When I first moved to Seattle I lived in a cramped studio in the heart of the city. I could walk to Nordstrom, Pike Place and any cuisine my little heartp could have desired. My next place was a modern two bedroom with a rooftop deck overlooking the canal close to running trails and vintage shops and my school. Over the Summer I tried out frat life in the U-District sharing a small bedroom with three other girls and a sticky bathroom with yucky boys. Finally in January I shared a townhouse with two strangers from Craigslist but finally fulfilled my dream of my very own walk-in closet before my apartment went into foreclosure and I was forced to find a new place quickly last month.
I’ve lived in so many different spaces over the past few years. The small studio in a prime location taught me that I DO value space and in exchange I’m willing to give up a few amenities (bye-bye pretty apartment gym and rooftops with skyscraper views). The two bedroom in Fremont showed me how much I love being able to walk to restaurants and coffee shops and running trails and my recent town-home introduced me to the beauty of a lease and the legal protection it provides. Who would have thought right?
Though my move was quite quick and felt a bit like chaos I tried to take into account the lessons I have learned when searching for an apartment. When I moved to my Fremont apartment I played a little game asking you to guess which place I chose. I thought it would be fun to see if you guys can guess correctly again! Keep in mind I didn’t use any actual photos from the real apartments…I will (of course) feature a real tour when I move in at the end of the month. Go off of the descriptions more than the pictures when making your guesses. I hope you have as much fun playing along as I did creating this!
Option One| Magnolia Condo
This two bedroom condo in the quiet and safe community of Magnolia is fairly new and up to date. Magnolia is filled with lots of parks, trails for running and is close to downtown though not lively in its own right. The apartment is large (over 800 sq. ft.), well taken care of and offers a small outdoor space for a table or outdoor furniture and a storage unit which would be great for storing skis/holiday decorations/etc.
+ A full bathroom including a bathtub, cabinet space and a washer and dryer. Nothing calms me down when I’m stressed like a hot, candlelit bath and a good book. Living here would mean I could enjoy bubble baths every day of the week if I want to!
+ Two Bedrooms for the price of “one” means converting one into an office/gigantic walk in closet. It’s a Carrie Bradshaw dream come true!
+ Lots of parking, not only are there two parking spaces with the unit but if I have guests over parking won’t be a struggle. There is street parking everywhere and the neighborhood is quiet and safe so no one will have to feel sketched out walking to their car at night.
– The neighborhood feels safe and quiet (a pro obviously) but also a bit isolated. Many families flock to this location so it isn’t exactly the “happening” spot for early twenty-somethings or younger crowds.
– The fact that it is a condo rather than an apartment freaks me out a little bit. The owner lives in Georgia so if a sink is leaking or the washer and dryer break I imagine the process for fixing anything will take longer than a typical apartment with a rental office down the hall.
– While the living room/kitchen area is bright and airy the two bedrooms have smaller windows and less natural light then I would like. I am such a sucker for bright rooms and natural light I don’t want to feel like I am living in a basement dungeon!
Option Two|Fremont Vintage Tudor
This spacious one bedroom is in a neighborhood I adored living in before. The community is eclectic and artsy with a neighborhood feel while still offering many sources of entertainment like parades, farmers markets and art shows. The building is older but well taken care of, includes an attached garage and features cute details like chandeliers and crown molding even though the laundry is downstairs in a shared basement.
+Great vintage feel! Everything about this apartment screams “CHARMING”! From the crown molding to the delicate floral detailing around the fireplace to the blue tiles in the kitchen the aesthetic is adorable.
+ Interesting floor plan with lots of closet space. This apartment is 800 sq. ft. and one bedroom. The bedroom itsself is fairly small but the large walk in closet could even be a small office if I really wanted (but why would I want that when I could use it as a haven for my shoes?).
+ I am in love with the location of this apartment. I lived in Fremont before and was so happy with the artistic vibe of the community. This apartment isn’t as centrally located as my last place but is still technically within walking distance of cute restaurants, grocery stores and boutiques.
– Laundry in the Building as opposed to in the unit. I’ve dealt with communal laundry before and am in no way “above it” but after having my own laundry machine for the past three years I’m not sure I would love the adjustment back to a shared washer and dryer. Spare quarters anyone?
– The landlord giving the tour was EXTREMELY “hover-y” to say the least. She was prying for really unnecessary details about my personal life (“How old are you?” “Are you married?” “Where did you go to school?”) and even though I’m an easy tenant I can foresee her nosiness and over involvement as a slight annoyance in the future.
– The bathroom is teeny tiny. Although it is completely functional I would need to find another space for all of my makeup/lotion/hair products as there is zero cabinet space and the pedestal sink (though cute) offers no counter space.
Option Three|Capitol Hill Loft
The loft on Capitol Hill is prime real estate for many Seattle residents. Capitol Hill is the center of Seattle night life and offers everything I could possibly need within walking distance. The apartment itsself isn’t huge but with the loft format feels much bigger due to vaulted ceilings and floor to ceiling windows.
+ The location is right at the center of everything. Not only can I walk to coffee shops and restaurants but cute clothing boutiques and night life are just around the corner.
+ The unique set up of this apartment is a definite perk. Not only are the ceilings super high making the living room area feel ginormous but the floor to ceiling two story windows allow an immense amount of natural light to flow into the apartment. As someone who is obsessed with natural light it really can’t be beat!
+ Amazing hardwood floors and granite countertops throughout the apartment make the loft so aesthetically pleasing and modern feeling.
-Parking is extremely difficult on Capitol Hill (not to mention expensive). Parking in this location costs at minimum $150 more per car per month.
– The kitchen is a small space shoved into the corner entry way. It feels like a shoebox and event though I don’t have many kitchen supplies I already envision it feeling too cramped.
– Capitol Hill is a fun neighborhood but honestly sort of creeps me out at night! I always hear about robberies and stabbings…I know I would feel safe in the apartment but is it realistic to assume I’ll never have to walk alone at night?
Which apartment do you think I chose? Which would you choose and why? What do you look for when searching for a new house or apartment? I’ll reveal my choice next week!
***None of these photos are actual photos taken by me of the properties. I would have felt like a creep during the tours. The featured photos are from Craigslist and not of the actual apartments I am considering (: