Could Ballard in Seattle, WA State, Be Your New Home?

January 19, 2021
Last updated:
April 5, 2022
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Interested in moving to Seattle, WA, and looking for the perfect neighborhood to settle down in? Ballard is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Seattle, with a booming population, a trendy, upscale vibe, and a tight knit community perfect for young professionals, couples, and families with kids alike.

Need to know more about why Ballard may be the ideal Seattle neighborhood for you? Read on to find out why so many people love Ballard, Seattle, WA, and calculate your potential mortgage payment on a Ballard, Seattle home.

Where is Ballard?

Ballard, Seattle is northwest of downtown Seattle. It’s bordered on the west by Puget Sound and a terrific mountain view, and on the south by the spectacular Salmon Bay and the joining of Lake Washington with the Ballard Locks.

Bordering Ballard are other desirable neighborhoods; to the north, there’s easy access to Crown Hill and North beach, to the east lie Phinney Ridge and Greenwood, and across the Locks is the gorgeous neighborhood of Magnolia.

Ballard is generally accepted as being one of the most walkable neighborhoods in the Seattle, WA, area, and has hundreds of shops and restaurants as well as a top-rated elementary school. There’s a reason Ballards makes any list of the best neighborhoods in Seattle.

Commute times from Ballard to neighboring areas are reasonable; you can reach Downtown Seattle in just 20 to 40 minutes, Bellevue is just half an hour to an hour away, and Redmond is accessible in 40 to 70 minutes. You can also reach all surrounding areas on transit.

Ballard, Seattle: Origin Story

Ballard has a rich history; it has its origins as a Scandanavian fishing village, and many boats in the area still fly Norwegian and Swedish flags. Locals celebrate the Norwegian national holiday, Syttende Mai, with a parade annually on May 17th.


  • In 1980, Ballard was incorporated as a city in its own right
  • In 1898, Ballards became the “Shingle Capital of The World” by producing 322 million wooden shingles
  • In 1906, Ballard was formally annexed by the larger neighboring city of Seattle
  • In 1917, the famous Ship Canal between Puget Sound and Lake Washington opened, and quickly became known as “The Locks”

Today, Ballard Seattle retains much of its heritage but has become a trendy center for young professionals and families. It features a bustling Old Town center and plenty of outdoor spaces to enjoy year-round.

Downtown Seattle is just a short drive away, but you may find you don’t feel the need to escape the self contained bubble that Ballard represents.

Great for Foodies

Market Street and on Ballard Avenue create a hub that is known as Ballard Old Town. Places to buy, eat, and enjoy food and drink are everywhere, from food markets, cafes, cocktail and dive bars, food trucks, craft breweries, high-end eateries and restaurants, and more.

It’s beyond easy to spend a full day or two every weekend just strolling and sampling, and dinner dates are kicked up a notch when you live in Ballard. There’s always somewhere to go with friends, coworkers, or that special someone.

Great for Outdoor Lovers

Whether you enjoy the coastline or prefer strolls through the woodlands, Ballard has it all. The strategic location on Puget Sound means you can hang out in a beach setting all summer, while autumn turns the trees in the nearby parks into a riotous mass of color.

From the famous Locks, you can watch migrating salmon flip and thrash their way upstream to spawning grounds. The fresh waters of Lake Washington meet the salty waters of the Salish Sea in a flurry of foam and boats big and small travel up and down the locks all day and night.

The waterfront at the Shilshole Marina is a favorite of tourists and locals alike. The Burke Gilman trail runs from there out to the Golden Gardens, a beautiful beach with unmatched sunsets and a view of the Olympic Mountains.

Seattle is home to a thriving urban forest program, and residents of Ballard take advantage of free tree programs to shade their walkways and improve the greenery of their streets. You can enjoy walks or jogs through most neighborhoods without getting too far from home.

Sunset Park is where dog lovers congregate with their pets as the sun goes down over the mountain peaks, birdwatchers bring binoculars and photogs break out cameras to record the terrific views.

Gorgeous Homes in Ballard

Demand for homes in the Seattle area means demand is high and construction in Ballard is almost non-stop. Single family homes populate the area above NW 65th street, with larger homes, bigger yards, and more neighborhood amenities.

Craftsman homes are popular, as well as bungalows, ramblers, red brick Tudors, and other older home styles. However, million dollar boxy homes are starting to pop up in the area as well. It’s an expensive area for real estate, so yards are shrinking and things are starting to go vertical.

To the south, townhomes, apartments, and condos provide housing for multifamily units. Density starts to climb, and sections of 24th Ave, 15th Ave NW, and even Market Street itself are seeing construction booms that are changing the look and feel of blocks of real estate.

Many residents in this area eschew cars since the social hub of the city is mere blocks away, and public transit is well run and affordable. If you would rather walk than ride, this sector could be ideal for you. Be aware that the median home value is close to $950,000.

Why Ballard May be the Ideal Seattle Neighborhood for You

If you work in Seattle, have a high enough income to manage a home mortgage payment in the costly neighborhood of Ballard, and are looking forward to a lively single life or to starting a family, Ballard could be the ideal place for you to shop for a home.

Where to buy a home in Ballard

The SW quadrant is classic old downtown, Ballard. If you’re looking at homes around Shilshole, Ballard, Market, 15th and Leary Ave, it’s all townhouses and condos. You can get to just about anything in a few minutes on foot, and singles can mingle easily.

The SE quadrant features turn-of-the-century to mid-century homes, usually on the smaller side, starting with lower prices towards the Market and rising in cost as you approach 65th. East of 8th are plenty of small shops.

The NE Quadrant starts with value driven (for the area) and rises slowly closer to 70th and Alonzo, although it’s a supremely walkable neighborhood and you’ll find everything you need in a tight radius by car.

The NW quadrant has bigger homes, albeit the lowest walk-scores. However, you still have a quick commute and easy access to amenities, and you might prefer this area if you’re shopping for a larger family home.

Today’s Mortgage Rates

Why Choose Sammamish Mortgage?

Our loan officers can help you explore your options when it comes to buying a home in Ballard, Seattle. We can also help you get preapproved for a loan and walk you through the process.

Who we are

Sammamish Mortgage has been in business since 1992 and has assisted many home buyers in the Pacific Northwest. If you are looking for mortgage financing in Washington State, we can help. Sammamish Mortgage offers mortgage programs in Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

Contact us if you have any mortgage-related questions or concerns. If you are ready to move forward, you can view rates, obtain a customized instant rate quote, or apply instantly directly from our website.

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