Cheapest Homes: June 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
815 SW Cloverdale St $168,000 2 1 1,210 1,675 sqft Delridge $139
4614 S Warsaw St $174,900 3 1 1,600 4,920 sqft Rainier Valley $109 bank owned
1022 SW Portland St $175,000 2 1 1,070 5,150 sqft Delridge $164

Only one of last month’s homes has gone pending. The third-cheapest home from last month is still on the market but has been pushed off the list. It was priced the same as #3 this month, but was quite a bit more expensive per square foot, which was the tie-breaker.

Stats snapshot for Seattle Single-Family Homes Under $200,000 (excluding short sales)
Total on market: 20
Average number of beds: 2.3
Average number of baths: 1.2
Average square footage: 1,179
Average days on market: 54

Mirroring the increases we’ve seen in overall inventory over the last couple of months, the number of homes under $200,000 increased for the second month in a row. Days on market dropped from its huge level last month, while size, beds, and baths were all relatively stable.

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
3961 S Thistle $114,000 2 1 920 9,454 sqft Beacon Hill $124 05/24/2013
4518 Delridge Wy SW $120,000 2 1 670 6,136 sqft Delridge $179 05/24/2013
9243 12th Ave SW $122,000 2 1 710 4,305 sqft Delridge $172 05/22/2013
0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

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.

37 comments:

  1. 1

    There’s Hoards of New Built Foreclosed Homes in the Lower 200s in SE King County

    Albeit the cheap homes here may also compete or exceed the quality of the city center homes going for half a million each.

    BTW, I don’t consider a “totally” cracked sidewalk and a un-lanscaped weed bed in the front yard a yuppies’ dream…..perhaps that stage weakened house should be in Tim’s cheap home list too….LOL

  2. 2
    Blurtman says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 1 – The big hair, shoulder pad wearing, leggins work out wearing, business suit and hightop Reebok sneaker wearing, greed is good, suspender wearing, double breasted suit wearing ’80’s yuppies are now overweight, wrinkled, Hoverround driving, entitlement dependent teapartiers and low bandwidth liberal and conservative complainers. The average yuppie home you describe therefore is a perfect fit for this demographic.

  3. 3

    RE: Blurtman @ 2

    LOL Blurtman

    Trouble is, they’ll never get their hoveraround up that cracked sidewalk and stairs….but they don’t think that far.

  4. 4
    Erik says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 1
    Yeah, now would be the time to buy rentals in SE King county. As someone previously stated, many people are trying to move out of depressed areas into nicer areas since prices are down. This drives prices down in poorer areas like SE King County. I moved from Everett to Kirkland because prices got cheap. Great decision. Everyone else seems to have the same idea. But it may be too late for that now? The window of opportunity is closing for those that want to get out of depressed areas.
    The condo I bought for under $100k sold for over $300k before this real estate crash. I didn’t think I’d ever get to live in a nice area.

  5. 5

    RE: Erik @ 4

    Erik and the Window of Opportunity Closing?

    From the size of the repos’ listings I see of new homes in SE King County, there’s no rush.

    As far as renting ’em out? That’s contingent of the Millenial’s pay and right now, NYT’s states the avg pay is $10.92/hr and 28 hrs a week…..I work the medical field voluntarily to reduce labor hours [reduce healthcare costs] and right now the hospitals they already built are only like 1/3 full with nurses working like 28 hr weeks with no healthcare benefits….

    How ya gonna rent $200K+ homes to that grim crowd and make any money…..and don’t tell me about avg household incomes [old experienced higher salaries skew it way up and the experienced higher paid workers mostly aren’t buying real estate either, they already have].

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, without depopulation and higher wages, the landlord business is no better than SWE’s stock market risks. But at least stock investing keeps mortgage interest rates low.

  6. 6
    Erik says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 5
    You totally missed my point. I think I need to start being more clear because this keeps happening on here.

    Here is my point:
    People are moving out of less expensive areas like Marysville, Everett, Kent, Des moines, and Federal way. The last 3 places are SE king county which is traditionally poorer than surrounding areas. I gave my example of moving from a poor area (Everett) to a more expensive area (Kirkland). Do you see how my example parallels people moving from SE King county (a poor area) to more expensive areas such as nice areas of Seattle and the Eastside?

    This is saying that SE King county is still cheap because people are moving to nicer areas. The nicer areas are bouncing back first and making prices increase in those nice areas while prices remain low in places like SE King county. That’s what I meant by the window of opportunity for them is closing. They are going to be stuck in the less expensive areas.

