Cheapest Homes: August 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
10624 55th Ave S $159,000 3 2 1,058 6,499 sqft Rainier Valley $150
4221 S Kenyon St $165,000 2 1 810 4,755 sqft Rainier Valley $204
9633 59th Ave S $178,900 2 1 690 4,176 sqft Rainier Valley $259 bank owned

We skipped last month, but the number one home from June’s post has since sold, the number two home is pending, and number three is still for sale, but was bumped off the “cheapest” list. To find three homes that fit our criteria I had to go all the way up to the $200,000 line. It may be time to retire this series, or adjust our threshold.

Stats snapshot for Seattle Single-Family Homes Under $200,000 (excluding short sales)
Total on market: 12
Average number of beds: 2.2
Average number of baths: 1.2
Average square footage: 1,131
Average days on market: 47

Inventory of non-short sale homes under $200,000 in Seattle inched up slightly in August from the single-digits it had been sitting at for the previous three months. Beds and baths are mostly unchanged, square footage bumped up from July, and days on market fell to its lowest point since last August.

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
7764 10th Ave SW $148,000 2 1 630 4,200 sqft Delridge $235 07/11/2014
9012 2nd Ave S $165,000 1 1.5 850 8,050 sqft Beacon Hill $194 07/18/2014
3010 SW City View St $165,500 0 0.75 370 2,992 sqft West Seattle $447 07/31/2014
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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

    An Interesting Sifter Detail Tim

    “fixer,” “rehab loan,” or “value in land.”

    Although you spell this out as a description of the listing to exclude… many homes in Seattle proper clearly fit this description and are not listed that way?

    Even a home inspection can’t capture this anomaly 100%, especially if its been carefully staged to cover it up by the flipper. Another statistic would be how many recent home buys in Seattle proper found serious quality issues a period of time after the escrow ink dried?

    There’s even legal websites that agree it happens:

    “…What If I Was Not Informed of a Serious Defect?
    In order to protect yourself, you may consider having the home separately appraised and thoroughly examined for defects before purchasing the home. If you will have the home inspected, be sure to hire an independent professional who is not working in tandem with the seller or their real estate agent.

    If you have purchased a home and then later discovered a major defect, you may be able to recover damages. You may be able to bring a claim against the seller, or against a real estate professional who failed to make the disclosure. You may be entitled to have the seller or other party pay for repairs of the dangerous condition.

    If you have been injured by the dangerous defect, you may be able to recover losses for your injuries. Be sure to document any instances of injury using medical records and bills. You may also wish to take photographs or video footage of the dangerous condition so that you have a record of the defect before it is repaired.

    Do I Need a Lawyer?
    If you have been injured by a defect that was not disclosed to you, you may have a viable claim in a court of law. An experienced real estate lawyer can help represent your interests so that you can recover your losses. If you have not yet purchased a home but are considering to do so, a real estate attorney can provide helpful advice to ensure your interests are protected.

    Consult a Lawyer – Present Your Case Now!…”

    Hopefully you can recover the legal costs if you win the case….if not, it may likely be cheaper to just accept the loss after purchase and re-remodel or sell it if you can. In my neighborhood its quite common, once a deck or other poking around the back yard occurred, a likely “weakened” water valve failed under the house [right after or within 5 years of backyard remodeling]….it happenned to a a bunch of them too [about 10%]. I don’t touch my backyard, my water main under my house is fine too.

    My 100+ unit HOA blamed a 2″ water main that should have been 4″ legally for the water valves failing under the house away from the main….lol, this allegation came from the plumber wanting $100K to fix something that “may” fail [and not related to the water valves at all either]? The HOA approved the loan and added in unrelated stuff to require a bank loan of $300K….that was 3 months ago….it likely appears the HOA trying to require putting a lien against the 100+ other title holders [banks] to get a possible loan approved just isn’t gonna happen now. The HOA can raise dues but cannot order title holders to accept after the fact escrow paperwork changes to satisfy their bank loan need….it appears now this was illegal too….lol

    I smelled a rat a long time ago. BTW, the 2″ main may fail in two weeks or twenty years [it was installed in 1991]….Lord only Knows….

  2. 2
    David B. says:

    I would say it’s time to adjust your threshold. As I’ve opined before, it really should be indexed to inflation. Do that based on the year you started compiling this series of articles, and update the threshold yearly thereafter.

    My $0.02.

  3. 3
    Erik says:

    RE: David B. @ 2
    We aren’t accepting input on the cheapest homes at this time. This topic is not up for constructive criticism at this time. I tried that and was told to get lost.

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