General Area in Seattle>Question Details

Ken, Home Buyer in Seattle, WA

Moving to the Seattle area and have questions about neighborhoods / suburbs.

Asked by Ken, Seattle, WA Sun Mar 23, 2008

The type of area that we are looking for is mostly new construction with townhomes and single family homes throughout the area. Higher income medians and low crime. We enjoy new developments with new malls, shopping centers, and business developments. We like well planned out communities with sidewalks and walking and biking trails.

We will be new to the Seattle area and are planning to rent until we get a better understanding of the areas but wanted to get some advice on areas that might match these criteria.

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Answers

25
Ken,

First of all let me welcome you to the area. You are going to love Seattle,

From your description it sounds to me like you are describing the east side. Seattle proper is considered west side. East side is everything east of Lake Washington, including Bellevue, Issaquah, and Kirkland. Depending on where your job and other locations you might need to get to on a regular basis is concerned, I would recommend starting there. As far as crime stats are concerned, you may want to head to the King county web sigte. metrokc.gov. They have all kinds of information. For demographic information by neighborhood check out zipskinny.com. For school info check out school matters.com and great schools.net. That should keep you busy for a while.

Best of luck.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 23, 2008
Not taking into consideration price, but focusing on the type of "planned neighborhood" I would be looking on the eastside. If you want all the ammenities of a planned neighborhood there are a few that would meet your criteria. Klahanie (one of the first planned neighborhoods in Issaquah) Homes are older but great community with parks, walking trails etc.. Next there's Lakemont/Montreaux, Also in Issaquah and Bellevue. Higher end homes, some with views, great schools and shopping. You may also try Talus a newer neighborhood in S. Issaquah. Or if you are alright with a 30 min commute Snoqualmie Ridge has some great deals right now. Homes start in the 500,000 and go up from there. Some are on the golf course. New schools, shops, parks and close to the pass for skiers. The first step is to determine price. Whether you are buying or renting it will help you narrow down the choices. Expect to pay 2100-2200 for a 2400 sqft home @ 8 years old in Snoqualmie Ridge. And expect to pay more as you get closer to Bellevue and the water. Hope this helps. Feel free to email me with any questions. Good Luck. -Tim
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2008
Hi Ken,

The points and places below are all great! A big factor to your decision maybe the commute time you'll have to and from work. Traffic can be crazy especially during rush hour. After you get out here you'll experience it first hand. The more flexible your commute times the more areas you'll be able to choose from on the list that has been created from the answers below.

From first hand experience the Seattle area is a great place to move too!

Best Wishes!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 25, 2008
Hi Ken!
Congrats on your move! All of the info below is very good - I would also check out Mill Creek, and parts of Edmonds for an easier commute. Redmond, Sammamish, and Issaquah are fabulous and have a good balance between what I think of as Washington charm and California amenities.

Here's a school and community link:

http://www.cooperjacobs.com/index.cfm/page/38159/School_and_…

Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 23, 2008
Hi
I've just returned from SEATTLE on a new home scouting trip! I was very impressed with
specific neighborhoods. Belleview is really nice/posh. Tuqwila is beautiful but appears to be a shopping hub...Jaunita and Bothell were interesting...Downtown Seattle is like a Mega San Francisco...
I'm over 60 so my money has to buy more, then I can buy here in California.
I was sporadically confused by their freeway signage system!! I was lost often even though everything is fairly close!! I'm also looking for part-time work as a project manager for Digital print industry in the seattle area but I dont want to commute too far....I was told SkyWay and Brenmar were good areas...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 11, 2008
I was a commercial agent in the early 80's and a residential agent in the late 90's. I've lived in this area since 1966 and my area of coverage ranges from Lynnwood to Sea-tac due to the simple fact that I was an IT consultant the remainder of that time.

This whole thing hinges on where you plan on working. It has always been true but with gas prices today it is paramount. It would not be reasonable to even answer your question until I understood where you plan on working. It would also not be reasonable to buy until you know where you expect to work.

