It all adds up. The median home value in Seattle ($682,300), a 20 percent down payment ($136,460) and the pricey bill for child care ($4,316 more annually than in the suburbs) combine to make the suburbs a more affordable family alternative. In addition to cost savings, you are likely to gain, on average, an extra 224 square feet of living space. And with the help of a moving team, the burden of relocating can be lifted, too.
If you’re searching near Seattle, you are likely experiencing steep competition and shocking bidding wars. Don’t let that discourage you from settling in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. An analysis by Zillow and Care.com determined that living in the city of Seattle while paying child care for two children costs an additional $11,376 annually, compared to living in Seattle suburbs.
Buying a home and moving with a young family can seem overwhelming. Home shoppers must consider the value of their purchase, the appeal of the community, nearby amenities and attractions, and their distance from work. Plus, parents are concerned about school quality, crime rates and the cost of child care.
Here are five nearby communities for you and your family to consider.
The city of Shoreline is 12 miles north of downtown, but the median home value is $150,000 less than Seattle. The median Shoreline home value is $531,000, and shoppers should expect robust competition for single-family homes on the market. Area elementary schools are rated between 8 and 10 by GreatSchools, with a rating system of 1-10. The community is safer than Seattle.
The western edge of Shoreline is located on scenic Puget Sound, and the city offers several outdoor parks such as Innis Arden Reserve Park, Richmond Beach Saltwater Park and Boeing Creek Park. It is also home to Shoreline Community College, Seattle Golf Club and the Nile Shrine Golf Center.
Home shoppers in Bothell typically face less competition for homes than in Seattle, and the median home value is $529,100, similar to Shoreline. Bothell is located at the north end of Lake Washington, about 18 miles northeast of Seattle. Most impressively, Bothell is the safest city on this list, and all the public elementary schools are rated 9 or 10.
The city offers attractions such as Allen Yorke Park along the vast Lake Tapps, Victor Falls City Park, South Prairie Creek Preserve and nearby Carbon River for hiking and fishing.
Rather than heading north, consider driving about 40 miles southeast to Bonney Lake. Living here offers a more small-town lifestyle and is one of the safest communities on this list. The median home value is $359,900, a bargain compared to Seattle, and buyers should have more negotiating power than in many other places. Elementary schools are top-notch, especially Lake Tapps Elementary School which is rated 10.
Area attractions include Meadowdale Beach Park and Meadowdale Playfields, Picnic Point Park along Puget Sound, and the expansive shopping center Alderwood Mall.
If you want to reduce buyer competition, shop listings in Picnic Point-North Lynnwood. Home values are significantly less expensive at$433,800, likely because it is 22 miles north of Seattle, making for longer commutes. Overall, this area is safe, but other suburbs on this list report fewer crimes. Public elementary schools in Lynnwood are rated between 8 and 10.
Picnic Point-North Lynnwood
Beyond these remarkable facts, Bothell offers numerous recreational options such as the Burke-Gilman Trail and Sammamish River Trail, which connect Blythe Park to Marymoor Park and cycling paths to Seattle. Entertainment options include McMenamins Anderson School with a pool and restaurants, Howling Coyote Disc Golf and Wayne Public Golf Course. Bothell is also home to the University of Washington Bothell, one of three UW campuses.
With a median home value of $355,200 and only a bit of buyer competition, Des Moines offers buyers the most economical opportunities. Des Moines is about 16 miles south of Seattle, closer than Bonney Lake and just south of Sea-Tac International Airport. Like Picnic Point-North Lynnwood, Des Moines is safer than Seattle but not as safe as Bothell. A couple elementary schools stand out with scores of 7: North Hill-Primary School and Marvista Elementary School.
Des Moines hugs the eastern shore of Puget Sound, so many homes on the market feature lovely views. Family attractions include Saltwater State Park, Steven J. Underwood Memorial Park, City of Des Moines Park Conservation Area, the Interurban Trail (good for bike commuters) and nearby Angle Lake Park.
Any of these five suburban communities would be ideal for raising a family, and at a discount compared to the Emerald City itself.