Affordable cities near Seattle? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 09-02-2008, 02:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi ladies,

Can anyone throw out some names of some affordable cities not terribly far from Seattle? I have some family considering it, and while we've researched to pieces where we'd want to live there (still hoping!), their needs are different than ours. It's not a daily-commute need to Seattle, but for medical needs it shouldn't be an all-day situation. Prefer to be somewhat near the water for sunset-viewing (LOL), so I'd say within 30 minutes. They're hoping for under 200K, which it's hard for me to imagine, but maybe at least under 300K.

Any ideas?
Thank you all so much! :

It would thrill me to have family move to Seattle, next best thing to us FINALLY getting there !
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#2 of 22 Old 09-02-2008, 04:35 AM
 
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What size of house/condo do you want for that? I'd say you probably have to go south of the city. Kent, Auburn, Federal Way may have some affordable areas, but not to guarantee how nice the neighborhood will be.

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#3 of 22 Old 09-02-2008, 11:38 AM
 
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Try, maybe, across the water? Bremerton. Silverdale. Poulsbo. We often take the ferry as foot passengers from Bremerton to Seattle and spend the day in Seattle. It's easy to get around by bus.

I don't know about real estate prices, though.
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#4 of 22 Old 09-02-2008, 12:27 PM
 
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You could find those things north of the city- Everett, Marysville, Arlington. The commute without traffic is about 40 minutes, real estate is far less expensive than in King County, and there are some really beautiful areas and lots of good housing available.

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#5 of 22 Old 09-02-2008, 01:19 PM
 
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Try, maybe, across the water? Bremerton. Silverdale. Poulsbo. We often take the ferry as foot passengers from Bremerton to Seattle and spend the day in Seattle. It's easy to get around by bus.

I don't know about real estate prices, though.
Vashon and Bainbridge also have ferry routes. Bainbridge is the shortest ferry ride (about 25 minutes). You can take a car with you too (at least on the Bainbridge one.

Every once in a while I used to see houses or condos around $300 on Bainbridge. Vashon is usually a little less $.

Also you could try south somewhere like Tacoma or Fife or SeaTac. The neighborhoods are rougher in the south part so you need to be considerate of the neighborhood.

Or down the 90 towards Snoquamie Pass (sp?). I think it may be part of Issaquah but I'm not sure.

If you go far east enough you may be able to find something like Auburn.
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#6 of 22 Old 09-02-2008, 04:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you ladies. A little more info:

They actually were looking at areas South of Seattle as there are some medical facilities in Tacoma that would work, but I worried about the Southern areas like you said, Dahlia, so I was trying to convince them that areas to the North would work, too. They already live in a terrible area here, I mean TERRIBLE! Their little neighborhood is great, but you just don't want to walk a block in almost any direction at night. They are trying to get away from that and find a place to live/retire. Manufactured housing is an option that they would consider, as well. I don't know how much that is done in Washington? Someplace like a neighborhood, though, and not a "park," IYKWIM.

Ferries are out. In the event of the ferries being unavailable for weather or whatever, taking the bridge route in that traffic is just not an option if they needed to get to the hospital. My SF can get really ill, he is a transplant patient. They don't need to live right 'on top' of the hospital and God-willing, he is well more than he is not. However, they can definitely be no more than 45 minutes or so from the various centers they are researching. One is in Tacoma, and I believe the others are downtown or just north of downtown Seattle. IIRC, when the ferries from the islands are out, the other route is heinous, right?
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#7 of 22 Old 09-02-2008, 06:06 PM
 
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We've lived everywhere and have looked everywhere. Under 200k within an hour of Seattle will be impossible.

Marysville (about an hour north of Seattle) will get you into something decent for around $230k. It just gets more expensive the closer you get into Seattle from Marysville.

As far as South of Seattle, Federal Way is a good commute because it hooks directly onto the highways and to I-5.

I would personally still live in certain areas of Federal Way, Auburn, Renton or Kent. I would NOT live in SeaTac, Tukwila, Everett, Tacoma or Burien.

