Reader Keith Harrison gives us the heads-up on a disturbing trend in Seattle - tearing-down of sturdy old bungalows to make room for new custom (and in some cases tract) homes. Read Aubrey Cohen's full article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Michael and Kimberly Kocher wanted something bigger and newer than the decades-old bungalows and Craftsman houses that dominate Seattle neighborhoods, but they didn't want the suburbs.
Fortunately for them, more and more builders are providing just the thing -- tearing down small, old houses to build modern, large ones as home buyers in Seattle and nationwide move back to the city, bringing with them suburban expectations of size and amenities.
Al Ostman, who owns Columbia Rim Building Co., is one of many builders catering to the renewed interest in city living.
"It's the commute," he said "If you're not working at Microsoft, why would you want to live in Issaquah?"
Just in Seattle's single-family zones, 492 houses were demolished to make way for a new house or some other use between 2003 and 2005. Citywide, teardowns have picked up since 1998, averaging about 500 homes demolished a year -- a 57 percent increase from the average in the preceding eight years.
Some Seattle neighborhoods, such as Capitol Hill and Queen Anne, are well-stocked with old houses that provide the space modern families want, but teardowns are more common in northern neighborhoods such as Ballard, View Ridge and Greenwood, which are growing in popularity and where older houses tend to be smaller.