Looking to buy a house close to both light rail and the Seattle / Chief Sealth Trail

The whole Beacon Hill area still offers some good prices compared to almost any area as close to Seattle city center. For many reasons, economic ones mostly, that whole section between the I-5 to the west and light rail to the east, but north of Renton, you can still buy a great house for under $400,000. And if you've more elbow grease than money, you can opt for a fixer-upper and get a great deal. The key is patience, and then being able to move on a purchase when the right deal presents itself.

Get pre-approved

The first thing you need to have squared away is pre-approval for a mortgage. It doesn't mean any house you put an offer on you will atuomatically get a mortgage on, but sellers and their agents know your offer is worth more because you are more likely to get approved for an exact loan when you make that offer.

So, being pre-approved increases your chances of getting the house you want when it becomes available.

Be clear about what you want

  1. Just how many blocks do you want to live from the nearest Light Rail station?
  2. How far from the Chief Sealth Trail?
  3. Are you sensitive to road traffic? (avoid properties right on busy streets).

Print a map of the area you want to live in, and yellow-out the exact blocks that work for you. Having this in the hands of the agent helping you buy a house will make it a lot easier for him/her and they will be more likely to put serious effort into helping you find that dream property.

Don't fall in love with any one house

Remember, it's not your home until you get the keys and move in. Stick to the list of criteria you set for yourself, and make a cold decision about it as much as you can. Practicalities like noise levels, unsightly view of neighbor's yards, etc., might be with you long after the excitment of a new house is gone. Keep your eyes open for the finer details.

Use an experienced buyer

Use an experienced buyer who knows the area and will not rush you into a purchase because they need the deal. Take notes when you walk through a house-for-sale.

I've been helping buyers get their dream home for over three decades. I know I can help you. I'll treat you to a Starbuck's coffee while you tell me about what kind of house you want, and I will help get you off to a great start.