Don’t want a bidding war? Avoid these neighborhoods

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

America’s most competitive communities

It seems the West Coast is home to the majority of the nation’s most competitive neighborhoods. According to Redfin data, all but one of the top 10 highest-competition communities is located in Washington or California.

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Bidding wars break out in Seattle

According to Redfin’s Most Competitive Neighborhoods list, which ranks the hardest-to-buy-into areas in the country, Seattle’s Grass Lawn was the single most competitive market in 2017.

Buying a house: How to deal with tough competition

A whopping 73 percent of Grass Lawn homes sold for over listing price, and most homes were offer the market within just six days. According to Gina Madeya, a real estate agent who has handled purchases in Grass Lawn, it’s the neighborhood’s location that’s making it so competitive.

“Grass Lawn is so super-competitive because it’s very close to the Microsoft campus, and Google is also expanding its footprint in the area,” Madeya said. “It is a suburban area with mostly older homes.”

To stand out in a Grass Lawn bidding war, Madeya said she had a buyer bid $140K over listing price, waive contingencies and include a $100,000 earnest money deposit.

“This sounds extreme, but that’s what i takes in some neighborhoods because demand is so high for so few homes,” she said.

But Grass Lawn wasn’t the only Seattle neighborhood to make the list. Nearby Pinehurst, Crossroads, Rainier View, Newport and Victory Heights also made the top 10.

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More West Coast markets strike it hot

California’s San Jose claimed three of the top 10 spots, with Ortega/Panama Park, Santa Clara North Central and Palo Alto on the list.

How to check out your next neighborhood before buying a home

Seattle and San Jose also accounted for nearly all of the top 25 most competitive neighborhoods. The only outliers were Boston’s North Cambridge at No. 4 and Denver’s Athmar Park at No. 25.

See the full list of rankings at

Get today’s mortgage rates

Want a great deal on your home purchase? You may want to steer clear of these competitive markets (and their bidding wars). And remember, not all lenders offer the same rates. So shop around, and see what deals you qualify for today.

Verify your new rate (May 26th, 2020)