Ballard or Queen Anne? The Best Neighborhoods of Seattle to Buy a House

With a population approaching 750,000, the city of Seattle is divided into a number of unique neighborhoods. These neighborhoods run the gamut from busy to laid-back to cool to reserved and everything in between.While all of Seattle's neighborhoods have their upsides, some of them have more upside than others. In particular, some of them are much better places to live than are others.Hoping to move to Seattle? Looking for the best neighborhoods in Seattle to buy a house? Then read on!

Best Neighborhoods in Seattle for Living

The neighborhoods reviewed below will not appeal to everyone. Whereas some are geared more toward a younger crowd, others are geared more toward families. Nonetheless, they're all worth considering.

Ballard

Ballard is one of the more diverse neighborhoods in Seattle, great for both singles and families alike. With a median home price of $760,000 and a median rent price of $2,296, its cost of living is around average for Seattle.Highly walkable, Ballard sits right on the edge of the Lake Washington Ship Canal. A former Scandinavian fishing community, it intersperses pieces of old culture with new shops, breweries, and restaurants.As far as schools go, it sits somewhere above average. While Ballard doesn't have the best schools in Seattle, its schools are considered to be above average. Safe and filled with friendly people, Ballard is definitely a neighborhood worth living in.

Queen Anne

One of the most walkable neighborhoods in Seattle, Queen Anne is just a short distance from downtown. This neighborhood is divided up into two parts: Upper Queen Anne and Lower Queen Anne.Upper Queen Anne carries a refined and elegant atmosphere, characterized by Victorian-era homes and architecture. Lower Queen Anne comes across as more modern, sporting a variety of multi-level condos and an endless amount of new construction.In Lower Queen Anne, the median home price is around $560,000. In Upper Queen Anne, the median home price is around $850,000. Generally, Upper Queen Anne is regarded as safer than Lower Queen Anne.

South Lake Union  

If you're looking for a relatively cheap neighborhood in which to live in Seattle, you might consider South Lake Union. At the present time, the median price of housing in the neighborhood is around $500,000. Median rent is around $2,400.A highly walkable area, South Lake Union is characterized by Seattle's tech boom. Home to the Amazon headquarters, it's architecture is mostly modern, but with splashes of old-Seattle aesthetic.A generally quiet neighborhood, it contains countless multi-level condos. While it's ideal for young professionals, it's family-friendly as well. In close proximity to the downtown area, it's quickly become a primo spot.

Montlake

One of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city of Seattle, Montlake has a median home price of around 1.2 million dollars and a median rental price of around $3,700. However, it offers a great deal of value for its price.Montlake is a terrific place to live, characterized by large, stately houses complete with large pillars and aesthetically perfect lawns. One of the most grassy neighborhoods in Seattle, it's like a suburb in the middle of the city.Packed with two large parks as well as a variety of restaurants, bars, and coffee shops, Montlake is nothing if not affluent. If you have the money to live there, it's a great place to raise a family. Simply put, Montlake is one of the safest neighborhoods in Seattle.

North Admiral

Located in West Seattle, North Admiral is slowly transforming into one of the city's premier neighborhoods. Though it's a ways from the downtown area (you must take a bridge to get there), its ocean setting makes it well worth its while.Safe, inviting, and possessing a friendly atmosphere, North Admiral is the perfect place to raise a family. Possessing a variety of condos, apartments, small homes, and mansions, it has everything needed to help you lead a calm and comfortable life.The median home price in North Admiral is currently around $720,000. Its median rental price is around $2,800. However, you can expect both of these prices to increase substantially in the coming years now that the tunnel is completed.

Greenwood

A great neighborhood for families, Greenwood is highly walkable and somewhat affordable. The median house price in Greenwood is around $635,000 while the median apartment price is around $2,500Quiet and possessing very little in the way of traffic, it's a perfectly safe place for kids to play. While it's filled with all of the necessary restaurants and shops, it has a truly residential feel to it. Located approximately 15 minutes from the downtown area via car, it's well within reach of all that Seattle has to offer.Know, however, that Greenwood is a highly sought after area. If you're going to buy a house in this neighborhood, you're going to have to be aggressive.

