Our New Apartment

29 Jun

On Wednesday James and I moved into our new place! It’s closer to Amazon and it’s beautiful. It was the only place we found with hardware floors throughout (most places were either carpeted or if they were higher end, had wooden floors in the living areas and carpet in the bedrooms).

We face East, which doesn’t get much sun, but James and I are OK with that. Although once we live through a dreary Seattle winter we may think differently. Here is our floorplan:

image from Rollin St Flats

The apartments on this floor all have higher ceilings. I think the leasing agent said that they’re 11 feet high (or maybe 9 feet). Anyway, it’s all very lofty and spacious feeling.

Our apartment is kind of unique. The building was originally designed as condos and ours is one that had sold and had been slightly customized – so we have sliding doors for the bedroom entry (the other 1 bedroom apartments don’t have doors), a kitchen island (which not even all the 2 bedroom apartments have) and a built-in wine fridge (which only the penthouses have). We will fill it with Seattle’s cheapest wines!

So, walking through the entryway, the den is immediately on your right. The photo is crap because it was dark when I took the photo – the room is windowless and has no ceiling lights (seriously Seattle, what is up with that?) But yeah, as you can see it’s basically a box. There’s plenty of room for our desks and computers. I think we can even fit an emergency bed in there in case of guests, although there is no door.

A little bit further down the hall is the bathroom. I love this bathroom so much. Almost everywhere else we looked at (except The Olivian) had these poky, cramped little bathrooms and this one is huge and luxurious. The only pet peeve I have is the location of the towel rack. It’s slightly to the right of the photo, and I don’t know if you can tell but the vanity is massive. So the towel is well out of reaching distance if you want to dry your hands. I’m thinking of putting the face towel on that rack and the hand towel on a decorative plate next to the sink.

This is still the same bathroom. Opposite the vanity are some sliding doors and behind those are the front loading washer and dryer. To the right of that is a huge storage space that was probably intended for cleaning supplies but where we are storing the litter boxes. There are also some wire shelves overhead so we’ve got stuff there too.

Oh and the toilet is a normal toilet; not one of the scary high-water ones that freak James out.

A bit further down the hall is our bedroom. It’s windowless like the den, but you do get some natural light coming in from the living area because the wall doesn’t go all the way up. There’s lots of clothes storage and two levels of wire racks for vertical storage. The bedroom can very comfortably house a queen bed (maybe even a king!) and 2 nightstands. You can see the edge of the frosted door on the right. I’m not sure what’s on the left – maybe it’s a wall.

After that is the combined kitchen and living area. The lighting is all stuffed up because as you can see the sun was shining right into our place. We get the morning sun and this was maybe 9:30am. We think we’ll have the dining table on the left and the couch and TV on the right. We’re going to buy another Weber Baby Q and put that on the balcony. There is a narrow ledge under the windows that the cats like to sit on.

Standing at the window and facing backwards is our kitchen. It came with a little fire extinguisher which now lives under the sink. This kitchen was hands down the best kitchen we saw of any apartment. It has a gas stove and a convection oven. The fridge makes ice! There’s also an enormous amount of storage – there’s even some that I cropped out of the photo a little bit to the left – and James loved that the cupboards open upwards (apparently he hits his head on open cupboards).

And here is our wine fridge. To the right of it is a cupboard I’m thinking of keeping appliances in and to the right of that is where I’m storing my cookbooks.

So yeah, that is our apartment! It’s so lovely and was so much nicer than any of the other places we looked at. It was the first place we saw and set a high bar for the other apartments.

Actually the one we looked at was one of the standard layouts so it wasn’t as nice as this one. When we came back to have a second look this one was available for a late June move-in and as soon as we saw it we knew we wanted it. There was another 1 bedroom/den for about $100 cheaper a month but it was on a lower floor, didn’t have any of the upgrades and the den was a bit too small to be comfortable.

You can easily pay less for more space, but the buildings are located further from Amazon and they aren’t as nice. This place is quite expensive for Seattle but after seeing a bunch of apartments we realised that this was just the price we had to pay for the quality we wanted.

