What Are The Best Neighborhoods In Seattle For Families?

This article was originally written on August 10, 2020 and updated on April 30, 2024.

As Seattle's Mortgage Broker, we get asked one question all the time by our clients: Is this a good neighborhood for families?

In our decades of experience helping hundreds of families finance their dream homes, we've learned that the right answer to this question usually depends on the person asking. There are so many great neighborhoods in Seattle that it's not a question of whether or not the neighborhood is good; it's a question of whether the neighborhood is right for you and your family.

No two families are the same. And no two families' needs are going to be the same either. To help you find the right place for your family, we've compiled a list of the best family-friendly neighborhoods in Seattle and highlighted the unique characteristics — from access to elementary schools to family-friendly amenities like walkable streets — that might appeal to your specific needs.

How to Choose the Right Seattle Neighborhood for Your Family

Before we explore our list of the best neighborhoods for families, it's worth identifying some of the common factors families consider when choosing a new, family-friendly neighborhood, such as:

Quality of Public Schools

The quality of local public schools is often a top priority for families with children. Having a good elementary school nearby will not only provide better education for your children, but it also tends to improve property values. Researching Washington State school districts, visiting elementary schools and high schools, and talking to other parents about the closest public schools can provide valuable insights.

Safety & Crime Rates

If you have kids, the safety of your neighborhood is crucial. Parents are always going to prefer the safest neighborhoods to raise their kids. Checking local crime statistics, police reports, and neighborhood safety reviews can help assess the area's security.

Property Prices

Ensure that homes in the area fit within your budget. It's crucial to not overextend financially, which can add stress to family life. Weigh the cost of homes against the amenities provided in the neighborhood. Sometimes, a slightly higher price might be justified by the proximity to great public schools, parks, and public services.

Property Taxes

Property tax rates in Washington can vary significantly between different areas. Check the current tax rates and see how they compare to other neighborhoods. Always consider how the property taxes will affect your monthly housing budget. High taxes can significantly increase monthly expenses.

Neighborhood Trends

Even in the best Seattle neighborhoods for families, things rarely, if ever, stay the same. When choosing the right neighborhood for you, it always pays to look ahead.

Consider both current and planned developments in the area. Are there new public schools, hospitals, or parks on the horizon? Are there a lot of single-family homes in the area or condo buildings? What's next for this neighborhood?

An influx of families might indicate increasing demand for a new elementary school or family-friendly activities, services, and amenities. Meanwhile, new transportation routes or commercial areas might increase noise or traffic in an area that were previously considered to be a family-friendly environment.

The Most Family-Friendly Neighborhoods in Seattle

Ballard (North Seattle)

Nestled on the edge of Lake Washington’s ship canal near Puget Sound, Ballard is a neighborhood that combines historic charm with modern amenities. This area is famous for its wonderful high schools, trendy local stores, and craft breweries, making it a top choice for families who enjoy a blend of traditional and contemporary living.

South Lake Union (Near Downtown Seattle)

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Ideal for those involved in Seattle’s booming tech industry, South Lake Union's central location is not only close to downtown but also home to tech giants like Amazon. The neighborhood boasts modern architecture and a walkable environment, perfect for young families looking for urban convenience alongside new developments.

North Admiral (West Seattle)

This West Seattle neighborhood across the bridge offers easy access to stunning ocean views and a variety of housing options from condos to mansions. North Admiral in West Seattle represents a quieter living environment ideal for families who appreciate both nature and accessibility, perhaps best exemplified by its proximity to Alki Beach.

Leschi (Central East Seattle)

On the other side of the city from West Seattle, there's another quiet residential area close to nature. If tranquility and scenic views are what you seek, Leschi’s waterfront might be the perfect spot for your family. It’s known for its peaceful atmosphere and beautiful views over Lake Washington, providing a serene setting for family life away from the city bustle, while still offering easy access to downtown Seattle.

Montlake (North Seattle)

Known for its affluence, green spaces, and beautiful, stately homes, Montlake is one of the best Seattle neighborhoods for families who can afford more luxurious homes. It’s perfect for those looking for an upscale environment with great parks and coffee shops.

Greenwood (North Central Seattle)

Of all the neighborhoods mentioned on this list, Greenwood likely offers the best combination of suburban tranquility and urban conveniences in the Seattle area, where quiet parks are right next to amazing restaurants. It’s less trafficked, safer for children, and generally more affordable in terms of housing prices, but remains just a short drive from downtown Seattle.

Redmond (East of Seattle)

While technically a suburb, Redmond is close enough to be considered within reach of Seattle's city center. Known for its excellent schools and strong tech employment opportunities, it’s ideal for families wanting to balance suburban comfort with downtown city access.

The Best Seattle Suburbs For Families

Raising a family in Seattle can certainly be an appealing option, offering a unique lifestyle that combines urban convenience with a vibrant cultural scene. However, as we mentioned at the beginning of this article, every family is different.

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For some, Seattle suburbs — with their suburban tranquility, safe neighborhoods, and kid-friendly activities — are more attractive than even the best, most family-friendly neighborhoods in Seattle proper.

Here are some of the best suburbs just outside the city of Seattle to consider:

Clyde Hill

With luxurious large homes and views over Lake Washington, Clyde Hill is a smaller, top-tier suburb for those who prioritize luxury for their families. It’s one of the most expensive areas near Seattle, with homes averaging more than $3 million, but the unmatched amenities will appeal to the whole family — parents and kids alike.

Mercer Island

Located in Lake Washington, Mercer Island offers a less hectic lifestyle than the big city with quiet streets, great schools, gorgeous parks, and plenty of outdoor activities. It’s connected to Seattle by floating bridges across Lake Washington, making it both a convenient and picturesque place to live.

Maple Valley

For parents seeking affordability and space for their kids, Maple Valley is a very attractive option. It’s known throughout the Seattle area for its healthy mix of family-friendly atmosphere, good schools, and natural surroundings — making it perfect for current and future outdoor enthusiasts.

Duvall

If safety and a small-town feel are your priorities, Duvall could be ideal. It boasts one of the lowest crime rates in the Seattle region and offers a variety of housing options from new constructions to rustic farmhouses.

Snoqualmie

Snoqualmie mixes affordability with beauty, located just 25 miles from Seattle. It’s known for its golf courses, shopping, and as a filming location for the TV show Twin Peaks.

Sammamish

Known for its natural beauty, nestled between Lake Sammamish and the Snoqualmie Valley, Sammamish offers several newer residential developments. It’s great for those who enjoy suburban life, but still want access to urban amenities.

Financing Your Dream Home in Family-Friendly Seattle Neighborhoods or Suburbs

Seattle, with its vibrant cityscape and picturesque suburbs, continues to attract new residents who love the low income taxes, ample opportunities, amazing nature, epic views, fantastic restaurants, art and culture, and general lifestyle.

It's also an excellent place to raise a family — whether you prefer a bustling neighborhood in the city of Seattle or a quieter retreat in one of its suburbs away from the downtown core. The areas listed above not only offer great housing options, but also a quality of life that will satisfy any family's needs.

The real challenge is in pinpointing the perfect home that fits your budget, meets your space needs, and matches the lifestyle preferences of your entire family. At Seattle's Mortgage Broker, we can’t make that final decision any easier for you, but we can simplify the process of securing a home loan even before you make your choice.

With our local expertise and commitment to customer service — backed by hundreds of 5-star reviews and customer testimonials — we can help you get approved for a loan and start making your family’s dream home a reality.

Reach out to us today, and we'll get started on finding you the best payment options and terms for your specific financial situation. By this time next week you could be closing on your new loan.

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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