Cheapest Homes: May 2014 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
1226 S Cloverdale St $165,000 2 1.75 1,440 6,000 sqft South Park $115
751 S Cloverdale St $175,000 2 1.75 700 2,700 sqft South Park $216
3010 SW City View St $185,900 1 0.75 370 2,992 sqft West Seattle $502 bank owned

The #1 and #2 homes from last month are both pending, while the #3 home from last month moved up to #2 this month. The cheapest home this month is actually a re-run from way back in 2010.

Stats snapshot for Seattle Single-Family Homes Under $200,000 (excluding short sales)
Total on market: 8
Average number of beds: 2.0
Average number of baths: 1.3
Average square footage: 1,078
Average days on market: 95

Inventory of non-short sale homes under $200,000 in Seattle hit a new low point in May, dropping into the single digits for the first time since I’ve been recording this data. The other stats held more or less steady in the month.

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
5733 S Gazelle St $116,500 1 1 470 5,000 sqft Rainier Valley $248 04/11/2014
5409 Denver Ave S $125,000 1 1 740 1,100 sqft Georgetown $169 04/22/2014
4813 S Holden St $126,000 2 1 1,560 7,144 sqft Rainier Valley $81 04/28/2014
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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

    Two of the cheapest houses listed are in South Park. There are those who feel that investing in South Park is smart, because the South Park Bridge is about to re-open, making the neighborhood more accessible. I’m not sure I agree with that, because the neighborhood was a dump before the bridge closed, and simply re-opening the bridge isn’t going to turn it into South Lake Union. But it now does have three micro breweries. That’s got to be a good sign.

  2. 2
    mike says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 1 – I haven’t tried any of the 3 breweries, but I’d imagine they beers have a slight chlorine-like odor. Or maybe it’s not the beer.

    I’m skeptical that a neighborhood with so many strikes against it, including a large superfund site adjacent to residential areas will prosper simply due to accessibility. It’s still in the downwind area from major industrial operations. I could be wrong, but it seems like the kind of place people may only choose to live in in if they don’t know the history.

  3. 3

    RE: mike @ 2
    I don’t think I’d live in South Park, and I have low standards. lowercase ( or is it LowerCase?) Brewing there gets great reviews, and South Park is also home to some of the best Mexican food in the Seattle area. It’s a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there.
    In Renton, on Lake Washington, a superfund site (former Creosote plant) is now million dollar homes. I just can’t see the Duwamish getting that kind of cool factor. Maybe commercial RE there is worth looking at, as Boeing people used to walk over the bridge for lunch in large numbers before the bridge closed.

  4. 4
    Azucar says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 3

    I’ve eaten at Jalisco when I used to live in the Seattle area, but never Muy Macho… if I’m ever back in the area and pining for Mexican food, which one is better? Or is that little taco cart at the gas station better than both?

  5. 5
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Azucar @ 4

    Taco truck at the gas station is pretty good and an excellent value. I often eat there when working on my boat. South Park is an interesting neighborhood- in the past I’ve thought of buying rentals there but decided against it. To far removed from my personal experience and range of understanding, and hence not a good idea.

  6. 6

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 3
    My Home in SE King County

    Has announce the HOA is fixing things up; so a $2800 lean per unit is being suggested as a way to fund the $400K maintenance bill…..of course you can always just make the $31/mo payments for the next 10 years….then they want to raise the HOA fees by $20/mo too.

    Banks must be getting tight….no loans approved to HOAs as just fee increases; they want collateral from the real estate.

    This would bring my HOA fee up to $190/mo and the $31/mo lean payment for 10 years or single $2800 payment to clear my title. At least its better than the $600/mo condo fee my hair stylist pays in Renton. What scares me is you pay the lean off but if the other units default, the HOA could still go bankrupt…..then the city takes over the HOA management.

    My neighbor is so upset after we discussed the possible alternatives, he wants to sell his 2007 puchase [for a loss]….or you can wing it with no HOA and put up with junk and rusted cars in the neighbor’s front yard…..I don’t know which is worse.

  7. 7

    Its Official

    The Millenials generally don’t qualify to buy a house in Seattle or other high priced real estate cities….a lion’s share of ’em couldn’t even buy/qualify for the cheap home list above.

    “….Rising home prices, stalling wages and tough mortgage standards are making it more and more difficult for America’s middle class to become homeowners, according to a new study by Trulia.

    In 20 of the top 100 metro-areas a majority of homes are now out of reach for middle class buyers. In San Francisco only 14% of for-sale homes are affordable for the middle-income buyer. In Los Angeles only 23% are available and in New York just 25% are. Middle-income buyers are much more likely to find housing in the Midwest – cities in Ohio accounted for five out of the 10 most affordable….”

    Although this is a national news story, Seattle is on the cutting edge of the affordability conundrum, this area is high priced.

  8. 8
    Erik says:

    RE: mike @ 2
    Yeah, I was thinking about doing a remodel in that area after Ardell showed me someone bought there for 97k and sold for 203k in a few months. I really don’t think the pain of living in those areas is worth the money. After living in North Everett for 6 years, I vowed to never make the mistake of living in a poverty stricken area again. I would rather live in a cardboard box on the streets of Ballard then live in a mansion in places like South Park, North Everett, Tacoma, or Kent. Yuck yuck… My stomach churns just thinking about those places. Something is always about to happen in those places and never does. The poverty stricken families that live there have been there 30 years or more. They aren’t going to up and move out.

    The moment I can afford to buy one of these beautiful houses you send me in nice areas, I will buy one. I don’t care if I can’t afford the mortgage because I will get a years worth of free rent if I stop paying anyway. The moment the reverse mortgages with deferred payments come back, I will have myself one of those places as long as possible. If you have any crafty financing ideas to get me into one of those, let me know.

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