$1.9 Million Showdown

Price Point: City Craftsman or Woodsy Northwest Contemporary

Two four-bedroom homes, two very different settings. Are you looking for quiet or coffee shops?

By Sarah Anne Lloyd July 21, 2022

Welcome back to Price Point, our real estate column that sends you down two imaginary paths on one specific budget. This time, we’re visiting a craftsman home in the city and a contemporary hideaway in the burbs, both remodeled within the last few decades and both, in their own way, in walkable neighborhoods. With a budget of $1,900,000, are you going for leaded-glass windows or tongue-in-groove cedar walls?

Home 1: An Expanded Ravenna Craftsman

Just a couple of blocks north of Cowan Park in Ravenna, this classic 1924 Craftsman house blends vintage details with newer sensibilities thanks to a sizable addition from the mid-2000s in the back. The original section of the home faces the street, sitting up a set of concrete stairs behind plentiful shrubbery. Inside, a cozy living room is packed with period charm—a Batchelder-style fireplace, leaded-glass windows, and even a cozy reading nook. A large, uncased opening leads to the dining room, with its own bank of leaded casement windows along with a built-in hutch. Around a corner is the home’s only first-floor bedroom and a bathroom with an original-looking tub and hex tile.

The newer stuff connects to the back of the dining room: a huge, wide-open den and kitchen, anchored by another tile-faced fireplace arranged as a kind of homage to the other. This airy area opens directly up to a back porch and the secluded backyard.

Upstairs, find three more bedrooms, including one with a five-piece en suite bath and a balcony rising over the backyard. A large office nook is recessed into the hallway on the way to the smallest bedroom, still in full 1924 style with an attic roofline and built-in drawers.

The backyard is inviting and relatively low-maintenance. The stone patio is surrounded by tiered stone garden beds and shaded by a couple of trees, with a tall wooden fence lining the alley at the top.

It’s a pretty choice location, just a block from Roosevelt High School, a few blocks from Third Place Books, a block and a half to a bus stop, and less than a 10-minute walk to light rail.

Listing Fast Facts

List price: $1,850,000
Location: Ravenna/6524 16th Ave NE
Size: 3,670 square feet/4,080 square foot lot, 4 bedroom/2.75 bath
Year built: 1924
Listing agent: Chandra Gordon, Redfin

Home 2: A Woodsy Northwest Contemporary in Kirkland

Image: Will Russell

This Kirkland home, cradled in the southern end of Big Finn Hill Park, was initially built in 1974—but a late-'90s studs-out remodel pairs '70s features like the sunroom and sunken living room with newer tongue-in-groove cedar walls and other woodsy delights.

Image: Will Russell

The creative layout makes unique spaces, and the centerpiece is probably the living room, which is both down a partial level and two stories high. Two levels of tall windows include stained-glass accents that bookend a brick fireplace. A loft, accessible by a staircase near the entrance, floats above. Other gathering spaces sit just off the dining room and kitchen, both with wood stoves—the latter attaches to a giant deck with stairs down to the backyard. The foyer’s ceiling is almost 100 percent skylight.

Image: Will Russell 

Upstairs, a bevy of bedrooms and bonus rooms include a generous suite, featuring a large bedroom with a vaulted ceiling. Lodge-style windows, a balcony, four whole closets, and an attached flex room are included also. Another bonus room is more of a hideout, with a lower vaulted ceiling and windows peeking over the front of the home. Two other bedrooms sit in their own unique shapes, one with a partial ceiling vault and another with a slight slope from the roof.

Image: Will Russell

Out back, the quarter-acre property has a large sports court, a wide lawn, and a wooden patio, shaded by evergreen trees. The home shares a small park in the center of the cul-de-sac with the neighbors, too.

While it’s pretty close to local parks, schools, and grocery stores, it’s otherwise pretty car-dependent—the nearest bus stop is a little less than two miles away. But for those who now have a mostly optional commute (or purposely want to avoid the city) that might work out just fine.

Image: Will Russell

Listing Fast Facts

List price: $1,900,000
Location: Kirkland/12824 Holiday Dr NE
Size: 4,604 square feet/.24 acres, 4 bedroom/2.25 bath
Year built: 1974
Listing agent: Dana Francis and Michael Billings, John L. Scott

Final Notes

These homes actually have a decent amount in common. Both have four bedrooms and three bathrooms of various sizes, and both are walkable to immediate neighborhood amenities, including plenty of park space.

The biggest difference here is the age-old trade-off: More central or more space? But there are also issues of maintenance, utility, neighborhood vibe, and, of course, aesthetic.

The Ravenna home has a very handy, giant, partially finished basement for all your shop, laundry, gym, and miscellaneous needs, whereas the Kirkland place has a bunch of bonus areas, plus dedicated utility room and shop. The second home has a generous suburban backyard with a sports court—while the first one has a much-lower-maintenance outdoor space. One has more quiet neighborhood streets in the surrounding blocks, while the other a couple of coffee shops.

1920s Craftsman and Northwest Contemporary are very different styles, too, although they both have their fun. With all their differences, the places seem pretty well-matched, so which one has more value to you and your priorities?

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