Seattle Living

This page is about John's apartments and houses in Seattle where he lived after he moved back from Alaska in 1991.

John’s warehouse loft apartment between Pike and Pine with walls from old windows (RW160)

When John was in his 20s he lived in a warehouse loft in Seattle on 11th Avenue between Pike and Pine, which then was Capitol Hill, but not any part of it that anybody would want to go to. It was just a no-man's-land while today it is the center of the zone. John built that apartment! Two days before he moved in it was still a warehouse, but they put walls and electricity in it themselves.

The owner had bought the building on a 100 year lease for $1 million and John did not understand why you would lease a building for 100 years. How does someone inherit that? It didn't register with him that the guy who was doing this was already 40 and in 50 years he would be 90 and he could hand it down to a beneficiary who was 40 years old at the time of his death who would live to be 90 also and the lease would still be there.

100 years is a long time! When John was 26 he thought 100 years later he would still be living there. At the time, paying $1 million for this place seemed crazy, but now it is a sprawling warehouse with probably six businesses and 25 enormous loft apartments and he probably makes $1 million a month in rent!

When John was younger this warehouse loft was his dream style of living because it was a completely raw space that seemed urban and you could make it whatever you wanted. If you wanted to create a room over here you just arranged the furniture and you had a new room, almost. You would find some doors in an ally and bolt them together to make an intriguing loft wall of weathered old doors.

John was making probably $700 a month at that point, the others there didn't have any money either, but they lived in this place with the bathroom down the hall and walls made out of windows from a dumpster. John had borrowed some guy's shopping cart, filled it up with windows, rolled them home, unloaded them, took the cart back to the dumpster, filled it up with windows, and came back. They built a little frame and built a room out of them that you could hang curtains in and it became John’s bedroom. He was having a lot of fun, but didn't think so at the time but thought he was a miserable sad sack.

John's farm house on Rainier View

see House and Neighborhood!

Millennial Girlfriend wanting John to sell his house and buy a house together (RW160)

When Millennial Girlfriend moved to Seattle she told John he had to sell his house because she couldn’t live in his house and they would instead have to buy a house together. She loved his house and for a year and a half she came up and said: ”This house is so amazing. Let's build a life here together!”, but within a week of having actually moved to Seattle she said: ”Most psychologists say that you should never move into someone else's house. You should always buy a house together because the the old house has too many memories!” - ”I don't know. You used to say you loved it here!” - ”Yeah, but I don't want to live in a place where you just cleared a drawer for me!” - ”Well, I guess I see that!”

Within a day they were on North Queen Ann‚ looking at white colonial houses in a neighborhood where every other car is an Audi A7. ”How did I get here? I don't want to live up here! This is terrible!” She only lasted a couple of weeks in Seattle, but part of it was: ”You got to sell your house!”

John was ready to do it, but the money he would have made from it would not have been enough and he would not have been able to contribute half of the money to purchasing one of the grand homes that she thought they were going to live in. She was a tech lawyer and had more money than he did. It was a really sketchy proposition because he was going to sell his house and put his money into a house where he would be the junior partner.

John's current mid-century modern house in Normandy Park

see Mid-century modern and Normandy Park!

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