In short, no. Maybe your strategy just needs to change! I wrote a blog about leveraging the bank’s money to grow your down payment. Let’s say you can only afford $200,000 as your purchase and you need to use an FHA loan with only 3.5% down. That loan will not work in Seattle. It’s just too competitive here. Instead, perhaps you should be looking at other cities near Seattle that are seeing the benefits of our great economy.
I give you Renton… 🙂
You’ll all find this interesting. If you were in the market for a 2-bed, 2-bath condo in Renton in 2014, it would have had a median price tag of about $136,000 for a 1,046-square-foot condo. Fast forward to 2015, and that median price tag is now $185,000 for the same place. (That is an increase of almost $50,000 in one year!) Plus FHA loans are prevalent in the area. If that is the only choice you have, then use it in Renton. Time is of the essence in Renton, too.
Now those appreciation numbers might be enough to sell you on the idea of moving to Renton to grow your down payment and eventually get in the market for a home in Seattle. But Renton has a lot to offer. My partner and I bought our first home in Renton and followed the exact advice I’m giving you now and have given others.
A Closer Look at Renton
Renton has a very cute little downtown area with great restaurants, pubs, shops, and cafes. A few of my favorites are Red House, Melrose Steak House, Naan-N-Curry (OMG their fish fingers!), Berliner Pub, and for a great French Brunch on the waterfront you’ve GOT TO CHECK OUT Peyrassol Cafe at Southport. The point is that Renton is changing. Frustrated Seattle and Bellevue folks are seeing Renton as a valid and value-oriented option as they are priced out.
More good news: The commute from Renton to Seattle is actually quite nice. There are SEVERAL ways to drive to Seattle from Renton, and the freeways are HUGE south of Seattle. I commuted during traffic to Seattle in about 32-36 minutes from my home in Renton to my office in Capitol Hill. On weekends, it took about 18 minutes (THAT’S RIGHT!). You can’t even drive from Ravenna to Downtown in that time. Now, if you need to commute to Bellevue, the news is not as great—the commute might be 45 minutes in the morning but could be an hour or more on the way home, and there are fewer travel options.
Lastly, perception of an area does not change as quickly as reality. Look up the crime statistics and school information. Renton is really coming into it’s own! Crime is only slightly higher than Bellevue. Schools have gotten better, and folks are just now discovering this, as you can see by the numbers mentioned earlier.
Now, let’s take a look at an available condo in Renton!
Click here to learn more about this freshly remodeled, 2-bedroom condo with an individual garage with attic storage and a top floor with vaulted ceilings… all for $189,880. (This condo would easily be $500,000 in Capitol Hill. No wonder people are flocking to Renton!)