Washington Real Estate
Real Estate For Sale In Washington
Temperate Rainforest or Dreamy Desert? Washington Real Estate Poses Real Questions: Which Landscape is Right for You?
The Cascade Range and Its Impact on Washington Life
From sagebrush to scablands, to ocean waves and mountain vistas, Washington State is bisected by the Cascade Range. The two sides of the state—west vs. east—are as unalike as their landscapes. The politics, geography, and even Washington real estate varies wildly on each side. But, despite all their differences of opinion, there’s one thing all Washingtonians can agree on: Washington's beauty is unequivocal and remarkable. If you’ve had your eye on real estate in Washington for any length of time, you are already familiar with the wet and dry sides of the state. This marked difference in climate is owed to the Cascade Range, a major mountain range that begins in British Columbia, Canada, and cuts right through the core of Washington, extending on into Northern California.
The Range is rugged, with prominent peaks rising a mile or more above their mountainous counterparts, and even the lesser peaks are sheer and glaciated. The prevailing winds blowing in off of the Pacific Ocean come to a grinding halt once they hit the range, depositing record-shattering amounts of snow in the mountains and sheets of rain in the foothills and lowlands.
The eastern or leeward side (the side protected from the prevailing winds) of the mountains experiences a rainshadow effect, receiving a fraction of the precipitation the western side records. Beyond the eastern foothills, Washington State stretches out across an expansive plateau, known as the Columbia Plateau or Columbia Basin, an area that was drained after the last ice age by the mighty Columbia River.
Before the human-made mountain passes we count on today, the Columbia River carved the only way through the Cascade Range, a route that was vital to the Lewis and Clark Expedition and one that forms the modern boundary between the states of Washington and Oregon.
What is it about Washington real estate that makes you want to call it home? Is it the scent of sun-baked pine in the east, the sparkling shorelines of the west, the maritime culture, the agriculture, or the down-home philosophies of the eastside? Maybe it’s the uber-tech lifestyle of the Seattle Metro Area, or maybe it’s a governmental job in Olympia?
Whatever the reason, real estate in Washington is always in season, and watch out because the market is scorching hot. Even hotter than an eastern Washington summer…
Let us not forget that before the Washington Territory was overrun with white settlers in search of a better life, there was a flourishing Indigenous population already here—experiencing a good life rich with hunting, gathering, and fishing.
It is estimated that 125 Northwest tribes, speaking over 50 different languages and dialects, lived all throughout Washington trading, collaborating, and stewarding the lands upon which they lived. You’ll find evidence of them all throughout Washington with the landforms, places, and things called as they were by the original Indigenous peoples of the area.
Can you pronounce Yakima, Snoqualmie, Sequim, Sequalitchew, Puyallup, Quileute, Chehalis, Nisqually, and S’Klallam? Then you had better ask a local before hunting down Washington real estate in these areas and immediately outing yourself as a newbie.
Don’t take yourself too seriously though. Washington residents are friendly. They might first give a little chuckle at your clumsiness, but then are happy to talk at length about the state they so fervently love.
The Agricultural Side
The Agricultural Side
Eastern Washington, or “the east side,” is a major agricultural hub of the Pacific Northwest. Grapes, cherries, apples, hops, wheat, mint, and more are all in abundance and ripe for the picking on this side of the state.
Abundant sunshine, fertile soils, and plenty of irrigation thanks to the Columbia River make agriculture king in this part of the state. With more land area than the west side of the state, and far fewer people, low population density and a large amount of land make eastern Washington real estate less expensive than its western counterparts and much easier to procure.
Residents of this side of the state tend to be more conservative, and constantly at odds with the more powerful population center in the west that is staunchly liberal. For eastsiders, it’s the simple pleasures in life, and many shun the trappings of the Big City. If this all sounds ideal to you, then land in eastern Washington will be your perfect Washington real estate.
The Industrial Side
The Industrial Side
The traffic-clogged Interstate 5 corridor is the lifeblood of the Puget Sound (Salish Sea) region. This wetter part of Washington with a high number of overcast days often receives jokes about the residents growing moss atop their backs.
Despite the rain, Western Washingtonians are outdoor enthusiasts nonetheless and would be happy to crawl through the dense underbrush in search of Bigfoot. That’s once they wrap up their workweek at Microsoft, or at the headquarters of Amazon, Costco, Expedia, Boeing, Starbucks, or many other Fortune 500 companies.
Western Washington, and King County especially, seems to have an unfair number of booming industries—especially in the tech sector. In fact, the Seattle Metro Area is being dubbed the Silicon Valley of the North, and with the nationwide shift to remote work and real estate more affordable (by California standards), houses for sale in Washington are being quickly snatched up.
Western Washington's ports, timber industry, and the rest of the wide variety of high-paying jobs make Washington real estate some of the most desirable in the nation. The state’s rapidly growing economy and second-highest minimum wage in the Nation make investing in Washington real estate a sound decision.
Washington State Demographics
Washington State Demographics
Washington is not only the 42nd but the 18th-largest state. It’s bounded by Canada to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the west, the state of Oregon to the south, and the Idaho panhandle to the east.
Nearly eight million residents now call Washington home, over half of them residing in the Seattle Metro Area. Although Washington’s capital city of Olympia lies at the southernmost portion of the Puget Sound, it’s the mid-to-upper part of the Sound that sees most of the action.
Washington’s largest and most populous city is Seattle, with almost three-quarters of a million residents. It makes for an ultra-competitive real estate market and the most coveted place to buy a condo in Washington. In terms of city size, none in the state compare to Seattle, but the next most populous is Spokane, the anchor and economic center of the ‘Inland Empire.’ Rounding out the top four cities in Washington are then Tacoma and Vancouver, and all of the top cities are on the western side of the state, save for Spokane.
The 42nd State
The 42nd State
The Donation Land Claim Act of 1850 summoned settlers to the Oregon Territory in droves. They too were searching for Washington real estate. From 1848 until 1853, Washington was part of the Oregon Territory until its own namesake territory was adopted.
The newly-formed King County then joined the new Washington Territory, and the City of Seattle grew up within it. The Puget Sound region began to transform from rough and tumble logging towns to the major metropolis it is today. By 1889, Washington had become the 42nd State.
Washington Climate Risk
Air pollution risk
Total weather risk
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