I suggest you pay particular attention to the zoning laws in any area you are looking to move. Zoning is fluid, it can change at the whim of the City Council. (When I bought here 27 years ago my property was zoned duplex. It has changed 3 or 4 times, with the top zoning for a 9-unit apartment. It is now zoned for three units.) Therefore if you think you are buying in a single family home area, that could change a few years down the road. There is a group that keeps lobbying the City Council to build on small lots -- it started with approval of supposedly owners building accessory dwelling units -- such as a small cottage on your property for a mother-in-law situation. The builders will mostly be developers who buy the property and, if its large enough, add these units or if the lot is big enough, redraw the lot line and build one of these 3-story places right next to a single story home totally out of character with the neighborhood. From what I am reading on other blogs, the argument is that the City needs more high density living and no neighborhood is safe from these developers (one guy in particular's last name is Dufus). Richard Conlin stepped in and put an emergency stop on some of the undersized lot development because it occurred in Laurelhurst, but he had no concerns when it came to Wallingford, Greenlake, Fremont, etc. Ballard is such a hot spot for development, I don't know if any area, once basically single family homes, is safe. Right now, I am watching three - 3-story homes going up on the lot behind me. I now have a 40 foot wall 5 feet from my back fence. But, I am on the south side of 65th, in the HUV area of Ballard and when I eventually sell, the same thing will happen on my property.
I actually don't mind high density living provided there are enough parks to keep some open space available to the public. But with the City's lax attitude toward the homeless and parks, I don't want to put any more money into parks until something is done to address this issue.
On another note CR -- given the city's embrace of the homeless population, I wouldn't buy anywhere near a church -- given the fact that they can open a homeless shelter, operate a tent city, house a car camping lot at their own choice, with no consideration of the neighborhood. They don't even need permits anymore.