A couple holding the key to their home

It’s never easy to decide whether you should keep renting a place or take the plunge and make that colossal investment in your property. If you keep renting, you pay a lot of money to live someplace, and in the end, there is no equity. You just move out and look for a new place to stay. You had been paying for someone else’s mortgage. On the other hand, if you decide to buy your own home, you will be paying for your mortgage and, thus, building equity. That’s great, but it’s not only the mortgage payment you will have to cover. There are other expenses. Many, many expenses you didn’t have to think about as a renter. Still, having your piece of property, a part of this world to call your own, is priceless. So, how does one decide? Should you rent or buy in Seattle?

The dilemma persists. There are many factors to consider, so that question will not be straightforward. What is more, there is no way to offer a universal solution. A lot will depend on your situation.

However, this article will break down the advantages of both options. So, you should be able to figure out what the best solution for your particular situation is.

Should You Rent in Seattle?

Owning a home is fantastic, but the fact is – many people rent their homes. And there are several excellent reasons for it. So, let’s take a look at some of the most prevalent advantages of renting in Seattle.


As a renter, don’t feel tied to a place. If you decide you don’t like a city or a state or need a smaller home (or a bigger one), you can quickly move out and look for a better setting. Also, if you are young and don’t have a family yet, you can easily find a place that will suit your needs and relocate without much hassle. In case of any sudden lifestyle changes, you can quickly pick up and move to a home that will satisfy your new needs.

If you need to relocate quickly, renting allows you more flexibility.

If you owned a home, you would first have to go through the sometimes lengthy ordeal of selling your home first and then buying a new one. When you rent, handling whatever life throws at you is much easier.

Cost Saving

Although you pay the rent to live in a place and don’t build equity, it is a much more affordable option than owning a home. There are two main reasons why this is so. Consider the act of buying a home. Besides the price of the property itself, you would have to cover:

  • Down payment
  • Closing costs
  • Agent’s fees

All of these expenses demand you have considerable cash reserves to pay upfront.
Then, there are the costs of homeownership that you don’t need to worry about as a renter. These are:

  • Property taxes
  • Maintenance expenses
  • Repairs

All of that is your landlord’s responsibility.

More Liquidity

When you decide to buy a home, you will most likely invest a considerable portion of your savings (if not all of it). Most of your money has now been sunk into that piece of property. It means that if you need cash quickly, it will be challenging to get it.
Therefore, besides flexibility in terms of physical location, renting allows you more flexibility with your finances.

Should You Buy in Seattle?

Renting looks pretty favorable for a good reason, and for some people, it is an excellent option. However, you can make a case in favor of homeownership. And a persuasive one at that. When weighing out whether you should rent or buy in Seattle, buying could be a better option, and there are some great reasons why it is so.

You Are Making an Investment in Your Future

The fact that it has been mentioned a few times already implies that equity means something. So, let’s underline this once again – buying a home is an investment. You build equity in your property, and your wealth grows. With every mortgage payment, the house is more yours, and you create more equity. When you pay your rent, you build nothing.

When considering renting or buying in Seattle, remember that buying means investing in something concrete.

Moreover, any investment you make in that property only helps it grow in value. Any improvement in the condition of your property adds value. So, if you decide to sell, you will probably be able to afford an even nicer house.

Renting Is More and More Expensive

The price of rent has been increasing in Seattle. So has the price of homes for sale. Since every mortgage payment goes toward building equity, purchasing a property appears to be a wiser option.

Also, rents have consistently increased over the years, and you can expect your rent to be 5% higher next year. But mortgage payments are always the same. You will have the same monthly expense for years to come. While you can always expect your rent to go higher, the same can’t be said for your mortgage. So, even if renting seems more affordable now, it doesn’t mean it will stay that way.

Tax Breaks

Owning a home comes with some great tax benefits. For example, you can deduce any expenses on your property from your taxes. You can even deduct the mortgage interest from your taxes in some cases. That’s another portion of your money towards your investment instead of taxes or another person’s mortgage.

Given all the benefits of homeownership, start planning your relocation on time if you decide to move to Seattle and buy a home. Start by looking for a good moving company. There are many long-distance movers in Washington, but just like purchasing a house, you can’t hire anyone on a whim. You have to be careful and look for reputable experts who will help you move into your new Seattle home without much stress.

Should You Rent or Buy in Seattle?

The Verdict

Let’s answer a few questions first:

  1. Do you have enough savings?
  2. Do you plan on staying in one place for at least five years?
  3. Will there be any significant changes to your lifestyle soon?

Your life situation will dictate if you should rent or buy a home.

If you have lived in Seattle for a long time and know this is your home, and you have enough cash reserves to cover the down payment and other expenses, consider what your plans are in terms of growing your family, for example.

The bottom line is, buying a home is a financially more intelligent decision in the long run. Since the rent prices are rising, it is even more true.

Nevertheless, whether you should rent or buy in Seattle is a choice you will have to make yourself. Consider everything you have read here carefully and put everything on paper. Also, work with a real estate agent. They will help you reach the conclusion you need. Ultimately, don’t rush any decisions, and you will be just fine!

