What Era of Home Should I Buy?

Last week I blogged about different eras of homes in “Is New Construction My Best Option?”.  I briefly mentioned the pros and cons between pre-war (before 1939), mid-century (1940-1979) and newer construction homes (1980 and newer).  In this blog I will discuss in which areas these eras of homes predominantly exist.  The easiest way to think about it, is to look at downtown Seattle as the core and all other Seattle neighborhoods radiating outward from it.  So if you look at neighborhoods such as Capitol Hill or Queen Anne you will find the majority of inventory being pre-war.  As you move south into Beacon Hill and Mount Baker, or north into Wallingford or Green Lake you will start to see a transition from pre-war into mid-century.  As you move farther south into Rainer Beach, or farther north into Broadview you will see a transition from mid-century into newer construction.

Older homes eventually get torn down and replaced by newer homes.  So regardless of which neighborhoods you are looking to buy your first home in, you will most likely find a range of construction eras.  But because different neighborhoods may typically tend to be predominantly one construction era over another, you will want to know the numbers before starting your search.  If you want to live in Wallingford, but have no interest in pre-war construction and are only willing to consider newer homes, your options may be limited.  In August of this year, 14 residential properties sold in the Wallingford neighborhood, of which 11 were pre-war construction.  So if newer construction is the only construction era that interests you, you may have to make concessions in other areas such as square footage, number of bedrooms, school districts, etc.  Also, much of the newer construction is being built to larger specifications.  So if you’re looking for a newer construction 2 bedroom/1 bath residence, your only option may be a townhouse or condo.  Of the 3 remaining properties that sold in Wallingford in August, all were newer construction and either condos or townhomes.  There are alot of great options for housing in the greater Seattle area.  However, the more information you can gather up front, the more time you will save yourself throughout the process, and avoid looking for a property that doesn’t actually exist.  If you’d like more information on buying your first home, go to our Calendar page and sign up for one of our FREE First Time Home Buyer seminars.


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