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Old 06-01-2020, 06:13 PM
 
Location: WA Desert, Seattle native
9,070 posts, read 7,217,011 times
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Texas to Washington is somewhat a housing shock. You can definitely get a better home for the price in most parts of Texas. I don’t mean to discourage you but WA is an expensive state especially on the west side. You may find better prices a few counties north or south of King.
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Old 06-01-2020, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
7,198 posts, read 15,053,068 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aldok View Post
Thank you for the reply! What would a reasonable budget be? Which of my “wants” is the most expensive? Thanks again!
The problem with your dream list is two-fold:

1. Waterfront property. Guess, what? Everyone else and their brother wants that as well. And not only that, you want the Sound or Ocean waterfront only. As was already mentioned, the actual beach along the Pacific is the boonies in WA hours from any IT work to speak of. It's a bit less along the Oregon coast. So that leaves you with Seattle and all of the people driving in from north and south. Try doing that drive sometime during rush hour = gridlocked nightmare and only getting worse.

2. Low price relative to the area you are looking in the most expensive part of WA. Yes, the Seattle area is reaching CA prices, especially in the nicer parts with good schools right on the water!

You say you're from CA originally. Its like saying you want beachfront property near the major metros (SF, LA, OC, SD) at low prices. That's honestly totally unrealistic. Your second question is better which helps you to focus more on what you may be willing to compromise on and might be able to live without. Reminds me of the old Rolling Stones tune "You can't always get what you want, but if try sometime you just might find you get what you need. Oh, Yeah."

I've also lived along coastal CA most of my life and realized I'm not going to afford beach front property in those high demand areas. Though I was fortunate to live in walking distances with a view of the ocean. Still, that stuff is crazy, expensive.

If you really want to return to the west coast on that budget, you honestly need to pick a different location. Forget Seattle. And be more realistic about waterfront anything. You could probably find a view of the water (Columbia River), perhaps in places like SW Washington within driving distance from Portland. Otherwise, if you want beachfront property, just accept that you'll be living 1.5-3 hours+ from any sort of major town/city. And some/most of those can be rather sleepy feeling a bit like a retirement/tourist community. They also get crazy amounts of rain compared to the more inland parts. If that's the highest priority I would look at the Oregon coast, lets say around Lincoln City. You can get to Salem in ~ an hour (off peak rush hour).

On the west coast, once you get above SF, there aren't really beach towns anywhere near economic hubs that have IT work. I wouldn't even consider Humboldt a place like that. Their main industry is pot. Oceanfront property in FL is probably more realistic closer to big cities, still may be too expensive though. What about Texas beaches? Are they expensive if near larger economic centers?

Derek

Last edited by MtnSurfer; 06-01-2020 at 10:30 PM..
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Old 06-01-2020, 10:24 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
96,983 posts, read 94,904,308 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayfair View Post
The closest saltwater beach to Mt. Vernon would be Anacortes. I haven't looked at prices recently, but there are bluffs and view homes (and nice neighborhoods). Another place to look would be Camano Island. Mt. Vernon/Burlington don't have great schools, and there are some gang issues. If you have to pick, the schools would be better on Camano Island, and it's relatively safe. The high school is off the island, but they just built a brand new high school. Camano Island has a bridge, not a ferry.
And there's nearby Stanwood, which some people really seem to like.
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Old 06-01-2020, 10:28 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
96,983 posts, read 94,904,308 times
Reputation: 107391
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnSurfer View Post
The problem with your dream list is two-fold:

1. Waterfront property. Guess, what? Everyone else and their brother wants that as well. And not only that, you want the Sound or Ocean waterfront only. As was already mentioned, the actual beach along the Pacific is the boonies in WA hours from any IT work to speak of. It's a bit less along the Oregon coast. So that leaves you with Seattle and all of the people driving in from north and south. Try doing that drive sometime during rush hour = gridlocked nightmare and only getting worse.

2. Low price relative to the area you are looking in the most expensive part of WA. Yes, the Seattle area is reaching CA prices, especially in the nicer parts with good schools right on the water!

You say you're from CA originally. Its like saying you want beachfront property near the major metros (SF, LA, OC, SD) at low prices. That's honestly totally unrealistic. Your second question is better which helps you to focus more on what you may be willing to compromise on and might be able to live without. Reminds me of the old Rolling Stones tune "You can't always get what you want, but if try sometime you just might find you get what you need. Oh, Yeah."

I've also lived along coastal CA most of my life and realized I'm not going to afford beach front property in those high demand areas. Though I was fortunate to live in walking distances with a view of the ocean. Still, that stuff is crazy, expensive.

