Where can you find a two bedroom new condo for under $500,000?

The prices in downtown Seattle condo have gone up so much over the last 2 years that many homes buyers are beginning to find themselves priced out of the market when they are looking for a two bedroom condo.

If you love urban living and absolutely need a two bedroom for your next home and can’t compromise on a resale unit, then your more budget conscious alternative would be to look at the next closest neighborhood. You can live outside the downtown/ Belltown area but close enough that you don’t have to drive for more than 10 minutes to get to the urban core.

Meritage_3 Meritage is a new 7 story condo that is sitting on Bellevue Ave between E John St and E Loretta Place. The estimated completion date for this project is Jan 2007. For buyers who don’t have a tight purchase timeline, this project is definitely worth a look. (By the way, it may not be a bad idea to lock in your interest rate if you are interested in a project that is more than 6 months to completion.)

Meritage is on a fairly quiet street and one block away from the busy and noisy Olive Way. Great location, close to I5, restaurants, and walking distance to Broadway. You are likely to get a partial view if you are on the 4th level and above.  The nice thing about this new condo is that they have good layouts for their two bedroom units, especially their 02 and 05 series. With lots of windows, you will probably get a good amount of sunlight from all the rooms. (something that one can really appreciate during the fall and winter in Seattle). The bedrooms are also separated from the living and dinning area — kind of nice to have more privacy when you have guests at home. The unit comes with modern finishes and hardwood floors! No white cabinets and carpet 🙂

• Maple wood cabinetry
• Slab granite countertops
• Stainless steel appliances
• Hardwood floors

Studios starts at $195,000
One bedrooms $310,000 and above
Two bedrooms $450,000 and above.
Penthouse $650,000’s

Comparing Meritage and Plaza Del Sol, Plaza del sol pricing is higher for an existing building. Plaza del sol was built in 1993 and their 3rd level two bedroom unit is asking for $436,950. #302 in Meritage that is 14% bigger, is asking for only 4% more in price, and is a newer condo. If they were to add another $10,000 to Meritage #302, they would still be well within the fair market price.

Three19 A few blocks north of Meritage is the site for Three19 condo. This is a smaller more intimate building with only 16 units in the building. Three19 will be completing in Oct (earlier than Meritage).  Most units have either a partial view of the neighborhood or the Queen Anne/ Space Needle/ Olympic Mountains view. Some of the two bedrooms in Three19 are priced higher than Meritage’s two bedrooms; the only explanation I could think of is the view. Three19 will most likely have a better view than Meritage since it is on a higher ground level than Meritage. 

If you are someone who likes a more efficient floor plan, take a look at their north unit which has a more open floor plan. However, although the south unit has a lot of less efficient space in the hallway, it gets more light than the north unit. Three19 has two options of color packages for homebuyers. You can either pick the modern finishes or go with a more traditional package.

• Limestone countertop
• Mosaic tile backsplash
• Walnut or light cherry cabinets
• Tile flooring in bathroom

One bedroom $300,000’s
Two bedroom Low $400,000’s to low $500,000’s

All in all, Meritage and Three19 have a great location, good pricing, and nice finishes. I would rate both of them a 3.75/5.0.


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