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#8 of 22 Old 09-02-2008, 09:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Melaniee View Post
Thank you ladies. A little more info:

They actually were looking at areas South of Seattle as there are some medical facilities in Tacoma that would work, but I worried about the Southern areas like you said, Dahlia, so I was trying to convince them that areas to the North would work, too. They already live in a terrible area here, I mean TERRIBLE! Their little neighborhood is great, but you just don't want to walk a block in almost any direction at night. They are trying to get away from that and find a place to live/retire. Manufactured housing is an option that they would consider, as well. I don't know how much that is done in Washington? Someplace like a neighborhood, though, and not a "park," IYKWIM.

Ferries are out. In the event of the ferries being unavailable for weather or whatever, taking the bridge route in that traffic is just not an option if they needed to get to the hospital. My SF can get really ill, he is a transplant patient. They don't need to live right 'on top' of the hospital and God-willing, he is well more than he is not. However, they can definitely be no more than 45 minutes or so from the various centers they are researching. One is in Tacoma, and I believe the others are downtown or just north of downtown Seattle. IIRC, when the ferries from the islands are out, the other route is heinous, right?
You really have to check out neighborhoods. In the Kent area, Scenic Hill is great any then south of that up on the hill towards Auburn. You can also go out towards Covington, Maple Valley, and Black Diamond and those are really nice in general. But, I think they can be the more spendy areas.

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#9 of 22 Old 09-02-2008, 09:13 PM
 
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"somewhat near the water for sunset-viewing (LOL), so I'd say within 30 minutes."

I was going to suggest Des Moines, but it's going to be more $$$ than you mentioned.


As long as your parents stay FAR FAR away from St Joseph in Tacoma, they should look into Tacoma. Tacoma General Hospital is fine, just not that other place.

But it's going to take longer than 30 minutes to get to/from Seattle unless it's early Sunday morning. But still, it's a good city/town!


Just noticed the sunset viewing. Although we're right above water, we don't get much of the sunset as we face more north. So they would need to be sure they had the right view. There are lovely homes (though more than 200K) on the west side of Tacoma, facing the Narrows Bridge, that would have beautiful sunset views, but then again, that sun sometimes looks blinding as it comes down into everyone's windows!
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#10 of 22 Old 09-03-2008, 02:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone. I'm not sure which hospitals they are, but he's already looked into the ones that have the programs he needs. One was in Tacoma, and one in Seattle.

I'm so glad you have all of you to ask! This information is going to be so helpful! Thank you tons! :
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#11 of 22 Old 09-03-2008, 02:55 AM
 
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I would personally still live in certain areas of Federal Way, Auburn, Renton or Kent. I would NOT live in SeaTac, Tukwila, Everett, Tacoma or Burien.
Why not?? We live in Burien, and I think it's great. I can get to downtown Seattle in 15 minutes (10 if I hit all the stoplights right and traffic is good!). We're close to all the highways, so I can easily drive any direction.

And why not Seatac or Tukwila? We're looking for houses in that area too, because that is pretty much the only area we're finding anything in our price range (under $200K).

OP- the cheapest areas that we've found are either south of Seattle (Burien, Federal Way, Kent, etc.) or across the water. There are some FABULOUS house prices in Bremerton, Port Orchard, etc.

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#12 of 22 Old 09-03-2008, 04:20 AM
 
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I would NOT live in SeaTac, Tukwila, Everett, Tacoma or Burien.
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Why not?? We live in Burien, and I think it's great. I can get to downtown Seattle in 15 minutes (10 if I hit all the stoplights right and traffic is good!). We're close to all the highways, so I can easily drive any direction.

And why not Seatac or Tukwila? We're looking for houses in that area too, because that is pretty much the only area we're finding anything in our price range (under $200K).

