Why Puget Sound homebuyers should take a serious look at Bellevue
Just a few decades ago, there wasn’t much in the skyline of Bellevue, Washington. In recent years, though, the city came into its own as a separate, exciting, and dynamic location all on its own. Look east across Lake Washington, and now you’ll find a cultural, lifestyle, and business hub that stretches from north of highway 520 south past I-90, and all the way from Lake Washington to Lake Sammamish. There’s something for everyone in Bellevue, but here’s just a few of the top reasons Bellevue is a great place to buy a home in the Northwest.
Before settlers came to Puget Sound, the native Duwamish lived in what is now modern-day Seattle and Renton. They maintained a small outpost along a creek on the east side of Lake Washington now named Kelsey Creek. When Europeans took over, they built up Seattle but maintained the old Duwamish area on the east side for farming to help sustain Seattle’s booming economy. Then, tourists from Seattle discovered the area as a weekend retreat and decided the future of Bellevue.
Local government incorporated the city in 1953. It grew exponentially when modern bridges were built to cross the lake. Bellevue truly blossomed in the early 2000s when Puget Sound’s tech employers moved in. And it’s only been growing ever since.
Bellevue has plenty to keep you and your family entertained
People often see Bellevue as a suburb or bedroom community of Seattle because of its proximity to the more populous city. That’s an unfair mistake. Bellevue holds its own as a cultural and entertainment center. Its library system is nationally recognized. A renowned art museum and children’s museum round out the entertainment for any family, plus the nearby zipline tour operator is a destination for locals and tourists alike.
It has a ton of parks and outdoors access
No matter where you live in the Pacific Northwest, you won’t have to look far for greenery. Bellevue is set apart because of its position along the lakeshore. The city sits between water and foothills so its many parks are particularly beautiful. Both Chism Beach Park and Newcastle Beach Park look out over Lake Washington and Mercer Island. On Sammamish Lake, the Weowna Park trails wind along the water through old growth forest. Inland, the Bellevue Botanical Gardens and Kelsey Creek Park are the crowning outdoor attractions closer to the city center.
It’s not as wet as you think
If you live in the Northwest, prepare for rain no matter what. But not every rainy city is made equally. Bellevue gets about the same amount of inches of rain as other cities in the region, but the rain is contained to fewer days. So you’ll have a few more breaks in the clouds if you buy a home in Bellevue, compared to buying a home in another city nearby.
You’ll have access to world-class luxury shopping
It’s true that fashions of the Pacific Northwest tend to focus on flannel and denim because of the weather. But Bellevue is the exception thanks to its many shopping opportunities. Bellevue Square, in the heart of the city, is the area’s go-to shopping mall while Crossroads Shopping Center mixes dining, retail, and entertainment in a classic public market setting. But if you’re looking for unique, high-end, luxurious shopping in Bellevue, you can get your fix at the Shops at the Bravern to buy Hermês, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and more.
Bellevue is the hub of Northwest life
Bellevue used to be an out-of-town getaway for Seattleites before any highways or bridges were built. Now, it’s a lifestyle hub at the center of King County. Just minutes across a brand new floating bridge from Seattle, it takes under an hour on I-5 or I-405 to get to Everett or Tacoma. And buying a home in Bellevue now is a great investment in the future since Light Rail is coming to the east side within the decade. At the eastern shore of Lake Washington, Bellevue is also even closer to world-class skiing, hiking, and climbing than Seattle.
It’s (literally) one of the best places to live
Year after year, Bellevue consistently lands on a list of the top cities in the country to live. Whether it’s Today in 2014, Livabiliy.com in 2018, or Niche just last year, Bellevue ranks high for its great public schools, low crime rate, and stellar homes. It makes sense. Bellevue is a beautiful city full of some of the area’s most well-educated people in an economically and racially diverse region of the world. What’s not to like?
You’ll find high-paying opportunities everywhere
Bellevue developed quickly. Within the last ten years, the tech sector in Bellevue grew to rival Seattle’s as Expedia, T-Mobile, and Paccar moved their headquarters to Bellevue. Other companies built satellite offices in the city. But even without the tech sector, Bellevue is still within the center of Boeing’s largest employment region. Plus, it’s near a number of high-paying municipal jobs at the ports of Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, and beyond.
You’ll eat really well
It’s no secret that the Pacific Northwest is home to some of the best restaurants and most exciting chefs in the country. But a lot of people don’t know that a lot of those restaurants aren’t actually in Seattle. Many of the region’s best restaurants are in Bellevue. Some of the best seafood on the West Coast is served at Seastar downtown. They’re known for their raw bar but their full dinner menu is worth moving to Bellevue, alone. From Earls Kitchen and Bar to Cactus, Bellevue is a destination all on its own to enjoy the best food around.
The schools are top-notch
Bellevue public schools are consistently ranked high on both national and regional lists in Niche, U.S. News, and World Report. The Bellevue Public Schools District serves Bellevue and a highly diverse surrounding area with top-rated K-12 schools. The district also includes choice schools focused on language learning and academic rigor. Bellevue students are poised to become well-rounded leaders in the region and beyond.
Bellevue’s neighborhoods are safe, scenic, and beautiful
It would be hard to find any neighborhood in Bellevue that isn’t safe or picturesque. The city is set between two major lakes and is at the foothills of stunning mountains so each neighborhood has a unique look and feel. The Somerset neighborhood rests on a hill along winding roads near the southeastern edge of Bellevue. Residents there enjoy a suburban atmosphere with midcentury homes near parks and shops. Then, there’s Beaux Arts Village. Beaux Arts Village is a city within a city in Bellevue with stunning views of the water and luxury homes along the shoreline. With below average crime rates for the state of Washington as reported by Bestplaces.net, you should feel safe and sound in any Bellevue neighborhood you choose.
If you’re looking to buy a home in the Puget Sound area, Bellevue should be on the top of your list. From safe and beautiful neighborhoods to unbeatable schools, Bellevue has become one of the most popular areas for homebuyers looking to blend city life with suburban charm. Let Flyhomes help you find the right home in this near-perfect enclave along the lake.
Is it expensive to live in Bellevue?
Bellevue is in an area of the country where salaries are high enough to drive up home prices and other costs of living. On average, Bellevue is about as expensive as other tech hubs in Washington and California but the cost of living is much higher than in other parts of the country.
Is Bellevue a rich area?
The short answer is yes. According to the Seattle Times, in 2018 Bellevue’s median household income of $114,000 was in the top fifty median incomes in the country. Overall, Bellevue and the greater Seattle area represent higher-than-average incomes due to the high-paying tech jobs that dominate the region’s economy.
Is Bellevue a safe place to live?
Bellevue has average or below average crime rates when compared to the U.S. and the Puget Sound region in general, according to Bestplaces.net.
Is Bellevue better than Seattle?
Whether or not Bellevue is better than Seattle depends on what you’re looking for in a hometown. Remember, when comparing Seattle to Bellevue, that they are different. Bellevue stands on its own as a unique city within Puget Sound’s largest metropolitan area.
About the author: Josh Potter works for Flyhomes. He is a writer and journalist based in Seattle.