As Seattle home prices continue to climb, many priced-out buyers are heading to the suburbs—along with homebuyers who just want more house for their money. Another factor fueling this migration: working from home. Even after the pandemic ends (hooray for some light at end of this long tunnel!), many employers plan to keep in-person work requirements eased permanently. An hour-long commute isn’t a dealbreaker if you only have to drive into the office twice a week. So for many buyers, a suburban house with a home office, a big yard, and a $200,000 cheaper mortgage makes sense.
Here are some of the best value “suburbs”—using that term loosely—for living near Seattle at a fraction of the cost.
South of Seattle, Federal Way boasted the most affordable home prices of any King County city last year. Long thought of as a place you simply drive past on your way to Tacoma (who hasn’t used Wild Waves as a landmark?), it could come into its own when the new Link Light Rail station connects it to Seattle. The nearby Dash Point State Park is also a draw.
Average sale price: $430,000
Auburn also lies south of Seattle, and its average sale price is only slightly higher than Federal Way’s. For hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, Auburn offers better access to the Cascades, and it feels more out-of-the-way than Federal Way.
Average sale price: $444,000
The new passenger-only fast ferry created a speedy link between this Kitsap County town and Seattle. Since then, Bremerton has gained ground as a viable option for Seattle commuters. Its local housing market already reflects that. If you owned a house in Bremerton five years ago, you’re sitting pretty today—but the next best time to own a house in this town is today. Home prices will only continue to rise.
West Bremerton average sale price: $325,000
East Bremerton average sale price: $361,000
Port Orchard will gain a fast ferry of its own this year. Passenger-only sailings will take commuters directly from the existing Southworth terminal to downtown Seattle. Unlike in Bremerton, where a full-service ferry already linked the town with downtown Seattle, this new line will open a brand-new corridor between Port Orchard and Seattle. (The existing full-service ferry travels to Fauntleroy and Vashon Island.) You can expect home prices to increase soon—but there’s still time to beat the rush.
Average sale price: $410,000
Up in Snohomish County, Everett could only be considered a suburb by the loosest terms. It’s the largest city in the county, and it even has its own airport, Paine Field. The city has long held a reputation for grittiness and industrial flavor, but as more homebuyers choose Everett over Seattle, that stereotype is changing.
Average sale price: $520,000
Lake Forest Park
With an average sale price of $650,000, Lake Forest Park isn’t much of a steal. But for those looking for a home on the Eastside, it’s cheaper than the Bellevue real estate market. Located at the northwest end of Lake Washington, Lake Forest Park has access to both Seattle, Bothell, Bellevue, and Redmond—and the Burke–Gilman Trail.
Average sale price: $650,000