Thoughts on Snoqualmie? (Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond: real estate, apartment, how much)
Seattle areaSeattle and King County Suburbs
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My husband got the offer in Bellevue and we're heading out to Seattle in another week so that I can finally see the city for myself and we'll probably be checking out some neighborhoods. My husband saw some new developments in Snoqualmie Ridge that he liked and said that some of his future co-workers live there and love it. Since he'll be working in Bellevue, the commute to Seattle is not an issue and seems like you get more for your money a little further out. However, right now we live in a sort of remote suburb where it seems like we have to drive 15 minutes to get to any substantial shopping or restaurants and I'm not sure I want to be in that position again. Can anyone give me some insight to that neighborhood - the pros and cons? Thanks!
IGA is worthless as a complete shopping trip grocery store. It's better than a convenience store - but not by much. When I mean "remote" yes, it's got shopping and services, it's not "rural" ... but for Walmart, Target, Costco type shopping... home needs (home depot, bed bath & beyond) and those sorts of things - you will have to drive. Even for sit-down dinners. Issaquah is not a far drive at all... which is why I said my ONLY con is the Quadrant developer.
The Snoqualmie Ridge community is nice, but yes, I have heard similar things to what Jen has mentioned. That is, Quadrant homes are not the best of quality.
Snoqualmie Ridge is kind of odd. It is like a typical suburban sub-development, yet in rural location. Nature in the surrounding area is very nice.
To get in to the suburb of Issaquah, where there is regular shopping (i.e., Safeway, Target, Costco etc.), it will be about 15-20 mins.
One thing I would warn is that the morning rush hour on I-90 from Snoqualmie to Bellevue gets very brutal from about exit 12 in Issaquah all the way into the 405 interchange in Bellevue and vice versa in the evening. In other words, there are often about 10-15 miles of straight gridlock on this portion of the freeway during this time. It can be reduced, however, if your husband is able to carpool with someone and use the HOV lanes.
Ok, since I'm being shot down here, how about the plateau?
Issaquah Highlands and related developments may be more pricey but also more convenient. You'll be a bit "closer" time-wise to Bellevue. You'll also have transit service up in the Highlands as opposed to Snoqualmie Ridge where you'll have to go into the town of Snoqualmie to catch the bus. You'll also be closer to the conveniences you want in Issaquah.
(I'm sure I drive faster --or at least have more speeding tickets-- than you, gallo )
This is just an aside from the real topic of this thread, but as a real estate agent, I am actually going to give a plug for Quadrant Homes. I don't know if you folks who have had negative comments about this builder have any first-hand experience that you're relating, but many people all over western Washington have found it a great deal. It depends a lot on how much you have to spend and what you're looking for.
I keep hearing about the quality of the homes but I've been in a lot of new construction homes and I don't see anything inferior about Quadrant. Since all of the finishes in Quadrant Homes are upgrades, perhaps what you're referring to are actually the upgrades an individual may have purchased. If they were not high end, then it may appear to be inferior to what other builders' offer.
All in all, they are what they are. They truly do offer more house for less money. I grant you though they're not for everyone.
My realtor with John L Scott, who has been with us since our first home purchase, and then sold our last home before we left the state - wouldn't even show us a new construction Quadrant, and really discouraged us from purchasing one based on quality of construction, resale value and reputation.
The home we lived in, in Bothell - which was 23 yrs old - was actually a Quadrant - and I can attest that it was a mess in regards to "quality construction" BUT I think 23 yrs ago, Quadrant was a much different company... they actually ran out of money doing our subdivision, back then, so all the upstairs of the homes in that neighborhood were unfinished when first bought, and totally different...
We have friends who purchased a Quadrant in Snoqualmie Ridge and have had nothing but problems - AND had to be housed in a hotel for months while they fixed the issues. This happens with other builders too, I know... I think with Quadrant though, it's like Russian Roulette.
Every place has it's pros and cons, right?!.....here's some thoughts on the Ridge. (And disclaimer......my opinions only of course!)
We just moved from North Bend (7 miles further east of Snoqualmie Ridge) after living there for 8 years. Snoq Ridge was in phase 1 when we moved to North Bend, so we've seen it evolve. I have friends who live there and love it, but I will agree with the negative Quadrant comments.....there have been problems with that company. Dry wall issues, other air quality issues, etc that were making people sick for a while and it got a lot of press, despite Quadrant trying to keep it on the hush-hush. I wouldn't buy a Quadrant home. DH is a real estate agent and avoids Quadrant and doesn't recommend them.
If you have kids, you'll want to check in to the school district issues right now. The entire Snoq Valley district is in major conflict......50% of the people want an expansion bond to be passed (which they need, whether you support it or not, it's really overcrowded) and the other 50% vehemently don't want it. In a nutshell, it's basically a disagreement between new development / young families and rural housing / old timers (to make it simple). The new elementary school on the Ridge was overcrowded the first day it opened. This is a major, major issue in the Valley right now.
Your commute to Bellevue will be better than going to Seattle, but previous posters are right that it will be gridlocked from Issaquah to Bellevue, unless you can get carpool lane. However, they pushed the carpool lane farther west, so that gets backed up now too until you can actually get in it. I took my daughter to school in Bellevue, and even with carpool lane at 7:30 am, it took us 40-45 min from North Bend on a good day. Shave 10 min off that time if you're in Snoq, but depending on where you live in the Ridge, depends on how quickly you'll get to the freeway.
I wouldn't recommend the Plateau (Issaquah, Redmond, Sammamish) for traffic issues only....there are other reasons it's nice though. Our business was in Issaquah for 10 years, and we watched the Plateau explode. Clients who lived up there complained about the traffic and the time it took to get to our business (30 min to get from the Plateau to downtown Issy), and some stopped coming because they just stayed up on the Plateau.
Shopping, other than specialty shops, is going to be in Issaquah mostly. Trader Joe's, Home Depot, Fred Meyer, Target, Costco, etc are all in Issaquah. 15 min in good traffic from Snoq Ridge. There is a Safeway and QFC (grocery stores) in North Bend, but the quality is better in Issaquah. There is an outlet mall in North Bend. I mostly shopped in Issaquah and Bellevue.
There is also a new casino that is being built at exit 27, one exit past the Snoq Ridge exit. I don't know how much it will impact the Ridge, but North Bend was going to feel the effects (good and bad, depending on your view).
When they clear cut Snoq Ridge, the wind in North Bend went up exponentially. Like it sounded like a train was coming through our bedroom window, and there were nights I slept elsewhere. The wind really got to me after a while, and growing up in the Midwest, I'm a person who is used to extreme weather. Friends have told me the same of Snoq Ridge and wind.
With that all said, the views from Snoq Ridge, and the Snoq Valley in general, are incredible. The hiking and outdoor activities are great, and you're only 20-30 mins from great snow in the winter. There are great CSA farms in the Snoq Valley, some with really great year-round produce programs. If you have kids, Remlinger Farms has a family fun park w/ ponies and such, and there are really great things to do in the area. We lived with a fabulous view of Mt Si in North Bend, and it was renewing to see that each and every day. It's a great place if you're in to the outdoors.
We loved living in the Snoq Valley, but if you'll be spending a lot of time in Bellevue, there are pockets are great neighborhoods there or in Issaquah that might serve you better as far as convenience, shopping, schools, commute, etc.
PM me if you'd like other information! Hope this helps and happy relocating.
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