Regardless of whether you are moving to Seattle for the first time or you already live in the city and simply want to find a better area to live, it is important to compare the different neighborhoods. Each has something different to offer, and some areas are better than others. Which areas are the best is partly down to a matter of opinion, although experts rank the areas by comparing statistics relating to many different factors. These factors include public schools, crime rates, employment prospects, outdoor spaces, leisure activities, diversity, and transport links. Based on these statistics, the following are the 20 best places to live in Seattle.
20. Columbia City
This is one of the most diverse areas in Seattle as there are more than 60 languages spoken by the residents of this area. Therefore, it is ideal for those who want to live somewhere that is diverse. Another major reason to consider living in this area is the low property and rental prices, as it is one of the cheapest neighborhoods to live in Seattle. This is considered an up-and-coming area that is attracting a lot of younger people. Columbia City has the potential to become a gentrified area in the future.
19. Upper Queen Anne
Upper Queen Anne is often referred to simply as Queen Anne. This is a place you will want to live if you have an image in your head of a large family home with gardens to the front and rear with white picket fences. This area sits above the hill from Lower Queen Anne and next to Fremont. Despite its city location, it has a suburban feel with a good sense of community. Of course, living in such an idyllic location comes at a price, and this area has both high house prices and a high cost of living.
Compared to most other Seattle neighborhoods, Northgate is one of the most affordable options. Traditionally, it has been a shopping destination as it is home to a huge mall. However, there has been extensive development in the area that has brought opportunities for first-time buyers to step on the first rung of the Seattle property ladder. There are also plans to improve the transport links in this area to make it a better place to live for commuters. Therefore, it should continue to increase in popularity.
17. Lower Queen Anne
Lower Queen Anne is an uptown neighborhood that is close to many of the best attractions in Seattle. For this reason, it is a good place for families to live as there is something to keep people of all ages entertained. On the other hand, it is also a good area for young professionals due to the good transport links and job prospects. Another group of people who will like living in this area is those who are trying to reduce their carbon footprint as it is a very walkable neighborhood. On the downside, rental and house purchase prices are high.
16. Madison Park
If you have the cash to splash, then you might want to consider moving to Madison Park, which is the most expensive area to live in Seattle. Homes in this neighborhood are in excess of $1.8 million, so the property price tags are high. It is a waterfront community with large swathes of land and luxurious mansions. For many people, this is their dream Seattle destination. This upscale community is close to Washington Park Arboretum and it faces Lake Washington.
Renting in Magnolia is likely to cost in excess of $300,000, while the median house price to buy is around $868 thousand. Although it is one of the priciest areas to live, this is because there are so many benefits to this neighborhood. This area has been described as the city’s forested backyard, as the wide streets are lined with trees and there are plenty of outdoor spaces, such as Discovery Park. Woodland extends down the hill to the shoreline, and this makes it an attractive place to live. Most of the large houses in this neighborhood overlook the water, and there are plenty of outdoor leisure activities for residents to enjoy.
14. South Lake Union
A fantastic place to live if you are a young professional is South Lake Union, says Jumpshell. This up-and-coming area is one of the fastest-growing in Seattle. In one year alone, the population has increased by 20 percent. Due to this speedy growth, many of the properties in the area are new. There are many large businesses in this area, along with new businesses cropping up all the time. This means that there are many employment opportunities in a variety of areas.
Fauntleroy is one of the smallest and least known communities in Seattle. This is perhaps because it is all the way beyond West Seattle and down in Fauntleroy Cove. It has the ambiance of a seaside village, with its small cottages and bungalows. The most coveted houses are those that are along the beach as these offer impressive views of the water and the Olympic mountains, as well as being ideally located for walks and activities on the beach. It is one of the best options for those who want to live close to the city but do not want the urban lifestyle.
12. Beacon Hill
Single-family homes are the main option in Beacon Hill, and the house prices and cost of living are about average for Seattle. It is an arts and culture hub where you will find wall murals and public statues. It has excellent transport links as it is by a light rail station, and there are outdoor spaces such as Jefferson Park. The dining out options are just as diverse as the community, and you will find restaurants serving a diverse range of international cuisines.
