In a few days marks our 2 month mark here in Washington. I’m anxious to find our next fixer upper house. Right now we’re in Federal Way between Seattle and Tacoma in a rental house. (A rental house we can’t refurbish furniture at or run a business from. I’m going a little crazy.)
The newness is wearing off. It’s always busy here with a large population (as expected), but you don’t really understand until you’re living inside and become one of the many. Blending in with people of varying backgrounds. It’s exciting and overwhelming at the same time.
Then there’s also a view of Mount Rainier from many of the areas we find ourselves which never fails to take our breaths away. I’m known to ask why people in the other cars aren’t amazed-there’s a freaking mountain over there. Or our drives to the Puget Sound with its spectacular water views (and real estate wowza) and there are those times where we’re hanging with my sis-in-law in Seattle. She works and lives close to the Space Needle and Pike Place Market. I find myself saying hey to both institutions. I literally say hi. Just so happy. I love it here.
I’m obsessed with house hunting. I’ve been researching and planning part of our future which involves rental income properties and another house to remodel. To reach this, we soon need to find a place with potential in a desirable location…proving difficult.
We met with our real estate agent a few weeks ago to peruse Tacoma. She is wonderful and knowledgeable…our agent and the city. It didn’t take long to fall in love with Seattle and Tacoma. They are laid-back with a small town feel but you don’t forget you’re in an urban, forward-looking, progressive locale. There’s also nostalgia with nuance. A pleasing, comfortable vibe…even when the fifth person asks you for money in an hour or person talking to themselves starts to yell at you or when a street performer completely embarrasses you in their juggling act (ahem). There’s just something about it here.
Back to the real estate though.
Greg and I are open for a house in Tacoma or Seattle. That’s a pretty big spread and we’re still struggling. A big issue with all of this is the cost (it’s very expensive and we don’t know how most people afford it)…then there’s the quality factor.
People live in conditions we can’t wrap our brains around-whether it be filthy, gross conditions the owner or tenant keep the house or the home’s structure. Gross can typically be cleaned, but structure would take some doing and more moolah.
The roof is falling in and leaks, the house is sinking, you can’t actually use the 1/2 story upstairs, the stairs are too steep or built in such a way that leaves the upstair’s layout unusable. You can’t stand up in the basement, you have to walk outside to get to the basement and that’s where the washer/dryer are or maybe the electrical box is located on the exterior of the house, the garage (if there is one) doesn’t seem safe to be in…things of that nature.
You can have one section of a neighborhood be great then drive a smidge down the street and have the completely opposite condition. There are various styles and ages of homes in the same neighborhood at various levels of maintenance. It’s tricky to figure out decent from not-so-decent here which sounds strange, I know.
These have been houses in our price range making it a bummer thus far. Often the house location does not make it profitable either or you’ll be fighting other investors who make…you know…those crappy, cheaply remodeled interiors that don’t address the problems, instead masking it with shiny-yet-still bland finishes. We’ve considered fixing what they’ve done, but there’s not been an ideal candidate for it.
I never lose hope though. Not when I have mountains and water to look at.