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Old 10-14-2006, 09:19 AM
 
18 posts, read 161,936 times
Reputation: 21

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I am looking to relocate to western Washington. I was considering Olympia, but my heart is really in Seattle. Unfortunately, my pocketbook isn't. I'm single, and over 50, but a retirement area is out of the question. I'm very active, go to a lot of concerts (and we're not talking Streisand - we're talking the White Stripes and Brian Jonestown), and love the outdoors. I also want to go to art schools, and Seattle appears to have an abundance of those. I'm not at all familiar with surrounding areas, although I've been to Bellevue/Kirkland and like the area a lot, but it's out of my budget. So my question is, where is the most affordable area closest to Seattle. Rain isn't an issue at all. I'd prefer to stay south rather than north, but any information on either would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-14-2006, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Santa Barbara
627 posts, read 2,787,983 times
Reputation: 411
I have lived in both (Olympia only because of college-left immediately!). It was fun for the first half a year then BORING!!!! It is a nice sleepy town though and lovely.

I am a Seattle lady all the way, so I would recommend you do everything possible to find housing close to the city and don't give up. It will pan out. First. Have you eliminated everywhere in Seattle-Ballard, Northwest area of Greenlake? You said you prefer south, but south is funky in that Boeing field is there and that cuts off living options and sometimes places new hinderances such as airplane noise in certain areas. But there is housing all over there such as Burien etc.

Also you hadn't mentioned if it was home or condo you were looking at. That could make a big difference. If it is a house you are ready to finance, why not look into a condo situation in the areas you like. (Sorry if I am repeating all that you already know-just brainstorming so you can get into the city ).

Also I would suggest maybe looking into the islands surrounding Seattle. You can ferry in from the right island. Just trying to think of anything other then having you live so far away from Seattle. Olympia feels psychologically far away from Seattle When I lived there), whereas the islands feel removed, but don't feel as though you are completely removed from Seattle's activities (once again my sense-others may disagree). Just some thoughts. Hope these are helpful.
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Old 10-14-2006, 12:00 PM
 
18 posts, read 161,936 times
Reputation: 21
Thanks for your reply. I sort of feel the same way about Olympia - it was dull, but very pretty. I have thought about the islands, and my major question is how does one go about moving a house full of furniture to an island? I also thought they were all pretty pricey. I would prefer a small house, but I'm not ruling out condos, if they're townhomes with a garage. And since I'm only looking to spend around $250-275,000, it will probably have to be a condo. But those don't seem to be easy to find in Seattle either. And it's really difficult using Realtor.com because you don't know where these places are located. I've never been in bad areas of Seattle, but they must exist, right? I'm not familiar with Greenlake or any of the surrounding areas other than Bellevue. I'm just basically trying to get as close as I can to Seattle - so I shouldn't rule out any area. I'm also trying to avoid a 9 to 5 job, so traffic isn't really a concern either.

Am I being completely unrealistic with the $250-275 price range???
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Old 10-14-2006, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara
627 posts, read 2,787,983 times
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I know it can be really tough when you aren't familiar with an area and Seattle has a lot of little areas to learn. Based on what you said in your last post, I would highly recommend looking into West Seattle. This is very close to the city and easily accessible, but also a self sustained community with its own waterfront and views of the city.

I am no realtor, but I am posting a site as it shows a good relative map of the areas and labels them as well as gives a blurb about general Seattle areas. Here it is. There were definately a lot of homes listed in your price range in West Seattle. [url]removed[url]

I would recommend West Seattle and anything North of the city proper, anything east of the city proper and anything on an island. South has always been the least desirable area, but don't eliminate this area either, because people who haven't been able to afford homes in Bellevue and The Eastside (Mercer Island, Redmond) have shifted down into that area, essentially making Renton a bedroom community of Bellevue. And if you want to be close to Bellevue, Renton may be an area for you to look into. I am unsure of pricing there and I don't think that area is listed on the map in the link above. But to give you an idea of where it is locationally. It is south of Bellevue and east of Tukwilla area (on that map-hopefully all will become clear when you look at it.). You really can't go wrong on the eastside, but the farther you go south, the more wary you should be and specifically inquire about those spots on this blog if needed. Beacon hill and south of there used to be a bit seedy as well, but these areas may have done a lot of shifting since the middle class has been getting pushed out of the main parts of the city. Conversely, you may find some wonderful, diverse neighborhoods here as well. If diversity isn't your bag, stay north, directly east, in the city proper in general, or west seattle.

