Ballard is surrounded by water on two sides with Puget Sound to the West and Salmon Bay/Ship Canal to the south. It has a vibrant downtown area with some of the city’s best restaurants, bars, boutiques, coffee shops, and art spaces. There’s also a Brewery District, which features regional stalwarts and some newcomer craft breweries. The year-round Ballard Farmers Market is filled with local vendors who are selling fresh fish, meats, cheeses, vegetables, and fruit as well as everything from jewelry to furniture. In the summer, Golden Gardens is very popular since it’s one of the few sandy beaches in Seattle with volleyball courts, kite flyers, sand castles, BBQ pits, bonfires, kids play equipment, and amazing sunsets. This is all knit together in cozy residential blocks with hints of Scandinavia.
There are a wide variety of residents in Ballard. You’ll find young parents wearing their REI best, 20 to 30-something hip couples and singles as well as the neighborhoods’ original residents – fisherman and maritime workers, mostly of Scandinavian descent. The household income is average and ethnicity is fairly uniform with most people being Caucasian.
Ballard is relatively affordable in comparison to other neighborhoods close to downtown Seattle. The average home is listed for $575K, which is 2,329 square feet with 2 bedrooms and 2 baths. Inventory is low (under 50 houses on the market). The average rent is $2,066. There are a wide variety of architectural styles and you can find anything from 100-year old small single story homes to large, multi-million dollar houses with panoramic views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Closer to Ballard’s downtown area, density increases with dozens of newer condominiums and townhomes built within the last 5 years.
The biggest challenge in Ballard is the distance from Seattle’s major freeways. In some cases, it could take up to 15 minutes to reach I-5 or I-99. If you work near Downtown Seattle, you can take the city streets and get to work in 10-20 minutes, depending on traffic. If you work on the Eastside (Bellevue, Redmond, Issaquah), it’s a harder commute that can take anywhere from 35-60 minutes, depending on traffic.
Ballard is one of the most walkable neighborhoods in the city. If it’s too far to walk, you an easily take your bike since Ballard is well served with good bike routes and the Burke Gilman Trail. If you’d rather not own a car, you can use one of the car sharing services. Public transit in this area is also good with many nearby options.
There are 7 elementary schools (Adams, Whittier, Loyal Heights, West Woodland, Lawton, North Beach, Salmon Bay), 2 middle schools, (Salmon Bay, Whitman) and 1 high school (Ballard). Similar to other schools in the Seattle School District, the elementary schools are good while the middle and high schools have room for improvement.
For more information about Ballard, its schools, and other similar neighborhoods such as Wallingford, Fremont, West Seattle, or Sand Point, please fill out our simple, 5-minute survey. We’d love to help you find the perfect place to live!
A picture is worth a thousand words, get a glimpse of Ballard in the photos below.