A Studio In Seattle = Square Peg In Round Hole

For some reason in the last 4-5 years developers decided that buyers would warm up to a studio.  I want to go on the record and say it is a waste of time, money and resources.  Studios work in Boston.  Studios also are popular in New York.  Seattle is not a market for a studio.  I’m sure a few of you will argue with me and I can understand why.   I already know what you will say:

1.  It allows a lower price barrier of entry.
2.  It serves a minimalist that doesn’t need the space.
3.  They allow developers to make more money on the 1, 1.5, and 2 bedroom units.
4.  I own one, don’t offend me (Owning as studio is ok, building more studios in Seattle is not)

I can see the points above and consider some of them valid.  However, we don’t have the density of a NYC or Boston.  Somewhere along the line, design consultants tricked our local developers into thinking that there is a difference between an  “open one bedroom” and a studio.  Lets set the record straight; an “open one bedroom” is a studio.  So when the Seattle market was flooded with high priced units offering un-orignal space, I think it was a major mistake.  Thus far, the public rejected it and the projects are having difficulty selling out.  I’m not pointing the finger at any one person.  With that being said, moving forward I reccomend that builder/developers ask the consumer what they want.

What is the best layout of a unit?
How much space do you need?
Do you want more sqaure footage in the bedroom or living areas?
Are you willing to buy a unit where your guests might see your dirty laundry and your bed?!?

Doing more homework and surveying local buyers who haven’t purchased would go a long way.  Developers can adapt to more transparancy.  I think buyers know what they want.  Developers could build success stories by reaching out to their customers and getting great feedback. From what I have heard thus far, it would be much more successful than quickly building a product and shoving it down the throats of the local condo buyers.  I would suggest that the development community work together from here on out and build something that we “all” believe in.

Share on Pinterest
There are no images.
Share with your friends

  • http://stroupecondoblog.com Justin Bowers

    dude, ur trippin. I would normally begin this comment with reason #4, but… What floorplan is that you have posted? I will always live in a studio, and know lots of people that prefer it that way themselves. How many studios have been bought since prices for studios are no longer $200 to $340k? Neighbor just moved into hers the other day. Got it for $100kish… Gal is now a couple blocks from the needle, has parking, decent view–FOR $100k!!! Couple years ago, people were literally paying $200k for the same unit and there were multiple offers. …but, that floorplan you got there! my goodness! Those don’t work.

  • Scott

    I, personally would never buy a studio unless I could buy the exact one below or above to possibly make into a 2-story. I see all of these as a waste of space, especially in Seattle. Good post!

  • http://www.urbancondospaces.com Jeff


    I have no problems with the idea of owning a studio. They serve a good purpose. To each their own. For a developer, I think they can serve the needs of buyers better by keeping their prices down and building one bedrooms instead. A studio is a great buy in a hot market, but it will have some of the biggest price declines in a down market. If you were given the choice in today’s market wouldn’t you pay just a little bit more for a true one bedroom?!? I think most would agree that it is a better investment.

  • http://stroupecondoblog.com Justin Bowers

    Last one-bedroom I had I tried moving all my living room furniture into the bedroom, and all my bedroom furniture into the living room just to make use of the space. But then again, I think the Butabi brothers idea in Night at the Roxbury was a fab idea!

    I would prefer the 1-bedrooms at Marselle over their open 1 bedrooms since the floorplan is the living room with a door to the bedroom. In that case I might really enjoy a bedroom. I might take the door down and hang some sweet beads up instead tho;)

    If the only 1-bedrooms I had to choose from had a bedroom down a hallway, it would never get used. I like having my computer, TV, fridge, music equipment, and all that right there. Maybe I’m one of a kind, but I would choose one large open space over the same amount of square footage with a wall blocking my access to everything that i love. aaaaaaaaand, I’m also very single. lol. I just really like studio/loft spaces. I feel shut out when in a bedroom. Too quiet.