Best Seattle areas for families

OGSystems / Product
okguy

OGSystems Product

BIO
Lead Product Designer and aspiring Product Manager
okguymore
Oct 9, 2017 72 Comments

What suburbs of Seattle are best for families, but also fairly affordable?

I have a friend who's referring me for a few PM positions at Amazon, so I've been trying to do some research on where we might live if things work out.

Ideally looking for 2,500+ sqft, great elementary schools (we have 3 boys ages 7, 5 & 3), and no more than a 35 min commute to work. We're also pretty social, so we'd like to be around shopping stuff in a cool town. And under $550k if possible.

Where would you recommend?

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TOP 72 Comments
  • Salesforce / Eng dfgeosbskf
    High COL area theorem:
    When on limited budget, you can have only two out of three: big house, great schools, short commute.

    Pick the two that matter the most and suggestions will follow.
    Oct 9, 2017 0
  • LinkedIn #%$*
    Woodinville & Bothell are great options with good public schools.
    Oct 9, 2017 7
    • OGSystems / Product
      okguy

      OGSystems Product

      BIO
      Lead Product Designer and aspiring Product Manager
      okguymore
      OP
      Microsoft has a shuttle from Bothell? Hmm...Maybe I need to double down on the PM positions I applied for there instead!
      Oct 9, 2017
    • Amazon / Product
      BnsL28

      Amazon Product

      PRE
      Microsoft
      BnsL28more
      Amazon has shuttles in Bothell, Redmond, Issaquah (2), Bellevue (2), and Snoqualmie.
      Oct 9, 2017
    • Amazon / Product
      BnsL28

      Amazon Product

      PRE
      Microsoft
      BnsL28more
      And probably other places
      Oct 9, 2017
    • OGSystems / Product
      okguy

      OGSystems Product

      BIO
      Lead Product Designer and aspiring Product Manager
      okguymore
      OP
      That's awesome to know!
      Oct 9, 2017
    • Honeywell / Product SpinOff
      2500 sq ft for 550 wont happen in those areas. Look further North.
      Oct 11, 2017
  • Microsoft MSFT_BOB
    Renton, parts of Kent. Maybe some places in the southern part of West Seattle.
    Oct 9, 2017 3
    • Microsoft / Eng /throwaway
      Traffic is terrible
      Oct 9, 2017
    • Amazon / Product
      BnsL28

      Amazon Product

      PRE
      Microsoft
      BnsL28more
      And Renton definitely does not have great schools
      Oct 9, 2017
    • Nvidia kingkong
      Parts of Renton that fall under Issaquah school district are actually great.
      Oct 10, 2017
  • Amazon / Ops Scrumm
    Bothell, Snoqualmie. Just adjust your commute expectations no matter what.
    Oct 9, 2017 5
    • OGSystems / Product
      okguy

      OGSystems Product

      BIO
      Lead Product Designer and aspiring Product Manager
      okguymore
      OP
      Good to know - sounds a lot like where we are now (DC area)
      Oct 9, 2017
    • Amazon / Ops Scrumm
      Not sure about DC but basically Snoqualmie is good for scenery and Bothell is good for closer in suburb. Both have Amazon shuttles.
      Oct 9, 2017
    • OGSystems / Product
      okguy

      OGSystems Product

      BIO
      Lead Product Designer and aspiring Product Manager
      okguymore
      OP
      That's great to know! Thanks!
      Oct 9, 2017
    • Amazon / Ops Scrumm
      No problem man. I'm a local so if you have any other questions just pm me
      Oct 9, 2017
    • OGSystems / Product
      okguy

      OGSystems Product

      BIO
      Lead Product Designer and aspiring Product Manager
      okguymore
      OP
      Will do 👍
      Oct 9, 2017
  • Amazon
    7Zark7

