These Are The 10 Best Places To Buy A House In Washington For 2019


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 2019.

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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 Orting according to our analysis.

Here’s a look at the top ten places to buy a home in Washington for 2019:

  1. Orting (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Yelm (Homes For Sale)
  3. Airway Heights (Homes For Sale)
  4. Ridgefield (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Covington (Homes For Sale)
  6. West Richland (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Pasco (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Woodland (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Battle Ground (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Camas (Photos | Homes For Sale)

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:

How do you determine the best places to buy a home in Washington for 2019?

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 2013-2017 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 617 cities and towns in Washington, only 118 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.

We then ranked each place from 1 to 118 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.

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

Read on for more on these places.

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 7,460
Median Home Price: $229,000
Population Change: 2.8%
Home Price Change: 10.3%
More on Orting: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Orting is Indian Word meaning ” Prairie Village”. It applied to a prosperous village lying in the valley between the Puyallup and Carbon Rivers in Pierce County. The early settlers near the present townsite were the Lane and Whitesell families. They member of the famous Longmire expedition which, in 1853, left the established Oregon Tail at the Dalles and turned northward through the Yakima Valley to Puget Sound. The question of naming Orting still remain unanswered. One version credits the name to Civil Engineer Black of the railroad who was to have said the Indian meaning was, ” A prairie in the woods.’ When the town was named in 1889, it incorporated under, ” Town of Orting,” and was the only town in the United States. In March of 1980, the town was renamed to, ” City of Orting.”. In 1861, the Whitesell were about to go back to their place after the Indian War.The first ever recorded claims for the land in Orting were made in 1854 by William Henry Whitesell, Thomas Headley, Daniel Lane and Daniel Varner.on and Carbonado.d in the city was built in 1877 Population rose quickly after this railroad was built, as it made transportation in and out of the city much easier. On March 15, 1865, the Meeker of Puyallup received the first hop roots to the valley from Charles Wood of Olympia, The roots were planted and found to grow well in the fertile soils of the valley. About August was time to harvest. Indian come from Canada and made camp for the summer. The settlers banded together to get all the hop picked.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 8,425
Median Home Price: $220,100
Population Change: 4.5%
Home Price Change: 8.7%
More on Yelm: Homes For Sale | Data

Yelm is in southeast Thurston County, Washington. It is a suburban city, surrounded by other suburban cities and pockets of unincorporated Thurston County. It is near the major transportation routes of Interstate 5 and State Routes 507, 510 and 702, which connect it economically and socially to the greater Puget Sound Region and provide a gateway to Mount Rainier.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,017
Median Home Price: $160,900
Population Change: 22.9%
Home Price Change: 6.7%
More on Airway Heights: Homes For Sale | Data

Airway Heights was officially incorporated on June 28, 1955.

Ridgefield, WA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,637
Median Home Price: $330,500
Population Change: 8.6%
Home Price Change: 14.9%
More on Ridgefield: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

The area has important ties to the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804-1806, being close to the Chinookan town of Cathlapotle, then a settlement of 700-800 people, with at least 14 substantial plank houses.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 19,918
Median Home Price: $301,300
Population Change: 3.9%
Home Price Change: 11.1%
More on Covington: Homes For Sale | Data

The area presently known as Covington was originally known as Jenkins Prairie. Between 1899 and 1900 the Northern Pacific Railway built a cut-off between Auburn, Washington and Kanaskat, Washington, improving the company’s primary east-west route across Stampede Pass. Richard Covington, a surveyor for the Northern Pacific Railroad worked out of Fort Vancouver establishing the line through western Washington to complete the line from St Paul, Minnesota, to Auburn. According to the NP’s construction records at the University of Montana’s K. Ross Toole Archives, the primary contractors were banker Horace C. Henry of Seattle, Washington, and long-time railroad contractor Nelson Bennett of Tacoma, Washington, the NP’s prime contractor for Stampede Tunnel, which he completed in 1888. The project engineer in Auburn was George Allen Kyle. The NP’s principal assistant engineer in Tacoma, overseeing both Kyle and Bennett’s work, was Charles S. Bihler.

