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Magellan98

Moving to Seattle - Need Advice on Where to Buy

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My partner and I are moving to Seattle from New England in October. We are interested in buying a place, but aren't sure where we should be looking. We want to be as close to Downtown and Capitol Hill as possible, but are willing to sacrafice proximity for more space. If you were a gay couple in your late 20's, where would you want to live in Seattle (aside from Capitol Hill)? Our budget is $400-500K, but would love to buy a fixer upper for a little less in an up and coming, hip neighborhood. Any advice?

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Try Freemont, Greenlake or Ballard. Not sure if you will be able to find a house in these neighborhoods for $400-500K, but maybe a townhome or condo or a true fixer upper. Also, consider West Seattle...its a little further from dowtown, but has great views and usually a little cheaper.

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Im gay, 18, single, was raised in Seattle and move out to Tacoma when I was 13 (Thanks to my parentals). I agree with PDX, try Fremont (Only one e... :P), Ballard, or Wallingford. However, I would look heavily in Seattle's Central District. Here's a brief histroy: Settled by Seattle's rich in the late 19th century (meaning LOTS of BIG Victorian Homes) this neighborhood fell into economic hardships in the mid 20th century as white flight took its toll and African-Americans moved in. During the early 90's, this neighborhood experienced rapid gentrification. Now, this neighborhood has been an increasing alternative to yups and gays who cant afford Capitol Hill or Downtown. On the number grid, Capitol Hill lies between 9th and 20th Avenues while the Central District lies between 20th and about 35th Avenues, roughly. Its got great transit service (a 15 minute bus ride to Downtown with bus frequencies about every 10 minutes.... you DONT drive in Seattle). Also, I know what it costs to live in New England (at least urban areas) and my God is it expensive! Seattle is cheaper than Boston, but more expensive than Providence or Hartford. Anyway, heres some more info on Seattle's Central District:

Wikipedia's Central District Article

Some other smart choices would be Beacon Hill, The Rainier Valley, Judkins Park. You can look at the synopsis of these neighborhoods at the bottom of the hyperlinked page above.

Summary:

To buy a home in Seattle for 400-500 K... you will be looking at an ethnically diverse neighborhood close to the city center. The nice thing is: no neighborhood in Seattle is conservative or gay-hating. Seattle has no typical American "ghettos." Youll do just fine wherever you purchase at. Good luck and let me know how everything goes! Also, feel free to hit me up with any other questions!

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I also think Fremont would be great. Greenlake and Wallingford are also great suggestions. Ballard is cool but I like the others better...but you might find the best(out of the areas mentioned) deal with the most space in Ballard.

Well I just saw that you are looking for a fixer upper in an up and coming hood. Ballard may be exactly what you are looking for in that case...though Ballard has been 'up and coming' for a long time and may have arrived already. Randy's CD suggestion is a good one as well.

You might want to check out the areas south of downtown(SODO). They are still pretty indistrial with warehouses and such but that is changing. The artists who were priced out of Belltown have been migrating down there. There will probably be some decent deals as far as large loft spaces. I wouldn't hope for a yard but I'm not sure what you are looking for.

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Thanks all for your suggestions - they are very helpful. we had been looking at Ballard and other areas just north of Downtown and Capitol Hill, but the more I hear about the central district the more appealing it becomes. Also, the idea of going south and getting a loft is also intriguing. We wanted a small yard for our dog (he's a litle Puggle), but the right loft space could change our minds... I'll keep you updated.

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Try Freemont, Greenlake or Ballard. Not sure if you will be able to find a house in these neighborhoods for $400-500K, but maybe a townhome or condo or a true fixer upper. Also, consider West Seattle...its a little further from dowtown, but has great views and usually a little cheaper.

when i lived in seattle, I was in West Seattle, I could see the tops the skyscrapers from my apartment, however, whenever I came home from going to the library, it was down this huge hill and I could see all of downtown -- very awesome. plus its close to alki beach and many of the homes in west seattle do have yards, albeit small, but with your budget i could imagine finding something very nice.

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Any other questions about the Central District... feel free to ask!

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You could also consider West Seattle. It's not a bit further from the Hill than the Central District, but has some nice housing stock and really beautiful views to make up for it. I just did some house-sitting up there, I my boyfriend and I noticed quite a few gay couples at the local Target store, etc.

Welcome to the west coast!

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The Central District is very cool:) It's very diverse, accepting, liberal, all socio-economic classes. I would tend to think you could find a nice place in the CD (it's local nickname) for US $400-500K. The CD is a hop, skip and a jump to Capitol Hill.

