Top 10 places to live in washington

With three national parks, more than 8,000 lakes, and 155 miles of Pacific coastline, Washington boasts natural beauty. But the Evergreen State is also one of the most prosperous states in the country, with a median household income of $84,247 in 2022 — about $6,000 more than the national average. As home to major companies like Amazon and Microsoft, Washington has many good job opportunities. While the Seattle area remains one of the most sought-after transportation destinations, there are plenty of other cities up and down the coast and in the interior of the state that are attracting new residents with their idyllic atmosphere, outdoor-focused lifestyle, and tight connectivity. and family-friendly communities and amenities.

Here are 10 of the best places to live in Washington, according to local experts.

Related: The 10 most beautiful and affordable places to live in the United States


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As the technology hub of the Pacific Northwest, Seattle has long been an attractive place to live thanks to its high-paying jobs, opportunities for professional growth, and technological innovation. However, even if you’re not into tech, there’s something for you in the Emerald City. Its music scene has given the world some of the best rock bands of all time, and there are art museums and great restaurants. The city is also surrounded by stunning nature, perfect for people who want to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.

“A myriad of summer and winter activities await right outside our doorstep. Water lovers can sail on Puget Sound or stand up paddleboard on Lake Washington. The nearby scenic peaks present challenges for both beginners and experienced hikers. And when winter arrives, a trip can be The drive leads to many snow sports destinations, said Cassie Walker Johnson, managing broker at Windermere Real Estate/Luxury Portfolio International, the largest real estate firm in the western United States. There is no denying that Seattle is an entertainment enthusiast’s paradise.”

The city is also home to several neighborhoods, each with its own distinct energy and character, such as quiet Magnolia, historic Ballard with its northern roots, upscale Laurelhurst on Lake Washington, and vibrant Queen Anne with stunning views of the city.

The only downside to living in Seattle is that it comes with a hefty price tag, especially for new homeowners. The average sale price is $834,000, and homes are taken off the market after about eight days, according to Zillow.


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Located between Lake Sammamish to the west and Lake Washington to the east, Bellevue is known for its stunning views of Seattle and Mount Rainier. The emerging city—founded in the 1950s—is a favorite among families for its many parks (2,700 acres of them) and first-class schools.

“Our City Council designed Bellevue’s skyline as a ‘tiered wedding cake’ with the largest skyscrapers in the heart of the city and the heights of the buildings slowly descending as they move out. This provides everyone with an abundance of sunlight, beautiful views, and amazing amenities,” said Joseph Brazin, corporate agent. Windermere Real Estate/Luxury Portfolio International.

However, the city’s real estate market is so hot, that 45 percent of homes are on hold within a week of being listed, according to broker Eric Dang of John L. Scott real estate. He recommends looking in Eastgate, a hub for new construction homes with “excellent schools, easy access to the city centre, and great value for the price.”

Otherwise, otherwise

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Residents of this beautiful city on the border of Oregon and the Walla Walla Valley have access to more than 120 nearby wineries. Compared to other wine regions in the country, such as Napa or Sonoma, real estate is relatively affordable here — the median home value is $407,000, according to Zillow.

“The increase in new construction homes gives buyers more opportunities when purchasing,” said Alison Stensrud, an agent at Windermere Estate explained. “A favorite neighborhood for buyers to consider is the Pioneer Park area. Here, you’ll find mature landscaping and beautiful historic homes, and you’ll be walking distance to parks and downtown Walla Walla.”

Mercer Island

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Island living between two of Washington’s largest cities? It’s hard to believe that residents of Mercer Island, located in Lake Washington, could escape the hustle and bustle of Bellevue and Seattle in just minutes and enjoy waterfront living at its best. With over 473 acres of parks, green spaces, walking trails, three public beaches, and stunning scenery, living on Mercer Island feels like a lakeside vacation. There are plenty of home styles to choose from.

“The island’s architectural landscape is a journey through time and style,” said Laurie Holden Scott, real estate broker at John L. Scott Real Estate/International Luxury Portfolio. “Mercer Island was originally a vacation island, so there are classic cozy 20th-century cottages here. The 1950s and 1960s introduced mid-century aesthetics, while the 1970s saw a boom in the contemporary Northwest or ‘tree house.’” Residences on style. The ’80s brought traditional two-story designs with brick accents, followed by a ’90s focus on Craftsman elements.”

The only downside is that available homes sell quickly and are often well over the asking price, which is about $2 million on average.


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If Woodinville’s beautiful setting in the scenic River Valley wasn’t enough to make you want to move there, we have a few more things to convince you. The region is home to more than 130 wineries – from big names to many start-ups. There are excellent parks, restaurants, shops, schools, and if you miss big city life, Seattle is just 20 miles south.