  7. 7
    ARDELL says:

    Erik,

    I think you need to be a little more careful as to being the “judge” of what is and is not “nice”. Just a thought. :) People don’t particularly like when you refer to where they live as not “nice” just because you feel like you moved out and up in the world. Not saying you are right or wrong in your judgment call. Just saying you don’t appear to recognize that it is fact your opinion, and your judgment call vs a fact.

    My $.02.

  8. 8
    Erik says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 7
    Okay. You are right. It seems the tides have turned against me by voicing my opinion on what areas are nice. My comments aren’t saying that the people aren’t good, i’m just saying the area they live in isn’t. I wish someone would have brought this to my attention that the area I live effects my happiness earlier, so I try to spread the word. I’ll stop now. Everyone takes it personal when it isn’t a slam on them. They can easily change their situation. And now is the time to do it. I will let people choose their own path for now on. :)

    I use to live off south tacoma way in lakewood. Then i moved to everett. Recently I moved to Kirkland. My happiness has increased a lot each time I moved to a nicer area.

  9. 9

    RE: ARDELL @ 7

    Exactly Ardell

    I’ve lived in Kirkland when I was younger and Bellevue/Bothell as well….Kent may be cheaper, but hades, there’s Flaming Geyser State Park near by and “trees” too.

    Which is better Kent or Kirkland? I’d say about the same…..so price does matter.

  10. 10
    Erik says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 9
    Interesting SWE. Maybe I’m more sensitive to the area I live. When I lived off south Tacoma way, a begger would ask for money daily. There were gangs walking by my apartment. I felt unsafe and less happy. I kept my head down and didn’t make eye contact with people just so I wouldn’t get hassled.

    When I lived in everett, I had to put up a fence to keep people from dealing crack in my yard. My truck was broken into multiple times even when it was in my yard. My house was broken into and things were stolen twice in the 6 years i was there. The SWAT team came in and busted the house across the street at midnight while my girlfriend and I watched. In Everett(22nd and oakes), many of my neighbors were addicted to pain killers or alcohol. These things bring me down and make me less happy. Maybe you are better at not letting others bring you down.

    In Kirkland I have had no problems and I have made quality friends. It seems like everyone has a good career and lives a healthy lifestyle. Maybe I’m oversensitive.

    Also, when I lived in those areas I felt like I was doing just fine with a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering because many of the people around me didn’t graduate high school. Now I have my masters degree in mechanical engineering and I still feel like getting a Phd. It’s because there are lots of people that are more educated than me and it drives me to do more. I think for me, if I lived in less progressive areas, I wouldn’t be as driven as I am.

  11. 11
    Kyle says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 7

    If the PC police is going to round up offenders please work big to small. Start with Blurtman in post #2 where he could have insulted anyone born before 1965. Or better yet, give the soap box a well deserved summer vacation :)

  12. 12
    Erik says:

    RE: Kyle @ 11
    I think Ardell sees that i’m making enemies and she’s trying to help me out. But yeah, in a perfect world we could all freely voice our opinions. Unfortunately this isn’t a perfect world.

    For example, wreckingbull was coming at me yesterday for being disrespectful. I didn’t think I was being disrespectful at all. My guess is wreckingbull is old and has lived his life by a code of respect and hierarchy. He uses intimidation, power, and things of that nature. I don’t.

  13. 13
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Kyle @ 11

    Kyle,

    I believe Erik is primarily here to learn something. He is correct that my comment was to try to help him achieve his goal here, and not to be “the PC police”. I don’t know the others personally, so would not presume to offer them advice as to how to better achieve their individual goals.

    I would like to know where Blurtman’s pic comes from. But I doubt that information alone would give me any insight into his personal motivations. :)

  14. 14
    Kyle says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 13

    Well that makes sense and my apologies for my misguided post. Thumbs downing my original post for punishment.

  15. 15
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: Erik @ 12 – Now that is funny.

    I used to live in a dumpy basement apartment underneath a dude who played Mariachi music all night. Mariachi is fine. All Mariachi, all the time, is not. The moment I moved out of that apartment, I really did not feel a compelling need to trash everyone else who lived in a similar situation. Nor did I beeyatch and moan about all my co-workers who had things I did not, whether earned or gifted. I was likely close to your age.

    So really, age has nothing to do with it. I won’t even generalize and say it’s a generational thing. Therefore, it must be an Erik thing.

  16. 16
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 13 – A classic, Ardell. I suggest you watch it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/They_Live

    See, I must not be that old.

