Turn, turn, turn - toward Phinney

The mint-green house facing east on Phinney Avenue North doesn't look dramatically different from its neighbors.

But there's a difference, for sure.

This house comes with a turntable for the family vehicle. It's a perfectly round, mini-version of what one sees in San Francisco when the cable cars are rotated and pointed in the right direction.

This is the house of Jim Stacey, writer, lecturer and real estate entrepreneur. Stacey, who teaches at the University of Washington Experimental College on the do's and don'ts of buying real estate, just sold the 2,800-square-foot house for $754,000. He bought it in 1987 for $94,000, adding 500 square feet along the way.

There is one thing Stacey did not want to do when setting out for a day's work: back his car down his narrow driveway and out into traffic.

Stacey's solution certainly qualifies as creative.

He checked eBay for turntables and found page after page of music-related equipment. Finally, he came across an automobile version for sale in Florida. Weighing 600 pounds, it consisted of three layers of plywood set over a metal turntable. Stacey figures the shipping bill came to $800, which more than exceeded the sale price.

"He didn't do too well," Stacey said of the seller's penchant for making a profit.

Stacey dug a round hole where his driveway ends, poured concrete and created a drainage system. Once the car is in position to be rotated, Stacey can set things in motion by using a mere three fingers - the turntable moves clockwise only. And as the movement gathers speed he can draw-down to a single finger as the car goes around and around.

For everyday needs, though, it's just a matter of turning things 180 degrees so that the vehicle points toward Phinney.

It's a pretty unique house," said Jack Seznick, who, with his wife, Vicki Goldstein Seznick, of REMAX Metro Realty, handled the transaction.

Seznick noted the Phinney neighborhood is one of the city's hottest real estate markets. It's close to downtown "with lots of amenities," he said. "It's a great community feeling." Phinney is about to lose one of its more interesting citizens, though. Sometime in January Stacey and his wife, Mel, are moving to the Philippines.[[In-content Ad]]