Burien is not what you think. A thriving economy, convenient location and new development make this one of King County’s best places to buy a home.
Just a few miles south of Seattle sits Burien, one of King County’s most diverse and dynamic communities. As one of the larger cities between Seattle and Tacoma, Burien is a hub of transportation, industry, and culture for the southern portion of King County, where access to the Puget Sound waterfront, job opportunities, and valuable homes are available in equal measure.
Burien has changed a lot in the years since it was incorporated in 1993. First established as a cluster of neighborhoods around Lake Burien by Eastern European settlers in the late 19th Century, it quickly became a hub for the county’s populations of foreign-born citizens working blue collar jobs. But since the mid 2000s, Burien has been undergoing a continued renaissance in the healthcare and education sectors, leading to new developments and more attractive neighborhoods and housing.
Burien has continued to grow and change since it was founded and will keep evolving, too. There is no one way to describe or define the city. It is as diverse and dynamic as the people who call it home. Homebuyers should check out Burien for value in a unique and convenient setting that will only get better for years to come.
5 facts about Burien
It’s close to everything.
Burien’s location on the south end of King County makes it the gateway to the South Puget Sound. Situated on the shoreline of Puget Sound, a home in Burien is just minutes from the waterfront and ferry terminals.
But Burien is also a central suburb of metropolitan Seattle and the surrounding cities, towns, mountains, and waterways. From your home in Burien, you could ride the nearby Light Rail station in Tukwila just fifteen minutes into downtown or only one stop to SeaTac airport. It’s only a half hour east to the Central Cascade foothills. Living in Burien means you have your share of choices for where to go and how to get there in almost no time at all.
You can walk almost everywhere.
Burien stands out as being one of the most walkable cities in Washington. It has the third highest walk score in Washington state thanks to its downtown along SW 152nd Street, where you can walk to dozens of restaurants, shops, cafes and amenities within five minutes of one another. Work from a coffee shop until you want some lunch from your favorite hole-in-the-wall, then stroll to a happy hour at one of Burien’s many local-secret watering holes.
You’ll get more for less.
Realtor.com reported that Burien’s median home sale price in 2020 was around $580,000, well below Seattle’s median price of nearly $900,000. But the real value is in the fine print. Homes in Seattle have the same amenities and are around the same age as homes in Burien, except those Seattle homes are $200 more per square foot. That means you can get more house in Burien with access to the same views, transportation and healthcare as in Seattle while paying thousands less.
Burien’s high-end entertainment doesn’t come at high-end prices.
As Burien came into its own in the last decade, it’s been identified as one of the more affordable areas for artists and arts organizations to set up shop. That’s why it’s been transformed into a vibrant and organized culture of expression through events, performances, and community building.
The Highline Performing Arts Center is the hub of cultural activity in Burien, hosting theater, dance, and orchestral performances. The Moshier Arts Center provides classes from artists all over the region. Burien is also home to the Northwest Symphony Orchestra as well as a year-round farmers’ market. There really is nowhere better than Burien to find low-cost but high-end entertainment and cultural experiences.
Burien celebrates diversity.
South King County represents the area’s more diverse neighborhoods and Burien is no exception. Burien is home to many of the area’s Latinx, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities. Almost half of Burien’s residents identify as Asian American, Hispanic, or African American. In fact, nearly a quarter of Burien’s residents in 2018 were born outside the U.S.. Burien is home to one of the region’s biggest Dia de los Muertos parades as well as Pride Month celebrations and free community block parties and outdoor concerts and community gatherings.
Curious about other areas in King County? Learn about Shoreline.