Here is the best way to research an area. Go to Google or other search engines and search for Seattle maps, Seattle GIS maps, and Seattle interactive maps, or the city that you will be moving to plus interactive maps or GIS maps, etc. Now type in the address that you wish to go to and study these maps. They will tell you everything you need to know. Crime in that specific area, schools, homes, etc. Census tract information will also give you basic information about the area. But do you know what is the best thing you can do? Go to the area you are thinking about and drive around this area, go to local stores around this area. After two hours, you will absolutely know whether or not you want to live in this area.... more
If your rate is fixed, rents cover the payment and your don't forsee any major out of pocket expenses over the next 5 years...Hang on to it! We aren't building more land, values will recover over time, real estate has always proven to be a great long term investment.... more
Sandra - I think you need to see what is more important - schools+ safety, or location+price, or size of the house. Unfortunately you will not be able to find a good spacious remolded home for 400K in Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland or Kenmore. Bothell might be a possibility but again the house will not be very big for that price. If you are looking at 2000 sq feet +, you will need to bump up the budget to about 500K.
Lake Washington and Bellevue School districts are considered very good and are in the top 100 for the whole US. You also might check out www.schoolmatters.com.
I would suggest deciding on the school and price first and then see what you can find within the boundaries. If nothing is available, you might have to re-evaluate.
Good luck and let me know if I can be of help!... more
I live in Kirkland West of 405 and I agree that the price sounds high for East of I405. Also Ardell is correct that a finished lot should be 1/3 of the total price of house on lot. A trip to the City will you an idea of hook up fees; are all utilities in the street. If you have choosen a builder they can look at the lot to see if the house you want to build will fit on this lot, how much construction/permits and hook up fees will cost and also the cost of a construction loan. If there is a house on the lot then you will also have demolition costs and hazardous material disposal costs if necessary.