Husband and wife moving away

So, you have decided to take the plunge and downsize to a smaller Seattle home. Maybe it’s your kids, flying from the coop. Perhaps it’s the need to boost your financial health. Or, maybe you found yourself drowning in clutter and decided that the time is ripe for embracing your inner minimalist. Whatever your reasons, before you make your big move to smallness, have a look at how you can make moving to a smaller home in Seattle work.

Get into the right mindset

An important rule of thumb to stick to is to always move into a home and not out of one. Allow us to elaborate.

You’ve likely already thought about the money downsizing will free up, but that shouldn’t be the only reason for thinking small. Consider how moving to a smaller home in Seattle could be profoundly life-enhancing. This way, when you step into your new dwelling for the first time, instead of feeling like the walls are closing in on you, you’ll see your new home for all the positive changes it can inspire and experiences it can offer that you’ve always dreamed of but never had in the previous home.

Perhaps you’ve always wanted to find a way to channel your inner minimalist, and downsizing might just be your chance to finally give up the excess. In other words, you won’t feel that you have to be there but that you actually want to be there.


Parents sitting on a bench with a child holding a balloon

Bigger isn’t always better, is it?

Have a reality check

Yes, it’s good to turn your attention to the positives of downsizing. But it is also important to be realistic about the sacrifices you will have to make in the process. The biggest and the most obvious downside is that you’ll have less space to work with, which, in turn, means having to part with some of your stuff. Not to mention there’s a possibility that it may not be as monetarily beneficial to you as you initially thought. For instance, although downsizing will help you save on your mortgage and utility bills, it is not always so simple. The dirty (little) secret about downsizing? It costs money, too.

For example, house selling expenses can be a heavy lift, especially if you want to get the most value for your house. So, make sure to account for Seattle’s top real estate agent, as well as home inspections, necessary home repairs, and taxes. Then, there’s the relocation part and furnishing your new locale.

We’re not trying to be a “Debbie Downer,” it’s just how it is: downsizing isn’t all fun and games. Yet, it is being aware of all the hurdles and roadblocks that downsizing may bring that will help you plan ahead and make your new living situation work.

Scout out the neighborhoods

Most downsizers are so focused on finding more manageable properties that they forget all about the rewarding intangibles of living in the right neighborhood, with all the right amenities and a close-knit community. But if there’s something you can be absolutely sure of, it’s that the well-known phrase ‘location, location, location’ isn’t thrown around by agents very lightly.

It’s the golden rule in the real estate world, and it should be yours too if you’re moving to a home that is a lot smaller than what you’re used to. That kind of thing may take time to get used to, and until that happens, it’s inevitable to feel overwhelmed by the small space from time to time. When that happens, it’s nice to have a yard to drink your morning coffee, a park to go for a relaxing stroll or any other outdoor space where you can go and reset.

Besides green spaces, when choosing the perfect neighborhood, make sure it has the sporting and social clubs you need, restaurants, bars, and coffee shops you like, that you’re satisfied with transportation options, and the time of your commute, and that it has top-notch schools if you are moving with your kids. Finally, it can be challenging to establish a new social circle when you move. So, you may like to find a neighborhood offering communal facilities such as outdoor barbecue areas or rooftop gardens that allow you to meet your new neighbors.


Seattle at night

Seattle has a lot to offer, including a plethora of amazing neighborhoods for people looking to settle in this city to choose from

Luckily, Seattle boasts plenty of wonderful neighborhoods to choose from. For instance, Ballard and Capitol Hill are only some of the great neighborhoods in Seattle with a nice collection of quality smaller family homes and a sense of community.


One tried-and-true trick to make your small home feel cozy rather than cramped is getting rid of excess things. Make sure to plan a decluttering session before you start packing for your move. Set clear decluttering rules, and only keep things you need, use frequently, and like. The rest of your items you can donate, sell, toss, pass down or digitize (through a photo).

Think about storage space

But, a lot of things may be hard to let go of. We’re talking souvenirs, memorabilia, old family albums, and probably most of your kids’ stuff, although they moved out a long time ago. So, your “maybe” pile may quickly start to stack up and, if that happens, you must find a good solution for your belongings. Renting a storage unit is great for downsizers, as it’ll take those extra things off your back and keep them safe until you decide what to do with them.

But if you’re moving into a really small home, even the “keep” pile may be an issue. In that case, make sure to carefully choose a home with plenty of well-planned built-in storage, or consider increasing storage in your home by installing wall-mounted storage or shopping for multifunctional furniture.


Woman using laptop on the floor

Decluttering and getting rid of the excess things is a crucial step of downsizing in Seattle.

Make a small room look bigger

For many downsizers, it is the decorating stage that makes moving into a smaller home in Seattle exciting. This is because, nowadays, the Internet is swarming with sneaky decorating tricks and ideas that make the smallest of spaces feel larger and more open. If you take the time to go through such articles, you’ll likely find interior design experts suggesting that you avoid decorating with dark colors and overly busy patterns. Instead, you should stick to light colors, specifically neutrals, because they tend to make a room seem brighter and more open.

Another tip is always to dress your windows minimally. Heavy, dark curtains and window treatments will give you the opposite of the desired effect. Also, hanging them higher gives the illusion of extra height. You can also get creative with mirrors, see-through materials, and shiny surfaces that bounce light around the room, thus visually expanding its footprint.