    Amazon

    PRE
    HP Inc, Juniper Networks
    7Zark7more
    Under $550 won’t happen, but there are plenty of N Seattle neighborhoods with short commutes (mine is 10 minutes on an express bus) with excellent schools. No need to do suburbs or have a car - my older kid walks to school, gets himself around the city on the bus if he needs to go further afield and we have plenty of shops and restaurants handy. Check out Fremont, Wallingford, Fremont, Roosevelt, Maple Leaf & Ravenna - lots of good options.
    Oct 9, 2017 3
    • OGSystems / Product
      okguy

      OGSystems Product

      BIO
      Lead Product Designer and aspiring Product Manager
      okguymore
      OP
      That sounds pretty nice!
      Do you have a house, apartment, or townhome?
      Oct 9, 2017
    • Amazon
      7Zark7

      Amazon

      PRE
      HP Inc, Juniper Networks
      7Zark7more
      Single-family house - first time we’ve ever had one, after years in SF, NYC & elsewhere. Comparatively, Seattle is very affordable and the schools are great.
      Oct 11, 2017
    • OGSystems / Product
      okguy

      OGSystems Product

      BIO
      Lead Product Designer and aspiring Product Manager
      okguymore
      OP
      Well that's encouraging- I'll look more closely at N Seattle!
      Oct 11, 2017
  • Intel DSPN81
    Snoqualmie. Same time to Seattle as Sammamish, incredible community, reasonable costs, you can take the shuttle to the office.
    Oct 10, 2017 2
    • OGSystems / Product
      okguy

      OGSystems Product

      BIO
      Lead Product Designer and aspiring Product Manager
      okguymore
      OP
      That's a huge plus- I'll definitely check it out!
      Oct 10, 2017
    • Amazon / Product
      BnsL28

      Amazon Product

      PRE
      Microsoft
      BnsL28more
      Second vote for Snoqualmie. That’s where my family and I are.
      Oct 10, 2017
  • F5 Networks / Sales
    RedSpectre

    F5 Networks Sales

    BIO
    A spectre is haunting Blind
    RedSpectremore
    Everything you're looking for can be had, but not all together. Of all those things, your expectations regarding commute time need to be tempered
    Oct 9, 2017 6
    • F5 Networks / Sales
      RedSpectre

      F5 Networks Sales

      BIO
      A spectre is haunting Blind
      RedSpectremore
      Planning on 45-60 is more realistic.

      This obviously depends very heavily on where you’re commuting in from, what mode of transportation you’re using and what time you’re making your trip.

      If you’re driving, the time your commute takes can vary wildly day to day.
      Oct 9, 2017
    • OGSystems / Product
      okguy

      OGSystems Product

      BIO
      Lead Product Designer and aspiring Product Manager
      okguymore
      OP
      If looking north, east or south of the city, is one of those commute directions better than the others? Or are they all a mess?
      Oct 9, 2017
    • F5 Networks / Sales
      RedSpectre

      F5 Networks Sales

      BIO
      A spectre is haunting Blind
      RedSpectremore
      North is probably going to be better than east or south. But also consider West, there’s a fast ferry (30 mins ride) from Bremerton, to the waterfront and from there you can hop on a bus.
      Oct 9, 2017
    • OGSystems / Product
      okguy

      OGSystems Product

      BIO
      Lead Product Designer and aspiring Product Manager
      okguymore
      OP
      Ok I wouldn't have considered that, but it doesn't sound too bad. How often do he ferries run?
      Oct 9, 2017
    • F5 Networks / Sales
      RedSpectre

      F5 Networks Sales

      BIO
      A spectre is haunting Blind
      RedSpectremore
      As far as I know the fast ferry currently only runs during commute hours in the morning and afternoon. But the the other ferries run basically all day.

      http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/
      Oct 9, 2017
  • Amazon / Product
    BnsL28

    Amazon Product

    PRE
    Microsoft
    BnsL28more
    I’m not sure you’ll find something that meets all of your asks.
    Oct 9, 2017 5
    • OGSystems / Product
      okguy

