Considering a move to Seattle - things to know?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by puma1552, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. puma1552, Jan 5, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015

    puma1552 macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    Wife and I are loosely considering making a move out of Minneapolis. Windchill this morning was -24. Most years will see several days of close to -40. Last year we saw -55 wind chills.

    One area we are looking at is Seattle due to the temperate climate, the liberal atmosphere, and the large Japanese community (or at least larger than the nearly non-existent one here; my wife is from Japan, we came to the US in 2011).

    What could we expect in terms of cost of living and could we buy a fairly decent house in the $250k range in the Seattle suburbs? We could afford more house but we also like to have a couple nice cars, so not interested in being house poor and don't need a big house, just something nice and well-maintained.

    What suburbs would be desirable for home ownership? Doesn't have to be the ritziest suburb, but a nice one that isn't more than 20 miles out. I know if I was advising someone about where to live here in the Twin Cities, I'd tell them look at the west/south suburbs, skip the east/north suburbs. What would be the equivalent "good" place to be in Seattle?

    Those there, what do you think of Seattle in terms of forward thinking, food/culture/arts/nightlife, diversity, etc.? How does the employment landscape look?

    Just trying to get a general idea of if it's even potentially affordable enough to bother looking into it more or not. Current income here is about $100k, though I'm currently underpaid by at least $10k compared to what I could make elsewhere, but my job is pretty sound overall besides that.
  2. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Mar 22, 2010
    I lived in Seattle for a couple of years around the age of 24 ... about 30 years ago.

    I still dream about it.
  3. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    I lived there all my life.

    Classic very liberal,large city.

    Lot's of things to do.

    Weather is not as wet as people say. Summers are beautiful.

    Big sports city.. Go Hawks !!

    Very good bus system. Mass transit being built.
    Expensive to live in..Close to the cost of living in San Francisco.
    Lot's of hills.
    Average crime.
    Restaurants are everywhere as are espresso places.
    High technology,Boeing and Microsoft are biggest employers .

    The one downside is the traffic is horrible. But that can be mitigated by the excellent transit system.

    It's a bicyclist heaven.
    There are bike paths on almost every major street.
    Taxes are high..There is no tax on food.

    Ask anything you want and I've probably got the answer.
  4. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    WA has no income tax. Therefore, sales tax is very high, over 10% I believe. So if you move there, it would be a good idea to buy things you're gonna get anyway in MN, especially if they are expensive. People drive to Portland to shop to avoid the high sales tax.

    $250,000 will buy a modest home in the area, but real estate is more costly in the Puget Sound area than in the Twin Cities. Look at listings online.
  5. MusicEnthusiast macrumors 6502


    Jun 23, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Lived in Tacoma, an hour south of Seattle, for the first 18 yrs of my life. Lots of people live there and commute to Seattle via the Sounder or the Sound Transit system. Being the 4th largest city in Washington State, I grew close to it but it's has a slow atmosphere. Great place to look because prices are considerably lower than Seattle.

    Living in Seattle itself is very expensive. Bellevue can sometimes be even higher, and that's just a suburb.

    Places I recommend you check out for residency:

    South of Seattle:

    Green Lake (amazing place, in my opinion)


    Those places have cheaper housing prices, and are all ~45 min to downtown Seattle by car.

    Also some extra tips for driving in Seattle:
    Parking is hard to come by downtown and is expensive. It's free every day of the week after 8 pm and all day Sunday. Lots of people park their car at a major transit station and transfer to the metro to save time and money.

    Nightlife is great downtown, and places like Green Lake and Northgate (with a mall right there and plenty of bars & restaraunts).

    If you have extra time, try going to Mt. Rainier and do a hike or go camping at Paradise or some smaller campgrounds near the mountain. Summer is best for camping and lake fishing. For the winter, Crystal Mountain is a peak next to Mt. Rainier with extensive ski and snowboard runs. Buses are reasonably priced to go from any major city to there (a ~2 hr bus ride).

    You should also explore Northwestern Washington, such as Bellingham and Port Angeles. Great places, too!

    Living in the greater Los Angeles area now as of last year. I think of Seattle probably every night, and I'll make a vacation back up there in no time! :)
  6. rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    the space needle costs $$ to visit!! they sell tickets!

    the museum next to the space needle rocks!

    i loved the ferry that went from seattle to bremerton

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