Cheapest Homes: November 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
751 S Cloverdale St $175,000 2 1.75 700 2,700 sqft South Park $216
9313 53rd Ave S $179,950 2 1 1,610 5,040 sqft Skyway $112
9716 33rd Ave SW $183,750 2 1 798 6,300 sqft Arbor Heights $230 bank owned

All three of last month’s homes have either sold or gone pending. 751 S Cloverdale went from #3 in September to out of the top 3 in October, to #1 this month—all without a price change.

Stats snapshot for Seattle Single-Family Homes Under $200,000 (excluding short sales)
Total on market: 19
Average number of beds: 2.2
Average number of baths: 1.2
Average square footage: 947
Average days on market: 65

Inventory dipped back down in the month, while the size of homes fell.

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
5429 Renton Ave S $65,000 1 1 770 2,725 sqft Columbia City $84 10/04/2013
8415 10th Ave S $92,499 2 1 1,220 3,500 sqft South Park $76 10/28/2013
8447 46th Ave S $112,000 3 1 1,090 8,580 sqft Rainier Valley $103 10/16/2013
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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

    Buying One of These

    As a landlord for a rental will allow a hypothetical $1500/mo rent to pay for the mortgage payment. Capital depreciation on the unit may help too around tax time for the landlord.

    The hard part…..finding a good reliable tennant who won’t:

    1. fill it with vagrants tearing it apart
    2. leave right away leaving the investor with the mortgage payment
    3. finding a Millenial household that has $1500/mo $CASH$ for rent payments

    I can’t imagine how the Seattle area $300K+ can be labeled a “rental investment”…..

  2. 2
    Macro Investor says:

    What is the point of listing homes by lowest price, if they have above average costs per square foot? All you’re doing is finding the smallest homes. And by the way — if the smallest homes are in bad neighborhoods, then all you are doing is searching out the worst values in the market.

  3. 3
    Erik says:

    RE: Macro Investor @ 2
    If you don’t like the posts, don’t read them. Leave us alone!

  4. 4
    3rd Generation says:

    Re: 2. Macro Investor

    Thank you for trying to point out to Boobus Americanus (many of which are short-sellers, terminally underwater and bankrupts) what is painfully obvious to most thinking people.

    A lot of ‘educated’ people out there are incapable of common-sense evaluation of fact no matter how many next-to-useless colored graphs are presented. . .

    Some people just deserve to be poor.

    Never let your inferiors do you a favor – it will be extremely costly.
    H. L. Mencken

  5. 5
    Erik says:

    RE: 3rd Generation @ 4
    You are arrogant. We don’t all get money handed to us trustfund baby. It is fine that you did, but don’t blast people that had to earn their own way.

  6. 6
    ugggh says:

    RE: Erik @ 3

    How do I frame this gently”not very adult-like.”

  7. 7
    Erik says:

    RE: ugggh @ 6
    Sorry, I thought I was speaking for the group

  8. 8
    Azucar says:

    By Erik @ 7:

    RE: ugggh @ 6
    Sorry, I thought I was speaking for the group

    Not for me.

    Not that I agree with M.I., as I like these posts by the Tim because I think it’s interesting to see what the bar is for home-ownership in Seattle (for people who are desperate to get in and are willing to get in at the ground level) and how it varies over time… I kind of wish the graph of SFH priced under 200K went back further than 2010, as it only going back to 2010 doesn’t show much (quantity has not varied much since then, but I think back in 2006/2007 the number of really cheap houses was a lot lower)… but I don’t think that he should stifle the comment as it is something to consider.

  9. 9
    mmmarvel says:

    Um, wow – I don’t live in the Seattle area, but having spent over 50 years in the Portland area, I feel a bit of a brotherhood. After having moved from the Portland area five years ago, it’s interesting to me to look at the trends and prices that people in the PNW pay.

    I now live in Houston, we have too much heat where you have (in my opinion) too much rain and too many cloudy days. The properties listed would go for (at MOST) the list price minus $100K down here. In some cases the price would be closer to $50K.

    I know, I know, there are all the logistics about living in the PNW. There are the mountains and the ocean close by; I know all that. But the price to live there is just too rich for my blood. In Houston (actually one of the many suburbs) I bought a 2500 square foot place, 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bath for less than $120K. Needless to say, my world can’t fathom the prices that properties go for up in Seattle (or Portland) anymore. Still its interesting to see what’s out there.

  10. 10

    RE: mmmarvel @ 9 – Real estate taxes are higher in Texas, and that affects what people can pay. Not sure how they compare to Portland.

  11. 11
    mmmarvel says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 10

    Yup, they are high, but we have no income tax so it’s sort of a wash. In Oregon, they have no sales tax but do have an income tax and make up for it (lack of sales tax) with higher property taxes. In Washington you also don’t have an income tax, but yes to sales tax and property tax. In Texas, the state does NOT levy a property tax, it is all county, schools, etc so it really varies from county to county. So I did some quick checking using Tulia, remember I don’t know Seattle, so I just said give me a house between $200K and $250K, I ended up with 433 S 126th St, Seattle, WA. It’s listed at $215,000 – it has 3 bedroom, 1 bath, is 1484 square feet, was built in 1947 and yearly taxes (2012) was $2,596. I went to Missouri City, Texas – where I live, I picked similar price range and took 3922 Panorama Drive, Missouri City, Texas. It’s listed at $217,000 it has 4 bedroom, 3 full baths, 2899 square feet, was built in 1977 and yearly taxes (2012) were $3506. Interesting comparison to me. Thanks for the feedback.

  12. 12

    RE: mmmarvel @ 11

    We Don’t Have a State Income Tax

    But with restaurants charging 10% sales taxes, hefty booze taxes [like about $4-5 a fifth] and gas taxes with toll roads out here….couple the lower home valuations causing higher property taxes out here anyway…Texas doesn’t look bad, not bad at all.

    I got stuck here [I was born in Seattle] with job and raising a family by myself; so stomached the rent forever and impossible to save PNW without MASS deceased parental inheretance. Let’s put it this way, Seattle’s an ideal place to live if you’re older with $500K cash in the bank…..if you’re mainstream Millenial young adult, move to the midwest and quit your _itching.

    My 25 YO daughter did just that….she’s happy as lark in Kansas City paying her half of the $600/mo mortgage payment which includes property taxes. The central air in her rambler and 1/2 acre make the hot summers palatable too. She tells me the people are much friendlier there too….probably because housing costs don’t have them at each others’ throats.

    I’m visiting her this Christmas :-)

  13. 13

    By softwarengineer @ 12:

    Let’s put it this way, Seattle’s an ideal place to live if you’re older with $500K cash in the bank….

    I think you’re somehow confusing Seattle and Tahiti!

  14. 14
    mmmarvel says:

    By softwarengineer @ 12:

    RE: mmmarvel @ 11

    We Don’t Have a State Income Tax

    I know, just like Texas. My monthly payment including PI and escrow for insurance and taxes is less than $1200 a month.

    I’m just amazed at the prices people up there pay. My wife and I agree, that the home we have in Texas would have cost us closer (MUCH CLOSER) to $300K in the Portland area. We would have ended up with less than 1/2 the house for about the same price. There again, there are all the nice things like mountains and ocean, and the negative things like LOTS of rain and grey days..

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