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Why You’ll Want to Buy a Home in Bellevue, WA

Waterfront homes in Washington

Located in King County, Washington, Bellevue strikes an ideal balance between economic prosperity and blissful coexistence with nature. Located on the eastern shore of Lake Washington, this “city in a park” is a tech and retail powerhouse boasting 2,800 acres of forest and open space.

Bellevue is often ranked as a top mid-sized US city. CNN’s Money Magazine frequently cites Bellevue as among America’s Top 100 Cities. In 2019, it was #10 in Business Insider’s list of best cities to live in the US. In 2020, the popular ranking and review site,, put Bellevue at #10 in the same category.

Bellevue’s status as a top city comes as no surprise. Well-kept neighborhoods, stellar job opportunities, smartly designed infrastructure, a plethora of amenities and activities, and easy access to the outdoors all make Bellevue a highly livable community.

A brief history of Bellevue, WA

Bellevue used to be heavily forested up until the 20th century. Situated between Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish, the area was largely unpopulated in its earliest days. Native Americans preferred to live near the coastal areas to the west or the wide plains further to the east.

The discovery of coal in the late 1860s, as well as the steady increase in logging activities, fueled the influx of European settlers. The founders named the city Bellevue — French for “beautiful view” — because of the gorgeous surroundings including the nearby lake waters.

Farming became widespread in the 1900s as new settler communities took advantage of the rich soil. Bountiful harvests fed the steadily rising population in Bellevue and served the needs of nearby Seattle.

The completion of a rail line (1904) and a bridge traversing Lake Washington (1940) saw a wave of newcomers relocating to the up-and-coming small town. Eventually, Bellevue became a city in March 1953. Infrastructure development and the annexation of nearby areas propelled growth. By the 1970s, Bellevue became the fourth largest city in Washington State. Today, it is home to over 145,000 residents and has become a major economic artery in the state of Washington.

The things that make Bellevue an excellent place to call home

  1. Six of the best neighborhoods feature great schools and so much more

    Bellevue truly lives up to its name, with well-designed neighborhoods that are some of the best in the US. The quality of life is exceptional, whether it’s for an entire family or a single young professional.

    Here are snapshots of Bellevue’s most distinctive neighborhoods:

    • Downtown. As the fastest growing residential area, Downtown’s high-rise buildings and swanky condominiums are tailor made for those looking for the best in urban living. An increasingly cosmopolitan community drives the pace and energy of the area. Live and work in a part of town where it’s easy to check out the exhibits at the Bellevue Arts Museum or explore hundreds of specialty stores and restaurants.
    • Crossroads. This diverse and densely populated neighborhood features large apartment complexes and single-family dwellings. It’s ideal for those who want to be in the thick of things – cultural programs, stage performances, sports events, and food exhibits are regular occurrences. The shopping center houses unique shops and amazing restaurants. Moreover, recreational facilities such as a nine-hole golf course, a multi-purpose park, and a children’s water park make Crossroads an ideal place to live.
    • Lake Hills. Since development began in the 1950s, Lake Hills has grown to become the most populous neighborhood in Bellevue – over 16,000 residents live in a mix of small and multi-family communities. Extensive trails, open spaces, and wooded areas provide a rich outdoor experience. Pet owners can bring along their furry companions to Robinswood Community Park. Additionally, you can practice your serve at an indoor tennis facility or play other sports of choice in nearby athletic fields. Lake Hills is also the home of Bellevue College. The third largest school of higher learning in Washington State offers an array of academic programs including bachelor’s degrees and technical certificates in a broad range of disciplines.
    • Eastgate and Factoria. Both encompass single-family and multi-family neighborhoods, high-quality schools, as well as office and retail areas. Eastgate and Factoria are just two miles apart, linked by Interstate 90. Top schools include Eastgate Elementary School, Tyee Middle School, and Newport High School. Living in Eastgate or Factoria also makes it easy to get to Bellevue College, which is less than a half-a-mile north of either neighborhood. Drop by the South Bellevue Center to play basketball or go indoor climbing.
    • Newport. With some of the best views of Bellevue, Newport offers stylish waterfront living. The communities of Newport Shores and Lake Lanes feature properties ideal for all sorts of boating and other water-based activities. The neighborhood is also close to Coal Creek Natural Area, a 146-acre protected area that features walking trails, open spaces, and a variety of wildlife like coyotes, deer, raccoons, and red-tail hawks.
    • Somerset. Somerset lies in the hillier parts of the city, offering amazing views of Lake Washington, all the way up to the Olympic Mountains. Residents say that the “beautiful views” from Somerset is what inspired the city’s founders to call the area Bellevue. Somerset is also close enough to offices and amenities north of the neighborhood via Interstate 405 and 90. Somerset Elementary School is a top option.

