Seattle Named 5th Most Expensive City In US, But Is Not Most Expensive City In Washington

It’s not a news flash that the real estate scene in Seattle has exploded in recent years. The Emerald City has gone from a town most people outside the state only associated with coffee and flannel, to the tech capital of the US (save for our friends in Silicon Valley). As home to some of the biggest tech names in the world and a booming job market to match, it’s fair to say there’s might not be enough housing to meet demand. Or, at least to meet demand AND your budget.

High rises, apartment buildings and condos are going up all over the city, and soon, our beloved skyline will be dotted with more and more buildings and towers, making the Seattle of just 10 years-ago look almost unfamiliar.

Seattle has recently made headlines as one of the most expensive places to live, get this, in the world. That’s right, recent data has placed Seattle’s rent rates at 5th highest in the nation and, supposedly 9th highest in the world! However, San Francisco and New York still dwarf us, tying for number one most expensive, world-wide.

Those of us who are Seattle Natives know that the average rental rate in Seattle has increased fairly dramatically in the last few years, but it’s interesting to note that, while Seattle’s rents have been on the rise, they don’t quite top the list of highest rents in the state.

According to recent data from Apartment List, Seattle ranks at number 5 in the state for highest rents, with the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment at about $1,650.

Surprisingly, Mercer Island tops the list of cities in Washington for highest rents. A one-bedroom on Mercer Island goes for an average of a whopping $1,890 per month. No one said Island living was cheap, I suppose.

Filling in the gaps between number 1 and number 5 on the list are Bellevue at number 2 with an average of $1,860 per month for a one-bedroom (not a whole lot lower than their neighboring Island), Redmond at number 3 with an average of about $1,690 monthly rent for a one bedroom and Kirkland at number 4 with an average monthly rent of $1,660 for a one-bedroom.

Seattle and the Eastside are not the only places in Washington with rising rent rates. Tacoma tops the list nation-wide for fastest growing rent with a year-over-year growth rate of 7.7 percent. Seattle comes close, but not close enough to that figure with year-over-year rental rate growth at 5.3 percent.

Staggering growth aside, Tacoma is still a bargain in the rental market compared to Seattle, with a one-bedroom in Tacoma going for an average of $1,000 per month. For those of you keeping score, that’s a savings of $650 compared to Seattle.

But, proving that some things really don’t change, the cheapest places to live in the Evergreen State are still East of the Cascade Mountains. You can get a one-bedroom for only $600 per month in Walla Walla and it’s not much pricier in the State’s second largest city, Spokane, at around $630 per month.

What a difference a mountain range makes…

Most Expensive Active Seattle Luxury Rentals

Although we usually profile and feature “run of the mill” luxury rentals, today I’d like to feature some of the most expensive active rentals on the market in Seattle and environs. We’re talking like… top 10. Yeah, the big kahunas. Not that the other’s aren’t enviable to say in the least!

10. $8,500

Located in Belltown, this property boasts not only views of downtown, but also Puget Sound and the Space Needle. With a gourmet kitchen, floor to ceiling windows, touch screen sound system, garage parking and two storage units. Listed by Joseph Kelly of Soleil Real Estate of Seattle.

9. $8,500

This contemporary Lake Union home boasts a 270 degree view of the water, heated floors, top of the line kitchen appliances and marble bath. This 1,000 square foot house was built in 2011 and has been on the market for 139 days and is listed by Scott Wasner of Sotheby’s.

8. $9,800

Want a penthouse? Who am I kidding, of course you do. And nowone is up for grabs! For rent at least. This 26th floor, 3,081 square foot residence boats three bedrooms and enormous 290 degrees of skyline, mountains, and water. Oak floors, maple cabinetry, gas fireplace, and a chefs kitchen. On the market for 44 days, this property is listed by Julia Tsurusaki with Pointe3 Real Estate.

7. $10,000

Out next most expensive property calls Mercer Island home. Originally listed at $12,000, this 3,880 square foot gorgeous waterfront home features a newly remodeled kitchen with an ensuite deck and jacuzzi tub (uh, that’s awesome). 85′ of waterfront with moorage and dock, two jets lifts and a boat lift. Nicely settled near some parks, what could get better? Not much, that’s what. Listed by Anthony Yap of TAG Realty.

6. $10,000

Tied at $10,000, this Laurelhurst home has only been on the market for a month. Fully furnished with views of Lake Washington, this 4,660 square foot contemporary northwest home comes with Laurelhurt Beach Club access. Offering five bedrooms and four bathrooms, it’s listed by Timothy Lenihan of Windermere Real Estate.

