Ballard is a great community. I would advise also looking into Queen Anne or Magnolia. The eastern part of the Lake Washington is beautiful but the yards are smaller. Another great community is Wallingford, a slightly longer distance but the family charm is one many of my clients have enjoyed.
The most important differential in this discussion is the community. Ballard is a younger more "hip" crowd at times and very diverse.
Believing the best for you,