Best Places To Buy A House In Washington For 2020


Using science and data, we can tell you which places in Washington have seen home prices rising and people flocking over the past year.

Editor’s note: This is not investment advice and we are not financial advisers. Article updated for 2020.

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There's a the age old question everyone thinks about when they decide to move to a city in Washington:

Should I buy a place or rent? Well, we aren't here today to solve that problem for you exactly. We are just assuming you'll do the right thing and a buy a place. And while we are happy to tell you the best place to live in Washington, this analysis is going to tackle the question of the best place to buy a house as an investor. That is we are going to try and determine the up and coming cities in the Evergreen State.

To do that we are going to look at places in Washington that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the "deals". The best deal in Washington at the moment? That would be Sultan according to our analysis.

Here's a look at the top ten places to buy a home in washington for 2020:

  1. Sultan (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Wapato (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Blaine (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Connell (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Ocean Shores (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Woodland (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Prosser (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Union Gap (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Steilacoom (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Normandy Park (Photos | Homes For Sale)

What's the best place to buy a home in Washington for 2020? According to our analysis, would the the ideal place to buy a home looking into the future.

The methodology that wen't into this can be a bit complicated, so we'll break it down for you in as much detail as we can below. If you're not worried about finding a deal on good places to live, check out the most expensive places to live in washington and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in washington.

For more Washington reading, check out:

The 10 Best Cities To Buy A House In Washington For 2020

Sultan, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 5,040
Median Home Price: $257,100
Population Change: 1.8%
Home Price Change: 10.3%
More on Sultan: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Wapato, WA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,041
Median Home Price: $107,600
Population Change: -0.2%
Home Price Change: -2.0%
More on Wapato: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

The town was founded in 1885 by Indian Postmaster Alexander McCredy as a railroad stop on the Northern Pacific Railroad as Simcoe, Washington. The Dawes Severalty Act of 1887 made it legal for the Yakama Indian Nation to sell their lands, and began to draw settlers into the area. With the construction of the Irwin Canal in 1896, agriculture became the big business in town. In the early 1900s, McCredy and George Rankin established the Wapato Development Company and laid out the town site. They established the town's first bank and began selling lots. In response to persistent confusion with nearby Fort Simcoe, the town changed its name to Wapato in 1903. The 1906 Jones Act further encouraged Anglos to purchase land from the Yakamas. Wapato was officially incorporated on September 16, 1908 with a population of around 300 people.

Blaine, WA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 5,172
Median Home Price: $301,700
Population Change: 1.9%
Home Price Change: -4.3%
More on Blaine: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Connell, WA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,482
Median Home Price: $117,200
Population Change: 0.6%
Home Price Change: -4.2%
More on Connell: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Prior to 1883 the area now known as Connell was used by ranchers as open range for cattle and horses. The community was established in 1883 as a junction between the Northern Pacific Railroad and the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company. The new town was called Palouse Junction by Jacob Cornelius Connell, a railroad official and resident. Palouse Junction was unique on the Ainsworth to Spokane run, in that it was not on a river. It was also the gateway to the Palouse via the OR&N's line to Washtucna. Water for trains and for the town was from public wells dug by the railroad. At some time between 1886 and 1900, the town was renamed to Connell.

Ocean Shores, WA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,814
Median Home Price: $219,800
Population Change: 1.8%
Home Price Change: 10.7%
More on Ocean Shores: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

The City of Ocean Shores occupies the Point Brown peninsula on the Washington coast. Long before the arrival of European explorers and settlers, the peninsula was used by the various local tribes for trading and other purposes. The Chinook, Chehalis, and Quinault Tribes used the area, as well as others that now make up the Quinault Indian Nation.

Woodland, WA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,912
Median Home Price: $223,500
Population Change: 2.5%
Home Price Change: 5.1%
More on Woodland: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Hudson's Bay Company retiree, Adolphous Le Lewes, established a homestead at the mouth of what is today known as the Lewis River, in 1849. Two Iowa families, related by marriage, came next: the Solomon Strongs filed a claim in September 1850 and the Squire Bozarths filed a claim in December of the same year. Bozarth built the first frame house, in what is today Woodland, and named it "Woodland Farm House." Other early settlers include: Columbia Lancaster, Milly Bozarth, McKenzie and Jane Caples, Brandt and Hans Kraft. After a few years, Christopher Columbus Bozarth, a son of Squire Bozarth, opened a store and named it "Woodland," after his father's farm. Woodland eventually grew on the spot where the store was located.

