Washington

Seattle

  • About

  • History

  • Location

  • Things to do

  • Demographics

  • Culture

  • Schools

  • FAQ

Purchasing a Condo in Seattle Will Get Your Head Out of the Clouds—and Into a Skyscraper

If you’ve had your head in the clouds about a condo in Seattle—you’re not alone. We love lofty idealism, the “who would I become if I traded this time-suck of a property for a less-to-maintain, more amenity-filled lifestyle” dreams. When you consider condos in Seattle as a potential lifestyle change, suddenly your figurative “head in the clouds” can become a literal one as you gaze out your window from high above the bustling streets and out into the Seattle skyline. Seattle condos can get you there, and even if a tall tower isn’t for you, there are many options in and around the multitude of neighborhoods in the Emerald City—gems just waiting to be explored.

History

Settling Seattle Seattle wasn’t always the hustle and bustle you see today, but the isthmus that the city is situated upon has always been popular. The site of the city we now call Seattle is the ancestral home and unceded lands of the Duwamish and Suquamish Tribes. It was their intimate knowledge that saved the early settlers from certain death that first winter, and the Tribes have stewarded the verdant lands and sparkling shoreline of the region since time immemorial. When the majority of the Denny Party landed at Alki Point, (Alki is a Chinook jargon word for “by-and-by”) in the middle of winter, 1851, they found a thriving community of Indigenous people that numbered in the thousands. But they also found one member of their party, David Denny, one of the Denny brothers who had traveled overland to the area to scout ahead, in rough shape. When the schooner, Exact, landed at Alki Point, the settlers who had taken a wagon west from New York along the Oregon Trail and then sailed up from Portland, Oregon, found David Denny feverish and wounded from an ax he was using to build a cabin that still stood roofless. It was recorded that the miserable sight prompted the women and children, after disembarking the vessel, to weep on the banks of the shoreline because the thought of an incomplete cabin was too much to bear. They never could have imagined how good we have it today, being able to buy a condo in Seattle (that we didn’t have to build ourselves) with just a few clicks of a button. The Denny Party pioneered through that first winter, and then in the spring moved their settlement across Elliot Bay for the eastern shore’s more protected harbor. The new village was called Duwamps, but the name was quickly changed to Seattle, an anglicized version of the name of the Duwamish Chief, Sealth. In 1853, the new “Town of Seattle” was platted and filed, and became official on May 23. By 1869, the rapidly-growing town had become a city and was incorporated as such, 20 years before Washington even became a state. Business and industry were booming, and one of the most important was Henry Yesler’s steam-powered sawmill, the only one in the region and the main supplier of lumber to the fledgling towns in the area, and even exporting timber all the way to San Francisco to support a city that was growing at lightning speed. The 1880s brought the railroad to town, and with that, a population explosion. It’s estimated that in the first half of 1889, Seattle was growing by 1,000 residents per month. This new method of rail transportation virtually unlocked much of the American West, and the Pacific Northwest especially, because the northern, remote wilderness was chock-full of dense, impassible underbrush which made the City of Seattle hard to reach. The Great Seattle Fire June 6, 1889, was a turning point in Seattle's history. A fire ravaged the business district, destroying 116 acres of buildings. It burned hot and fast, and with no professional fire department to speak of, it leveled the major part of town. Having the perfect medium enabled the fire to burn all day and night, and Seattle was truly a sorry sight. And as for the prolific and ironic fuel source? It was Henry Yesler’s timber. The city vowed to rebuild and began the work right away. This time, with a fire department in place and more fire-resistant materials, the city’s leaders demanded, via newly adopted building codes, that all new buildings within Seattle be made from brick, stone, or steel. The streets were straightened and widened, and though the embers had cooled, the enthusiasm for Seattle was never dampened.

Things to do in Seattle

There are so many things to do in and around Seattle, a list could keep you scrolling for ages. The moment you step outside the door of your condo in Seattle, you can be whisked away by all the city has to offer. Let's take a look at some local highlights:

Start your day, or end it, in true Seattle fashion, at one of Seattle’s overly-caffeinated coffee shops. It’s the elixir of the Seattle Gods and the mud-colored brew is drunk morning, noon, and night.