  17. 17

    By Erik @ 6:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 5
    You totally missed my point. I think I need to start being more clear because this keeps happening on here.

    Here is my point:
    People are moving out of less expensive areas like Marysville, Everett, Kent, Des moines, and Federal way. The last 3 places are SE king county which is traditionally poorer than surrounding areas. I gave my example of moving from a poor area (Everett) to a more expensive area (Kirkland). Do you see how my example parallels people moving from SE King county (a poor area) to more expensive areas such as nice areas of Seattle and the Eastside?

    This is saying that SE King county is still cheap because people are moving to nicer areas. The nicer areas are bouncing back first and making prices increase in those nice areas while prices remain low in places like SE King county. That’s what I meant by the window of opportunity for them is closing. They are going to be stuck in the less expensive areas.

    If people are moving out of the less expensive parts of the Seattle area, you’d expect their populations to go down, no?
    Almost every incorporated city in King County has seen a gain in population over the last couple of years. The only cities that have lost population from 2011 to 2012 are Mercer Island and Clyde Hill. Hunts Point and Beaux Arts remained exactly the same. Every other city in the county saw an increase in population.
    I’m happy that you’re happy in Kirkland. It’s a nice place. But it’s a big assumption to make that every single person in Kent or Des Moines is unhappy and can’t wait to get out because it’s such a slum. My only issue here is that I think you don’t know these places really well, and don’t realize that there are mostly solid middle class homes in Kent, Des Moines, Federal Way, etc.
    They certainly overbuilt in the riseup to the bubble bursting, but Kent has microbreweries, fancy bakeries, chocolate shops, etc.
    You wanted to leave Tacoma and Everett, and feel happier in Kirkland. That’s fine. And I know you’re not attacking the people in those places as not nice, just the places. But it’s really easy to dismiss an entire quadrant of the Seattle area, especially if you don’t know the area really well.

  18. 18
    whatsmyname says:

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 17:

    But it’s really easy to dismiss an entire quadrant of the Seattle area, especially if you don’t know the area really well.

    Yes, to which I would add: Eric, if you identify 3 cities in SE King County, but 2 of them are actually in SW King County – you probably don’t know the area too well.

  19. 19
    ARDELL says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 16

    Thanks! Looks like a movie I need to add to my collection…maybe next to “Earth Girls are Easy”. :)

  20. 20
    David Losh says:

    RE: Erik @ 10

    The only time I was broken into was in Madison Park. I have lived all through the Central area, but no, not outside of the Seattle City limits.

    In terms of building equity however there are places that I like, like Renton, South Lake Washington. I like the direction of the development. I like it’s central location to Seattle Tacoma, Bellevue, and the air port.

    The problem there is the number of short sales that have happened with people who maybe never should have had loans to begin with. I think though it will all shake out in the next couple of years for there, but you would still need to be careful.

    As an example, we live in Lake City. Since we have moved in eight pot shops, and two liquor stores have opened. They closed Rick’s topless bar, but it has since reopened, along with Pandora’s, and another one that is coming in August?

    So we have eight pot shops, two liquor stores, three topless bars, and a gun shop all within walking distance of our home. I don’t really know if that is a plus or minus for our property values.

    You just never know, so you do need to chose wisely, no matter what the area.

  21. 21
    whatsmyname says:

    By David Losh @ 20:

    So we have eight pot shops, two liquor stores, three topless bars, and a gun shop all within walking distance of our home.

    So, outside of work, you don’t drive at all?

  22. 22

    “So we have eight pot shops, two liquor stores, three topless bars, and a gun shop all within walking distance of our home. I don’t really know if that is a plus or minus for our property values.”

    Talk about a walkable neighborhood. If there’s a decent place for a beer, an espresso joint, and a decent pizza place, why would you ever have to leave the neighborhood?

  23. 23
    Peter Witting says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 21 – Beautiful! I regret that I only have one thumb-up to give to this post.

  24. 24
    Jen says:

    RE: Erik @ 10 – Hey Eric, we are thinking to buy in Kirkland. Which parts of Kirkland are nice to live in? Thanks.

  25. 25
    The Tim says:

    RE: Erik @ 10 – To each his own.

    I haven’t had any of the problems you describe experiencing in Everett. Our neighborhood has been mostly quiet and pleasant. Having a park across the street might help, I don’t know. Plus I love, love, love being so close to downtown. We regularly walk to restaurants, sports events, community events (like the Cruisin’ Colby classic car show a couple weekends ago) and other shopping.

