Moving to Seattle has more than a few benefits when it comes to improving the quality of one’s life. The so-called Emerald City is known for the greenery that surrounds it, thousands of acres of parkland, many landmarks, and of course, the thriving tech industry. It is home to the first Starbucks, headquarters of Amazon, Costco, and Microsoft, while its suburb Medina is the residence of Bill Gates. If you’re not that familiar with the largest city of the state of Washington but decided to move here, you might need a newcomer’s guide to the most important information. So here’s ours.
What to Know Before Moving to Seattle – the Cost of Living May Not Be for Everyone’s Pocket
The first and crucial thing you need to find out is whether you can afford to live here. The cost of living in Seattle isn’t bearable for everyone – yet, it is one of the fastest-growing cities in the US, and so far, it has almost four million residents in the metropolitan area. Those people wouldn’t be there if it’s ridiculously expensive, right?
Even though it is fifteenth on the list of 455 cities in the world ranked by the cost of living index, it is still cheaper than New York and San Francisco. Distribution of expenses shows that more than 40% of your paycheck will go on rent. Other significant expenses will be the groceries, while the utilities will take just 4.5% of your monthly income.
What Do You Need to Know Before Moving to Seattle? Top Neighborhoods, Jobs, Transportation
Being well informed can make a world of difference when choosing another state to reside in. Make room for positive surprises when living in Seattle – once you’re well prepared for everything that awaits you, nothing bad can happen.
What Are the Best Places to Live After Moving?
This city really is a beautiful place to live in, and there’s an area for everyone. Seattle neighborhoods we singled out are populated by highly educated people; they have excellent public transportation, highly rated schools, they’re suitable for families and offer many options for nightlife. The prices, as we mentioned, can be pretty high.
On average, if you wish to rent a one-bedroom apartment in the center, you’ll have to pay around $2,100, and a three-bedroom is more than $3,700 per month. Outside of the center, the price drops to $1,700 and a thousand more for a three-bedroom condo. Most of the people rent their apartments, but if you wish to buy a property, the price per square foot is $700 in the center and $430 for the ones farther away from downtown.
Here are some of the top places to settle down:
It’s one of the top-rated neighborhoods to live in. Almost 2,000 people call it home, and the majority of them decided to rent. It is a pretty safe neighborhood, and it has great schools, so relocating there with a family is an excellent choice.
Located in King County, Madrona offers a well-balanced combination of urban and suburban lifestyle. It has highly-rated public schools, but it also got an A+ for nightlife, which promises a great time for young families and singles alike.
South Lake Union
South Lake Union has an average rent of almost $2,000, and nearly half of the population hold bachelor’s degrees. It is a busy area that’s constantly developing.
Lower Queen Anne
This densely-populated urban area gives off a relaxed vibe, and it is well maintained. It’s where the KEXP radio is located, and it’s home to many restaurants and beautiful parks.
Sunset Hill is one of the rare areas where the majority of residents own their homes. It is very safe with lots of excellent public schools, which makes it a family-friendly neighborhood.
What’s the Job Market Like?
Residing in a metropolis such as this one offers a lot of job opportunities. The unemployment rate was 3.1% in April 2020, lower than the national level of 3.9%. If you’re wondering how to find a job, we suggest applying for one even before you move. That way, you will be sure that you have a secure income every month. Even though the expenses here are high, so are the salaries. On average, you’ll earn more than $5,700 per month after taxes.
Some of the best companies to work for are:
- Tableau Software
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Currently, one of the best-paid professions are gynecologists, chief executives, and surgeons.
What Are the Taxes in Seattle?
There is no personal income tax. One of the most significant benefits of this is that the state becomes a beacon of growth. As for the other charges, Washington has one of the highest sales taxes – from 7% to 10.5%, and the Emerald City has a state rate of 6.50%, county and city rate of 3.60%, and total sales tax of 10.1%.
Buying a vehicle is an additional 0.3% on top of the total sales tax rate. There’s state property and state estate tax, while spirits and marijuana (which is legal) are heavily taxed.
How Do Seattleites Commute?
The easiest and the fastest way to go somewhere would be by driving, so you might consider transporting your auto with you. Try to avoid morning and afternoon rush hours, but if you can’t, have in mind that driving can be difficult at half-past six AM and 5-6 PM. Interstate highways 90, 5, and 82 are the primary ones. There’s a lot of cyclists in this place, so you can be one of them, or use some of the public transportation options:
- Light Link Rail
- King County Metro Transit
- Taxis and Ridesharing
- Water transportation
As for the airports, there are Seattle Boeing Field airport, Seattle Lake Union SPB airport, and Seattle/Tacoma International airport. After all, this place is the home to the Boeing Company, even though the company made boats in the beginning.
