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Old 10-19-2009, 06:17 PM
 
33 posts, read 227,759 times
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My husband and I are moving to Seattle this month, and just aren't sure WHAT to buy or WHERE to buy it.

We are seriously considering a condo at The Cosmopolitan in the Denny Triangle. Seems close to the action of Belltown, but in a bit of a safer neighborhood. We are looking at a 1BR 800 square foot unit that is selling for $319,000, that's $399 a square foot, and seems like a pretty decent deal. The unit was rented out for one year but is in excellent condition and has lighting and paint upgrades that were added by the owner.

My reservation is that I'm afraid it will be a difficult unit to sell. Would it be easier to sell a 2BR condo that is downtown? I'm not sure 2BR is in the budget...but am afraid that when we do decide to sell 3-4 years down the road that we will have a difficult time finding a buyer in the saturated condo market. Especially for a 1 BR. Would it be easy to rent it out if we do decide to move?

We are also considering moving to Ballard. We can get a 2BR that is around 1,000 square feet for about 400K. This is about $369 a square foot. I like the downtown area of Ballard, and this condo is just off Market Street. My question is...is it going to be harder to sell a condo in Ballard as opposed to downtown? It seems there may be more of a demand for 2 bedroom units...but I'm not sure if condos in Ballard are real high in demand to begin with.

Should we even consider condos? I feel like they are perfect for what we need right now...I'm just really scared that they will be hard to sell.

Thanks in advance for your advice!!
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Old 10-19-2009, 06:54 PM
 
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If you really think you may want to sell three or fours years down the road, I probably wouldn't buy right now. prices have been going down, and there's a pretty good chance that a condo may not increase in value in the next 3-4 years.
In downtown, there is a demand both for one and two bedroom condos, where there would be a stronger demand in Ballard for a two bedroom. I would say it's only slighter harder to sell a condo in Ballard than downtown. Single family homes tend to not drop in value a much as condos.
Would it make you happy to own a condo in either downtown or Ballard? Can you afford the payments,do you have an adequate down payment, and would be able to remain happy even if the value of the condo declined? If the answers are yes, then consider it.
But if you're thinking it's a surefire investment, it's far from it. It's risky, especially now. Maybe you should rent a condo, save your money, wait for prices to drop a little more, and decide if you like it here( downtown or Ballard), before making such a big financial commitment.
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:55 PM
 
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We are looking at a 1BR 800 square foot unit that is selling for $319,000, that's $399 a square foot, and seems like a pretty decent deal.

How did you arrive at that conclusion? -seriously
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Old 10-20-2009, 12:49 PM
 
33 posts, read 227,759 times
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Exit 82 -

I arrived at this conclusion based on the fact that most nice condos downtown run from about $500 and upwards per square foot. So yes, while $399 is still quite expensive, it's a relatively good deal for the area we are looking in.
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Old 10-20-2009, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Seattle burbs....
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If you are already thinking of selling, I probably wouldn't buy. Find out what a comparable property costs per month to rent. If the savings of renting each month are greater than any moderate projection of your condo's increased value in the same time period(3-4 years), then I would rent. Remember to knock off 7%(sales fees, etc) of any projected NET increae you 'think' your condo might get in 3-4 years. Your rent may go up during this same time, so take that into consideration as well. Tax breaks, maintenance, etc, should also be considered in you equation.
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Old 10-21-2009, 12:56 AM
 
172 posts, read 402,692 times
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There are some great condos in Seattle. I couldn't afford one, but heres some sites to check out.

Veerlofts.com in the Denny triangle area
Canalstation.com in ballard
Ensoliving.com in Denny triangle area
Olive8 Denny triangle area as well
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Old 10-21-2009, 05:16 AM
 
132 posts, read 308,771 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katnewyorker View Post
Exit 82 -

I arrived at this conclusion based on the fact that most nice condos downtown run from about $500 and upwards per square foot. So yes, while $399 is still quite expensive, it's a relatively good deal for the area we are looking in.
Did you look at the unit already? There is a giant office building 16 feet from Cosmo condo. Some units in Cosmo are really cheap now because you get no natural light and will be stare at office workers 24/7.

I personally don't dig Cosmo's location. It's convenient for downtown workers but not residential enough for me. I went to look at a Cosmo unit on Sat 6pm, every single guy I saw on the street is homeless.

If you are into condo, take a look at north part of Belltown (close to Olympic Park) and Capitol Hill (away from Pike & Pine), it's safer and you are still close to all the actions.
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Old 10-21-2009, 05:24 AM
 
132 posts, read 308,771 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ira500 View Post
But if you're thinking it's a surefire investment, it's far from it. It's risky, especially now. Maybe you should rent a condo, save your money, wait for prices to drop a little more, and decide if you like it here( downtown or Ballard), before making such a big financial commitment.
Hey Ira, I am starting to look at condo listings now, do you mind sharing out some insights on your take on different condo tiers?

It's undoubted all those high-tier condos' price need to come down from $800 or $900 per sq foot, i.e. Escala, Olive 8, etc. People who purchased those pre-sales just saw their house values plunging 30 - 40% and they will not hesitate to sue the developers.

But the middle tier seems to be more stable than I expected (around $300 - $500 per sq feet). Maybe it's because of the tax credit?
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Old 10-21-2009, 10:14 AM
 
9,638 posts, read 24,222,234 times
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Bellevue Guy,
I think it might have more to do with income levels. There aren't that many people out there who can afford places like the Escala or Olive 8, yet they built an awful lot of condo units in that price range, and in the last year or two people are looking more for value ( more sq ft, more condo for the $).
But the lower tier isn't really immune either, it's just that the larger tier declined more ( in single family too). I sold a condo in Issaquah in '07 for 298 thousand, and an identical unit just sold there last month for about 259.
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Old 10-22-2009, 12:45 AM
 
33 posts, read 227,759 times
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Just checked out Canal Station condos in Ballard -- they are amazing! The location is the best in Ballard. 2BR for under 400K...these units were priced at 525K just one year ago. Am I crazy or is this a good time to snatch one up? If we stay for 3-5 years I can't really imagine losing money on the investment...
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