The Rental Virgin

With Karen Quinn By Jane Hodges May 18, 2012 Published in the June 2012 issue of Seattle Met

Dan McManus, a bike and snowboard mechanic who recently moved here from Connecticut to take a job at REI’s flagship store, knew he didn’t sound like such a good renter when he arrived in April: He hadn’t turned 21, had no credit history, and wanted to rent with two of his bandmates. They wanted to share a single-family home with no adjoining walls to neighbors so their music practice wouldn’t draw complaints. Preferably near REI’s South Lake Union store.

McManus, who’d been eyeing his relocation to Seattle for about six months, noticed rents rising before he arrived in April. Anticipating questions from landlords, he sought standalone homes managed by individual landlords rather than big management companies. And, coming from metro Hartford, Connecticut, he was unfazed at the idea of paying up to $1,600 a month for a new place.

McManus and his housemates even managed to find a home within budget. After checking out a three-bedroom duplex in the International District (too much potential band noise for neighbors) and a four-bedroom house in the Central District (rooms too small), the group found a three-bedroom house in Ravenna, owned by a couple with young kids who live in the area.

“The landlords were very nice—and it’s a nice commute to downtown,” says McManus, who will likely bike to work. “And being near the U District is age-appropriate for me.”

Ravenna / Bryant

Renter-Occupied Housing Units

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