Originally Posted by chinaco
But... did you get a steal? Yeah I know... you paid a fair market driven price. But are you thrilled with the new digs and the price you paid?
I think I will have to live there for a while before I can answer this personal part. The neighborhood is more urban than my current one, and the street is noisier. OTOH the apartment is quite a bit bigger, and in some ways nicer though it is from a more recent era and lacks some "charm" relative to the old brick building I live in now.
Financially, I would not buy it as a cash flow proposition. It was renting @ $1300/mo. My known and estimated cash costs plus a hypothetical 100% 30 year loan at 4.25% give a modest positive cash flow, without any vacancy factor.
It has been a long while since this sort of proposition was available around here. But nevertheless, the proposition on the face of it is less than thrilling. Where it will win over time, if it does, is by avoiding what may be fairly steep rent increases. What counts most heavily with mid-market rents in these neighborhoods is not overall employment, but tech and other large company overall employment and new hires of young people, which have remained pretty good in spite of a fairly high overall unemployment rate in Seattle.
There is also good inmigration of this same demographic. Primary grade enrollment in Seattle schools is up the last 3 years, after a long period of decline. A demographer hired by the school district puts this to dislocations in the mortgage and housing markets, which have at least temporarily ended the longstanding tendency of young adults to live in mostly rented housing in the city, then buy a house and move to the suburbs when they have children. That they are doing less of this than before is a fact, as many suburban districts are showing early grade head count losses, while Seattle is gaining. What is not certain in my view is why. Maybe more people have decided that the city has some advantages, even with children.