      OGSystems Product

      BIO
      Lead Product Designer and aspiring Product Manager
      okguymore
      OP
      I was afraid of that...Maybe we should pivot to renting at first. Schools in the suburbs seem to be hit or miss depending on the area and even home location...
      Oct 9, 2017
    • OGSystems / Product
      okguy

      OGSystems Product

      BIO
      Lead Product Designer and aspiring Product Manager
      okguymore
      OP
      Btw- I see you're a PM @amazon - are the Glassdoor salaries accurate for your role?
      Oct 9, 2017
    • Amazon / Product
      BnsL28

      Amazon Product

      PRE
      Microsoft
      BnsL28more
      The value of renting, of course, is that you’ll get to try an area and see if it works for you. The major downside is that the market here is crazy and seems to only be heading upward. Nobody is leaving, there’s little new construction, and all the companies here are hiring. So demand is way out pacing supply and it doesn’t seem like that will change.
      Oct 9, 2017
    • Amazon / Product
      BnsL28

      Amazon Product

      PRE
      Microsoft
      BnsL28more
      Yep I am a PM at Amazon. I’ve found Glassdoor to be in the right range, but the level bands are very wide. PM (5) vs Sr PM (6) vs Principal PM (7). So you’ll want to have a good sense of the level you’re interviewing for. Take a good look around blind too. PM me if I can help.
      Oct 9, 2017
    • OGSystems / Product
      okguy

      OGSystems Product

      BIO
      Lead Product Designer and aspiring Product Manager
      okguymore
      OP
      That's good to know- thanks! And a great consideration for renting vs buying...Definitely something to think about
      Oct 9, 2017
  • Amazon YirI28
    We just bought in Vashon and love it. You can get the commute down to about 40 min if you live on the North side of the island and it's ferry+shuttle. Schools are amazing, houses are more for your money...but you live on an island.
    Oct 10, 2017 4
    • OGSystems / Product
      okguy

      OGSystems Product

      BIO
      Lead Product Designer and aspiring Product Manager
      okguymore
      OP
      How often does the ferry run?
      Oct 10, 2017
    • Amazon YirI28
      There are passenger only boats to downtown at 610, 710,815am & from downtown at 430, 530, 630 pm. Shuttles pick up and drop off at the dock.

      There is also a drive on boat to West Seattle that runs almost every 20 min during rush hour but your drive is longer and you need to find parking. You can look up Fauntleroy/Vashon ferry schedule.
      Oct 10, 2017
    • OGSystems / Product
      okguy

      OGSystems Product

      BIO
      Lead Product Designer and aspiring Product Manager
      okguymore
      OP
      Awesome! Thanks 👍
      Oct 10, 2017
    • Amazon YirI28
      I also joined all of the fb parents groups for all of the suburbs above. Sometimes great rentals or even sales will pop up there first.
      Oct 10, 2017
  • Microsoft freyna
    On the Eastside you can North before you hit Bothell - and as far south before you hit Renton. You want to avoid both of those, but the houses at the periphery of those areas (but not actually in them) have the highest bang for the buck.

    So consider the northernmost parts of Kirkland (e.g. Kingsgate, where you can find a house for 6xx, e.g check out MLS 1163358 on Redfin). Or consider the southernmost parts of Newcastle that still map to the Issaquah school district, where there's easy access to 90.
    Oct 15, 2017 1
    • OGSystems / Product
      okguy

      OGSystems Product

      BIO
      Lead Product Designer and aspiring Product Manager
      okguymore
      OP
      Great info! I'll def look into these areas
      Oct 16, 2017
  • Zillow Group sofaking
    Use Zillow. Filter on price / beds / baths, then look in these areas: Queen Anne, Magnolia, Greenlake, Shoreline. You're not going to find a lot of options for all the reasons people have described, but all you really need is one. Keep hunting and you might get lucky (I did).