Best of luck. I think you might really like West Seattle and I think you're right about the islands. They are probably getting very pricey. If I come across anything else that may be useful, I'll be sure to post.

Last edited by xxman777; 10-14-2006 at 04:15 PM.. Reason: No advertising please
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Old 10-14-2006, 07:17 PM
 
18 posts, read 161,936 times
Reputation: 21
I wish you were a real estate agent That website was very helpful. Thanks much. West Seattle sounds perfect, but I'm not seeing much in my price range. When I do a search on Realtor.com for all of Kings County, about the only areas that come up are Renton, Kent and Federal Way, and I've heard bad things about all of those. This is rather discouraging. Still, West Seattle sounds so great, it's probably worth some sacrifices. I'll keep trying.

Thanks again for all your help.
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Old 10-16-2006, 08:52 PM
 
18 posts, read 105,472 times
Reputation: 14
If I were you, I would find a place to rent, and see what happens with the housing market in the next year or so. Prices have gone straight up the past 3 years and some would venture you would be buying at the top of the cycle. On the otherhand, others would say housing prices will go up forever...
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Old 10-16-2006, 11:45 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara
627 posts, read 2,787,983 times
Reputation: 411
Thank you for the thanks . I hope you were able to get that website, it looks as thougth the moderator thought it was advertising and deleted it sorry. I am new to this site and found that map helpful. Guess one has to post innocuous links here. If I come across any I'll let you know.

I think you may do well as the other poster mentioned to head on out there and jump in with both feet and just give buying a little time. I mostly say this as there as just so many areas to live that are wonderful there and getting your feet wet (literally) and exploring Seattle is a ton of fun. This is how I learned about the city and each area I lived in I loved. It is that sort of a city. So much diversity of feel and emphasis. I think you will find something wonderful and I say go for it. Get out there and start exploring . Enjoy!!!! and good luck to you.
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Old 01-09-2007, 04:21 AM
 
Location: Corpus Christi
232 posts, read 931,044 times
Reputation: 47
Default Seattle

Hope you had luck and are now moved to Seattle !
I just read the posts today...I use to live in Seattle a few yrs back. And I am also thinking about moving back there.
We are really into the city life also...Anywhere in the city limits is pretty cool.
I will have to agree that the south side isn't as nice as the rest. I lived in North Seattle and loved it. I have heard good things about the west side also. If I move, that may be were we go too.
I actually have a interview on the 26th for a job back at Boeing....
Prices have really gone up in the last few yrs.....I sold my home for 135K when I left...should have kept it....lol.
Good Luck ! Your going to love it !
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Old 01-10-2007, 12:20 AM
 
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
8,301 posts, read 12,210,305 times
Reputation: 8054
I remember there was a nice-looking art school on Capitol Hill, just a bit north of the main commercial strip on Broadway. I think there were quite a few condos in that area also, though I have no idea about costs.
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Old 01-10-2007, 08:52 PM
 
4 posts, read 37,158 times
Reputation: 14
I'm new to the forum and don't know exactly what I can and cannot tell you but I vouch for West Seattle being a great place to live both in environment and quality of life. There are plenty of rentals if you're not in the market to buy. And there are still moderately priced homes, condos, and townhomes available in West Seattle. I work as a Realtor and also live in West Seattle. North, South, East, and West all have their own nuances. Just depends on what you're looking for and how flexible you're willing and able to be. Denice Rochelle.
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