11. Mount Bake
An affluent community, Mount Baker has steep house prices and high living costs. The homes in the area are predominantly tall and stately Craftsman homes. The neighborhood has a couple of great restaurants and coffee shops, although it isn’t well known for the diversity of the amenities on offer. The transport links are excellent, so it is a good residential area for those who commute. It is also a good area for both families and retirees as it boasts golf courses, a beach, playgrounds, a light rail station, and many leisure activities. There are some excellent schools in the area, which is another feature that appeals to families.
10. Bitter Lake
Although only a small neighborhood, Bitter lake has plenty of character. It is an up-and-coming area that has long been overlooked. The housing options in this community are varied, ranging from large lakefront properties to single condos. This area has a dense population and excellent transport links. Due to the latter, this area is considered a commuter-friendly residential area.
Findwell says that Montlake is nestled between Eastlake and the Washington Parks Arboretum. It is one of the priciest areas in which to live in Seattle, with monthly rents topping $3,700 and an average house price of $1.2 million. The large properties vary in style and sit along wide, tree-lined streets. The area has its own downtown area that is home to upscale restaurants, boutique shops, and nice coffee houses. There is a large park at either end of the neighborhood.
Families find Greenwood a desirable area, and there are many reasons for this. First, it has a residential feel and a strong sense of community. Second, there are some excellent schools in that neighborhood. Another reason is the safety in the area as the streets are quiet enough for children to play outside their homes and the crime rates are very low. Despite the suburban feel, this area is still close to the amenities, employment opportunities, and leisure activities.
The high house prices and cost of living are the downsides of choosing Leschi as your new home. However, it is understandable that this is such an expensive area to live considering everything this neighborhood has to offer. It is often considered a divided area, with one half of the area focused on the Lake Washington marina area, and the other half at the top of the hill associating itself with surrounding communities. Many families live in the harbor area, and this is probably because of the quitter feel to the place along with the leisure activities on offer. Heading up the hill, the homes are varied and range from rambling period properties to brand new homes with views. Once over the ridge of the hill, the homes are smaller and cheaper.
Often considered one of the trendiest areas of Seattle, Ballard is a hipster’s paradise. Once an industrial area, this historic neighborhood has now become a cool place to live, although it has retained its unique Scandinavian heritage. It is a hotspot for socializing, due to the bars, coffee shops, and restaurants, and the area has a great vibe at night. Compared to many other areas, the cost of living in Ballard is relatively low.
5. Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill is one of Seattle’s most densely populated areas that is made up of a few smaller neighborhoods, says Containing the Chaos. It is located northeast of downtown and has a mix of condos, period properties, and newer homes. This area is considered the LGBTQ capital of Seattle, so there is a diverse community. It is a great place for foodies to live as some of the best restaurants in Seattle are located in this area. The cost of living in Capitol Hill is about average for the city.
The locals call this neighborhood either the Center of the Universe of The People’s Republic of Fremont. It is an artsy neighborhood with an eclectic vibe, and it has a great community feel due to the many events that are held in the area throughout the year. Despite the urban surroundings, this area is adjacent to Woodland Park, so residents of the area can enjoy the outdoor space.
3. North Admiral
A community in West Seattle, North Admiral is one of the oldest neighborhoods in that part of the city. It is one of the quieter districts and is known for its large properties, including the dignified homes around the California Avenue area and the mansions on the beachfront. The excellent transport links into the center of the city give good access to amenities and leisure facilities, while the area generally offers a lifestyle similar to that of living in a suburban community.
2. Central Distric
The Central District is considered an ideal position in which to live if you want somewhere that is close to the metropolitan lifestyle, while far enough away from the hectic lifestyle for an area to have a nice community feel. The housing options are varied in this area, ranging from Victorian family homes to modern condos suitable for young professionals and retirees alike. There are plenty of transport links and residents have access to green spaces.
According to Seattle Met, the best area to live in Seattle is Wallingford. It has a central location that means residents are close to all the amenities and leisure activities. Despite its proximity to central Seattle, this neighborhood has a suburban feel, with a main high street surrounded by tree-lined streets with Craftsman-style homes. It is also a visually appealing area with nice architecture and outdoor spaces. The downside of this area is the cost of living and the high property and rental prices. If you rent in this area, you can expect to pay close to $3,000 a month.
Written by Liz Flynn
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