Author Topic: Advice on Buying vs Renting in Seattle  (Read 481 times)

Broadway2019

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Advice on Buying vs Renting in Seattle
« on: June 11, 2019, 03:23:21 PM »
I am relocating to Seattle at the end of the month for a new job. The company is paying for 2 months of corporate housing, which is great! I have started looking in the surrounding areas (working at South Lake Union) and not sure what to do.

I can rent a large 1 bedroom for about $2,000-$2,500 a month or possibly buy something for about $450k-$500k. Anyone have any recommendations or know of any areas with a good commute? I have been looking online but it is hard to tell.

Details about the situation:
No kid, have a partner and large dog
My Income: $215k plus whatever my spouse finds for work, thinking about $315k total
No debt but also no savings

Syonyk

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Re: Advice on Buying vs Renting in Seattle
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2019, 04:04:17 PM »
The commute is miserable.  Go buy a Rad Power electric bike, good all weather riding gear, and get around that way.  It sucks somewhat less than trying to drive or use public transit in the winter.

It's probably worth renting unless you plan to be out there for a very long time.  I'd suggest renting something small and saving your pennies to either save up for a house (the housing market is probably still crazy out there, $50k-$100k over asking, inspections waived, briefcases of cash, etc), or saving to get out of there.

trix76

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Re: Advice on Buying vs Renting in Seattle
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2019, 05:39:01 PM »
I walk from Capitol Hill to SLU, so my commute is a dream. If you can commute via light rail, thatís a game changer too, so maybe take a look at the areas near light rail stations?


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Broadway2019

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Re: Advice on Buying vs Renting in Seattle
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2019, 05:43:38 PM »
I walk from Capitol Hill to SLU, so my commute is a dream. If you can commute via light rail, thatís a game changer too, so maybe take a look at the areas near light rail stations?


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Is light rail different from bus? Also, would you mind sharing how much rent/mortgage you pay? I am curious.

legalstache

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Re: Advice on Buying vs Renting in Seattle
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2019, 05:45:03 PM »
I'd live close to work and rent while you get a feel for the city, especially since you don't have kids. Queen Anne, Magnolia, Interbay, Ballard, Fremont, Greenlake, Wallingford and Ravenna are all nice neighborhoods that shouldn't be too brutal to get to South Lake Union from. You should be able to find a little more room for the dog in those places than downtown, SLU or Capitol Hill.

If you like Seattle and want to buy, you should be able to quickly save up for a down payment with those salaries. No rush to buy though. The local housing market has probably peaked and it's definitely become more buyer friendly the last few months or so. And I'm not sure what you're looking to buy but 450-500k might not go as far as you'd think.

Broadway2019

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Re: Advice on Buying vs Renting in Seattle
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2019, 05:49:04 PM »
I'd live close to work and rent while you get a feel for the city, especially since you don't have kids. Queen Anne, Magnolia, Interbay, Ballard, Fremont, Greenlake, Wallingford and Ravenna are all nice neighborhoods that shouldn't be too brutal to get to South Lake Union from. You should be able to find a little more room for the dog in those places than downtown, SLU or Capitol Hill.

If you like Seattle and want to buy, you should be able to quickly save up for a down payment with those salaries. No rush to buy though. The local housing market has probably peaked and it's definitely become more buyer friendly the last few months or so. And I'm not sure what you're looking to buy but 450-500k might not go as far as you'd think.

Was looking to buy a 2/1 or 2/2 condo. Found 2 condos in Magnolia for under $400k and there are a few around $500k in queen anne or further north in Greenwood area.

legalstache

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Re: Advice on Buying vs Renting in Seattle
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2019, 05:55:26 PM »
Was looking to buy a 2/1 or 2/2 condo. Found 2 condos in Magnolia for under $400k and there are a few around $500k in queen anne or further north in Greenwood area.

Gotcha. Personally I wouldn't feel any rush to buy in your situation and would rent for at least a year to make sure you like Seattle, are familiar with the different areas, etc.

trix76

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Re: Advice on Buying vs Renting in Seattle
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2019, 05:56:25 PM »
Yes, light rail is different from buses. Light rail is train service, which goes under downtown, so youíre not sitting in traffic on city streets. Itís similar to metros/subways in many major cities, though it doesnít have great coverage in Seattle, yet. (Theyíre extending it in all directions though.) Iíll PM you about rent.


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honeybbq

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Re: Advice on Buying vs Renting in Seattle
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2019, 01:38:58 PM »
Magnolia is very family-centric. I wouldn't buy there unless babies are happening soon.

Check out Ballard/Fremont/Greenlake. All have very easy commutes either by bus or bike to SLU.


Telecaster

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Re: Advice on Buying vs Renting in Seattle
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2019, 03:15:59 PM »
Was looking to buy a 2/1 or 2/2 condo. Found 2 condos in Magnolia for under $400k and there are a few around $500k in queen anne or further north in Greenwood area.

I'd skip Magnolia.  It doesn't look far on the map, but it is far. 

I live in NE Seattle (Wedgwood, Ravenna, Viewridge) and my wife worked in SLU for five years.  The commute was pretty easy, especially if you are willing to creatively use the surface streets.