    I won’t say never, but right now I can’t imagine myself living in Kirkland, or any of the Eastside towns. They’re all just too sterile, yuppie, and pretentious for my taste. Living there would be so bland it would depress me. I’d take Everett (or if you prefer closer to the city, Fremont or Queen Anne) over virtually anything east of Lake Washington any day.

  26. 26
    David Losh says:

    RE: The Tim @ 25

    Everett is a great example. Your location is pretty ideal. Closer in to the city center, in my opinion, is good, but you know you can go around in Everett and some parts in the center are pretty rough.

    In your case you have other homes around you that have been fixed up, and resold. That helps a lot.

    There are parts of Kirkland that have no upside, because people already bid those properties up in price, and the ones that come on the market just follow the same pricing.

    People talk about timing the market when in fact there is probably a good property for sale no matter what the market does.

    To add to the discussion, I have never seen the value in Bellevue, or Kirkland other than the sun sets. In my opinion the prices there took off with Microsoft and have never returned to a normal market for what you get. It’s like it topped out right away then never had any potential after that.

    There are places in Fremont, and Ballard, that have more potential, but that potential is getting harder to find.

  27. 27
    David B. says:

    RE: The Tim @ 25 – Speaking of the Eastside, I looked into Issaquah when I wanted to live someplace where it was easier to quickly be on a trail in the woods than Seattle, and what turned me off about it is that despite its being wonderfully close to so many trail heads, it’s still very much the Eastside.

    Traffic was often horrible (worse than in Seattle, in fact), and there was no alternative to driving in it. (You think I’m going to ride my bike on a *ten lane* arterial with *no shoulders*, lots of left turns, and many vehicles exceeding 40 mph? Think again. And yes, that accurately describes the main route across I-90 to the shopping center where the Issaquah PCC is.)

  28. 28
    Blurtman says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 16 – Consume. Obey. Sleep.

  29. 29
    Blurtman says:

    RE: David B. @ 27 – Don’t even think of moving to Sammamish unless you have a Tahoe. It’s cool if it is a hybrid, though.

  30. 30

    By Blurtman @ 28:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 16 – Consume. Obey. Sleep.

    “You see them on the street. You watch them on TV. You might even vote for one this fall. You think they’re people just like you. You’re wrong. Dead wrong.”

  31. 31
    Jen says:

    RE: David B. @ 27 – Is traffic really that bad going to Issaquah Highlands? How is the commute from Bellevue to Issaquah Highlands? Is Redmond a better choice than Issaquah Highlands? Thanks

  32. 32
    David B. says:

    RE: Jen @ 31 – Regarding the Highlands, I don’t know about the traffic going there specifically. It’s sort of irrelevant, anyhow — despite grandiose plans for more retail there, there really isn’t much retail in the Highlands at the present time. So it effectively functions as yet another auto-dependant suburban sprawl development. Thus, if you live there, you end up having to drive to the traffic-choked parts of Issaquah to do most of your shopping. And then there’s commuting to work…

    Regarding Redmond (or, for that matter, anywhere in the Eastside), I could never really see ever moving there as a pure act of free choice. It would be something I would do — reluctantly — if my job in downtown Seattle evaporated, I couldn’t find another job downtown, and the only job(s) I could find were on the Eastside.

  33. 33
    doug says:

    Best neighborhoods —-

    Lake forest park
    Shoreline
    Edmonds
    Mountlake terrace
    Bellevue
    Kirkland
    Redmond
    Woodinville
    Kenmore
    Bothell
    Woodinville
    Greenlake
    Ballard

    Worst neighborhoods—–

    Rainier valley
    White center
    Burien
    Sea tac
    Renton
    Kent
    Auburn
    Marysville
    Everett
    Tacoma
    South Park
    Georgetown
    Federal way

    Best investments—-

    US Dollar

    Worst Investments—–

    everything else especially Stocks and Bonds

  34. 34

    RE: Erik @ 10

    The gangs are coming to a theater near you too…..hades, one of the worst gang invested places is higher priced elite Washington DC with its highest in the country household incomes.

  35. 35
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 30 – True then. Even moreso, now.

  36. 36
    Peter Witting says:

    RE: doug @ 33 – A stake in the ground ~ thank you!

    I contest Everett as a ‘worst’, although there are areas like Casino Road which certainly qualify. I love Tim’s neighborhood, however – it would be a pleasant place to live.

    Best in Seattle also includes: Madison Park, Washington Park, Windermere, Laurelhurst and Montlake.

  37. 37

    […] one is a carry-over from last month. Last month’s number two home has since gone pending, while last month’s number three […]

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