Welcome to Factoria and Somerset! These two neighborhoods sit side by side, and are perched along the southern border of the city of Bellevue. Bellevue is French for beautiful view, and local residents say that this must have been the part of the city that the founders of Bellevue had in mind when they named it such. Historically, these two neighborhoods have represented something quite different, with Somerset making up the residential portion and Factoria being home to the more commercial spaces.

Today, both of these communities represent the intersection of city and suburban living with lots of greenery, sweeping views, and plenty of work opportunities that make Bellevue one of the most desirable places to live in the Pacific North West.

Factoria and Somerset Neighborhoods

These neighborhoods form the central southern border of the city, with Factoria being less than five of miles from downtown Bellevue. They also make a great launching pad to some of the city's best outdoor spaces, such as Lake Sammamish State Park, and Cougar Mountain.

But there's little reason to ever leave either neighborhood should you not wish to. You'll find plenty of scenery and green spaces within the borders of either community, which consists of pleasant neighborhood parks and the vast rugged greenery to be explored at Coal Creek. City conveniences also abound, with high street shopping concentrated at various centers and plenty of good food.

Factoria History

Now let's start our day in Factoria. Factoria sounds like a neighborhood that should have smoke billowing out of industrial towers at every corner, which it doesn't. In fact, Factoria was named such back in the 1900s as a way to attract major industries, which it never did at the time. The town sat largely undeveloped until the 1960s, when upgrades began on Washington's infrastructure, and Factoria sat at that intersection between I-90 and I-405, which made it a convenient commercial center for those visiting the city of Bellevue, as well as those from the surrounding communities, including Somerset.

In the years since, commercial spaces and shopping centers have begun to abound, so that Factoria has now come full circle and is a place to attract major companies. This is the home of T-Mobile's headquarters, as well as one of Bellevue's largest shopping centers, The Marketplace at Factoria.

The Marketplace at Factoria

The Marketplace at Factoria is home to major brand shopping, family friendly entertainment, and some local and chain restaurants. Here you'll find a popular spot to grab some fresh food, Just Poké. This Seattle based chain is growing the rapidly throughout Washington. This location in Factoria was only their third store, and opened in 2019. And now, they currently have 17 stores with an additional 14 coming soon, according to the brand. Their fish is locally caught and sustainably sourced. But of course Bellevue isn't all just about commercialism and shopping. Living in either of these neighborhoods also means you will enjoy plenty of beautiful nature right on your doorstep.

Coal Creek Natural Area

Coal Creek Natural Area has four and a half miles of trails of its own, which then connect to Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland, which has a further 35-plus miles of trails, so you can launch from here and hike to your heart's content. As this name suggests, Coal Creek was once the site of many coal mines.

Issaquah - which is a neighboring city to Bellevue - has a long history as a mining community, which you can learn more about by watching our neighborhood tour of that city on our YouTube channel. There is still a lot of evidence scattered around the natural area of the mining community, so you can get a dose of history while you hike. Or simply block out everything except the sounds and the smells of the creek, which follow alongside the main trail that spans the length of the natural area.

Somerset Real Estate

Somerset is largely made up of residential streets and housing. Somerset is perched on a hill, and so many of the homes here enjoy beautiful vistas of the Bellevue skyline, Lake Washington, and the Olympic Mountains. You'll find more single family homes here than you would in some of the more urban parts of Bellevue, and the home styles, coupled with the neighborhood's general desirability, means that home prices here tend to be above this city average.

Home inventory is also at a premium in Somerset, so you may face stiff competition when looking to purchase a home here. So what happens in those instances when you have to bid higher than the appraised value of a home in order to secure the deal? This is known as the appraisal gap, and we have an excellent video outlining how you can bridge this gap on our YouTube channel.

Factoria Real Estate

In Factoria, you'll find a greater concentration of condos and apartments, which means you're more likely to be able to find a home and stay within the conforming loan limits, which can mean better loan terms and an easier underwriting process. This makes it a great neighborhood for the first time home buyers, like those who have recently started at a local tech giant and are looking to get onto the property ladder. Whatever your situation, Seattle's Mortgage Broker can help you get pre-approved so you can start shopping for the right home.

Best Views in Bellevue

This part of the city boasts some of the best views in Bellevue. Bellevue is one of the more expensive cities to call home, but you don't have to be here for long to understand why. Many homes have stunning views, plus enjoy the conveniences and work opportunities that city living offers, while also having some of the country's best outdoor activities on your doorstep. When you buy a home in Bellevue, you're buying into a lifestyle that's tough to beat. So if you are looking to purchase a home or refinance in Factoria or Somerset, or anywhere else in the Bellevue or Seattle area, then please reach out to our team - we'd love to help you.

About the Author

Helping Seattleites buy their dream homes for over 15 years. Founder of Seattle's Mortgage Broker and author of Homeownership Simplified: The Truth about ZERO Down.