Buying a Home in Seattle’s Belltown Neighborhood: A Home Buyer’s Guide

April 2, 2024
Last updated:
April 2, 2024
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In this guide, we provide an overview of the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle, geared toward people who are planning to buy a home in the area.

Belltown is the most densely populated neighborhood within the city of Seattle. It’s also one of the most popular places to live in the city, well-suited for those seeking a walkable urban lifestyle.

The Belltown neighborhood has a somewhat gritty and industrial history. But over the past decade or so, it has evolved into a haven of trendy restaurants, cool boutiques, exciting nightlife, and modern residential towers.

So, what is the Belltown real estate market like, and what are the available housing options?

Read on to discover your home buyer’s guide to Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood.

Why People Like Living in Belltown

Choosing a neighborhood is like choosing a lifestyle. We all have our own unique preferences when it comes to where we want to live. So, buying a home in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood might not be suitable for all home buyers.

Even so, this neighborhood has a lot to offer. Here are some of the reasons why people like to live in this popular Seattle neighborhood:

  • Prime location: Belltown sits along the waterfront, giving you easy access to downtown attractions and amenities while offering a distinct neighborhood vibe.
  • Walkability: No need for a car here! One of the reasons why Belltown is one of the best neighborhoods in Seattle is its high walkability score. You’ll be steps away from all of the essentials, hot dining spots, and entertainment venues.
  • Lively atmosphere: Belltown buzzes with energy and activity, particularly during happy hours and weekends.
  • Arts and culture: Embrace Belltown’s artistic roots by exploring galleries, public art, the Olympic Sculpture Park, and iconic music venues.

Real Estate Market Overview

The Belltown real estate market can be competitive, though it has gotten a bit more buyer-friendly over the past couple of years. While home prices in this neighborhood run higher than the national average, they’re relatively affordable by Seattle metro standards.

According to a recent report from

“In February 2024, Belltown’s median listing home price was $650K, trending up 2% year-over-year. The median listing home price per square foot was $718. The median home sold price was $550K.”

The company also reported that Belltown is currently considered a buyer’s market, a rarity in the Seattle metro area. That’s because the supply of homes in this neighborhood currently exceeds the demand from local buyers.

Belltown has also experienced some inventory growth over the past couple of years, increasing the chance that local home buyers can find a suitable property.

Belltown’s desirable location and ongoing development suggest solid long-term investment prospects. The neighborhood continues to attract new businesses, residents, and cultural attractions, all contributing to rising property values.

With limited land available, the supply of condo units is unlikely to increase dramatically, which could further support price appreciation over time. Additionally, Belltown’s proximity to major employers like Amazon further strengthens its appeal to future renters and buyers.

Available Housing Options

Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood offers diverse housing options to suit different lifestyles and budgets. Here is some of what you’ll find when buying a home in Belltown:

  • Modern condos and apartments: Expect a variety of floor plans when buying a condo in Belltown, from cozy studios to expansive penthouses. Many buildings boast luxurious finishes, contemporary designs, and stunning city or water views. There is certainly no shortage of luxury condos in Belltown!
  • Converted warehouses and lofts: Live in a piece of Belltown’s history! These unique spaces offer high ceilings, exposed brick walls, and open-floor plan layouts.
  • Historic homes and buildings: A limited number of historic homes and buildings have been converted into condos or apartments. This gives residents a unique opportunity to experience Belltown’s rich past while enjoying modern amenities.

Condo prices vary widely depending on factors like size, building amenities, and proximity to the waterfront. Expect to start in the mid-six figures for a studio or one-bedroom unit and go up from there for larger floorplans or coveted views.

Also, if you’re planning to buy a property in Belltown, be sure to consider HOA or condo association dues when budgeting.

Quick Facts About the Neighborhood

Belltown is situated on Seattle’s downtown waterfront. It was initially developed on land flattened as part of a regrading project. The neighborhood was built on the land claim of William Nathaniel Bell, after whom it’s named.

In 2007, CNNMoney named Belltown the best place to retire in the Seattle metro area, highlighting its walkability and amenities. This neighborhood has appeared on a lot of other “best places” lists as well and for a variety of reasons.

Other interesting facts you should know about Belltown:

  • Geography: Belltown’s neighborhood boundaries include Denny Way to the north, Elliott Bay to the southwest, Virginia Street to the southeast, and 5th Avenue to the northeast. Major streets in the area include Alaskan Way, Elliott, Western, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Avenues.
  • Education: Belltown is home to several universities and educational institutions, including Antioch University, Argosy University, City University of Seattle, and the Seattle School of Theology & Psychology.
  • Businesses: While newer businesses have emerged, Belltown still retains some iconic establishments, such as The Rendezvous, The Lava Lounge, Ohana, The Crocodile Cafe, and Shorty’s.
  • Sculpture Garden: The Olympic Sculpture Park, a public sculpture garden adjacent to Myrtle Edwards Park, offers residents green space and artistic inspiration. It features contemporary pieces, native plant ecosystems, and beach access.
  • Transportation: Belltown benefits from proximity to major transportation routes, including the State Route 99 tunnel, which runs beneath the neighborhood and provides easy access to other parts of Seattle and beyond.
  • Community Gardens: The Belltown P-Patch provides gardening opportunities for residents, offering a green space in the heart of the urban environment.

The Bottom Line on Belltown

Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood offers many amenities and features for home buyers seeking a vibrant and urban lifestyle.

Buying a home in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood might be a good choice if you’re looking for a central location with a distinct personality. Belltown offers walkability, arts and culture, great dining options, and a legendary nightclub and music scene—among other benefits. Plenty of housing options are available, including condos that could be purchased for investment purposes.

If you’re ready to buy a home, your first step is to get pre-approved for a Belltown condo, townhouse, or single-family home, depending on your circumstances and specific needs. And Sammamish Mortgage can help. Contact our team of expert mortgage specialists to start the process!

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