Townhouses are the new SUVs

Lots of people bash them, but at the same time, lots of people are buying them. And as with SUVs, much of the bashing is justified. But some help could be on the way: the scourge of the townhouses is on the radar of Seattle city planners who are updating multifamily zoning code.

But looky, the ones shown above aren’t too bad, maybe even kind of nice, dare I say. The biggest design compromise is a result of accommodating cars: the first floor is too high off the ground, and the garage doors and driveway present a big deadspace to the street.

Current price tag is $570,000, though they may not get that much — townhouses are getting hit hard in the recent turndown.

These townhouses, along with the new single-family house next to them (not shown), replaced a modest post-war box duplex, like the red one in the right background of the photo. They were cheap to rent, in pretty good shape, had a big yard, and no garages (I know cause some years ago I had a girlfriend who lived there). So housing unit density was increased by 50%, while affordability was reduced by, let’s say, a buttload, give or take. So it goes.