Home Buying in Bellevue>Question Details

Eddie, Home Buyer in Bellevue, WA

We are a young married couple in search for our first home in and around Bellevue.

Asked by Eddie, Bellevue, WA Fri Jan 24, 2014

Considering market's trends and current market conditions including new developments and school districts, which areas are estimated to keep their re-sale value and hopefully build equity quickly? Also, which ones do you think are up-and-coming? We were looking into Lake Hills, West Bellevue and North-West Bellevue...Your response is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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Hi Eddie,

Dan has made some very valid points. I have had friends build their home and much of what Dan mentioned had happened to them. It is a daunting project. There are definitely some excellent builders around, I have sold many of their houses, and know how that part of my profession works, as it is different than a resale. Regarding your comment about not waiting until summer, I couldn't agree with you more. I feel that the prices will be higher and the interest rates, although there is talk of an increase, I've not heard that it will be a major one, either way it would make a difference in your monthly payment. This is a discussion to have with a good lender. All this being said, Eddie, if you would like a more in depth discussion regarding builders/new construction vs resales, specific neighborhoods, the market in general, you can reach me at 425.241.2588 or nlarkin999@comcast.net Warm regards
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 25, 2014
I agree with Dan. It is not an easy task to build a home and would recommend going to a community in your price range. Even experienced buyers struggle greatly and after flipping a half dozen homes I know the issues you can run in to.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 25, 2014
Hi Eddie,
Regarding lot developing and building. Especially as a first time buyer, I would discourage this. If you like new construction, you won't be able to build what you like for what a builder in an established plat can do. The learning curve would be steep and the time from start to finish would be 2 to 3 years once you identified your lot.
Cost overruns, surprises during construction, changing costs of materials due to unforeseen events, interest rate fluctuations between start and completion could turn a dream into something else.
I don't blame you for asking, it's a popular idea but it doesn't pencil in 98% of the cases.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 25, 2014
Great point, Dan! Thank you! Pretty much confirmed our doubts. We toured some open homes today and due to low inventory thought of development as a best way of getting what we would want and need, however it does present a much larger risk. Thank you again!
Flag Sat Jan 25, 2014
The hottest market in Bellevue right now is south of I-90. Newport HIgh School is rated #3 in the state of WA and Top 100 in US. This is bringing in many buyers because resale opportunities are incredible!!! Lake Hills is good too but explore Newport Hills! All sensational schools & a great location to live in. Another great area is around Microsoft with Lake WA schools as that area is hot too. Today buyers are looking at schools #1, #2, & #3 on their lists. Whenever you buy a home don't miss the thought that someday you will need to sell that home to move up to a larger home. Take your time as inventory is low but will rise sharply. Interest rates have dropped in the past few days. Get pre-approved, find a seasoned Realtor, and get going. I have several homes coming up soon in the "first-time" buyer category. Windermere is an incredible company and is the leading real estate company in the Greater Seattle/Eastside area! Reach me at 425-417-6467 or ross@windermere.com!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 25, 2014
Thank you Ross, I noticed the inventory is very limited - however it does concern me to wait till summer time. Do you think rates will increase significantly? Although this would be our first home, we are not looking for a typical "started house" or a fixer upper. We also realize the importance of having a home in a great school district for re-sale purpose :) Thank you again very much!
Flag Sat Jan 25, 2014
Your asking great questions. I just located two homes for two other couples just starting their life together which is so awesome.
Shoot me an email or you can call me. Those areas you listed are all good. The inventory of homes is low right now so once you know exactly what you want, it's important to catch these new listings the day they come on the market. I would need to know things like your price range, size of home, square footage, bedrooms, baths, lot size, small or bigger yard...and the most important is have you been pre-approved with a local lender? If not, I have a great person that has been in the industry a long time and knows all the products out there that he can customize to fit your particular needs.
Get a hold of me today and I can go over these items with you. Have a blessed day!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 25, 2014
Thank you Mark!
Flag Sat Jan 25, 2014
All of the responses below make valid points. Each community in Bellevue have different market values which depend on many things. Since you are first time home buyers your ideal situation would be to sit down with a Broker to discuss all your options, how multiple offers work, what happens from choosing your first home to closing. Naturally, I would like to be that person. I have helped many such as yourself to achieve their dream of home ownership. Whatever you choose to do from here, I wish you good luck and a successful transaction to your first new home.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 25, 2014
Thank you Nancy!
Flag Sat Jan 25, 2014
Also make sure your financing is in place
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 24, 2014
First of all, make sure you stay within the Bellevue School District boundary. It's not the same as the city limits. Then I would check GreatSchools.com for a list of elementary schools rated 9 or 10. The BSD website has attendance area maps. Contact me if you need help with this search.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 24, 2014
Great advice Bob, thank you!
Flag Sat Jan 25, 2014
It depends on your price-point, whether you have school-age kids or not.
There are several communities that are worth considering. Again it is hard to point you to the right property without knowing more specific details and your preference in home styles, i.e. town-homes vs. single family homes.
As for holding value, single family home is a better choice.
Elizabeth Davidson
International Properties Specialist
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 24, 2014
Thank you Liz!
Flag Sat Jan 25, 2014
Hi Eddie,

