At the Silvana Post Office on Thursday morning, SSA clerk Debbie Nield helps Dwaine Howe, of Camano Island, mail a package. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

At the Silvana Post Office on Thursday morning, SSA clerk Debbie Nield helps Dwaine Howe, of Camano Island, mail a package. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

Post office, the heart of Silvana, is yours for $189,000

SILVANA — The little blue post office is for sale.

Shiny metal doors to locked mailboxes line two walls. A service counter, which opens at 10 a.m. weekdays, is across the small lobby from the mail sorting counter. Notices on a cork board advertise mowing services, the Northwest Genealogy Conference and Bonnie’s Tamales, “hand rolled with love.”

The mail stop is on the north side of Pioneer Highway, at the end of a row of businesses: a restaurant, a spa, a shop, the meat market. The church is a little ways down the road, on the other side of the street.

The post office is in the heart of Silvana. It was built in 1992, when a stamp cost 29 cents. It isn’t leaving. The building is for sale, but that doesn’t mean an end to the U.S. Postal Service’s lease on it.

The current owners, Jim and Nina Rogers, of Marysville, bought the building in 2004 for $185,000. Jim Rogers had a friend who owned 19 post offices all over the country, and the friend sold him the Silvana location.

About 72 percent of post offices are privately owned and leased to the postal service, spokesman Ernie Swanson said. Realtors describe them as low-maintenance investments because the postal service pays rent and bills, and runs day-to-day operations. The Rogers liked the idea of a reliable tenant.

“A lot of people think you’re lying to them,” said Jim Rogers, 80. “They say, ‘Oh, you own a post office. Yeah. Tell me another one.’ But we’ve owned it almost 14 years, re-leased it every five years. You won’t find a better tenant to pay you.”

The couple also owned a mobile park on Lake Goodwin, a car wash on Mukilteo Speedway and a motel that recently was torn down in Everett. Jim Rogers was a truck driver for 21 years and decided to buy the motel because he was tired of being on the road. They had it for nine years.

The two have been selling off their investments, the post office included. The building is listed for $189,000.

“We just wanted to sell it and do something with the money,” Jim Rogers said. “We’re not getting any younger.”

Being landlord for the postal service is a boring job, he said. There’s not much to be done. Once, he went in with his grandson to chase out some birds who got in through the roof, and they blocked the openings with wire mesh.

Jim Rogers doesn’t even have a key to the post office. When someone broke into it a while back, police called him for access and he told them he didn’t have a key, they’d have to contact someone who worked there.

“There’s just a lot of good things about owning a post office,” Nina Rogers said. “It’s different than having a motel or a car wash. You don’t have to do nothing.”

“Not like a hotel,” Jim agreed. “I could write you a book about a hotel. It was something every day there.”

Eva Bryce with Century 21 is helping the Rogers sell the post office. She was tempted to buy it herself, she said, but her daughter persuaded her not to.

“I’ve always wanted a post office, but she’s right,” Bryce said. “Right now, I don’t need a post office in my life.”

For more information, contact

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; kbray

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