OP- the cheapest areas that we've found are either south of Seattle (Burien, Federal Way, Kent, etc.) or across the water. There are some FABULOUS house prices in Bremerton, Port Orchard, etc.
Yeah, I agree-- a lot of the old stereotypes about bad places to live in the area are really changing. I don't know as much about the south-of-seattle areas in question, but I can stick up for Everett. There are parts to avoid (South Ev near the mall/Mariner, mostly), but much of the rest of it has cleaned up a LOT and the prices are still much much better than Seattle. I've heard a lot of people say the same for the areas south of Seattle that have always had a bad rep in the past. I wouldn't necessarily judge based on general location. There are better and worse areas to live in all of these cities and towns, it's just a matter of looking and figuring out which areas are decent. I also lived in a nicer area of Tacoma for awhile (actually, University Place, but Tacoma was literally across the street), and it was totally fine. The only city I would say to avoid completely based on my own experience is Lakewood.

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#13 of 22 Old 09-04-2008, 04:30 PM
 
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So, actually, Burien and White Center have good transitional areas. We are actually looking there!

We currently live in Puyallup where there are huge houses around $250, views of the mountains... Sumner is really great too. Both are within 20 minutes of Good Samaritan Hospital. 30 minutes of all the downtown Tacoma hospitals.

By the way, Tacoma actually has a lot of really great areas - North Tacoma especially!
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#14 of 22 Old 09-06-2008, 03:13 PM
 
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Why not?? We live in Burien, and I think it's great. I can get to downtown Seattle in 15 minutes (10 if I hit all the stoplights right and traffic is good!). We're close to all the highways, so I can easily drive any direction.

And why not Seatac or Tukwila? We're looking for houses in that area too, because that is pretty much the only area we're finding anything in our price range (under $200K).

OP- the cheapest areas that we've found are either south of Seattle (Burien, Federal Way, Kent, etc.) or across the water. There are some FABULOUS house prices in Bremerton, Port Orchard, etc.
My dear friend lives in Burien and it's wonderful. When we visit there is plenty to do there and no reason to go to Seattle (although it's a quick drive). It has the small town feel, lots of neat shops, and is on/near the water. And there's a Trader Joe's! (something we lack in Olympia)
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#15 of 22 Old 09-07-2008, 02:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, actually, Burien and White Center have good transitional areas. We are actually looking there!

We currently live in Puyallup where there are huge houses around $250, views of the mountains... Sumner is really great too. Both are within 20 minutes of Good Samaritan Hospital. 30 minutes of all the downtown Tacoma hospitals.

By the way, Tacoma actually has a lot of really great areas - North Tacoma especially!
Interesting, as when we were there about 4 years ago, White Center I was specifically told to avoid, after dark. Things change quickly, I guess!
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#16 of 22 Old 09-08-2008, 12:24 AM
 
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Ferries are out. In the event of the ferries being unavailable for weather or whatever, taking the bridge route in that traffic is just not an option if they needed to get to the hospital. My SF can get really ill, he is a transplant patient. They don't need to live right 'on top' of the hospital and God-willing, he is well more than he is not. However, they can definitely be no more than 45 minutes or so from the various centers they are researching. One is in Tacoma, and I believe the others are downtown or just north of downtown Seattle. IIRC, when the ferries from the islands are out, the other route is heinous, right?
The ferries are rarely ever unavailable. It's very, very rare (though maybe once a year it does happen). There is no bridge to Vashon, and I don't think there is a bridge from Bainbridge. Vashon is expensive, though.

I would second the suggestion for looking around Tacoma. It has some really cute, walkable neighborhoods. The city has come a long way, I think.

Otherwise, for the price range you're talking about I think they would need to look for a condo south of seattle. There are some interesting new places being built for that price.

