People sometimes ask me what I think is 'the sweet spot' in today's Greater Seattle - Bellevue real estate market. In response I have usually mentioned some areas and criteria that might fit the question, but hadn't really thought it through.
So here's a little better cut at it. I think a 'sweet spot' home might be defined by three parameters:
First, a nice-looking consistent neighborhood that will hold its value and be a pleasant place to live over a span of years,
Second, one with homes built with modern floor plans - commonly post-1985 with large kitchens and full master suites, that are easily upgraded and kept current, and
Third, homes priced in the $600,000 to $700,000 range that deliver the most home for your dollar within the low interest rate/low down payment range of conventional mortgages.
A quick search of the MLS shows at least 100 properties of that type currently available - here's a map to give you an idea of where:
As you can see, they are heavily concentrated on the east side, as would be expected if you have read my earlier post on History and Housing Trends of the Greater Seattle Area.
Many of them are clustered in small areas, and that is where we would go looking for the nice neighborhoods. Here are 8 examples from some of the neighborhoods that come to mind:
These neighborhoods of Newcastle, Lakemont, Renton Highlands, N. Issaquah, Pine lake, S. Sammamish, E. Kirkland, English Hill, Bear Creek and several others all have multiple sweet-spot homes for sale, and as you can see, they offer a lot of house for the money.
If you'd like to look further into some of these these sweet-spot homes, here's a link to Greater Seattle Home Search where the Sweet Spot page will show you a lot more detail on current sweet-spot listings.
Potentially an even better deal is if you can find one that is a short sale or bank-owned and buy it at a discount. Short sales are not easy, and bank-owned may have a fair amount of deferred maintenance, but its worth it if you have the time and a little money for fix-up.
Let us know if you'd like to take a look at some sweet-spot homes in the Greater Seattle-Bellevue-Eastside area.