Appreciate pointers to preferred areas per School and options to build house - Bellevue, Kirkland, Issaquah, Sammamish?

Asked by Primus, Dallas, TX Sat Dec 28, 2013

Planning to move to Seattle over next year or so. Where do we start looking?
1. We like being close to city, easy access to Seattle downtown etc. However, there seems to be very few options in our preferred area (W of 405, S of 116Ave & N of I90) in Bellevue & Kirkland for building or buying homes under $900k.
2. Do we continue to search there or look at Sammamish & Issaquah.
3. Amongst all , top preference is having good Schools. Per School digger (http://www.schooldigger.com/go/WA/schoolrank.aspx?pagetype=top10), Redmond is rated high as well (we weren't expecting it). Now, we are totally confused ;- Appreciate your pointers

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3
Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Sat Dec 28, 2013
Primus,
First, welcome to the Northwest. I would encourage you to consider several things; proximity to work, freeway, preferred type of entertainment and of course schools. I've attached a link I like that allows you to compare school ratings from district to district and even schools in one district to others in another.
I believe you'll find that the Bellevue, Lake Washington and Issaquah Districts are all very good, but depending on your kids specific needs you may find one district or school within each district may suit you best. There are gifted programs, foreign language, technology based, arts based options in the area and probably others I'm not mentioning.
Regarding availability; our inventory is low at most price points. What is available today, may be gone long before you're ready. Prices are seeing substantial increases over last year, in large part due to low inventory and more migration to the NW than away. Several builders have broken ground on new projects in the past several months, so I suspect they are betting on this continuing.
To answer your question more completely, here is what I'd suggest. Find a Broker out here that you are comfortable with that you can start a long term dialogue with. We practice Agency Law in Washington, which means that whoever you select will represent your needs first and keep your confidences, unless they are already contracted with the seller.
Your local agent can gather additional information about your family, your wants, needs and plans to advise you further. They can send you listings, preview some for you and of course prepare tours when you can come to visit.
I'm a Seattle area native and I've live in Sammamish since 1988. We've raised our boys in the Lake Washington School District and know it well. You'll have many of us that will be glad to help, so do some research on the Brokers who respond and pick one you like and can trust.
Welcome again to the area, we hope you love it as much as we do.
1 vote
Thanks Dan/Mack. Really appreciate the detailed response. Will come back end of year when we are closer to moving...Thanks again
Flag Mon Dec 30, 2013
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sat Dec 28, 2013
Schooldigger doesn't tell you what schools are good; there are quite a few paid tutoring services in each of these neighborhoods - Kumon, Sylvan, et cetera. The schools do happen to be good, but there are other schools that don't have the stats that teach well, I am told.

Inventory is low. It is said that a "normal" market has six months' supply of listings, it's been under two months all year in your preferred area - and pretty much all throughout the Eastside.

My advice: Wait until you're actually ready to buy, and explore other areas!

All the best,
1 vote
LaVerne Pike, Agent, Bellevue, WA
Thu Apr 17, 2014
Lake Washington School District is a very desirable district. Many of my clients are strict about only finding homes within the district.
0 votes
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