“Among Woodinville’s iconic neighborhoods, we recommend exploring charming Wellington, where lush landscapes collide with striking architecture. Plus, Hollywood Hill exudes rustic-chic charm, while the quiet streets of Saybrook provide an ideal escape for families looking for a close-knit community with potential Access to many top-notch schools and recreational facilities,” suggested real estate broker Chelsea Samonte of John L. Scott Real Estate.

According to Zillow, the median home value is $1,239,000, down five percent since last year.


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“Olympia hits the mark for those looking to live in a mid-size city with low traffic, lower housing costs than markets to the north and south, and proximity to all that Seattle has to offer,” Missy Watts, a broker at Olympia Sotheby’s International Realty, said. The capital of Washington is about an hour from Seattle and two hours from Portland, Oregon, and its residents enjoy access to numerous beaches, lakes, and a number of urban amenities. The downtown creative district spans 30 city blocks and is a hub for local breweries, galleries, theaters, and a farmer’s market.

Watts explained that the city is particularly popular with retirees. “With our active arts scene, abundant medical facilities, amazing access to the outdoors, and stunning Pacific Northwest scenery, it’s an attractive city worth calling home. Additionally, Washington has no state income tax, so any income from… Pensions and Social Security, she added, adding that withdrawals from retirement accounts are tax-free.

Bainbridge Island

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“Bainbridge Island is the Nantucket of the West,” Ty Evans, agent with Windermere Real Estate explained. “It offers a fantastic range of lifestyles, from high streets to small towns to waterfront properties.”

Located just a 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle, it offers its residents a unique blend of two distinct lifestyles. The island is home to the Grand Forest, a 240-acre nature reserve with numerous hiking and biking trails, top-notch schools, shops, and restaurants. Waterfront real estate is the most popular type of property in areas like Port Madison, Crystal Springs, and Lynwood Center.

“The island is eclectic when it comes to the style of homes. Most of the homes are Pacific Northwest style homes made of natural wood, embracing nature and the beauty of the Pacific Northwest,” Caron Anderson, John L. Scott Real Estate/Luxury Portfolio Agent added international.


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With the Spokane River running through downtown and numerous natural sites in its immediate vicinity (including Spokane Falls and Riverfront Park), Spokane is a haven for those seeking a quiet, relaxing urban environment in which to live and raise a family. Add to that the many hiking and biking trails, five winter resorts located within an hour of the city, more than 70 lakes, dozens of golf courses, and wineries, and you get a good picture of what makes this city of about 229,000 a place. Cool. To call home.

Also, unlike other cities in Washington, real estate in Spokane does not come with a bargain price. The median sale price in July 2023 was $386,000, according to Zillow. “Right now, the market is a little slower than in years past as interest rates continue to rise, putting buying and selling plans on hold. However, people finally have more inventory to choose from after massive shortages during the pandemic,” Marissa Lewis, John L. Scott real estate broker.

If you’re looking for a home with plenty of character, the Perry neighborhood at the bottom of Spokane’s South Hill is an excellent choice. And if you prefer a townhouse or modern apartment, Kendall Yards, overlooking the Spokane River, will be a perfect fit.

Whidbey Island

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“Whidbey Island is one of the most unique places on Earth,” said Cheryl Keefe, John L. Scott real estate agent. “You are surrounded by natural beauty from the Salish Sea to the towering forest.”

This 37-mile-long island is located in Puget Sound about 30 miles north of Seattle and offers its residents stunning views of the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges. Life there is all about enjoying the outdoors – with hiking, boating, fishing, wine tasting and strolling along its many public beaches.

Luis Muniz, an agent with Windermere Real Estate, explained that while the average sales price in July was about $715,000, that number was much lower on the northern end of the island, at about $475,000. “One of our most popular waterfront locations is Mutiny Bay, also known as the ‘Gold Coast of the Northwest.’ “It is sought after for its 180-degree views of the Olympic Mountain Range, sandy beaches, and evening sunsets that will take your breath away,” Muniz added.


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Located 90 miles north of Seattle, this coastal college town of about 100,000 people offers a taste of the classic Pacific Northwest lifestyle with stunning scenery, proximity to North Cascades National Park, numerous water activities, winter sports, and much more. From craft breweries and farms. -Table restaurants. You can find a variety of home styles here – from classic Craftsman-style cottages to newer, more contemporary residences. According to one real estate agent, now is a great time to invest in Bellingham real estate.

“Although our inventory is currently a little higher, we are still in a stable market. The median home price in Bellingham is just over $700,000 as of July 2023,” added Renata Mason of Windermere Real Estate. “Once interest rates stabilize, demand from pent-up buyers will pick up.” Her top advice for potential new residents? “If you are looking to move to Bellingham, I would recommend visiting a few times and trying all of our classes.”

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