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Seattle Washington Homes - Choosing Seattle, Washington Homes for Sale

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Seattle is a major U.S. city in the Pacific Northwest state of Washington. It the economic and cultural center of the state and serves as the seat of King County. The population of the city is 617,334 with over 3.4 million in the Seattle-Tacoma metro area. Seattle is a seaport city in the northwest region of the state situated between Lake Washington and Puget Sound. The area has been inhabited since about 2000 BCE, but the European settlers to the area were led by Arthur A. Denny in 1851. By 1853, the name for the settlement was decided to be the namesake of the chief of one of the local Native American tribes. Although it was originally known as Queen City, Seattle’s current accepted nickname is the Emerald City, a reference to the evergreen forests so prominent in the area. Today, Seattle is known for having one of the most vibrant economies and cultures in the United States. It is a center of rock music culture, coffee companies, and the Space Needle. When the sky is clear, Mt. Ranier dominates the southeast horizon.

There are 258,499 households occupying 270,536 total Seattle, Washington homes. The market for Seattle, WA homes supports over 4,000 units for sale at any given time with a median selling price of $380,000. This is down from a peak of $465,000 in 2006. As a remnant of the U.S. housing crises that began in that year, there are still over 1,500 foreclosures listed. Foreclosures have a median selling price of $325,000. Including all homes, the average price per square foot is $370. If you are in the market to buy Seattle, Washington homes, be sure to negotiate, because the average listing price of $580,000 is more than $250,000 above the median selling price.

Seattle, like most major cosmopolitan cities is very racially and ethnically diverse. 71% of residents are white, 13% are Asian, 8% are African-American, and 6% are Latino. Seattle is known for having a large percentage of single households at 42%, and married households of only 41%. A high proportion of those singles are in a group labeled as Power Singles, which are high-income professionals. The median age in Seattle is 37, and the median household income is $45,736.

The Seattle economy is driven by a combination of traditional industrial/manufacturing companies and new technology companies. The diverse economy makes it the corporate home of such companies as Starbucks, Amazon.com, Safeco, Expeditors International, Costco, and Providence Health. Boeing recently moved their headquarters to Chicago, but their largest manufacturing divisions are still located in the area. A new push by city leaders has been geared toward establishing a biotech industry in the city.

Ground transportation in usually smooth in most neighborhoods for residents in Seattle, Washington homes. City streets are in an easy to follow grid and both I-5 and SR-99 run through the city north-south. I-405 and I-90 help to relieve traffic just across the lake. The major airport, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, is located just south of Seattle in SeaTac. Public bus service is widely used in the city and there are several rapid transit lines for commuters and cross-town travelers.

Electric and water are both municipal services for residents in Seattle, Washington homes. They are provided by Seattle Public Utilities and Seattle Public Light. Natural gas is provided by Puget Sound Energy, while Seattle Steam Company provides access to centralized steam lines. Communications and media are provided by Verizon, Comcast, and Qwest.

Public education in Seattle is served by Seattle School District 1. It is comprised of 58 elementary schools, 10 middle schools, 8 K-8 schools, 12 high schools, and 9 alternative schools. There are a total of 45,581 students in the district. Several schools in the district are highly rated by both professional evaluators and parents of students. There are also a total of 12 private high schools in the city. Higher education is provided by the University of Washington, ranked by Newsweek as the 22nd-best university in the world. Other institutions of higher education in the city include Seattle University, City University, The Art Institute of Seattle, and Seattle Central Community College.

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