That is, unless you are already independently wealthy and can pretty much use your helecopter to get wherever you need to go. I'd also avoid new construction, unless you are having the house built yourself. Homes built in "boom" times and especially at the "after boom" time are notoriously of low quality, all other things being equal. And there is nothing like that 200sq ft back yard offered with so much new construction...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 3, 2008
Magnolia is a wonderful neighborhood just ten minutes from downtown with a small town feel. It is a wonderful place to live. If you would like to search that community the zip code is 98199.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 1, 2008
To help with you questions regarding higher income medians and low crime, not too mentions lots of other great information such as Age Demographics, Economic Overview and Information about age of dwellings (how old the homes are) just click on the link below to view Community Information for all the cities in and around the Puget Sound.

If you have children, the school link is also helpful providing you with Student to Teacher Ratios, Ethnic Diversity and Enrollment Numbers.

Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 26, 2008
Welcome to Washington. To anyone moving to Seattle please visit Kitsap county too, it's only one hour ferry ride away from the hustle & bustle of the big city, a very convenient commute, depending on where your job is. Seattle to Bremerton ferry and then there is the the Fauntleroy ferry from West Seattle to Vashon Island and Southworth , check it out. I'm not a native Washingtonian and no matter where you go, it's an Awesome place to be and as the saying goes "It's not that Bad" Good luck and all the Best. Dianne
Web Reference: http://www.diannedibley.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 25, 2008
You've got to check out the Issaquah Highlands. You just described it.

http://www.issaquahhighlands.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
Take a minute to look up our Burke-Gilman Trail and the Eastside neighborhoods with access to it. Judging from your comments I would highly recommend Kirkland or Redmond and parts of Bellevue and Issaquah.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 11, 2008
Ken,
Seattle has lots of great neighborhoiods. It would be important to consider your commute to and from work and your price range. You wil find new townhouse construction in Balllard, Fremont and parts of Northeast Seattle. Go to my website at http://www.RogerSeattle.com, I have a profile of the Seattle neighborhoods. This should be helpful to you. Let me know if I can hlep you in the future.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 11, 2008
I would visit the different areas, especially during commute times. When I moved to Washington state everyone was pushing me towards the eastside but the traffic there was/is such a nightmare. I wound up in Edmonds and liked it. It is not as hectic there. The commute into Seattle was not too hard on my husband. I really like the Richmond Beach Area as well. It is a really easy commute into Seattle.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 6, 2008
Ken,
Lakeland Hills in South King County is a nice planned community with a mix of housing types. With a wide range of prices. Many of the neighborhoods within the community are separately gated. It does have some retail, grocery, restaurants, Starbucks & services. No mall.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 13, 2008
Hi Ken,
I couldn't tell from your post whether you have been working through a relocation company or not, but when I worked with our company's relocation division I did plenty of "area tours" for newcomers to the area. I specialize in the in-city neighborhood of Seattle, so I am not as familiar with the current neighborhoods on the Eastside, which sound like they may be more appropriate to your needs. While you are living here and renting, I would be sure to utilize the expertise of agents and take the time to get familiar with the different areas and what they can offer your family. Area tours with your agent can focus on the benefits and point out the drawbacks that different neighborhoods offer. Be upfont with the real estate agents, letting them know that you don't know where you want to live and need help with that. A good agent will offer that service, knowing that ultimately the area you end up buying in may not be the area they cover and they may not be the agent you select to work with in the end. It will give you an idea of how they work and gives them an opportunity to establish themself as your agent, if you decide to work with them.

I often found that once the commute times were factored in, and their children got into schools and the buyers settled in to their new jobs during that rental period, the priorities sometimes changed. I would be open to both the Eastside, as well as check out Seattle's in-city neighborhoods and areas South of Seattle. You will find a "fit and feel" for each of the areas you like, and your agent can show you the amenities they offer. You can get a good idea of home values there by seeing some homes and hearing what they sold for, etc. After you can proceed to find out more about crime, census and demographic information , too! This is available online from various websites and your agnet can get this for your from a title insurance company. You may need to utilize the expertise of several agents to help you with this process, as no one agent is an expert in ALL of Seattle and the neighboring suburbs. Rely on the advice and referrals of co-workers, neighbors and friends to find and interview good agents to work with in this process, as well as for reliable information on areas they live and why they like it. It's a lot of work, but in the end you will have found the right area for you and your family, with acceptable commute times and the features in the neighorhood that you value and require. Good luck. Lise
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 6, 2008
You may want to consider Bellevue or Kirkland. Another factor you may want to consider is your commute to work.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 5, 2008
Hi Ken,