West Richland, WA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 13,797
Median Home Price: $217,700
Population Change: 2.9%
Home Price Change: 7.7%
More on West Richland: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

The original people of the region were the Chemnapum Indians, living near the mouth of the Yakima River. Lewis and Clark passed through the area in 1805, and an expedition of the Army Corps of Topographical Engineers headed by Robert E Johnson mapped the Yakima Valley in 1841.

Pasco, WA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 70,607
Median Home Price: $176,800
Population Change: 3.0%
Home Price Change: 6.2%
More on Pasco: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

On October 16, 1805, the Lewis and Clark Expedition camped in the Pasco area, at a site now commemorated by Sacajawea State Park. The area was frequented by fur trappers and gold traders. In the 1880s, the Northern Pacific Railway was built near the Columbia River, bringing many settlers to the area. Pasco was officially incorporated on September 3, 1891. It was named by Virgil Bogue, a construction engineer for the Northern Pacific Railway after Cerro de Pasco, a city in the Peruvian Andes, where he had helped build a railroad. In its early years, it was a small railroad town, but the completion of the Grand Coulee Dam in 1941 brought irrigation and agriculture to the area.|Due in large part to the presence of the Hanford Site, the entire Tri-Cities area grew rapidly from the 1940s through 1950s. However, most of the population influx resided in Richland and Kennewick, as Pasco remained primarily driven by the agricultural industry, and to a lesser degree the NP Pasco rail yards. After the end of World War II, the entire region went through several “boom” and “bust” periods, cycling approximately every 10 years and heavily based on available government funding for Hanford-related work. Farming continues to be the economic driver for most of the city’s industrial tax base.

Woodland, WA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,765
Median Home Price: $212,700
Population Change: 1.4%
Home Price Change: 9.7%
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.

Battle Ground, WA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 19,439
Median Home Price: $244,200
Population Change: 2.4%
Home Price Change: 9.5%
More on Battle Ground: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Battle Ground got its name from a standoff between a group of the Klickitat peoples and a military force from the Vancouver Barracks, which had recently transitioned to a U.S. Army post. In 1855, when this occurred, the Klickitat peoples had been imprisoned at the Vancouver Barracks. The hostile conditions of their detainment inspired some of the Klickitats to decamp.

Camas, WA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 22,086
Median Home Price: $381,500
Population Change: 3.2%
Home Price Change: 11.8%
More on Camas: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Officially incorporated on June 18, 1906, the city is named after the camas lily, a plant with an onion-like bulb prized by Native Americans. At the west end of downtown Camas is a large Georgia-Pacific paper mill from which the high school teams get their name “the Papermakers”. A paper mill was first established in the city in 1883 with the support of Henry Pittock, a wealthy entrepreneur from England who had settled in Portland, Oregon, where he published The Oregonian.