Prosser, WA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 6,076
Median Home Price: $168,600
Population Change: 1.8%
Home Price Change: 6.0%
More on Prosser: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Prosser was long home to Native Americans who lived and fished along the river. They called the area "Tap tut", meaning rapids.

Union Gap, WA

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 6,142
Median Home Price: $105,200
Population Change: -0.2%
Home Price Change: 7.7%
More on Union Gap: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

The city of Union Gap was originally named Yakima City and was officially incorporated on November 23, 1883. When bypassed by the Northern Pacific Railroad in December 1884, over 100 buildings were moved with rollers and horse teams to the nearby site of the depot. The new city was dubbed North Yakima. In 1918 North Yakima was changed to simply Yakima, and the original town to the south was named Union Gap.

Steilacoom, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 6,270
Median Home Price: $338,100
Population Change: 1.1%
Home Price Change: 3.4%
More on Steilacoom: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

The origin of the name "Steilacoom" is unclear. According to the Legacy Washington program, the town-s name is derived from an Indian word meaning -little pink flower.- Another version is that it was named by fur traders with the Hudson's Bay Company and is an adaptation of Tail-a-Koom, the name of an Indian chief. In 1824 HBC chief factor John Work called it "Chilacoom". Another early spelling was "Chelakom". The Town of Steilacoom says it was named after the Steilacoom tribe, especially their main village in the Tacoma area, located on Chambers Bay. This village was called Scht-lqm, later anglicized as Steilacoom. William Bright says the name comes from the Southern Coast Salish subgroup, anglicized as "Steilacoom".

Normandy Park, WA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 6,678
Median Home Price: $584,000
Population Change: 0.7%
Home Price Change: 16.1%
More on Normandy Park: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Normandy Park was officially incorporated on June 8, 1953. The city is located in King County and is bordered on the north by the City of Burien and by the City of Des Moines to the south.

How do you determine the best places to buy a home in washington for 2020?

We were in real estate for almost five years and have been working on this site for another three. Suffice is to say, we've put a lot of thought into what goes into finding a good place to buy a home.

So all that thinking has come to this moment where we get to spell out how we'd approach finding an up-and-coming place to live in Washington. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in Washington with undervalued homes relative to pent up demand.

To do that we looked at the most recent American Community Survey Census data for 2014-2018 and compared it to the previous vintage (2012-2016). Specifically, we used the following criteria:

  • Y-o-Y Change In Population (People want to live here)
  • Y-o-Y Change In Median Home Prices (People are willing to pay for it)
  • Home Prices Relative To The State Average (It's still kinda cheap)

We want places that are growing, have seen home prices increase in recent years, and are still "cheap" for Washington with the following caveats:

So of the 0 cities and towns in Washington, only 119 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.

We then ranked each place from 1 to 119 for the criteria mentioned above with 1 being the best for that criteria. We averaged the rankings to create a "best place to buy" index with the place having the lowest index being the best. You can download the data here.

Turns out that Sultan is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Evergreen State.

Read on for more on these places.

There You Have It - The Best Places To Purchase A House In washington for 2020

There's our analysis of the best places to buy a house in Washington. And, to be clear, we aren't necessarily saying these places are the best places to live, just that it looks like they might be in a couple of years based on the data.

In fact, every place in the following table meets our criteria, so even though it may not look super long, remember we started off with all 0 places in the state.

So if we'd could rent or buy in these cities, we'd definitely buy.

For more washington reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Buy A Home In Washington

