Not all neighborhoods are created equal—or priced equally. Obviously. Whether a former industrial area being put out to new-housing pasture, a hard-to-access pocket that escaped early development, or a lingering scar from racist housing policies, some parts of Seattle have housing prices well below the city’s media home value of $816,718.
Three important caveats:
1: Seattle’s “most affordable” is still expensive. If you’re looking for more home for your money, consider looking farther afield, such as these 6 remote-work cities just a short drive (or fast ferry) away from Seattle.
2: Listings in most of these 5 neighborhoods are scarce. Nabbing a property will take patience.
3. Condos are a huge factor in what makes some of these neighborhoods affordable. But at a time when Seattle’s condo market is much friendlier to buyers than Seattle’s housing market is, aiming for a condo is often the easiest way to escape the rental game and start building equity.
Median sale price: $322,500
If the whims of the market align with the timing of your home search, you just might be able to find a condo in this historic neighborhood. Units are few and far between, but if you find one, you can live amid stellar restaurants, shopping, and local businesses.
Median sale price: $487,500
Down in this part of south Seattle, homes sell well below the city’s average—and this area isn’t nearly as pinched for inventory as most of the other neighborhoods on this list. Living here lets you easily hop on the Fauntleroy Ferry and escape the city’s bustle for a day trip to rural Kitsap County or quiet Vashon Island. For those looking farther afield for their getaways, South Park is just a quick drive from the Sea-Tac airport.
Median sale price: $500,000
Ah, First Hill, home of the hospitals. It’s mostly condos in this neighborhood, but UW Medicine and Swedish healthcare workers frequently move in and out of those condos, so you’ll regularly find opportunities to buy a piece of the city close to downtown.
Median sale price: $520,500
We’ve bought and sold a few homes in this part of North Seattle recently, and others are starting to take note. But for now, it’s still an affordable way to buy a single-family home. If you want a yard, proximity to beautiful parks (we see you, Carkeek Park), and don’t mind a bit of a commute, Bitter Lake looks pretty sweet.
South Lake Union
Median sale price: $522,000
Same as Chinatown–International District, this area is short on listings and fresh out of houses. Condos are the name of the game in SLU. Owning one lets you live amid the city’s newest developments, close to just about everything you could ask for—including a walking commute, if you’re an Amazonian.