Living In Capitol Hill & First Hill Near Downtown Seattle, WA

  • Capitol Hill and first hill are on a hill (duh) across the freeway (I-5) to the East of downtown Seattle where all the tall buildings are.  They are still very close and walkable to downtown, with great bus service as well.  
  • Capitol Hill has a main drag called Broadway going through it where I used to hang out on Saturday nights with my high school chums (When I wasn’t watching Star Trek Deep Space 9 with my parents.)  One of my friends’ fathers was a dermatologist and he had a nice home in the Capitol Hill area.  We would go to a Mongolian Grill buffet for dinner and then walk around and try to be cool till it was time to head home in my mini-van before curfew.  While I wouldn’t feel comfortable being there at night alone as it is a high crime area with a lot of vagrants, i have never personally had a problem there.
  • Off the main drag there are a lot of magnificent older homes, cathedrals and some parks – including Volunteer Park which has an old Conservatory (Greenhouse) filled with orchids, which is  where my sister got (some of) her wedding pictures taken.  
  • Many of the old houses on Capitol HIll are still used as single family homes, and some have been converted into multi-family residences.   There is not a lot of new construction here, but sometimes they will just remove an old building in a good location and build a fabulous new house on the lot.
  • First Hill is a little more known for housing a lot of people who work in the nearby hospitals and medical buildings.   I’ve taken several clients to this area looking at air bnb condos that would be attractive to visiting traveling nurses here for a short term stint or residents in training at a local hospital.  This area is fairly close to the freeway and just up the hill from Pioneer Square which is an older historic part of Seattle, but tends to be a gathering place for homeless people.  My Dad had his law practice in one of the Iconic buildings in Pioneer Square but I remember my mom would drop us off there and we’d have to navigate around people sleeping it off in the stairwell, so even back in the day it was a little dicey, and still attracts that type of crowd.
  • One of the cool things about First Hill, though, is that it has service from the unfortunately-acronymed South Lake Union Trolley, so if you like public transportation, that might be worth looking into.  
  • Capitol Hill does tend to be a politically active area, with a lot of posters touting favored causes stapled to telephone poles and bulletin boards and people dressed to make a statement.  This was also the location of the nationally famed CHAZ/CHOP Autonomous Zone during the Summer of Love in 2020.   Let’s just say nobody was surprised that it happened there but my husband’s friend had a condo there and he could see the whole thing from his deck.  I had a gentleman come through an Open House who lived there and said rents had dropped 10-15% and he would not recommend anybody live there at that time.
https://youtu.be/SF-wqigcqqw
  • First Hill is a little more known for housing a lot of people who work in the nearby hospitals and medical buildings.   I’ve taken several clients to this area looking at air bnb condos that would be attractive to visiting traveling nurses here for a short term stint or residents in training at a local hospital.  This area is fairly close to the freeway and just up the hill from Pioneer Square which is an older historic part of Seattle, but tends to be a gathering place for homeless people.  My Dad had his law practice in one of the Iconic buildings in Pioneer Square but I remember my mom would drop us off there and we’d have to navigate around people sleeping it off in the stairwell, so even back in the day it was a little dicey, and still attracts that type of crowd.
  • One of the cool things about First Hill, though, is that it has service from the unfortunately-acronymed South Lake Union Trolley, so if you like public transportation, that might be worth looking into.  
  • Capitol Hill does tend to be a politically active area, with a lot of posters touting favored causes stapled to telephone poles and bulletin boards and people dressed to make a statement.  This was also the location of the nationally famed CHAZ/CHOP Autonomous Zone during the Summer of Love in 2020.   Let’s just say nobody was surprised that it happened there but my husband’s friend had a condo there and he could see the whole thing from his deck.  I had a gentleman come through an Open House who lived there and said rents had dropped 10-15% and he would not recommend anybody live there at that time.

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