  2. There is no shortage of top-notch job opportunities

    Over 30 major companies have offices in Bellevue. Tech is a top sector but Bellevue is also strong in retail, finance, manufacturing, and services. Companies that offer high-wage jobs in this city include Intel, Boeing, Microsoft, Expedia, and others.

    Bellevue was Microsoft’s headquarters for seven years before the tech giant moved to nearby Redmond, just a 10-minute drive northeast of their old home. Many of those who work in Bellevue live just minutes away. Seattle, another economically vibrant city, lies approximately 10 miles to the west.

    According to the Bellevue’s Economic Development Plan, released in November 2020, the city aims to mitigate the negative effects of COVID-19 by ensuring that the city’s economy remains resilient.

    Initiatives include:

    • Programs to retain and expand businesses
    • Sustaining the creation of above-average economic opportunities
    • Attracting highly skilled professionals and developing world-class talent
    • Fostering public-private partnerships
    • Supporting entrepreneurs and the creative economy
    • Encouraging a variety of housing choices within the city
    • Continuing to make Bellevue a great place to live, work, and visit

    The city also vows to view all activities “through a lens of diversity, equity and inclusion.”

  3. Bellevue is home to a host of activities and attractions

    Whether it’s shopping, dining, hiking, or sightseeing, Bellevue has something for everyone. Here are some things you can do:

    • Visit the Bellevue Arts Museum. In Downtown Bellevue, attend exhibits from local and international artists and designers. The Bellevue Arts Museum also offers workshops that appeal to different age groups. While in-person tours are currently suspended due to COVID-19, you can visit the museum website for more information on virtual tours and other programs.
    • Explore retail and shopping options. Widely considered as the Pacific Northwest’s fashion capital, Bellevue has luxury brands, unique shops, and top-notch department stores that provide a well-rounded shopping experience. Visit long-time establishments at Old Bellevue on Main Street or the designer shops at The Bravern on 8th Street.
    • Relax at Meydenbauer Bay Park. Enjoy the nice, open space as you marvel at the beauty of Lake Washington. Work on your tan and bury your toes in the sand while you’re at it. If it’s warm enough, it’s not a bad idea to go for a swim. This area is named after one of the city’s founders, William Meydenbauer. In the early days, passengers disembarked here from ferries coming from Seattle.
    • Hit the trails at Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park. Lying just 8.8 miles southeast of Bellevue, Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park offers a quick and convenient outdoor escape. It sprawls across 3,000 acres of forest and over 35 miles of trail paths that will take you through caves, wetlands, streams, and other habitats.
    • Go on a road trip to Mount Rainier National Park. If you fancy a little adventure beyond city boundaries, Mount Rainier National Park is an hour-and-45-minute drive south of Bellevue. A day trip is possible but you can stay the night or two in one of the park’s picturesque campgrounds. Make sure to check Mount Rainier’s website for up-to-date information on the availability of the grounds given the ongoing pandemic.

    Bellevue also offers an impressive dining experience. Bookmark the restaurants listed here in case dine-in options remain unavailable at the moment. However, takeout and delivery services are available in the meantime.

    • John Howie Steak, 11111 NE 8th Street #125
      Your choice for custom-aged steaks, premium wagyu beef, and a selection of fine wines. Specializing in private dining, John Howie Steak is perfect for dress-up dates with your partner.
    • Tavern Hall, 505 Bellevue Square
      If you’re looking for a more casual place that won’t let your taste buds down, check out Tavern Hall. Founded by veteran restaurant operators and designers, this cool and lively gastropub is a great place for delicious comfort food and drinks. It’s ideal for those who want to meet up with fiends after work or on weekends.
    • Araya’s Place, 10246 Main Street #C
      Araya’s Place showcases mouth-watering and expertly prepared vegan Thai dishes. From fresh spring rolls to flavorful curries, Araya highlights the best of Asian cuisine. Additionally, the restaurant also offers catering services and online delivery options.
    • Din Tai Fung, 700 Bellevue Way NE #280
      Here’s another establishment where you can satisfy your Asian cuisine cravings. An international restaurant originating from Taiwan, Din Tai Fung is the place to go for savory dumplings and wok fried noodles. Don’t ever miss out on their xiao long bao — steamed dumplings containing soup and pork — which is what they are best known for. While this branch in Lincoln Square is currently limited to takeout, quality and taste aren’t compromised at all.

