Cheapest Homes: October 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
1332 S Pearl St $139,800 2 1 650 6,512 sqft Beacon Hill $215
1224 S Concord St $160,000 3 2 1,310 6,000 sqft South Park $122 bank owned
3415 SW Kenyon St $165,000 2 1 630 1,932 sqft Delridge $262

Two of the homes from last month have sold or gone pending. Last month’s #3 is still on the market, but was bumped off the top three list by cheaper homes.

Stats snapshot for Seattle Single-Family Homes Under $200,000 (excluding short sales)
Total on market: 27
Average number of beds: 2.3
Average number of baths: 1.3
Average square footage: 1,050
Average days on market: 55

Inventory shot up in the month, hitting its highest point since February, while the average square footage recovered some ground as well.

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
8707 16th Ave SW $110,000 4 1.75 1,630 5,120 sqft Delridge $67 09/19/2013
10711 55th Ave S $120,000 3 1 960 7,350 sqft Rainier Valley $125 09/20/2013
12744 42nd Ave NE $124,422 4 2 2,680 14,854 sqft Lake City $46 09/26/2013
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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
    ChrisM says:

    “This includes any listing that uses the phrases “fixer,” “rehab loan,” or “value in land.””

    Hmm, maybe the notes for 1332 changed, but currently it says “Value in land. Cash offers only please. AS-IS.”

  2. 2
    The Tim says:

    RE: ChrisM @ 1 – Yeah I broke my own rules on that one because from what I could tell in the photos it looks like a perfectly decent (but very small) house.

  3. 3
    Tim McB says:

    12744 42nd Ave NE is interesting because the KC assessment has the value at 534k and it sold in 2004 for 580k, so 124k seems like a steal. With a 14k square foot lot you could potentially turn it into 2 or 3 land parcels or do multifamily if zoning allows it. I wonder what’s going on there. (BTW Love that the only photo of the house is a giant hedge, no house in site.)

  4. 4
    Sylvia says:

    Looking at the one on S Concord St, if a listing has phrases like “sold as-is with no warranties” does that pretty much imply that there are significant problems that will need to be fixed/repaired, or is that sometimes just the seller (in this case, a bank) covering their asses?

  5. 5
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Sylvia @ 4

    Standard wording for bank-owned homes. Do your own inspections and rely on only your inspectors’ findings and your agent’s observations…not their agent. The same will appear for a perfect house as one with severe problems. The wording is usually standard and not reflective of the house, though your thinking could apply in some cases.

  6. 6
    David B. says:

    From $580K in 2004 to $124K today? The price drop on that house on 42nd Ave NE, combined with the home and lot size and the location on a steep bluff makes everything consistent with the scenario that the slope the house is built on is failing, meaning the value is in the land, assuming it’s possible to engineer a home with a new foundation that won’t slide.

  7. 7
  8. 8

    RE: ARDELL @ 5

    So True Ardell

    I’m sprucing my present house up to look like the “perfect listed ones” too and guess what, its a lot cheaper than I thought:
    Upgraded carpet on 1000 SF for like $2700 installed.
    Complete interior A+ quality paint job for $2200 with BBB touted licensed contractor.

    Sounds like closing costs if I sold, then I wouldn’t know what I was buying….I am good at finding the best contractors for the least buck….but a perfect house doesn’t cost that much to create.

  9. 9
    Erik says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 8
    I was telling you to fix your house, get a new couch and move to a nicer area not too long ago. You made fun of me for telling you to fix your house up since you would never get that money back. All of a sudden you are commenting on here that you fixed your house up and it wasn’t that expensive. Congratulations on the carpet and paint. You will get a much better price I’m sure.

  10. 10
    David B. says:

    RE: Erik @ 9 – He’s probably moving to some Midwestern paradise like Kansas or Indiana.

  11. 11
    Erik says:

    RE: David B. @ 10
    Ha ha. I think you are right. His daughter lives in Kansas. I can see him moving there and staying on her couch for free and eating her food for free to save a buck.

  12. 12
    ARDELL says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 8

    The “old school” rule of thumb was to spend between 1/2 of 1% to 1% of the value of the home to get it ready for market. The 10% to sell can often include that. Since it costs the same to carpet a 2,000 sf house that will sell for $350,000 as it does for one that will sell for $650,000, the ability to include the upgrades in the 10% will vary based on price point.

    If you didn’t live out in the boonies I’d come and stage it for you so you could post before and after photos. But you’d have to follow Erik’s advice and get a new couch…or he could lend you his for picture day. :)

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