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Old 11-07-2019, 12:38 AM
Status: "Damp" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Seattle
2,069 posts, read 1,147,462 times
Reputation: 3811

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ServoMiff View Post
I think renting for the first year probably makes the most sense, but I think if we found the right neighborhood for us that buying a condo/townhouse wouldn't be out of the question, but they'd have to accept cats. We have one indoor cat.

Burien seems to not have a Costco nearby but that's not a deal breaker. I'll be in town in a few weeks and will check both areas out.

What about places like Maple Valley/Heights or Bryn Mawr Skyway?
There is a Costco in Orillia, right off 180th. It's a big and busy, better wear comfortable shoes.

Renton is OK but I'm a bigger fan of Des Moines and Burien.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Seattle
6,161 posts, read 4,897,939 times
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Burien (my bias is showing) is the place of these options with the best little town core, charming feeling of community: pubs, cafes, coffee shops.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:33 AM
 
Location: 98166
733 posts, read 1,243,526 times
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Don't overlook Normandy Park either. Close to both Burien, Des Moines and a similar commute to Orillia. WAY less crime too. It's quiet and has some amazing view properties as well.
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:24 PM
 
Location: IL/IN/FL/CA/KY/FL
1,185 posts, read 954,084 times
Reputation: 1376
Quote:
Originally Posted by franklin42 View Post
Don't overlook Normandy Park either. Close to both Burien, Des Moines and a similar commute to Orillia. WAY less crime too. It's quiet and has some amazing view properties as well.
Thanks for chiming in, I appreciate it and will take a look there as well.
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Old 11-07-2019, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Seattle
6,487 posts, read 14,352,947 times
Reputation: 2783
I have lived in Columbia City for the past two years. My partner had a summer job in Skyway. We're in the middle of buying a house in unincorporated King (just southeast of White Center, northeast of Burien). So, I feel like I have been asking a lot of the same questions as you, OP.

One thing that I seem to have noticed (with no hard proof) is that houses in Kent and Renton appreciate less quickly and take more time to sell. There seems to be something about those communities that just attract fewer buyers. We saw a lot more homes moving more quickly in Federal Way - but then again, they're a bit cheaper there than in Renton (overall) so maybe that has something to do with it.

Burien seems to have done very well for itself in this latest market cycle. The downtown area is straddling the line between cute/electic and gentrified too much for smaller indie shops to remain open. So, for now, it is doing well. Housing in the area also seems to have appreciated well and (in my opinion) will weather the next downturn somewhat better (a softer landing) than housing in far-flung places like Maple Valley or less desirable close-in cities like Renton. That being said, Burien does have some less desirable areas; there are a few neighborhoods along Ambaum Boulevard that were not exactly what we were searching for.

One area that may not have been on your radar is the Roxbury Heights/Arroyo Heights/Endolyne/Fauntleroy area of West Seattle. In my opinion this is one of the remaining somewhat affordable areas of Seattle. For example - we found a (very small) two-bedroom house in this area for $425,000, right on the edge of the understated but very nice Arroyo neighborhood. Passed on that opportunity for various other reasons but the value looked to be good. The commute to Orillia via 509 to 518 would not be bad at all, especially since your spouse works at home.

My gut always tells me to buy as close to the Seattle CBD as possible, of course working within your budgetary desires and constraints, and of course not buying something you feel is overpriced.

And in general, my vote is for the westside communities - West Seattle, White Center, Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park - over the eastside communities - Renton, Kent, East Hill, Maple Valley, etc. There is a tangible difference in the desirability of these two sides of I-5. (I also echo someone else who said the SR-99 corridor south of SR-519 is not the best. We looked at several places in SeaTac and they were nice homes but the overall feel of that area is less than average.)
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Old 11-07-2019, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Seattle
6,161 posts, read 4,897,939 times
Reputation: 3721
Quote:
Originally Posted by jabogitlu View Post
I have lived in Columbia City for the past two years. My partner had a summer job in Skyway. We're in the middle of buying a house in unincorporated King (just southeast of White Center, northeast of Burien). So, I feel like I have been asking a lot of the same questions as you, OP.

One thing that I seem to have noticed (with no hard proof) is that houses in Kent and Renton appreciate less quickly and take more time to sell. There seems to be something about those communities that just attract fewer buyers. We saw a lot more homes moving more quickly in Federal Way - but then again, they're a bit cheaper there than in Renton (overall) so maybe that has something to do with it.

Burien seems to have done very well for itself in this latest market cycle. The downtown area is straddling the line between cute/electic and gentrified too much for smaller indie shops to remain open. So, for now, it is doing well. Housing in the area also seems to have appreciated well and (in my opinion) will weather the next downturn somewhat better (a softer landing) than housing in far-flung places like Maple Valley or less desirable close-in cities like Renton. That being said, Burien does have some less desirable areas; there are a few neighborhoods along Ambaum Boulevard that were not exactly what we were searching for.

One area that may not have been on your radar is the Roxbury Heights/Arroyo Heights/Endolyne/Fauntleroy area of West Seattle. In my opinion this is one of the remaining somewhat affordable areas of Seattle. For example - we found a (very small) two-bedroom house in this area for $425,000, right on the edge of the understated but very nice Arroyo neighborhood. Passed on that opportunity for various other reasons but the value looked to be good. The commute to Orillia via 509 to 518 would not be bad at all, especially since your spouse works at home.

My gut always tells me to buy as close to the Seattle CBD as possible, of course working within your budgetary desires and constraints, and of course not buying something you feel is overpriced.