In fact, the very first Starbucks is still in operation, and you’ll find it at 1912 Pike Place near the waterfront. It’s hard to miss—you’ll know it from The Line—an ever-present fixture that stretches down the block and has worn an impression on the sidewalk.

You could fill your afternoon exploring the gorgeous Seattle Library, the Seattle Art Museum, (affectionately known as SAM), or even visit the Pacific Science Center which is definitely not just for kids.

If you adventure to the top of Smith Tower, you’d have a bird’s eye view of the city, or there’s always Seattle’s sentinel, the Space Needle, a 605-foot-tall futuristic spire created for the 1962 World’s Fair.

Seattle condos nearby this most-famous Seattle landmark are obviously quite desirable, with many having a view of the Space Needle, the Puget Sound, and Mount Rainier. (Local tip: look for Seattle condos in Kerry Park in Queen Anne if this is what you’re after.)

The fine-dining restaurant at the top of the Space Needle rotates, and nearly 60 million visitors have toured the tower since it opened. At 500 feet up, you may be surprised at what you see through the revolving glass floor of the observation deck—a view of Seattle like no other.

Unreal condos in Seattle, WA

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Map showing Seattle

Location

All of the condos in Seattle, the houses, parks, skyscrapers, apartments—you name it, are located on a narrow strip of land that connects two larger sections of land called an isthmus. With such a finite amount of space in the city, it makes sense that the city would build upward, and today there are a large number of condos in Seattle for that very reason. The inland side of Seattle is bounded by the fresh waters of Lake Washington and is the second-largest natural lake in Washington State after Lake Chelan. On the other side is the Salish Sea, (its Indigenous name) or the Puget Sound, the inland ocean waters that carve a giant slice through Western Washington in the way of fjords, channels, passageways, islands, peninsulas, and more. Seattle is interconnected to the Greater Puget Sound Region through highways and Interstates but also has a unique method of transport with the Washington State Ferry System, the largest in the country, that has sailings from Seattle to Bremerton, Bainbridge Island, and Vashon Island. The privately-owned Victoria Clipper has two routes that sail from Seattle and up into the beautiful San Juan Islands, or to Victoria, Canada. There’s also the King County Water Taxi that ferries residents from downtown and across the bay to West Seattle, a faster and less congested alternative to driving over the West Seattle Bridge. Seattle feels equidistant to everything, and a short two and half hour drive will have residents out at the edge of the continent and into the rogue Pacific Ocean waves at Ocean Shores. In nearly that same amount of time, Seattleites can head north on Interstate 5 and reach the Canadian border or can drive south on the same freeway and arrive at the Washington/Oregon border and the metro area of Portland in a little under three hours. The shortest drive, and possibly the most rewarding on a rainy or cloudy day, Seattle residents can take a quick trip over Snoqualmie Pass via Interstate 90, and once they cross the majestic Cascade Range, they’re in eastern Washington, the drier, sunnier portion of the state in just two hours or less.

Seattle demographics

Investing in a condo in Seattle is a great idea, considering that the cost of the city’s single-family houses starts at around $800,000. In order to support residents living in such an exorbitantly-priced housing market, the city pays its workers one of the highest minimum wages in the country, with most workers earning $17.27 per hour as of 2022.

Most Seattle condo owners earn an income much higher than the minimum, however, with Seattle being known nationwide as the fastest growing tech hub in the country. According to the 2020 Census Report, Seattle households earned a combined average of $97,185 per year, with many individual workers earning that salary and more working in high-paying jobs in the tech sector.

Giants like Microsoft, Amazon, Expedia, Alaska Airlines, Starbucks, Weyerhaeuser, Nordstroms, and several other Fortune 500 companies call Seattle home. This means that dwellings like Seattle condos are in high demand among working professionals, and in Seattle’s red-hot real estate market if you see one that you like—don’t hesitate, because the other buyers do not.

Arts in Seattle

Seattle stands out when it comes to the arts, entertainment, and music scene. The line, “Here we are now, entertain us” from Seattle grunge band, Nirvana, is quite fitting considering the alternative music genre explosion of the 1990s.

Now world-famous bands like Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, and Nirvana all hail from the Emerald City and turned all ears to the sounds coming out of Seattle that were iconic for the time.

Seattle still produces musical greats like Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and there are many venues around the city to take in a live show. Local favorites include Neumos and the Triple Door, along with the Tractor Tavern and The Crocodile, the latter a venue that Rolling Stone magazine has called “One of the Best Clubs in America.”

