Thanks for so many helpful comments and tips! You are right: I need to be more specific :-)
Dan & Ray - I prefer urban or suburban lifestyle, but I actually don't mind moving into a nice house in rural areas outside Seattle in a safe and sound neighborhood. Schools are not of consideration for me, and they won't be, so if moving to a nice area with not so high school ranking will give me more for the money, I'd rather do that. I am not too interested in the Bainbridge Island and areas that take over 45 minutes to get to Seattle or taking the ferry as an alternative. And I would much rather be north (as far as Everett / Marysville) or east (as far as North Bend), than south... definitely not south of Renton.
Will & Kerry - neither me nor my girlfriend will need to commute, so I wouldn't factor in the commute time in my home selection (as long as I am within 45 minutes of downtown Seattle, for weekend visits and fun). However, I absolutely have to have superfast fiber-optic internet connection for the type of work I do.
Frankly, if I had a choice between a condo/townhouse in or close to Seattle vs. a single family home a little bit farther from Seattle (for the same price), I'd probably choose the latter since my telecommuting job allows me to.
Here are a few more specifics I am looking for my house: 2+bedroom; 1.5+baths; 1500+ sq ft; year built - 1990+; with all or mostly hardwood floors (desired, but I can probably live without). The $275K was just a hypothetical number, I'd be happy to find something much cheaper than that, given my flexibility in location.
I currently live in Portland, OR, and I can visit Seattle on a weekend to check out houses.
I hope this narrows down my search a little bit :-)
But if you're open to a smaller home / townhome, then you can get closer in to Seattle and the quality of living increases, in my opinion anyway. And in the case you would be open to a smaller home / townhome, I would suggest looking in Kirkland / Kenmore / Issaquah. All have great access to Seattle and are central to many things.
This will show you the Heart of Seattle: http://goo.gl/AyiH7
Then you examine the cities you choose: http://www.city-data.com/
Of course, if you trust Google, choose the top-ranking real estate professional: http://goo.gl/A1X4e
Must admit, that is the broadest question we've received yet! Good job.
Regards and respect,
Phil Leng, Managing Broker, Team Leader
Phil Leng Team, Keller Williams Real Estate
Keller Williams Market Center
http://www.kirklandhomevalues.com (covers everything West of the Mountains)
As to your question, it really depends on how rural you want to be. For example, Kent would be more suburban, where not too much further out in Covington or Maple Valley you could find something more rural (not to mention cheaper for the same type of property).
If you do sometimes have to go to your company's office, I'd probably recommend staying south of Seattle if that location is south of Seattle, and north if it's not, just so you don't have to travel through Seattle.
Bothell - http://www.searchseattle.net/bothell.php
Kenmore - http://www.searchseattle.net/kenmore.php
Mill Creek - http://www.searchseattle.net/mill-creek.php
Woodinville - http://www.searchseattle.net/woodinville.php - Quieter Community
Edmonds - http://www.searchseattle.net/edmonds.php
One of the things which might be important to look at is the availability and quality of high speed internet. There are neighborhoods with fiber optic lines run right up to the homes, and just blocks away you might have to use DSL. A friend rented a house in Bothell and discovered he was three blocks to far north for the service he wanted.
The next question item you should consider is 40 miles is not always 40 minutes away. If your girl friend has to commute, some locations may be better than others. This is the best site to see what conditions are like: http://www.wsdot.com/traffic/seattle/default.aspx Check it out in rush hour, and you'll see where you don't want to be.
I've worked in 5 counties in the past year, and you can find a house under $275k in Pierce, King and Snohomish counties. The key question is will it work for the two of you?
Welcome to the Seattle area. There are lots of things to consider before you decide. For example, what type of entertainment do you enjoy? Do you want a city life, suburbs or more rural? Will schools be a consideration in the future?
There are many options you could consider depending on the house, lifestyle and proximity to Seattle you want. If you were my client we'd have a long talk about you and your girlfriend's preferences and I could suggest a few areas to consider. I'm a native who has lived all around the area and would be happy to suggest a few good options to fit your parameters.
All the best,
Welcome to the Seattle Metro area! If fiber optics and high speed internet are important to you, Tacoma is actually the first "wired" city to show up in America back in 1998. "In 1998, the city of Tacoma decided to install a high-speed fiber optic network throughout the community, the municipally owned power company took the initiative to wire an entire city of 187,000 people, thus making Tacoma America's #1 wired city."
There are many different neighborhood styles and cultures from rural to hip and urban all located in "Tacoma" addresses to choose from. You may want to sign up on my site http://WWW.MEGA-PROS.COM to receive fully customized listing alerts emailed directly to you so you can have a flavor for what the Northwest has to offer. You will also be able to compare neighborhoods, get crime statistics and more all from one convenient place. If you want to know more about the City of Tacoma just click the attached web reference link.
We look forward to having you here in the great tech friendly, Northwest!
If you need fiber optic, one area to consider would be North Lynnwood or Mill Creek. Specifically certain neighbhorhoods that were built in 2005 or newer. That is the time that Verizon (now Frontier) started installing fiber optic in those new neighborhoods. The homes in those neighborhoods would typically be in the mid $300's, however, there are short sales and bank owned homes that will fall under or around the $275k price range. You will only be 30 minutes from the city as well. Yes, I live in this area, so I know it well.
Thanks for the update. I did a quick search of the greater eastside, from Issaquah to Woodinville out to North Bend & Duvall. I expanded your parameters to under $300k but put no floor on the pricing. I excluded mobile homes, condos & town homes. I also left out the date of construction both because some older homes have been updated to better than new and to provide as many options as possible. Attached are 33 results of that search with some nice options, the rest are for general market knowledge.