If you really want to return to the west coast on that budget, you honestly need to pick a different location. Forget Seattle. And be more realistic about waterfront anything. You could probably find a view of the water (Columbia River), perhaps in places like SW Washington within driving distance from Portland. Otherwise, if you want beachfront property, just accept that you'll be living 1.5-3 hours+ from any sort of major town/city. And some/most of those can be rather sleepy feeling a bit like a retirement/tourist community. They also get crazy amounts of rain compared to the more inland parts. If that's the highest priority I would look at the Oregon coast, lets say around Lincoln City. You can get to Salem in ~ an hour (off peak rush hour).

On the west coast, once you get above SF, there aren't really beach towns anywhere near economic hubs that have IT work. I wouldn't even consider Humboldt a place like that. Their main industry is pot. Oceanfront property in FL is probably more realistic closer to big cities, still may be too expensive though.

Derek
IDK. The OP might be able to find a place near the water, or with water view, outside of Bellingham. It's not close to the IT-heavy Greater Seattle Area, but Western WA U has IT jobs. There are properties just past B'ham's NW edge that are more affordable, for example. There's Birch Bay. IDK, just tossing out ideas. Probably more affordable than Edmonds or Everett, but the OP could check Edmonds. No waterfront properties at his price point, but Edmonds is small enough, that almost anything is near a water view.

Well, and then there's Bremerton, that's commutable to Seattle jobs by ferry. It's definitely more affordable over there. Small town on Puget Sound.
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Old 06-01-2020, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
7,198 posts, read 15,053,068 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
IDK. The OP might be able to find a place near the water, or with water view, outside of Bellingham. It's not close to the IT-heavy Greater Seattle Area, but Western WA U has IT jobs. There are properties just past B'ham's NW edge that are more affordable, for example. There's Birch Bay. IDK, just tossing out ideas. Probably more affordable than Edmonds or Everett, but the OP could check Edmonds. No waterfront properties at his price point, but Edmonds is small enough, that almost anything is near a water view.

Well, and then there's Bremerton, that's commutable to Seattle jobs by ferry. It's definitely more affordable over there. Small town on Puget Sound.
Ruth, if he/she is willing to give up some items on the dream list, then maybe something could be workable. The killers are within commute distance to Seattle AND waterfront property ~ $550K.

I would rather take a ferry than do that drive from north or south. It only takes a few attempts to realize how bad it truly is - a sea of brake lights for miles coming to a complete halt. It reminds me of living in LA County and trying to go anywhere during rush hour. The best decision I made eventually was is to simply not do it at all.

BTW, we really like the Poulsbo and Gig harbor areas. They were on our short list.

Derek
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Old 06-02-2020, 02:34 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
7,198 posts, read 15,053,068 times
Reputation: 8331
Ok, if you are willing to make some concessions something like these could possibly work.

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2...79618823_zpid/

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/7...23391734_zpid/

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1...9262431_zpid/?

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/4...23419975_zpid/

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1...60363796_zpid/

Derek
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Old 06-02-2020, 04:36 AM
 
Location: Alamogordo, NM
7,940 posts, read 8,474,962 times
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And there's nearby Stanwood, which some people really seem to like.


Mrs. elkotronics and I rented a 2BR, 1BA apartment in Stanwood round about 1989 - 1992. Standwood is a nice, very quiet small town to live in. The two-lane highway that runs out to Camano Island through Stanwood to the west and does a circle around Camano Island can get somewhat busy at peak commuting times, but it's nothing to be concerned about.

The island is beautiful to poke around on - we flirted with buying a lot on what was Lost Lake I believe and my Dad was going to build us our first house right in that 1992 time period. You won't see the water from Stanwood homes - perhaps a small scattering of Stanwood homes in just the right position may be able to see some of the water coming up to the little peninsula the highway runs through, but it wouldn't be much of a view.

You've got to head further west onto Camano Island to see the Sound. It is by bridge, though you'll barely even know you're on a bridge when traveling across it. Stanwood was a good place for us for about 3 years but we had the itch way too strong to get our own house - our first house, and we did just that. We bought a small house in north Everett in 1992.
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Old 06-02-2020, 07:01 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
30,689 posts, read 50,913,608 times
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Fed-up Texan family moving to WA
FWIW. I have moved (5) families from WA/ OR to McKinney / Lucas / Plano and they LOVE it compared to PNW (we_tside), Some have been in TX 20 + yrs, others just 5yrs. They all plan to stay, especially those with kids school age. Why... each has their reasons as do you (and I). I have (6) rural view home near Fredericksburg / western hill country TX, and (6) rural view country homes in PNW (SWWA). My (6) Texas homes COMBINED are taxed at 1/2 my (1) primary residence in WA.

so... Buy wise (know your tax assessor / county and particular property very intimately.) I have a place <1 min from my WA Primary residence that is taxed at 1/10th (same cost basis for property).

