhoods down there, and rent is far cheaper. You could probably find a house in that price range if you head further South to Tukwila, and it's still only like a forty minute train ride to get downtown.
posted by Jawn at 12:31 PM on July 20


So, the hubs is heading out next weekend to search for housing and to do face to face interviews with a few companies. Can y'all suggest a place for him and the cat to bunker down while he looks? He's taking the cat to make it easier for me because I'll be bringing both dogs with me when I follow him a week later (I'll be staying behind to tie up loose ends).
posted by patheral at 12:55 PM on July 20


There's nowhere in Seattle that's "bad." If you want (relatively) inexpensive housing, consider the south end like Columbia City, Othello, Mount Baker. You can use Link Light Rail to get into downtown and then get a 3, 4, or 13 bus to LQA. By the way, though this will probably get some discussion going, the Central District doesn't live up to its reputation from 30 years ago and there are still affordable houses in it. You will have to pound the pavement since, by and large, only the newer (and more expensive) construction is listed online.

If you really want to enjoy Seattle, I wouldn't live across the sound. If you want to really experience everything that Seattle has to offer, come join us inside the city limits. :)

As for where to stay, many hotels in Seattle accept pets for a $100-$200 deposit. Just call ahead and they'll accommodate, especially if it's a cat. There is a City Target in downtown (2nd/Union, I believe) that has disposable cat litter trays and a suitable selection of feline noms.
posted by fireoyster at 1:14 PM on July 20


Seconding the advice to look South for the short term, and maybe long as well. I'm a Seattle native and moved south of I-90 about 7 years ago, and for what the lower half of the city has to offer I'm not sure why I'd ever leave. If hubs isn't sure where he's working, but will be using public transportation to get there, your best bet might be somewhere along the light-rail line. This ensures a quick and traffic-proof trip downtown where he can transfer to whatever bus takes him to work and you'll also have easy, car-free access to several other great neighborhoods, and more to come as the line expands.

$1200 a month is doable close to downtown but the pet requirement will reduce your options. For the short term you might want to check out http://thestationatothellopark.com/; across the street from a light-rail stop, cat and dog friendly and looks like a 1BR would run you just under $1K. Closer to downtown and great places to live short-or-long term are Columbia City and Beacon Hill, and I'm seeing options in both for under $1200 (using padmapper.com). Regarding the pets, I would follow up with any ad not specifically saying they aren't allowed (instead of ignoring these ads by default); sometimes they're allowed for the "right" people.

Here's a few links to get you up to speed on your rights as a WA tenant. It's worth noting that any pet deposits or fees collected at move-in are considered by law a refundable deposit unless the lease specifically designates them as "non-refundable fees".

http://www.tenantsunion.org/en/rights/understanding-landlord-tenant-laws
http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/codesrules/commonquestions/rentalhousingproblems/default.htm

Another Seattle tip:
- STreets run eaST and weST
- aveNues run North and south
- EveN numbered addresses are on the East and North side of the road (which is likely called a street or avenue)

(Sorry, your "3rd street" comment made my eye twitch. In a similar vein, it's only ever called "Pike Place Market", Starbucks is not considered good coffee here and we don't use umbrellas.)

If I can offer any more help feel free to memail me.
posted by bizwank at 10:58 AM on July 21


Sorry, your "3rd street" comment made my eye twitch. In a similar vein, it's only ever called "Pike Place Market", Starbucks is not considered good coffee here and we don't use umbrellas.

I noticed my mistake when it was too late to fix it. Sorry! I also know about the umbrellas, and I'll only drink Starbucks if it's the only coffee to be had...

We've cautiously moved our upper limit to $1.7K. We've been cross referencing with the transit maps and wow! living in some parts of town would be just as long of a commute as if we lived in Bremerton... if Google Maps is to be trusted. So we are looking at downtown apartments and houses too.
posted by patheral at 2:23 PM on July 21


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