Though it's close to several up-and-coming neighborhoods filled with McMansions and high-dollar condos, Pinehurst boasts low home prices and an excellent school district. Current real estate listings for single-family homes in Pinehurst range from the upper $190s to the lower $400s. A recent spate of foreclosures makes affordable housing a reality for young families with children, and the availability of both older homes and new construction helps newcomers find something to fit their taste.
If you're looking for a smaller, older home, Puget Ridge features plenty of architectural variety. You can snag a 1920s Craftsman or a quaint 1950s bungalow for less than $200,000. Generous lots and tree-lined streets make the neighborhood a quiet, peaceful place to live, even in the middle of a bustling metropolis. If you'd rather rent, you can find apartments and single-family homes at affordable rates, as well. The community has its own cohousing association, which consists of an urban community that features a couple dozen multi-family dwellings. The homes, clad in cedar siding, are surrounded by lush vegetation and convenient to nearby shopping. This neighborhood is the perfect place to raise kids or meet singles.
South Beacon Hill
For fans of modern or traditional architecture, the South Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle provides a wealth of prospects under $300,000 as well as a trendy, progressive vibe that attracts many young singles and couples. Events like the Beacon Art Walkabout and regular block parties help foster a sense of community and feed the creative talents of local artists and performers. Speaking of creatives, Beacon Hill is home to a performance series known as Beacon Rocks and the ROCKiT Community Arts program. You'll find miles of paved bike paths throughout the neighborhood, which makes it easy to learn the lay of the land and get in a few minutes of exercise.
Upper Rainier Beach
The home prices in Upper Rainier Beach start in the high $200s, based on recent Redfin listings. Unlike other Seattle neighborhoods, however, you can snag a piece of property on the water — or at least within walking distance of the shore. Less than 30 percent of Upper Rainier Beach residents rent their homes, so you might enjoy the consistency in your neighbors. Plus, the local amphitheater is always hosting a new show or event, so meeting people is never a problem. You'll find natural beauty in abundance in Upper Rainier Beach, even if you venture away from the water. Lush forests and challenging hiking trails keep athletic and nature-loving residents happy. Much of the architecture is mid-century, so if you appreciate modern design, you'll find properties you love in this neighborhood.
If you crave the hustle and bustle of urban nightlife, you can't go wrong with Capitol Hill. Considered both walkable and affordable, Capitol Hill sports some high price tags on single-family homes and multi-family dwellings, but you can find reasonable rent rates and home prices if you're diligent. It's one of the fastest-growing neighborhoods in the state and puts you right in the center of Seattle's best restaurants, clubs, shopping centers, and entertainment venues. Several of the apartment buildings in Capitol Hill feature elegant courtyards and other high-end amenities. If you're a coffee connoisseur, you can find some of Seattle's best beans in the many coffee houses sprinkled throughout the neighborhood. There's also a large theater community here.
If you're moving to Seattle for the first time, Kirkland makes an excellent starting point. It's close to major freeways as well as several large employers and shopping districts. You'll find a range of real estate, from older bungalows and cottages to new construction in the $600,000 range. If you're willing to settle for small, however, you can find attractive properties for as little as $400,000. Seattle Magazine named Kirkland one of the city's best neighborhoods in 2013. The publication cited Kirkland's cultural venues; abundant consignment shops; and quaint, tree-lined streets as major draws to the area. If you love to spend time outdoors or if you want to make friends quickly, this neighborhood should be high on your list of prospects.
Seattle, Washington, boasts some of the hippest neighborhoods on the west coast. If you're looking for affordability, as well, consider directing your moving van to one of the above six communities.