In 2005, King County’s average price for a closed single family home was 28% higher than the average for a single family home in Snohomish County, a difference amounting to $138,176. In 2005, a single family residence in King County was selling for $504,959 where as the average for Snohomish County home was only $366,783.
That is big savings but what am I getting for my money?
You can get more than twice the home for your money!
Running a real estate search it is easy to determine what $400,000 in King County and Snohomish County will purchase. For the same amount of money, residents in Snohomish County get more interior square footage and a larger lot size, two major home buying factors.
Seattle/King County: For $400,000 you can get a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom with 610 sq/ft condo in Seattle.
Snohomish County: $400,000 in Everett will get you a 1,392 sq/ft single family home, 3 bedrooms/2 bathrooms, on a 0.16 acre lot within the Mukilteo School District.
This constitutes a savings of $368.38 per square foot in Snohomish County over Seattle real estate or said another way; a family can get twice the home for the money in Snohomish County than in King County. The comparison is staggering and if having a larger home is important to you then consider looking north.
Looking at the lot sizes the choice is easy. In Seattle you may get a shared common area with the condo’s grounds or in Everett you can get a larger home on 0.16 acres (6,969 square feet). This allows families with small children or pets to have a place to get some exercise and sit in the sun.
What kind of “return on investment” can I expect?
King County has seen a greater price correction due to market forces than investors a few miles north in Snohomish County. In the early months of 2007, investors have settled for a 9.97% increase in property value, lower than the investor minimum of 10%, but in Snohomish County this is not the case.
Snohomish County investors have seen an astounding 11.24% increase on investment in a climate where housing prices continue to fall. This has appeal for investors looking another for rental property as well as a family looking to come ahead on their home.
Is there a difference in the schools and the school districts?
The answer is Yes. The Seattle School District started to notice a rising demand for particular schools and decided to enact “tiebreakers” to determine which schools a student may attend. “Tiebreakers” have sparked controversy and lawsuits but in the end the judgments were found in favor of the school district.
Over crowding in Seattle poses an extreme challenge for new residents in enrolling children in schools that are either close to home or possibly near one of the parent’s work places. Some parents do not require the need for daycare and would rather pick their up children while traveling between work and home. In reality a student could attend a school across the city just because of availability, therefore bringing hardships to a already complicated move.
In the Marysville School District this is not the case (every Snohomish County School District is different). School placement is determined by the neighborhood a family lives in. If you happen to live in the East Sunnyside Neighborhood then your children will be attending Sunnyside Elementary, Marysville Middle School, Marysville Junior High and Marysville Pilchuck High School. There is an option though that can be exercised if done early in the year; a family may select a different school to attend if and only if there is sufficient room for that student.
But there has to be a draw back to living up north…right?
Snohomish County’s traffic has been increasingly getting worse as the population rises. The Boeing Company supplies thousands of jobs which work three shifts so there is bound to be some traffic when a shift is starting and ending.
All that said, the light at the end of the tunnel can be seen in the new freeway construction happening between Everett Mall Way and North Everett at SR 2 and Marine View Drive. The freeway expansion should reduce some of the congestion.
Residents also have the option of choosing buses or trains to ease their commute frustrations. The Community Transit travels through all of Snohomish County, Sound Transit operates a full bus schedule and two commuter trains and Amtrak operates two trains morning and evenings.
Is there access to outdoor activities in Snohomish County?
In the Cascade Mountains resident can go camping, fishing, hiking as well as sledding off the Mountain Loop Highway, depending on the season. Also, traveling East on Highway 2 through Monroe, outdoor enthusiasts can experience a greater mountain adventure in any season.
The Puget Sound offers a range of boating activities: sailing, power boating, shell fishing, fishing, whale watching and kite surfing off Jetty Island. Scattering the coast lines are towns, harbors, inlets and marinas for people to enjoy while on the water. Also, North of Everett sits the San Juan Islands which are some the most majestic islands in the world.
In addition to the scenic destinations, Snohomish County has three airports where personal pilots can hanger, land, fuel and fly their private planes: Paine Field in Everett, Arlington Airport in Arlington and Harvey Field in Snohomish. This is just another way to explore and enjoy scenic Snohomish County.
To sum it all up
Purchasing a new home in Snohomish County can save a lot of money and give a family more breathing room. There are also a host of activities to do while maintaining a tight family bond in the home and at school.