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KIRO Radio's Tom Kelly digs deep into the Puget Sound real estate market

Real Estate

This is America's most booming suburb?

(Chris Sullivan/KIRO Radio) One of the many peaceful and lightly traveled roads you'll find around the "top booming" suburb in America.
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What's the first place to pop into your mind when I say "top booming" suburb in Puget Sound? You probably thought of Issaquah or Maple Valley.

Have you ever heard of Cottage Lake? Not only is it the top booming suburb in Puget Sound, it's the top booming suburb in America, according to real estate firm Coldwell Banker.

Cottage Lake is just east of Woodinville. It's about as quiet as you can get. There are horse farms, nurseries, lots of property, one elementary school and five or six churches. Other than the beautiful houses on the lake, it is really just a rural part of unincorporated King County.

I didn't find any major housing or business developments nearby.

There is a Safeway and maybe three stop lights, and yet Coldwell Banker's Suzanne Mueller said this small area is the top booming suburb in America. "Cottage Lake is really a beautiful area," she said. "Lakefront property. Lovely homes and really close to that Microsoft behemoth, offering high level, high quality jobs for these families where they are still able to have a very suburban lifestyle."

Janet Christianson has lived in the area for 17 years. She's more than a little confused by the listing. "It would surprise me," she said. "This is not a booming town here. You are kidding me?"

The Cottage Lake area is full of long rural roads with 25-mile per hour speed limits. It's major intersection is where Avondale Road runs into Woodinville Duvall Road. "I know of no huge growth, I'm sorry," Christianson said. "That really surprises me."

Coldwell Banker looked at 1,500 communities around the nation and based its rankings on year-over-year levels in employment and unemployment percentages below the national average. It included access to good schools, stores and other suburban staples.

Yet there aren't many of those amenities around Cottage Lake. Coldwell Banker says Cottage Lake is basically all of unincorporated King County north of Redmond and east of Woodinville. Residents have access to all the amenities of both places, but there are many rural areas around Puget Sound that would then fit this definition.

"I would guess Sammamish or Issaquah or someplace like that," longtime resident Ed Lincoln answered when asked what he considered the top booming suburb around the area.

Sammamish is on the list, coming in third. Mercer Island is fourth, and Maple Valley is tenth.

By the way, Coldwell Banker says the average commute time from east of Woodinville is 30 minutes. Of course, it doesn't say where that commute is taking you.

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About the Author

Chris Sullivan is a traffic reporter for KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. He cares deeply about the amount of time you spend sitting in Seattle traffic.


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