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#17 of 22 Old 09-25-2008, 05:06 PM
 
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I moved to Tacoma from Seattle and we are maybe 15-20 minutes from the water. Coming from Seattle, I had a bias against Tacoma, but my husband got a job in the area and we had to move. It turned out just fine and we settled in quite nicely. What I like about Tacoma is that the traffic is light (unlike Seattle!) and also the housing market is lower priced. We bought a house here last March. A 3000 sq ft home for $ 285K (try to find that in Seattle!), not bad. Kent, Auburn, Federal Way are not bad either. Hospitals here in Tacoma are fine, I usually go to St. Joseph and I had my gall bladder taken out at Tacoma General (I heard some bad stuff about Tacoma General but they certainly treated me very well, no complaints here.) I would just steer clear of St. Joseph's emergency room, but otherwise it's fine.
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#18 of 22 Old 09-25-2008, 06:00 PM
 
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I live in Auburn, just outside of Federal Way. It's a lovley little rural pocket - we're on an acre as is out next door neighbor. I'm just minutes away from several freeways, major shopping centers, etc. I love where I live! Since I'm so close of I-5, Tacoma and Seattle are both about 30 minutes away (Seattle is closer to 45+ in bad traffic). My dad and sister live in Federal Way, just outside of Browns Point. My dad has a GORGEOUS view of the water. Again, a very nice area. I work in White Center and used to do home visits in the Des Moines, SeaTac, Burien, White Center, Tukwila area. I'm a nurse serving low income families so I don't see the best of neighborhoods but know the areas fairly well. Burien is really coming into it's own, there's some seriously fancy pants neighborhoods close to the water. Des Moines is also a great community; there's just a small pocket of the city that I would completely avoid. SeaTac and Tukwila wouldn't be my first choice though there's nice areas in both. SeaTac is too close to the airport for my tastes and I just have something against Tukwila. I grew up in Kent, the east hill area. It was nice but it takes forever to get to the freeway and I think traffic has gotten a lot worse since I lived there. I'm currently working in a clinic in White Center. White Center is slowly making changes. The closer you get to West Seattle, the nicer it is. Westwood is an area that has really improved in recent years. I work in the heart of White Center I would NOT want to raise my family here. I would not walk alone here after dark. In fact, when I walk on my breaks, I don't walk alone or in secluded areas. There's a lot of gang and drug activity though you may not notice during the day if you aren't looking for it. I think White Center is an up and coming community but IMHO, it has a long way to go.
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#19 of 22 Old 09-25-2008, 06:36 PM
 
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I live in Renton and there are still some (older) neighborhoods- like the one I live in- where you can buy a house for under $300K. I like my neighborhood because there is a lot of diversity, a park within walking distance, and it's on a bus line (actually 3) so we only have to have one family car. Plus, I've got some really nice neighbors (and only one mean one). Our house is small by today's standards, but has a nice sized yard. I think there is plenty of room for us and smaller means more efficient to heat.

There are some parts of the larger neighborhood where the houses haven't been kept as nice as the ones on my block, but overall, the neighborhood is decent.
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#20 of 22 Old 01-09-2009, 04:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I hope it's better late than never to say, again, Thank you very much ladies for all of your wonderful advice. I passed it on. Sadly, they are in the mode of just waiting for the inevitable (their opinion) lay-offs, and then they will move. I'm happy they may move someplace better with less stress, but they feel so insecure about financial futures right now.

Again, many thanks! :
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#21 of 22 Old 01-09-2009, 11:31 AM
 
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Tacoma would be a fantastic fit. Check out www.tacomamama.com for great ideas on schools, neighborhoods, local community events and health care. Having been born and raised here, Tacoma has gone through its share of ups and downs like any city. But for the past 5 years, we have gotten new museums, UWT, great local farmer's markets, fantastic downtown restaurants while still being afforable. MultiCare (Tacoma General) is a great medical facility with a Children's Hospital and Metro Parks Tacoma has community programs for families, sports, Tacoma's Snake Lake and the Point Defiance Zoo. Tacoma has gotten a bad rap over the years, why I don't know. Being surrounded by water, the mountains while Seattle only being 30 minutes away, you can't beat it.

Best of Luck,

Lisa

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#22 of 22 Old 02-02-2009, 09:37 AM
 
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We're in Gig Harbor, just over the bridge from Tacoma. There are many homes here for under 200k & they're opening a new hospital here this month, I believe. I don't know what type of programs it will have though. Good luck to them!
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