No deposit. No background check. Monthly rent of $350, in cash, for a room within walking distance to work.
Back in 2013, Skyler Wister, a young social worker desperately looking for affordable housing downtown, couldn’t believe his luck when he found this boardinghouse at 413 Minor Ave. N. in Seattle’s Cascade neighborhood.
For three years, his housemates at what he called a “true bohemian rathole” included veterans living on fixed incomes and a few cooks. Life at the working-class dwelling built in 1909 was “a continuous conversation about the good old times,” he said.
Wister once contacted me to suggest that I sketch the view from his bedroom before a new office tower would block it. I missed that opportunity, but I tracked him down earlier this week when I learned that he and his roommates recently had to vacate the house, which is in the process of being sold.
Now 32 and living with his girlfriend in a $1,500-a-month apartment on Capitol Hill, Wister said rooming arrangements like what this old house offered don’t exist anymore in the downtown Seattle area. Instead, he is saving money to buy his own fixer-upper in Bremerton, where he says everything is more affordable.