Seattle is a great city, bit not everyone is cut out for living in the big city, so you may want to look in the greater Seattle area. There is more traffic, schools aren’t as good, homes are smaller and older, and it’s just plain busier and nosier. Some people certainly prefer a smaller city, a town, or the peacefulness of suburban life.
We’ll talk about the main areas and neighborhoods, cities really, that you may want to live in outside of Seattle, but still within the main metro area. For this post we’ll focus on the cities along I-90, but you can always go further north or south into the cheaper working class neighborhoods if you want more space or can’t afford the main metro area.
This is an upscale neighborhood of exclusive homes. It is very suburban and quiet, and even a fixer-upper in the cheaper middle part of Island will start north of $600,000. The main reason to live here is exclusivity, safety, great schools, and an easy commute to either Bellevue or Seattle.
Bellevue is Seattle’s little brother. It is just now starting to become more urban and has an impressive skyline. But it’s a much smaller city than it looks as the downtown isn’t very residential and almost the entire city is low density. It’s like living in the suburbs, but you’re actually in the city. The main reason to live here is if you work here, the schools are quite good, and it’s very safe. Traffic is often worse than Seattle, so pick you location wisely based on your commute.
Issaquah has a very different feel, and it’s more of a small town combine with suburban areas than it is a city. If you’re looking for Issquah real estate, it’s a good value, and has great trails due to Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance. The Olde Town is quaint, but there’s not much housing there. Cougar Mountain and Squak Mountain are 1960′s and 1970′s neighborhoods on dark, wooded hillsides, and the Issaquah Plateau is a newer area with the planned community Issaquah Highlands.