Cheapest Homes: December 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
1014 S Thistle St $99,900 2 1 820 9,000 sqft South Park $122 bank owned
9211 39th Ave S $125,000 2 1 990 4,000 sqft Beacon Hill $126
3713 S Burns St $139,900 2 1 770 7,425 sqft Beacon Hill $182 bank owned

Two of the homes from last month carried over to this month. The third is now pending, but would have been pushed off the list by the new cheapest home even if it were still active.

Stats snapshot for Seattle Single-Family Homes Under $200,000 (excluding short sales)
Total on market: 34
Average number of beds: 2.3
Average number of baths: 1.2
Average square footage: 1,208
Average days on market: 77

Inventory inched up just slightly from last month, beds and baths both fell, but square footage increased a bit.

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
5719 S Bangor St $80,000 2 1 710 8,910 sqft Rainier Valley $113 11/30/2012
8826 24th Ave SW $85,500 3 1 8600 7,440 sqft Delridge $99 11/15/2012
9327 55th Ave S $94,615 3 1.75 1,390 5,500 sqft Rainier Valley $68 11/07/2012
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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. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1
    The Tim says:

    Sorry this is so late today. I came down with something last night and have had a 102°-ish fever all day so I’ve pretty much been in bed the whole day.

    NWMLS numbers come out tomorrow so Wednesday’s post will probably go up in the early afternoon.

  2. 2
    ARDELL says:

    RE: The Tim @ 1

    That’s a pretty high fever to have “all day”! Do please see a doctor and keep us posted. Hope you feel better soon.

  3. 3
    sniffy says:

    I’ve lived in Seattle for more than a decade now, but sometimes I still look at stuff like this and just find it absolutely *bizarre* that there are only 34 homes in all of Seattle less than $200k. In Dallas (where I previously lived, admittedly a little larger than Seattle) there are currently 918, many of which are quite nice, recent construction, and in the 2,000-3,000 sqft. range.

    Sometimes I can’t believe I choose to live here.

  4. 4
    ray pepper says:

    RE: The Tim @ 1 – its quite possible you contracted scrotal elephantitis with your High Fever…see pic: ….. if this looks like you listen to nurse ray and consult your physician..

  5. 5

    RE: sniffy @ 3 – Add in the real property tax paid each month to your houses down in Texas, and see how the monthly payment would compare on a $150,000 house down there to a $200,000 house up here. There’s a reason houses are cheaper in Texas, even with their relatively good economy. Real property taxes are very high.

  6. 6
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: The Tim @ 1

    They Say Get the Flu Shot

    The medical establishment I do volunteer work for disagree, the vaccine they give you now are for the flu virus that is dying out. IOWs, it does little good anyway. Many of the vaccine shots contain heavy elements that are dangerous too.

    The new flu strain(s) mainly hitting us this winter have no vaccine yet.

    I like asperine FAR better than tylenol or motrine too for fighting fever….much safer historical evidence [like decades], especially liver damage, etc, etc.

  7. 7
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 5

    The Hot Summers With Mandatory Air Conditioning in Texas Will Drain Ya Dry Too

    I have heard there are more job opportunities down there though, like off shore oil jobs.

  8. 8
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: sniffy @ 3

    I Agree With Sniffy On the Size Comparison

    Seattle-ites live in small shacks on dinky lots in comparison….most of the midwest this comparison is true too.

  9. 9
    sniffy says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 5 – But a $150k house in Dallas isn’t comparable to a $200k house in Seattle. It would have be much closer to $300k here, quite possibly more.

    So you pay twice as much here for the house, and let’s say even three times (that’s a bit high) as much property tax in Dallas. So on that $150k house in Dallas you pay $3,750 a year. And on the $300k house in Seattle you pay $2,500. That $1250 ‘savings’ covers less than a quarter of the interest on the additional mortgage amount.

    Yes, there are reasons real estate is cheaper down there, but it’s not primarily because of property tax.

  10. 10

    RE: sniffy @ 9 – It depends on how you look at it. I’m looking at the taxes as being a restriction on prices rising over the longer term.

    Assuming they don’t have our tax system such that general inflation in prices would increase taxes, then if that $150,000 house down there rose over time to $300,000, it would have taxes that would be over $7,500 by your analysis. The high taxes keep the values from rising, because that would be over $5,000 more a year in taxes than up here, and it’s the principal, interest and taxes that people look at when deciding whether they can buy a house.

    The way you’re looking at it is you’re saying the taxes aren’t that bad compared to a house priced twice as much up here. That’s true, but I’m saying it’s that way largely because of the taxes. Clearly other factors could be at play too. I haven’t been outside of the airport at Dallas, but assuming it’s like Phoenix, they might have more room to build houses down there than us. That too would keep prices lower.

  11. 11
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 7 – That is a good point, softie. I have a friend in Austin and his monthly electric bill is $700-$800 during the summer months for a fairly modest home.

  12. 12
    chuck c says:

    For perspective: my buddy in Wisconsin just bought a small house for $10,000 to rent out (that’s right, only 4 zeros). He’s expecting to put another 5-10k into it and rent it for about $500/month. I’m curious learn more about his transaction as time progresses.

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