We have some great neighborhoods in the southend of PugetSound that would match your criteria. Your dollar will go a lot further the farther out from the city of Seattle/Bellevue you go. Some suggestions of areas to consider would be Auburn, Bonney Lake, Sumner, and Puyallup. Let me know if you would like my help looking in these communities. Welcome...and good luck!

Check out the following link for all kinds of local information:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 4, 2008
Dear Ken,

It sounds like your area of interest is what we call 'The Eastside'. Across Lake Washington from Seattle -newer neighborhoods with the demographics and statistics you describe.

Check out my website for Area Information, and also feel free to use the Search For Homes link, which contains all currently listed homes with every company.

Contact me any time with any questions you may have.

Cheers,

-Joel Scott
Web Reference: http://www.joelscott.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 2, 2008
Ok here is my pitch for Redmond. Redmond is central. It is right on the Sammamsh River Trail that can pretty much take you right into downtown Seattle and beyond. Newer shops and great schools. You can order a community report directly from my website. I wish you the best of luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 1, 2008
Moving to the Seattle area can be quite a shock. As a transplant myself I recall what our family experienced as we made our move. There are so many things to consider as you look for your new home and your commute has to be at the top of the list. The traffic here can be mind boggling! Taxes are another consideration, so compare properties in King and Snohomish Counties. Areas that you might consider in Snohomish County are Mukilteo, Mill Creek, and Edmonds; all areas that are very walker/bike friendly, have areas of new construction & shopping and are convenient to I-5/I405.

The Snohomish County visitors Bureau has lots of great information too! Good luck on your move, perhaps ours paths will cross!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2008
You mentioned liking new construction developments and "planned communities". Because the Eastside of Seattle has new neighborhoods, you are most likely to find what you are describing in Issaquah, Redmond or Sammamish. As far as malls, though, there is an "outdoor" style shopping area in Redmond and an incredible indoor mall in Bellevue. The entire Eastside, is definitely higher income medians and low crime. On my website, I have links to Community Descriptions and demographics under the "About the Area" button.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 25, 2008
Ken -

I believe we've talked before about new homes as well in Seattle. When I first read this post I also immediately thought about the west side. If you do enjoy the Seattle side though you may enjoy the Green Lake area though new construction isn't as plentiful there.

The east side is full of new construction and has many great communities. With the things that you described you may be best served looking in Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, or Mill Creek. Mill Creek is a little more outside the area but you get a little more for your money in a gorgeous area. If you want to live in a more city like feel steer more toward Bellevue...or even Kirkland. These both have many trendy areas that are quite pleasant to live in.

Make sure you don't rent too long though...take advantage of the market while it remains a buyer's market! Good luck!
Web Reference: http://www.agentsamuel.co
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 24, 2008
Ken, I have a great book that I will be glad to send to you. It covers all the areas around the Greater Seattle and has great neighborhood descriptions etc.

Contact me using the web site below if you are interested.

Good luck!
Web Reference: http://www.dugaldallen.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 23, 2008
Hey Ken,
I grew up in Washington, Lived and enjoyed many different areas of the state for 38 years. I currently service from North Whidbey Island(almost to Canada) down to Olympia. From the responses so far it seems like maybe you are being directed to the locations that those responders service. The greater Puget Sound has much to offer all over in terms of the things you like. Dont be limited to one little area. I am happy to help you find that right place.
Regards,
August
206-999-8684
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 23, 2008
Dear Ken,
Great answer from Rob, however he forgot one very important neighborhood, Mercer Island! Mercer Island is considered the East Side and consists of award winning schools, a developing new "downtown" with new shops and resturants, the crime rate is very low, and it is located just 10 minutes to downtown Seattle and to Bellevue Square. Check out my website for all the information you need regarding Mercer Island. Good luck. Anni Z
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 23, 2008
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