Welcome to Kirkland! If you're looking to move to or around the Seattle area and want to land in a city that promotes a healthy outdoor lifestyle through pedestrian friendly initiatives and some of the best outdoor spaces, beaches and lake fronts, then Kirkland is somewhere you definitely want to check out.
Kirkland sits about a 12 mile drive from downtown Seattle, just off I-405. It's bordered by Redmond to the east and Lake Washington to the west, and a lot of the outdoor recreation revolves around its location on the lake shores. 25% of Kirkland's lake shoreline is made up of public parks, which means fishing, boating, and other water sports are always on the calendar during the sunny months.
Juanita Beach Park and Big Finn Hill Park
One of the most popular access points to Lake Washington is Juanita Beach Park. This family friendly park is an excellent destination for the kids to expend some energy, be it at the lifeguard's safe swimming area, the newly constructed accessible playground, the tennis courts, the beach volleyball courts, take your pick. Or just grab your iced drink of choice and laze in the sand while you listen to the gentle lapping of the waves across the lake shores.
If you prefer to be in the setting of vast forestry and wetlands for exertions, then look no further than Big Finn Hill Park. This public park is a massive 220 acres of a woodland oasis, and it's complete with nine and a half miles of an extensive trail system, which also connects to a further seven miles of trails at the neighboring St. Edward State Park. The trail system at Big Finn Hill can get steep in places, so it also makes it a popular spot for mountain bikers and hikers. While you're in the park, keep your eyes peeled. You'll more than likely find yourself looking at a deer, a hawk, or perhaps even an eagle.
Surrounding the various beaches and parks, lies of course urban Kirkland. The city of Kirkland itself was named after Peter Kirk, a businessman in the steel trade who moved to the Pacific Northwest with these grand visions of creating a west coast settlement that would rival the thriving steel trade of Pittsburgh to the east. While Peter Kirk failed in this endeavor, the city of Kirkland was incorporated in 1905 with a population of just 532 people. Today, that number stands at almost 100,000 people and Kirkland still creates history to this day. It was the original home to the Seattle Seahawks, as well as Costco's first headquarters, hence the brand named Kirkland.
On Market Street you'll find the Peter Kirk building, built in 1892 and now commonly known as the Kirkland Art Center. It has galleries and studios and hosts regular courses for artists age from just two and up. The art center sits just off the heart of Kirkland's classy downtown area, which is a perfect place to spend the day. Enjoy a selection of top class dining, loads of eclectic, independent shops and streets that promote eco-friendly transport. In 2006, Kirkland was the first city in Washington to adopt a Complete Streets Ordinance, and in 2009, they passed an active transportation plan. Both of these initiatives are to facilitate and encourage pedestrian and cycling traffic throughout the city.
Kirkland Real Estate
So what does the real estate market look like in Kirkland? As you can imagine, like many Seattle suburbs, home prices here are booming. In fact, over the past year, home prices on average have increased in Kirkland by 13.5%, which is 50% greater than the average increase across Seattle as a whole. Now, according to Zillow, the average home price in Kirkland sits just over $1 million, which means there are still a good number of homes accessible to buyers who have a decent amount of money to put down and who want to avoid a jumbo mortgage loan.
Conforming loans carry some great benefits over jumbo loans, and with just a 10% down payment, you can still get a home that reaches into the $800,000 to $900,000 range and stay within the conforming loan limits. Watch this video on our YouTube channel for what that conforming verse jumbo loan limit in 2021 is and what some of those benefits are. And act quickly because it won't be too long, with prices trending the way they are, until a jumbo mortgage loan will likely be your only option to purchase a home, at least in this area. And if you do need a jumbo loan, we specialize in those too. So contact Seattle's Mortgage Broker today to discuss your options and take the next step on your homeownership journey.
Another standout location in Kirkland is the waterfront. Here you'll find plentiful restaurants serving top cuisine, art galleries, parks, beaches, as well as lots of tasteful bronze sculptures dotted along its peaceful walkways. And at night, you'll find plenty of energetic bars serving creative cocktails, some great breweries, and just to the north, world-class wineries await in Woodinville. If you're after some white tablecloth dining, head a few blocks inland and visit Cafe Juanita, which often welcomes world renowned chefs and is well worth the expense for a special occasion.
Well, that about wraps up our tour for Kirkland. It's easy to see why the suburban city is becoming a greater Seattle favorite. Be sure to check out our library of neighborhood tour videos of other Seattle neighborhoods, and if you are looking to find your next home in Seattle, schedule a virtual meeting with Seattle's Mortgage Broker.