Buying a Home in Downtown Seattle

Erica Clibborn July 23, 2023

Seattle is a world-famous city that effortlessly captures the imagination. Boasting a unique blend of natural beauty, a flourishing cultural scene, and a forward-thinking approach to innovation, it's no wonder that Seattle has become a highly sought-after place to call home.

Seattle's friendly neighborhoods, strong sense of community, and commitment to sustainability further enhance its appeal. Residents take pride in their city's green initiatives, bike-friendly infrastructure, and commitment to preserving the natural beauty that surrounds them.

If you’re in the market for buying a home in Downtown Seattle, keep reading for our tips on neighborhoods, housing, costs, and more.

Why is buying a house in Downtown Seattle a great choice?


Home to a number of major attractions, Downtown Seattle includes the iconic Space Needle, the bustling Pike Place Market, and the Seattle Center. It is also home to a number of tech companies, making it a great place to live for those who work in the tech industry.


Downtown Seattle is home to a number of parks and green spaces, as well as a seemingly endless number of restaurants, bars, and shops. It is also home to a number of public transportation options, making it easy to avoid traffic when getting around the city.


Downtown Seattle is home to the Seattle Art Museum, Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, and Museum of Pop Culture. Theaters and music venues, such as Benaroya Hall, The Showbox, and The Crocodile, showcase a diverse range of talent. It is also home to a number of festivals and events throughout the year.

What are the top neighborhoods in Downtown Seattle?


Located on the northern shores of Lake Union, Fremont stands out for its offbeat charm, artistic flair, and lively community spirit. From colorful murals to quirky statues, every corner of Fremont tells a story, fostering an environment that sparks curiosity and ignites the imagination. If you’re buying a home in Downtown Seattle, Fremont offers residents an exceptional living experience that blends creativity with a strong sense of belonging.

Capitol Hill

Perched in east downtown Seattle, Capitol Hill stands as a vibrant and eclectic neighborhood that beckons to those seeking a unique blend of cultural richness, urban energy, and a thriving community. With its diverse population, historic architecture, and abundance of cultural venues, Capitol Hill offers residents a captivating and welcoming living experience.

Queen Anne

Located on a hill in the northern area of downtown, Queen Anne exudes an irresistible charm that captivates residents and visitors alike. With its tree-lined streets, stunning views, and a delightful blend of historic architecture and modern amenities, Queen Anne stands as a neighborhood that seamlessly blends timeless elegance with contemporary living.

What style of homes are available in Downtown Seattle?


Victorian homes were built in Seattle during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They are characterized by their ornate details, including gingerbread trim, bay windows, and turrets.

Mid-century Modern

Mid-century Modern homes were built in Seattle during the mid-20th century. They are characterized by their clean lines, geometric shapes, and use of glass and steel.


Contemporary homes are built in Seattle today. They are characterized by their modern design, with features such as open floor plans, large windows, and rooftop decks.

What to expect of housing costs in Downtown Seattle

Median house price

The current median house price in Seattle is $984,580.

Closing costs

On average, closing costs for homebuyers in Washington State typically range from 1% to 3% of the total purchase price of the property.

Property taxes

While Seattle itself doesn’t collect property taxes, King County (where Seattle is located) does. Currently, King County property taxes are just above 1% of the home’s assessed value.

Homeowners insurance

Homeowners insurance rates in Seattle are about $1,195 per year. This figure is 6% lower than the statewide average, with Washington State itself about 31% lower than the national average.

HOA fees

Seattle is one of the pricier cities in the nation for homeowners association fees. The median monthly HOA fee is $360, which makes up 18.7% of total housing costs for those with HOA dues.

What home loans are available?

Conventional loans

Conventional loans are the most common type of mortgage, and they offer a variety of features, such as fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgages and conforming or jumbo loans. If you have a good credit score and a down payment of at least 20%, a conventional loan may be a good option for you.

FHA loans

FHA home loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which means that lenders are more likely to approve borrowers with lower credit scores and smaller down payments. This makes FHA loans a good option for first-time homebuyers or borrowers who have had credit problems in the past.

VA loans

VA home loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which means that lenders are more likely to approve borrowers with lower credit scores and no down payment. This makes VA loans a good option for veterans, active duty service members, and their surviving spouses.

What are some money-saving tips when buying a home?

Find the best mortgage rate

Comparing rates from different lenders allows you to negotiate and find the best deal. Consider opting for a shorter loan term if feasible, as it often leads to lower interest rates.

Get pre-qualified

Begin by gathering your financial documents and completing a pre-qualification application with a lender. They will review your income, credit score, and debt-to-income ratio to determine an estimated loan amount you may qualify for.

Consider a bigger down payment to keep monthly payments down

Saving diligently and aiming for a substantial down payment can potentially result in a better mortgage rate and long-term savings. By putting more money down upfront, you decrease the loan-to-value ratio, which reduces the lender's risk. This increased equity signifies financial stability and lowers the interest rate offered to you.

Increase your credit score

Start by reviewing your credit report for any errors and addressing them promptly. Paying bills on time, reducing credit card balances, and avoiding new debt can all positively impact your credit score. Maintaining a low credit utilization ratio and keeping credit accounts open and active can demonstrate responsible financial behavior.

Use a commission rebate to save money

Some mortgage brokers or real estate agents offer commission rebates as a way to incentivize clients. This rebate can be used towards closing costs or applied directly to your mortgage, effectively reducing your overall loan amount. By reducing your loan principal, you may become eligible for a lower interest rate.

Work with a real estate agent

Working with a knowledgeable real estate agent can be instrumental in securing a better mortgage rate. They have access to market information, industry connections, and negotiation skills that can benefit you. A skilled agent can guide you through the home-buying process, help you understand your financial options, and recommend reputable lenders with competitive rates.

Uncover your piece of the Pacific Northwest

Buying a home in Downtown Seattle may be an adventure, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Since 1997, Erica Clibborn has been the go-to for luxury Seattle properties. Reach out today to find out how Erica can make your Seattle dream a reality.


Erica thrives on living local. When she lived downtown, she contributed to the transformation and expansion of its communities. Her twenty years of experience have earned invaluable connections and her peers’ respect: In 2012, she joined Forum XXII, the invitation-only network for Seattle’s leading agents, and became one of 12 Executive Directors for Windermere’s Premier Properties program.