    One big reason why what you're asking for is nigh impossible is because you work at Amazon. Their offices are clustered in or around downtown. 1. Good school districts and downtowns are mutually exclusive, and 2. Affordable single family homes and downtowns are also mutually exclusive. This might change when Amazon opens up their Bellevue office, so if you absolutely need all three at the same time, then I would suggest renting for a year to scope out the market, then apply for a transfer to Bellevue, then look at Factoria / Coal Creek / Sammamish.

    Or work for Microsoft in one of their suburban campuses (including HQ). Or Google Kirkland.
    Oct 9, 2017 1
    • OGSystems / Product
      okguy

      OGSystems Product

      BIO
      Lead Product Designer and aspiring Product Manager
      okguymore
      OP
      That makes sense - and yeah, I definitely applied for PM positions at both Microsoft and Google...Still trying to network enough to get somebody at either who can refer me or get my resume in front of a HM.

      I'll follow your Zillow advice though and focus on those areas you suggested. 90% of our research has been through Zillow already haha
      Oct 9, 2017
  • Expedia Xsd29081
    35 minutes is not going to happen. Even the shortest distance commutes can end up being an hour.
    I sucked it up and live pretty far from dt, but I have a nice affordable house on acreage with good schools and low crime.
    Oct 9, 2017 1
    • OGSystems / Product
      okguy

      OGSystems Product

      BIO
      Lead Product Designer and aspiring Product Manager
      okguymore
      OP
      Thanks for the work you put into this! I really appreciate it!
      Oct 10, 2017
    • Amazon / Eng ForEachDay
      No worries. We bought our house around 2 years ago after going nuts for over a year
      Oct 10, 2017
  • T-Mobile / Eng imafucboi!
    This place doesn't exist unfortunately, even if you go out to the Snoqualmie area at the edge of the 35min boundary, you won't get 2500+ for <550k. I think you'd like the Sammamish/Issaquah area, but you'll need to double your budget, or be ok with a condo. Try the Renton area that's still in the Issaquah School district for a start, or Bothell, which is really up and coming
    Oct 10, 2017 1
    • Microsoft freyna
      I second your Issaquah school district suggestion. You can find parts of Newcastle (area just above Renton) that map to Issaquah school district and they have 10/10 schools. You want to avoid Renton proper and definitely want to avoid anything that maps to the Renton school district. You can find a m
      Oct 15, 2017
  • Groupon / Eng sleepy
    Try Mill Creek, Snoqualmie. If you raise the budget, you can go for Sammamish or Redmond Ridge.
    Oct 9, 2017 1
    • Amazon / Ops Skoo
      Sammamish and Redmond are very Indian. No judgment just fyi.
      Oct 9, 2017
  • Airbnb JustADev
    Austin, TX
    Oct 9, 2017 1
    • OGSystems / Product
      okguy

      OGSystems Product

      BIO
      Lead Product Designer and aspiring Product Manager
      okguymore
      OP
      I dunno...that'd be a bitch of a commute...
      Oct 9, 2017
    • OGSystems / Product
      okguy

      OGSystems Product

      BIO
      Lead Product Designer and aspiring Product Manager
      okguymore
      OP
      Love the unassuming exterior and open concept on the inside.
      Great find!
      Oct 9, 2017
  • Microsoft / IT SuperUser
    Bothell is pretty good for families
    Oct 15, 2017 0
  • Microsoft bridgette
    You can still get some good values up in the Totem Lake area of Kirkland. That area is rapidly gentrifying with the new Whole Foods (always an indicator of gentrification) and the new Village at Totem Lake Mall, so you will also benefit from some good appreciation.

    That are also has a great, direct access to the HOV express lane in the morning. 0.75c and you can zoom your way to Bellevue in 10min.
    Oct 10, 2017 0
  • Tableau Muskie777
    Shoreline. Great schools, direct bus connections, and beautiful scenery. Edmonds is a bit more sleepy...and remote...but still as nice.
    Oct 9, 2017 0

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