For me, Mercer Island is the ideal place to raise a family. I worked and lived there for about 5 years before moving to California. Along with the beautiful scenery, good school districts, convenient location, my time on Mercer Island was filled with friendly, kind people that make for a wonderful community. I have much to share about this island in my blog this week.
Mercer Island is a city in King county in Washington state. It is located in the Seattle Metropolitan area, with Seattle to its west and Bellevue to its east. The island was named after the Mercer family who first settled in the area between 1870 and 1880. The Mercer brothers, Thomas and Asa Mercer, often rowed between the island and Seattle to pick berries, hunt, and fish.
According to census data from 2016, Mercer Island’s population is 25,134, with approximately 9,820 households. The percentage of households living in the same house for more than a year is 82.9%. From the same data source, the median income per household from 2012 to 2016 was $129,348, making Mercer Island one of the 100 richest zip codes in the U.S. One reason why Mercer Island is one of the richest zip codes is that it is inhabited by many well known, wealthy people, such as Paul Allen (co-founder of Microsoft), Bill Gates, Howard Lincoln (former chairman of Nintendo), several former NBA players, including Bill Russell and Rashard Lewis, and Joel McHale (comedian) just to name a few.
Unsurprisingly, the seven public schools on Mercer Island, Lakeridge Elementary, Island Park Elementary, West Mercer Elementary, West Mercer Elementary, Northwood Elementary, Islander Middle school, and Mercer Island High school, are all top ranked schools. Also unsurprisingly, the price tag to be able to live on this beautiful island and have your kids be a part of the school district comes with a big price tag: the median value of owner-occupied housing units is $956,200. This data likely includes condominiums, townhouses and very old houses. I have been looking for a house for myself and the criteria couldn’t be simpler: 3 bedrooms and 1.5+ bathrooms; the lowest price house I could find is north of $1.2 million.
Let’s take a look at some charts with more current data comparing Mercer Island real estate with the rest of King county in the last 3 years.
Chart 1: Median Sale Price Mercer Island vs King county period January 2014 to January 2017 for 3-bedroom-houses
In January 2014: Mercer Island $737,00 vs King county $366,000
In January 2017: Mercer Island $1,109,000 vs King county $568,000
Chart 2: Days on market for listing properties on Mercer Island vs King county period January 2014 to January 2017 for 3-bedroom-houses
This chart reflects that each listing Mercer Island house is expected to be sold in less than 8 days.
Chart 3: Price per square feet for properties on Mercer Island vs King county period January 2014 to January 2017 for 3-bedroom-houses
In 2014: Mercer Island at $346 per sf vs King county $205
In 2017: Mercer Island at $578 per sf vs King county $320
Mercer Island has everything one can ask for when it comes to house hunting: the charm of houses tastefully built and designed; the clean air, the beautiful view of Lake Washington from virtually any angle, the central location that gets you to two big cities in minutes yet it is quiet and peaceful, the great school district for you kids, a premier residential community that you will feel safer to raise your family in this crazy world. The reasons are nearly endless. Naturally it comes with a high price tag and an rat race to get any available house put on the market. If you are in this same race, let me know if there is anything I can do to help with the journey.
Feature Image by By Dllu – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42654839