An A-frame looks silly in the city, but in the temperate rain forest that is the west side of the Cascades, such a steep roof is an excellent answer to the town of Skykomish, Washington's 92 inches of annual rain and 48 inches of snow. There are plenty of stairs because the property is mountainous, or at least not suburban-leveled. The wood stove and generator are probably used more than in most houses, and the heat rising to the loft is likely appreciated in December. The commute can be a bear, pardon the pun, because it's over an hour from Seattle in good traffic. But this cheap, 580-square-foot pad puts you about as close as possible to Stevens Pass without leaving King County.