5. $11,000

Now, this one has me drooling. This unit is within the Four Seasons Private Residences Seattle. Two bedrooms and a den, valet parking, 24 hour security and concierge, mile high views, this 2,082 square foot overlooks the Great Wheel through floor to ceiling windows. With a gas fireplace and an ultra modern kitchen, it’s enough to make anyone go gaga. Listed by Scott Wasner of Sotheby’s.

4. $11,000

Another beauty at $11,000, the stunningly designed Arthur Erickson Highlands home is a looker. Having seen this sumptuous property myself, the views and grounds as well as the guest house, I can say will all certainty that it. is. worth. it. Listed by our own Betsy Terry of Our Distinctive Home Shop in Madison Park, this 7,470 square foot masterpiece is constructed  from polished concrete, with a glass ceiling. Mountain and sound views, and a Pemberley-esque (We got any Jane Austen fans out there? No? Just me? Okay) park off the swimming pool.

3. $12,500

Located in Hunts Point and built in 1995, this home is nestled on prime waterfront with lake, city, and mountain views. Designed by Curtis Gelotte, the house is nestled between manicured landscaping and old growth trees. With moorage and a dock, this 3,710 square foot home is full of natural wood and stone details, evoking the architectural style of the pacific northwest. Listed by Anna Riley of Windermere Real Estate.

2. $18,000

Another jewel of Hunts Point, this residence boasts a stunning Chihuly glass chandelier hanging from a sky-lit ceiling. This 3,000 square foot west-facing residence features rustic timers, posts, and beams embodies pacific northwest architecture and art. Listed by Tere Foster and Moya Skillman of Windermere Real Estate.

1. $20,000

Topping our list is a mansion in Clyde Hill. At 6,000 this european designed six bedroom, eight bathroom masterpiece was custom built in 2007. With a gated entrance and a large pool in the backyard, a large up to date kitchen, and an indoor jacuzzi. Listed by Robert Radulescu with The Force Realty.

Well folks, which one is your favorite??

Walkability Score- What is it and why does it matter?

Pioneer Square Pergola

Pioneer Square Pergola

Walkability- it’s a word that some of you may be familiar with already, and one that real estate marketing often uses. But what exactly does it mean?

Used by Walkscore.com, it’s intended definition is to indicate how easily and readily connected a property is to the neighborhood and community around it. For instance, is the nearest grocery store within easy walking distance? Or would it be necessary to drive there?

The higher a property’s Walk Score (or Transit Score or Bike Score) on a scale of 1-100, the more connected the neighborhood is with the property. Take this chart example. But what makes a community walkable?

  • A center: Walkable neighborhoods have a center, whether it’s a main street or a public space.
  • People: Enough people for businesses to flourish and for public transit to run frequently.
  • Mixed income, mixed use: Affordable housing located near businesses.
  • Parks and public space: Plenty of public places to gather and play.
  • Pedestrian design: Buildings are close to the street, parking lots are relegated to the back.
  • Schools and workplaces: Close enough that most residents can walk from their homes.
  • Complete streets: Streets designed for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit.

Now, why is this score important? It’s generally known that those who walk more, whether it’s just a few steps or hundreds of steps a day are generally healthier than those who don’t. By walking more, not only do you get outside, but you also use your car less, and thereby reduce your carbon footprint. If you were able to find a property in a highly walkable area, you might be able to forgo the car altogether!

And here’s some great news: Seattle is rated as one of the most walkable cities in the U.S.! With a Walk Score of 71, a Transit Score of 57, and a Bike Score of 64, Seattle is the 8th most walkable city, with it’s most walkable neighborhoods being Downtown, the Denny Triangle, and Pioneer Square.

How important is the walkability of the neighborhood to you when looking for a new property?

Queen Anne Rental Condo: $2,295

Capture

This beautiful Queen Anne condo with stunning downtown skyline and Space Needle views is now up for rent. Located on the East side of Queen Anne Hill just steps from Bhy Kracke park, this condo provides the quiet environment of a residential street while being central to downtown and all Seattle has to offer. Included in the unit’s 1,100 square feet are a lavish master bath, walk-in closet, fireplace, and a wonderful terrace overlooking downtown. As an added bonus, secure parking is included with this unit. For more information on this condo or on other Seattle rentals, contact your local real estate agent today.

Queen Anne Condo Rental: $2,800

Photo Courtesy of queenannehighschool.com

Photo Courtesy of queenannehighschool.com

This stunning top floor condo with panoramic views of Capitol Hill, downtown, and Puget Sound is now available for rent! This unit in the former Queen Anne High School Building offers an open floor plan with a high-end kitchen, hardwood floors, huge windows, and original slate chalk board from when this unit was a music classroom! Spacious master bedroom, + second bedroom or office, 1 full and 1 half bath, storage unit, and 2 assigned parking spots (one covered and one uncovered). Queen Anne High School is listed on the historical registry, a truly wonderful rental experience. For more information on this or other Seattle rentals, contact your local real estate agent today.

