Young Professional looking into buying a house in the greater seattle area. Where is the best place to buy with balance of commute time & excitement?

Asked by Ruben Velazquez, Lake Stevens, WA Sat Jan 26, 2013

Work in Mukilteo, Max:$275K, Best Resale Value & location.

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Steve McDonald’s answer
Steve McDona…, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sat Jan 26, 2013
Having lived, worked and sold in many of the neighborhoods on Seattle's north side you might say I am biased. Ballard, Green Lake, Wallingford and Ravenna (just to name a few) offer easy access to downtown as well as many local venues highly valued by other young professioals. Try running the 3+ mile track around Green Lake. Maybe ride some of the 16 mile Burke Gilman trail from Woodinville to Shilshole Marina. Then kick back at the Tractor or another watering hole in old town. The list is endless and the world is your oyster. The 'reverse commute' on I/5 or 99 is a breeze too.

With your budget I'm going to suggest that a condo or townhouse might be your best value unless you don't mind doing some home improvement projects. Even then the majority of single family properties within your reach are outside the core areas I mentioned but still leave them convenient with a quick car trip.It's a highly competitinve market out there with an extremely tight inventory. So you want to be prepared to move quickly and make fast decisions. Even then, you'll need your share of luck to win the day.
1 vote
Great insight Steve! The area is my top pick. Thanks.
Flag Sat Jan 26, 2013
Jeff Strand, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sat Jan 26, 2013
I agree with Aaron but it also depends on what you'd like to do with the house someday. If your plan is to retire and live in the house until an old age then that will drive your purchase decision differently, but if your plan is to live in a house in Seattle for a 10-20 years and then retire, I'd recommend Queen Anne, Wallingford or perhaps North Capitol Hill for it's in these areas your greatest ROI will take place. Metro property increases in value faster than property in outer areas and with the growth of technology around Lake Union, vales will increase faster and hold longer.

I work as a specialist in these areas and I'm happy to offer my services.

Jeff S
1 vote
David Gabria…, Agent, Seattle, WA
Tue Jan 29, 2013
Hi Ruben,

Have you looked into Cental Seattle neighborhoods? This area offers a wide market selection of houses with great parks, trails, & cafes with easy access to public transport and short routes to downtown. Residential houses start from $199k all the way into millions. 1 Bed. Condos start at around $120k. Check out some of the neighborhoods and see if this area is a place that interests you.
0 votes
Sarah Heath, Agent, Bellevue, WA
Mon Jan 28, 2013
As a young professional myself, I would have to say with your workplace & budget you'd want to look in Shoreline and surrounding area. You won't find very much excitement (in my opinion) - but the drive from Shoreline into Seattle is short enough to get you to the excitement without much hassle, and the drive from Shoreline to Mukilteo is just short enough to not want to pull your hair out! You may also want to consider Lynnwood for good bang for your buck & for growing resale value/prices.
0 votes
Saviya Rowla…, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sat Jan 26, 2013
Hi Ruben,

My suggestion for resale value vs your commute would be Edmonds. I've also sold many homes in Mountlake Terrace for first time home buyers. You can actually get a house there for about 200k but the resale isn't growing as fast as other places around it.

If you have any questions I'd love to help.

Saviya Rowland
CB Danforth
0 votes
Ray Akers, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sat Jan 26, 2013
Because you work in Mukilteo it makes sense to focus your home search north of Seattle. The closer you are to Seattle, the longer the commute time. Your price range should allow you to explore neighborhoods from Shoreline to Everett, or a bit farther north. I'd need to know more about what 'excitement' means to you? Do you mean an exciting nightlife? Or exciting outdoor activities? The city of Snohomish is not far, but has a small-town-feel with some great pubs. It's also located on Highway 2, which provides easy access to ski resorts and the mountains. To offer more specific advice I'd need to know some details about your lifestyle. Feel free to respond, I'm happy to offer suggestions.
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Wendy Hughes…, , Seattle, WA
Sat Jan 26, 2013
I can't add anything as I would also recommend Mukilteo or actually downtown Edmonds if there are places down there, that is such a cute little downtown area. I guess it depends on what you think is "excitement".
0 votes
Mary Matthew…, Agent, Langley, WA
Sat Jan 26, 2013
Whidbey Island would be a great choice. It is only a 15 minute ferry ride across the sound. The ferry runs every 30 minutes and there is good transportation from the ferry once you arrive. If you work at Boeing, there is many vanpools that will take you directly to Boeing. The cost of housing is substantially less than Mukilteo and the lifestyle is significantly more relaxed. All the services that you would expect on the mainland are available on Whidbey. Clinton, Langley or Freeland are places to consider and all are fairly close to the ferry. Best of Luck!
0 votes
Ardell Della…, Agent, Kirkland, WA
Sat Jan 26, 2013
I would say Shoreline, but that is somewhat biased in that I don't go too far North and my Downtown Seattle working clients also don't want to go too far North. That's why I stop there for the most part coming up from Green Lake and then work East to West (both sides of 520) vs too far North or too far South.

Shoreline is generally the first place from Downtown where someone can buy a home for under $300,000. But you will not get nearly as "good" of a house as you will if you stick with further North locations, so that is a "value based" answer vs best lifestyle answer.
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Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Sat Jan 26, 2013
Mukilteo itself is a great area and would minimize your commute. Depending on where you are coming from you'll likely find our prices higher than where you've been. That doesn't mean you can't find something reasonable at your price.
Snohomish county is generally more affordable than King county and south Snohomish may be more expensive than north.
A great local Broker can work with you, show you some options discuss your parameters a lot more and help you find the best fit. Especially in a relocation situation, you need local hands on help.
Questions I would ask you, what is an acceptable commute? What do you want to do in off work hours? Do you prefer newer move in ready or something older and a light fixer? Are schools an issue? Do you want something in a neighborhood or rural? Where do you live now and what do you like about that home and the area?
The best value will come from picking the right home for you, so you can enjoy it for a long time.
0 votes
Max Feinstein, Agent, Bellevue, WA
Sat Jan 26, 2013
Hi Ruben,

There are a lot of factors that play into this. If you'd like, I'd be more than happy to discuss some options with you and give you an idea of what is out there. Feel free to contact me by phone or email.

Max Feinstein
Broker - The Cascade Team
0 votes
Robin Sherid…, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sat Jan 26, 2013
When you say Greater Seattle, are you intending to live outside of the city? If not, have you considered West Seattle? It's a short commute to downtown with some great commercial areas, the beach, terrific parks, and affordable homes. It's a great place to live! I'd love to help you find a home regardless of where you choose. Take care.
0 votes
Benis Dawkins, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sat Jan 26, 2013
You came to the right place!

It really depends on what moves you? There are a number of neighborhoods that offer GREAT commute options and nightlife and amenities ....

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Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate
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0 votes
Arron Renfrew, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sat Jan 26, 2013
So many variables...where will you be commuting to? What do you like to do and where/how do you spend your time? This is probably more of a personal preference question than you might realize. Would be glad to discuss more.
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