Cheapest Homes: April 2013 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
13337 25th Ave NE $136,000 0 0.75 360 2,918 sqft Lake City $378
751 S Cloverdale St $175,000 2 1.75 700 2,700 sqft South Park $250
4614 S Warsaw St $189,000 3 1 1,600 4,920 sqft Rainier Valley $118 bank owned

Number two this month was number one last month. The other two homes from last month are both currently pending. This month’s number one cracks me up. Just 360 square feet. Zero bedrooms. From the listing description:

well i may be tres petite but i am very cute The Littlest Cottage in Seattle, promise you absolute peace & quiet, 100% privacy, blissful views of nothing.

Nice.

Stats snapshot for Seattle Single-Family Homes Under $200,000 (excluding short sales)
Total on market: 13
Average number of beds: 2.2
Average number of baths: 1.1
Average square footage: 1,083
Average days on market: 54

Huge drop in inventory, nearly cut in half. Beds, baths, and square footage all dropped as well. Days on market cut by nearly a month. The market for cheap homes in Seattle has suddenly gotten very tight.

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
5339 21st Ave SW $90,000 1 1 470 4,000 sqft Delridge $191 03/25/2013
850 S Trenton St $101,000 3 1.5 940 4,424 sqft South Park $107 03/19/2013
8610 Renton Ave S $105,000 2 1 1,190 5,733 sqft Rainier Valley $88 03/14/2013
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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.

12 comments:

  1. 1
    David B. says:

    360 square feet is smaller than most studio apartments.

    Pity that all the money that was lavished on renovating that über-tiny Lake City cottage in the past decade. It inflates the price of a property for which the true value would appear to be in the land, unless zoning setbacks somehow make it impossible to replace it with a larger structure.

    It’s a small lot, but on an otherwise nice street, and if the cottage was a dump, it would be an attractive thing for many to buy as a tear-down. A 1,000 square-foot house could probably fit nicely on that lot.

  2. 2

    RE: David B. @ 1

    True David

    And another thought I had during this morning’s coffee [especially after digesting the April 8, 2013 Fortune magazine]….with saving interest around 0%, some folks simply want some alternative return on their savings investment [could be why stocks are so high lately]…. quote(s) from Fortune magazine, page 46, article titled, Talking to a Bear at a Market Peak:

    “…”The Federal Reserve cannot keep managing interest rates at these levels forever. Its an incredibly dangerous strategy.” – Steven Romick, FPA Crescent Fund….”

    “…avoid REITs”

    So what the Hades do we invest in then? Perhaps some invest in stocks anyway…as Romick alleges….then IMO some may also be lured into the wonderful world of “flipping” or even “land lording” during this tumultuous period in Seattle….investors are clearly desparate and 0% interest in BOA or BECU safe deposits is a complete joke. Sooooo….they buy the cheap real estate out of desparation?

    Just a thought.

  3. 3

    RE: softwarengineer @

    BTW, this Fortune Magazine Also has a Great Article on Investing in the Washington State Marijuana Businesses

    Great read….

  4. 4
    Erik says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 2
    Make a conclusion SWE.

  5. 5
    mike says:

    RE: David B. @ 1
    Appears to be on a flag lot where a significant amount of land is in the pole. Now if that were by Greenlake, someone would surely put up a 3 story home on it.

    There’s a similar home across the street from me, but it’s probably priced in the $300K range.

  6. 6
    Macro Investor says:

    It’s marvelous to find out I can buy a ghetto box in Rainier Valley for a minimum of $88 per foot. 24 hour armed guards not included. Yes, Seattle is a great place to live. Once you pay off your banker and the tax authorities, you should be able to retire by age 105 with relative ease.

  7. 7

    RE: Erik @ 4

    Conclusion?

    What’s your conclusion? All pragmatic facts that support a real estate price bottom are true, “just because”?

    I provide references and backup, you just allege. Then down thumb SWE…LOL.

    Are you in the real estate business? Did you just buy a house recently?

  8. 8
    mmmarvel says:

    And I bought my 2500 sq ft house in Houston for less money – incredible.

  9. 9
    Erik says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 7
    I am not in the real estate business. I buy houses, fix them up, and sell them. I like to do that every 2 years to avoid paying capital gains tax. I last bought on 11/11, so I am trying to figure out when to sell and rebuy.

    The reason I continue to try and get you to make conclusions is because i think you know something. I just don’t understand what you are saying a lot of times unless I do lots of research. When I have tried to understand, it doesn’t closely correlate with seattle real estate.

    I am certainly not saying that you don’t know a lot. What I am saying is that I don’t understand it or see how it applies to seattle area real estate.

  10. 10

    […] estate blog SeattleBubble runs an occasional series titled Cheapest Homes, where blog author The Tim finds the cheapest homes in Seattle.  I love this month’s […]

  11. 11

    […] one of last month’s homes has gone pending. The third-cheapest home from last month is still on the market but has been […]

  12. 12

    […] on this month’s sold list was the popular “Littlest Cottage in Seattle,” the number one cheapest home in April. Sold for $10,000 under its original $136,000 asking price (93% sale-to-list […]

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