  4. Bellevue lives up to its reputation as a “city in a park”

    Trees are at the heart of Bellevue, with approximately 75% of the city’s trees located on residential land. Whether it’s improving air quality, reducing the likelihood of flooding, or improving the overall vibe of neighborhoods, trees have earned Bellevue its reputation as “city in a park.”

    And the city has actively protected their place within the community. In fact:

    • The city maintains an average of 15 acres annually.
    • A special permit is required before removing at least five trees that are over three years old.
    • According to an assessment done in 2017, 37% percent of Bellevue is covered in tree canopy. The city has since vowed to increase that coverage to 40%.

    Bellevue has several initiatives aimed at maintaining its treasured trees. For instance, the Neighborhood Tree Ambassador Program allows volunteers to create walking tours that go through the trees surrounding their respective neighborhoods. There are even self-guided tours compiled in PDF form and uploaded to the city’s website if you want to explore on your own.

    Volunteers are also allowed to look after the botanical garden, extensive trail paths, and native plants. While the pandemic has put all activity on hold, city officials plan to resume the call for help at the start of 2022.

  5. Bellevue pursues green initiatives and improves interconnectivity

    There’s always a new program to benefit Bellevue residents and visitors alike.

    For example, early on, the city determined that walking and cycling are ideal alternatives to driving. Thus, in 2009 it updated a then 10-year old Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation Plan. The city erected six-foot wide lanes along key thoroughfares to make walking and biking safer and more convenient.

    The city’s Information Technology Department is currently turning Bellevue into a full-fledged smart city. To achieve its goals of livability, sustainability, and resiliency, the following initiatives are underway:

    • Reducing water and energy waste in buildings through advanced monitoring and analytics in order to achieve net zero carbon emissions from energy use in buildings
    • Improving public Wi-Fi
    • Enhancing the exchange of information between public-private partnerships
    • Using more renewable energy sources
    • Improving the response time of first responders by streamlining dispatch and radio systems

  6. Bellevue offers a diverse array of housing options

    Choose from beautifully remodeled single-family homes to luxury condominiums featuring the best in northwest Contemporary architecture. If you’re fortunate, you might find a few stunning Mid Century Modern homes in selected waterfront communities.

    You can also opt for townhouses in neighborly communities. While two stories are the norm, four-story options are available as well. Look for what’s on your wishlist like large windows, cathedral ceilings, 1,400 to over 2,000 square feet of floor space, and 2 bedrooms and baths.

    A modern multi-family house with incredible views of Downtown may suit growing and extended families. Features may include a private courtyard and a garage that can accommodate multiple vehicles.

    Check out the Lofts at 15th to experience one of the recent luxury developments in Bellevue. High-end interior finishes and great outdoor spaces make this an ideal option for residents who want to work and play in a bustling area of town. Additionally, there’s an array of nearby recreational spots to explore, such as Bellevue Highlands Park and Crossroads Park.

    Alternatively, a waterfront property on West Lake Sammamish may be just the thing for some breathtaking natural scenery. A single lot of 14,000 square feet can feature a traditionally designed single-family home, mooring for two to six boats, and a large outdoor area. Several of these waterfront properties are close to shops and the surrounding business districts.

Ready to take the next step and move to Bellevue, WA?

It’s a good time to consider buying a home in Bellevue. Compared to 2019, prices have decreased by about 1% in 2020 – but predictions are rife that prices will rebound by as much as 5% in 2021.

For the past several months, the real estate market has been buoyed by the surge in buyer demand, while inventory has remained constant as of the last quarter of 2020. If this trend continues, as many observers predict, it will drive up prices. In fact, predicts a 9.7% increase in home values within the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue in 2021.

If you’ve been eyeing Bellevue as a potential new home, the time to act is now before home prices rise.

If you’re an investor, take advantage of current home prices so you can reap the rewards suggested by coming market trends.

While it can be daunting to navigate the real estate market amid a pandemic, Brooksview Northwest will ease the stress of the process. Allow us to be your trusted partner and ally to achieve your real estate goals in Bellevue as well as the rest of Western Washington.

Whether you are searching for your dream home or looking to sell your current home, Brooksview Northwest is your premier resource for all your real estate needs.

Contact the Brooksview Northwest Team today at 425.747.7900 or send an email to kevan(at)brooksviewnorthwest(dotted)com to get started.