City Rank Median Home Price Population Change Home Price Increase
Sultan 1 $257,100 1.8% 10.3%
Wapato 2 $107,600 -0.2% -2.0%
Blaine 3 $301,700 1.9% -4.3%
Connell 4 $117,200 0.6% -4.2%
Ocean Shores 5 $219,800 1.8% 10.7%
Woodland 6 $223,500 2.5% 5.1%
Prosser 7 $168,600 1.8% 6.0%
Union Gap 8 $105,200 -0.2% 7.7%
Steilacoom 9 $338,100 1.1% 3.4%
Normandy Park 10 $584,000 0.7% 16.1%
Fircrest 11 $321,300 0.7% 9.4%
Brier 12 $454,700 1.8% 12.7%
North Bend 13 $489,800 2.8% 7.9%
Stanwood 14 $310,200 2.2% 12.1%
Sequim 15 $229,900 4.1% 12.9%
Pacific 16 $261,100 0.9% 7.3%
Ridgefield 17 $369,700 8.2% 11.9%
Clarkston 18 $140,800 0.2% 0.8%
Chehalis 19 $172,300 0.9% 1.5%
Quincy 20 $144,700 2.7% 3.4%
Milton 21 $279,200 0.8% 11.4%
Orting 22 $243,900 3.6% 6.5%
Selah 23 $222,700 1.5% 1.4%
Duvall 24 $452,200 1.7% 6.0%
Othello 25 $159,100 2.3% 3.1%
Ephrata 26 $154,500 1.2% 5.5%
Airway Heights 27 $169,300 3.3% 5.2%
Hoquiam 28 $95,700 0.5% 0.7%
Burlington 29 $220,600 1.8% 12.2%
Yelm 30 $236,700 4.1% 7.5%
Toppenish 31 $118,800 -0.2% 2.1%
College Place 32 $190,000 1.1% 7.3%
Dupont 33 $316,600 0.8% 3.5%
Gig Harbor 34 $417,100 8.4% 10.1%
Liberty Lake 35 $272,700 5.4% 2.4%
Port Townsend 36 $308,600 1.2% 3.3%
Snohomish 37 $342,600 1.7% 7.4%
Sumner 38 $282,700 1.1% 13.5%
Fife 39 $270,900 1.7% 11.4%
Shelton 40 $156,600 1.2% 3.8%
Poulsbo 41 $335,600 3.0% 7.7%
Edgewood 42 $367,400 4.3% 8.8%
Grandview 43 $137,400 0.1% 4.8%
Newcastle 44 $691,400 1.9% 10.7%
Enumclaw 45 $272,800 0.8% 7.4%
Cheney 46 $188,200 1.9% 3.8%
Kelso 47 $133,900 1.0% 8.8%
Woodinville 48 $577,300 3.0% 5.6%
Snoqualmie 49 $582,000 2.9% 13.2%
Lake Forest Park 50 $559,000 1.0% 10.3%
Ferndale 51 $291,000 3.4% 10.2%
Port Orchard 52 $292,200 2.3% 5.4%
East Wenatchee 53 $256,700 1.4% 11.9%
Lynden 54 $327,000 3.0% 8.8%
West Richland 55 $244,700 2.8% 12.4%
Washougal 56 $295,600 1.6% 9.3%
Aberdeen 57 $124,200 0.5% -1.2%
Sunnyside 58 $129,400 1.2% 6.8%
Anacortes 59 $374,000 1.8% 6.5%
Centralia 60 $145,800 1.0% 3.2%
Monroe 61 $317,100 2.0% 12.0%
Arlington 62 $294,800 1.4% 9.9%
Port Angeles 63 $202,500 1.0% 4.6%
Ellensburg 64 $224,700 2.5% 3.9%
Battle Ground 65 $263,200 2.5% 7.8%
Mill Creek 66 $486,600 2.3% 9.2%
Tukwila 67 $287,300 0.9% 10.4%
Bonney Lake 68 $310,500 3.8% 8.5%
Covington 69 $337,500 2.7% 12.0%
Mountlake Terrace 70 $352,700 0.9% 13.3%
Mukilteo 71 $544,200 0.8% 14.0%
Tumwater 72 $261,400 2.2% 10.6%
Kenmore 73 $526,200 1.8% 10.9%
Camas 74 $403,800 2.4% 5.8%
Moses Lake 75 $162,300 2.8% 8.6%
Oak Harbor 76 $259,800 1.3% 9.2%
Bainbridge Island 77 $653,500 1.6% 4.7%
Mercer Island 78 $1,135,200 2.9% 9.7%
Maple Valley 79 $377,100 2.3% 9.0%
Seatac 80 $288,600 1.1% 9.1%
Des Moines 81 $329,500 1.4% 13.3%
Lake Stevens 82 $330,200 2.4% 11.5%
Walla Walla 83 $190,000 0.4% 6.3%
University Place 84 $339,900 1.2% 6.3%
Pullman 85 $258,200 2.1% 7.3%
Wenatchee 86 $238,900 1.6% 7.7%
Mount Vernon 87 $243,600 2.1% 10.2%
Issaquah 88 $564,400 3.7% 12.3%
Longview 89 $176,900 1.0% 6.8%
Lynnwood 90 $360,300 1.2% 8.8%
Bremerton 91 $210,300 1.6% 8.3%
Puyallup 92 $296,500 1.7% 6.3%
Edmonds 93 $480,000 1.1% 8.2%
Bothell 94 $473,900 2.1% 14.4%
Lacey 95 $251,700 2.6% 3.5%
Olympia 96 $276,300 1.8% 4.1%
Burien 97 $351,100 1.2% 10.1%
Richland 98 $245,000 1.9% 8.3%
Shoreline 99 $452,100 1.1% 16.1%
Lakewood 100 $248,200 0.9% 6.7%

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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