If you have ever, for some ungodly reason, desired to live in Jeff Bezos’s old house – well you can do that now, for the low, low price of just under £1.2 million.
Per the Seattle Times, the three-bedroom, 1.75 bathroom residence on Northeast 28th Street in West Bellevue in the Seattle metropolitan area was also the original location of Amazon headquarters (namely, in the garage). It was first built in 1954 and was “extensively remodelled with a new roof and bathroom in 2001, years after Bezos moved out,” the Times wrote. The garage was also remodelled, so the interiors likely no longer resemble the residence when Bezos lived there. However, it does retain an oversized mailbox Bezos once used to receive book catalogues back when Amazon sold books, rather than late capitalism.
West Bellevue is the most expensive neighbourhood in the region, according to the Times – something that surely can’t be linked to Amazon’s post-garage legacy of contributing to skyrocketing rent and income inequality in Seattle – and the paper estimated that a $300,000 (£230,000) down payment and annual income of $300,000 (£230,000) would be necessary to pick up the house. Per the Times:
The home’s price history illustrates how much the area has changed. The year he lived there, the county assessor valued the home at $135,000 [£105,000]. After Bezos moved out, it was bought in 1998 for $182,000 [£141,500] – or $281,000 [£218,000] in today’s dollars. It was then sold again in 2009 for $620,000 [£482,000], or $720,000 [£560,000] in today’s dollars.
The current asking price for the former Bezos home is double that – $1,488,888 [£1,157,000]. That actually puts it comfortably below the area’s median home price of about $2 million, and is a bit less than the Zillow and Redfin estimates of the home’s value.
While the Times reported that Amazon was based out of said garage only briefly, Bezos built two desks out of cheap Home Depot doors and two-by-fours there for their second office, which CNBC reported was on the same block as a pawn shop, heroin-needle exchange, and a “porno parlor.” Listing agent Pat Sullivan told the paper that “there’s a good chance an Amazon exec might buy this for bragging rights,” which sounds about right, though the last buyer to purchase the property reportedly had no idea at the time of the sale.
Bezos himself has moved on to living a lifestyle more in line with his current budget. When he’s not trying to bust unions at Amazon facilities or counting tips towards his delivery drivers’ base pay, he bides his time within at least six massive properties across the country. According to Business Insider, those include a 29,000-square-foot estate in Washington, two adjacent mansions in Beverly Hills, a massive ranch in Texas, a “former textile museum” in D.C., and four separate condos in an Upper West Side building in Manhattan. [Seattle Times]