Home Buying in Seattle>Question Details

Joan, Home Buyer in Tenino, WA

Best areas to buy condo/house around Seattle area under $150,000 range for future value appreciation?

Asked by Joan, Tenino, WA Tue Apr 9, 2013

I'm looking into buying condo/house around Seattle area under $150,000 range. Which neighborhood would be the best in terms of value appreciation in the future, also easy to rent and good rental income in case if I don't live there sometimes. Thanks!

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Johan Tong’s answer
Hi Joan,

In that price range, you will be looking at 1 bedroom condos or studios in Queen Anne, Magnolia, and Capital Hill areas. These neighborhoods are close to downtown Seattle with good public transportation system, and they are in hilly areas with a good view of the Puget Sound. These neighborhoods are easier to rent out with long-term appreciation. Another options you will have are 1 or 2 bedroom condos in north Seattle. They may be more affordable with lower average HOA dues. But the appreciation of properties in north Seattle may not be as positive as those in the Queen Anne, Magnolia, and Capital Hill areas.

Some condominiums have rental cap to meet FHA regulations. If you are looking for long term investment, rental cap is what you need to watch out for. Also, if you are to buy condos, the HOA (Home Owner Association) management is important. You can roughly understand the HOA management ability by looking at their exterior maintenance. My farming area is in north Seattle and I specialize in Condominiums and townhouses. There are many things that concerns condo owners and condo investments. If you need help any time, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Johan Tong
(206) 604- 2755
Century 21 North Homes Realty

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 9, 2013
Joan,
Your question is more complicated than it might seem. One complex may have a unit at or under that price in a seemingly great area, but have litigation or an upcoming special assessment which adds significantly to the total cost of ownership.
When you by a condo or town you, you are buying into a home owners association. Each association is run by its members and some do a better job than others. One complex my offer low dues, only to see them jacked up in 6 months to cover major repairs. Another may seem high, but they have a substantial reserve account in anticipation of replacing roofs, siding or other issues.
If I were your agent, I would start by asking where you want to live. What is convenient to your work, friends family etc. Then look at complexes in the area that might work for you and begin your research. Factoring in total cost of ownership and carefully reviewing the association and their financials is critical to making a wise investment in a condo.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 9, 2013
A quick check of the NWMLS database shows that there are 71 properties in Seattle priced at $150,000, or less. Even with the soaring real estate market there are investment properties --in your price range-- available in almost every neighborhood in the city.

In terms of appreciation, your best bet is usually a single-family home. A condo in a convenient location is also worth considering, but there may be rental restrictions associated with a condo which are imposed by the condominium Homeowner's Association. You don't have to worry about that with single-family homes.

You're likely to get more for your money in SE Seattle or SW Seattle, but you're not limited to the southend of the city. Start by choosing a neighborhood with good schools and easy access to public transit. From there, it comes down to personal preference, location, price, etc. Good luck with your search.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 9, 2013
Thanks Ray!
Flag Tue Apr 9, 2013
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