I am actually on the mortgage side of the transaction. Do you have anyone to pre approval you for a mortgage? If not, I would be happy to help!
I am a founding partner in Cobalt Mortgage. The company is the largest privately held retail mortgage banker in the state of Washington. We offer a vast array of mortgage products to choose from, with an eye for the best option for your particular situation.
Hope you have a wonderful day!
Schools should be a "walk in the door and ask" after you pick your home, we give you 3 days just to check out the neighborhood.
You are going to see a lot of really great homes in your price range if you stay out of the center of towns like Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland, and look into the "bedroom" communities, and they are good "communities" with school, church and neighborhood groups to help you fit in.
I would recommend you look for homes in the following zip codes for your desired price range -
Kirkland - 98034,98033
Redmond - 98052,98053,98074
Check out this website for a wealth of city information - http://www.city-data.com
All in all I urge you to be approved prior to looking, today unlike the past home loans are not as easy to obtain. Once you have been approved, locate a Real Estate Agent to help you find the home in the area that will best fit your needs today and for years to come.
Welcome to Washington:)
I get a lot of question from clients or future clients about their neighborhood or the neighborhood their looking to buy in. I saw your post the other day and got to thinking where can I find the info your looking for..I don't have all the answer, but I do know where to find them at a website that can help you find the information your looking for;
i.e. real estate prices and sales trends, recent home sales, home value estimator, hundreds of thousands of maps, satellite photos, stats about residents (race, income, ancestries, education, employment...), geographical data, state profiles, crime data, registered sex offenders, cost of living, housing, religions, businesses, local news links based on our exclusive technology, birthplaces of famous people, political contributions, city government finances and employment, weather, tornadoes, earthquakes, hospitals, schools, libraries, houses, airports, radio and TV stations, zip codes, area codes, air pollution, latest unemployment data, time zones, water systems and their health and monitoring violations, comparisons to averages, local poverty details, professionally written city guides, car accidents, fires, bridge conditions, cell phone and other towers.
Hope this helps, lots of good stats you can search by zip, city, state or neighborhood.
I live in Kirkland and have a 1st grader and a 3rd grader, I understand about a good school district. Where you decide to move and where your kids go to school will be a ever lasting foot print of who they are and become. The Eastside in general has many great schools, your price range isn't likely to get you on Lake Washington but the inventory East of I-405 should be right in your price range. Try zip codes 98033 & 98034 for your search. Hope that helps.
There are wonderful neighborhoods and school districts within 30 minutes of Bellevue. Most of the relocating clients with whom I've worked in the last 20 plus years like around a 20 minute commute.
You can feel very confident about the school districts in and around Bellevue: Bellevue, Issaquah, Lake Washingon, and Northshore schools are all excellent and have niches where they especially excel. On my web site, http://www.mcknightrealty.com under About the Area, I have links to each of the school districts I mention herein.
I recommend you set up a telephone interview and then a face to face interview with a couple of agents and then choose one agent to be your consultant throughout your moving process. That agent can be a great resource for you.
To start to get a feel for values around Bellevue, at my website you can set up an automated search with parameters you choose and you will be sent prospective homes that meet your search. I am quite certain prices in the Bellevue area are higher than in Idaho Falls, so you may have to go through a process of adjusting to the culture shock of affordability. Now, however, is a great time to buy as prices have dropped substantially in the last two years and interest rates are still at an all time low, which increases your buying power immensely.
Under About The Area, my Seattle Area Towns link is very informative with descriptions of each of the different neighborhoods in the Seattle and Bellevue area. (Bellevue and its surrounding towns, is the "Eastside" of Seattle.)
I wish you a smooth move,
North Renton would actually be an easy commute to Bellevue and there are new homes available there for under $400,000 up to 2400 SF on nice sized lots. I don't know if that fits your criteria for spacious, but having a brand new home would be exciting for you and your family.
As a realtor & a mom of three, I understand your housing needs! Bellevue is a great spot for your husband to work--gives you many options for great family neighborhoods within reasonable commute time. The Bellevue schools are great, but the housing is more expensive there.
Bigger bang for your buck would be some Kirkland neighborhoods (some are very expensive, some not so much, also some schools in their district [Lake Washington] are a bit spotty); Kenmore, Bothell & Woodinville all have great schools & affordable housing (with yards!).
The website that Linus Toy gave is an excellent one for checking out individual schools. The OSPI (Office for the Superintendent of Public Instruction) gives a ton of great information about the individual schools. Make sure you look at this information before you buy and talk to people who know the schools--sometimes there are issues in the schools that do not come across in the State's report card.
Best of luck and welcome!
No matter what you decide, I wanted to welcome you to our corner of the world and wish you the best of luck - the entire Seattle area is such a great place to move to and I am genuinely excited for you!
Mary's comments on family activities is good too--afterschool activities and sports facilities might factor into some of your "commute" needs too (they do fo us!) Since you're coming from a small town, "reasonable commute" might have a different meaning to you and your husband, especially if he works classic 8-5 hours. Certain commute patterns work much better than others. Ask people you know here, or perhaps people at your husband's company. Or let us know more of these and we can offer more suggestions.
I would ask your husband to check with the human resources department regarding a relocation package. In most companies they will offer help on moving.
Depending upon your timeframe my suggestion (and the company might pay for this) would be to fly over for a few days and look at potential areas and properties. Working with a Realtor experienced in relocation will be very helpful.
Normally they will consult with you by phone and email prior to your arrival, then pick you up and show you the areas you like the most and a few homes in each area. There is usually no fee for this service.
When you actually move, a typical relocation package includes paying moving costs (within certain limits), including paying the moving company, disconnection and re-connection of utilities, assistance in selling your current home (some companies will actually use a relocation company and buy your home for appraised value if it does not sell), reimbursement for travel and hotel accommodations (if you are unable t move directly from your current home to your new home).
Good luck. I have referral relocation associates in Seattle if you need one.
There are many affordable neighborhoods within a reasonable commute to Bellevue with great schools.
Our prices are the lowest that they have been in years and it is a great time to be moving to Seattle. I
would suggest that you choose an agent, e-mail them your criteria and have them send you some photo galleries of homes. It will be helpful to also tell them what activities your family enjoys in your leisure time and if you have an special school requirements so they can give you the top neighborhoods that will meet your needs and lifestyle. I have been helping relocating buyers for over 25 years and just found a home this weekend for a couple transfering from Tennesee . Being so close to the mountains you may be avid skiiers
or hikers. We are close to 2 mountain passes here, Snoqualmie and Stevens and Issaquah is a smaller suburb at the base of 3 smaller mountains (Tiger, Squawk and Cougar). The climate should be a bit warmer here in the winter. If I can be of assistance please call 206-227-1915 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.