Status: For Sale
Bed/Bath: 2/1.5
Price: $2,800

Capitol Hill Craftsman For Rent: $3,950

cap hill rental

This lovely Craftsman on north Capitol Hill street is now available for rent! This two story home with a basemen, has been remodeled in keeping with the charm of the turn of the century. The kitchen is a state of the art , with an island for sitting and talking with the cook, gas stove , and the kitchen overlooks the back yard that features a wonderful Play set outside. Hardwood floors throughout the first and second floor, and lower level has a family room and an additional bedroom. If you’re interested in this or other Seattle rentals contact your local real estate agent today.

Status: For Rent
Bed/Bath: 4//2
Price: $3,950

Downtown Condo For Rent: $1,700

rm condo

This gorgeous 1 bed 1 bath NW facing condo unit in the Meridian Condominium is now available for rent. Features include beautiful views of Lake Union, Capitol Hill, downtown, and Puget Sound. The kitchen has all tile flooring, stainless steel appliances, slab granite counters with tile back-splash, and maple cabinets. The condo also features high ceiling, fireplace, and floor to ceiling windows in living room for maximum views. The bedroom has a deep closet, and attached deck with views. The Meridian Condo includes 24 hour security, concierge, steam room, entertainment room, hot tub, fitness center and guest parking. If you’re interested in this unit, or other Seattle rentals, please contact your local real estate agent today.

Status: For Rent
Bed/Bath: 1//1
Price: $1,700

Downtown Condo Rental Available: $4,500

condo rental

This sleek two story corner unit in downtown Seattle is now available for rent! Condo features soaring 18ft ceilings, wrap around floor to ceiling windows and active views, with a large private deck. Warm interiors feature elegant colors and cherry hardwood flooring. The designer kitchen with granite counters and stainless steel appliances make for an entertainer’s dream. Spacious Great Room with fireplace is perfect for entertaining (flat screen tv stays in unit!). The 2nd floor master suite has a large walk-in closet, five-piece master bath and office area/sitting room for your convenience. Tenant will also have a secure garage parking space. For more information on Seattle condo rentals, contact your local real estate agent today.

Status: For Rent
Bed/Bath: 2,2
Price: $4,500

Renter Competition is Stiff: Come Prepared With Renter Application Packet

These days Seattle rentals are few and far between, and in our competitive rental market bringing your checkbook ready to cash in the deposit no longer puts you on the top of the applicant stack. In other popular cities like San Francisco renters arriving at showings can expect a long line of other applicants already waiting at the door, so if you’re looking to be one step ahead of the game, putting together a renter application packet could be be your ticket to a new rental.

rental np

Downtown Seattle Rental: $4,500/Month

Get the following documents prepared before your rental showing:

A copy of your ID: either a driver’s license or passport

Proof of employment: A pay stub will suffice, but if you can get a letter from your employer confirming your employment that would be beneficial.

Pay stub: Several landlords have minimum salary requirements, so having at least 3 of your most recent pay stubs is important.

A bank statement: Having a bank statement available that indicates you are financially stable and capable of paying rent could be the difference between you and someone less prepared.

References: Have a list of references, past landlords, past neighbors and business partners is a great way to enphasize that you are a responsible tenant.

Rental Application, and fee: This is most important if you’re able to request the application prior to the showing. Some property management websites have these available for prospective tenants, and also having a check handy for the application fee will indicate your preparedness.

Make sure that you double check all of the application requirements prior to your showing if available, and don’t forget to bring your checkbook along with your completed renter application packet. Good luck on your rental hunt! If you’re interested in Seattle rentals, contact your local real estate agent today!

Denny Triangle Condo Available: $1,995

nate p

This West facing unit in the sleek modern 2200 Westlake complex features amenities such as a game room, theater, gym, hot tub, and conference and party rooms within the complex. There is a Whole Foods, Starbucks, Yoga Studio, Dry Cleaners, and fine dining, all within an elevator ride away from the unit’s doorstep. The unit itself features hardwood flooring throughout, granite counter tops, S.S appliances, motorized shades, a covered deck, and of course, sparkling downtown views. The unit comes with a wall mounted flat screen TV, book shelves, mirrored cabinet, and murphy bed that all will stay within the unit, and a modern couch and coffee table are also available upon request. For more information on Seattle Rentals, contact your local Real Estate agent today.