Investing in any property requires a certain amount of research so that you are familiar with the area, know the amenities and marketing opportunities, understand future developments, and hopefully understand your renter demographic. Research can help you to make the right decisions for your property investment, and that all starts with being familiar with the area. In our Go Local! Series, we cover local neighborhoods to help you learn more about areas you can invest in. In this week’s, we’re covering West Lake Hills in Bellevue, Washington.
West Lake Hills, Bellevue
West Lake Hills has a large and thriving population of nearly 12,500 people, and is mainly made up of single and multi-family homes, most of which are more affordable than other parts of Bellevue. This contributes to a high demand for property in the area, and a lower investment cost for those who want to purchase homes one at a time.
The neighborhood was created as a planned community in the 1950s, when it was developed as a housing center for engineers at Boeing. But, going further back, the area has ties to Native American history, where the Yakima Indians had a winter encampment near Larsen Lake. Later, the area was farmed by Japanese immigrants in the early 1900s, and you can still find some agriculture in the neighborhood in the form of the Larsen Lake Blueberry Farm on 148th Avenue Southeast. Today, West Lake Hills still features some of it’s history, and a walk through the many trails will show it to you. You can also see the 50s era rambler style housing, small farms, and the wide open spaces and lakes that have dominated West Lake Hills for centuries, giving West Lake Hills its own unique character.
Parks and Recreation
While known for single family residences, West Lake Hills is defined by its green trails, parks, and wetlands. This makes a unique addition, because it’s perfect for families who want to get outdoors.
Major parks in the area include Skyridge Park, Sunset Park, and Spiritwood Park, as well as Robinswood Community Park, which features a large tennis center and lighted athletic fields. The Greenbelt is a wetland corridor that includes 172 miles of woods and wetlands, which features its own Ranger Station (located at Southeast 16th Street).
The neighborhood is home to multiple restaurants, cafes, shops, and the Lake Hills Shopping Center, giving residents plenty to do at night, and on weekends.
West Lake Hills is home to the growing campus of Bellevue College, as well as to Sammamish High School, Lake Hills Elementary School, and St. Louise Parish School. West Lake Hills is in the Bellevue School District, and therefore has access to the 25 private schools in the area, which is an excellent point to bring to potential tenants with kids.
West Lake Hills is home to 12,480 people and 5,225 housing units, meaning that the majority of locals are families. With the majority of homes falling under the category of single family residences (or multi-family housing), rent is high, renters typically have high income and high standards of education, and are looking for access to nearby tech jobs, without having to live in the city. West Lake Hills provides the perfect balance of both, with access to schools, college, and plenty of outdoor activities. Homes also typically cost slightly less than in other neighborhoods in Bellevue, which makes the area great for investors.
West Lake Hills has a lot to offer for residents and investors, but it is a best fit if you want to rent out a home, rather than apartments or condos. However, with multi and single family housing available, there is still some variety to choose from in terms of investment.
If you’re investing in West Lake Hills and need someone local to help you market the property, find tenants, and handle long term maintenance, contact SJA Property Management for more information or a free quote.