What Are the Recommended Places for Dining?
We guarantee that you will have no problems finding tasty bites in this place. The food scene is very diverse, and some of the best restaurants in Seattle are:
- Il Nido
- Super Six
- Sushi Kashiba
A meal in an inexpensive restaurant costs around $17, while a mid-range eatery will charge you $75 for a three-course meal. If you wish to prepare food at home, one pound of chicken fillets will be around $5, and a pound of ground beef is a bit more than $6. The same amount of rice costs more than $2, and local cheese is $8 per pound.
You Can Expect Some Rain, but It’s Not That Bad
You’ve probably heard that this place is gloomy and rainy, which is only partly true. Average 38 inches of rain falls annually, which is on par with the national average. Almost half of the year is sunny, and the highest temperature is 76 degrees in July. January is the coldest month with only 37 degrees, and 5 inches of snow is a regular thing.
What Can You Do for Fun?
This is a fun community to be in, and there are a bunch of unique things to do in Seattle. You can explore the place by going on a harbor cruise or an underground tour. Pike Place Market, Great Wheel and Space Needle are some of the most famous landmarks. Lake Washington, Lincoln park, and beach and Alki beach are great for sunny days, and there are so many parks and gardens to escape the concrete jungle and go for biking and hiking while enjoying nature.
Is Moving to Seattle a Good Decision If You’re Planning on Raising a Family?
Emerald City is an excellent place for children to grow up. If you’re wondering: Is Seattle a good place to raise a family?, a vast number of excellent public elementary and high schools located in this community might give you an answer. Some of the best elementary schools are Cascadia Elementary, Frantz Coe Elementary, and Lawton. As for the high schools, you might consider Roosevelt, Summit, and the Center School.
Keep in mind that the monthly bill you’ll get for the private preschool or kindergarten for a full day costs almost $2,000 for one child, and international primary school is more than $25,000 per year.
There are so many things to do in Seattle with kids, as well. Most parks and museums are kid-friendly, and it will be easy to pick a destination for a quality day with your family. Kids love Woodland Zoo and Aquarium, as well as the Children’s Museum.
The safety in this community varies depending on a specific neighborhood. But it’s a generally safe place, and the areas we listed above, like Magnolia, Lower Queen Anne, and Sunset Hill, are some of the safest.
Tips for Moving to Seattle Alone
If you’re moving to another city alone, and you’ve decided that the Emerald City is your final destination, we’d like to share some handy relocation tips with you. This huge step will be much easier if you’re relocating for a job because then you’d already have a salary and new coworkers that can welcome you and show you around.
Whatever the case, you should save some money and plan your finances way ahead. Do proper research and learn more about what costs you can expect. The Internet will be your best friend for a time since that’s the best way to find out the easiest way to commute, the nearby shops, theaters, or whatever you like to do to fill out your free time. You’ll find company in no time – Seattleites are known as a very friendly and polite bunch.
What You Have to Know When Moving to Seattle from California
Relocating from California to Washington state happens for many reasons, mostly because of the lower cost of living, excellent education, employment, and taxes. Emerald City has a lot to offer to people coming from CA – being a highly developed community, it is an excellent destination for all those who wish to get away from violent crime, have a good job, pay less for the utilities, and be surrounded by friendly and laid-back people. Prepare for weather differences, do thorough research, and follow the tips that can help when moving out of state.
Let’s Summarize: These Are the Things You Should Know Before Moving to Seattle
Wherever you’re coming from, these are ultimate things you should keep in mind when relocating to the Emerald City:
- First of all, know what to expect price-wise. This community is not for everyone’s pocket, so save as much money as you can and be prepared for the costly rents.
- Salaries and the job market are great, but make sure you find steady employment before you come.
- Traffic jams can be annoying in the rush hours; try to avoid them.
- This is generally a safe metropolis, but research the neighborhoods before choosing one.
- It’s not the sunniest destination, but when the sun is shining, the atmosphere is beautiful.
- An abundance of parks, outdoor activities, gardens, lakes, and beaches await you.
- It is an excellent place to raise a family because of the good schools, safe neighborhoods, and high quality of life.
- Kids will never be bored here – so many museums and parks are adapted to their needs.
- Adults definitely love the Emerald City – the food scene is impressive, there are many great bars and cafes, and you will surely drink some good coffee.
Don’t Forget the Moving Costs
Relocating from one state to another is a process that can last for a month or even more, and it can be costly. Some long-distance relocation companies charge for their services in a way that leaves you no control over the price. So find the one that charges by the item list, and that gives you a guaranteed rate. That way, you’ll know that when you add or remove something from the list, the price goes up or down. Hiring transparent Seattle long-distance movers with a rich offer of moving and packing services will mean a lot when creating a budget since you will know exactly what your expenses are.