Homes for Sale Bellevue WA
City of Bellevue & Bellevue Real Estate
Bellevue is an affluent community located in the Eastside section of King County, Washington. Situated just across Lake Washington from Seattle, Bellevue combines the excitement of the city with a more subdued lifestyle. Bellevue is the 5th largest city in the state of Washington. While the modern high-rises of the skyline shine above the city streets, much of Bellevue retains its small-town feeling. Maintaining their natural, woodsy environment, each neighborhood retains its individuality and sense of community.
Bellevue takes its name from the French words meaning “beautiful view.” Originally settled as an agricultural community in 1863, it was not incorporated until 1953. In the 1920s, the area caught the attention of James S. Ditty who recognized the development potential. Ditty was a successful businessman and entrepreneur who promoted the idea of a thriving downtown rising across the lake from Seattle.
In 1940, the opening of the Mercer Island Floating Bridge allowed easy access to Seattle and the area started to boom. New subdivisions cropped up as residents took advantage of cheaper land and new opportunities. As the population grew, so did shopping, dining and recreational venues eventually growing to become the third largest city in the Greater Seattle area.
Things to Do
Bellevue, Washington offers residents and visitors the best of both urban amenities and natural, outdoor activities. The City Council of Bellevue takes an active role in the development of the city, protecting the natural beauty and securing outdoor spaces. The Bellevue Parks and Community Services Department manages over 2500 acres of parks, trails and outdoor spaces. As part of the community spirit of the area, each year over 5500 residents take part in volunteer activities which include clean-up projects, plantings and water and beach conservation efforts.
Bellevue is more than just a beautiful location, however. The city is alive with cultural attractions, world-class shopping and restaurants which would make any foodie drool. There are museums, art galleries, music venues to choose from as well as a gateway to the excitement of Seattle and the Puget Sound Region.
Arts and Culture
Bellevue has emerged as an exciting cultural scene. The Bellevue Arts Museum, located the center of downtown, showcases crafts and design concepts. Strong interest by local residents and artists has attracted national and international exhibitions in increasing numbers. Bellevue also owns an impressive amount of public art. Pick up a Downtown ArtMap at City Hall and stroll through the streets to Downtown Park to enjoy almost 130 selections of public art sculptures.
The kids can join in too; the Kids Quest Children’s Museum is located nearby with interactive displays and educational activities for children of all ages. The Theatre at Meydenbauer Center is a state-of-the-art performing arts venue which brings music concerts, ballet, operas and orchestras to the Bellevue community. Finally, history lovers will enjoy the Eastside Heritage Center which celebrates the area’s rich local cultural roots. With a collection of over 30,000 artifacts, photos and archival materials, the Heritage Center is one of the largest historical organizations in the area. Throughout the year, members and visitors can enjoy a selection of special events and hands-on experiences.
The Pacific Northwest showcases an outdoor lifestyle as few places in the world can do. The mild temperatures and amazing natural beauty combine to lure locals to spend time outside. Bellevue offers a wide variety of ways to enjoy the scenery with an abundance of community parks and trails where you can enjoy walking, biking, hiking or a relaxing picnic with family and friends. Lake Washington has a number of beaches and water parks which have sandy shores as well as swim and kayak locations.
For those interested in a bit more adventure, the Cascade Mountains are a short drive away via the I-90. From steep hikes to ranger-led nature walks, visitors can see lakes, creeks and waterfalls, while taking in the sweeping views of the peaks. In the colder months, the Cascade Mountains become a winter wonderland with trails for skiing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing. The less adventurous can still enjoy the fires of the local resorts, an afternoon of tubing or the stunning gondola ride on Mount Rainier.
Bellevue is a shopping destination offering a collection of luxury stores, quaint boutiques and one-of-a-kind shops. Located in downtown Bellevue, The Bellevue Collection has over 250 stores and 45 dining and entertainment options, making it a destination in its own right. The Belleview Collection is a group of three separate properties connected by two sky bridges of steel and glass. Each property boasts its own unique personality. Bellevue Square includes a popular area named “The Lodge” which features wood burning fireplace towers. Lincoln Square goes lighter with a soaring atrium where water pours down the 65’ wall of glass. Finally, Bellevue Place is home to Wintergarden and its grand glass-domed ceilings.
Old Bellevue takes a different approach. Just a block from the modern high-rise buildings is the old town area of Bellevue. Small boutiques offer antiques, fine clothing and one-of-a-kind crafts and treats; many showcase the talents of the city’s local artists. The Market Place at Factoria is home to the Nordstrom Rack and other discount retail outlets.
Dining and Entertainment
While salmon is still a staple on most menus, dining trends of the Pacific Northwest have moved beyond simple seafood. Bellevue dining venues offer delicious selections which reflect its thriving foodie scene. With a large Asian population, local chefs are using local produce and products to create cultural dining experiences.
When the weather permits, many dining establishments offer outdoor dining areas and many include live music; a perfect way to start an evening on the town. Regardless of the time of year, there is always something going on in Bellevue. The city’s growing diversity has brought new and interesting events, including: art and fashion, stage productions, music festivals, cultural fairs and much more. Bellevue residents also enjoy making the quick trip across the lake to Seattle to take in a ballgame at Century Link Field, Safeco Field or at the University of Washington’s new Husky Stadium.
