This is your year to buy a home. Which are the best Seattle neighborhoods for you to start looking in?
Ballard keeps on getting trendier. It’s on the water. It’s highly walkable and bikeable. There is plenty of shopping as well as places to eat, get coffee and try craft brews.
Homes prices here average above $700k, with prices per square foot of just under $500. Ballard homes sell fast, and often for over listing price. The market can be very competitive and sellers and their agents demanding. Make sure you get pre-approved for a mortgage loan and consider writing a strong letter to accompany your offer.
Queen Anne is a slightly more expensive neighborhood than Ballard. Expect to pay closer to $800k for a home here on average. Prices per square foot are typically over $500. Homes here still sell extremely quickly. Sellers can still be demanding, though you might have a little more room to negotiate than in Ballard. This is one of the most walkable parts of Seattle, and very close to downtown. Condos and new construction are taking over, but the area is characterized by the Victorian architecture.
South Lake Union
Home to Amazon’s headquarters, South Lake Union offers a mix of old architecture and colorful modern apartments. Close to downtown and hot for young tech professionals. Though family friendly as well.
Prices per square foot can be significantly higher here. Yet, the small condos on the market can also mean there are cheaper places to be found to buy. You can buy one for less than $400k here. At least if you are in the market for a one bedroom. You won’t need a car as this is about as close to walkers’ paradise as you can ask for.
Montlake is one of the safest and most affluent neighborhoods you’ll find to buy a home in. Despite having an average home price of over $1M, and prices per square foot over $400, homes here sell quickly. Often for more than the asking price. Here you will find an exciting collection of single family homes with a wide variety of architecture from classic to very modern.
This is one of Seattle’s more suburban neighborhoods on this list. It is in West Seattle, requiring taking the bridge or tunnel to get to downtown. Homes here sell briskly, but may give buyers a little more time, even if you’ll still be in a bidding war. Average prices are closer to $700k and $400 per square foot, though you can find a lot more for your money here.
House choices include some very sleek modern single family houses and townhomes with water views.
Just a 15 minute commute to downtown Seattle, and a great place for kids, this neighborhood can be a top choice for young families. Prices can range from the 400s to over $2M depending on the type of housing you are looking for. Check out smaller houses and condos as well as new townhomes. This is the first neighborhood on this list where you can expect to find homes for less than $400 per square foot.
Central District offers good public transport and walkability. Here you’ll find traditional single family homes, and a slew of new modern townhouses. The schools here have high ratings, so it may be a good choice for kids, while still being in urban Seattle. However, it is also a bustling neighborhood that it hot with young professionals and singles.
Fremont isn’t cheap, but sometimes you get what you pay for. This is a trendy neighborhood, with mostly low rise buildings. There are condos, townhomes and single families. Some on the water and with marina views. Home prices are closer to $900k here and over $500 per square foot.
Tips For Picking The Best Seattle Neighborhood For You
There are lots of neighborhoods to choose from. Take a moment to narrow down your short list of areas you’d prefer to buy in. Then be ready to make an immediate offer on a home when you find one that fits your needs. Budget is clearly one of the top deciding factors. You’ll enjoy the house shopping experience a lot more if you start with getting pre-qualified for a mortgage. Find the range you are comfortable in and start looking there. Be clear on your real needs versus the nice to have extras. What’s the minimum number of bedrooms you really need? How close do you really need to be to different things?
Unless you are happy and confident in buying and selling a home every couple of years, think about the longer term. You probably won’t keep this home forever either. Though your housing needs may change in the mid-term. Might you have kids? Have aging parents move in with you? Or will kids be leaving and mean you need less space? Will you be retiring in a couple years or working remotely and no longer need to be right down town? Could a place in the suburbs work? Will buying in a cheaper neighborhood now that could be the next hot thing in five years from now be the smart investment?