Big Trouble in Little West Seattle
Looking for a home with a budget under 200k within Seattle city limits is like trying to find a decent movie at the Redbox kiosk on a Friday night. Lucky for our search, hard economic times actually make pocket neighborhoods in West Seattle within budget. So, after months of HGtv watching and some consideration, we e-mailed an agent and started touring West Seattle homes.
Our first day out we went to two different homes in Delridge and Pigeon Point. We liked what we saw but weren’t prepared to really dive in and then both homes went off the market within the week. A few days later we went on a touring spree and saw at least eight homes. Three were potential candidates, but within the week only our least favorite was still on the market. Homes that had been on the market for ages and could have easily been snatched up that winter were suddenly part of bidding wars. I was beginning to realize that this market might to hot for first time buyers with cold feet.
One of my favorite houses was off the market, heartache was already setting in and the reality of what had seemed like a sleeper market was quickly changing. Soon my disappointment had me excessively trigger happy and anxious. If I liked a property I wanted to close that day, so in comparison my contemplative partner seemed insanely indifferent. We are an argumentative couple by nature, I call it playing Devil’s Advocate, and this was not helping the decision process at all.
Being overly analytical in a market that is based mostly on feelings, staging, salesmanship and chance did us very little good. Whenever one of us became fixated on a property the other would have to scientifically map out all of its flaws. Then, by the time we were finally letting go of numbers and going by gut instinct, the property would be gone. So we fought, each feeling sullen and unsupported.
I threw myself into research. Reading market trend articles made me even more crazed to make a decision. Fearing we could lose our low APR if we didn’t make a deal soon I decided we should just settle. Luckily Jason resisted my tyrannical debating long enough for me to come to my senses. After a good nights sleep and some very strange dreams, I remembered something I’d once believed. That buying a house isn’t really about making a monetarily safe decision, it’s about making a home. So hopefully we’ll survive the spring buying spree and sanely choose our home. In the meantime I’m taking a little break from making spreadsheets to focus on enjoying the home I have now.
Here’s a little data on Seattle’s current market,
Gathered on RedFin
1,640 – # Single Family detached homes for sale in all of Seattle
335 – # S.F.D homes for sale in West Seattle
Homes Over $400,000
915 or 56% – S.F.D homes for sale in Seattle
141 0r 42% – # S.F.D homes for sale in West Seattle
Homes Under 225K
208 or 12.6% – # S.F.D homes in Seattle
68 or 20% – # S.F.D homes in West Seattle