Central District

Another very popular residential area in Seattle is the Central District. Though it's not far away from the downtown area, it's far enough to avoid the hustle and bustle of busy urban life. This makes it an attractive spot for many home seekers.The Central District has seen a lot of development in recent years. It has seen the construction of many condos, breweries, and restaurants. A highly walkable area, it's geared more toward young professionals and singles than families. Of course, there are still families living in the Central District.One of the great additions to the Central District is Judkins Park, a large, grassy open area complete with playgrounds and athletic fields. It's frequented by Seattleites of all kinds.Median home prices for the Central District are around $775,00. Median rental prices come in at around $2,700.

Fremont

Characterized by its bohemian culture and laid-back atmosphere, Fremont is Seattle's go-to neighborhood for artistic types and weird-seekers. Containing some of the premier restaurants, bars, cafes, and shops the city has to offer, it's extremely walkable.For years, Fremont was essentially void of tall, multi-use buildings. These days, they're popping up like wildfire. Nonetheless, the neighborhood still carries a great deal of its old charm.Best suited for young professionals, musicians, and artists, Fremont has a median housing price of around $800,000. Median rental price is around $2,600. If you want to live in a busy neighborhood with a thriving community, look no further than Fremont.

Bitter Lake

Aptly named, the Bitter Lake neighborhood is located right on Seattle's Bitter Lake. A decidedly small neighborhood, it's an up and coming spot that more and more people are starting to flock to.Bitter Lake is primarily a bedroom community, containing everything from single-family houses to apartment complexes to condos. Unfortunately, its lack of sidewalks makes it a very difficult place to travel through without a car. This, in a way, eliminates a great deal of the community vibe that it could possess.The upside to Bitter Lake is that it's affordable. Houses for a median price of around $400,000. You can find a rental in Bitter Lake for a median price of $2,250.

Capitol Hill

Considered one of the best Seattle neighborhoods, Capitol Hill has just about everything a city dweller could wish for. Whether you're looking for a cool coffee shop, a dive bar, or a nice restaurant, it has you covered.Located right next to the downtown area, it's home primarily to young professionals. While the area is not entirely safe, it's a great deal safer than a lot of the other neighborhoods that are close to downtown.If you're looking for a vibrant lifestyle with a party-like atmosphere, Capitol Hill is the place to be. The median house price there is around $600,000. The median rent price is around $2,350.

Fauntleroy

Located around 6 miles west of downtown Seattle, Fauntleroy is a waterside cottage neighborhood with a lot of charm. Quiet and pristine, it's the perfect spot for those who enjoy water activities.Great for both families and singles alike, Fauntleroy almost feels rural. This is despite the fact that it's so close to inner-city Seattle. A spread-out area, it's not the most walkable neighborhood around but is easy to drive in.The median housing price in Fauntleroy is around $735,000. The median rental price is around $2,700.

Leschi  

Located on Lake Washington, Leschi is just a few miles from the downtown area. Fairly quiet when compared to most Seattle neighborhoods, it's a great spot for families, in particular.A fairly walkable area, it doesn't have as many shops as Capitol Hill or Ballard, but still supplies essentially anything a resident could ever need. It's characterized primarily by its boating culture, as you can catch glimpses of Lake Washington from essentially anywhere in the neighborhood.All in all, it's one of the nicest neighborhoods in Seattle. However, it's on the expensive side. While its median housing price is around $780,000, its median rent price is around $3,000.

In Need of a Mortgage?

Ready to live in one of the best neighborhoods in Seattle? If so, you're going to need to secure a mortgage.Looking to secure a mortgage right now? If so, Seattle’s Mortgage Broker can help you. We help Seattle home buyers find the best mortgages available to them, prioritizing low-interest rates, minimal down payments, and quick closing times.Contact us today to get the process started!

Joe Tafolla
Joe Tafolla
Branch Manager at Seattle's Mortgage Broker

About the Author

Helping Seattleites buy their dream homes for over 15 years. Founder of Seattle's Mortgage Broker and author of Homeownership Simplified: The Truth about ZERO Down.

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