What does $2,000 rent get you in 10 different Seattle neighborhoods?

February 27, 2017

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We talk a lot about all the people moving to Seattle and the construction boom that comes with it. Rent prices seem to be soaring these days, but are the only reasonably priced options out there just micro-studios or paying your friend a couple hundred for a spot on his couch?

To see what’s out there, I wanted to see what $2,000 gets you in different neighborhoods across the city.

Why $2,000?

The rule of thumb for how much you should pay for rent is 30% of your gross monthly income (meaning what you make before taxes).

Seattle’s Median Income in 2016 was $80,349 (thanks, tech companies). Split over 12 months, that equals an average monthly income of $6,695. Thirty percent of that is $2,008 per month.

I made it an even $2,000 for this project, because searching for places at $2,008 seemed silly. In all of the places below, I found the place closest to $2,000, then picked the spot with the highest square footage if they two places cost the same.

Using Zillow, the real-estate finding website headquartered in Seattle, here’s what I found  $2,000 will get you across the city(ranked from best to worst):


Ballard

$1,950/month (W/S/G included) - 2 bed, 2 bath, 1,650 square feet ($1.18/foot) (view)
This isn’t too bad for Ballard. 1,650 square feet isn’t anything to shake your stick at, and nabbing two bathrooms is a rarity on this list, so take that for what it is. Sure you aren’t in the heart of the neighborhood, but you’re definitely within walking distance. This is the best deal per on square foot on the list. Pretty good for an apartment, if you ask me.

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West Seattle

$2,000/month – 3 bed, 1 bath, 1,310 square feet ($1.52/foot) (view)
The only reason this spot doesn’t get a perfect score is because NOBODY should have to deal with the West Seattle Bridge for any reason whatsoever when they’re trying to get to work. Other than that, this is the only hood on the list where two grand gets you three bedrooms and the whole house to yourself (aka not a duplex, townhouse or apartment).


U. District

$1,895/month – 2 bed, 2 bath, 1,000 square feet ($1.89/foot) (view)
Five blocks from UW, parking garage, two full bathrooms and decent square footage makes this an actually decent neighborhood to live in if you want to be near I-5 or even just the university. Probably a bit too spendy for a couple of undergrads, but perfect for recent grads that want to stick in the area. 1,000 square feet keeps it right about the middle of the pack for this list.


Fremont

$1,995/month – 2 bed, 2 bath, 1,250 square feet ($1.59/foot) (view)
This location in Fremont is good, and the deal is even better considering what else is available in the area. Everywhere else near it in price and location means you take a drastic cut in size. You’re nearly in that “Frelard” part of Fremont/Ballard, but this is the perfect kind of place to post up and still be within a good distance from bars in both neighborhoods.

Greenwood
$1,950/month – 2 bed, 1.5 bath, 1,060 square feet ($1.83/foot) (view)

High quality appliances, hardwood floors, three floors and it’s all in decent shape? Daaaaamn Greenwood. The biggest downsides are that you are still technically in Greenwood, but it's just far enough from 85th that walking down for a night out seems far, but not far enough to justify an Uber. Also, no matter what way you try, it’s a trip to get downtown in the morning.


Central District

$1,995/month – 2 bed, 1 bath, 1,013 square feet ($1.96/foot) (view)
One of the Seattle’s most diverse zip codes is starting to feel the pressure as the residential boom expands outward from Downtown and South Lake Union. This townhouse beats the rest of the places on the list because it’s a townhouse AND utilities are included, but anything cheaper than this is probably showing its age at this point. Plus, you’re kind of a haul from the major freeways if you’re trying to go anywhere but downtown. Honestly, living this close to Ezell's might make it all worth it.

Wallingford
$1,995/month – 2 bed, 1 bath, 900 square feet ($2.21/foot) (view)

This is where we start to see the cost per foot creep over the $2 mark. You’re in a decent spot near plenty of cool urban areas, though moderately long walks to get there. The interiors are pretty nice for an apartment (whoa backsplash? Fancy!), and there’s even a washer and dryer! All in all, this is a decent space that makes 900 square feet seem not so bad, but bad compared to the fact you can get a spot for the same price and nearly double the size in Ballard.


Capitol Hill

$2,000/month – 2 bed, 2 bath, 900 square feet ($2.22/foot) (view)
Even Seattle’s counter-cultural hub is losing its charm. $2,000 will get you right near the heart of Cap Hill, but that and the rare off-street parking are about all that’s good about this spot. You’ll also have about 300 more square feet than any of your neighbors, but at $2.22 per foot, you might feel a bit hard done, especially with shared laundry and no doggos allowed.


Green Lake

$1,900/month – 2 bed, 1 bath, 900 square feet ($2.11/foot) (view)
Green Lake is still one of the best hoods for families, but if you need the extra space, you’re going to pay for it. This listing is a top floor apartment right across from the lake. While there are two bedrooms, it’s a bit deceiving because you can only get to Bedroom #2 through Bedroom #1. Hope you’re comfortably with your roommate.


South Lake Union

$1,967/month – Studio, 1 bath, 650 square feet ($3.02/foot) (view)
Yeah, don’t try to live here. South Lake Union has definitely been the neighborhood hardest hit by the influx of cash into the city. Amazon pays big, and with that kind of money you can afford to live within walking distance from your open-format office with ping pong tables around every corner. With $2,000 or less, you aren’t getting much more than a closet with a toilet in it. The selling point on these places is always the shared amenities, but let’s be real, you’ll never use those.

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