And in general, my vote is for the westside communities - West Seattle, White Center, Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park - over the eastside communities - Renton, Kent, East Hill, Maple Valley, etc. There is a tangible difference in the desirability of these two sides of I-5. (I also echo someone else who said the SR-99 corridor south of SR-519 is not the best. We looked at several places in SeaTac and they were nice homes but the overall feel of that area is less than average.)

Your instincts are spot on, IMO.
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Old 11-07-2019, 05:47 PM
Status: "Damp" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Seattle
2,069 posts, read 1,147,462 times
Reputation: 3811
Quote:
Originally Posted by jabogitlu View Post
One area that may not have been on your radar is the Roxbury Heights/Arroyo Heights/Endolyne/Fauntleroy area of West Seattle. In my opinion this is one of the remaining somewhat affordable areas of Seattle.
I lived in White Center for years, had a colleague with a house in Roxbury/Arbor Heights and was shocked when he told me of all the property crime going on there. Crime that my White Center neighborhood didn't see. Don't know why but only reason I could think was thief's got a better haul once they crossed 26th Ave SW?

The area looks great, and as you, I'm a bigger fan of the Westside.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:27 PM
 
Location: IL/IN/FL/CA/KY/FL
1,185 posts, read 954,084 times
Reputation: 1376
I'd like to say a few things:

1) I did not expect there to be as warm and thorough of responses as I've gotten in the last week. It's giving me some positive thoughts about potentially moving my family halfway across the country again (I've lived in SF for a few years as well and Orlando for 5 years as well as a few other places and wasn't provided nearly as kind of a greeting)

2) I'm impressed by the suggestions so far. It's like reading comprehension is actually a thing in the area, and even though I love Louisville as my hometown and have lived all over, there just aren't as many people I connect with here on that intellectual level and have been looking forward to an opportunity to come back to the West, and in my travels I get the sense that my soul belongs in the PNW. So, thanks for all of the advice and suggestions.

Fingers crossed that my interview goes well and I have the opportunity to live this dream out.

My wife (the planner) has also suggested to look on the other side of the water, near Tamill, Dunlap and Rainier Valley, so I'd appreciate info about those too.

The walkability thing to me is a nicety, but not a requirement. Safe and with some small business life is paramount (any good bourbon stores or high end bottle shop recommendations would also be greatly appreciated - we're both Certified Bourbon Stewards and love to chat/educate about the brown juice).

I'm also curious about Seahurst and Federal Way as well.

One other major question - I know Dec/Jan is probably not a great time to find good inventory of rental properties, but where is my best resource online to find rentals? The wife is looking on Zillow and Hotpads but it seems like there's not a ton of non-apartment options in the areas that we've discussed to this point. There's a few we really like but figure those wouldn't be available by the time we needed to move out that way.

What should we reasonably expect to pay in rent for a 2 w/den or 3 br/1-1.5 ba with 1,200-1,500 sq ft to achieve our safety and other desired goals? I'm seeing anywhere from $1,600-$3,000.

EDIT - one other thing - how important is AC? When we lived in SF we didn't have AC and when we got those 3-4 weeks of 90+ degree temps it was absolutely miserable. Could I just get a window unit for a bedroom or something if it was brutal, or another non-central AC option? We're generally used to central AC with everywhere else we've lived and usually like it at 65 degrees in the house to sleep at night.

Last edited by ServoMiff; 11-07-2019 at 09:47 PM..
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:44 PM
 
Location: Was Midvalley Oregon; Now Eastside Seattle area
4,807 posts, read 2,201,020 times
Reputation: 3634
At last I can say something;
AC, depends on the weather, 2019 only a handful of days that were warm enough to warrent an AC : Depends on how much shade you have and summer breezes. Our son lives in Seattle near its crest, lots of window and no shade trees, he needs 2 portable ACs. We live in Redmond on the flats where it should be warmer than Seattle, but we have shade trees and no window exposure to the sun We don't need AC. A large portable AC is easily purchased at Costco at ~$400 +Tax. Electricity PSE is about $.08/kwh, cheap.
Good Luck on your interview.

Last edited by leastprime; 11-07-2019 at 11:57 PM..
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:58 AM
Status: "Damp" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Seattle
2,069 posts, read 1,147,462 times
Reputation: 3811
Quote:
Originally Posted by leastprime View Post
At last I can say something;
AC, depends on the weather, 2019 only a handful of days that were warm enough to warrent an AC : Depends on how much shade you have and summer breezes. Our son lives in Seattle near its crest, lots of window and no shade trees, he needs 2 portable ACs. We live in Redmond on the flats where it should be warmer than Seattle, but we have shade trees and no window exposure to the sun We don't need AC. A large portable AC is easily purchased at Costco at ~$400 +Tax. Electricity PSE is about $.08/kwh, cheap.
Good Luck on your interview.
Exactly what leastprime said.

Historically we'd see a multi-day run of 80+ weather maybe twice a summer. Everyone would think about installing air conditioning then we'd be back in the 70's with the cooler nights and glad we didn't spend the money on it.

The past 6 years or so we've had some long stretches of 80+ (and higher) with the houses not cooling down at night. I finally broke down and bought a portable a few years ago, it worked fine for the rooms I needed cooled.

This year was the summers I remember, I pulled my portable AC out and only turned it on for a day or two.

And OP, I'm not a fan of Federal Way, to much shopping with a major mall along with plenty of strip malls combined with a lot of crowded housing. It makes for some sticky traffic and there is no real downtown core.
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