There You Have It – The Best Places To Purchase A House In Washington for 2019

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 617 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
Orting 1 $229,000 2.8% 10.3%
Yelm 2 $220,100 4.5% 8.7%
Airway Heights 3 $160,900 22.9% 6.7%
Ridgefield 4 $330,500 8.6% 14.9%
Covington 5 $301,300 3.9% 11.1%
West Richland 6 $217,700 2.9% 7.7%
Pasco 7 $176,800 3.0% 6.2%
Woodland 8 $212,700 1.4% 9.7%
Battle Ground 9 $244,200 2.4% 9.5%
Camas 10 $381,500 3.2% 11.8%
Washougal 11 $270,500 1.7% 11.1%
Pacific 12 $243,300 1.0% 15.0%
Edgewood 13 $337,800 3.1% 9.7%
Marysville 14 $267,400 1.9% 9.2%
Milton 15 $250,700 3.3% 7.0%
Gig Harbor 16 $378,900 4.1% 9.1%
Bothell 17 $414,200 2.2% 11.1%
Auburn 18 $259,600 2.4% 7.4%
Clarkston 19 $139,700 0.4% 9.6%
Seattle 20 $537,800 2.9% 11.0%
Lacey 21 $243,200 2.2% 6.7%
Ocean Shores 22 $198,600 0.7% 9.7%
Snohomish 23 $318,900 1.7% 9.9%
Everett 24 $267,800 0.9% 10.6%
Quincy 25 $139,900 1.2% 4.8%
Vancouver 26 $238,300 0.8% 9.7%
Cheney 27 $181,300 2.2% 3.0%
Redmond 28 $579,400 2.4% 10.4%
Mount Vernon 29 $221,000 1.2% 7.0%
Snoqualmie 30 $514,100 3.5% 9.0%
Lake Stevens 31 $296,200 2.2% 7.7%
Walla Walla 32 $178,800 2.0% 3.2%
Ferndale 33 $264,000 4.0% 4.5%
Richland 34 $226,300 1.4% 6.2%
Ellensburg 35 $216,200 1.8% 4.5%
Brier 36 $403,500 2.6% 8.5%
Port Orchard 37 $277,100 1.6% 8.0%
Poulsbo 38 $311,500 2.0% 8.1%
Kenmore 39 $474,500 1.5% 10.9%
Mountlake Terrace 40 $311,300 0.8% 13.2%
Fife 41 $243,200 1.7% 6.2%
Monroe 42 $283,200 1.4% 8.3%
Prosser 43 $159,100 1.8% 0.3%
Bremerton 44 $194,100 0.5% 8.7%
Maple Valley 45 $345,900 1.1% 10.7%
Kennewick 46 $182,900 1.1% 4.8%
Arlington 47 $268,200 0.7% 9.9%
Tumwater 48 $236,400 1.5% 5.1%
Bonney Lake 49 $286,200 2.8% 5.1%
Spokane Valley 50 $177,100 1.2% 4.2%
Burien 51 $318,800 1.1% 9.7%
Lynnwood 52 $331,300 1.0% 10.3%
Kirkland 53 $522,900 1.1% 11.5%
Liberty Lake 54 $266,400 4.0% 1.3%
Seatac 55 $264,500 1.1% 7.5%
Wenatchee 56 $221,800 0.9% 6.5%
North Bend 57 $453,900 2.6% 7.0%
Woodinville 58 $546,800 1.1% 11.8%
Othello 59 $154,300 0.9% 3.8%
Tacoma 60 $227,200 0.8% 7.0%
Mill Creek 61 $445,800 1.7% 8.3%
Federal Way 62 $280,700 1.0% 8.3%
Moses Lake 63 $149,400 0.9% 3.1%
Renton 64 $339,800 1.2% 8.4%
Bellevue 65 $665,700 1.7% 9.4%
Selah 66 $219,600 0.7% 6.5%
Kent 67 $284,900 0.9% 8.4%
Union Gap 68 $97,700 0.4% 4.3%
Puyallup 69 $278,900 0.9% 7.8%
Grandview 70 $131,100 0.1% 5.4%
Enumclaw 71 $254,100 1.1% 5.5%
Sumner 72 $249,100 1.0% 6.1%
Shoreline 73 $389,300 0.7% 10.5%
Sequim 74 $203,700 1.2% 0.1%
Olympia 75 $265,400 0.6% 7.8%
Lynden 76 $300,600 1.9% 4.7%
Connell 77 $122,400 0.6% 2.3%
Des Moines 78 $290,700 0.6% 9.1%
Steilacoom 79 $326,900 0.4% 10.7%
Issaquah 80 $502,500 2.6% 5.3%
Stanwood 81 $276,800 2.1% 1.4%
Anacortes 82 $351,100 1.2% 7.3%
Duvall 83 $426,500 2.0% 5.9%
Bellingham 84 $328,300 1.1% 7.2%
Sammamish 85 $679,900 1.2% 8.8%
Blaine 86 $315,400 1.7% 3.8%
Aberdeen 87 $125,700 -0.3% 4.6%
University Place 88 $319,900 0.6% 8.9%
Mercer Island 89 $1,034,600 1.2% 8.2%
Newcastle 90 $624,500 1.4% 7.7%
Spokane 91 $166,700 0.4% 3.7%
Sunnyside 92 $121,200 0.2% 1.8%
Burlington 93 $196,600 0.2% 4.7%
East Wenatchee 94 $229,500 0.3% 6.1%
Shelton 95 $150,800 0.5% 0.3%
College Place 96 $177,000 0.5% 2.3%
Tukwila 97 $260,200 0.7% 4.7%
Kelso 98 $123,100 -0.1% 2.0%
Toppenish 99 $116,400 -0.6% 2.0%
Lake Forest Park 100 $506,600 0.7% 9.1%

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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