Live theater and movement have strong support in the city, with the Pacific Northwest Ballet company’s performances said to have the highest attendance per capita in the nation.

Live theater is best experienced from one of Seattle’s three historic, and architecturally-beautiful theaters, the Moore, Paramount, and 5th Ave Theaters.

The Key Arena draws the largest crowds in the city, hosting musical acts from around the globe, and is now home to the Seattle Kraken, Seattle’s professional National Hockey League (NHL) team.

Arts in Seattle

Seattle stands out when it comes to the arts, entertainment, and music scene. The line, “Here we are now, entertain us” from Seattle grunge band, Nirvana, is quite fitting considering the alternative music genre explosion of the 1990s.

Now world-famous bands like Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, and Nirvana all hail from the Emerald City and turned all ears to the sounds coming out of Seattle that were iconic for the time.

Seattle still produces musical greats like Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and there are many venues around the city to take in a live show. Local favorites include Neumos and the Triple Door, along with the Tractor Tavern and The Crocodile, the latter a venue that Rolling Stone magazine has called “One of the Best Clubs in America.”

Live theater and movement have strong support in the city, with the Pacific Northwest Ballet company’s performances said to have the highest attendance per capita in the nation.

Live theater is best experienced from one of Seattle’s three historic, and architecturally-beautiful theaters, the Moore, Paramount, and 5th Ave Theaters.

The Key Arena draws the largest crowds in the city, hosting musical acts from around the globe, and is now home to the Seattle Kraken, Seattle’s professional National Hockey League (NHL) team.

Arts in Seattle

Seattle stands out when it comes to the arts, entertainment, and music scene. The line, “Here we are now, entertain us” from Seattle grunge band, Nirvana, is quite fitting considering the alternative music genre explosion of the 1990s.

Now world-famous bands like Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, and Nirvana all hail from the Emerald City and turned all ears to the sounds coming out of Seattle that were iconic for the time.

Seattle still produces musical greats like Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and there are many venues around the city to take in a live show. Local favorites include Neumos and the Triple Door, along with the Tractor Tavern and The Crocodile, the latter a venue that Rolling Stone magazine has called “One of the Best Clubs in America.”

Live theater and movement have strong support in the city, with the Pacific Northwest Ballet company’s performances said to have the highest attendance per capita in the nation.

Live theater is best experienced from one of Seattle’s three historic, and architecturally-beautiful theaters, the Moore, Paramount, and 5th Ave Theaters.

The Key Arena draws the largest crowds in the city, hosting musical acts from around the globe, and is now home to the Seattle Kraken, Seattle’s professional National Hockey League (NHL) team.

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Licensed brokerage services provided by:

 

USRealty.com, LLP

USRealty Brokerage Solutions, LLP

USRealty.com Brokerage Solutions LLC (dba USRealty.com)

Abode Technologies, Inc. (dba USRealty.com)

 

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Information About Brokerage Services

 

By law commissions are negotiable and are not fixed by any state or federal law. Prices are subject to change without notice until orders are placed. Licenses: AL: 000101378, AR: PB00077285, AZ: PA625585000 (USRealty Brokerage Solutions, LLP), CA: 01527504 (Abode Technologies, Inc. dba USREALTY.com), CO: EC.100057478, CT: REB.0792629 dba USREALTY.com, DC: REO98368078, DE: RB-0020070 (USRealty Brokerage Solutions, LLP), FL: PR276107, GA: 59309, IL: 481.011765 (Derek Morgan, Broker: 471.012933), IN: RC51500105, KS: CO00002276, LA: 0912122514 (Loria Hamilton-Field, Broker: 0995690736), MA: 8079, MD: 6339, MI: 6502423008, MO: 2008005393, NC: C20101, NE: 20191146, NJ: 1971103, NM: 19525, NV: 1001436, NY: 10491207568, OH: REC.2015001793, OK: 152818, PA: RB066571, RI: REB.0018596, SC: 96085, TN: 261306, TX: 9000929 (Penelope Willhite, Broker: 237866), VA: 0225243285, WA: 9889 (USRealty Brokerage Solutions, LLP), WV: 004704-00 (David Sweeney, Broker: WVB190300552)

 

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