Cheapest Homes: August 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
4910 S Rose St $145,000 4 1 1,300 6,250 sqft Rainier Valley $112 bank owned
1617 SW Holden St $164,900 2 1 740 5,160 sqft Delridge $223
815 SW Cloverdale St $168,000 2 1 1,210 1,675 sqft Delridge $139

Only number two this month is a carry-over from last month. Last month’s number two is still on the market, but was undercut by cheaper homes this month.

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: 1,069
Average days on market: 38

Inventory inched up a bit this month, but the average beds, baths, and square footage all dropped.

Here are our usual 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
3701 S Pilgrim St $90,000 3 1.75 1,540 7,500 sqft Beacon Hill $58 07/24/2013
6516 Rainier Ave S $100,000 4 1.5 1,990 3,456 sqft Rainier Valley $50 07/25/2013
2139 Harbor Ave SW $120,000 2 2 1,420 1,229 sqft Admiral $85 07/15/2013
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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.


  1. 1
    Erik says:

    This is why I live in a condo. My other option is something like this. Condos are the way to go in my opinion for us poor trolls. I think people on the West Coast aren’t so hot on condo/co-op living, so condo prices are cheaper than on the East Coast. Is that true? I was just thinking that may be the case since you can afford so much more and live much nicer in a condo if you don’t have that much money.

  2. 2
    ChrisM says:

    Would be fascinating to learn why the Rose property wasn’t picked up at auction. Seems like 101k would have been a steal.

  3. 3

    RE: ChrisM @ 2

    I Wasn’t at That Auction

    But IMO minimum bids are way too high at repo auctions….its time for banks to take bigger losses if they want even partial recovery in this tight money environment.

  4. 4
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Erik @ 1

    Condos are cheaper because you are not buying a piece of land in “fee simple” fashion…with a house on it. I just checked an East Coast area that is very similar to yours/ours and a location approximately the same distance to the small town (Newtown Borough) and major city (Philadelphia) as you are from Kirkland Downtown and Downtown Seattle, and the price is about the same for a 2 bedroom condo that is the same basic “garden apartment” style as yours..

    The original single family homes in the small town are older, as in 1865 vs 1921, but comparable in price.

    Condos are cheaper than houses because the nicer the neighborhood, the more expensive the land value, and if you take the amount of land your complex sits on and divide it by the number of owners who live there, the piece of land per unit is much smaller than the land that comes with a house. Then reduce the price of the living space on a price per square foot basis, and the condo will be equal to that of a house after reducing for size of land and house and condo ownership vs fee simple ownership.

  5. 5
    Erik says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 4
    I guess it’s just my perspective has changed regarding condo living. Thank you for setting me straight.

  6. 6
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Erik @ 5
    Subtract the lot/land value on these “cheap homes” to get the value of the structure on the land. Pretty nominal value for the house itself.

  7. 7
    ARDELL says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 6

    While this is commercial land in Bellevue, it is relevant to the issue that land values are actually increasing, not home values. Apparently this sale broke the record as to price per square foot of land, which I assume means higher than the last peak prices.

    Parts of Bellevue are carrying a lot of the appreciation factor that you read about, given their upswing is higher than the median price increase, by far. So there are conversely some other areas that did not increase at all, and possibly even went down recently. Not Kirkland, but some other parts of King County reflected in the median YOY increase.

  8. 8
    Erik says:

    RE: ChrisM @ 2
    Yeah, that’s strange. I was told that if properties don’t sell at the trustee sale (auction), they are discounted further and sold as an REO (bank owned). In this case, it didn’t sell at the trustee sale so they increased the price and put it up as an REO.

  9. 9
    Lo Ball Jones says:

    Meanwhile, a little further south…

    3215 Madison
    Tacoma, WA 98409
    Price 3
    Beds 1
    Baths 870 Sq. Ft.
    $75 / Sq. Ft.

  10. 10
    ChrisM says:

    RE: Lo Ball Jones @ 9 – Come on, you keep posting these “cheap” properties and I keep pointing out they are SHORT SALES – the price and listing MEAN NOTHING!!!

    Come back when you’ve found a real (non short) property for sale in a school district that has a ranking > 4 and isn’t in the Rust Belt. Is that too much to ask???

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