Living In Lake Forest Park, Washington – Video Tour & Review
I may be biased, having grown up in LFP, but I think Living in Lake Forest Park, WA is pretty great, and I’m going to do my darndest to convince you, too. I’ll be honest though… it’s not perfect and I’ll give you both the Pros and Cons of LIving in Lake Forest Park, Washington so you can make a fair decision on your own.
Have you been considering a move to the Pacific Northwest? If you’re looking for a beautiful community with easy access to Seattle, Lake Forest Park just might be your perfect match!
Located in Northern King County on the North Shore of Lake Washington, this picturesque neighborhood offers something for everyone. Whether it’s excellent shopping opportunities, numerous parks, trails, waterfront, and recreational amenities, or just a calm, quiet place to stay – living in Lake Forest Park is an experience you might find suits you rather well.
That’s been true for me. I was born and raised here and absolutely love it.
If you are looking for Lake Forest Park homes for sale, consider taking the time to get to know the neighborhood. This online review of the Lake Forest Park neighborhood is meant to help prospective home buyers get to know the different neighborhoods of the Seattle area and decide if Lake Forest Park, WA is the place for them to buy their next home.
If you are interested in Luxury Real Estate, Waterfront property or Lake View property (looking out over Lake Washington) check out the Sheridan Beach and Sheridan Heights neighborhoods for some excellent options.
The densely populated suburban neighborhood of Lake Forest Park is popular with families seeking out the excellent school districts. It has a woodsy feel appreciated by moss and fern afficionados, professionals commuting to Seattle, Everett and Bellevue, and retirees who have lived here since the area was developed circa 1970.
Lake Forest Park Is A Small City North of Seattle, With WaterFront Properties Along Lake washington
What Is Lake Forest Park, WA Really Like?
Here Are Some Of The Highlights of Living in Lake Forest Park Homes
Lake Forest Park is known for it’s wonderful Shoreline school district schools, it’s easy freeway access to Seattle (about half an hour north of downtown, in good traffic), and its rigorous protection of the many ancient evergreen trees in its neighborhoods. There aren’t many flat streets, as most of the city of Lake Forest Park is on the slope of a tree-lined hill.
Lake Forest Park Town Center Is A Popular Hangout And Shopping Destination
The heart of the town bottoms out at Lake Forest Park Town Center, a small shopping Center with an Albertson’s grocery store, Planet Fitness Gym, Starbucks, Mod Pizza, library, and a common area gathering place with a food court adjacent to Third Place Books.
Get A Workout In on The Burke-Gilman Trail
Across the street from the mall is the Burke-Gilman Trail. This is a Seattle Gem.
It is 26 miles of flat, paved walking and bicycle trail. It leads South to the University District in Seattle, and North around the top of Lake Washington to Woodinville, WA. This track is heavily traveled by bicycle commuters during rush hour, senior citizens and moms during the day and families with first-time cyclists on the weekends.
The heavily-trafficked arterial adjacent to the Lake Forest Park town Center is known as Lake City Way to the South, and Bothell Way to the North. This roadway leads around the edge of Lake Washington.
To complement your fitness routine, stop into Planet Fitness – a low cost franchise gym in the Lake Forest Park Town Center. Or head 5 minutes up the road to Kenmore, WA for a more intense workout at the Cross-Fit gym there.
Lake Forest Park Homes
If you are looking at Lake Forest Park homes for sale, prepare to act quickly when you find one you like. Affordable homes in Lake Forest Park go quickly due to the many desirable aspects of this neighborhood.
The Civic Club Memberships Provide Locals With Waterfront Access
The Lake Forest Park Civic Club is directly across the street from the town center and is an inexpensive members-only club that is one of the few places in Lake Forest Park where residents can access the waterfront. Other places include Log Boom Park, to the north in Kenmore. Private access to the Civic Club is one of the privileges that comes with buying one of the Lake Forest Park homes for sale that are considered “close enough” to the club for them to grant access. It is not open to members from outside the local LFP area.
The rest of the Lake Washington waterfront is taken up by large lakefront homes that can be admired as you stroll along the Burke-Gilman.
Major Highway: Bothell Way – Lake City Way
The heavily-trafficked arterial adjacent to the Lake Forest Park town Center is known as Lake City Way to the South, and Bothell Way to the north. This roadway leads around the edge of Lake Washington.
