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You might face some high prices when buying a home in Washington, but there are ways to make it more affordable. Make sure you lock in one of the best mortgage rates so you can save on interest costs. Start your research by checking out some of the most affordable places to live in Washington.
Here are a few affordable areas where you might want to focus your home search.
With its proximity to Olympic National Park, Aberdeen is located in Grays Harbor County, famously known as the birthplace of grunge -- it's the hometown of Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic, of the band Nirvana. According to Niche, the median home value is $124,300, much lower than the national average of $217,500. Property taxes here are 0.9% of a home's assessed fair market value, in line with the state's average of 0.92%, according to Tax-rates.org.
Pasco is a suburb of Kennewick and is part of the Tri-Cities region of Washington. It has seen a boom in the retail and tourism sectors in the past 30 years. Pasco has a relatively affordable median home value of $199,400, and 69% of residents own their homes. On the other hand, property taxes in Franklin County are among the highest in the state at 1.15%.
Moses Lake is in Grant County, in the middle of Washington. It's known for its parks, including the Japanese Peace Garden and Blue Heron Park. This city attracts lots of young professionals and families. Although Moses Lake's economy has historically been based on agriculture, it has grown to incorporate manufacturing and technology. Property taxes average 0.98% of a home's assessed value, and the median home value in Moses Lake is $164,700, much lower than that of its more urban counterparts.
Kennewick is on the southwest bank of the Columbia River, just across from Pasco. Its population of 81,479 makes it the largest of the Tri-Cities. Kennewick has a lot to offer: a more urban setting with amenities such as restaurants and coffee shops, plus access to nature. The median home value of $215,500 is in line with the national median of $217,500. Property taxes average 1.07% in Benton County.
West Richland is a suburb of Richland and, like Kennewick, is in Benton County. Niche rates it the top suburb for home buyers in Washington. Schools are rated highly, and the area attracts many families. Much of the economy is based on the tech, healthcare, and retail trade industries. There's also access to parks, wineries, and restaurants. The median home value is the highest on our list at $270,500, and property taxes are 1.07%. Still, 84% of residents are homeowners.
Shopping around with mortgage lenders will give you an idea of rates you may be able to qualify for. Since lenders often have different interest charges and fees, it's a good idea to check rates, but do so within a short period of time so that it won't affect your credit score too much. Then you can confidently find a house you love that's within your budget.
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