The sales price on a home isn’t the only thing that can affect your pocketbook when you’re considering the purchase of a new home. The location can also have a significant effect on both your wallet and your time, which can be even more priceless.
If you’re new to the area, or looking to land someplace entirely new, one of your first considerations should be Seattle-side or Eastside? The two areas, traditionally denoted by which side of the 520 floating bridge you’re on, should be a big consideration in choosing where you want to live. If you choose to live on one side of the bridge and work on the other, get yourself satellite radio, because you’re in for one long commute. Though I-90 is generally less traffic impacted than the 520, it can still be an epic trip to other side. And, though legislators are proposing ways to alleviate this gridlock, don’t expect any remedies anytime soon (i.e. 2018) though you could feel the sting of these proposals as soon as next year.
Governor Christine Gregoire has already pitched a plan collect revenues for bridge expansion by turning the 520 and I-90 into toll bridges, suggesting $6-7 as a possible fee. To go back and forth over the bridge for a work commute, this would cost you $12-14/day. In one 20-day work month, that could be $240+. Add that to current gas prices, and you’re looking at a pretty penny if you need to cross that bridge for work.
Bottom line, check out the traffic situation between any potential new home and that place that you spend more hours at than your home itself–your place of employment. You should drive the commute during your regular work hours and to establish some real expectations. Consider living on the Eastside if you work on the Eastside, or living on the Seattle-side, if you work on the Seattle-side. Make sense? It probably makes more sense than building a 4 lane bridge across Lake Washington to begin with. In the meantime, our beloved Seattle continues to plunk down more of your change than you realize for traffic and road improvements.
In the meantime, if you work on the Eastside, here are a couple of homes in the Microsoft/Redmond area.
7923 152nd Ave NE
5 br/2.5 ba, 2,650 sq.ft.
6613 152 Ave NE
4 br/2.5 ba, 2,560 sq.ft.
6220 145th Ave NE
4 br/2.25 ba, 2,360 sq.ft.
9110 182nd Ave NE
3 br/2.5 ba, 1,560 sq.ft.