Living and working in Bellevue I am a specialist in the area. Last year the area saw major appreciation and the trends for this year are continuing. West Bellevue will always be the most desirable area and will hold its value but it is a more expensive area. Lake hills is the most affordable and like Chad mentioned is really a up and coming neighborhood. However, all the areas in Bellevue are doing very well and should maintain their value in the future. It would really be best to find out what your goals are, reasons for moving and how long you expect to be in the home for. Your price point, housing needs etc also would be important to really help you and your family make the right choice. I would suggest sitting down with a Realtor and making sure your goals are being met. My team and I would love to sit down with you to show you the trends and help you make the best decision. Please give me a call at 425-765-8385 or email me at vikram@windermere.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 24, 2014
Thank you Vikram, I appreciate your response. We love west Bellevue however the inventory at the moment is very low, and what is available is not within our preferences. We do have some time and will keep you in mind
Flag Sat Jan 25, 2014
Hello Eddie,

Homes on the Eastside have been increasing in value by at least 13% and more. Inventory has really been limited. It is still a Sellers market, with Buyers competing for multiple offers depending on what you are looking for. They are forecasting Home values increasing this Year as well.

Most Homes closest to downtown Bellevue really keep their value. West Bellevue and NorthWest Bellevue are popular locations and would most likely be more desirable than Lake Hills. Many Buyers do purchase based on the Schools that they would like their children to attend as well.

The key will be to have a Broker, that can really help you complete a transaction, in a multiple offer situation. Right now some Eastside areas have less than one month of inventory available.

Definitely let me know if you have any other questions! Exciting that you are getting ready to purchase in a very desirable area! Congrats!

Kindest Regards,
Candie Webb
John L Scott
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 24, 2014
Hello Eddie, You're Welcome! Right now a lot of Buyers are really concerned with interest rates climbing. Lenders can usually lock rates for 3 months. Also, prices are expected to increase as well. Sellers that have been waiting to list, are just starting to put their Homes on the Market. Inventory is slowly starting to increase. I would definitely say Spring vs. Summer based on prices rising, and uncertain interest rates. The best bet is to be ready, and pre-approved when the Home that is perfect for you comes onto the Market. Determine everything that you are looking for, then your Broker can send you listings the second they become active. I would be happy to send you Market trends in Bellevue monthly too, so that you can keep an eye on the areas that you prefer. Buying your first Home is very exciting~ It can get overwhelming too, make sure you have a Broker that you trust. Feel free to contact me if you need any more guidance. Warmest Regards, Candie candiewebb@johnlscott.com
Flag Sun Jan 26, 2014
Hi Candie, thank you for your response. What are the prognosis for the next 6-12 months - is there a better timing than other to buy (spring vs summer etc)? We do have some time, but gradually increasing market rates make us worry about the best timing and inventory... Thank you again
Flag Sat Jan 25, 2014
I live and work in Bellevue and tour open houses all over town each weekend.
Out of those three you're going to see a greater value in the Lake Hills neighborhood, and it is more up-and-coming in the sense of home remodeling, new neighborhood retail projects, and an influx of young families.
I handle the financing portion and I work with a team of Realtors that can help you find the perfect home, but Dan is correct about doing you're homework on here.
Let us know if we can be of further assistance.
Best of luck to you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 24, 2014
Thank you Chad!
Flag Sat Jan 25, 2014
Hi Eddie,
I wouldn't focus on a specific neighborhood. If Bellevue is your city of choice, then start by getting your loan pre-approved to establish your price range. Once you have this your broker can then search for homes in that range. Inventory is pretty low, so as you go through what is available you can then consider all the variables you are concerned with.
It might also be helpful to take a look at schools. The Bellevue district as a whole is very good, but the discrepancies between the best schools and the lowest rated ones might surprise you. I've had clients give me a list of only a handful of schools they would consider and we found their home based on their preferences.
All of Bellevue will do well, the homes near the best schools may do better. The ultimate decision will come down to the specific home and the price you are able to get for it.
If you haven't selected a Broker yet, consider those of us who answer your questions. Check our other answers, blogs, websites or interview us to see who would be the best fit. Congratulations on your decision to purchase.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 24, 2014
Thank you for your time and advice Dan!
Flag Sat Jan 25, 2014
Correction $350k (typo) not %550k in average home values
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 24, 2014
Given the overall average home price and the year to year growth, your best bet is to look into the Lake Hills area and the Down Town locals- you home price will be under $550k and still experience a %13-%16 year over year return.

Hope that helps! I can be more informative getting a comprehensive report- feel free to email me.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 24, 2014
Thank you Justin very much!
Flag Sat Jan 25, 2014
Thank you all so very much for taking time to answer my question. These are all great recommendations! We are just starting the process, and are in full research mode. Thank you for providing your contacts as well, as we might contact some of you in the near future.
Do any of you have experience or knowledge of advantages/disadvantages of lot purchase and home development on our own vs buying an existing house? Any builders with a good reputation and quality in the area?

Thank you again very much,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 25, 2014
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