Welcome to Issaquah! If you're someone who likes to live in a setting surrounded by natural beauty, and if you're a lover of the classically Pacific Northwest outdoor activities - such as hiking or kayaking - plus you want the added convenience of being just a short drive to different major cities, then Issaquah is waiting for you. Issaquah is a city with a big personality and lots of things to do, plenty of great places to eat and many awesome views to enjoy.

Issaquah Neighborhood

Issaquah is a city in King County that sits in a valley, surrounded by what are locally known as the Issaquah Alps. It's easily accessed by I-90 and lies east of Bellevue and south of Sammamish. Commute times to Bellevue are usually shy of 20 minutes and downtown Seattle is also less than 20 miles away. Nicknamed the trail head city, there's no shortage of excellent hikes, as well as the many water sports that are enjoyed on Lake Sammamish.

Lake Sammamish State Park

Lake Sammamish State Park is a 531 acre day-use park that has two lakefront beaches, as well as lots of trails through deciduous forest and wetlands. This is a perfect place to spend the day, especially since the Sunset Beach Cafe opened in 2021. So you can grab a coffee and watch the kids play on the new playground or rent some kayaks or paddle boats from the onsite Issaquah Paddle Sports and end your day with some pizza and ice cream. There's also plenty of bike paths and paved walking trails throughout the park that you'll no doubt become familiar with if you do choose to call Issaquah home.

Issaquah Hiking

If you consider yourself to be a seasoned hiker who enjoys multi-hour treks, then Issaquah has plenty to offer that should keep you busy. The city is surrounded by the affectionately known Issaquah Alps, which most notably contains Cougar Mountain to the west, Squak Mountain to the south and Tiger Mountain to the Southeast. You can go on a guided hike to any of these through the Issaquah Alps Trails Club, or pull off one of the main roads to a trailhead and take your journey off the road and onto the beaten track.

And if you want an adrenaline rush at the end of your hike, then one sport that Issaquah is famous for is paragliding! There's a launching site at Poo Poo Point, where you can either simply spectate or book a flight of your own through Seattle Paragliding, who are found at the start of the Chirico Trailhead.

Issaquah Salmon Hatchery

Far from the dizzying heights of gliding over the valley is the salmon life cycle, which is well documented and presented at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery. This is Washington state's most visited hatchery and welcomes over 350,000 visitors every year, and that doesn't even include the salmon! They offer educational exhibits and tours as well as programs with the local elementary schools where students can raise a small selection of salmon eggs that are then spawned in the hatchery and released in the local creeks. This makes an excellent educational stop, especially for young families.

Issaquah Real Estate

Not only is Issaquah intensely competitive, the average sales price of homes is higher than it is across Seattle as a whole. In fact, entering into March 2022, the median sales prices for homes here was more than 25% higher than it was in Seattle. And that means the price here eclipsed the $1 million mark. But far from putting people off, Issaquah continues to boast extremely fast sales times, often with multiple offers or waived contingencies on nearly every listing.

And with a severely limited inventory levels, coupled with the general uptrend of real estate across the country, there's little to suggest that this increased competitiveness in Issaquah will change anytime soon. And that means you need to bring your A game when shopping for homes here, which includes getting pre-approved before you even step foot into a home, as well as having as much of your financing paperwork ahead of time gathered so that you can streamline the process. Watch this video on our YouTube channel - The Ultimate Mortgage Doc Checklist - so you can see what documents you should have prepared ahead of time, depending on your situation.

Another way to stand out from the crowd is to work with a local mortgage broker who already has established relationships with realtors and lenders who know the intricacies of this market. Schedule a Zoom meeting with someone at Seattle Mortgage Broker today.

Downtown Issaquah

Heading into urban Issaquah, you'll find a city with a strong connection to its rich history. An example as this is the Village Theater is a leading producer of musical theater in the Pacific Northwest. Formed in 1979, this has now become one of the region's most popular theaters with an estimated 200,000 attendants every season. They produce quality, original works as well as offer many youth programs for those looking to dip their toes into the world of stage production. This family theater now has two locations in Issaquah, as well as a campus further north in Everett. Issaquah is intent on preserving its historical heritage as a mining community, and that's no more clearly on display than at the very charming Gilman Village.

Gilman Village

This highly unique shopping center has evolved into what it is today. Back in the 1970's a local couple started saving unwanted buildings from the old mining town. Those buildings were brought to the site, renovated, and this has now turned into a unique shopping destination - as well as having the feel of a living museum. Grab a cup of coffee from the Issaquah Coffee Company and meander around the many boutique shops or bring some friends and enjoy European style restaurant meal out on the patio in the warm summer months.

Well, that about wraps up our tour for Issaquah. We've toured many other neighborhoods around Seattle and Bellevue - you can watch the tour of any neighborhood that might interest you here. If you could see yourself moving to the Issaquah area or anywhere else around Seattle for that matter, please reach out to us, 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.