3 types of homes on Mercer Island

We moved from Mercer Island last week [Frowny Face], prompting in me a renewed fascination with the place I called home for 18 months. It was the perfect home for the time we were there. A great little apartment with a lot of light and a little view. So close to everything (it will be hard to give up being able to go from jumping up from my pillow [late] to downtown in 10 minutes [including dress and basic primp time]). Moreover, I've been impressed over and over at the hospitality and kindness of Mercer Islanders, both at church with people I grew to know and strangers at the grocery store or the park. I guess being surrounded by water makes it easier to inspire that innate sense of community support, I guess. Islanders may be perceived as snobs to the rest of Seattle, but they do take care of their own.

That's three things I've loved about Mercer Island on its own (1. My apartment 2. Proximity to pretty much anywhere I needed to go 3. The people)

But outside my own experience, here's some other observations.

I took a wrong turn coming home from the JCC a while back (for the brief minute I had a Jewish Community Center membership)- a turn that took me halfway down the east side of Mercer Island (because heaven forbid there be through streets more than every 2 miles). It was a sparkly blue day and I caught more than I ever had the seriously beautiful architecture scattered throughout the island. The kind of home that is featured in architecture magazines, and interior-design magazines, and magazines about wealthy people where they feature them in their stately, ornate, or otherwise impressive home.

The fact that I was surprised to see these homes hit me as ironic, because these are the exact types of homes I pictured everyone living in before I moved to the island, and they are the exact type of home I see people assuming I live in when I tell them I live in/on Mercer Island - something in their eyes that is matching me as wife or daughter to one of those magazine folk, maybe guessing by my outfit (certainly not by my car) which brand of Mercer Island millionaire I am.

Funny thing is, it's all a sham. One I know most Islanders are totally over (except the ones that relish it, which I'll admit I do, only every once in a while when I feel out of my league and am trying to round up in grace, looks, and polished standing).

After finally making it halfway down the island and cutting through to the normal old houses, I realized that this is the real Mercer Island. Normal-sized houses with decor bought to just not look bad. Then I got home

1. Magazine homes

As described above. They're here, usually around the perimeter of the island, and scattered throughout the hills of the interior (view not required but certainly works for the magazine photoshoot). Proportionally fewer of these homes than any other style. But I guess it only takes a few to make a reputation.

2. Normal homes
This home recently sold for $850K! Waa waaaaa
Surprise, surprise, most Islanders live in totally average, if not less fancy than average fancy homes due to the cost of land itself. There don't seem to be many dumpy houses; most are well-kept, some with fabulous landscaping, most with, you know, a lawn and a few standard hedge plants. All are outrageously priced. But maybe weren't always??

3. Apartment homes
These fall into two categories themselves: older, average homes and brand spanking new "high rise" apartments (8 floors, with a pool, gym, etc). Some of the new high rise style apartments are pretentious and overpriced, but most apartments are- shocker- totally average and nothing sparkly.

Here, I made a map:
Made by facts and Microsoft Paint spray paint feature

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