Snoqualmie Valley Attracting Price Savvy Home Buyers From Issaquah & Bellevue

hot-deal-150x150So… it’s finally happened. Many home buyers on the Eastside have reached a threshold for what they’re willing to pay for their next home. Put more bluntly… more buyers have come to the conclusion that Issaquah is “expensive!” And… Bellevue is “very expensive!” More and more buyers are echoing this sentiment, which is good news for the Snoqualmie Valley real estate market.

10-15 Minutes Can Save Home Buyers a Bundle!

For example, an approximate 2000 square foot resale home in good condition at the Issaquah Highlands may sell between $550,000 to $625,000. Recently updated and with a view? Add on another $40K – $80K.

How does that compare to a home of similar size & quality at Snoqualmie Ridge? Between $425,000 to $475,000, with the difference being primarily due to both the builder & specific location. A similar home in North Bend? Between $400,000 to $450,000.

So… breaking down the home price differences to the extra driving times between the Valley and Issaquah, and we’re talking about a savings of $8K – $12K per minute on I-90. Citing this figure to buyers tends to put things into a whole new perspective!

I won’t keep it a secret that during the past year, at times I’ve resorted to a bit of “playful arm twisting” to persuade our Issaquah buyers to take a more serious look at homes in the Snoqualmie Valley. After seeing the possibilities (not to mention, the beauty surrounding us in the Valley) each of these buyers ended up purchasing here, and they were very grateful for the recommendation. They were able to purchase a larger home, with a bigger yard, and similar finish-out quality for significantly less money. And in fact, contrary to popular belief, commuting times (for them) are LESS than they would have been otherwise.

Overall, the Seattle market appears to be shifting a bit though – there are “signs” of softening demand. But, with interest rates slowly creeping upwards, portions of the Snoqualmie Valley could continue to experience relatively brisk sales, as other areas become less affordable.

New Construction Options – Helping or Hurting?

Low inventory of resale homes has obviously been the primary cause for rapidly rising prices. However, new construction home prices & builder sales strategies in Issaquah, Snoqualmie & North Bend have played a major role in our local market as well.

Due to continued overwhelming demand and limited options, most new construction homes are being “released” for sale in stages – and prices continue to stair-step upwards. As new home prices increase, resale homes can more easily follow. (Of course, the opposite unfortunately applies in a declining market.)

While new construction options often hurt resale home values in many markets across the country, in our area, new construction activity is actually helping drive resale home values upwards. For 18+ months now, we’ve had very few, if any, “move-in ready” new homes available. So, buyers who are in a time crunch or simply don’t want to wait, will naturally consider resale homes nearby. Of course it goes without saying, that what’s great news for homeowners, doesn’t make things any easier for buyers.

What Does This Mean for Home Sellers?

Paying close attention to the market through the “buyer’s eyes” is always very helpful – but especially when inventory is tight. It’s tempting to price high, but overpricing is still a potential hazard in a rising market. In fact, being “too aggressive” can come back to bite a seller at appraisal time, possibly placing the buyer at a very distinct advantage.

In short, it’s best to avoid becoming “that home” which other sellers use as leverage when setting their price (making your home look overpriced). In addition to comparable sale data of course, it’s important to consider ALL options buyers have, including new construction – and strategically position the home to obtain the highest price possible, while still appearing as an attractive option.

anthony gilbertAnthony Gilbert, REALTOR® – is a Snoqualmie Valley resident, and Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Danforth, serving the communities of Snoqualmie, North Bend, Fall City, Issaquah & Sammamish. Have questions regarding the local real estate market?  You can contact him at

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  • I believe the other factor that people need to take into consideration is that yes Snoqualmie is further up the 90, but when you factor in the time and trouble it takes to get to most places off of the 90 in the Issaquah area or “Plateau” then there is almost no time difference. Most places in the Snoqualmie Valley are very accessible right off the freeway.

  • Thanks so much! LOL Now we will be turning the beautiful Valley into one of those ugly spots!.. People will bring their penchant for huge homes.. huge cars.. increasing traffic.. demands on the infrastructure.. all the things that make the two cities mentioned in the article as “too expensive”.. and too much traffic.. one of the reasons many folks stay here in the Valley or have moved here over years.. not to save money.. but to love the area and be free of sirens.. traffic etc.. Guess moving farther away is the next step!..

    1. JIM, I believe what you are referring to is called urban sprawl which is a reality of life when you live in an urban area such as ours. I’ll let you decide to what degree it is good or bad. To me what is important is how this urban sprawl is dealt with and managed. That is the beauty of a master planned community. Roads are designed properly from the get go and lots of open space is reserved for the long run. While the powers to be may not be able to stop urban sprawl (no one can) it can be managed creating a desirable place that I and others will want to live for a long time to come.

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