WHILE THE HOUSING MARKET tumbles in the rest of the country, Seattle’s holding its ground. Home prices are softer, but not plummeting, and that’s good news for a market gone crazy in the last few years. Condos and townhomes keep popping up in new neighborhoods, suburbs are revitalizing their aging downtowns with new master plans and mixed-use developments, and for-sale signs are springing up like dandelions in a vacant lot. Prices have—gasp!—fallen for the first time in years (3.3 percent from a year ago in March). In short, it’s a buyer’s market. So what should you do right now if you’re a seller, a buyer, or just a concerned home owner?

Whether you want to buy, sell, or hold, our comprehensive guide to the entire metropolitan area will help you scout new neighborhoods or size up the one you’re in—it’ll even tell you what kinds of cars and pets your neighbors prefer. Still unsure? We highlight 15 great places to live, so read on to find out who’s shaping these neighborhoods and cities, what changes the coming years will bring, and why your future neighbors fell in love with these places before you did.