If you have your heart set on living in a specific neighborhood in Washington State but can’t afford it, don’t fret. You may be better off buying something more affordable in an area beside the best neighborhood while still taking advantage of affordable housing and proximity to a desirable neighborhood. This article will outline why this may be a sound strategy.
Have you ever seen a scientific experiment with things growing in a Petri dish? This is a metaphor for how neighborhoods grow as well. Things in a Petri dish grow towards the areas that have more nutrition to attract them and repel from areas that have bad things that they do not want.
A popular neighborhood does a similar thing. It may have boundaries that are certain streets or other physical barriers. But if the area builds its popularity, it tends to grow and might also cause an improvement in the surrounding areas. If you happen to own a home in an adjacent area to the best neighborhood in town, you may be able to take advantage of an increase in property value as a result of this influence.
Homes In Adjacent Neighborhoods
An adjacent neighborhood is one that is right next to another one. One particular neighborhood might have very high home prices, such as Madrona or Redmond in Seattle, but the area right beside it might have prices that are lower and more affordable. In this case, you can still benefit from slightly lower home prices while still being close to the higher-prices area and take advantage of its influence.
You may notice many listings identify certain locations as “adjacent” to specific highly desirable areas as a way to make the listing appear more attractive. This is a bit like identifying a “used car” as a “pre-owned vehicle.” It is a marketing technique to say a home is located in a neighborhood adjacent to a popular one. However, those homes are indeed special. If the popular area appreciates significantly, this may have a positive impact on the neighborhoods surrounding it.
Related: How to Choose the Right Neighborhood in Seattle When Buying a House
Mapping Adjacent Neighborhoods
Mapping out adjacent neighborhoods is a terrific strategy to look at the opportunities for buying a home in an adjacent area near the best neighborhood in town.
Use Google maps to find the map that includes the best area of town and what is around it. Then, research the listing prices for homes that are within the best neighborhood and those that are in the adjacent areas. For comparison, look for homes of the same style, type, and size. This will give you an idea of how much you would pay in the best neighborhood versus how much you would pay for a home in the adjacent area. You may be surprised at the difference and how much you can save.
Zoom in on the satellite view of the streets to get a close look at the places just inside and just outside the official boundaries of a great neighborhood. It may be surprising to find areas that have a significant pricing differential, even just for a few blocks on a few streets. Those particular areas are worth further exploration. Some areas you may want to take a look at include Maple Valley and Canterwood, which boast close proximity to Seattle but with homes that are much more affordable in price.
Barriers To Progress
Be aware that physical barriers are stronger than psychological ones. A river, a very wide street, a public park or another major physical barrier can permanently separate a neighborhood from another adjacent one. These may block a growth opportunity.
What you want to look for are adjacent areas where the barrier between the neighborhoods is psychological. You don’t want and anything physical to separate the two neighborhoods. Instead, what you want to look for is an area that is only separated by a few blocks of transition. These few blocks in the adjacent neighborhood are where one might discover a treasure. It is possible to find a home that has a slightly better price. It might appreciate at the same rate as the best neighborhood next door or faster to catch up with other similar homes.
Using the adjacent neighborhood strategy may help you avoid buying a home only in the most expensive areas that may be over-priced. Many find that the adjacent areas are just as nice and a home there may be a better value.
Work with a real estate agent that knows the area well. Your agent should be able to help you discover the up-and-coming adjacent areas and properties that might offer an enhanced investment opportunity. As always, your trusted home mortgage professional is the best resource for current financing options.
Ready to Apply For a Mortgage in Washington?
If you’re ready to buy a home in Washington State, you’ll need financing to help you make this big purchase. Sammamish Mortgage can help. We are a family-owned and operated Mortgage Company that serves the Pacific Northwest. We currently lend in all of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado and offer many mortgage programs with flexible qualification requirements. Get in touch with Sammamish Mortgage today!