Great Places to Live

A guide to Eastside real estate

Are you a young professional looking for your first buy in a desirable area? Maybe you love the outdoors. Perhaps you are a tech-savvy individual looking for a home near some of our region’s most innovative companies. You might be an empty-nester searching for a place to enjoy your newfound freedom. Maybe you have a young family and are looking for a home near some of the state’s best schools. Or perhaps you’re looking for your over-the-top dream home. Whatever the case, the Eastside is chock full of real estate options for every type of buyer. We polled real estate experts on the Eastside to get you the scoop on why the area is such a great place to live.

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Redmond

Great for Outdoor lovers, tech employees and families

Perks More than 1,000 acres of parks and 17 miles of trails; community gardens; golf courses and nearby access to all the comforts of city life

Expert Tip “Nature lovers tend to be active and either young or young-at-heart so we thought it was equally important to highlight that downtown Redmond also boasts many lifestyle attractions yet remains surrounded by, and integrated within, parks and pedestrian walkways. There are even community gardens for residents with a green thumb. There are numerous golf courses nearby including Sahale, Willows Run and Bellevue Municipal. Located at the north end of Lake Sammamish residents are also able to enjoy Marymoor Park and water activities. This community is not just an investment in lifestyle, but a financial one as well. It hosts numerous large companies that are growing quickly and absorbing many of the new relocating employees that are chasing the job growth. This has helped to post sizable year-over-year gains in median home prices.” –Dean Jones, Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty.

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Downtown Kirkland

Great for Retirees, empty-nesters and young professionals

Perks Downtown core with lakeside frontage; Plenty of restaurants and shops; vibrant arts community and pedestrian-friendly

Expert Tip “My primary reasons for this recommendation are that Kirkland is a diverse, art-filled community that affords residents countless opportunity for impromptu activities including galleries, wine bars, great restaurants, numerous parks and of course, the waterfront marina — perfect for boaters. This is the only community on the Eastside that melds access to Lake Washington and a dynamic city lifestyle. Also, much of the community is flat and pedestrian-oriented, which is ideal for getting exercise or just sitting on a bench and watching all the theater of the waterfront. There’s also a vibrant events program in Kirkland including Kirkland Uncorked each summer and and outdoor theater to name a few. Residents can consider a condominium offering single-level living and that “lock and leave” lifestyle when traveling. This makes housing more affordable so empty-nesters and retirees can spend their equity after selling a larger family home on discretionary items like travel, a second home in the desert or a boat. If healthcare becomes a consideration, both Overlake and Evergreen Hospitals are nearby.” –Dean Jones, Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty.

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Bridle Trails

Great for Tech employees

Perks Proximity to Microsoft and Google campuses, to Highway 520 for Amazon commute and to downtown Bellevue for Bing, Expedia, etc.; more affordable than West Bellevue, with bigger lots for extra privacy

Expert Tip “Nature lovers tend to be active and either young or young-at-heart so we thought it was equally important to highlight that downtown Redmond also boasts many lifestyle attractions yet remains surrounded by, and integrated within, parks and pedestrian walkways. There are even community gardens for residents with a green thumb. There are numerous golf courses nearby including Sahale, Willows Run and Bellevue Municipal. Located at the north end of Lake Sammamish residents are also able to enjoy Marymoor Park and water activities. This community is not just an investment in lifestyle, but a financial one as well. It hosts numerous large companies that are growing quickly and absorbing many of the new relocating employees that are chasing the job growth. This has helped to post sizable year-over-year gains in median home prices.” –Dean Jones, Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty.

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Downtown Bellevue

Great for Young professionals and international buyers

Perks Walking-and transit-friendly; access to nightlife, restaurants, shopping and proximity to major international employers

Expert Tip “Bellevue has done a terrific job with its downtown and transit attracting young professionals to this core neighborhood. Restaurants, bars and shopping have proliferated to the point where it is hopping on weekends. My young buyers are especially drawn to downtown Bellevue, where they can walk to their workplace and have all the urban amenities they’d have in South Lake Union or Capitol Hill. The Eastside is very hot right now with all the young professionals relocating here from other parts of the country.” –Beth Billington, Coldwell Banker Bain.

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West Bellevue

Great for Families, dream home buyers and international buyers

Perks Award-winning parks, waterfront properties and access, close proximity to top tier schools, local celebrities and high-profile CEO neighbors

Expert Tip “West Bellevue neighborhoods are some of the most desirable family communities in Washington, named by Money magazine as one of the 100 Best Places to Live in 2012, 2010, 2006 and 2008, and for good reason. The area has long been famous for numerous high-quality parks, some of the very best hospitals and medical specialists, award-winning public schools, wonderful prospects for business and employment. With West Bellevue’s far-reaching appeal and desirability on a global scale, international buyers have also been drawn to its convenience of location, quality education and emphasis on public safety, so it’s no mystery why the area is experiencing record low levels of housing inventory, resulting in marked appreciation for homeowners.” –Lisa Whittaker, Coldwell Banker Bain.

Issaquah Highlands 2Issaquah Highlands

Great for Everyone

Perks The I-90 corridor offers easy access to work and play; close proximity to shops, dining and entertainment and green planned communities

Expert Tip “The award-winning planned community off of exit 18 is now comprised of over 25 percent of Issaquah’s overall population and includes more than 4,000 residences and growing. The community ranges from apartments to multi-million-dollar view homes to acreage estates, residential cottages, townhomes and condominium properties, designed for everyone. The community is surrounded by designated greenbelt/native growth protected wilderness areas filled with networked trails for hiking and mountain biking. Nearly 20 parks fill the area, including soccer and baseball fields, tennis and basketball courts, plus the sought-after Grand Ridge Elementary school in the heart of it all. Now with the new addition of Grand Ridge Plaza off exit 18 with Regal Cinemas, Ram Restaurant, Mod Pizza, Dick’s Sporting Goods and more, the interest level to call Issaquah Highlands home has reached great new proportions.” –Matt Jensen, Matt Jensen Real Estate and The Cascade Team.

Ridgestone Exterior 2Snoqualmie Ridge

Great for First-time home buyers, families, outdoor lovers

Perks Competitive price point, close vicinity to outdoor activities, all the comforts of modernity with a small-city feel

Expert Tip “There’s really nothing to dislike about the Ridge. Sure, you’re going to have to drive a little further away than downtown Bellevue, but in exchange, you get 30 miles of maintained trails that run through your backyard. Amenities are abundant, including a city core that has everything you need, including restaurants, a beautiful golf course, medical clinics and soon to be hospital, public library and to top it off, excellent schools. The parks are abundant and crime is practically nonexistent. Average price points hover around $470,000, and the average house is around 2,500 square feet. All in all, a great value for the money. –Jon Hunter, John L. Scott Real Estate.

Photo courtesy, Tom Owen;  Rodrigo Demedeiros; Pamela Johnston; Dane Gregory Meyer; Roxanne Cooke; Issaquah Highlands; Elliot Schofield Photography.

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