Cheapest Homes: June 2012 Edition

Let’s check in again on the cheapest homes around Seattle proper. Here’s our methodology: I search the listings for the cheapest homes currently on the market, excluding short sales, in the city of Seattle proper. Any properties that are in obvious states of extreme disrepair based on listing photos and descriptions will be excluded. This includes any listing that uses the phrases “fixer,” “rehab loan,” or “value in land.” I post the top (bottom) three, along with some overall stats on the low end of the market.

Please note: These posts should not be construed to be an advertisement or endorsement of any specific home for sale. We are merely taking a brief snapshot of the market at a given time. Also, just because a home makes it onto the “cheapest” list, that does not indicate that it is a good value.

Here are this month’s three cheapest single-family homes in the city limits of Seattle (according to Redfin):

Address Price Beds Baths SqFt Lot Size Neighborhood $ / SqFt Notes
1010 S Trenton St $95,000 2 1 820 12,197 sqft South Park $116
7528 16th Ave SW $99,900 2 1 1,320 6,000 sqft Delridge $76 bank owned
4400 S Webster St $129,900 2 2 1,480 6,450 sqft Rainier Valley $88 bank owned

Number 1 and 2 carried on from last month, while last month’s #3 home sold.

Stats snapshot for Seattle Single-Family Homes Under $200,000 (excluding short sales)
Total on market: 48
Average number of beds: 2.5
Average number of baths: 1.3
Average square footage: 1,271
Average days on market: 100

Inventory keeps falling in this segment, just like everywhere else. Meanwhile, the other stats all took a hit as well, except for days on market, which shot up. That would seem to indicate that more and more what’s on the market in this price range is the junk that nobody really wants, at any price.

Here are a couple of charts to give you a visual of the trend of these numbers since I adjusted the methodology in April 2010:

Seattle's Cheapest Homes: Stat Trends
Seattle's Cheapest Homes: Stat Trends

Here are cheapest homes in Seattle that actually sold in the last month, regardless of condition (since most off-market homes don’t have much info available on their condition).

Address Price Beds Baths SqFt Lot Size Neighborhood $ / SqFt Sold On
3602 S Holly St $70,000 2 1 1,020 5,000 sqft Beacon Hill $69 05/07/2012
4700 S Mead St $75,000 2 1 2,080 2,575 sqft Rainier Valley $36 05/15/2012
4224 S Orcas St $90,800 2 1 890 3,090 sqft Columbia City $102 05/17/2012

About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.


  1. 1
    Teo says:

    Hi Tim, I love all the series you are running on this blog, except for this thread on “cheapest homes”. I am not sure what purpose this serves, and it is not even fun. If you take the position of those who just bought one of those cheapest homes, the feeling is probably not that good.

  2. 2
    The Tim says:

    By Teo @ 1:

    If you take the position of those who just bought one of those cheapest homes, the feeling is probably not that good.

    I’m not sure what you mean by this. Can you expand on this thought?

  3. 3
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: Teo @ 1 – I’d be pretty happy if I bought a place at 35 cents on the dollar of its peak bubble sale price. I am also not sure what you mean by this.

  4. 4
    Teo says:

    To be clear, I am not one of the owners of these cheapest homes, so I am guessing and I could be wrong here.

    The cheap price, being a pro, typically comes with cons (a feeling I have looking at many of these cheapest homes). We joke about people who do not study and end up working in Walmart, and I guess the same joke can be made to those who end up living in cheapest homes. I am just saying, not that I agree to those Jokes. :)

    Also, the most reduction in price does not necessarily mean the house is cheap. I remember posts on this blog about houses sold with a big drop in price as compared to its peak, which I think is a lot more interesting.

    RE: wreckingbull @ 3

  5. 5
    ARDELL says:

    If you click on the Beacon Hill link and look at the parcel outlined in red…unless my eyes are deceiving me…it doesn’t look like there is a structure on that land. Maybe it’s hiding under the trees.

  6. 6
    Dweezil says:

    I like this series for the purpose of perspective. When you have the median price showing up everywhere, it may become easy to assume you have to spend tons of money on housing.

    I would not feel bad at all if I paid under 200k for a house when I see people spending 425k on a house that truly is not that much better. In fact, I think Tim should turn this into the Cheapest/Most Expensive edition. Show us the top 3 and the bottom 3 for some nice comparison.

  7. 7
    murrcat says:

    To me this series documents the answers to these questions:

    Is it possible to buy a “livable” house under 200k in Seattle? (IE not necessarily an investment property, although I bet many of these are bought as investments.)
    If so, where is it located, and what are the typical lot and house sizes?

    I do think that the 1010 S Trenton property doesn’t fit within the criteria since it is labeled “investor” property and does not show interior photos.

    Thanks for the series Tim.

  8. 8

    By murrcat @ 7:

    Is it possible to buy a “livable” house under 200k in Seattle?.

    If you look at some of the pictures of these sold homes, they would hardly be described as livable. One had exposed studs throughout.

  9. 9
  10. 10
    Scotsman says:

    Some of you people are snobs. There are plenty of folks who would love to buy/own and live in these- especially the last two. Hell, I’d live in them, and could afford much, much better.

    The guy who buys one of these, pays it off, then goes on to either invest in assets, education, travel, etc. will likely beat the pants off of most of most here when the final tally of a life well lived comes.

  11. 11
    ChrisM says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 10 – Agreed. Were I single I’d certainly consider purchasing them. And, if purchased, would brag about the price!

  12. 12
    Dorothea says:

    I like this series. Much emphasis is put on the high-end end of the market as it is. Question for Tim: was there ever a time (peak bubble?) that you were unable to find three listing that met your requirements for “cheapest homes”?

    These are not being touted as the best deal, simply the cheapest listing. It adds perspective and balance.

  13. 13

    It may be interesting to add the 3 Most Expensive homes listed and sold for your readers as well, it might create some interesting discussion about irrational exuberance. :)

    I know there have been times I’ve shook my head and said “omg they got that much for that”.

  14. 14

    The Best part of Tim’s Cheap Homes

    They’re all under 1500 SF….gosh, even an all electric PSE monthly bill could heat this NGT the low 300s/mo during the coldest Winter months, especially if they have 2×6 thick insulation. In SE King county all I see them mostly bulding “new” are those giant glueboard energy pigs on dinky lots.

  15. 15

    RE: softwarengineer @ 14

    And That’s Cranking the Thermostat to 72 Degrees Leaving It On 24/7s

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