As everyone has been saying, Fremont is lots of fun. My personal favorite Seattle neighborhood is downtown. Downtown has such a wonderful atmosphere. If you like your living ultra-urban think about Belltown or Downtown Seattle.

My partner and I moved across the water to Bremerton. US $400K would buy you a damn nice house here:)

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We want to be as close to Downtown and Capitol Hill as possible, but are willing to sacrafice proximity for more space. If you were a gay couple in your late 20's, where would you want to live in Seattle (aside from Capitol Hill)? Our budget is $400-500K, but would love to buy a fixer upper for a little less in an up and coming, hip neighborhood. Any advice?

I'd also check out some of the other underrated neighborhoods in the northern part of Seattle. Wallingford, Green Lake, and Fremont are discovered. Phinney Ridge, Greenwood, and some of the neighborhoods north are up and comers.

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Phinney Ridge and Greenwood are well known Seattle neighborhoods... I have family that lives there and homes usually sell around her neighborhood for about 700,000... although Im sure you can find something for around 400,000 to 500,000.... probably a condo, and there arent alot of those in those neighborhoods...

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Phinney Ridge and Greenwood are well known Seattle neighborhoods...

Of course they are well known in Seattle but outside of Seattle, and in price, they aren't Fremont, Magnolia, or any of the other more regionally and nationally noted neighborhoods. Greenwood just started to get trendy in the last 5 years or so. The original question asked up up and coming neighborhoods.

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The good news is that any Seattle neighborhood ya chose will be accepting, tolerant, not homophobic at all.

Even the far flung suburbs and ex urbs are the same way. We live an hour from Seattle, in a small town, and everything is live and let live. Just as liberal as Seattle. In 2004, out of 28 voting precincts in Bremerton, 25 of them went for Kerry. This entire area is blue state land!!!!

We've even found the exact same tolerance and liberal attitude all the way to the Washington Pacific Coast. When we went to La Push to visit the rain forest (6 hours from Seattle) it was no different (socially) from Seattle. You have to look for bigots here. Either there just aren't many, or maybe if there are some they keep it VERY quiet.

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This entire area is blue state land!!!!

Very tolerant yes, very blue, no. We are a real deal mixed bag but we have a lot of domiant values; fiercly independent, generally libertarian, very pro-environment, very tolerant, etc.

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Hey folks. wanted to provide an update. been in seattle since Nov now. Bought a place in Mt. Baker off of Lake Washington and love it. Great access to the lake, Columbia City and downtown. Thanks for all the advice.

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Hey folks. wanted to provide an update. been in seattle since Nov now. Bought a place in Mt. Baker off of Lake Washington and love it. Great access to the lake, Columbia City and downtown. Thanks for all the advice.

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Hey Magellan. My partner and I are two more Bostonians about to head to Seattle (probably late summer or early fall). We've been looking at the local real estate sites on the web and had narrowed our choices down to Mt Baker, Columbia City, and Wallingford/Fremont (in that order). Glad to hear that you like where you landed in Mt Baker. Can you compare it with any of the cities/neighborhoods in the Boston area? We'll be in Seattle in late June for a week of house/neighborhood hunting, so any advice/suggestions you may be able to provide would be very welcome.

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I feel like an expert on Seattle real estate now, having searched high and low for the perfect place. Mount Baker and Columbia City are about 3 to 4 miles from downtown. I have a hard time comparing either neighborhood to any in Boston. Mount Baker is a pretty well to do neighborhood on Lake Washington sort of on a ridge. Those homes that are on the crest of the hill and east toward the lake are quite nice and expensive. Those sloping west are less expensive since they don't have the lake views, though some have a view of the city sky line. Columbia city is a little further south than mt baker (pretty much adjacent) and has a nice little main street area with one of the city's best bakeries, a butcher, dog boutique, restaurants, etc. However, Columbia City has just started gentrifying so it can be very spotty in terms of finding a nicer place, free of shady characters. But Columbia City can be a bargain. Freemont is a great neighborhood, very bohemian and full of nice little shops but it can be a pain to get to if you work in the city or on the east side (Bellevue, Redmon, etc). We looked there but its tougher to find a house as its all cheapy townhomes now with shoddy construction. Anyway, if you have any questions let me know. Ballard is cool too, but a bit remote. Leschi is nice, adjacent to Mt. Baker. But the more affordable places there need a bit of work and can be on teh cusp of shady areas. Check out windermere.com and use their real estate search engine. or look on redfin.com.

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