A Home Buyer’s Guide to Kirkland, Washington

August 3, 2023
Last updated:
August 8, 2023
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Are you thinking about buying a home in the Seattle metro area? Is the city of Kirkland, Washington on your short list? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we have created a guide to buying a home in Kirkland that includes everything potential buyer should know.

Housing Market Variety in the Seattle Metro Area

The Seattle metro area real estate market is incredibly diverse. From prices and competition levels, to inventory and architecture, each individual city and community has its own distinct characteristics.

For example, consider the cost differences between two popular Seattle-area cities: Bellevue and Tacoma. If you were to drive 35 miles from Bellevue to Tacoma, the median home price would drop from around $1.3 million to $475,000, respectively. These two cities are also very different when it comes to lifestyle, scenery, housing options and more.

Home buyers considering a purchase in the Seattle metro area should consider all of their options, especially when it comes to location. Spend some time exploring the region and learning about the different communities. This will help you make a more informed purchasing decision.

With that introduction out of the way, let’s zero in on the city of Kirkland, Washington in particular. Here are some things you should know if you’re thinking about buying a home in Kirkland in the near future.

Kirkland, Washington at a Glance

Kirkland is a beautiful and scenic city located in King County, Washington. For many years, it has been a highly desirable suburb located to the east of Seattle. It’s part of the Eastside area, a collective term for the suburbs of Seattle that are located on the east side of Lake Washington.

As of the last census, the city of Kirkland had a population just north of 92,000 people. It offers a vibrant downtown waterfront area, a rich arts and culture scene, and proximity to Lake Washington.

Here are some other things to know if you’re thinking about buying a home in Kirkland:

Home Prices Are on the High Side

Compared to the Seattle metro area as a whole, home prices within the city of Kirkland, Washington tend to be on the high end. This is due to a combination of strong demand from buyers and limited inventory.

As of summer 2023, the median home value in Kirkland was just over $1.1 million. That’s based on data reported by Zillow. During that same timeframe, the median price for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area was around $705,000. In Seattle proper, the median price is currently around $842,000.

The million-dollar-plus median price point in Kirkland is a fairly new development. Back in 2019, before the pandemic-fueled home buying frenzy drove up prices, the median home value in Kirkland was around $745,000. Prices rose sharply during the pandemic (as they did in almost every U.S. city) and peaked at around $1,250,000 in mid 2022.

But prices in Kirkland have come down a bit since hitting that all-time record high. When this article was published, in late July 2023, the median home value in Kirkland, Washington had declined to around $1,102,000.

Of course, there’s more to a city than just home prices. Here are some other things you should know about Kirkland, Washington, if you’re thinking about buying a home there in the near future.

Geography and Proximity to Downtown Seattle

Kirkland is bordered to the west by Lake Washington, which offers stunning waterfront views and recreational opportunities. It’s also conveniently located near downtown Seattle. This makes Kirkland an ideal choice for those who desire a suburban lifestyle with easy access to the city.

Kirkland benefits from a well-connected transportation system, including King County Metro and Sound Transit Express buses that converge in Downtown Kirkland, Totem Lake, and South Kirkland. The city also provides park-and-ride facilities along Interstate 405, offering convenient commuting options.

In the future, the city is slated to receive a short Link light rail line from Issaquah and Downtown Bellevue, terminating at South Kirkland Park and Ride.

Highly Rated Schools in Kirkland

Home buyers with school-aged children can take comfort from knowing that Kirkland offers plenty of high-quality educational choices.

The majority of Kirkland is part of the Lake Washington School District, which is highly regarded for its excellent schools. The district operates two high schools, Juanita and Lake Washington, as well as several middle schools and elementary schools.

According to the district’s website:

“Lake Washington School District (LWSD) is located between Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains. The district is east of Seattle and covers 76 square miles. LWSD is the public school district for the cities of Kirkland, Redmond and about half of Sammamish.”

In addition to its traditional public schooling options, Kirkland is home to several private schools and public magnet schools.

Recreation and Outdoor Activities

Kirkland boasts numerous parks, both along the waterfront and in the neighborhoods. Local residents can enjoy plenty of outdoor activities, year round.

The Cross Kirkland Corridor, a rail-trail that bisects the city, offers a scenic route for walking, jogging, and cycling. Residents and visitors can enjoy picnics, sports, and water activities at the various parks, making Kirkland a great place for families and outdoor enthusiasts.

Kirkland’s Economy and Employment Situation

Kirkland’s economy is diverse and dynamic. Prominent employers in and around the city include Evergreen Healthcare, Google, and Tableau Software. The city’s growing technology sector and proximity to major companies in the Seattle metropolitan area make it an attractive place to work and live.

As of spring 2023, Kirkland had an unemployment rate in the low-3% range, which was slightly better than the nation as a whole. Economically, the city benefits from a growing technology sector and other positive advancements.

Kirkland’s proximity to major companies in the Seattle metropolitan area is another key advantage. Its location gives residents access to a wide range of job opportunities and amenities in the region, while enjoying the benefits of a suburban lifestyle.

Kirkland’s Weather and Climate

Kirkland, Washington experiences a temperate climate that’s heavily influenced by its proximity to Lake Washington. The city’s location has a moderating effect on temperatures, making it a comfortable and pleasant place to live all throughout the year.

During the summer months, Kirkland enjoys relatively mild and comfortable temperatures. Average high temperatures in the summer typically range from the mid-70s to low 80s. The moderating influence of Lake Washington helps to keep temperatures from getting excessively hot.

Kirkland’s winters are generally cool and wet. Average high temperatures in the winter months usually range from the mid-40s to low 50s Fahrenheit. The city experiences regular rainfall during the winter, which contributes to its lush green landscapes and abundant vegetation.

Need mortgage financing? Sammamish Mortgage has been meeting the mortgage needs of home buyers in the Seattle area for more than 30 years. We offer a variety of loan options, some with very flexible criteria. If you’re planning to buy a home in Kirkland and need a loan to make it happen, please contact our staff!

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