CONS of Living in Lake Forest Park, WA
Although Lake Forest Park, WA does have a few small rental properties and apartments, it is mostly a high-cost-of-living area with fairly large houses reflective of the area’s primary development period around the 1970’s. Many would-be home buyers looking at Lake Forest Park homes for sale wonder if they will be priced out of the market here. Some of the houses for sale in this area have been updated and remodeled, some of the lots of have been subdivided and most home lot sizes are under a half acre. Larger lots frequently feature steep slopes and unusable tracts. Despite the small suburban lot size, the hills, trees and green belts afford welcome habitat for wildlife and privacy from neighbors.
Limited Local Entertainment
The city of Lake Forest Park is primarily just hills, trees and houses. There is not much business here. Local residents sometimes complain that the city is not very walkable – in part because of it’s steep hills, lack of sidewalks, and dearth of “night life,” restaurants or places to go. You’ll have to drive 30 minutes into Seattle for entertainment options like theater, improv, fancy dining restaurants or the orchestra. One of the advantages of buying a home for sale in Lake Forest Park is the quiet neighborhood where you’re more likely to hear coyotes or owls at night than neighbors up late partying… for some, this may be considered too quiet.
Don’t Cut Down That Tree!
In addition, Lake Forest Park is very defensive of its trees. if you are considering buying a home here with the hopes of cutting down trees to let the sun into your shady lot, think again. The city requires licensing to remove trees and can levy heavy fines for non-compliance.
PROS of Lake Forest Park, WA
Fortunately, Lake Forest Park is adjacent to the city of Shoreline, which has many restaurants, bars and businesses along it’s heavily trafficked north-south Highway 99, also known as Aurora Avenue in the city. Here, just 5 minutes from LFP, you will find Home Depot, Costco, and Fred Meyer big box stores, as well as lots of Mexican, Thai, Chinese, Hamburger and Poke restaurants.
A Few Small Parks
Lake Forest Park has a few small plots of land designated as parks. There is one park – Eagle Scout Park near Brookside Elementary – that has a swing set, as does Brookside Elementary itself – across the street, which is available to the public outside of school hours. Most LFP parks, such as our new Grace Cole Park, are just small pockets of natural spaces or green belts, where residents can take a 10 minute trail walk amongst the trees.
Animal Acres is a flat grassy park, maybe an acre in size, with a short walking track around it’s circumference. This is also adjacent to Brookside elementary and popular with neighborhood on-leash dog walkers.
Watch These Videos Of Our LFP Parks
Can I Build A House In Lake Forest Park, WA?
Most of the undeveloped land in Lake Forest Park is unbuildable. Land in the Seattle area in general is so expensive that it is all taken up by development now, and has been for years. Many people looking for Lake Forest Park homes for sale, consider giving up on finding the right home at the right price and start to explore the option of building something new. Home builders have to knock something down and they tear down old buildings and houses just to access the land in that location. The area is encouraging high-density development, so there are more attached townhomes being built, to squeeze more units into smaller lot sizes.
Lake Forest Park raw land is primarily wetland or on unstable slopes. if you are looking for land to build a home in Lake Forest Park, use caution and get your studies done before you commit to the purchase of the property, as the buildable footprint of any land you find may be severely limited. In addition, you may not be able to utilize your yard as you would wish. Some land I have seen in Lake Forest Park with more recently built homes has the home owner’s yard blocked off with fencing and signage saying it is inaccessible and meant to be preserved as wildlife habitat. We have the deer, rabbits and coyotes to prove this is working!
Is Lake Forest Park, Washington A Good Neighborhood You’ll Love?
Lake Forest Park is the perfect neighborhood for people who appreciate quiet woodsy neighborhoods, good schools, and the opportunity get out and bike, swim or boat on Lake Washington.
If you can afford to live in the Lake Forest Park area, you’ll find a good selection of homes to choose from – from luxury Waterfront and Lake View property on the shores of Lake Washington, to older homes that could use a little TLC.
The neighborhood is rooted by community gathering places like the Lake Forest Park Town Center and The Civic Club.
As a real estate agent, I am happy to help you discover whether Lake Forest Park is the right neighborhood for you, and if so we’ll find you the perfect house.
Find The Right Home For You In Lake Forest Park, WA
So, you’ve just moved to the Seattle area, you’re renting, and you’re trying to find that perfect home and neighborhood where you’ll be happy long-term.
It’s not easy finding the right house for sale in a new city, especially if you don’t know where to start. You could spend hours online looking at houses that may or may not be in the right neighborhood for you, or you could work with an experienced real estate agent who knows the area inside and out.
Emily Cressey is that agent. With years of experience helping people buy and sell homes in Lake Forest Park, WA, she can help make your home buying experience as smooth as possible.