I’m looking forward to furnishing it! It doesn’t quite feel like home yet because we have rental furniture until our sea shipment arrives. I’ve been slowly buying household items but it will be another month or two until everything is properly sorted, and then I’ll post some more photos. =)

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8 Responses to “Our New Apartment”

  1. Beverly July 16, 2012 at 1:41 am #

    OMG YOUR KITCHEN AND WINE FRIDGE!!! *faint*

    • pamperedhousewife July 16, 2012 at 9:15 am #

      I’m afraid this kitchen has spoiled me and James for all others!

  2. Brinley July 16, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    Hi there!

    Stumbled on your blog while googling for accomodation in Seattle.

    May I ask what the rent is like for your apartment and what sort of advice you can give from your accomodation searches?

    P.S I’m also on my way to join Amz from Perth in a couple of months, looking forward to meeting your husband at Amz HQ and perhaps we can all meet up for coffee.

    • pamperedhousewife July 16, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

      Hi!

      Amazon are really going on a recruiting frenzy aren’t they? Apparently its employee base is increasing 25-30% a year (you’ll get told that at Amazon orientation – act surprised) =)

      Our apartment (1 bed/1 study) in Rollin st is $2380 a month or thereabouts, because I remember with $25 pet rent it’s a little over $2400. Similar floorplans in our building are $2200-2350ish. It’s really pricey for Seattle but we love it! It’s basically the super high end of apartments here in Seattle though, and I’m told you can find something quite nice for $1500-2000 a month.

      The popular neighborhoods near Amazon seem to be Queen Anne, Belltown, Capitol Hill, Downtown, and South Lake Union. First Hill is about a 30 minute walk, and near Capitol Hill, but it doesn’t seem to get recommended a lot. We found Google maps to be pretty accurate in estimating walking times, although some areas are quite hilly so it feels longer. If you’re willing to commute, Ballard, Fremont and Wallingford are the most commonly recommended.

      Because of Amazon’s hiring spree the rental market here is really tight. I found on message boards, people who live here would be like “OMG who would pay $1000 for a 1 bedroom” but we were talking to some other Australians who agreed that the 1 bedrooms you could get for that price were pretty scary. I mean sometimes a great bargain pops up on Craigslist (always a condo owner renting out their place – the apartment managers in the area know how tight the market is and price accordingly) but I imagine they get snapped up by Americans with credit and rental histories.

      You’ll get a month in corporate housing, and I highly recommend exploring the neighborhoods to get a feel for what you like. Check Craigslist so you get an idea of prices. =) Don’t worry about commuting because Amazon will give you a free Orca card so it doesn’t cost anything – it’s more about whether you are willing to commute after a long day at work! But basically the process seems to be that you call a bunch of apartments and make appointments to tour them – some will only show you the display apartments (lame!) but some will let you see the actual apartment for rent which is much better.

      I’d love to catch up once you get here. =) There are lots of Australians (and other transplants) here and everyone seems pretty social. Please feel free to ask any other questions you have. I’ve had a few Aussies find my blog and am happy to share anything I’ve learned so far!

  3. Rupert May 17, 2014 at 2:35 am #

    Your blog is fantastic!

    We are relocating from Sydney and trying to work out where to live – what do you think of Rollin Street two years later? On a map, it seems to be in a great location (Whole Foods, 8 bus, 40 bus, streetcar, etc?)

    • pamperedhousewife May 17, 2014 at 10:53 am #

      Rollin Street is fantastic! I love everything about living here (well except the rent, I guess). The staff are amazing, the interior is beautiful and high quality, and the location is super convenient but still quiet at night.

      Zero complaints. If they don’t raise the rent on us too much we’ll stay here as long as James is at Amazon. =)

      • Rupert May 18, 2014 at 6:36 am #

        Thanks! Yeah, we were a little amazed that the rent is even higher than in Sydney… did not think that was possible 🙂

      • pamperedhousewife May 18, 2014 at 10:19 am #

        You can definitely find cheaper places around, but after we looked at Rollin Street we didn’t want to live anywhere else. 😉

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