Bellevue is served by three separate public school districts as well as a variety of private school options. In addition to exceptional choices in primary schooling, residents have access to Bellevue College and City University of Seattle.
Bellevue School District
Most homes are located within the boundaries of the Bellevue School District. The Bellevue School District is comprised of 28 schools including two non-traditional elementary schools which offer language immersion: one is a Spanish Immersion school and the other offers a dual language curriculum which includes Mandarin Chinese. In addition, there are also two choice schools for grades 6-12. These alternative high schools are noted for helping low-income students raise their standardized test scores into the average range.
In 2013, Newsweek named Bellevue, International, Newport, Sammamish and Interlake as among those on the “America’s Best High Schools” list. The same year, these schools were also included in the Washington Post’s list of “America’s Most Challenging High Schools.”
Bellevue School District prides itself on serving a very diverse student body population. Students enrolled in the district speak over 80 languages and 37% speak English as their second language. Meeting the educational demands of the district are 1100 teachers and over 75% of these hold a master’s degree. The commitment to excellence has also made lower class sizes a priority and the average is: elementary schools, 22.9, middle schools 25.9, high schools 28.4 and choice schools 23.4.
Private School Options
Parents seeking a private education will find a variety of great options in Bellevue. Serving the unique needs of their students, children from pre-kindergarten through grade 8 can choose the Jewish Day School of Metropolitan Seattle or the Open Window School for gifted students. Bellevue is also home to several Montessori schools as well as Three Cedars School, the Eastside’s only Waldorf Education facility.
Even though Bellevue is a great location for commuters to call home, the city itself also offers a wide variety of employment opportunities within its own borders. In fact, Bellevue boasts a lower than average unemployment rate of 5% over the past year. The largest employers include health and educational facilities with the largest employers being the local school districts, Bellevue College and the Overlake Hospital Medical Center.
Not surprising, tech companies have moved into the community and brought large amounts of jobs along with them. Microsoft is one of the city’s largest employers as are video game companies such as Valve, Bungie and Nintendo. Other large employers include Boeing, Safeway and T-Mobile, all of who provide thousands of jobs to local residents.
Along with the burgeoning tech industry, the exceptional natural beauty of the area has drawn outdoor giant, Eddie Bauer. Located downtown, the Eddie Bauer flagship store features an 8’ by 8” Ice Box where guests can don their favorite jacket and test the warmth in the freezing cold temperatures of the box. Visitors enjoy watching the action through the glass walls of the Ice Box.
Bellevue residents also support a variety of local and small businesses. Restaurants feature farm-to-table produce, meats and seafood on their menus and shopping districts include many unique boutiques among the national retail chain stores. Considered one of the best places to start a small business, Bellevue capitalizes on the community spirit of the area to bring new and exciting offerings to market which creates more jobs.
Bellevue sits a short 10 mile drive from Seattle using either the I-90 or across the floating bridge via Highway 520. As the Eastside hub for both the local transit authority, King County Metro, and the regional transit system, Sound Transit. The Bellevue Transit Center offers a local bus system which serves the University District, Redmond, Issaquah, Renton and Kirkland. The regional buses take riders to Lynnwood, Everett, Kent, Auburn, Bothell as well as Seattle. Future growth in the area will be served by a light rail line planned to run from Seattle through Mercer Island, Bellevueand ending in Redmond. The East Link began construction in 2015 and is scheduled to be completed in 2023.
Bellevue, Washington Real Estate
From a room with a view in a downtown high-rise to a spacious custom home along the water, Bellevue real estate offers a home option for every lifestyle. With an impressive array of housing options, home buyers can choose from single family homes, condos and townhouses as well as private estates offering expansive views.
Featured Neighborhoods in Bellevue, Washington
West Bellevue and Downtown – The city lifestyle is alive and well in Bellevue. Combining the convenience of work, shopping and residential space, home buyers of all ages and interests are choosing the maintenance-free home-ownership of living in a high-rise. After a long day at the office, these residents can step outside their front door to enjoy a leisurely stroll through the downtown parks or stop by their favorite local restaurant or bar to unwind.
Northeast Bellevue – Northeast Bellevue was first developed during the 1960s and primarily consists of subdivisions of single family homes. These homes feature generous lots and mature landscaping in a wooded setting. Larger homes placed along the lakeside have beautiful water and mountain views in a peaceful setting. Most communities in Northeast Bellevue also include amenities like club houses, pools, exercise facilities, sports courts and some have private golf courses for residents and their guests.
Beaux Arts Village – Built between 1970 and 1999 this eclectic neighborhood consists of a mix of home options. There are medium to large single family homes as well as a selection of high-rises and apartments. Founded as an artist’s colony, Beaux Arts Village has retained its tight-knit neighborhood feel.
Bridle Trails – Bridle Trails is a semi-rural community offering an equestrian lifestyle. The large single family properties are planned for access to neighborhood horse trails and pastures. Carefully managed, Bridle Trails has maintained its wooded environment with huge native trees and brush which has appeal for those with or without horses.