For your wish list:
1) Stay away from waterfront if you want less taxes and less restrictions, or... buy small / simple and let the tax assessor figure out what's inside (Barndominium / Mobile home), but waterfront will get in in the high tax realm immediately. We have a C-D poster (Ultrarunner) who is Bay area based and bought retirement home near Puget Sound and his rents do not come close to covering Prop Taxes (up ~5x higher than @ purchase) This is quite common in WA. If waterfront in WA, I would look near Manchester State Park (Port Orchard) north to Port Gamble... staying rural, and in rural counties with a reasonable tax assessor and lower RE activity. Biggest issue is very wealthy WA or CA people buying summer / vacation homes for $$$$$$ far above assessments / value and distorting Property valuations which displaces seniors and locals... "Californication", of 8 western states since 1960s) -(just because they have plenty of $$ and home investment(?) is peanuts for them) Tax assessor LOVES them!

2) Consider Bellingham & north Good family choice, lots of water and ski (snow) options and BC is next door!!! (big benefit, except Canadian crowds at USA Costco buying milk!,...) Camping / island hopping, wildlife, Hot springs, inexpensive Colleges international culture is HUGE BENEFIT in BC. Bellingham region has a lot of great school choices age k-22 (including Running Start (free college instead of High School, since 1991 / 10,000+ WA HS students / yr) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Running_Start Also several friends have moved from SWWA to Lynden JUST so their kids could do school there, then they moved back to SWWA. (very conservative, very good academics and strong (uncompromising) value set) +/-

3) Olympia area and south Hood Canal is much more affordable than Seattle centric area

4) Take a good look at Camas / Washougal. 20 min to Portland (sales tax free) and decent water via Columbia and Willamette Rivers. 20 + college and thousands of food trucks! Columbia Gorge 10 min, Hood River 40 min (world class kite boarding...) Mt Hood or Mt St Helens <1 hr; North Oregon coast 1.3 hrs, Mt Rainier or Olympia 2 hrs, Seattle or Bremerton 3 hrs. CA 1-2 hrs by very quick and cheap PDX flights. or 12 hrs driving (throw kids in the car at 10PM and be at Sacramento water park (or SF) when they open at 10AM)

(BTW: Grays Harbor area can be VERY gray, and economy is depressed and huge drug issue (since Spotted owl and even before). That and Longview is considered the PIT of Western WA, but cheap properties! (that you can't sell if you want to). YMMV, I have (3) retired friends who chose to live there since they no longer had kids at home or needed jobs. One of my best WA friends grew up in Monetsano and claims the BEST day in his life was when mom kicked him out and he joined the Navy (during Vietnam) to escape life (and death) in Grays Harbor. Most of his classmates are dead from drugs, drinking, smoking, logging or fishing accidents, or suicide.

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 06-02-2020 at 07:13 AM..
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Old 06-02-2020, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Embarrassing, WA
2,858 posts, read 2,108,174 times
Reputation: 3640
The OP will need to be careful if he desires "real" high speed internet for work from home, not just satellite (~6 second lag in live communications via teams, etc). A lot of places in the county outside of Bellingham are stuck with satellite, with less dense areas of homes not meeting a certain providers quite short term ROI requirements for service grrrr.
As for waterfront, get your bidder # and get in line. It's not uncommon for a waterfront home that needs work and updates to list for $800K and get bid up and sell for 7-figures...pretty much state wide unless you find some gem somewhere rural waterfront (but it's likely you'll have to deal with dish then).
If you do consider the area, let me know and I can fill you in on some of the nuances that aren't really obvious at first look.
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Old 06-02-2020, 10:18 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
30,689 posts, read 50,913,608 times
Reputation: 38438
True on rural Western WA internet (most pathetic in USA ...). The FAST and very cheap internet connectivity in is eastern WA (counties with Seattle Power, BPA, and Army Corp Dams (Fiber for over 20 yrs))

I'm 16 miles from 500,000 population metro and only have dial-up, which was a real burden for 20 yrs of all night overseas conference calls. 1 min drive from my home Fiber is available to homeowners and it runs directly in front of my home, tho I can't have it (Libraries and schools only). Homeschooler / taxpayer for 20 yrs doesn't count.

Thus... always know the particular details of your EXACT site.
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