Seattle's reputation might proceed it, but there's a lot more to this city than coffee shops and rain (although in fairness, it does have a lot of both). Blessed with an eclectic food scene, stunning outdoor attractions, and a booming economy, it's an exciting urban playground with a ton to offer. Unfortunately, that doesn't come for free. Over the past few years, house prices have been steadily rising. Today, a single-family home in the city comes with the hefty median price tag of over $700,000. Does that mean Seattle is off-limits to anyone without a small fortune to invest in a home? Not at all. If you know where to look, you'll find plenty of areas where the cost of living won't break the bank. Without further ado, here are the 10 cheapest places to live in Seattle.
10. Madison Valley
In most cities, $527,975 would be a small fortune for a property. In Seattle, it's around $200,000 less than the median. Yet despite the affordable cost of accommodation, Madison Valley is still a fashionable, desirable neighborhood, with a great range of amenities and recreational venues. Thanks to a very healthy median income of $123,390, it also manages to boast one of the best home value to income indexes in the city.
9. Upper Rainier Beach
Located on the southeastern corner of Seattle, the quiet, residential neighborhood of Upper Rainer Beach boasts some of the most affordable lakefront and water view properties in Seattle. A mid-sized property with a hot tub, a deck, and all the mod cons shouldn't set you back more than around $400,000 - $500,000 (although if you're happy to pay more for a little extra space, you'll find plenty of less modestly sized housing options with distinctly less modest price tags). With attractions like the Atlantic City Boat Ramp and Kubota Garden Park on the doorstep, it's a great home for people who want to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle while still being within easy reach of the Downtown.
8. Mount Baker
Move to Mount Baker, and you'll find yourself in a prime position to avail of Seattle's booming job market. Most people here are earning the very respectable median income of $84,194, while the unemployment and poverty levels are both remarkably low. Yet despite the obvious attractions, the cost of living (at least by Seattle standards) is appealingly low. If you want to pick up a modern, decently sized single-family home, expect to part with no more than around $484,690.
7. Puget Ridge
If you want to live in a central location that offers easy access to all of Seattle's key attractions, you'll be hard-pushed to find a better place to call home than Puget Ridge. Located just a short way from West Seattle Bridge, this pretty little neighborhood has long been considered one of Seattle's most desirable areas. With its stunning panoramas, its abundance of first-rate schools, and its appealing selection of shops, eateries, libraries, and coffee shops, it's hard not to see the appeal. Understandably, new builds come at a premium - if you want a condo with all the mod-cons, expect to pay north of $600,000. If, on the other hand, you don't mind investing in a property that needs a little sprucing up, you shouldn't find it hard to find an older property for around $250,000 - $300,000.
According to seattlesmortgagebroker.com, homes in Kenmore are a full $100,000 less than in its surrounding neighborhoods Unfortunately, this is Seattle, and in Seattle, you can still expect to pay substantially more for a home in even the cheapest areas than you would in certain other parts of the US. If you want a single-family home, expect to part with around $400,000. It may sound a lot but it's still substantially less than you'd pay in neighboring Issaquah or Sammamish. Despite the relative affordability, it's still got all the perks and privileges of even the finest of Seattle's neighborhoods, including plenty of family-owned businesses, a good collection of schools, and some lovely parks. Thanks to its location just 20 minutes from Downtown, it's a popular spot with commuters.
5. Queen Anne Hill
Queen Anne Hill is a busy, dynamic neighborhood with stunning views of the Seattle skyline, historic homes, and a fabulously eclectic array of eateries, bookstores, boutiques, bars, and clubs. The walkability is excellent, the streets are safe, and the vibrant atmosphere is infectious. With so many attractions to its name, it'd be easy to think that living here came at a premium. In fact, it's one of the city's most affordable areas - expect to snap up a modern condo for a little less than $350,000.
4. Industrial District
According to Home Snacks, the Industrial District ranks as one of the cheapest neighborhoods in Seattle. It's not hard to see what's got their attention. The average home price is almost half the median for the city at just $331,500. Rental properties are even more of a bargain. On the downside, unemployment is relatively high at just a smidge under 7 percent and the median household income is a less than significant $60,140.
3. North Puyallup
If you're happy to live just a little outside the city, you'll find the Seattle suburb of North Puyallup a great place to call home. Ranked by Niche as the suburb with the lowest cost of living in the Seattle metro area, it offers an easy commute into the city with plenty of attractions to boot, including some great schools, low crime, and a supremely attractive median home value of just $152,700. If you'd prefer to rent rather than buy, expect to get by on as little as $1,008 per month. On the flipside, the median household income is a little on the low side at $56,114.
2. High Point
If $331,500 for a single-family home sounds like a good deal to you, you might want to consider the neighborhood of High Point. If it doesn't, you might want to consider the fact that in most neighborhoods of the city, you'd need to fork out $772,729 for the equivalent. While low home prices are usually accompanied by low desirability, High Point actually has a lot to recommend it, including a low crime rate, plenty of great amenities, and a good handful of schools.
In a city where you'll struggle to find many neighborhoods with a median home value of less than $700,000, Belltown's average property price of just $298,940 is a breath of fresh air. Unlike most neighborhoods where low home prices go hand in hand with low desirability, Belltown is actually a very attractive destination, with high median incomes, a welcoming community, and low crime and unemployment levels.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson