10 Things You Should Know Before Moving to Seattle

Where do you find inspiration?

Out of all the places to find inspiration for a blog post, my current favorite is deep within the RCG stats where I can find the search terms that people use to reach this site. Today, someone came to RCG looking for: [things+you+should+know+before+moving+to+Seattle], and while we likely disappointed that particular visitor, I would like to make amends by offering up this list of ten things you should know before moving to Seattle:

rain in Seattle1) It rains.

2) No really, it rains a lot here. Despite what they say about it raining more in Atlanta, Boston, or D.C., the rain in Seattle can be like a slow trickle that never turns off. But the rain is okay… really… because one day… some day… it stops. And on those first few warm, sunny spring days, all of life is good in a way that Californians will never understand (unless they move to Seattle).

3) Seattle isn’t always comfortable being a high-tech town. Sure we design operating systems, sell stuff online, try to appraise every home in America and stream lots of music and movies, but a substantial portion of the population relates much more to the art of building airplanes.

4) Consensus Rules. Just agree with me on this one or I’ll never be able to get to #5.

5) Traffic Rules. People in Seattle talk a lot more about traffic than the weather. Depending on where you are moving from, traffic will either be horrible or a non-issue. Most blue-state people will laugh at Seattle traffic because you can normally get between any two points in the City in under a half-hour at all times of the day. Red-state people see the parking lot known as SR 520 and wonder why we haven’t build another bridge yet (see #4 for a hint at the answer).

6) Seattle is not that big. We have all the stuff associated with life in a major city: Theaters, traffic, ballets, sports teams, traffic, skyscrapers, music, etc., but you really don’t have to travel far to feel like you are in rural America.

7) Seattle is closer to Asia than Mexico. If one of the staples of your diet consists of cheap and tasty Mexican food, then you will eventually replace that staple with Pho. The sooner you accept this (and the sooner you stop saying “The Mexican food is so much better in California”), the sooner Seattleites will let you know about the good Asian restaurants. (And by the way, since we’re talking about good food, I feel obliged to mention that the Mexican food I remember growing up with in California was so much better than anything you can find in Seattle…)

8) The intersection of NE 50th St and 40th Ave NE is about a mile away from 50th Ave NE and NE 40th St. In the Seattle area, all the street names are numbered and given one of nine directions (NW, N, NE, SW, S, SE, E, W or blank). The numbers begin at 1 in downtown Seattle and radiate out wards. The directions also radiate out, but are city specific, unless, of course, they aren’t… Like at the intersection of 244th St SW, 100th Ave W, N 205th St and 8th Ave NW. There is logic to the entire street system and if you live here long enough, you will understand. Until then, you will be confused and miss appointments, meetings, birthdays, etc.. On a related real estate note, if you are new to Seattle, do not attempt to search for a home without a real estate agent. The street system was designed by a committee of real estate agents who wanted to ensure that you need their help to locate a home. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Also on a related note, Redfin has proposed new street names (featuring real names) for all streets in a effort to ensure the viability of their business model, but at this point, they are still very far from getting consensus on their proposed naming convention.

9) Paul Allen.

10) Despite what you might have read in Wired, Fremont is the Center of the Universe.

Have I covered everything?

988 thoughts on “10 Things You Should Know Before Moving to Seattle

  1. Pingback: i got it » snowkid

    • Seattle is really a paradise. Its quite nice to live and raise a family because of the “10 great reasons” stated above. But of course, aside of considering those things, it is more important that you have friends and peers in your place that you can mingle with.

  2. For great mexican food go to white center…Taqueira Del Rio.
    And thanks for the link” the other day. I should be answering there but the post was so great I thought it deserved a thoughtful response. That thread warrants more attention…it’s right on.

    • Yes! That is very true..white center area is like the ‘mexican town’ on the far west side of Seattle, & the east side is ‘china town’. Which is pretty funny when you think about it! hehehehehe!

    • I lived in California my whole life and moved to Seattle in 2005. I grew up on Mexican food. To be honest, I dont notice a difference. The main thing I miss about California is Tommy’s Hamburgers and El Pollo Loco. It doesn’t rain non stop. It doesnt even drizzle nonstop. I would notice this because I am a runner, and I dont run when it’s raining. Seattle not even close to having the most inches of rain in American. If you wanna be accurate, you can say it’s a cloudy city in the winter and you don’t get much sun.

      The worst part about Seattle, is the street names. That’s mostly Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland. Who was the idiot that decided on giving streets these stupid numbers. You can’t remember them. the NE and SE coming before the street or after the street, it’s so stupid. I still remember street names in L.A. To this day, I cant remember if my address is off 132nd ST NE or NE 132nd ST, and I have lived here seven years.

      By the way, we have the best summers in the country.

      • Marc,

        I can help you with that. Streets run East to West and the “directional” comes first as in NE 124th Street. Avenues run North-South and the “directional” goes at the end as in 124th Ave NE. So if someone says “NE 124th” you know it is the Street and not the Ave. If they say 124th NE then you know it is the Ave and not the street. And when you get to the corner of 124th and 124th in Totem Lake…pull over and pull out your compass app on your phone. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • That is true. Everyone is so very nice here, but don’t count on them being your friend.

          • I’ve not found that. I came here too from CA and have made many friends in the 15 years I have lived here – good friends through work, the local hoods I have lived in, even kindness of the checkers in the grocery store offering local advice on places to go, see, what to feed your pets. I have found it to be wonderful place filled with intelligent people, beautiful landscapes, and endless things to do. It’s too bad you have not found it – perhaps you need to be more open, better mood, watch the energy coming from you?

  3. Interestingly, I just took down a comment from someone who was pretty darn unhappy with the service they received from a real estate agent… The comment (with the agent’s name removed) follows:

    Beware!!! One thing you should know before picking Real Estate Agent if moving to Washington- Beware of dealing with [XYZ agent]. One of the most unprofessional experiences of my life. Was only interested in commission for the deal. This agent was not only inconsiderate, flakey , and foul mouth. But wasted so much of our time in our search for a new home. Only sharing this to help others avoid what we went through.. We missed several opportunities because of her lack of response and effort. BAD NEWS!!!

    It is a blog and I encourage comments, but I just can’t see keeping up a comment that bashes another agent… If someone disagrees, I’d be interested in hearing their reasoning.

    • I use agents and it would be really nice to know who NOT to work with. I don’t have time to waste. I don’t think bashing is the way to go about telling others your opinion about someone or a company. Like any business out there offering there services, USUALLY the unspoken norms is courtesy, respect, being consious of doing a good job to earn and keep your customers. I know when I’ve stayed at hotels for example, they always give you a place to offer your opinion. They want to know how they are doing both good and bad. Potential guests can see and hopefully make a decision to say at their Hotel. That is how they impove. EVERYONE should know word of mouth is the best advertisment-good and bad! If a person or a company is not performing up to standards, or they don’t care about how they treat people, they should be pointed out so others don’t waste their time, money or talents….that’s the way it works. If you want to keep your customers or get new ones, are you unprofessional, inconsiderate, flakey or foul mouthed?….If you were, I would want to know that. This agent needs to know she blew it and lost a customer.

      • I think that the blog is no place to bash someone… especially since the blog was generally informitive and thoughtful. BUT, since it is also important how to not waste time, I think simply leaving a link to an Angie’s List comment (where you bash her) probably would be best.

    • I personally think that hiring a real estate agent is a huge waste of money. With the technology that we have today it is not hard to research for yourself where you want to live. Real estate agents are just glorified door openers. They sell the fact that they work for you but both the buyers and sellers agent benefit from a higher priced home because they each receive a percentage of the sales price. Most only negotiate seller paid closing costs, the purchase price (which again the higher the better for both of them) and draw up the contract (filling in the blanks on a preprinted form) and for that they make an unbelievable amount of money. They believe that their role is to be rude and demanding to the other people involved in the deal that actually earn the money they make. I have been in the mortgage industry for 15 years and although there are plenty of people in mortgages that are dirtbags too..Real estate agents take the cake. It would take a normal functioning human being one afternoon to learn how to do what a r/e agent does..save your money folks..you can negotiate a much lower purchase price if the seller does not have to add 7% to the purchase price to pay both agents.

      • Friend, you could not be more mis-informed. I work in the real estate industry (I am not a realtor) and am certainly no apologist for agents, however I work with them every day. The good agents are worth their weight in gold. Bad agents are worth nothing. There are complex contractual issues that come up that must be handled and it is not as easy as “filling in the blanks” when it hits the fan. There are resale issues to consider, where the average person has no clue. Inspection issues. The list goes on and on

        • Darrell,

          Agreed! I’m not a realtor either, but work with them on a daily basis. Lots of people are under the misconception that they’ll save money by going it alone. If you have a good agent, you’ll save so much more money. They have tools and experience at their disposal and will make sure you get the best deal and avoid unwanted issues in the future.

          Of course, not every agent is a good agent – Choose wisely.

    • I’m a junior in high school and I am seriously considering moving to Seattle to attend the UW there. I am from a small town in southern Louisiana so I want to know what differences I can expect. I’ll be getting a creative writing or a major to get a leg up in editing. Are there many opportunities for a job in publishing in Seattle? I was hoping for a branch in one of the big 6 of publishing.

  4. Sounds like 10 great reasons to live in Seattle to me! Rain, lots of rain, more rain, wonderful asian food, traffic we can all complain about (but not really have to endure), a visionary like Paul Allen, and the Center of the Known Universe! How do you guys pack it into just one city? I don’t think you do! I think you share all these things with Portland!

    Remember, Seattle and Portland are suburbs of each other if you go by air. In fact, I can get from Portland to Seattle faster than I can cross town during rush hour in Portland. I’ve been to Seattle in rush hour, so I know its true there too!

      • Bloomberg Magazine listed Portland as the number one most depressing city to live in… Number one in front of Cleveland, Detroit, Atlanta, and Cincinatti. Seattle? Not even in the top 20… So… If Portland is a suburb of Seattle, then it is the BAD part of town…

      • This is all a matter of opinion. You couldn’t pay me enough to move back to Seattle now that I’ve experienced Portland. So, I think this statement should read, “I used to live in Seattle and it doesnโ€™t and will NEVER hold a candle to Portland!!! And thatโ€™s a fact!”

  5. Kathy,

    You’ve definitely hit upon a good topic for another post… 10 Reasons to Live in Seattle.

    I’m sure that would hit upon the most positive reasons for living in Seattle (and it would probably be more appropriate for a real estate site anyway!)… So, I’ll start work on that right away…

    Any inspiration you (or anyone else) want to share for the “reasons to live in Seattle” list?

  6. A few more points…

    11. Seattle is a football town, unless the Seahwks are struggling. Then we become a baseball town, unless the Marineers are struggling. In which case there’s always the Sonics & Huskies. You will not find a more rabid set of fair-weather fans and bandwagon jumpers anywhere else in the country.

    12. It’s hilly downtown. OK, it’s not San Francisco bad, downtain Seattle has it’s fair share of hills. If you drive downtown, drive a car that has an automatic transmission. Your clutch will thank me later.

    13. Regarding to #6, living in the suburbs is great because downtown is close enough to visit, but far enough away that you don’t have to deal with it every day. You also have a head start if you want go visit the Snoqualmie Valley or points east.

    14. Summer begins on July 5. (After the soggy Independence day fireworks)

  7. 11. Beware the Seattle Freeze.

    12. It is likely the most casually dressed city in the country.

    13. The Eastside is not Seattle.

    14. We’re very liberal and, as a city, fairly corrupt. Most of the city’s larger projects are dictated by a few rich people, even when referendums have already gone the other way.

  8. When I am washing dishes at my kitchen sink in Kirkland, looking directly at the Seattle skyline and the space needle, it sure feels like I’m in Seattle, Ben.

  9. Makes me a bit homesick. I’m in San Francisco now, which is a great city. No question about it. However, just getting across town and finding parking takes some serious planning. Seattle is just the right size for all you really need in a city yet not big enough to be a major hassle. Good posts on your site as well. Cheers.

    • Yes it is easier to find parking in Seattle because people are starting to not drive a parking spot costs you $7.00 for a half an hour.

  10. I want to move to Seattle to be with my family who just moved there.

    I’m going to be very sad about the no mexican food thing. But how is the city in terms of demographics? Are there a lot of diverse people? Or how does it go? It’s not whitepeopleville is it? I hope not.

    I’m going to miss the sun.

    I am a San DIego girl.

    Anything else I should know before making the move?

    Anything that will be drastically different from SD?

      • She never said she had a problem with white people.
        I am white, and I live in Grayling MI…(don’t come here)…originally from the East Coast,
        but I sincerely miss the diversity I had growing up.
        Unless, you go to a rare Chinese food place here,(if there is one).
        There is no other ethnicity in the area.
        There is nothing but rednecks, lowlifes, white trash, and hicks.
        So, she just wants to know if WA has cultural diversity. To answer her question, yes.
        Their second language is Japanese. Unlike CA which is more of a Hispanic community.
        But, there people of all different kinds of ethnicity.

  11. Wow, I type in “Should I move to Seattle” into Google and I get this little bit of serendipity. I too, am a San Diego girl looking Northward. What’s up there? More importantly, how can I find a job?

  12. Andrea,

    Sorry for glossing over your great questions… We have a fair bit of information on northwest neighborhoods on this site, although there are a ton of resources, but it really depends on what you are interested in…

    What type of community are you looking for? What type of job do you want? Seattle is a big enough city that it probably has a neighborhood/job to fit just about everyone!

    • Hi,

      I’m moving to Seattle next year alone. Been in NYC my whole life and feel like I need a change. I love Seattle and fell in love with it the first time I was there in 1993. I’m currently looking for employment, want to obtain a job before I move there if I can. Any good websites for job hunting in Seattle you can recommend? Also searching for an apartment. Also, what areas are best for young single people such as myself? Thanks!

  13. This is a bit odd, lots of San Diego remarks in here…I just finished my undergrad in San Diego and would like to move to Seattle but have never been so I do not know the where-to and where-not-to live in Seattle. Any suggestions on safe-for-running-solo, fun-people, unique neighborhoods?

    Second, I would really like to get an environmentally oriented career going…whether it is educational outreach, private industry, state or federal. Any suggestions on finding an environmentally oriented job?


    • I live in Seattle, here’s your answers…

      1. Safe-for-running-solo/fun-people = Green Lake or Freemont
      2. Environmentally oriented career = start at UW, really, they love the trees there.

  14. There are lots of great neighborhoods in Seattle and if you can get yourself around Greenlake, then you can join the thousands of others who use the pathway around the lake for running on a daily basis. I’m sure there are other neighborhoods that would work equally as well, but Greenlake sticks out when I think of good running places because I’ve seen so many people out there rain or shine.

    In terms of an environmental-oriented career, I just don’t know. My gut reaction is to say try to get in with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation since they are local, have billions in funding and are looking to solve some very important world-wide problems. Most of their stuff is not environmentalism along the lines of Greenpeace, but I’m under the impression they are making a wonderful difference in the world.

  15. What about schools South of Seattle, say Puyallup, Kent, Sumner area? What are the best elementary and middle schools with gifted programs?

  16. Pingback: Rain City Guide Year In Review | Rain City Guide | A Seattle Real Estate Blog...

  17. Hi
    Im from Mexico City and my husband, my baby and I we will moving to seattle in January. He’s going to work in the UW. What neighborhoods recommend me to live? What should I do at first? Sorry for my english…I am terrified…

  18. Cecilia,

    Welcome to Seattle… And your English is just about perfect so far!

    It doesn’t really matter where a family is coming from, the questions you ask are pretty darn universal!

    There are so many different factors that go into the most appropriate place to life, there is no way I could tell you the right neighborhood right off the bat. Assuming you want something somewhat urban, then you will either want to stay within or close to the boarders of the City of Seattle.

    In terms of first steps, it would probably be a good idea to talk with my wife. Her name is Anna and you can find her contact information on this page. I imagine that she is going to recommend that you rent a place for a while to get the feel for the City, and she can give you some tips on where to look for rentals. Both Craigslist and Move.com (my employer!) are good places to start. Craigslist has more single-unit places while (I believe) Move currently has a larger selection of condo-type rentals.

    Hope that helps! Don’t be too terrified… The people in Seattle are really nice!

    • Hi Dustin,

      I’m planning on moving to Seattle next year, probably in May 2011. I’ll be moving there alone, been in NYC my whole life and need a change, plus I love it there, fell in love with Seattle the first time I went there in 1993. Is is alright if I contact your wife as well for some tips? I’m currently looking for an apartment as well as a job in non-profit. Thanks in advance for your help!


  19. I am thinking about moving to Seattle in June from the midwest (suburban Detroit). I am really excited about the change, but also very nervous. I don’t know anyone in seattle and am expecting my first baby right before the move.
    I feel that I fit the Seattle relaxed personality, but worry about meeting people and starting afamily. I wonder whether the continuous months of cloudy weather will make me depressed.

    • Amen. Leaving L.A. after many years here. For all the sunshine, there is a definite freeze here, and I’m not just talking Botox. People are shallow and superficial. Intelligence is in short supply. The weather really isn’t enough of a reason to live here, and really, how much time do you spend OUTSIDE? With the known effects of sun damage on the skin, sunshine is over-rated. Although I’m a bit concerned about the rain I’ll face in Seattle, at least people won’t be fake.

  20. My wife and I are moving there from Boulder, CO in the summer and yes, this is another weather-related question…
    Is it literally continuously cloudy/drizzly/gray from Oct to May ??
    Does the sun come out at all during those months ??
    Please be as specific and truthful as possible…. Thanks !

    • it’s worse than that.
      rain is mostly misty, sprinkly stuff that seattlites don’t even carry an umbrella for
      and it is cloudy, grey, and “rainy” quite often from Oct until July 5.
      Yes, the sun will come out for a day. or an hour. or 10 minute intervals.
      I’ve even seen it rain here when the skies were blue and the clouds were white
      “we don’t need no stinking clouds”… LOL
      We call this month “JUNE_UARY” for a reason.

      this spring has been particularly nasty.

      Yes, for all who asked the grey/wet can be very depressing if you are a sun lover
      like myself.

  21. Greg,

    It is overcast for much of October through May… The sun will pop out every once in a while, but we found that it really helps to plan one “sun” vacation in the winter!

  22. To the lady thinking of moving from Detroit, I know alot of Michiganders that couldn’t hack it. Most didn’t make it 3 months.

    Wish I had read this before moving to Seattle from Metro Detroit. It would have saved me two years of figuring it out on my own. What isn’t mentioned is the Nice/Ice , The Seattle Freeze. If you are planning on moving to Seattle don’t expect to make friends outside of someone holding the door for you at the grocery store. I’ve lived all over and have always made friends quickly, here in Seattle I’ve just given up. I was an outgoing, confident person now I’m a shut who tries not to use her hands too much when talking, doesn’t expect people to actually come over, doesn’t know the name of a single neighbor in my apartment complex, and buys things off of QVC just so the UPS guy will knock on my door so I can hold him hostage long enough so I can have someone to converse with. Seattle is great if you are a loner. It’s also a beautiful, clean and safe place to be. Not so good if you are an assertive, friendly person. I think the high depression and suicide is more from lonliness and lack of contact than the weather. Rain I can handle, the Seattle Freeze is a killer.

    • I been living here for about two years and I love it here…love my job, love my apartment, but the Seattle Freeze is just killing me…its the only reason I am considering to come back to California…

      • What activities have you done to meet people?

        Generally, I’ve found the best way to meet people is to volunteer (I volunteer at the Seattle Metaphysical Library these days, but I’ve done many other volunteer activities), attend a class (there are thousands of classes) or get involved with civic groups, including community councils and activist groups. There are hundreds of different organizations that are focused on making Seattle a better place to live. Once you get to know people, by working with them, not only will your social life be better, but you will have people in your life that you share values and interests with.

        I tried to do a Meetup group once, but found too many of the people weren’t really interested in the subject, they just wanted to meet other people who were interested in the subject. Going to a meeting once a month won’t cut it, you need to actually get involved, go over to people’s houses, invite them to your house, etc.

    • Im going to give everyone the straight dope on living here, no sugar coating. The gray, clamy, rainy weather is depressing and forces you to be inside 9 months out of the year. Anyone who tells you it isnt, is lying to you. Within a few years, no matter how tan you are now, you will have a white pasty complexion. You end up owning a lot fleeces and hoodies. I moved here from St Louis 9 years ago to work at SBUX as an analyst and stuck it out ot get into the software industry and now its time to go back to my original plan – move to San Diego. In the 9 years I have been here, I can count all of my freinds on one hand and they turn over as people leave or flake out on you. Most people walk around staring at the ground with a permanent grimace on their face. Very much a city of loners, accentrics and introverted intellectuals. You will literally never find such a concentration of wierd, creepy people anywhere else on earth. Dont even think about moving here by yourself and think your going to have a great network of nice new friends, that doesnt happen for anyone. I agree the suicide rate comes from the loniless and isolation. People actually sit at the bars here and read books, not looking at or talking to a soul!? Where have you ever seen that? And it actually starts to wear off on you, you find yourself closing up and thats when its time to go. As for the outdoors stuff which is what really drew me here: If you like skiing, hiking, biking, golfing and camping in the cold and rain (and you really wont like it) thats what you will get. The snow is like skiiing through frozen yogurt and I have never met so many early retired skiers from ACL injuries. It takes an hour and half to get anywhere worth hiking (walking through the woods for hours to reach one actual view) or skiing and a $30 ferry ride combined with several hours of driving to hike the Olympics. Gas prices are the highest in the country. What you dont pay in income tax you will in sales, gas, liquor (state operated), candy, bottled water and cigarette taxes. The food is overpriced and dull. I hope you like asian because thats all there is. A Thai restuarant on every corner. There are no good BBQ, Mexican, Italian or Steakhouses here. Period. Want snow and Mountains? Move to Denver. Want sunny happy people? San Diego. Want to hide behind a computer, have no friends and meet all of your wierd, quirky dates online? Welcome to Seattle.

      • Gosh, John!

        I’ve been thinking of relocating to Seattle from a Socal Coastal town where I operate a contemporary art gallery. I have many art-related friends and a pretty active social life, but would like to try someplace new. Originally from San Francisco, but that City is now overcrowded, expensive and a nightmare traffic-wise.

        You just scared the holy bejeezus out of me!

      • Spot on Jon. Been here for 3 years now and you’ve described it exactly. Aside from the beautiful 2 months you get, it is crazy sad here. Oh and making friends is hard. The outdoor is nice but anything worth while is at least an hour drive away. If you don’t mind hiking, camping in the slightly cold and wet then there is good outdoor stuff.

      • I strongly agree……especially with this comment…want to hide behind a computer, have no friends and meet all of your wierd, quirky dates online? Welcome to Seattle…If love being a loner, Seattle is the right place for you….

      • John,
        How do you explain the people I have known who moved to Seattle and have alot of friends and meet people without problem and wouldn’t live anywhere else? Any city in the country can be that way socially. I live in Dallas, and your Seattle social description could have just as well explained Dallas as well. You have to get out and join the community, clubs, etc. You may have clouds/mist, but try not even being able to go outside from June-Oct b/c it is so HOT and humid. We haven’t had rain here in almost 2 mos the land is dry and barren. We have had 50 days straight of triple digit temps. I will take Seattle weather anyday. All in all, no place is perfect and not every location is going to suit everyone. You just have to do your research, visit places and see what works for you. I wouldn’t expect anyone that wants to live in San Diego to like Seattle. IMO, San Diego has unfriendly, “strange” people, but different strokes for different folks!

        • WOW!! So many topics here and I truly DO NOT know who to believe!! My friend has been living there, moved from Florida, for 2 years and she loves it! I couldn’t help but agree with the TX lady!! I live in Florida, have for many many years and itโ€™s actually so true from May-Oct you rarely do things outdoors because it is so hot/humid. I would rather; I guess do things in the cloudy “mist” then blazing HEAT!! I guess every state has there share of issues or everyone who reside in that “perfect” place. Then it would not be that perfect any more because it would be over crowded.

      • Wow.

        What a lot of pathetic whining!

        Unfortunately, it’s people like John – transplants – who are and have been in the majority for a few decades now in Seattle.

        Rain doesn’t hurt. Really. It builds character. It’s depressing if you are weak, and NOTHING forces me to be inside 9 months out of the year.

        Damn. Go be happy and sunny in SD. Please!

        • Tom,

          you should think twice before you go off spouting off about how someone is weak if they are depressed. People like you do not even have a clue how this disorder takes over someone’s life.. which may be why Seattle works for you. It’s not something people can control when you get hit with this. I battle depression and I am making my efforts to find a social life here in Seattle.. yet I don’t get too far. I’m just now realizing that this isn’t a good practicing ground for an introvert like myself most likely because the city contains too many other introverts.

          I resent that you call someone weak for something they cannot help!

      • This is the best description of Seattle I’ve come across. I lack the vocabulary to describe the social pathology here because it’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced or heard of. You really have to live here about six months before you break through the polite exterior and wake up one day to realize you are surrounded by, what…androids? Sociopaths? Autistic children? Seattle folks are some VERY special snowflakes and have an incredible incapacity for introspection. Of course any criticism is met with denial and “good, leave” comments.

        Never seen anything like it, even in the most backwoods areas of the south. It’s a nightmare and I’m glad to be leaving now that I realize what this place is all about.

        The weather didn’t bother me at all, but the people are just something else.

    • I agree with the comments “When” made about making friends in Seattle. It is not easy making friends in Seattle, you can live in an apartment for years and never get to know your neighbor. I moved to Seattle alone from Atlanta 13 years ago; I was bubbly, friendly and outgoing. After years of trying to make friends and get connected and people making plans of hanging out but never happening, I just shut down and started keeping to myself. The weather in Seattle is bearable if you have people to share and hangout with. Many of your days are spent lockedup indoors if you don’t have families or friends here. Depending on where in Seattle you live, most people here are stuck you and unfriendly, even the foreigners. Yes Seattle is a beautiful, safe and good place to live and raise a family but, Seattle has changed alot since I moved here.

  23. When,

    Sorry to hear you’ve had such a hard time meeting people… I remember for the first few months when my family moved to Seattle, we had a hard time adjusting to life without our usual friends. However, it didn’t take too long for our Ballard neighbors to open up, invite us to weddings, parties, etc. Sorry to hear you’ve gone introverted because it sounds like you don’t enjoy that lifestyle. Do you have any hobbies you can use to meet people? I enjoy cycling and have used that in the past as a way to meet new people. If you join a group like Team-in-training, not only can you get some good exercise, but you get to do some “good” while meeting lots of new people. Just one idea because I happen to know this group is active in Seattle.

  24. Hi,

    My friends want me to move to seattle ASAP. My only worry is finding a job. I don’t have degree but I do have fours of experience in HR services. With that being said, do i have a fighting chance in such an academically driven environment……side question, are the woman diverse?

  25. I live in Ventura County California. Beautiful, but superficial and not a wholesome place to raise children. I lke grey and cloudy, but every day? Is it ahrd to adjust? Are people friendly? Is Mukilteo a good place to settle?

    • Hi L, I grew up in Ventura and now live in Seattle, with a middle life in SB.
      How old are you? I ask because it really does make a difference. Despite the people who say it doesn’t rain here a lot, it does. It is June 20th and still raining everyday. There are many outbreaks and plenty of spans of 2-3 days without rain but it is nothing like the variable perfection of Ventura weather. The people here are not as shallow and the most part are way more open minded but there is a under currant of conservatism that I think. Comes from nothing more than dark cold winters inside. It is not cold compared to some or many but for what ventura is again, being an average 70 year round 35-40 is going to knock you back. Tons of music, culture and different life styles but because of its smallness there is a small town cliquishness that makes it hard to make groups of friends. One or two good ones seems to be the average here unless you’ve grown up gone to school here because of everyone mostly being indoors the majority of the time. Winter blues or the lack of the atmosphere allowing the sun to penetrate close enough to create the right effect for us to make vitamin d is a problem for people used to that. Sun bulbs and vacations and vitamin d tablets themselves especially offer relief for that. Excellent place to raise kids.

  26. Hi all: an East Coaster here, Pittsburgh and NYC, both of which I will always love. alas and alack, something is missing…oh yeah! a city that is a bit green, a bit nice, and good and nurturing, especially for a boy with an MS in interior design. (Im not into making rich folks’ homes more decadent, though, more into design for the masses) So: I like Seattle from afar – with what I’ve said above, does Seattle seem like a good match? Im super liberal, gay, tend towards quietude, and love urban living. I need to get the hell out of NYC, despite loving it. you can only run on fumes for so long.

  27. To both L and Quinn,

    43 years in Philly Area and came here from Manhattan Beach. To both of you YES!!! Sincerely…I am known for straight talk. That is no agent BS.

    To Quinn a RESOUNDING YES on all counts…hands down. If you know Bucks County and Philly I can draw specific comparisons.

    L…not as resounding…I moved here because of the people and YES on that one. You know what I mean and I know what you mean on THAT one. Mulkiteo? Why Mulkiteo? I don’t know a lot about it and will ask Mulkiteoans to answer that one LOL

    Hard to adjust? I found a few things that made it easier, without them yes, from Ventura, from some other places not so much. You lose me at Mulkiteo…so let’s let someone else weigh in here.

  28. Hello ~

    Not planning to move to Seattle (from Northern California) until either the end of this year or early part of next year. What’s the public transportation like there? Do busses run late…here in Sacramento after 10pm you have to take a cab, drive or call a friend if you miss the last bus. What is the average cost of parking downtown. Here it’s $185/mo or $18/day.

  29. Compared to Sacramento, the public transit is pretty darn good (I’ve done extensive transit planning work in both cities in a past life!).

    At least within the City, transit is pretty darn good and if you are commuting to Downtown, it will very shortly be the *only* option in Seattle. I took the bus downtown from Ballard just about every day for three years and found it to be shockingly consistent. I’m the type of transit rider who tries to time it real close and that turned out to be a mistake in Seattle as I often caught the tail end of a bus because I was a minute late! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I say it will be the *only* option shortly because there are some major projects underway and/or planned that will seriously disrupt auto capacity in Downtown Seattle in the near future. Some things that come to mind are: (1) the existing 3rd Avenue Transit project (which has brought over 100 buses per hour to surface streets while they reconstruct the light-rail tunnel under downtown) and (2) Replacement of the viaduct (SR 99) which will cause a ton of through traffic to go either on Downtown streets or on I-5. There is also rumblings of seriously changing around the I-5, but hopefully that project will wait!

    Anyway, the good news is that a lot of money is being spent to prepare the transit system for a massive increase in riders.

  30. Hi Quinn,

    Sorry, got side tracked. If you tell me where you would live in the Philly area/Bucks County area, I can draw comparisons.

    Like Bothell is to Langhorne as Redmond is to Upper Langhorne (toward Newtwon) Bellevue is to Philly Downtown as Capitol Hill and Belltown are to South Street.

    If you can pinpoint pretty much any where in the Country you have enjoyed living and why, I can draw parallels that give you a frame of reference visual.

    To describe it ALL, what you would like and what you wouldn’t…would be about ten volumes ๐Ÿ™‚ Let’s make it relevant to what you like, for my sake. You can email me if you like…or do it here…your choice, but I don’t get emails when you post here, as I do on my articles, so I may miss your comments under the heavy string of talk. If they fall out of the sidebar “get rained on with other comments”, I will miss it. I only get nofications on my articles. Maybe I’ll write an updated article of this nature from my perspective so people don’t have to keep going back to March of 2006.

  31. Pingback: Ten Things I love about Living in Seattle | Rain City Guide | A Seattle Real Estate Blog...

  32. My husband and I are considering a move to Seattle from Atlanta. I have gotten lots of answers to questions based on posts already read. I am a bit concerned about the Seattle freeze-We currently have really great, considerate neighbors. We actually go to dinner once every two weeks with one couple who have sort of adopted us ( they are much older) I tend to be a little introverted, and the idea of grey skies and a book sound like heaven to me but I’m not sure about it everyday….Anyway, even thought I am a bit introverted, especially if I am new to an area, I like to have nice people around. I want to make friends, what can I expect out in Seattle? Is it really that hard?

  33. cct,

    My family found it quite easy to make friends and this thread is actually the first time I have ever heard of the “Seattle Freeze”.

    My experience was that we moved to Seattle from the Bay Area in the fall and it was a relatively slow winter where we made only a few friends with our neighbors. However, when Spring rolled around, it seemed like all the adults in our area were outside tending their garden and the kids were playing on the sidewalks (riding bikes, scooters, hopscotch, etc.). It became really easy for us to make some great friends with our neighbors and we ended up having weekly barbecues during the summer and weekly game nights during the following winters… If you’re open to meeting new people, my guess is that it won’t be very hard for you to make friends in Seattle! ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. Man, I don’t what kind of people these folks are meeting that are unfriendly and cold, but I sure have never met them. In the city proper (which is where I live, so I can’t speak to areas farther out) everyone is pretty open. Could it be they’re meeting some unfriendly former Californians ;)… Anyway, the city itself is a great place to live for someone who is looking for a place they will be accepted no matter their lifestyle (well, maybe not so much the “red” folks – Seattle tends be pretty “blue”).

    To Quinn – you definitely need to check out Capital Hill to start with – it’s gay mecca. To anyone else new in the city, a great place to meet friendly people is your local neighborhood bar or coffee house. They’re usually full of regulars who can tell you all kinds of inside information.

    As for the weather, yes, it rains and is cloudy often, but we don’t have mosquitos the size of cats or creepy, crawly poisonous things, the temperatures are pretty moderate, the humidity is bearable, and Hawaii is only 6 hours away. We’re surrounded by water and mountains (real mountains, not those hills from the midwest), and if you like to camp or hike, you can’t do much better. For us locals, summer in Seattle is enough to carry us through the gray. Today, for instance, it’s blue skies!

    Anyone coming to town to check it out, I’m happy to meet up at the Roanoke (small friendly place on Capital Hill) and give you the scoop.

    • Dear Adrianna,

      You appear to be a highly intellegent person with honest opinions; therefore, I would prefer to confer with you if you don’t mind.

      My name is Chuck, 53 years of age and recently divorced (without children). I am well-educated with two college degrees in International Relations and Geography. I currently live in the ‘oil belt’ area of Texas and Oklahoma and I can’t stand it. As a conservationist/evironmentalist and ‘green-tech’ want-a-be, I have been wanting to live in an area which is more progressive then my current “red-state” dungeon; can you mention TX Gov. Rick Perry — more insanity! All that Texans want to do is to tear down every beautiful forest and poison the Gulf of Mexico, just to make more money for a few ‘at-the-top’.

      I have traveled to all points of the globe, but I have spent too little time in Seattle to judge it. I am looking for an environment which is much more international, educated and intellegent, and open-minded to new ideas and people. A loner much of my life — Texas is not easy, I am looking for a city with friendly and outgoing people who I can bond with. (I have heard about the seattle-freeze, but is it true?) I must confess that I love the sun and especially the nudist resorts that dot the oil belt, but the high temperatures in the oil belt have created three heat stroke for me and I am looking for outdoor activities in a cooler climate, but preferrably not an ice rink. I’m not necessarily a snow skier, but I love to jog, walk, hike, and water activities. I am concerned with the weather in Seattle — being too cold during winter, and ice…

      Are jobs difficult to find in Seattle for administrators, salesperson, technical writers, etc. — someone not an engineer? Can a person reinvent himself/herself there?

      I welcome your strongest opinion.

      Thanks for listening,

  35. Pingback: This is why you move to Seattle | Rain City Guide | A Seattle Real Estate Blog...

  36. Alright, so how’s the music scene up there? I’m in Orlando and I love playing out, so this is a pretty important aspect. I like folk/pop/rock type stuff. Is grunge still king?

  37. To Dan –

    Definitely grunge is not king. Ever hear of Death Cab for Cutie? The Shins will be the next big thing out of Seattle. As for folkie stuff, The Tractor Tavern in Ballard is the place to go. They also have great alt-country and rockabilly stuff, as does The Sunset, just a few blocks up. Harder edged music is downtown (Showbox or Crocodile) or on Capital Hill, but we have it all. Just not so much grunge! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  38. Pingback: Guilty of Slandering Seattle | Rain City Guide | A Seattle Real Estate Blog...

  39. I’m moving to Seattle with my husband, who is originally from Seattle, my son and I come from Sydney, Australia. I’m really concerned about the weather, I love my sun. Are there any coping strategies anyone can suggest? I was also wondering where the best place to locate jobs in Seattle is, if anyone has any ideas or help that would be great!

    Thank you

    • Dear J Wilson,

      You come from my most favorite city in the world and the city that I most want to live and move to. Unfortunately, the Aussie Gov’t in Canberra has made it more difficult (in recently years) for 53 year-old Americans to relocate, especially since I want to work, reside, start a new life, and find ‘love’ there.

      From an attitude perspective, I believe that Seattle and San Francisco are the two major U.S. cities most like Sydney, which is why I am considering a move to Seattle — without all of the gov’t interferace. (If I can’t have Sydney, then Seattle may have to do.) I, too, am concernced about the weather, as I love the sun and nudist resorts; but I am afraid that Seattle may be more like Wellington, NZ or Hobart in “Tazi” from a climate perspective. Sydney is still my first choice. Do you know any good immigration lawyers in Sydney?

      And with an 11% unemployment rate, a 50% college education level for adults, competition must be fierce in Seattle!

      Hopefully, Seattle will be a good place to reinvent yourself. Best of luck!


  40. I think where you live is very important. When I lived in Bridal Trails with all the tall pine trees everywhere, I didn’t see enough sun even in the summer. I moved to a much, much smaller lot high up in Kirkland with long distance views over the lake, and the weather’s just fine here. That’s why I say “It’s Always Sunny in Kirkland”.

    I would think being low in downtown surrounded by tall buildings would have the same “darkening” effect as being in the big tall pine trees. I also work in a room that is all windows and has grow lights…no problemo.

    The alternative is lots of short weekend trips to SoCal.

    • …Or…during the summer if you want hot temps and blazing sun just go to the Gorge and catch a concert or to Lake Chelan or something. You don’t have to leave the state in order to get sun. You will still need to take a “sun” vacation during the winter or just deal like the rest of us broke folks.

  41. I may be moving to Seattle a lot sooner than I expected. Possibly by this summer. I don’t know anyone there and my only source of information is the internet. One of places where I found an affordable apartment is in First Hill. All the stuff I’ve read online makes it sound like a pretty good place to live. I’d like to hear opinions from people that live in Seattle. Is First Hill a good area to live in?

  42. First Hill is just off Capitol Hill on the South Side. If you like City living and night life, you’ll probably have fun there. I’m assuming you are a younger person.

  43. I’m looking for apartments to rent for a young couple with a 6-month old newborn. We’re moving to Seattle and my husband will be working in the University of Washington.

    1. Could you recommend me some family-friendly neighborhoods nearby U of W?
    2. I looked over on Craig’s List, rent.com, move.com and forrent.com… Any other places to look into?


  44. I know a lot of U-dub students rented at Green Lake, which is a great area for strolling aroung the Lake with the baby. A lot of the rentals there are just little red “for rent” signs. Many on the Linden Ave side, some with lake views, but I like the side down by 65th Street near where the Albertson’s is, or used to be. Not sure if it is still there.

    Easier to find a rental after you are here, or send your husband ahead to secure one before you arrive. It shouldn’t be very hard, but it is a “do it yourself” project for the most part of driving around and looking for the little red signs. A lot of small complexes in that area that don’t need to advertise other than a “for rent” sign in the window.

  45. Wow – there is some good info here!

    My husband and I are moving to Seattle asap as he just got a job in Redmond. We are both from NYC but spent a misereable 18 months in Salt Lake. We are excited to get back to a real city. Everyone is saying we should live on the east side. I read on here someone doing a comparison to Bucks County (which made me laugh). I’m originally from Hunterdon County, NJ and spent quite a bit of time in the Lambertville/New Hope area.

    Any insight into the real estate market up there would be helpful. Where are the best areas to live that would be affected the least in a down market? How is the real estate market up there. Back East it’s terrible. Are there any natural disaster issues to be aware of? I ask that because everyone talks about the big earthquake that is suppose to hit SLC soon. Does Seattle have a tendency to flood a lot? As you can see, I’m not a risk taker! ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. I did the Bucks County analogy. Used to sell in Newtown/Yardley/Washington Crossing back in the early to mid 90s.

    If Redmond equals Microsoft you will be assigned an agent by them who will pay Microsoft 35% or so of the commission to help cover your moving costs. Many Microsoft people want to live really close to work, so the market there is hot and strong.

    Market and issues here very similar to Bucks County and North Jersey…Princeton area. Some basements, some not. Some wet basements, some not ๐Ÿ™‚

    If you already know the Company, ask for the agent assignment now so you can plug into info early on.

    If it is Redmond and not Microsoft, know the market in Redmond is still driven by the same forces.

  47. If you like mexican, nothing here compared to the SFO bay area (N Cali) until I tried Ooba Tooba, especially for the Veggie stuff. Try the one at 555 108th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98004 opposite the transit center.

    Personally I would not recommend anyone to move from the sunny places (California, Florida, Phoenix, Texas, etc), the weather does drag one down somedays.


  48. i am planning to move to seattle from kansas city and i am sure it would be a better place than here.. i am an asian guy and i have always felt a racist attitude amongs the midwestern ppl, i hope seattle is much diverse and i wont be looked down as much.. any comments??

  49. Tom,

    I think the agents are going to shy away from answering your questions for the reason that there is simply no “safe” way to talk about diversity without treading on dangerous legal grounds. The reality is that Seattle has a large Asian population, and I imagine it has a slightly more tolerant attitude than the typical midwestern city. I wish I could say more, but the type of people you associate with in Seattle really depends a lot more on you than anything else since there are all kinds living in Seattle! I hope that helps!

  50. Sorry Dustin, I was playing with the Bubble People ๐Ÿ™‚

    Tom…there are more Asian dudes and dudettes around here than any place I’ve ever been. Indian, Asian and everything else. I LOVE Seattle for its diversity.

    About 10% of the population looks down their nose at people…so just enjoy the 90% and ignore the rest…feel sorry for them even.

    My favorite are the chinese girls. They are funny as hell when buying property. Feistiest group of women I’ve ever met.

  51. OK…I was bored…so I’ll chip in my 2c on regional differences based upon where I have lived.

    First…with regards to the “SEATTLE CHILL”…it’s chill you guys…it is not so much of a chill but more of a “realness” to the people. Idle meaningless shallow chit chat is not fed into as it would be in a place such as Los Angeles where I currently am. When I was living in Seattle…what made it “real” was that someone could go into a bar dressed in yuppie attire…put 50c on the pool table…end up shooting a game with a tatooed biker type (at a bar like the Blue Moon or the Meet Me Here tavern in the early 90’s)…and find out that you are both just a couple of people and it is what’s on the inside that matters more than what is on the outside.

    Being an educated city…there will be some amount of the “intelligencia”…but big deal…just pass them up…I found that if you are cool…and humble…that the natives are very welcoming…at least that was my impression. Sure…you can absolutely find droves of lame people at certain “watering holes”…but as you get your feel for the city…you’ll know what to avoid.

    I won’t start commenting on particular neighborhoods as I know them all and would take a million years to describe them. Sure…some have changed since I moved away 7 years ago…but I still spend plenty of time there. I personally think that the Ravenna area is a nice family area for in city Seattle…and Capitol Hill…just like was mentioned above would be the West Hollywood/Castro district of Seattle…but with a Seattle flavor…which is better in my opinion.

    Here are some aspects of Seattle vs Manhattan…It’s kind of like a Manhattan “light”…but not quite there yet. Prettier for sure. Still expensive though if you want to live “urban”.

    Seattle vs. The South.

    I lived in Columbia MO for about 5 years…there certainly was a midwest “friendliness”. It almost bordered on creepy nosy neighbor kind of friendly. When I lived in the teeny tiny urban core…I couldn’t walk a block without someone wanting to know “how things were going”…like they could really care less…it’s not that I’m being a curmudgeon…but people that hardly knew you would act like this…for those that are used to growing up in a western city…the “southern hospitality” thing can come across as a bit invasive…give people their space…if you don’t…you’ll feel the chill.

    Coming from Cal?…Keep your mouth shut…don’t tell anybody…this is your chance to make up something exotic…tell people that you are from Lebanon…Lebanon Missouri that is. They’ll never ask where you are from again. Nobody will be impressed about the beach club that you belonged to…or what celebrity you may have seen while shopping in Beverly Hills…You live in Seattle now.

    With respect to Culture…Seattle can hold it’s own in many ways. Speight Jenkins runs a pretty respectable opera, the PNWB is also good. Museums and other art sadly fall behind places such as NY and LA but c’mon…really. The music scene in general is top notch as far as I am concerned. Once again…it may not compete with NYC & LA again…but it will be less expensive…and when one compares it to something like 6th St. in Austin…Seattle wins hands down.

    welp…that’s my verbal diharrea for the day.

  52. Well, I think I have come closer to my decision to move. I’m a software dev/game artist. I’m currently stuck in the southeast (alabama to be exact). Every since I moved here with my parents 10 years ago, I’ve wanted to leave. I used to live in Alaska, so northwest has been my goal all along. I’ve found a tentative job opening in Seattle, so now its all up to me. I just turned 24 and I need to decide!

    Not so worried about:

    I hope that I fit in. I truley am sick and tired of the static environment and lack of personality that this area has to offer. The people here are super nice and all, but if you have met one person here…then you have met them all. While, I know that sounds ridiculously 1 sided and completely asinine (and it is)… I’m more or less just bitter from the lack of open, outgoing, diverse, laid-back, intelligent people.

    Worried about:

    The only thing that I am stuck on is this. I currently own my own home here. Obviously, there is going to be a significant change in real estate, as I can own a 2300sq/ft home in the city here for 160k. I’m a little worried as to what I’ll be able to afford. It’s a little scary seeing numbers like 350k ๐Ÿ™‚ 200k – 250k is alright, but wow… Some of the numbers I’ve seen are scary. I seriously dont care too much about space. I dont really have all that much stuff. I could easily live in a 900sq/ft townhome/condo, but I want it to be in a safe area (obviously) and hopefully near some form of public transportation. Renting is an option for the first year, but I’d still want the comfort in knowing that I can afford to BUY something soon after. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thoughts?

    I’m a social person. I really like to meet new, diverse, unique people. I like to mt. bike and do some hiking from time to time. I’m a huge art and music geek….so in general I am really excited about Seattle, and if I dont get this job… I may just hunt down another one, because it seems that Seattle has alot of what I want.

    Thanks for the help and the great input. Its a hard decision for me, because all my family is here.


  53. I live in Atlanta, GA currently, and I am tired of living in a parking lot. I do like a fast-paced environment but not the cold distance felt here (racial tensions I can do without also, on both sides). I visited Seattle over new years and the temperature was the exact same as Atlanta, and even WARMER at night. One huge difference I noticed was the air quality, when stepping off the plain in atlanta all i could smell was dirt and gas. Atlanta’s airport is the biggest, but geesh, its ugly and those security women scream so loud it will make you go deaf. Seattle’s airport is waayy nicer, people hugging, nice normal families everywhere. Oh yeah, not as many FAT people as here in the south.

    I am a gay civil engineer, am thinking of capitol hill. I like the alternative types, and unlike atlanta lawyers don’t own all of downtown seattle, I think i can find a job in downtown. In seattle i feel like i can walk to work and people won’t stare me down like i’m crazy like here in the fat stupid south. Sorry for the attitude but i’m burnt out, and i need get out of this hellhole.

  54. Lots of great comments here recently… Jeff and Jason, it definitely seems like Seattle may work for you guys in the near future. Very cool.

    Jason, in terms of affording a place… Ardell has a recent article that describes about finding a home for one guy with some very specific requirements. The take-home from Ardell’s post is that if you are disparate and act of desperation, it will always be hard to find a good deal… But appropriate stuff is out there.

  55. Dustin,

    Thanks a ton! Luckily, I wont be desperate… I have been looking online and I have many condos that I could afford to purchase. Location is my biggest hill to climb at the moment. I found Condos all over and outside the city! I found one .3 miles from work and another 40 miles from work. Comforting, but confusing ๐Ÿ™‚

  56. The potential difference between .3 miles from your work…and 40 miles…can be huge. If the .3 is in Seattle and you work there…fabulous.

    If the 40 mile range is south and puts you in the Hilltop neighborhood of Tacoma…that means that every bit of research you have done has been in vain.

    40 miles north…well…you are out of the convergence zone so expect more grey days.

    40 miles E/NE/SE…you are in what was formerly known as the boonies…the sticks.

    40 miles west and you’ll be on a ferry if you want to come to the city…also former “sticks”

    People that you would once find in “the sticks”, “boonies”,…or just plain old BFE…are still there. They haven’t changed and some can be a little strange…and some don’t take to kindly to strangers…think ‘Deliverance’.

    If you really really want to buy…hook up with a realtor…but in reality…you really should at least rent for a couple months until you REALLY understand the demographics/culture of different areas.

    • As too my knowledge..there’s nowhere u can rent in any state for less than 6 months..is there a place like that there? Me and my roommate are moving there at the end of March and are looking for a 3 bedroom apt or townhome that’s not over $1000 per month..the only things I can find are on the rent.com and I know that there are probably others that are not listed on there, just like here in Phoenix where they do that..looking forward to not so much sun!

      • There are short term rentals in every State. They are usually a little pricier due to the heavier turnover. Often short term rentals are furnished and used by relocating buyers who leave their things in the house in their home State until it is sold, or put their things in storage until they buy a house. Every State has short term rentals used by people who are moving from out of State so they have a place to live while looking for a house.

        Residence Inns found in most every State are a good example of Short Term rentals, but there are many others. It depends on where you want to me. There are at least 3 in Downtown Kirkland. I don’t know any 3 bedroom not over $1,000, but maybe if you are relocating to Tacoma or Tukwila something like that would exist there. Just not in the areas where I work.

  57. Jason, I live on Capitol Hill and can highly recommend it. I’ve also done the ferry commute, which I don’t recommend, and the walking to Belltown from Capitol Hill commute, which was really nice.

    If you haven’t found a place yet, give ShackPrices a whirl (I’m one of the owners). We let you see what’s nearby each place, including public transit, which should give you a good feel for the specific area you’re looking at. Here’s a good starting point.

  58. Oh, and the hiking is accessible from Capitol Hill – I-90 is just a little south and the music scene is great – I’m walking to Camera Obscura at Neumo’s tonight and walked to Of Montreal at the Showbox on Friday.

    Rent for a little while until you get a feel for the area. There are affordable places easily within walking distance of the Pike/Pine corridor.

  59. EconE, ‘Deliverance’ think ‘Alabama’ haha. Thanks for the informative geographical post. Actually, I figured anything west was out of the question simply because of the Ferry. I figured it was not a good idea. Most of what I saw was north around “Everett” and “Mill Creek”. I most likely will consult a realtor soon in order to get comfortable enough before making the decision to go. Thanks for posting.

    Galen, I was actually going to ask that as my next question. Which areas are close to public transit. I’ll give your site a whirl. I’ve heard alot of good things about Capitol Hill. Thanks for the help.

    Either way, I’ll be most likely renting for a bit. But, my main goal would be to purchase within a year of moving.

    My obvious main concerns would be:
    crime areas (which I havent even looked into yet)
    close to public transport (researching now)
    price 250k max

  60. MK…post #54

    Big earthquake in SLC? wow…maybe it’ll bring a little excitement to that city…I can imagine that it would have been a tough place to live…unless of course you were in Little Cottonwood Canyon and are a ski nut.

    It seems like everybody has their earthquake threat…the midwest has the New Madrid fault line…here in Cali we have the San Andreas (and many others)…In the PNW you are in a location that is in what is considered the “Ring of Fire” which is a giagantic underwater faultline in the Pacific.

    One thing that you should consider in Seattle with regards to earthquakes is “liquefaction”…it’s not a typical landslide per se…but rather where the soil takes on the “characteristics” of water and will flow like a river. That of course is a pretty unscientific explanation. A perfect example of where “liquifaction” has affected Seattle in the past would be the Perkins Lane area of Magnolia.

    With regards to flooding…well…from what I have heard from friends up there as of recent…some of the riverfront property could possibly get a little “hairy” at times…but don’t worry…you will see nothing in Seattle like you see in places such as Indonesia and Bangladesh. The most memorable “flooding” I remember from my time in Seattle was in the mid 90’s where Lake Sammamish rose so much from the rain & snow melt that all the boat docks and much of peoples lawns were underwater. I’m not sure if the houses were affected though. Lake Washington doesn’t have the same problem as they are able to lower the lake (which they do every year during the winter) by using the locks.

  61. Galen,

    I found some great “looking” places on your site. All falling within my price range too. Thank you very much for the plug.

  62. Wow, what a great site. Thanks! In May, I’m moving to Seattle from Cleveland, Ohio. It’s a good thing I love rain, geographically smallish cities, and trolls.

  63. I’ve never been to Cleveland, so I can’t make any direct comparisons, but I imagine that Seattle will offer a ton of new opportunities! Seattle is looking forward to your arrival! and let us know how the move works out for you!

    • Dear Dustin,

      You sound like a man who knows things. I am wanting to move from Dallas, TX ASAP, but I do not know what city to relocate to. All these Texans want to do is drill for more oil, destroying the Gulf of Mexico — if need be — to do it.

      As you know, Texas is a ‘red state’, and the facist Gov. Rick Perry — do I need to say more.

      I consider myself a ‘progressive’ and I would like to get out of the “Oil Belt” and reinvent myself. I have two college degrees in International Relations and Geography, but I have worked in the oil industry, construction industry, and state and Washington, D.C. Govt. and politics as sales representatives, legislative and political analysts, technical writers, and administrators. Since Seattle is so highly educated and “progressive”, I think that Seattle might be the place for a 53 year-old divorcee’ (without children) to reinvent myself. I would really like to work in the ‘Green Technology’ field. What do you think?

      I don’t mind commuting by ferry, as I like the water, but I would like to live in an area that is “FUN” and somewhat close to downtown. Can you make any suggestions?


      • If you do move here from Texas please be a considerate driver. Cars with Texas license plates here in Seattle are very rude motorists.

        • That is BS, Texans are the most curteous drivers in the nation…..I’ve been in Seattle 3 years and have yet to have one single driver give me a friendly wave of acknowledgment for letting them cut in line. Furthermore, my son was even fired from a job here because of his “provincial” manners…..boss really hated that he used “please and thank you” and said “yes ma’m and yes sir”……that is messed up! I have encountered some friendly Seattle natives but by and large it is true that the average people you pass on the street will NOT speak a friendly hello or even acknowledge if you do! In fact I would venture to say that the people actually living on the street are frequently the only ones who care to engage in coincidental pleasantries. It is however, great to feel that everyone is accepted, that too, however, has its’ limitations and quirks. Seems to me that a lot of times in Seattle, the “counter culture” has become the status quo and if your not the “right” brand of grungy or hip or whatever, those who “are” just want nothing to do with you…..not exactly the open minded, place for everyone Utopia, but is amazingly beautiful, great public art, culture, just super young and sometimes incredibly aloof and self indulgent.

  64. Morgan,

    Use the NE to NW conversion method. It never gets AS cold, and when it snows there it rains here. So instead of one season of snow and one of rain…we have two of rain ๐Ÿ™‚ Though we did have a bit of snow this year too. Spring and Summer are about the same…we just have two Falls, less rain in summer and more in November. All in all, much better than Ohio weather.

  65. Hi. My husband and I are just starting to think seriously of relocating from upstate NY out west. He grew up around here and I hail from the Main Line outside Philly. We’ve both been to San Francisco (in fact my brother and sister both live there) and we really love it there, but the cost of living seems outrageous. We are looking for somewhere with a similar vibe, but more costly. I have never been to Seattle, but for some reason, I am ridiculously attracted to it not even knowing that much about it.

    I will be the one having to scout out places since I have more vacation time than my husband does. I am a school teacher and he works at a Harley-Davidson dealer. We don’t have much money to spend, but would very much like to find a way to move. Do you have any comments, suggestions, ideas, or anything that would help us? Whatever you’ve got is greatly appreciated.

  66. Yeah, I’m really tired right now. Just to correct what I said before, I mean we’re looking for somewhere LESS costly to live. Sorry! :-

  67. Rannah,

    Moving to a new city is almost never an easy thing to do. You end up leaving behind a support network and stuff you know. However, for excitement of trying new stuff and meeting new people outweighs the consequences of doing nothing! And it sounds like you and your husband might be on the verge of a breakout move.

    The benefit of Seattle over other west coast cities (with the exception of Portland) is that it has many “big city” benefits (live theater, music, museums, etc.), without the city becoming overwhelming. It’s not a long trip from Seattle before you are in mountains, farms, islands, etc. far from the city lifestyle.

    In terms of the financial aspect… There is no denying that a cross-country move will cost you some money. The obvious costs, like hauling and travel, are only the beginning as there are all kinds of costs/fees associated with turning on/off services. My experience has been that moving is still expensive even when an employer is picking up the tab (there is only so much they will cover!), and it doesn’t sound like either of you will have that luxury.

    With that said, if you’ve never lived on the West Coast, then you are definitely missing out! When you do make it out here, I’m sure Seattle will welcome you with open arms!

  68. Rannah,

    I’m not a real estate agent, but I am a homeowner in a town called Edmonds which is in Snohomish County, just north of the Seattle city limits. A couple of things I might consider if I were you:

    1) Do you have or are planning to have kids and do you want them to attend a public school? We have a state exam the kids take at regular intervals called the WASL test (Wash Assessment of Student Learning). Check out the school WASL scores for SURE.

    2) Where will you work, and how long do you want your commute to be (in hours and also in miles).

    3) Is your husband planning on working for HD here? If so, there is a HD dealership in Lynnwood near where I live, but there are also HD dealerships all over. If not, maybe you’re following YOUR job, in which case, do you know which school district you’re leaning towards for teaching?

    4) I like shackprices.com for use-ability in terms of home searching.

    Keep us posted!

  69. Ok guys, me again. I’ve looked a little via shackprices and other sources and I’ve come to terms that it looks like I will be able to afford a condo. Luckily its just me, myself and I, so the size restraints of less than 1000 sq ft arent going to be an issue!

    I looked at crime index vs my current city and I was seriously appalled. I think my bottom jaw hit the floor. Seattle (from my two sources) looks incredibly safe as a big city. Yea, they had higher rates for stolen vehicles, but the big ones like murder, rape, assault were so low for a big city!

    I’ve seen a few people suggest capital hill. Approximately, how long would it take to get to 4th street from this area. I know thats probably a vague question. Just looking for a ballpark number. I’d really like to NOT own a car for a while, but if need be then I can.

    Everyone here is so helpful. Thanks again.

  70. Hello all,
    Will be moving back to the Northwest from the Boston area soon. My wife will be working at the Seattle Cancer institute in the UW area. What are some good unique areas within 15-20 commute to the UW area? How is the public transportation system. and how long would the commute be from Woodinville?

  71. apowens,

    15 to 20 miles is a huge range and an appropriate “unique” area really depends on the type of neighborhoods that appeal to you. I would have started with the urban areas since that is my preference, but if you are leaning toward a more rural area like Woodinville, then just about anything is on the table. You’ll really have to give me a little more in terms of what neighborhood characteristics would interest you before I can nail down something for you!

    In terms of the public transportation… If you’re looking to go to central locations (i.e. Downtown Seattle, UW, Bellevue, etc.), then the transit system is pretty darn good for commuting. I wrote a whole post on commuting to Seattle a long time ago, but I just checked and many of the links are still working and may be helpful!

  72. Hello again,
    to give you some more info I was looking for 15-20 min. our plan is this my wife will be coming out in 2 weeks while I stay back to sell our house and my daughter will finish the school year and we will come out in June. My daughter has one more year of high school left and from some research the Woodinville high school is very good. After her last year we will buy a home in the city some of the areas we like are Ballard and Fremont and around green lake.
    Thanks for the info

  73. Woodinville is 35 minutes to UW on a good day and 45 on a bad day. If you are looking to be some where for one year and than move, I would strongly consider renting for that year. Too short a timeframe to absorb all of the costs involved on the way in and out with any degree of certainty.

    Seems Lake Washington High School or Bellevue High would would make more sense for a lot of reasons, commute being one.

  74. Yes we will rent for that year and buy the next summer. How are those 2 high schools compared to Woodinville. 35-45 isn’t that bad she is driving 1hr each way currently. but that 35-45 min is shorter in miles im sure.

  75. Hello Everyone, this has been very informative. I am seriously considering moving from New Hampshire. I have had a number of life changes in the last 2 years and really need a change. I hike, mt. bike, road bike, backpack, ride a motorcycle and kayak, so I think Seattle and the surrounding area have what I need in that aspect.

    My background is in clothing design, and from what I have seen and researched there are a lot of cottage industry ‘sewing’ places in or near the city.

    How about healthcare? I am a breast cancer survivor, but with my family genes, I have a pretty good shot at recurrence, and want to know if there is someplace comperable to Dartmouth Hospital, which I can not say enough good things about.

    I have lived in Maine, NH, Anchorage Alaska and Chicago. I like the idea of Green Lake as so many have suggested because I am now single again and want to feel safe in my surroundings. I hadn’t thought about the renting for a while before purchasing idea, but that makes perfect sense. What about the tax ramafacations? I will need to sell my house here in New Hampshire first, how does that work, sitting on that $$ before purchasing again, on your taxes?

    Thank you for the great site and suggestions!

    Oh, I was toying with the idea of working at Pike Place as a handcrafter, any thoughts on that?


  76. Chinook,

    So many interesting places to take a response… I can’t claim to have any experience with cancer treatment in this area, but my understanding is that the cancer research facilities at UW are top notch.

    In terms of outdoor activities, you really don’t have to travel very far out of the city to get to some pretty great trails, waterways, etc. (and there are even some beautiful hikes WITHIN the City of Seattle!). All in all, this are should definitely work out.

    You’ll definitely want to talk with a tax attorney to confirm anything I’m going to say, but I believe that the first $250K ($500K for couples) in profit on a home that you’ve lived in for at least two years is tax deductible. This is how I interpreted what my tax guy told me, but please, please confirm this with someone else. Assuming that is true, then you should able to put a huge chunk of the money from your existing home into something relatively safe (like a money market account) until you are ready to buy with very little tax implications.

    In terms of a handcrafter at Pike Place market, my only warning would be that the competition is quite stiff! There are some amazing artists there and many of them have been there for years! That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to stick out, but be prepared for an extremely fast-moving pace! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I hope that helps!

  77. Thank you both for the quick responses!

    I found the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance on the web and it sounds very comperable to Dartmouth, with any luck I will only need them for screening.

    I have been a handcrafter for 30 years, so I am not that easily intimidated! ๐Ÿ™‚ But really it is good to know that some of the shops have been there forever, good to know people CAN make a living out there doing what I do here.

    I think the best thing for me to do now is get out there for a week or two on vacation to scope out all of the areas and such. The more I really think about this, the more ‘stuff’ I realize I have, (and would need) to run my own business. I believe renting an apartment for a spell, and then buying a house in an outlying area may be my best plan of attack. I will check with my accountant about the taxes, just trying to do the wisest thing. (The X is an accountant, so he always handeled the finances…)

    Thanks again.

  78. I’m moving to Seattle from Chicago in June for grad school at Seattle U. and don’t know a soul. I’m excited. I’m a laid back 25-year-old and will be living in grad school apts until Aug., when I will need to find a roommate at an off-campus apt. Do you think it will be difficult? Also, Chicago is super-gray during the winters. Are the cities comparable when it comes to gray skies? Thanks guys ๐Ÿ™‚

  79. Karen,

    If things are a little quiet here, it is because most of the real estate professionals who read this probably don’t have a lot of experience with the roommate market. In terms of comparable skies, I’ve only been to Chicago once and it was a blue-sky day in the summer, so I really not very helpful today! Sorry about that…

    You might find a little bit more luck on the roommate question on the Craigslist housing forum


  80. chinook,

    The quick answer is yes! When I first moved to Seattle, I was shocked at the level which the city is dog-friendly compared to other places I’ve lived. Someone with a dog would be better to answer the details, but if being close to a dog friendly area is super important to you, I’d recommend getting close to one of the many off-leash dog parks. The parks are an active hub and I used to take my daughter to a local dog park (even though we didn’t have a dog) because it is so much fun to watch all the dogs run around and enjoy themselves (plus it was only a short, but steep, walk to a beautiful beach!).

    I also noticed lots of other dog-friendly amenities all over the city (like dog daycares), but I’m sure there are others who would be more informed on these types of things…

  81. I would have to say dog friendly is very important to me. Next to moving to Seattle, getting another dog is my #2 priority. I will look for a Siberian Husky Rescue Leage in the area. I lost mine a year ago, after almost 15 wonderful years, and am waiting to move and settle in to get another. REALLY glad to hear it is a dog friendly area!

    What is April like out there? I am thinking of scheduling a trip in mid April for a week or so to scope out everything and drive around neighborhoods and get a feel for the place. Any wonderful events I shouldn’t miss? Any big festivals or such in April?

    Thanks again for the quick responses.

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  83. Thanks Dustin!! I already found a roommate on Craig’s List.
    My new roommate has warned me of the “icy” social scene, though I’m not sure any of you have dealt with the influx of cold, rude people in Chicago. People are very standoffish in the CHI burbs, so I’m hoping that’s not how Seattle will be. The biggest thing I’m worried about is finding a job outside of grad school. I’m a journalist/graphic designer and I know the publishing market there isn’t the best. What do you think?

  84. Karen,

    I’m so glad to learn that you found a roommate already! Great news! In terms of people looking for a journalist/graphic designer in Seattle, Craigslist isn’t a bad place to start that search either! While I really don’t know the demand for that type of position, blogging wouldn’t be a bad way to highlight you skills! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Any chance you’re interested in writing about the experience of moving to Seattle? I would love to have someone new to Seattle write an occasional article on RCG about their experiences moving to Seattle. Interestingly, my experience with having Danny and Nina blog about their experience of moving to Denver (on another blog platform) has been a fascinating. They have been able to parlay their move into some interesting press, including radio and TV interviews as well as the mayor of Denver declaring a “Danny and Nina Day”.

  85. Hi Dustin,

    Thank you Dustin! I would absolutely love to write articles for RCG regarding my move to Seattle. In fact, I’ve already been chronicling my journey as I prep for the move, which is in June, so I would love to delve further into depth on my actual experiences as I transfer to Seattle. Writing is my No. 1 passion and I would appreciate an opportunity to illuminate readers on the experience of moving halfway across the country โ€“ from Chicago to Seattle. I will send you my e-mail address.

  86. Hi,

    My husband and I are considering moving to Seattle from a neo-con city in Colorado. We have a wonderful cross cultural marriage. Although I grew up in another country, extremely different from his, we do share similar values and political views. We’d like to move to Seattle because everywhere I go here in this place – probably – because I look different and have an accent, most people try to convert me to their religion. It even happens at work, although, it is not supposed to. That’s one of the main reasons; the other one being the job market. It’s dwindling here.

    I have been to Seattle in the summer months and I loved everything about it. I loved the diversity, the culture, and the people, and of course the landscapes. It truly takes my breath away everytime I visit it.

    The only thing holding me back is the weather issue. Probably 12 out of 15 people I know have tried dissuading me from moving with reasons such as the 1) rain 2) suicidal rate 3) cost of living. My husband and I are in our mid 20s but we both have bachelor’s degrees and are lucky to no absolutely no debt except for the mortgage on our little condo that we own.

    Here are my worries and if someone can advise me that would be great:
    1) Does rain really affect people that much and has weather been ruled as a cause for the high suicidal rate in Seattle? (I come from a country where we have monsoon).
    2) Are Seattlelites open to different religious beliefs?
    3) Do you think we could find some jobs? My specialty is in IT and he’s in international business/finance/management.
    4) What neighborhoods would you suggest for a young couple to live? We might even consider living downtown but are wary of cost.

    Whoever has spent his or her time to read this long message and chooses to reply, I thank you very much for your time. Time is valuable and I appreciate your spending it on me.

  87. Jamie, I’ll start with your question…

    Both safe & cheap is a hard thing to find just about anywhere, although it does depend on a bit on what “feels” safe to you. Most of Seattle is pretty darn safe compared to other big cities, but that doesn’t mean that you’d feel comfortable walking around late at night in many of the neighborhoods… Cheap is also pretty darn relative… Sorry I can’t be more help but there are simply too many unknowns…

  88. Hi all-
    I am considering a move with my family-and we have elementary age children. Schools will dictate where we live-hands down as we have one child who is in need of support. I am streesed to the hilt as far as making the right decision. We can afford a decent home, though not quite a million dollar one! Can anyone offer advice? I know it is a bit of a taboo subject-real estate agents wont talk about it too much so any info helps. Even moving from a place that has 300plus days of sun to a place that has minimal sun does not scare me as much as finding the best schools. H-E-L-P.

  89. Will you be working in Seattle or on the Eastside? What type of “support”. Sometimes the higest ranked school isn’t the one with the best support of that particular kind.

    You are correct that we can’t give detailed nfo regarding schools on a blog other than links. But email me and I’ll see if I can get some info from parents that meets your objective, or at least point you in the right direction regarding whom to speak with at a few schools.

  90. For those of you looking for school research, this site is excellent in terms of data. Be aware though that data isn’t always everything… it pays to visit schools you’re interested in once you’ve narrowed down the options, to see if it’s a fit regarding the feel and culture of the school as well. I’ll put in a plug for Green Lake Elementary in Seattle!


  91. Serene,

    I haven’t forgotten about you… It’s just that the answer to your questions are more involved! ๐Ÿ™‚

    > 1) Does rain really affect people that much and has weather been ruled as a cause for the high suicidal rate in Seattle? (I come from a country where we have monsoon).

    While the weather definitely affects people, I’ve never seen any statistics that Seattle has a high suicide rate compared to other areas. (I’ve also never seen any statistics to the contrary). More interesting is that the weather (or at least the rain) doesn’t slow people down like it does in other parts of the country. To give you an example, in a previous life as a Bay Area engineer, I would have have people collect intersection volume counts to monitor traffic levels before a big study. If it rained on a day when we were suppose to do data collection, then we would cancel the study because traffic patterns would change so drastically. Not so in Seattle. In Seattle the rain has no noticable affect on traffic! ๐Ÿ™‚

    2) Are Seattlelites open to different religious beliefs?

    Seattle is filled with an alternative culture and there are tons of people with all kinds of faiths. As long as you’re in the City Boundaries (it is different in other parts of the state!), I doubt you could shock, or even get people to notice, your religious practices.

    3) Do you think we could find some jobs? My specialty is in IT and heโ€™s in international business/finance/management.

    IT and Business/finance are hot in Seattle, especially in the start up market. Nonetheless, it would really depend on your background. I highly recommend checking out Craigslist, LinkedIn, Jobster, etc. to get a better idea of the market in your particular areas…

    4) What neighborhoods would you suggest for a young couple to live? We might even consider living downtown but are wary of cost.

    Cost is almost definitely going to be your limiting factor. Depending on which Monsoon area you came from the costs could either shock you as a deal (assuming California) or WAY too expensive (New Mexico). You’re best off talking with an agent (or reading neighborhood blogs!) who can walk you through your options.

    I hope that helps!

  92. Hi AHS,

    I live in Edmonds, which is a city that’s just inside the next neighboring county to the north of Seattle.

    Seattle is in King County
    Edmonds is in south Snohomish County

    We have awesome schools in Edmonds, which is one of the many reasons why home values have held strong in this school district. Here is a link to the district site. My kids are at Madrona K-8. It is in my opinion, like having a private school experience inside a public school. Our state academic test scores, the WASL, are the highest at Madrona when compared with other schools in our district.


    Have the district mail out a relocation package to you so you can study all the schools and their boundaries.

    Once you cross the border from King County north into Snohomish County, prices are more affordable. First-time homebuyer range in Edmonds is around $350K.

    One of the RCG bloggers, Galen has a very cool website where you can zoom in and then look at pictures of the houses for sale. This will give you an idea of what a $350K home looks like in Edmonds v. other areas.


    What kind of support does your child need?


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  94. Hi Everyone!
    I have lived in the Washington DC area for the majority of my life….and I’m ready for a change! I wanted to move to the West Coast and my boyfriend wanted to be somewhere near the mountains, in a city that was neither too expensive nor too HOT….Soooo, we concluded that Seattle would be the best choice! Any thoughts?
    We are both looking for jobs out there (which is not as easy as one would expect) and we hope to move out there by the end of the summer. In terms of areas, I have heard a lot about Queen Anne and Magnolia – what makes those areas nice?
    I’m a little sad about the Mexican food….but I think my Chicken Enchiladas are pretty good…maybe all the Mexican-food-lovers can just come over to our place!!!

    I would appreciate ANY thoughts, feedback, ideas, suggestions, etc…

  95. Mariam,

    Seattle definitely welcomes you! and I imagine that you’ll find it a completely different (and pleasant) environment than DC. I think you’re not seeing a lot of response because your question is so broad. There are entire websites (including this one!) that give lots of advice in terms of neighborhoods and ideas for moving, so it is really hard to summarize stuff in a comment field.

    In terms of Queen Anne and Magnolia, they are both quite popular! They share some similar characteristics… They are just north of downtown and both have huge hills that make for beautiful views. Magnolia is closer to the water while Queen Anna is a bit more centrally located. Both are wonderful neighborhoods!

  96. Thanks Dustin!

    1) What neighborhoods would you recommend for couples in their late 20’s to early 30’s? (Partying days are over, but not quite ready for retirement either!)

    2) Also, I’ve read that the temperatures in Seattle don’t go below the 30’s and don’t go above the 70’s – is that really the case?

    3) Would you consider Seattle to be relatively supportive of small businesses? (e.g. Are there little random coffee shops throughout the city?)

    4) Shackprices.com is a really great website….I started browsing through the other day….what other websites would you recommend for people moving to Seattle?

    I am so happy to have found this blog! Everyone is so nice and responsive – and I have learned so much by reading all the entries!

  97. Hi all,
    Can any of you delve into detail on the Greenwood neighborhood in Seattle for me? My potential roommate has a townhouse there so it looks like that will be the area I’ll be settling into. I’ve read a few articles, but wanted to hear some of your opinions. Is there a bus that goes into the Capitol Hill area from there? I will have a car, but I’m also interested to know what bus routes will be accessible. Thanks!! Dustin, I look forward to writing articles on my adventure moving out there!

  98. Karen,

    My favorite Greenwood experiences are The Annual Classic Car and Rod Showย and Yanni’sย ย  Greekย ย  Restaurant

    Included some links and reviews in there for you.ย  Sorry I don’t have bus info.ย  I was thinking of taking a bunch of bus trips and blogging on the “bus experience” and time from here to there this Spring/Summer.ย  But I’ll likely be traveling to and fron Downtown Seattle from the Eastside and maybe from various Seattle neighborhoods to Downtown and the U and not “from Greenwood to Capitol Hill”.ย  Maybe someone else out there has taken that trip and will comment.

    If not, after you have done it yourself, can you come back and post it here for the benefit of others?ย  That would be great.

  99. wow, this place is great. I just spent an entire hour reading all this.
    I am f, 25 yo, have lived with my family in south florida for the last 16 years.
    I’ve decided that its time for me to strike out on my own and seattle draws me, even though I have never been.
    I have a BS in International Business and a BA in Marketing. I have spent the better part of the last 10 years in the marine industry, but would like to move over to more of an animal type industry(zoos, aquariums etc.)
    Im a photographer and graphic designer also.
    I am thinking of coming out to Seattle sometime in May or June to check out the area, can you recommend any places to visit in particular?
    I am more into the culture, art and music scene (which is pretty horrible where I am) and not so much the drinking scene (which is 98% of what florida is). I’m very extroverted and love being outdoors.
    What would you say are the main differences weather wise between seattle and portland?
    Thanks for taking the time to read this, and sorry if it doesn’t make much sense, I just don’t know where to start.

  100. Hi – I’m living in the midwest and plan to relocate to the Seattle area this summer. I have been offered a job in the Issaquah area east of Bellevue. I would like to live in an area where I can walk to the grocery store and dog parks. I was thinking Mercer Island might be an option. That way, I could be a little less suburban than Bellevue, but not quite the commute from Seattle. What do you locals think? Also, if you agree Mercer Island might be an option for me, do you know any specifics about rentals on the island?

  101. Is it true about the lack of good Mexican food? what a bummer. I currently live and teach in an area with a growing hispanic population. We have some great little restaurants around here.

  102. Hi Karen,

    regarding comment #115, Greenwood is an up and coming neighborhood. Ballard, which abuts Greenwood to the south, is a very hot neighborhood right now. Lots of new condos, restaurants, and nightlife. Since prices are higher there, folks are discovering Greenwood. Greenwood is mostly residential with all the basics thrown in: Libraries, grocery stores, hole-in-the-wall dive bars, great restaurants, public and private schools, and so forth. I know people who live there (homeowners and renters) and they are all very happy with their neighborhood.

    The city has poured millions of dollars into the bus system. The routes you’re curious about do exist and you can find them here.


  103. Hi Jessica,

    Well, I’ve lived here almost all my life and I don’t see a problem with getting good Mexican food around here. We have plenty of Taco Time restaurants.

    Just kidding.

    In the last decade, Seattle and Snohomish County (the neighboring county to the North of Seattle) has seen a large number of Hispanic immigrants settle here in the Northwest. Subsequently we have also seen a large number of awesome, family run Mexican food restaurants open, especially in Snohomish County, that serve wonderful Mexican food.

    Mercer Island is not as “walk around” as you might think….unless you actually live right in the downtown retail core. Not everyone wants to do that. Mercer Island is known as a place full of old and new money families. There is an attitude that goes along with money and it lives on the Island. I know people who experience mild anxiety attacks if the “have to” leave the island for anything. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Also, Mercer Island is probably one of the most expensive places to live in Seattle.

    Issaquah is a popular, growing community just east of Seattle/MI following Interstate 90.

    One of my best friends lives in Sammamish which is right next to Issaquah. I can ask him to jump on here and comment on where to look for a place to rent with the ammenities you describe:

    Walk to a dog park,
    Walk to shopping.

  104. We have many Mexican restaurants! I live in West Seattle and we have plenty of options. Bellevue has a great Mexican restuarant on Main Street in the old part of town–it’s authentic and delish! I’m not sure about Mercer Island restaurants or rentals.

  105. Hi… Jillayne’s Friend here…

    Issaquah is actually several communities… There is a real “downtown” Issaquah that has a theatre, butcher shop and a host of quaint little restaurants… and still has a real “Main St.” feel to it.

    I live just north of downtown in the city of Sammamish (also known as “The Plateau”). Sammamish is actually an old Indian word that means “White Person Driving SUV While Drinking Latte”… Dotted with ever more MPD (Master Planned Developments) of overpriced cookie-cutter homes… but also woven in with great old neighborhoods and beautiful parks (we live next to Beaver Lake Park, a very special place!). Sammamish also has terrific schools a wonderful civic presence. We are a relatively “new” city since we split from Issaquah a few years back… so there is a lot of talk (and consensus-building!) about what we want our city to be and how we want it to grow (hint: slowly).

    Traffic is a huge concern over here… it seems like just as soon as one road-widening project ends, another starts, fouling up traffic for ANOTHER year. But a lot of us (including myself) work in high-tech, so we get to telecommute too… But a car is not even really optional in this area, its mandatory if you want to get around anywhere beyond your immediate cul-de-sac.

    There are also communities to the south of Issaquah, such as Maple Valley, Renton and Auburn that are much more affordable, as long as you don’t mind the drive.

    The parks here are quite dog friendly for the most part. We have leash laws, but I even saw our Mayor out walking her dogs off-leash in the park here a few weeks ago.

    And even out here, you are only a 25-minute drive from downtown Seattle… where you have the best nightlife, music scene and culture that I have ever experienced. We even have our own Women’s Rollerderby team (http://www.ratcityrollergirls.com), with whom I am honored to be associated with (http://www.blauphotography.com).

    Come on out, have a latte, watch a bald eagle circle overhead as the sound of little league baseball bats crack on a sunday morning.

  106. Hi All, We are moving to the Seattle area from Michigan. My husband is already there with a great job. My concern is that our 12 year old daughter has been very sheltered and raised in a small village in a small school. I was wondering if anyone knows of an area like this? Maybe Port orchard? I am looking for an excellent Middle school district. I am very paranoid to move her out there. I lived in the Bremerton area in the early 90’s and it was awful. What about Bainbridge Island? Anything affordable there? We are just down home folk that are not rich. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

  107. Ardell,
    I like new age, pop, punk.
    pretty much open to anything except rap.
    But I really enjoy indie bands. One of my faves right now is called Band Marino- you can find them on myspace and youtube if your interested.

    I’m trying to plan a trip up there in the next few months to check out the areas. Can you guys recommend a good time to come up? maybe when there is a festival or when the weather is a good representative of the average weather?

  108. Erika: there will be tons of great bands (local and national!) at Bumbershoot. There are tons of other festivals, but that is the one that gets the most local attention!

    Angel: I’m sure many of us would be happy to help you out some more… Ardell’s question about a practical commute is obviously a great first question in order to start narrowing down the search.

  109. Hi All!
    Thanks Jillayne for your helpful comments and the link! Even though I’ll have a car out there, it sounds like utilizing the bus line might be the better way to get around the downtown sector. I am eagerly anticipating my move date, which is slightly more than a month away. In regards to Ballard, have any of you ever dropped by the Q Cafรฉ? Any free time I can salvage outside of work and grad school will hopefully be spent volunteering at this nonprofit eatery.

    Sounds like Bumbershoot is analogous to Lollapalooza, Chicago’s summer concert staple. I’ll have to check it out.

  110. Hi Karen,

    I think the Q is in West Seattle. Is this it?


    Different neighborhood, south of the dowtown Seattle business core and over a bridge. Might want to consider driving there as I’m not sure about bus routes to and from W Seattle to Greenwood.

    Where will you be attending grad school?

  111. He is working around the Seattle area but being in the building business this will constantly change. He has no preference. I on the other hand will not have a car out there so will need to use public transpo to work. At this point I am more concerned about my daughter having ” culture shock”. I moved my older kids out there( Bremerton area) 15 years ago and it did not go well.

  112. Hi!
    I’m attending graduate school at Seattle University so I’ll be in the heart of Capitol Hill, which will be great. I’m hoping to take a bus there, but it depends on where my job will be located. I definitely am planning on driving to the Q though, it sounds like that is my best bet. Is the Q Cafรฉ located in a somewhat safe portion of the city?

  113. Hi Karen,

    West Seattle is considered relatively safe. The best person to ask is Rhonda: that’s her stomping ground. I will e her so she knows to come here and answer your question.

    You could probably bus it, everywhere you’re going but be prepared for transfering buses in and around downtown.

    Seattle U has a very good reputation. I am a grad student at Antioch which is located right in downtown, in the Belltown neighborhood.

  114. Angel H,

    I live in Edmonds, which is located in Snohomish County, one county north of King County and Seattle.

    We have an EXCELLENT public school district, however, this is not a small town. We are suburban. In saying this I must also promote Madrona K-8 Middle School. We only have about 200 7th and 8th graders which is small by comparison to the other middle schools in the same district. This is a very close knit group of families that work hard to keep the kids on track. Madrona K-8 has the HIGHEST state test scores of all of the Edmonds School District schools.

    The other nice thing about living in south Snohomish County is that it is at the vortext of two major highways: Interstate 5 and Interstate 405.
    I-5 leads to Seattle
    I-405 leads to Bellevue.
    South Snoho County is where these two highways meet, so if your husband is going any of these directions, he will be able to hit either of these two highways. Also, there is a lot of residential new construction happening way NORTH of Seattle/Edmonds, going NORTH on I-5.

    You will find more rural communities way north of Everett, such as Arlington/Smokey Point. However, if your husband has to work in Seattle/Bellevue, this is a VERY LONG commute.

    If you decide to live in South Sno/Edmonds/Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace get your kids into Madrona Middle School, and avoid College Place Middle.


  115. Hi Karen,
    I live in West Seattle and feel it’s pretty safe overall. I love all the restaurants and the sense of community this fairly large neighborhood has. It has a small town within a big city feel to it–almost but not quite an island thanks to the bridge.
    I’ve lived in the North Admiral and Alki neighborhoods and enjoy them both. My son goes to Explorer West Middle School http://www.explorerwest.org, which is in White Center.

    Jillayne mentioned you had questions regarding the safety of West Seattle. Considering it’s part of a “big city”, I do feel pretty safe. Because we’re a beach community, we do have increased traffic and small crimes increase with nicer weather.

    I recommend that you check out http://www.westseattleblog.com. They have a section dedicated to crime. You can also visit http://www.westseattleherald.com and click on the police blotter.

    The SW Precint of the Seattle Police Dept. also has crime info: http://www.cityofseattle.net/police/Precincts/Southwest/default.htm

  116. cct (#37) posted a note back in January about moving from Atlanta. I’m curious to know how they are acclimating. Is there a way to get in touch? My husband and I find ourselves in a very similar situation and want to know how things shook out. We are looking for a more open environment, a sense of community, good jobs and a happier life. I guess we just feel Atlanta is tapped out for us. There is not as much culture here as the Atlanta CVB would lead one to believe.

    Also, is it even possible to find a decent place in/near Seattle for around $300k? Are there things to do that don’t require valet, huge cover charges, etc?

  117. Define “place”. Single Family home is 98% “out” for $300,000 or less.

    Go to any Home Search Site, the one here in RCG or any of the others and put in Seattle, single family (residential vs. condo) and max $300,000 and see what pops up.

    We did just help a client find a small single family with three bedrooms on a decent lot for $365,000ish off Lake City Way in Seattle between 120th and 130th. Quiet Street not NEAR Lake City Way. But it took five to six months to find one and get one.

  118. Brooke, It wouldn’t be hard to try to email the person from comment #37, but I feel very awkward about doing that. My gut tells me that despite adding their email to leave a comment, users don’t expect the website owners to actually contact them via that email. Some site have explicit messaging to that effect and so I view it as an unwritten rule.

    Am I being too cautious in this case? I’ve never made contact via email with a user unless they explicitly request it…

  119. There is a weird San Diego – Seattle connection. Having lived in both places, I honestly think they’re very, very similar as far as the people are concerned. If you’re a big Hillcrest person, move to Capitol Hill or Fremont. Are you from Bellevue or Queen Anne? La Jolla’s probably for you if you can afford it. Gaslamp people probably belong in Belltown, Ballard people in Mission Beach, U-District/Wallingford people in OB.

  120. Hi Dustin, that’s definitely your call. I would not want my email shared w/ anyone w/o my permission, but wouldn’t mind someone who managed a site that I posted on contacting me and giving me another user’s info (especially if it was a site designed to help folks exchange ideas). At that point it would be to my discretion to reach out to the other user. If you feel it appropriate, feel free to pass along my info to them. I understand either way.

    Thanks for respecting everyone’s privacy!

  121. Ardell, thanks for the insight. I have found some places, but don’t think they are actually in Seattle. I really don’t have a feel for what communities are easy to get in and out of the city.

    For a 3br, 2ba single family house in a decent area in or w/in 20-30min of the city, can you give me a range of what’s reasonable to expect, or do you need more info? Thanks!

  122. Change that to 3 br 1 ba and crank it up from $300,000 to $375,000 to $400,000 and you would have a doable equation for single family. Newer townhome in city also wants to be $400,000 give or take.

    You can do that for $350,000 in Shoreline or Kenmore and have a good sized yard, small house. I’m not as familiar with points south, but have seem some really nice townhomes in that price range there.

    Many first price tier homes will be older homes built when one bath was the norm. Some will have added a 3/4 bath somewhere (shower no tub bath) but I wouldn’t count on the second bath if you are sticking to single family.

    Personally I’d be for renting first until you figure out the area better and know where you are going to be working, etc… Would you have jobs here when you arrive?

  123. I found a great roommate and she owns a townhome in the Greenwood neighborhood, not far from Carkeek Park. I can’t wait to get out there, it’s going to be such a big change from the flatlands of Chicagoland!

  124. Hi all, We found a rental we can afford on Bainbridge island. The house is shabby but we will fix it up. I have only been there a few time about 15 years ago so I know next to nothing about it. I wanted to live on BI because of the school dostrict but now that we will be moving there I am wondering if my middle school gade daughter will have a hard time because we are not rich and are kind of hippie-ish down home folk. We are in our 40’s and try to get her the best of everything but we drive crappy-looking cars ( paid for) and have no bills other than rent and utilities. Does anyone here hail from BI and can you tell me anyting at all about it? I am nervous about the move. Thanks.

  125. Angel, None of the “regulars” on RCG are from BI as far as I can tell, but I would love to hear how your experience goes of moving there. Please stop by after you’ve settled to let us know how it is going!

  126. Can I call BS on the “Seattle Freeze”? This concept was invented by East Coasties who assume that the only reason to be friendly is because you like someone. In the Northwest, well, being friendly is just the right thing to do. You are supposed to be friendly to everyone – not just your friends. Easterners for some reason consider this to be “fake” friendliness, as if it is somehow deceptive. It’s just common courtesy.

    People in Seattle are def. into doing their own thing – and they’ll assume that you’re doing your own thing too. If you are out simply to meet people – and not doing something that you’d pretty much enjoy doing solo – that is a ‘red flag’ to Seattlites. That much is true. But if you are out living your own life, doing things you personally enjoy, you’ll find us very welcoming.

  127. Pingback: Making the jump from Chicago to Seattle | Rain City Guide | A Seattle Real Estate Blog...

  128. My husband and I hope to move from Orlando, FL (a cultural wasteland beyond Mickey Mouse!) to Seattle at the end of July. We’ve never actually been to Washington before, although we’re sure we’ll love it (especially the dreary days, I love dreary days!), and we don’t have jobs yet. I just received my master’s degree and I’ve been applying for government and nonprofit jobs, but even if I don’t get a job before the end of summer, we think we might just take the plunge and move to the area.

    First, do you think it’s possible for me to get an apartment by August starting this late in the game? Normally I plan out further in advance, but I’ve been hesitant to actually make specific plans because I’ve been applying to jobs around the country. Our current lease in Florida ends July 31.

    Second, I’ve been trying to decide where it might be best to rent an apartment. I’m wondering what you think of Kent or Des Moines? Do a lot of people who work in Seattle live that far out? I like the concept of moving there because the apartment prices seem cheaper and it’s also between Tacoma and Seattle, which would allow me to be more flexible in my job hunt. MapQuest says it’s only about 25 minutes to Tacoma or Seattle from those cities; is that accurate?

    Thanks for any insight you can provide. As I said, we’ve never even visited or know anyone there, but we can’t wait to make our way to the culture and nature that Seattle has to offer.

  129. Hi KatherineM,

    I recommend a very short term, month-to-month lease or possibly staying at one of the Residence Inn hotels for a month or two until you’re set with job locations.

    Yes, folks commute to Sea from Kent and Des Moines.

    Mapquest is accurate in time estimations….as long as you’re clocking the time when there are no traffic backups.

    Alot of families try to settle in to a place in the summer, before school starts, so they can jump into their chosen school district before Labor Day. Afterwards, you may see some rental incentives offered in the fall, when people are less likely to move (Nov/Dec).

    I think it might even rain more in Orlando than Seattle.

  130. I owned a condo in Des Moines…wish I still had it! I loved living there. Down by the water, it still has a “small town” feel. You can walk anywhere (groceries, restaurants, parks, etc.). When I lived in Des Moines, I felt like I was in the”center of the world”. You can easily get to Seattle, Tacoma, South Center (Tukwila) and you have many different routes available to you.

    My office is on the East Hill of Kent. And I lived a few years in Kent as a tot. I prefer Des Moines…but I love being near the water. Kent was recently written as one of the top places to live in the Seattle area… my vote would have been for Des Moines over Kent. Kent has a new “down town center” that is pretty nice. http://www.raincityguide.com/2007/04/08/seatte-metropolitan-magazines-best-places-to-live/

    It’s all your personal preference, of course. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Regarding the mapquest time…that totally depends on the time of day that you’re making the commute.

  131. Are you kidding? Kent is a hole. If you are looking at moving to Kent or Des Moines, you might as well move to any random crappy suburb – forget moving to “Seattle”.

    If the money is really an issue I’d recommend getting a job first. If money is still an issue, there is always the north end of Ballard, Northgate, Lake City areas where you can get a 2br

  132. I’m so excited that I stumbled upon this great blog. My boyfriend and I are in our late 20s living in Cleveland, OH and we’re itchin’ to move to Seattle because if we don’t do it now, we never will. He’s a chef and I’m in marketing (previous jobs have been at an ad agency and Cleveland Magazine). I’m looking to move into the non-profit sector in a marketing/communications role. Couple questions…

    Do employers even look at out-of-town resumes? Moving across the country without a job freaks me out. I don’t want to spend time sending out resumes if I won’t even be considered.

    What’s the non-profit industry like? Is there opportunity? What’s a good job board/headhunter to reference? I’ve emailed The Creative Group….

    Thanks for your help.

  133. Great site and information. I am looking at moving to Seattle in the fall. Currently reside in Austin, TX, great mexican food and live music. Heard Seattle has the music seen down but not so much for the mex food. Oh well, change is always good. So where would be a good place to live being that I live in Downtown austin. A place that is full of many restaraunts, bars, parks, trails and lakes. I enjoy running and biking along the lake and walking to the local bar to have drinks with friends. Any places in Seattle like this?

  134. Hi Danny,

    Here are the names of some Seattle neighborhoods that come to mind:
    Ballard, University District, Capital Hill, Belltown

    Up on the right-hand side of the page, Dustin has added some neighborhood blog links for you.

    I recommend thinking about where you want to work, and how long of a commute you’ll tolerate.

    Is Austin the city with the river channels running through it?

  135. West Seattle has more Mexican food than you can shake a stick at! I like The Misson on California, Cactus on Alki…our family favorite, Guadalajara is going to be torn down…there’s a different Guadalajara restaurant off of the Faunteroy Ferry doc that’s suppose to be good…I haven’t tried it yet. There’s another one on California next to Husky’s Deli…and plenty a bit further south in White Center that would be more authentic. I’m biased on West Seattle… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    You can bike and run along the Puget Sound…no lakes….tons of parks.

  136. Cleveland,

    My boyfriend and I were in the SAME EXACT situation back in April. (Check out blog #112.) We looked up all the companies that were headquartered in Seattle and just started applying. We also looked through craigslist, monster.com, careerbuilder.com, etc. We were able to get interviews by early May.

    Depending on your industry, 3rd party recruiters can also be helpful throughout your job search.

    We now have our jobs and will be moving out to Seattle next week!

    Hang in there! It can be frustrating at times, but don’t give up! You’re right! If we don’t do it now, we never will!!!

    Another good source for almost everything is http://www.nwsource.com.

    Best of luck!!!

  137. Mariam,

    My husband and I are in a similar situation to yours in April. We live in Colorado and have been wanting to move to Seattle for the past year. We’ve even gone on an exploratory visit, however, we’re still unsure of where to live. Our goal is to move there by September ’07.

    Can you please tell me which location you finally decided on and what influenced your decision? Also, when you applied for jobs in Seattle from Washington D.C, did you use a local address? If not, what job search tactics did you use to have your resumes not filtered out by recruiters on the basis of an out-of-state address? I’ve applied to a couple of jobs through job agencies and almost all of them have asked me to contact them once I have moved there.

    Any suggestions you can provide will be greatly appreciated. If you would rather email me directly, please feel free to email me at this address: tpelden@hotmail.com. Thank you and congratulations on your brave move and your new jobs!

  138. Serene,

    Congratulations on the first step – MAKING THE DECISION!!!

    I completely understand the “finding a job” challenges involved. Depending on your background and their needs, some companies are willing to relocate you. In our case, we talked to several companies….went through the phone interview process….and told them we would fly out on our own for the interviews and would not require any relocation assistance. Once you have several companies lined up, then you can have back-to-back interviews on your trip out there. Luckily, one of our jobs is helping with relocation – but we would move out there regardless.

    We will have temporary housing until we can find an apartment to rent. After a year, if all goes well, we will be looking into purchasing something. The areas I am looking at for renting are: Lower Queen Anne, Belltown, and maybe even Capitol Hill. I want to be close to downtown for the first year, until I get a better idea of the areas.

    I also recommend finding a recruiter/headhunter. They can explain everything to the companies, so that your resume doesn’t go through the filter process. Most online applications seem to ask: “Are you willing to relocate on your own?” or something to that extent….so hopefully, it won’t be a problem.

    I hope I answered most of your questions. Please feel free to ask me anything else on your mind! I will post all of my experiences during this process for the benefit of others.

    Good Luck!


  139. Mariam,

    Thanks for your post – it was very inspiring to say the least! I had some more questions but your chat with Serene oddly enough answered them. Congrats to you and your man. How exciting – 1 week away, yikes! What an awesome feeling. I’ll post more questions if I think of anything…damn, I’m REALLY excited now.

  140. What a great site. My name is Akil, Iโ€™m 22 years old and I live in Des Moines, IA. I have been planning on moving to Seattle for about 3 months now and I have decided to go in Jan. of 2008. The only issue is that I do not know where would be the best place to live. Des Moines, IA is a small city and I have lived here my whole life. I often feel as if am trapped by its size and its lack of culture, so I feel that moving here is going to give me the chance to really discover myself. I have received my AA from the community college here in Iowa so I am not really too worried about finding a job. I will more or less do anything. I am more concerned with finding affordable housing for a single male, and finding an area for a relaxed community feel to it, but that is still urban.
    I am big into coffee shops, relaxed atmospheres (indoor or outdoors), jazz, and hip-hop. Kind of a free spirit. Any advice on a location would be very helpful. And oh yeah, I just love the rain!

  141. Cleveland,


    It’s going to be great! We are all going to have a great time in a new city with new things to see and do….

    Think of it this way….we are living what everyone else is dreaming!


    Let me know if I can be of ANY help!

  142. I first wanted to thank Jillayne, Rhonda, and MistaB for their answers to my questions about where to live in post 158. Thanks so much for taking the time to offer your great advice!

    I also wanted to say hi to CLEVELAND. You and I seem to be in exactly the same place. My husband and I are in our 20s, and our plan is to move to Seattle b/c if we don’t now, we may never get the chance again. (My husband currently works as a restaurant manager and I’m looking for jobs in the nonprofit/government field!)

    I wanted to let you know that I sent a resume to a nonprofit and have a phone interview set up with them next week, so it is possible for an organization to look at you if you don’t live in the area yet. I did write in my cover letter that I was planning on moving to the area this summer, so they wouldn’t worry about me asking about moving reimbursement. Also, check out this website: http://www.bridgewaycareer.com/seattle-nonprofits.htm. It has a huge list of Seattle nonprofits. It may be helpful to go to their individual websites to find out if they’re looking to hire. Of course, you probably already know, but http://www.idealist.org is the best website to find nonprofit careers.


  143. Katherine M and Mariam – awesome. You guys rock. I’ll definitely check out the bridgeway site and yup, I am familiar with idealist. How positively refreshing to know that companies do entertain resumes from out of towners. I am so ready for something new, ya know? My one big thing was moving to NYC for college from Ohio and I don’t want that to be the only cool place I’ve ever experienced. Cleveland is great, but I’m antsy for some more of that awesome newness and experience elsewhere! Thanks again guys.

  144. Hi Cleveland,
    I’m making the move to Seattle next week! As a single 25-year-old, it’s been my dream for a while now, and I’m finally taking the risk. You’re in the prime of your life in your 20s, and you shouldn’t let anything stop you; it’s the time to be intrepid!

    I had a bit of trouble, like many people do, getting interviews set up with my Chicago address. But once I found a roommate and actually had a Seattle address (even though I have not moved yet) I was contacted by companies and have a few interviews set up for when I arrive there. As a journalist/graphic designer/marketing specialist, I’m interviewing with The Creative Group and I know they have several positions available in the Pacific Northwest. Many of the aforementioned sites are great tools as well. Good luck to you all who are considering moving from distant cities. Carpรฉ Diem!

  145. Hi Mariam,

    Thank you so very much for your reply. I truly appreciate your insightful suggestions.

    It sounds like there are quite a few people sailing in the same boat as my hubby and I. We’re also in our mid to late 20’s – he’s looking for a government job and I’m looking into non-profit organizations and we’re looking foward to living in a multi-cultural city. Knowing that there are other people sharing the same experiences as we are makes us feel braver.

    Congratulations to all the new northwesterners!


  146. Hey, i love the list. I’m writing a story about Seattle and need some geography help, mostly in regards to neighborhoods where large houses (small estates) might be as well as where large houses with acgage might be (outskits…surburbs…)
    I also need to get a feel for the downtown area, especially the government center and the business district where the highrises are…
    AND (last one I promise) if there was a big concert in November where would it be?
    Does anyone have any ideas where i can find this kind of stuff out? Thanks!

  147. All my life I daydreamed about living somewhere else other than Washington State. I am from Tacoma but frequently visited Seattle. I am currently living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Chapel Hill is a nice place but it is nothing like Seattle/Tacoma! I am saving money to move back to my rainy home state. Seattle as an easy laid back pace that I miss! The ethic food in North Carolina is terrible, the humidty will kill you (if the insects and reptiles don’t). True enough the folks are friendly here but I miss the diversity of having friends from all walks of life, race, and religion. Smooth jazz in unheard of is this area and the Sunday activity is church and then going to get ice cream. Also, I learned living in North Carolina either you are a University of North Carolina fan (Tar Heels), Duke University fan (Blue Devils), or North Carolina State University fan (Wolfpack) there is no other variation. Being from a fair weather sport state I found that quite odd. In short, living in Washington State is the best kept secret rain and all!!!

  148. Hi Pamela – My hubby and I are taking a major step (for us) and moving to Seattle in September for a number of reasons. See posts 102 and 168. Quite a few of our friends try to deter us by saying “but it rains every day in Seattle!” Of course most of them have never BEEN there. My hubby and I love the rain so it’s the perfect place for us.

    Thanks for the encouraging and inspirational post.


  149. hi everybody.

    i too wanna live in seattle. i want to go asap but i think im leaning toward moving there in couple of years. I want to be a teacher and im getting my degree next May, but I thought that it would be better to get a couple years experience/expertise in my field and get my feet wet in this small town area in Virginia I stay in before I make the leap. I want to know how are the teaching jobs in the Seattle public schools system?

    I thought it would be better to live in Seattle but work in a suburb but I would assume that working in the city would command a higher salary. Does anyone know what the demand is for teachers overall, and is there a big need for male minority teachers. Any word on diverse middle class neighborhoods would help too. thank you in advance and god bless.

  150. Chris – I can put you in touch with someone who has been applying to work full time in the Seattle schools for the last year – drop me a line at galen at shackprices. My friend has tons of tips that I’m sure would help.

    Diverse middle class neighborhoods are sort of the same as the up-and-coming neighborhoods. My initial bets are on: Columbia City and Central Area.

  151. Hello,

    I visited Seattle in 2005 and I loved it. It may sound crazy but honestly I even loved the weather there considering I’ve lived in Buffalo, New York for eleven years. Can anyone give me some idea about the job market there? What about the neighbors? What about people, are they nice? Once I can find a company to hire me, I am definitely moving to Seattle. I am in a very similar situation as #167 and #112. Any advice is appreciate. kitnam@hotmail.com

  152. Kit,

    I don’t think there is an easy answer to your questions… The job market is really healthy in some areas and not-so hot in others.

    In terms of the article (“Seattle Nice” vs.”Seattle Freeze”), my take is that it is way too oversimplified. You’ll find all kinds of people in Seattle and the reaction you’ll receive will really depend on the people you choose to associate with. Does that help?

    BTW, my experience has been that the more specific the question you can ask, the more likely you’ll get a quick response out of the RCG community! ๐Ÿ™‚

  153. For anyone trying to get info on neighborhoods and such in the area you are free to order a relocation packet from us that the Chamber of Commerce puts out. The info is fantastic and covers most of the cities in King County as well as local neighborhoods in Seattle. We also provide a large scale map of the area so you can get acclimated to where all the cities sit in relationship to each other. Use this link: http://teamreba.com/relocation_request.htm


  154. Feel free to order a relocation packet from us that has a fantastic guide from the local Chamber of Commerce. It has all kinds of good information on King County and we also provide a large scale map that helps provide perspective on the relation of each city to each other. The cities are mostly all King County but there are even breakdowns to Seattle neighborhoods. You can find the link here: http://teamreba.com/relocation_request.htm

  155. For 102, 168 and 179,
    Yes, it rains a lot in Seattle/Tacoma but not all of the time and I imagine that the cloudy rainy weather can be depressing to some. Like any other place you need to keep busy to ward off depression. I refer to the rain as liquid sunshine. But because of all of the rain Washington State is beautiful and green. Those of us that are from this area just know that it will probably rain and just carry our rain coat and/or umberella. Native Pacific Northwestern folks just take advantage when the weather is nice.

    Washington State has beautiful gardens and parks. A day trip to Mount Rainer is always nice. The seafood is unbelievable and the live music scene is out of this world. I am especially fond of the smooth jazz. Downtown Seattle is free entertainment (You never know what you will see “smile”). Tacoma is about 30 minutes south of Seattle and it is a very interesting city as well and the cost of living is lower than Seattle. When I think of the Pacific Northwest these words come to mind “Very laid back” and if you like wearing jeans this is the place for you. Seattle is about 3 hours away from Canada (British Columbia) you can either drive or take a ferry there. While riding on the ferry it is not uncommon to see orca whales (beautiful).

    As you can tell I am extremely home sick for the Pacific Northwest and as soon as possible I am heading back with rain coat and umberella in tow.

  156. Hi Everyone!

    We are here! My boyfriend and I came out here yesterday to begin our new adventure.

    I read some posts asking about the people, neighborhoods, weather, etc….I believe it is all very subjective and no matter where you go, you will always have both positive and negative things. You have to figure out what it is YOU are looking for, then focus on the positives. For example, I have always wanted to be on the West Coast and my boyfriend has always wanted to be near the mountains, so Seattle seemed to be a good choice. We considered the “fewer” sunny days and decided it was not a deal-breaker for us.

    Is EVERYONE nice? Well, here’s a good story:
    We were waiting to turn left at a traffic light that did not have a dedicated left turn signal. The lady behind us starts honking and waiving her hands frantically in the air, even though there is a “yield on green” sign for us. She pulls around us and storms off very angrily. Ten seconds later, the light turns red before we have a chance to turn. We look over and the guy in the car next to us waves and says hello. We smile and say hello back. At the end of the day, we will remember the guy who said hello!


    I will keep adding posts as we continue our adventure….

  157. Mariam (and others!),

    I love the moving stories! Ever since Karen started publishing her moving stories, I’ve had multiple people email me asking if they can share their moving stories on RCG. I love the idea of providing a place to welcome new people and hear their stories… and I’m wondering if there is a better way to organize these.

    Some options that come to my mind include:

    • Setting everyone who is interested up as a contributor (the obvious)
    • Creating a regular feature where I publish “moving stories” or
    • Creating a post specifically for moving stories…

    I’ll probably continue down the first path unless someone comes up with an even better idea! ๐Ÿ™‚

  158. “Those of us that are from this area just know that it will probably rain and just carry our rain coat and/or umberella”

    An umbrella is sure fire way to spot a non-native…

  159. Hello Jillayne,

    Yes, it has the Colorado River running through it. As for work, I will be relocating with my current employer. Purpose of the move it to be closer to the West Territory that I will be working. During the week, time will be spent traveling to the airport and the surrounding states. So being close to the airport might be of some importance but not a requirement.

  160. I just wanted to say that I love “10 Things you should know before moving to Seattle” and I posted questions/comments on the site (#158 and #173) and received great responses. I wanted to let everyone know that I started my own blog about my moving experiences if anyone is interested in reading. http://beautifulrainydaysahead.blogspot.com

  161. Hello all, We are considering moving to Seattle, well my fiance, myself and our 2 children. We are originally from Houston, TX, but we have been in Las Vegas for almost a year now. My fiance is really intrested in moving to Seattle, I on the other hand have been a little nervous about the RAIN. The tempeture sounds very inviting though. Then there is the whole issue of finding a rental and a job. So does anyone have any advice for me? All is aprieciated!!!! Thanks

  162. Fabulous Blog, Katherine! Yes! Go be a tourist before you leave. Great message. I traveled all the way back to Florida to see “Big Tree Park” after I moved 3,000 miles away. Clearly something I should have done before I left town.

    Maybe will start a new group of blogs in the sidebar for people moving to Seattle. I know I’m putting yours and “Just Jenn” in my sidebar.

    Keep us posted. I LOVE it!!!

  163. I have a tip on finding rental housingย that pretty much holds true no matter where you are in the Country.

    Rentals are rarely in a centralized place and also operate on a Monday through Friday operation. Unlike houses for sale, it is not likely you will find a person who will drive you to all the rentals available or even know them all. So the consumer must do most of the legwork.

    Some rentals can be found on the mls search sites, but clearly only a small fraction of the properties for rent appear there.

    So instead of using the information on rentals to find a property, use that info to find people who deal on a regular basis with rental properties. Don’t pass by a rental ad because you don’t like the particulars of the property such as # of bedrooms. Write down the name and phone number of the property management company if it is the right location.

    Often good rentals go quickly and it is more important to have a list of all of the property management companies in the area, than to look at the ads for “the right rental property”.

  164. We’re moving our 2 kids (4 and under) very quickly to Seattle from Venice, CA. My husband will be working in Renton and I will eventually probably work in downtown Seattle. My parents live in Tacoma/Federal Way. We’re looking for a cool, up-and-coming, reasonably affordable neighborhood to rent initially, with an eye for buying in a year or so. We like walking neighborhoods, character (read: not just strip malls, chain stores and new developments), organic/natural foods, yoga, and the wildnerness. Also, a good public elementary school. To give you an idea of the ‘hoods we like, we have lived in Park Slope, Brooklyn, the Mission in San Francisco, and now Venice/Santa Monica in LA. Any ideas on areas we should suss out? Some have said Burien is the new Ballard and Renton is the new Issaquah? Thoughts?

    • I would not say that last statement is correct in general. I suggest you establish some guidelines for the schools you are looking for before moving from there to which house or neighborhood. Most people with children start at school of choice or schools of choice or some basic minimum school parameter and then define their search areas accordingly.

  165. I grew up in Renton and I can tell you it’s changed quite a bit. I use to belong to the Greater Renton Chamber of Commerce and volunteered on the Community Development Committee…I’ll always remember the tour we would do bussing in agents from around Renton…they would be stunned at all that was going on there.

    “Old Burien” is cool and you might consider checking out Des Moines (I lived in a condo over the water there for 3 years–you can walk to everything). Both towns offer (more affordable) waterfront living/lifestyle.

  166. Thanks for the info Rhonda. What is your take on how Renton has changed? Is it for the better? I hear they are restoring the downtown area. And might you know anything on the public schools in Renton and/or Burien?

  167. Renton has changed for the better IMHO…I moved from Renton in the mid80’s. They have done a rezoning of the downtown area and now have a public market and a lot of nice restaurants. I lived in “the Highlands” which borders Issaquah (we were off of Coal Creek Parkway).

    I’m not familiar with the public schools in Renton or Burien. My son has been going to a school in West Seattle. Here’s a link to a school guide from the Seattle Times: http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/schoolguide/

  168. Pingback: Landing on Long-term Value | Rain City Guide | A Seattle Real Estate Blog...

  169. I’m moving to Seattle from Boulder, CO, in September and have put a hold on a 1 bdrm apartment in Radford Court Apartments. The apartments are single family housing units for the UW, but the public may also rent there. The complex is nearby the Warren G. Magnuson Park. Does anyone have information on that area or has anyone heard good/bad things about Radford Court? I notice on apartmentratings.com the complex received a 28% approval rating, so I’m a bit concerned. Also, is that part of the city relatively far from decent night life, restaurants, etc.?

    Unfortunately, I will not have an opportunity to visit Seattle before leasing a place. I will be in a Ph.D. degree program at UW, so Radford Court seems like a convenient complex to live initially. I’ve been told by people at the UW that the best thing to do is go around in neighborhoods and look for “for rent” signs (as others have suggested on this site), but this is not an option for me. I guess I’m looking for some reassurance that Radford Court is in an okay area and with decent buildings – since right now I have committed only a holding fee.


  170. Alex, I wish I could help you but I’m just not familiar with the Radford Court Apartments. I was hoping that someone else would step up with more info, but it is quite possible that none of the regular contributors are familiar with that apartment complex. Sorry about that!

  171. Alex,

    I’ve used Apartmentratings.com, and while I’m leery of the opinions, (because they always say if someone actually voluntary gives their opinion for a survey or the like, it’s because they received poor service in some fashion) I’d also be careful if Radford got a 28% on its approval rating. I’ve check out some places that didn’t get the best ratings on AR, and they’ve seemed decent, but then again it’s hard to gauge how the landlords treat their tenants. I usually don’t consider a place unless it got 50% on AR, but that’s just my personal benchmark. I’m not familiar with Radford Court either, but I would just suggest more research or perhaps asking the complex if they have references or tenants you could talk to via phone. It never hurts to ask.

  172. Hi All,
    I am awaiting a job offer in Tukwila, WA and I am moving from Northern California(bay area). I have a few questions:
    1. Can anyone recomend a good place to live Near Tukwila and also I am single so it would be nice to be in an area where other Single people are vs. families.
    2. What should one expect to pay for a good apartment, my searches on Craigslist have shown it to be around 1000 a month or am I mistaken?
    Thanks from the IT Guy in Cali ๐Ÿ˜‰

  173. Chris,

    In my big fat rental book ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m seeing Tukwila 2 bedrooms starting at $905, $820, $850. I see one ad showing 2 bedrooms at 1,018 sf to 1,068 sf, but no price on that one.

    Looks like 1 bedrooms are less than $200 cheaper, so you might as well go for the bigger 2 bedroom in case you later want to “share”, after you meet people at work.

    My “big fat rental book” is from March of 2007. See if you can get the newest version from for rent dot com. I picked mine up in a grocery store and it’s as big as a Sear’s Catalog ๐Ÿ™‚

  174. LOL,
    Ok Ardell, Thanks for the update on that and this is something one would pickup at a supermarket in Seattle or the surrounding areas in tukwila? Derek, 1000.00 a month is cheap by bay area standards, I pay almost 1400 dollars for a Junior 1 bedroom(lets just call it a studio for short), 20 miles south of San Francisco and thats considered cheap here :P.
    Anyway thanks guys and I appreciate the advice.

  175. Hello – I’m from posts 102,109, and 168. My hubby and I have started to pack for Seattle!

    I’m wondering if anyone can tell me about what the plans are for expanding the public transit system in Seattle. From a few visits, I know the bus system there is great. Are there any plans for a subway or a rail system to connect the different towns and neighborhoods? Thank you!

  176. Hi Serene,

    There is a light rail system being built that connects Seatac Airport to Downtown Seattle. It will run through Rainier Valley and it’s a few years away from completion. No Subway plans for Seattle, but as you pointed out the bus system is good, although it’s better the closer to the Seattle metro core.

  177. As several have mentioned, Nice/Ice is real. Four years after moving here, being involved in the community, etc. the freeze has yet to thaw. If you’re from California, consider yourself toxic. Even Northern California. We were and were warned about it, but didn’t really believe that it would be that big a deal. Depending on your situation it can be. We settled in modestly and assimilated as quickly as possible. Learn to dread the “so where are you from?” question, or come up with a decent lie. Like the weather here, you may find the questioner’s demeanor changes rather quickly depending on your response.

    A good example: my now former optometrist had no problem taking cheap shots once he learned I was from California during the course of my exam. “So you’re the reason our real estate prices are so high,” traffic so bad, etc., etc. This was not good-natured conversational ribbing. It was a harrangue. He (and certain other service providers) are still graciously willing to take the hard earned money we inject to the local economy.

    Our office of educated professional is composed mostly of expatriates of one form or another all of whom have similar stories. One long timer has said it starts to get better after about 20 years… No where I’ve lived before here have I ever been referred to as “You” in opposition to “We” when our state of origin is discovered (which of course is never willingly volunteered anymore).

    Depending on your situation, you may encounter a number of insular strata here. From my experience, you may witness or experience the schisms between Here/NotFromHere, New Economy/Old Economy, Haves/Have Nots, UWClub/Not UWClub. There are many others.

    The irony seems to be the longer you’re here, the more you notice it. Like all things Seattle (which seems to tend toward passive aggression), its subtle, indirect, nonconfrontational and pervasive.

    It is a beautiful area and a wonderful place to visit, but the hype only tells half the story. We do know a number of folks who have had a good experience as newcomers, but a common characteristic is they tend to end up in a work-centric social network of similar ex-pats and a few “local” iconoclasts. We know an equal number who after a few years just got tired of it and headed back to San Francisco, Silicon Valley, New York, L.A. and the South whence they came.

    I think the key is trying to get in touch with someone in as similar a situation as you are that has been here a while and see if their experience is something that would be a good fit for you.

  178. I was doing research for a class when I came upon your site. What a great site! I enjoyed reading the post. I have been to Seattle and I think it is a beautiful area. I think it is inspiring that so many people have the courage to move from their home to start a new life. I was sorry to read that it has been a tough adjustment for some as to meeting people. I do not think that is unique to Seattle since I have heard that same comment from friends that have moved to other parts of the country as well.

  179. Hi Jillayne:

    Thanks for the post. Actually it was a “round about way” I found this site. I am a teacher taking an instructional strategies class so I was viewing other states district procedures. Since WA has always been one of my favorite states, I researched school districts there. In doing research “real estate” popped-up so I thought I would check out housing prices versus my state. This site was actually a good diversion from the research I was doing. BTW the last time I was in Seattle for a week, it rained only one day and was sunny or partly cloudy the rest of the time.

  180. Hi,

    Just found this post from searching on google. I’m a 28 year-old female moving to Seattle from, yes, California. I’ve been there once and loved it. I’m moving there at the end of August and have been looking on craigslist to find a short term rental as I’m not ready to commit to a one year lease just yet. Can anyone recommend the neighborhood I should be looking at? It will need to be a safe area and has good access to public transportation as I do not have a car and will be job hunting.


  181. Hi Bee,

    Ballard, Capital Hill, Greenwood, Phinney Ridge, Freemont, Greenlake, and Wallingford all come to mind. But each neighborhood has a personality. Up on the sidebar right after our pictures is a list of neighborhood blogs. Check them out! For crime stats, you’ll want to check that out with the King County police deparment. Thanks for visiting RCG.

  182. Bee, Jillayne’s suggestions are good. If you know where you’ll be going by public transport, we could give you a better idea of where to check out. Ballard might be a little out of the way if you’re taking the bus everywhere. The bus-exclusive people I know stick to Capitol Hill, the University District and the areas in between like Montlake and Eastlake. You can see general neighborhood outlines on our site, Estately.com, if you have any questions about where those places are.

  183. Thanks Jillayne and Galen. I’ll be job hunting once I get there so I’ll most likely be going downtown a lot. I also have some friends at UW so I’ll be visiting the area often. It’s just difficult to find a place right now since I’m not in Seattle yet. Thanks again for both your help.

  184. You can also use Google transit to estimate the ease of getting around. Wallingford is perfect for the U-District / Downtown commute. You could even do fine with just a bike.

  185. Wow is this a great site! Well, I’m planning on moving to Seattle in March (way off, but I’m planning now) my job is going to be in Redmond (Not Microsoft!) and at the moment, I can only afford about $625, maybe slightly higher (defanitly lower), in rent. I’d like to be near work, but from looking at the median incomes of the areas around it… yeah, not so much can I afford that. So what I wanted to know is if anyone knows of any places cheap enough for me to be able to afford, but safe enough that a single 26 year old female can live by herself with maybe a cat or two. Thanks!

  186. One more thing- I think I’m falling in love with Bremmerton, but my only problem is the hour and a half commute. Is there a ferry or something, then PT to get me to Redmond? Or am I looking for fairies under rocks again?

  187. You can get a one bedroom off 36th and 148th across from Microsoft for about that price. Bellevue Highlands or Bellevue Manor. Totem Lake/Kingsgate, Juanita or Factoria. If you go to the office by the pool area of Bellevue Manor, there’s a kiosk where people post rentals. You shouldn’t have much trouble finding an apartment near Redmond for under $700. It will probably be built in the late 70’s, but safe, nice areas near shopping.

    I don’t know anyone who commutes an hour and a half to work ๐Ÿ™‚ Try going to forrent.com I’ve never been to the site, but I have a hardcopy version that has tons of rentals in it. Mostly rental complexes.

    Don’t rule out living close to work. You probably can.

  188. Katy

    Bremerton is a great option if you work in Seattle. There is a ferry–1 hour ride to downtown Seattle. Also, everything in Bremerton will be much cheaper than in the Seattle metro area. I’m from the Penninsula and I love it out there. Many cute little towns with amazing views of the city.

    As to people commuting 1-2 hours to work, it happens all the time, as anyone that lives across the narrow’s bridge will tell you. Traffic is terrible. That’s why Bremerton is such a good choice, you’re on the cheap side of the Sound, but you have a ferry to take you straight across to the city. If you work downtown, you can even leave the car at home!

  189. Hi, everyone! I’m starting grad school at UW this September and will be living in the Northgate section of the city. What can you tell me about this area?


  190. Chris,

    What do you want to know about the area? Are you curious about housing? Music? Food? There’s lots of places we could go with that question and the more specific you can be, the more likely you’ll get a quick answer! ๐Ÿ™‚

  191. I was wondering where exactly. People call such a huge area “northgate”. It starts around 92nd and 1st, where Green Lake, Maple Leaf and Northgate come toghether, and goes out past Northgate Mall. Where is important for “walk to” things.

  192. Thanks for writing back, guys. I’m living in an apartment complex close to Aurora Ave and right down the street from Northwest Hospital. What is there to do in terms of this area? Any good restaurants, bars, etc.?

  193. Hi Chris,

    A good resource if you haven’t found it yet is the “Seattle Weekly” a free newspaper with info on mostly metro Seattle. There you can find info on bars, music, movies, restaurants, art, politics, and so on. You can pick it up near major bus stops, libraries, groceries, etc. and for those who have not moved yet to Seattle, it can be found online at: http://www.seattleweekly.com

    For a more alternative newspaper there is “The Stranger” also availble usually in a kiosk next to The Seattle Weekly or online at: http://www.thestranger.com

    I hope you enjoy living in Seattle!

  194. Hello all! I have a few more questions I haven’t managed to find answers to on the internet since I don’t really have an address there yet…
    I want to know about utility bills- on average for a 1 bedroom apartment in the Seattle area, what are the electricity, gas, water, and sewer bills? Also, some places have a weird “just because you live here” tax. I don’t know exactly what it’s called, just if there’s something like that in Washington.
    Also, is Comcast the only high speed internet provider there?
    If there’s any other monthly utility I’m leaving out, PLEASE let me know! I’m moving from Las Vegas, I know what the bills are out here, but I’m a little fuzzy on other states. Thanks!

  195. Katy:

    Comcast does cable internet, Qwest does DSL internet. Both are fast and both have bad service.
    There is no just because you live here tax.
    Electricity in Washington is cheap – $20-$30 a month? You’ll obviously pay more in the winter if you have electric heat.
    I’ve never had gas – dunno.
    I think a lot of landlords end up paying water and sewer bills; it’s hard to split up.


  196. Chris,

    Other than Northgate Mall, I can’t think of anything up that way. It’s not a Seattle “hot spot”. Likely you’ll be hanging out more at U-Dub, and where you live is where you go home to, for the most part. It’s a convenient location, but not much of a “walk to” spot. Likely you’ll be heading a bit south to Green Lake or Greenwood/Phinney from there. You have to get down from 115th to 80th or so to get to these Seattle Neighborhoods and local restaurants like Duke’s in Green Lake and Yanni’s in Greenwood.

  197. I’m going to be over that way this weekend. Email me the exact address and name of complex. I’ll see what I can dig up on it. I spent a lot of time over that way, but there are a few spotty areas. If you give the me address I’ll give you some more specific insights via email.

  198. Hi. My husband is considering taking a job in Seattle (Redmond to be exact). We currently live in the Dallas subburbs. Prior to moving to Dallas we lived in Kent, but this was before kids and houses and things. Now we have two elementary school aged children so great schools and family orientated areas are more important. What areas would you recommend based on our priorities being
    1. resonable price
    2. great schools
    3. short commute time
    Any suggestions? Thanks.

  199. Marie, many of the Eastside districts have good schools. I’m not a school expert, but you could try out my site (Estately.com) – just type in Redmond, change “within” to 5 miles so you can see all the homes within 5 miles, and narrow down your price range. You can learn about the closest schools to each home under the nearby tab.

  200. This is a great blog! I have a question…my husband and I are considering moving to Seattle from Oklahoma. We’ve lived in Tennessee and New Mexico, so we can pretty much adapt to any kind of weather, but we need to know if the city is dog friendly. We want to rent for the first six-12 months but we have three dogs that are of medium size (40+ lbs). Everything I read says “Pets Considered” but they only mean tiny dogs and two is excessive to them. Are we going to have to buy a house right away or does anyone know a way to find out who is dog friendly? I definitely will not lie or hide my dogs – we rescued each one from an animal shelter.

    Thanks for any suggestions!

  201. Ardell is right – any time there is a tight rental market, landlords shy away from potentially destructive tenants. That said, I have friends who rent with a 75 pound dog and a 45 pounder. They have found places with fenced yards, but they are away from the city center and end up settling on somewhat less desirable places.

  202. Hello. I am a 35 year old guy from Austin,Tx. I am going to be moving to Seattle in Nov. I am very nice and polite as well, but i do like to engage with people. I was wondering…… just because such a thing as the Seattle “freeze” exists, that can’t mean everyone is like that. I can be laid back, but when a connection is made, don’t the people jump at the chance to open up and have some fun and experience life? Does this mean that the regular everyday families have social dis ease? I am a musician and an artist. I work in IT. I have my activites, but i would like to find a date and talk with women. Will i be a pariah in Seattle if i’m a deep person looking to be human?

  203. Jules–Seattle Freeze exists but it’s not universal. Seriously, if you are a guy who knows how to ask a woman on a date, and if you are the type to go up to people on your own, you’ll do just fine. It’s those who are more reserved who have trouble with the “freeze,” perhaps because they are waiting for others to approach them.

    This is a generalization of course. Your mileage may vary.

  204. Jules, you’ll likely find that there if you are open and willing to chat with people that there will be plenty of others that will open up to you. I’ve lived in Seattle for 19 years, having come from the mid-west, and while I’ve always heard people talk about the “freeze” I’ve never had it impact me very much. Yes, there are groups of people that will be the UW/non-UW types, but that exists everywhere for a variety of reasons. Although, I was just chatting with some people last night about their love of “da Bears” both of them having come from Chicago and how Seattle-ites won’t sell them tickets outside the stadium if they have their Bear’s jersey on. But, I’m sure in Chicago you might get the same, but reverse, effect of a Seahawk fan outside a Chicago stadium.

    Chris, for the area where you live there are some good options in Maple Leaf, Ravenna, Greenlake, Greenwood, Phinney and more. It all depends on how far you want to go and what you’re looking for. There is a good (and nice) sushi place on Aurora just north of you between 130th and 145th (east side of road). Steel Pig BBQ down on Aurora/92nd has some decent BBQ and good beer when you get the urge, plus they have the games on huge TV’s; there is also a good, cheap BBQ joint by the intersection of Greenwood and 105th/Holman. Just behind the Jiffy Lube. Check out the Greenwood drag down through to Phinney – you’ll find tons of cool shops and restaurants and bars/pubs.

    Northgate has been growing and going through a lot of redevelopment, including the opening of a new library/community center, just east of the mall. There still isn’t much of a “nightlife” there as I would describe it in other areas of the city but over time hopefully more good restaurants will come in. You may find yourself heading south a little bit to these other neighborhoods while Haller Lake and Bitter Lake are getting the influx of new apartments and condos.

  205. Dee, you might try contacting some of the local property management firms in town – many of them have clients that are not as concerned about pets because they see pet owners as more responsible. Personally, I’ve got 2 Jack Russells and a flat coat retriever and I know that smaller dogs can do a lot more damage than a larger dog. A good thing you can do too is to put a small bio/resume on your pets together that be given to a prospective landlord. This could help you to show your responsibility as a pet owner and also that your pets are not destructive. Perhaps include photos of your current home environment so they can see that it is undamaged?

  206. Hi everyone, I’ll be moving to Seattle by the end of the month and I’m sharing most of evryones’ worries here. The weather beign near the top of my list. I’m moving from Venezuela (with nice warm tropical temperatures and nice warm tropical people), I get depressed when it rains and can only think of a nice warm cup of mocaccino (I guess that’ll only affect my weight and sleeping pattern *sigh*) … As I said, beign used to the tropical weather pampers us badly, so how cold is it when it’s cold? how ’bout usually? how much rain is “rainy”??

    Any how, I’ll be working in the Redmond area (and living temporarily there), since I’ll move soon enough, some pointers on the neighborhoods nearby, good places to live, shop, and so on would be greatly appreciated… is walking usually done? (I mean not using the car, especially with all the rain?… how’s the public transportation system?) …

    BTW: Great site guys!

  207. Hi Alita, welcome to Seattle!

    How cold is cold? Well, we have a maritime climate so freezing is not common, although last winter we did have a big freeze so the snow (not very common) stuck around for a few days. We are not very close to “nice warm tropical temperatures”, we have nice mild maritime temperatures instead which mean that it’s not too cold and not too hot, all the better to enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee!

    We probably get way less rain than you do in Venezuela, but ours comes in the winter as a drizzle that can last for a long, long time. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Walk around neighborhoods are found more in urban Seattle areas than on the Eastside, although downtown Bellevue and Kirkland each have a great core area. Depending on where you will be working in Redmond it could be easy to take public transportation from some areas of Seattle to Redmond.

  208. Alita,
    Your concern will probably not be what the thermometer reads, nor the total amount of precipitation (ie in total cm), as mentioned by Deborah. Your biggest enemy, particularly coming from a sunny climate, wlll be our winter permagloom. Constant thick, low-lying clouds with the added bonus of sunup to sundown that seems to last only from 9am to 3pm on the gloomier days in the depth of winter. Be mentally prepared, get UV lights, whatever it takes.
    Fortunately, most summers are fantastic, but if you move here in the fall you won’t know that for months. I moved here in early October and after not seeing the sun for a few months, I turned to my wife and asked, with regard to our move – “what have we done.” And I moved from Chicago, not Venezuela. Fortunately, you do get used to the lack of light and, as I mentioned, summers (and early springs) kind of make up for it.

    My strategy FWIW – concentrate all of my vacation time between late November and February and go to sunny locations. IE recharge for about one week during each of the winter months. The rest of the month you have another quickly upcoming week off in the sun to look forward to. A word of caution – you may not want to visit Venezuela on your vacations, though as the contrast between your old life and the prospect of returning to your new life in Seattle in January may put you over the edge.

  209. I’m thinking about moving to Seattle. There’s no real reason and the crazier part is that I’ve never even been there to visit. I’ve just always wanted to go. I’m in Chicago now. Can anyone be so kind to detail parts of the city (what’s there, who lives there, general apartment prices)? I am so baffled as to where to even begin on my research (deciding exactly where in the city to move, etc.). I’m planning on flying there at the end of October to see it. Any advice on what I should do during the 5 days I’ll be there to get the most out of my trip?

  210. Abby,

    You live in a big city now, so you will be comfortable with anything Seattle has to offer. Here is my advice:

    Day 1: Hang out downtown at the Seattle Art Museum and the Downtown library. In the afternoon walk North to the the Pike Place Market and then head up Pike Street to Capitol Hill stopping at funky clothing stores, coffee shops, bars and restaurants on your way.

    Day 2: Do whatever during the day. Rent a kayak at NWOC and cruise the houseboats in Lake Union if it’s nice (probably won’t be in October). For dinner, head to White Center and visit one of the two taco trucks or the Salvadorean Bakery. After dinner, cab or drive to the 9 Pound Hammer, a great bar in Georgetown, which is an artsy part of town directly next to Boeing Field.

    Day 3: Find something to do in Ballard, Fremont and Wallingford. You’ll need a car, cab or bus to get between them.

    Your on your own for the other 2 days. If you’ll be here for Halloween, you should walk around the University District or Capitol Hill in a costume and just let yourself into a party. People will usually be pretty nice about it. Google maps should be able to help you find where all these places are.

  211. Thanks for the advice, Galen. I’m a bit nervous about moving somewhere where I don’t know a soul. I’m sure that everyone fares differently in meeting people and getting over that initial lonliness. Are these places that you mentioned good places to meet people?

  212. Abby, they should be good spots. The library is bustling and the walk to Capitol Hill is filled with coffee shops that will have some people interested in talking (and some just working). I’m curious – please let us know where you meet folks.

  213. My dream in life is to open a bakery/coffee shop.
    I’ve also always dreamed of living in Seattle.
    I can’t explain why on either of those, but that’s just what my heart tells me.

    Can they co-exist?
    I know seattle is famous for its coffee. there must be tons of coffee shops already…

    What are the chances of a successful coffee shop/bakery?

  214. I think it is safe to say that those two dreams can definitely co-exist…

    I can’t imagine there is a major city in America where there isn’t demand for another quality coffee shop or bakery. While there will definitely be competition from both independent and national shops, there are still plenty of areas that are under-served! ๐Ÿ™‚

  215. We live in Chicago. We turned down positions at the U-Seattle two years ago because of family stuff. But now we’re looking longingly at Seattle now that the family situation is better. We’re heard though the grapevine that folks at the U are still interested in our coming. What are more positives about Seattle? Anyone?

  216. I’m thinking of moving to Seattle for university next year. I’m a latecomer student looking to take advantage of their architecture program but I’ve never visited the city and doubt I will be able to before I have to move. I’m a New Yorker-cum-New Orleanian, looking to find a happy medium between the two. A cooler summer and a warmer winter would be nice. More laid back than New York, but less laid back than New Orleans [just for the sake of efficiency. New Orleans likes to blame everything on Katrina, but that all happened two years ago and the city wasn’t all that functional to begin with.]

    Most importantly, I have a car, but I’m an avid biker and I was wondering if the city would lend itself to that. I’m looking for a neighborhood not far from the hustle and bustle, possibly outside of it. Whaddaya guys think?

  217. Dom,

    If you’re not getting a quick response from people here, it is probably because the question is pretty open-ended…

    But in terms of appropriateness, Seattle definitely might work for you… Biking is definitely an option, especially if you don’t mind riding in wet conditions (When I worked downtown, I commuted from Ballard via bike for over a year). As far as neighborhoods go, you’ll almost definitely want to find a neighborhood in north Seattle if you do plan on biking into campus every day. Although thanks to the Burke-Gilman Trail, you can have a relatively easy ride into the campus from as far away as Bothell.

  218. Lots of students rent on the Linden side of Green Lake. Prices are about the same as Bothell, and it’s not nearly as far. I don’t think outside of the City is a good or needed option. I’d look for a share house closer to the U. or a one bedroom apartment depending on cost considerations.

  219. Dom,

    You said “for university”. Our responses assume you mean the Univerisity of Washington. If that is not correct, let us know which College or University you are referring to.

  220. Hi everyone! I have a couple questions. I’m a born and raised orange county california girl. I’m 23. Waitress. I hate california. The shallow people. The sun. I’m considering making a huge change in my life next year. I am pretty set on moving to seattle. I visited for my first time last november with my boyfriend. I fell in love with it. Its strange but ever since I was a child I have had dreams about seattle and have wanted to go there. And now I want to move there. It has been on my mind non stop since I visited. My boyfriend of 3 years will never leave cali and I know this. My familly whom I am very close with is also 10 mins from me in cali. If I do this it is truly on my own. I have already started saving money. I’m a bit torn though. All alone. Studio apartment. New job. No friends. No family. I have wanted this for so long it is a dream. I would soooo LOVE any comments advice or suggestions. Please! A bit of insight on who I am is that I have loved cold rainy overcast weather and hated the sun always. I am content with being alone. I’m an only child and have always been a bit introverted but I love having a good time. I do a tiny bit of modeling. I am scared about finding a good job. Thanks for reading this! Again I hope I can get some good feedback. ๐Ÿ™‚ great site!

  221. Brittany, get a room in a place with a couple of other people, but make sure they have their own friends. You’ll have the occasional company, but you won’t have to invite them out every time you leave the house. You’ll find houses and apartments filled with fun people with their own friends anywhere between the University District and Beacon Hill – just look on Craigslist. You’ll also find other people like yourself in those areas.

  222. I moved here a year ago from Atlanta and boy do I regret it. The Seattle Freeze is a very real phenomenon. This city has the most unfriendly people I have ever encountered and I have lived in six states and three countries. People go out of their way to make sure that you feel unwelcome. You say “Hi” to someone and they completely ignore you – that has never happened to me in my life before- here it’s a regular occurrence. It’s the weirdest thing I have ever experienced. I have never had to try to make friends before – here I try and try and try. I have given up – something else I never do but it’s just too hard. I am leaving next month and it’s really a shame. I love the clean air and beautiful scenery but I think I’d kill myself if I had to go on living like this.

  223. Dom – Consider Capital Hill if you’ll be biking around and going to the U. Close to downtown as well, and plenty of hustle and bustle. Metro buses have bike racks as well, for when you don’t feel like riding the whole way.

    d- I assume you’re just a normal guy or gal not giving off a freaky vibe, so I have to wonder where you’re hanging out that people totally ignore you. Plus, it seems like more and more the people I meet are not natives, so you must be getting frozen out by other transplantees. Us natives are pretty darn friendly! Good luck…

  224. I really am a normal gal. No freaky vibe here that I am aware of although, the reaction I get from people here has made me wonder if I have developed some sort of horrific smell that I am unaware of….

    The first time I said “Hi” and was ignored was my very first night in Seattle. I was moving into my apartment and said “Hi” to a neighbor – he walked right by, head down. I thought he was deaf.

    I think I am just a little too friendly for the people here. They seems scared when I say “Hi”. I met a guy from England that told me he was having the same problem, felt like he was scaring people by saying “Hi”.

    I live in Capitol Hill – probably not the best spot for a single woman but it’s close to downtown. Anyway, I have tried everything, joined groups, started a group, classes, even got desperate enough to try online. Nadda. I know three other people that moved here at the same time I did – they have all moved away because of it. I just don’t get it. Life is too short to live like this. It makes me sad for the people here. This s such a beautiful city with so much to offer but the attitude of the people just ruins it.

    I think if you are really introverted and shy or hate people, this city will probably be a good fit but it you are friendly and outgoing – watch out.

  225. d,
    Places like Seattle are filled w/people who think they are really special.Its like somewhere like Indy,its funny really.Some of those hoosiers act like they live in LA.Sometimes they forget they are surrounded by a huge cornfield. :)You just have to remind em of it,and sit back and watch the fun.They are usually the shallowist+most insecure,and most entertaining.You have to keep laughing.If you are young,thing to do is hit some neighborhood bars.You are female,sit down and talk to the female bartender,even if you dont drink.When she gets busy,you will find yourself talking to someone.Get to know the real locals.One of my hobbies back in the days was bouncing in bars,and it was how I met a lot of people.Just walking up to someone and starting a conversation is kind of a lost art.I always say,Bikers or Bank Presidents,everyone likes to talk about their favotite thing,themselves.You would be amazed at how even a beligerent over drinker can be disarmed by asking them about their favorite drink,or whatever.Just my two cents,but given that angle,everywhere is the same.I’ll hang up and listen…. ๐Ÿ™‚

  226. I’ve already met some very nice people online. Its amazing what a great response I got just by reaching out a bit to complete strangers! My trip to visit is set for november and I am so excited! Time to job hunt and apartment hunt! I hope I love it as much as I did last november! One question though. This is going to sound strage I’m sure but last year when I took my first trip there I stayed in hotels and took cabs everywhere and I don’t know what it was but I got this scary erie feeling from the people and the downtown area in general. Weird? Anyone else feel this way?

  227. Adrianna – thanks, wish I’d met ya sooner ๐Ÿ™‚

    R Duke – thanks but I did that. Planned a group outing to Amber, all six people I invited stood me up, first time in my life I have ever been stood up! I did meet two very nice guys that night who invited me to sit with them and we chatted a bit. They told me to move that all of their single women friends complained of the same thing. One of the guys was from Seattle but he had traveled so knew how to be friendly. The other guy was from out of to CA, I think. Another time I did meet a couple of very nice bartenders, one on 15th and another at a downtown steakhouse (he is from FL, hates it here can’t wait to move).

    Brittany – It’s the evil eye – they don’t want you here – don’t say I didn’t warn ya.

    All – am too negative to keep posting, I am getting on my own nerves. I have given up and that’s that, off to warmer, friendlier climes… Wish I had a better attitude but the Seattlites have beaten it out of me. Good luck to you all. ๐Ÿ™‚

  228. Hello Seattle lovers,

    I’m from the REAL northern CA (Humboldt County, near Redwood National park) and I’m currently living in Memphis, after a 2 year stint in Indiana. I have always dreamed of living in Seattle and hope to move there for an internship I really want in a couple of years. Anyways, I will be having my first real job (doing my PhD right now).

    I am trying to research different Seattle neighborhoods, but am having a hard time. I want great views, a good neighborhood to dog walk, trees, and I love charm. Any suggestions?


  229. Hi Linda,

    Most of the neighborhoods close into Seattle (Capitol Hill, Eastlake, Wallingford, Fremont, Queen Anne) have great views, are nice to walk around with a dog, have charm and trees. On the right side of the panel are links to some neighborhood blogs that you might find interesting to dig into.

    Other great neighborhoods to look at would be Ballard, Green Lake, West Seattle, and Madison Valley. Have fun checking them out Linda!

    I think there will be more and more blogs in the next few years to help you with your research. I would also suggest that you come and spend a few days to experience in person the places that you read about in the next year or so to get a better idea of the different nieghborhoods, and narrow your focus. The hard part may be having to choose!

  230. yikes..I am looking to move to seattle from chicago. originally from FL. I think it should be cool to be near water…evergreen trees, ocean…from what i gather it is a great city. til i read all these posts..
    are people there really cold…? just mean? what is up with that?
    chicago is cool…just ready for something new.
    by the way? what is bellevue like? thanks for any response.
    will be coming out in november to check it out for a few days before accepting the position.

  231. Andy,Hey man,as for leaving Chicago,its like me right now,anybody but the Yankees.I havent been out west for years,but if I were you,I would go to UL(upper left)in a heartbeat,instead of stayin in Chi town.As for Cub fans,face it,its never gonna happen :)When you get to Wash.,you wont believe how nice it is out there.I used to run a big rig all over Country,up to Chi. every night for almost a year,that place is a mess.Dont look in the rearview mirror,the play is in front of you.Go West,keep our friends here working ๐Ÿ™‚

  232. Hi Andy,

    The “Seattle Freeze”…some people seem to run up against it, and others don’t, depends on the person. Whether not you experience it or not will depend on how outgoing you are and probably what your interests are.

    Not sure if Bellevue is that much different from Seattle, but the streets are generally better! ๐Ÿ™‚

  233. Hi,

    I am currently a 26 year old Los Angelino (LA GUY) and i will be moving to the Seattle area in November! I am half excited and half worried since I don’t really have a job lined up but I do have alot of work experience and I am not really afraid to try something new! Anyway, my real reason for moving is because my best friend and I are going to start a videography/editing company.

    I know others are worried about Seattle people being cold or whatevernot but try living in LA and you’ll definately know what “cold” is…it’s more like “shady” and “plastic”. I enjoy rain and gloom..but I’m not a gloomy guy. I’ve met lots of great people in Seattle, and I find them very friendly. The air quality and cost of living are great too..compared to this toilet bowl in LA.

    Anyway, I’m excited. It’s a new change for me and I just wanted to let all the strangers / soon-to-be new neighbors know that I’m bringin’ a lil bit o’ sunshine into Seattle. Oh, and I love coffee.

  234. When people ask me “You live here in Seattle, huh? What’s the deal with the rain?”

    I tell them the truth.

    “It only rains when people are visiting from out of town.”

    (Now, that doesn’t mean that “if people are visiting from out of town, it rains”–because lots of people visit during our often amazingly dry summers here…but let them figure that out.)

    The bigger point is that joke is an attempt at self-limiting…which, honestly, I think all of the hullabaloo about the so-called Seattle Chill/Seattle Ice/Seattle Freeze is…

    Look at these blog comments. People don’t know why they want to move to Seattle–they just do… They’ve heard about it, they’ve dreamed about it…they want to move to Seattle and take advantage of all of the wonderful things that the people who already live here enjoy.

    To those of us already here…that means more traffic, higher prices, more people in front of us in line, crowded entertainment venues…

    Seemingly, everyone who successfully moves to Seattle wants to close and lock the door behind them…and turn off the “vacancy” sign.

    If you can afford it, this area truly allows most people the chance to do whatever it is they may want to do…and to do so with less stress than other areas that offer the same opportunity. If you’re doing what you love to do, you’ll meet people that are interested in doing that, too…and, if they accept the fact that you’re not here to stop them from doing what they love to do…they’ll get to know you…and they’ll introduce you to people they know…and you can cultivate a group of people that you can, from time to time, do things with…

    On the other hand, if you move to Seattle and need to be surrounded by people cheering on your every move (moves they themselves made years ago)…and if you expect to fall into a group of tight friends who can’t wait to spend every free moment with you…well, gosh, it’s rainy all the time here, isn’t it?

    pg–moved here from Wisconsin in 1992…left the door open for you.–ballard

  235. Hey guys, I (like nearly everyone else on this forum) is looking to move to Seattle. As of right now my move will probably take place in March. A lot of the questions I’ve had have already been asked and answered by other folks here which is fantastic. The one thing that I’m surprised no one else has suggested (or maybe I just missed it, if so my apologies) is putting a link to your favorite social networking site (facebook, myspace). I realize that they are incredibly lame but it would be a great way to get to know each other and maybe have a few friends to thaw that “Seattle freeze” that has been mentioned.

    What do you think? Good idea, bad idea?

    Well to start it off I’m at http://www.myspace.com/axlrosethedog I’d love to hear from any of you.

  236. Hi Shawn,

    Glad to hear you are getting a lot of info about Seattle!

    My company blocks myspace so you are invisible to me unless I am at my home computer.

    Dustin is definitly active on Facebook! Me, I have only just started on Facebook.

  237. We just moved from Seattle to Hawaii to be close to family as all our family is in Hawaii.
    Prior to moving, I knew I would miss Seattle.
    If my family lived in Seattle I would have never moved. I actually already miss Seattle and it has been only 3 months.
    Of course you can not compare Hawaii to the rest of the US because it is so different.

    Seattle is so beautiful! The mountains, lakes, seasons- autumn is so pretty, tulips, islands, etc. It does rain a lot, but it doesn’t get super cold. The rain is a slow drizzle that you can still walk outside- and it is a bit cozy. Lots of nature things to do, hike, ski, boating, parks, etc. Very decent shopping too- Bellevue Mall, Downtown, Westfield (southcenter mall). You can drive to Vancouver, BC, oregon, even to CA.

    We lived in Gregory Heights/Seahurst and this neighborhood was great, reasonable priced for King County! It was so close in proximity to a lot of places- downtown seattle, bellevue, airport, north seattle, and the schools in this neighborhood were brand new (elementary). Our neighbors were friendly, but not too nosy. We kind of kept to ourself. It is definitely a walking neighborhood- everyone was always out walking, jogging, gardening. Great neighborhood if you have kids. There are so many nice neighborhoods though: Kirkland, Juanita, Bellevue, Ballard, Queen Anne, West Seattle, Alki, Ravena, Green Lake, Madison, Lechi, U-district, Sandpoint, Magnolia, Normandy Park.

    I don’t believe in the Seattle Freeze. Being here in Hawaii, you would think that people were friendly, but I find people in Seattle were friendlier and more likely to say “Hi”. We are Asian and did live in a neighborhood with mostly Caucasian people- did not bother me at all. But I do agree with the 90% good, 10% not-good, but I am sure this is everywhere. I have only lived in Honolulu & Seattle, and can not compare with other places.

    Obviously, I am missing Seattle.

  238. Hi Mon,

    Sorry to hear you are missing Seattle. Your memories of Seattle and Washington are lovely, and it’s very nice of you to post here to let possible newcomers know of your experience.

    I hope you stop by RCG to get your Seattle “fix” when you are thinking of Seattle. Be sure to check out the neighbrohood blogs (Mine too) that Dustin has linked, when you need a virtual visit! Tell us more about what you remember and enjoyed about Seattle, I’d like to hear.

  239. Hi all! My boyfriend and I (both in our mid-20s) are looking to move to the Seattle area. We just spent the last week driving from Spokane up through Seattle and spent several nights at the South Bay B&B near Lake Whatcom. We drove up through to Deception Pass and then up to Fairhaven and LOVED it!!

    We are both in PhD programs for Biochemistry, so we would likely be looking for jobs in the Pharmaceutical industry.

    We adore the outdoors and would be looking to find a place that was close enough to work in the city proper, but live in a more rural area.

    Any recommendations?? Thanks so much!

  240. Hi Rachel, I think a lot of the Pharmaceutical companies are nearer to Downtown so you would have a commute to a rual home.

    If having a Ferry ride as part of your commute and being close to the Sound are important, then you might think of Bainbridge Island. If hiking in the mountains is important, then Woodinville, Redmond, Issaquah have rural areas in the eastern parts of their cities, and are close to the Cascades.

    Actually there are a lot of homes in the outlying rural areas to choose from, so have fun exploring them!

    One day trip I enjoy is going up to Mt Baker for a day of Alpine joy, you will have to try that sometime!

  241. Hi Jilliayne,
    I’m freelance, so it doesn’t really matter. I guess I would prefer to be closer to the city because I do need to go to clients who most likely will be there.

  242. Hi Sarah,

    Dustin has put some neighborhood links up there on the right hand sidebar. I’d check out Ballard, Freemont, Capital Hill, Kirkland, and a neighborhood that’s not up there is Phinney Ridge/Greenlake.

    All these are not IN downtown Seattle but near downtown with the exception of Kirkland which is on the eastside of Lake Washington.

  243. This is a great site. However, did I miss it, or do no seniors inquire about moving to Seattle on it? We are considering moving there and would be grateful for any advice/suggestions you might have for semi-retirees (i.e., those who intend to work at least part-time) and where the quietest, reasonably priced rentals to live, might be that would have easy access to public transportation. Many thanks.

  244. Dory – seniors move out to get more sun in the south, but I can understand the draw.

    Here’s my off-the-top-of-my-head quiet and reasonably priced Seattle neighborhood list:

    North Ballard
    Columbia City
    North University District
    Queen Anne

    Magnolia might be a little too “deep” for good transit, but it’s quiet. Same goes for West Seattle.

    You can click on my name to see outlines of those neighborhoods and Craigslist or HousingMaps.com are probably the best places to find rentals in Seattle.

  245. I’m thinking about moving to Seattle in about July. I’m looking to get a job at the Nordstrom Corporate Offices. Where should I go to look for one bedroom apartments. I’m 20 years old so I am young so I am interested in the nightlife. With my move I’m hoping to continue my education. I know of University of Washington but can anybody give me more information on that school as well as others I can look at?

  246. Hi Whit,

    There are great one bedroom apts in Capitol Hill and lower Queen Anne. Both are close to Downtown where the Nordstrom Corp offices are, and you could easily take the bus. Belltown would also be a good choice, although maybe more expensive.

    All those neighborhoods have a lot to offer for both nightlife and places to hang out in the day.

    The schools all have websites but since it’s after 2AM, I really need to go to sleep, I am too sleepy to see my screen and can’t look them up for you right now.

  247. Hello,

    I am planning to move to Seattle from Southern Cali to be closer to my girlfriend that goes to Seattle Pacific. I have worked at Country clubs my whole life in the food and beverage department. Do you have any tips that could direct me to a city thats close to Seattle Pacific and close to golf course’s. I also am going to be needing a 1 bedroom apartment thats in a safe area. Any insight!!! I’m totally lost here…

  248. Whit – it depends on who you are. The “fratastic” crowd parties in Fremont and increasingly Ballard, both of which have good access to downtown. The “alt” crowd parties on Capitol Hill and increasingly Georgetown, and the college crowd, well they party by the University of Washington.

    The other schools you could consider are Seattle University (private 4-year) and Seattle Central (public 2-year community college).

  249. Hi Aaron,

    Are you going to have your own place, or do you need to live close to Seattle Pacific (Queen Anne) for your girlfriend? If close by there is Queen Anne (North), Fremont, Phinney Ridge etc.

    I am not a golfer, but Broadmoor Golf Club (Madison Park area) and Sandpoint Country Club (View Ridge) are fairly close by to Seattle Pacific and near (within 5 miles) to the places listed above to live.

    There are more Golf Courses as you go further north and accross Lake Washington, but a longer commute to Seattle Pacific.

  250. I live in Mississippi now and my dream is to move to Seattle. My fiance and I both want to move there but my parents give us a hard time about it– my dad says I would love it for visiting but not living there. I already know I’ll love it. I love art, music, coffee, culture, photography etc.
    My parents are a bit hard-headed and don’t listen and my dad is always trying to tell me reasons not to move there. How in the world can I just pop something back in their face to prove them completely wrong about living there. I want their support and it’s a hard thing. Thanks so much.

  251. Melissa,

    Clearly you can always go back if it doesn’t work out. Instead of acting like you are moving here forever, why not tell him you are moving here for a year. This way you will decide based on your experience. Some people love it and some people hate it.

    I encourage my daughters to try new things. But clearly most parents don’t encourage their children to move far away from them. It’s probably just his way of trying to hold on to you for as long as possible. Seattle is a very long way from Mississippi. Be happy that he cares enough to want you to stay close. I doubt anything we can say will convince him to be happy that you are leaving.

  252. I agree with Ardell. I’m an only child, and when I decided to move out here my mom was pretty upset. So, instead of saying I was moving out here forever, I told her 6 months – 1 year. Then as soon as I moved out here (back in June) I made plans for her to come visit and even bought her a ticket. She liked being out here and she had a good time.
    Our parents love us and want us to be near them, but you have to live your life. Best of luck!

  253. My hubby and I just moved to Seattle last week. I’ve visited Seattle for five summers for about a month at a stretch. I didn’t think the rainy and the gloomy weather would get to me as much as it is. I’m usually an outdoorsy person. The entire week has been filled with gray skies. Does Seattle ever one sunny day in the winter? I think this is probably a phase every newcomer goes through. How does one get over it? Thanks!

  254. SP,

    It was sunny in Kirkland this weekend. Do you live near a lot of tall trees? Maybe I just call any day when I see the sun even for a little bit, a sunny day. But it does seem to be sunnier in Kirkland than in Bellevue. Today was gloomy just about everywhere, I think. I’m just too busy to notice most days.

  255. I have had a few friends decide to move to Seattle after staying with me here on Capitol Hill and experiencing the city for themselves. Two of them were from California and one from Alaska. I was happy to act as their personal tour guide. I like to let Seattle itself shatter the negative connotations people have. Although Seattle is stigmatized as rainy and grey, my friends were very impressed with the city as a whole. They’ve described it as cultured, friendly, diverse, hip, etc. Many people appreciate a “small big city” like Seattle. As for the precipitation, I believe everything is a trade off. Seattle would not be so green and beautiful without some drizzle. I don’t think it’s that bad (maybe just easy to get used to). Seattle also has extremely clean air relative to most big cities. I would love to talk with you if you are new to the city or considering moving here. I have lots of ideas about fun stuff to do in the various neighborhoods. I also know a lot about the housing market here, which has been named one of the best in the country.

  256. Melissa,

    I think you should ask your dad to visit Seattle with you to see for himself. If he hasn’t been there he doesn’t have an informed argument! I can give you many great reasons why Seattle is an ideal place to live if you’re interested.

  257. Wow, this site is amazing! I’ve read lots of postings and almost all have been tremendously helpful. My husband and I are in the midst of a move that will hopefully take us to the place we’ll choose to raise a family and stay put for a long time. We currently live in El Segundo, a tiny city in LA county right next to LAX airport. It’s the closest we’ve found in LA to a small, family oriented communityยฆ which alone was nearly impossible to find. There’s many factors that are causing us to look into moving, mostly cost of living/housing and genuineness of people. As an Aeronautical Engineer, my husband has received offers from Boeing in Everett and Duluth, Minnesota. Were trying to decide between the two. The snow versus rain and the income earning are the two only real differences we’ve found. The company in Duluth offered us a visit, and we saw and loved the personality of the people, character of the city and beauty of the land. Boeing is not offering a visit, and so I’m searching for the next best— comments and thoughts of those that live there or have been there. So far Seattle and the northwest U.S., and Duluth sound equally as good.

    The comments I’ve read and your 10 Things You Should Know

  258. Mary and Ben,

    Here are some honest answers to your questions:
    I would not recommend Everett personally. It’s not the nicest area and I don’t see as much diversity and fun for a young couple. I wouldn’t raise a family there, but I am just speaking for my own opinion.
    I think Shoreline would be a great option if you need to be closer to Everett. You would be able to find decent rent. It has some cute neighborhoods and seems to be family oriented. It is not lacking in diversity. Also it is close to Seattle (about 12 mins on I-5, without traffic of course).
    Bothell is a very family oriented community. You could definitely find cheaper rent there. However, it’s more towards the east side and there’s not a lot to do. It’s gonna take about 25 mins to get from Seattle to there (with no traffic of course!)
    You should really consider routes from where you live to work because Seattle has really bad traffic at times.
    Seattle is an amazing place to live…very desirable. Let me know if you have more questions. I am in real estate and I know a lot about Seattle neighborhoods and how to find good rentals.

  259. I’m an aircraft mechanic for Continental Airlines and have been offered a transfer from Newark, NJ to Seattle. I don’t live in Newark. I commute there every week from Dayton, OH…born and raised there. So I’m a midwest person thus far. Continental only gave me 3 days to decide if I want to go, which means I have my house in Dayton that I own to deal with…anyways…they want an answer by tomorrow and I’ve never been to Seattle. I’m almost ready to jump and just go, but I just need some kind of assurance from someone out THERE that it’s a good idea. I will have to sell my house, move, my fiance will have to leave her job…you get the picture. I guess I really just need someone to tell me it’s awesome in Seattle, and it’s worth the move. Please…Someone…? Also, where would a reasonably priced yet cool place to live be (we’re in our early 20’s and like to party) that’s not too far from SEATAC airport?

  260. AJ,

    Do it! It will be an awesome move for you. I lived in many places before here and frankly could be tempted to move back to CA, but not to PA or NJ where I am from and spent over 40 years. No question but that Seattle is awesome compared to Ohio.

    My daughters in their early 20s feel the same way. CA to Seattle back and forth, but one of them in their early 20s tried going back to PA and was back in Seattle within 6 months.

    Just find a place to rent until you get acclimated. Maybe a short term rental so your fiance doesn’t feel stuck where she is and is active inthe process of deciding where to live. The move may be harder for her than for you since you have historically commuted long distance to work, which is not the norm.

    Good luck! If it’s a good job move, go for it. Seattle is not just a great place to visit.

  261. AJ, I second that – take the plunge! My dad grew up in rural New Jersey (it exists!) and moved out to Seattle in his 20s, with a stop in Wisconsin along the way.

    As a mechanic, you’ll be working near Seatac, which means you have a wide range of living choices – urban Seattle is North, urban neighborhood-y West Seattle is a short commute from Seatac, gritty Georgetown is just North of Boeing Field, loud and cheap Seatac is out your back door.

    20s and you like to party – get a place in Georgetown if you like to party with the artsy crowd (look up the Nine Pound Hammer), Tacoma if you like to party with the small town crowd (20 minutes to the south), Capitol Hill if you like to party with the alt crowd, and West Seattle or Beacon Hill if you like to party before retreating back to your quiet neighborhood.

  262. Thanks so much for the quick feedback Ardell and Galen. I am trying to get the confidence to call Continental and accept the offer. I’m terrified! I’ve never left my hometown so this is a huge decision for me to make. Especially because they only gave me 3 days to decide. My main concern is my house here in Ohio. I guess if I can’t rent, lease, or sell I could just foreclose. From what I’ve seen on the news I wouldn’t be the first person to have to go that route. There seem to be a lot of foreclosures across the nation. I figure that I am young enough to repair the damage that foreclosure would do to my credit. I am a musician and love seeing live music. I think Seattle would be a great place in that capacity. Right now I am just thinking out loud…trying to convince myself to go. My fiance wants to go. The only thing that really bothers me is the weather. I will be working outside. That cold rain doesn’t sound too good! But if you guys say it’s worth it…

  263. I think you will be making an excellent decision by moving to Seattle. It is an awesome city and there is so much stuff to do if you are young and like to have fun. The music scene is incredible. My boyfriend and I are young as well (I’m in my mid-twenties) and we love to go out and have a good time. We would be happy to give you some advice on fun stuff to do and finding the right area to live in.

  264. AJ – Burien’s downtown is pretty cool. They’ve just renovated a major portion of it and are keeping a lot of it’s older charm too.

    Des Moines is a very charming waterfront town.

    Both of these towns are very close to SeaTac. I lived in Des Moines and my hubby grew up in the Burien area. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Burien might be more affordable than Des Moines…I’m guessing…

  265. Hi AJ,

    Burien is up and coming and Olde Burien is turning into a cool destination, although it might be a little on the quiet side for 20’s. Galen’s suggestions are also very good. I would also suggest West Seattle, which would still be close to Seatac airport and an easy commute (depending on where in WS). Some of West Seattle neightborhoods have pretty active communities and are very walkable.

    West Seattle is pricier than Burien and Des Moines, but might be a good choice as a first place for 6 months, a year or until you decide what neighborhood really appeals to you. Of course moving close to work first (lower price for rent too) to Tukwila, Seatac, Burien, or Des Moines could be a good move too. When I moved from Southern California I wound up renting an apt in Tukwila for 18 months until I bought my house.

    So what was your decision with your 3 days to make it ?

  266. I decided to go! I’m moving to Seattle! Now I’m just trying to figure out where to rent an apartment. Could anyone tell me where NOT to rent? Are there any ghetto areas to stay away from?

  267. Welcome to Seattle AJ!

    Seattle is often very mixed for housing. Because Seattle is so hilly, it often depends on Views. Well cared for neighborhoods (often with views) can be next to neglected neighborhoods (without views).

    Generally the neighborhoods that everyone suggested would be good, although some of them have areas that could be called transitional. I would say that it is all about your definition of what constitutes a good neighborhood. One you will have to determin yourself when you come here for a couple of days to find an apt. and you drive around the various areas. I have a friend who usually jokes that when he comes to my neighborhood he expects “gunshots”, of course he lives on Clyde Hill.

  268. Aj, my friend just moved from there. It could be considered “transitional,” but you’re in Seattle – there aren’t any scary neighborhoods here.

    It’s sort of deep from Seattle though – like a 20-25 minute drive to any non-neighborhood nightlife and the bars I’ve been to there are definitely exciting in a way that my friends weren’t interested in seeing again.

  269. Westwood, is Okaaaay…

    I have a couple of friends who bought near there. It has a very nice shopping center/mall. You are very close to White Center, however, I wouldn’t venture too far over the border at night unless you keep company with a dozen hefty Samoans. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’m only partially kidding. I spend time in White Center, and though there is some gun-play, generally I don’t feel too nervous there. The problem is it is patrolled by King County sheriffs as it is unincorporated, and they are spread too thin. There are some interesting bars and restaurants on the wrong side of the City Line, however. Westwood itself is pretty sleepy and lower-middle class suburban, for the most part.

    Downtown Burien seems to be up and coming – I even go out of my way to visit a Brewery down there.

    West Seattle closer to Alaska and California has a bit more nightlife and youth, but nothing really hopping.

    Georgetown, just north of Boeing Field is becoming sort of edgy-hipster land. Post-industrial low-rent area. A number of edgy bars and restaurants, though I don’t know anyone who actually lives there. There aren’t many housing options I don’t think.

    If you want to get more into Seattle proper with a bit longer commute, Belltown, Capital Hill and Fremont are where I found the best bars and restaurants to go out when I was in my 20s. Pricier rents though. Old-town Ballard and parts of Queen Anne are also worth considering, which wasn’t the case 10 years ago.

  270. I’m really looking for a place where we could walk to bars and restaurants. It just seems like rent is really high in the downtown area. Are all the hopping places where you don’t need to drive everywhere really expensive?

  271. Ah…come on, biliruben….Alki in West Seattle can be pretty hopping and you can walk or taxi somewhere. The Junction (in W Sea) has a decent night life, too…now I should disclose that although I’m a resident, I don’t typically hang out too late as we have three teens…

    I’m not sure if it is really expensive to rent there or what really expensive is. The closer you are to downtown Seattle, the more expensive it will be.

    West Seattle also has great restaurants.

    I love Ballard, too…

    I still think if you’re looking for more affordable and near SeaTac, Burien may be your best bet.

    I did live in Des Moines right after my divorce over 10 years ago…it’s more ‘hip’ now and I did go out to down town back then…the nice thing about Des Moines and Burien is that it’s so centrally located. You can’t really walk to great bars (beyond the neighborhood) but you can taxi or drive (responsibly…I’m such a mother).

    I wonder what Karen Kirr would recommend?

  272. Hey Galen – Yeah! except you may have caught me 10 months too late. I have a wee boy that forces a long negotiation for nightlife these days. I may be in the death-throws and moving closer to fuddy-duddy-dum, sadly. The boy is more than enough compensation, fortunately.

    I do manage a bit of poker in White Center on occasion however! There actually used to be a table in the back of Magic Lanes which was pretty fun for the novice. No more. Now Roxy’s or my bud’s basement is about it for me.

    I really like Pacific Rim Brewery. Their beer and clientelle are always a crapshoot, but never boring. Rat City IPA. Yum.

    AJ – You can find deals in and around Fremont, Cap. Hill, particularly if you don’t mind renting a house, or part of a house or living in a dated apartment or condo building. They are a bit hard to find, paritcularly now, and take a bit of time and legwork, but they can me found. Up until 4 years ago, I lived in a spacious 2 bedroom a 3 blocks for 20 bars and restaurants in Fremont for 800/mo. They can be found, but they may not be advertised. If you are willing to share a house, then it opens up a lot more options. Probably tougher in Belltown, because it’s mostly new construction with views. That’s pricey.

    My guess is that, as for-sale inventory is near record levels right now, a lot of that is going to end up back in the rental market sooner or later, alleviating the rental vacancy crunch we are currently experiencing. It may be a year or two, however, so find something you can enjoy, sign a year lease for maybe a bit more than you can afford, get to know the neighborhoods, and then maybe make a more permanent move after that.

    The commute from the central, more exciting neighborhoods like Fremont, Ballard, Cap Hill and Belltown, will actually be reverse commuting for you. It shouldn’t be very painful at all – 15 to 20 minutes. Well worth it if you like night life.

    Rhonda – yeah the junction is okay and getting better, but still pretty limited options. I like Alki as a destination for a bike ride, but I don’t think my idea of “hopping” is the same as yours. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  273. biliruben, I don’t do much hopping anymore…in fact, I can’t remember the last time I hopped! ๐Ÿ™‚ We have three teens and pretty much hang at home, neighbors or family. We do like to play our music to show the teens “real rock” and I’m happy to say that they do seem to have a great appreciation for Zeplin, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones…my son use to like the Beattles but now won’t admit it. I have more fun at home (plus I love cooking) listening to tunes.

    Every so often we go out…if we don’t have the kids, we might go to Beato for their wine flight and some appetizers (can be a spendy night)…we also like the Mission with or without the kids on California. Blackbird has the best brunch. Circa’s fun, too…great food–needs a better wine list.

    I sound like an old fart!

  274. Hi everyone!

    I’ve really enjoyed reading all the tips so far. I’ve got a question about job searching! First, a little background. I’m currently living in Rhode Island, and my sister is going to school in Vancouver, BC. We’re planning to be roommates in Seattle this spring right after she graduates. Locating an apartment isn’t going to be too big of a problem, thanks to a relocation program with my current rental company. But I’m wondering how many of you newbies had success getting a job while applying from out of town. I’ve just started my job search, but I’m worried the Rhode Island address will be off-putting to those reading my resume. I can’t afford to move without a job, so I need all the help I can get! I’m so excited to be making this move, and to be back with my sister again, but all the unknowns are a little scary. Thanks in advance!

  275. Hi Keva,

    What is your profession? I would imagine that most companies would not find someone’s out of state address off putting, especially if the type of postition is one that is always looking for good people.

    When I moved here it was to relocate within my company, although I actually did give notice to leave when I decided to move to Seattle. My company offered me a postion in Seattle, so I wound up transfering.

    I would use continue using the internet to scout out companies and want ads to get a feel for jobs in Seattle.

    Good luck with your job search and moving to Seattle, and let us know what you end up doing!

  276. Hey everyone ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m considering making the move from Spokane to Seattle. My live-in boyfriend is moving to Seattle for grad school at U of W, whereas I’m in Spokane taking law school at Gonzaga. I’d of course have to transfer to Seattle U but that won’t be a problem.

    Just wondering how the moving experience is. We’d have to get a huge U-Haul and a trailer for one of our cars to get there. Best bet to scout some places beforehand and get the lease done? Don’t want to have to keep the U-Haul packed with stuff too long. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Hopefully, Seattle isn’t as dreary and boring as Spokane! LOL. But really, dreary isn’t what I’m concerned with anyways. Law school already makes me dreary. ๐Ÿ˜€


  277. Hi Deborah,

    Thanks for getting back to me. I actually work in TV News, but am trying to get out of that if I can. After 7 years it’s gotten too depressing! I’m looking for any type of position where I can use my communications skills. My journalism background is helpful, but I’ve been in TV land so long, it’s hard to gauge what’s valuable in the “real world”. The hunt continues! ๐Ÿ™‚

  278. Hi Keva,

    Well, I’d have to say it’s tougher switching careers and moving to another state at the same time, but that just means being more creative in terms of your options. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I would imagine that good communication skills would transfer to many companies perhaps in PR or ? There are many great companies that would be looking for effective personal.

    If finding career position proves to be more challenging, you may want to investigate temp work to “try out” different companies and postions until you find a good match.

    Of course the fall back would be to find a postition in TV News here, then later begin making your career change. Although I actually imagine that finding work in that industry is challenging since there would be a narrower range of companies to work with.

    Best wishes on your journey, let us know what you end up doing!

  279. Hi Daisy,

    Yes, I would find a place first, then pack up and move with your U-haul. Too dicey to try and do it on one trip, the rental market (vacancies) is a little on the tight side right now.

    We don’t have the snow that Spokane has, or the heat in the summer, as to “dreariness” I’m not sure how Spokane compares at least as to weather. In terms of things to do, places to go etc., I’m sure you will have many, many more options! ๐Ÿ™‚

  280. Hi Deborah,

    Making so many changes at once may prove to be a bad idea, but we’ll see. I should look into some temp places, that’s a good idea!

    I may have to look elsewhere for apartments too, after doing a little more research I’ve found that the places my rental company has aren’t in the safest areas, so that throws a wrinkle in things as well. But I figure if this is meant to be everything will work out as it should.

    In the meantime, I’ll keep lurking here. It’s been fun getting to read all the different points of view on the city!

  281. Hi Keva,

    Lurk away! ๐Ÿ™‚

    For finding a place, it might be a good idea if you don’t use your relo rental company, to have your sister drive down from Vancover BC for a long weekend to do some rental hunting. Maybe plan on doing it again the following weekend in case something is not found the first. That way your sister can see the different nieghborhoods and locations the first weekend and you both can also talk about it too.

    Good luck with everything!

  282. Hello,
    My husband and I are thinking of moving to the Seattle area from So.California. I am in the Law Enforcement career and I would like to hear any feedback on your views of the police departments and King County Sheriff.

  283. Hi, folks —

    I’ve lived in Seattle for almost 9 years; I moved up from the SF Bay Area when my (then-)husband got the offer he couldn’t refuse from Microsoft. I am a clinical psychologist. I’m here to tell you: the “Seattle Freeze” is for real. People who move here are constantly talking to us in the mental health business, and we have to let them know that really, it’s not them; it’s the environment of Seattle. I have experienced it myself. People who live here, especially if they’re natives, are polite but distant.

    When I first moved here, I followed one of the classic dictums for meeting people, and took a class. I hit it off with one of the other women in the course — or so I thought. When I asked her if she’d be interested in going to get some coffee some time, her response (and I quote) was “I’m sorry, but I don’t have the time to get to know anyone new.” She continued to be polite thereafter; her demeanor didn’t change. That summarizes my experiences here in a nutshell.

    In graduate school here, a group of us from out of town would invite everyone in our classes to go out for drinks at the end of the term. The folks who were transplants would go. The natives were “just too busy.” Both sets of people had children, spouses, etc.; our take was bring them along. Locals don’t do that.

    The people that I have met who moved here who have done the best have gotten to know others through things like their children’s play groups. The ones who have not done well tend to be single or in a relationship that does not involve children. Having a network of parents whose children have common activities seems to be key.

    My experience in Seattle has been completely unlike when I moved from the East Coast to San Francisco, where many of my closest friends were made, and where people enjoy socializing and exchanging ideas. I still think the Bay Area is one of the friendliest places on earth. After my nine years here, there’s only one couple that I feel will be my friends for life; he was raised in Baltimore; she was raised in Beijing. If you move here from out of town, you should expect that most of your friends will also be transplants.

    I’m thinking of respecializing my practice, and when I do so, the odds are good that I will move back to the Golden State. Despite having people skills (it’s what I do for a living), I still don’t think of Seattle as “home” because of the lack of human connection.

  284. Chris, that’s very interesting. I could very well be one those “distant Seattle-ites”. By the time I get home, I’m dealing with focusing on our three teens. We visit with our neighbors and family but we honestly do not have extra time for much else outside of our family and jobs. Do you think its demographics?

    When I was first divorced, I did go out more…it was a different phase in my life.

    Maybe it’s the weather? We see our neighbors more when it’s sunny out and less once weather comes…it’s kind of funny, almost like we’re hibernating. In the summer, we will actually have our heads over each others fences asking what the other is making for dinner. Often times we combine the meals.

    I don’t view myself as distant. I am very focused on family, work…oh yeah…and blogging. ๐Ÿ™‚

  285. Hi, Rhonda —

    No, I don’t think it’s demographics. The Seattle Freeze goes across race, age, and economic class, based on what is known in the mental health community. The issue of “hibernation” actually may be a factor in why it’s a part of the Seattle social fabric. There may be more mingling during the summer, but summer here really only lasts about two and a half months. That means there are nine and a half months for people to isolate themselves by staying indoors. It still doesn’t explain why someone won’t accept an invitation for a cup of coffee, however.

    Most folks who grew up here don’t view themselves as “distant.” To their families, they aren’t distant. However, they *are* distant to new people. There’s confusion about “polite” equalling “accessable;” they are definitely not the same.

  286. Gosh Chris, my buddies, nearly all of whom I met in the last 4 years, go out for drinks and dinner much more in the winter because we aren’t as busy with outdoorsy stuff. It definitely took me some time to make “real” friends, but I didn’t really have the problems you describe. In fact, I was probably the Seattle Freeze guy at my old job – the new folks used to go out all the time, but I was usually busy with my non-job friends.

    If you’re here from out of town, you should absolutely expect most of your friends will be out of towners due to basic odds. There are way more out of towners in Seattle than in towners.

  287. Chris, I got in an argument with my friends last night. Perhaps the Seattle freeze is sort of real. They seemed to think so. I just assumed it took a while to make friends everywhere and that a lot of people everywhere are flakes.

  288. Hi, Galen —

    I think it’s that last sentence — “I just assumed it took a while to make friends everywhere and that a lot of people everywhere are flakes” — which is the telling one.

    In most places, when someone says, “Shall we go out for coffee?,” the response “yes” means “How about in the next week?” Here, it tends to mean, “I’m just saying ‘yes’ to be polite.” If the latter is the definition of a “flake,” then yes, there are a lot of flakes in Seattle, but fewer in other places.

    It’s the common set of assumptions on how to make friends that is quite different here in Seattle than it is in many other parts of the country. It truly doesn’t take that long to become a part of a community in the rest of the country. I’ve lived in Florida, New England, Colorado, and San Francisco, so I have some basis for comparison. Natives here really are different regarding their interest in getting to know new people.

  289. One other comment, Galen. It’s interesting to see the line, “the new folks used to go out all the time, but I was usually busy with my non-job friends.” Therein is an important insight into the Seattle Freeze. I can’t think of another place that I’ve lived where there was a difference between “the new folks” and “my non-job friends” or “my church friends” or “my (fill-in-the-blank) friends.” However, it seems like many people here look at socialization that way.

    In the other places I’ve lived, there wasn’t a segmentation between the classes of friends. Typically, if I got along well with someone, they’d probably get along well with the rest of my friends. For example, if I was going out for dinner with friends I knew from a women’s networking group I belonged to, and I met a new woman in the neighborhood who just moved into town and with whom I got along, I’d ask if she’d like to come to dinner as well. It helped her become a part of the community, and “the more the merrier” made for a great new viewpoint in the dinner conversation. This is how the other parts of the country seem to work.

    It leads to the question: why are the people in someone’s life kept separate by ‘function’, which is often the habit here in Seattle? Isolating people from each other by role is something I don’t understand, but seems to be the practice here.

  290. Chris, the simple answer is, in spite of how cool I think I am, my friends sometimes make plans to do stuff. For instance, they would make plans to go see a movie and my co-workers would make plans to go to happy hour and I would have to choose. Often I would happy hour for an hour, then go on to the friend’s stuff, but I couldn’t coax either group either way. I do attend work functions with some of my friends and my friends and I drag new co-workers out on trips with my friends, but according to my friends, who spent two years without friends, we are not the norm. I felt like I just didn’t “click” with anyone for my first year or two in town.

    This story actually reminds me of my Seattle friend’s dislike of Minnesota: according to him, everyone who grows up there, stays there, and they only associate with their high school and college friends. So when my friend moved there at 23, he befriended a few out of towners, who collectively considered themselves the outsiders. He moved out to Seattle, which he considers much friendlier. He then moved to Washington DC (no friends – none – in 2 years), then moved back.

  291. No Seattle Freeze for me. I’m even friends with Galen ๐Ÿ™‚ I have more friends in Seattle than I can possibly keep up with, and they are combined Seattle natives and transplants. I think Seattle is the best of all worlds and have met hundreds of great people since I moved here in February of 2004 and many “friends for life”.

  292. Hi – I just got offered a position at a company in Bothell. I moved to Seattle about a month ago and have been living with my aunt in Queen Anne. I moved to Seattle so I could experience city life in a multi-cultural city. I’m not sure if Bothell will really give me that. I’d like to live downtown here in Seattle or Bellevue. Do you think I’d be out of my mind to think of commuting to Bothell? Thanks!

  293. Bothell is not a horrible commute from Seattle or Bellevue, especially if you can do off hours (and if you don’t think 30-45 minutes in a car is the end of the world). I personally think Seattle is a little more exciting and “urban” than Bellevue.

    I’d take a look at taking the bus – then you can get work done or relax on the way to and from work. And (shameless plug), once you find bus routes that will get you to your job, you can search for homes or condos near them on Estately.com. Unfortunately, we don’t have rentals if you’re planning on renting.

  294. Hi New Res,

    Galen’s suggestions are good ones. Commuting from Seattle or Bellevue to Bothell are reverse commutes, although the commute won’t feel like that when the traffic is bad. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Seattle will have the more urban, “multi-cultural” experience that is sounds like you are interested in. Since you are here already, you can certainly test the commute from Bellevue to Bothell to see how it compares, and check out the lifestyles in both areas.

    Let us know what you decide!

  295. I live in Los Angeles, and as i keep up with this sight I keep reading about how bad the traffic is in and around downtown Seattle. We have th e 405 and the 101 and 110 and these are known as very very bad traffic. Is Seattle worse than that? i hope not.

  296. I lived in Santa Ana (Orange County CA) for 5 years before I moved to Seattle and Hated the times I had to commute north of Long Beach (not often). The traffic seemed like you were never going to get somewhere because for the most part the scenery never seemed to change.

    Yes, the commutes here can be bad, but not as bad, and you get to enjoy some really cool scenery. Is Mt Rainier out when you drive over one of Lake Washington bridges? Can you see the Olympics across the Sound, what about watching a Ferry? Of course there are sections that are less interesting as you get further from Downtown, but over all the scenery adds a bit of enjoyment to the time.

  297. I went to Seattle 3 years ago for spring break and I loved it! I finish school in the spring of 08 and I’m determined to start a career at Boeing. Can someone give me advice for finding a neighborhood that is great for a young family and reasonably priced.

  298. Beacon Hill or Lake City / Shoreline, depending on your job being at Boeing Field or Boeing Everett. Beacon Hill is up-and-coming and will be the place to live in 5 years when light rail is running through it. Ideally, you’ll live within 6 blocks of a stop.

  299. Boeing could mean a lot of different areas. They have stuff north and south of Seattle.

    I’d disagree with Beacon Hill and Shoreline because I don’t think either meets the reasonably priced criteria.

    If you’re south, I’d strongly recommend Fairwood Greens, or one of the related areas around it, assuming you can handle a HOA. Reasonably priced, and it’s like something out of the 70s when you consider raising kids. If north I’d probably consider something either north of Everett or the town of Snohomish.

  300. Kary is right – what do you mean by reasonably priced, Cory? We are talking Seattle real estate, so nothing is reasonable when you compare it to the $95,000 homes in Detroit.

  301. No poker in Seattle, but there is poker in bars just outside the city limits. You can play poker with the most eclectic group of people I’ve ever seen together in a bar in White Center, just South of the city.

    Casinos are “card rooms” and are also just outside the city. They don’t have slots. You have to drive 20-30 minutes to get to a reservation to go to a “real” casino. Yee-haw!

  302. I hate this article, and I’d suggest that the author is pretentious. This is a high-tech city. I have many more IT people here than I have airplane folks.

  303. Alyssa, we hate visitors and we all wear fleece. Or at least we used to all wear fleece. And tevas with socks. Now Seattle is only a little behind the times, and parts like Capitol Hill are downright hipsterish. I’m holding out on the tapered look for another year though.

    I don’t think there is much in the way of fashion jobs, but there are a lot of second hand clothing stores. And there are some art galleries.

  304. Hey everyone!

    I am moving to Seattle from Hawaii, big change, I know. Are there any jobs related to fashion/clothes/art, etc…?? How do people normally dress? I don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb. What towns are good to live in? And what is this “Seattle Freeze” all about?

  305. Hi Alyssa,

    Seattle does have a fledgling fashion awareness that have been developing recently. There are more, and boutiques in some of the neighborhoods like Capitol Hill, Ballard, Queen Anne, Downtown that have original designers featured, as well as interesting designers from elsewhere. Fremont’s Sunday Flea Market has been a launching pad for small scale designers for a while now, the most successful one I know of is Utililikilts which now has a store in Pioneer Square.

    You might want to read the online version of Seattle Weekly, they have a blog called Thread Count that posts abouth art and fashion: http://www.seattleweekly.com/threadcount/

    Job wise, I would say mostly retail customer service. There are a few companies doing design and but they tend to be more outdoor recreational , of course there is always Nordstrom!

    Lots of gallaries, but most are small scale and I would imagine that any who can afford to hire, probably hire sales people with some education in art. You might be able to volunteer at a small gallery for some hands on experince, I did that for a short time after college.

    Dustin has a blog link in sidebar under Seattle Neighborhood Blogs called Pike/Pine where the author takes “Man (Woman) on the Street” photos of ordinary people she captures in photos who have a certain creative fashion flair.

    Welcome to Seattle!

  306. alyssa,

    The one purchase I made when moving to Seattle that I’ve used and used again is my fleece jacket from REI. The hiking boots are still like new though, as are most of the rest of the things I bought.

    The REI salesman in L.A. said “Where are you going?” I said I’m moving to Seattle. He said, keep the receipt as you’ll be bringing most of this stuff back…it ain’t Alaska.”

  307. deborah, ardell, and galen :

    thanks for all your help. i’m sure everything will work out smoothly. and thank you deborah for that website! truly very helpful!!

  308. Hi Everyone,

    I currently live in South Orange County, CA and have been here for 15 of my 35 years… I need to start thinking of my career, and can no longer just live where I want to.

    I put my resume out there, and have the opportunity to move to Boston, Atlanta or Seattle. Seattle seems the most interesting to me, but I’m worried about the weather and culture.

    My wife has visited Seattle a couple of times when her parents were there for a year long job assignment. She loves the culture and seems to prefer it to any of my other choices.

    My questions are:

    1. Does the weather really make a person depressed?

    2. We want to rent for the first year or two- my job will be near down-town and can afford about $2500 to $3500 per month. What is the best place to rent a house (3 bedroom) without a huge commute?

    3. Is Seattle Pet-Friendly? We have two dogs.

    4. My wife is a network administrator, how are IT jobs there?

    Thank you for your input!



  309. Hi Ron645,

    I moved here from Santa Ana in 1994, and I m glad that I did.

    Your choices of cities looks good, although I have never lived in either of the other two, I would say our weather is much better, since the one summer I spent in Alabama taught me that high humidity is too oppressive for me.

    Okay, now for your questions:

    1) For some people the weather can be depressing, although we do have some spectacularly sunny days through out the year, even in winter.

    2) Saturday I was looking at the rental market and I saw some good single family home lisitngs on the MLS for leases in Magnolia, and Queen Anne for between $2,300 and under $3,500 all of these are close communtes to Downtown. See mls #28007596, #27207920, #28005329, #27177638, and #2718209. You can also look on our local Craigslist to get a good idea.

    3) VERY pet friendly!

    4) Since we are a very tech savvy city I would say generally there should not be any problems in finding an IT job.

    Also, you might want to look at this post I wrote yesterday: http://www.raincityguide.com/2008/01/14/why-did-you-move-to-seattle/

    I hope this helps Ron!

  310. Thank you for the information Deborah! I appreciate it and will call you if Seattle ends up being where we go…

    I’ve been checking out Craigslist and see all sorts of beautiful houses for rent. It’s tough knowing the commuting issues though, just as someone moving to Greater LA would not know which freeways are bearable and which are horrible.

    I guess that is what good realtors are for though ๐Ÿ™‚

    It is also tough since where we live will also be impacted by where my wife finds employment.

    Again, thanks for the help!

  311. Ron, as a native, I’d have to ask what is wrong with our weather? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Back in 1976-77 we had a drought. The lack of rain drove me nuts. The first time it rained I actually went out and walked in it without a coat.

    Also, you’ll find our freeway system perhaps congested, but not nearly as complicated as LA’s. Checkout Trafficgauge.com and compare their units for Seattle and LA.

  312. Hi Ron645,

    You are welcome!

    If you and your wife do decide to move to Seattle, just let me know where your wife is likely to work, and we’ll put that into the mix with your being downtown (if that’s where you end up) to give you an idea of what area would be a good start for you to think about leasing.

    The “Greater LA area” freeways are confusing to newcomers and the greater area is HUGE! ๐Ÿ™‚

  313. I’ll take LA freeways any day over crazy confusing Seattle freeways and surface streets. you all have offramp’s on the left side of the freeway!?!?

  314. Seattle’s surface streets are confusing due to all our water.

    I don’t mind the off-ramps on the left side–it’s the on-ramps on the left that I hate. Look at the Mercer one to I-5 North. It wouldn’t have cost that much to put the thing on the right side when they built I-5. To correct that mistake now would be terribly expensive.

  315. BTW, two surface street things that will help.

    1. Yesler and Madison are the only two streets that go through all the way east to west.

    2. Jesus Christ Made Seattle Under Protest.

    J=Jefferson and James
    C=Columbia and Cherry
    M=Madison and Marion
    U=Union and University
    P=Pike and Pine

    It’s the order of the streets in the downtown core, although I may have the pairs mixed up.

    And for proof you can find anything on the Internet:


  316. I can’t imagine that confusing streets would be an issue now that everyone has GPS… Anything has to be better than sitting on the 405 in LA for three hours.

    Now that I think of it, the rain there in Seattle is probably less depressing than enduring three hours of taillights and watching your life waste away.

  317. From what I can determine, Seattle’s traffic was second worst in the nation behind LA in 2001, but 12th worst in 2006. So I wouldn’t come to Seattle expecting great traffic. We even have our own 405!

  318. Kary, my choices at this point are Atlanta, Boston or Seattle… Atlanta traffic is really bad but I don’t know about Boston.

    I just got off the phone with the company and found out that I will be in charge of a team of outside sales reps that cover everything north of the “90” and east of “the lake”, all the way up to the border.

    Therefore, I would probably want to live east of Mercer Island even though my office would be just south of Seattle.

    How is this area? Redmond, Bellvue, Everett etc…

  319. Hi Ron645,

    Lots of nice areas in that quadrant of “Seattle”. The eastside is a bit different from Seattle, since it was developed later after everyone bought cars. Larger lots and newer homes (scattered here and there are some older homes) built in the 50’s and still being built in newer subdivsions, more like Southern California. Better roads too! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Some cities would be; Bothell, maybe Woodinville if you would like a more rural area. Bellevue itself kind of reminds me of parts of Irvine and Mission Viejo, although with split levels and modern craftsman homes rather than mission or ranch homes.

  320. Thanks again Deborah! I’m getting excited about Seattle now… I have more questions for you, but would like to go further into my situation.

    1. As I’ve mentioned, my office will be south of downtown. A place called Tukwila. I will need to commute there and the aformentioned quadrent.

    2. I have two dogs- a 103 lb. Doberman and a 50 lb. mut. They are both extensively trained and obedient. The Doberman placed #2 in the city for obedience training.

    3. Our credit has always been good but not for long. My wife’s FICO was 740 and mine was 700. However, we will be short selling our properties here in SoCal. We have our house ($5200+ mortgage) and an income property ($3100 mortgage). They will most likely be short sales. We have owned several properties in the past with good history, and were never late on the current ones.

    4. By the time we move out there, we will have plenty of cash to put down on a rental for deposits, pet deposits, etc.

    Any suggestions?

  321. Hi Ron645

    Funny when I moved from Santa Ana (CA) I first rented an apt in Tukwila!

    The commute between Bellevue and Tukwila can be not so fun although it would be a reverse commute if you were headed towards Tukwila in the AM from Bellevue, as traffic goes TOWARDS Bellevue, just as on the Seattle side traffic goes TOWARDS Seattle in the mornings and AWAY from Bellevue and Seattle in the evenings.

    Leasing with two large dogs does make it more challenging, although the fact that they are well trained is good. You might want to have copies of their training certificates to give to potential landlords to demostrate that they have undergone training and are well behaved.

    I am not sure exactly what kind of numbers in your credit scores landlords would be looking for, although what they would be looking for would to judge how likely you would be pay your rent and on time. If you have rented in the past 10 years you might want to contact your previous landlord (s) and ask them to be a reference for you.

    If you are having to do short sales, you may not have as much cash as you think since a short sale would mean the lender having to take a loss and the lender would want to minimize their losses, which means that you may have to bring money at closing. You should talk to an RE lawyer in your area to find out exactly how a short sale will impact you. You may find out that renting your current properties would be better for you in the long run.

    As to location for a rental, find out how often you would have to go to your office in Tukwila. If it’s often, then you might want to look at places from the I-90 and south ( like Newcastle). If you won’t be going to the office much, then I would look north of the I-5. You want to avoid having to drive through Bellevue between the I-90 and the I-5 if you can, just because that is where the most congestion is.

    Let us know what you decide! ๐Ÿ™‚

  322. Hi,

    My wife and I will soon be moving to the Seattle area from the UK… quite daunting to say the least! We do not know the city at all but we were thinking about the Renton (Highlands?) area. We are going to need to lease for 6 months so we can get to know the place a bit better then decide on where we are going to settle. However, like the previous post we have two large dogs (Lab and Boxer) that will be coming with us that could make thing difficult! Any suggestions on what we can do to make the process easier? Also, any general comments on the Renton neighbourhood?

    Many Thanks,


  323. Hi K & T,

    Wow, moving from the UK to Seattle is a jump! My best friend’s parents moved from the UK to the Southwest US, in the late 60’s but they lived in Canada for a few years before.

    What lead you to consider the city of Renton and the Renton Highlands? Renton, which is Southeast of Seattle (and Lake Washington) is generally a “bedroom” community for comuting to Seattle and Bellevue. Renton is where one of the Boeing plants are, are you working for Boeing?

    Renton, like a lot of areas around Seattle is experiencing a bit of revitalization in the downtown area, which is drawing some condo and business development in that area. The surrouding surburban Renton neighborhoods are mostly single family homes ranging from older 2 and 3 bedroom, 1 bath homes, and much larger (3 to 5 bedrooms with 2.5 or more baths) newer and new homes.

    What I wrote about to Ron645 and his large dogs would be good ideas for you too. Seattle is a very dog friendly city, but landlords want assurances that their property is not abused, so whatever you can do to help them to know that you are responsible dog owners will help you. There may also be a pet deposit that you will have to make with your lease.

    Depending on your lifestyle, and where you will be working, you may want to consider closer to Seattle so that you will have a more varied experience and have increased opportunity to experience differnet parts of Seattle and neighborhoods while you are leasing.

    Good luck and keep in touch!

  324. Hi Ron645,

    I just realized when I was responding to K & T above about their dogs and read what I wrote to you, that I wrote the wrong freeway. It’s the 520 that you would want to live north of, not the I-5 which runs north and south!

  325. I’m at a total loss on that one, K. Seems you would have to have a place lined up before you arrive. Or do hotels have accommodations for two big dogs? Seems to me…not. Best bet is a small, older house. You may have to rent it for a full year though. Most owners will not take on too big dogs at all, let alone on a short term lease. You may have to trade off condition of accommodations for the pet issue. Homes in the best condition will be less likely to agree to the pets.

    Renton is not in my area of expertise, but I do believe you can likely find a house for rent there.

  326. This is my day to link to prior pieces I did. K&T won’t get the humor about Renton, but some of the comments to the piece might be useful:


    We recently moved to the Renton area (Fairwood Greens) after looking pretty much all over King County (we only excluded the south half of Kent, Auburn and Federal Way as being too far south). The values in Renton are great, and most of the neighborhoods are well kept up. And while the commute is a bit longer than our prior commute from South Seattle, at least we have three options to get to Seattle (West to I-5, North on 405 to I-90 and straight through Renton to I-5, MLK, Rainier or Airport Way).

  327. K&T,
    Renton was my stomping grounds as a kid (it’s changed a lot!) and a few years ago, I used tour RE agents in conjunction with the Greater Renton Chamber of Commerce. Renton has many communities that each have their own characters and charm. There is Kennydale, the Highlands, downtown, Renton Hill, Fairwood…I know I’m missing a bunch. The City Council has been very busy reorganzing Renton over the years with reorganzing where the car lots used to be to a more convenient location right off the freeway and creating more of down town and common areas. They’ve also been busy promoting Renton, as Kary’s post demonstrates. ๐Ÿ™‚ Where Renton used to be considered more of a blue-collar-working-class-Boeing-town…it’s changed a bit from that (and there’s a lot more to Renton than Boeing now). I hate to call it south Bellevue…but in my opinion it kind of is (nothing wrong with that I guess). Renton is conveniently located between Bellevue and Seattle…this also means you get to deal with the s-curbs (405).

    I think Renton is a great place to live. ๐Ÿ™‚ The Highlands was my old neighborhood…I’m a Hazen HS grad. It’s close to Issaquah or you can take Duvall through Newport Hills as a backstreet to Bellevue.

    Good luck!

  328. Thanks everyone – great responses!!

    Firstly, we’ve decided on Seattle after considering a number of options but to cut a long story short the combination of lifestyle, cost of living and climate (it rains a lot here too!!) in Seattle just felt right!

    I thought Renton would be a good option as we will probably both be working from home (we are both in the BioTech/Pharma field) but need good access to the freeway network and airport, it is close to the lake and the homes seem to be very affordable for an area that is undergoing a lot of rejuvination. To be honest though we could go anywhere but Renton ticked a lot of boxes – any other suggestion would be welcome!

    To answer Ardell, we are going to come out for week about a month before we move to find a place and when we move the dogs will stay here for a week then follow us on! I think it will be tough to find a place, another option would be to live further away from the city, where the homes have more land and look to be more pet friendly but we don’t want to be isolated when we move.

    One question on leasing, how long would it normally take from finding a place to moving in – here a month is standard but I need to make sure we time it right!

    Thanks again – you’ve all been great!


  329. Hello again, everyone.

    I posted here a few months ago about a move to Seattle, and as the time draws closer, I’m back again! This time I’m wondering if any of you have recommendations for temp employment agencies. I haven’t had much luck finding a job in my current field (I think the Rhode Island address on the resume is a bit off-putting!) and was thinking of trying to line up some temporary employment. I can’t really afford to move without a job, but I’d be happy to do just about anything while I’m looking for a permanent gig. I have a background in news but am looking to get into the PR/media relations/communications business. Any recs would be most helpful! I’m hoping to be in town by the beginning of March. Thanks in advance!


  330. Wow, what a lot of helpful information! We are considering moving from Anchorage, Alaska in the next year or two. My husband is a chiropractor and I am a stay-at-home mom. What is the city planning like in Seattle? In Anchorage, because of an ineffient method of zoning, it is necessary to drive (lack of pedestrian pathways) 5 to 10 miles for any shopping from most residential zones. What areas of Seattle are the best for walking distances, and by walking distance I mean under 5 miles. Parks and outdoor activities are an extremely important part of our lifestyle. What areas would you suggest?

  331. Hi Keva,

    I just googled Seattle Temp agencies and got a lot of interesting sites, so you might try that. The only one I know of someone using is Accountemps (accounting) and they were happy with how that worked for them.

    Good luck on the job hunt!

  332. Hi Mrs. Doc,

    Wow, 5 miles walking distance that’s pretty far! There are a lot of nieghborhoods close in the Seattle metro area that have nice little concentrated shopping areas with cafes, reataurants, shops, services, and some are close to great parks too. For the big shopping malls though they tend to be further out.

    On the side panel there are some neighborhood blogs that you might want to check out, although many neighborhoods don’t have anyone blogging about them, yet! Keep your eyes on the side panel for more when we find them.

    There is a site called walkscore that rates different neighborhoods by how walkable they are, although you do have to have an address to get a score. You could get addresses on one of the real esate websites for a sample house that you like and put in that address and get a walkability score and a list of the destinations that make up the final score. http://www.walkscore.com/walkable-neighborhoods.shtml

    Seattle has a lot of outdoor recreation to enjoy, so you will feel right at home!

  333. Ms. Doc – I am very partial to the core of Seattle for living near amenities. Capitol Hill, Fremont, Queen Anne, and the University District all have lots of stuff (groceries, shopping, restaurants) nearby housing. Parts of West Seattle, the Central Area, and Columbia City are also good. Kirkland is also a very walkable city.

    (shameless plug) Estately.com has a “nearby” button for every property, so you can see what is nearby in terms of schools, parks, and restaurants. For an even more thorough look at what is nearby, you can type any address into walkscore.com.

  334. Hi K&T,

    As you noted from my previous post, we have a similar dog issue as well. I’m not as worried about it now though like I origionally was. We have a rental property here in California and I know what it is like having the place sit vacant for a few months while still writing the mortgage payment.

    Since posting here I have spent a lot of time searching Craigslist and noticed that many of the houses for rent have been available for over a month or two- especially when you get into the $2000 and up range.

    I suspect that if you are willing to put down a handsome deposit for your puppies, you wont have any problems since nobody likes to have there property sit vacant. At least that is my plan if we relocate to Seattle.

  335. It’s final- we’re moving to Seattle! Just got the word today. So who here is a realtor? Need to find a rental house ๐Ÿ™‚

  336. I don’t do rentals, but if you give us the monthly amount, I’ll post the available rentals here with the numbers of the agents who have them listed for rent in the mls. Towns and price is all I need. Then check Craig’s list, etc…

  337. Thank you so much for your help Ardell! I beleive that Realtors are like Attorneys and CPAs- worth their wieght in gold…

    As for pricing, we would like to stay under $2500/mo if possible so we can save up. We would like a 3-bedroom house on the eastside.

    Thanks again for the help.

  338. Hi Ron645,

    The Windermere site I linked to on my comment #387 to K & T does allow searches for rental propery on the MLS, this link should take you to the rental search page:

    Then you can browes what’s available there to find out if there is something that appeals to you, many have photos and should be mappable from the listing too so you can see where the house is.

    Comment #387 also has a link to Craigslist too.

    Let us know how you are doing!

  339. Ron,

    Looks pretty good actually. I checked Bellevue, and 15 of the 26 houses for rent allow pets. One even has a dog run. We usually don’t contact people via email that comment here as it is bad “blogform”. But since I can see the ones that allow pets as that option exits in the mls search function, I’ll email you the string of property that permits pets with some restrictions.

    Agents fees are only 25% of a month’s rent, so after the office split they’d only make $465 on a rental of $2,500. But I once found an agent willing to do me a favor for an RCG reader with two dogs. In fact she found them a house that was FRBO that paid her nothing at all. She was “newly married Marty” and was coming here after the wedding ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ll send you the email of properties. Keep in touch and I’ll try to find someone who is available. If you can narrow it down from the string I’m sending that would help, though the list would need to be updated the day before you arrive.

    Best of luck to you. We’ll be as much help as we can. RCG readers get “special treatment”.

  340. Ron,

    I sent 29 properties that seem to allow pets. 15 from Bellevue and 14 from Renton. One very nice home asking $1,950 in Kennydale/Renton said “pets: no restriction”. I sent that in the group and sent it again separately. You can check the locations against where you will be working.

    That should give you ample to choose from. If you email me the ones you like, I’ll send you the listing agent’s contact info if you want to rent direct from the listing agent.

  341. Ardell and Deborah,

    Have a question(s): Why is it that Seattle itself seems a little cheaper for a comparable home than the East Side? Also, why is Renton so inexpensive? Is traffic terrible or something?

    Thanks! Ron

  342. Ron, you didn’t ask me, but IMHO, Seattle many Seattle neighborhoods are not kept up that well compared to what you see on the eastside. Renton is cheap because of the commutes, but I don’t think they’re necessarily any worse than the commutes to the north end of Lake Washington. And it doesn’t seem to have the inventory problems the north end has had.

  343. Thanks Kary… Is the traffic any worse from the North End, or is the North end better? My office is in Tukwila, but I will supervise 6 account executives that cover north of the 90 and west of the lake all the way up to the border so I will have to accompany them frequently.

    I suspect that my wife will work on the east side since she is in the IT field, but who knows- she may get a job downtown.

    Do you think the North end is better?

  344. Hi Ron,

    North or South would depend on how often you would have to be at your office in Tukwila. If you’re at the Tukwila office more times per week than traveling with the 6 AE’s then Renton would be good. But if you’re seldom at the Tukwila office I would say you’d be much better off living north of the 520.

    Living north of the 520 would give you a jump start in the right direction for your territory. The 405 has more lanes for commuters north of the 520, the 405 has fewer lanes south of the I-90, that makes some difference in traffic. Living north of the 520 would also put you in a reverse commute to Tukwila on the 405 after the I-90 interesection, although you would have heavy traffic on the 405 going south to and through Bellevue.

    The reverse would be true if you lived in Renton, heavy traffic going north to and through Bellevue, then after passing the 520 you would have the reverse commute and traffic would be lighter.

    The link I sent does have mapping for the listings so you should be able to see how those houses relate north and south to the I-90 and 520.

    Remember, you are going to have the opportunity to “test” how the commutes are since you are leasing ๐Ÿ™‚

  345. Tukwila will usually be flexible- when I get there, I get there type of thing. As for the territory, what usually happens is I will meet the AE somewhere and leave a car behind.

    What if my Kerry gets a job on the East Side? Is there any difference in commute there from North Bend and Renton area?

  346. Hi Ron,

    North Bend is a bit out there, and everyone goes one direction to and from work, west towards Bellevue then spliting off either south or north or continuing west to Seattle.

    If Kerry were to work in Bellevue or Redmond it’s not too long of a commute, although it’s a heavy one once you get to Issaquah. There is a good park and ride in Issaquah (Bellevue too) if she were to work in downtown Seattle. There was a post about that not too long ago, I’ll see if I can locate it and link it.

    Since Tukwila is flexible, I would say north of 520 or out east would work better for you and Kerry.

  347. My husband and I are both RN’s. We are planning on moving to seattle in about a year and a half. Does anyone have any opinions on Harborview hospital, Swedish hospital, or Northwest hospital? How about Northgate neighborhood? We are both also avid roleplaying gamers. WE dont really like D&D, but are interested in games like Warhammer, Mutants & Masterminds, Hollow Earth and similar games. We visited the area about three weeks ago and loved it, and are hoping to find friends with similar interests. I hope to hear from some others about what we can expect when we move there. We have lived in Knoxville TN for the past 6 yrs and talk about a small minded, freeze out mentality, we had to import a friend from Florida. Well thanks for any help you can offer.

  348. Terry, I once met some dudes who play non D&D roll playing games, but I don’t know which one. If you want to email me at (my name) at Estately.com I could try to hook you up with them. I think they throw a yearly party that in some way attracts a lot of gamers, but that may have been different.

    I grew up near Northgate (Lake City) – it’s very commercial. The area has good freeway access, relatively inexpensive housing, and, well, Northgate Mall. Here is 43places take: http://www.43places.com/places/view/249110/northgate-seattle-king-county

    As for the hospitals, I know people have very strong opinions about Harborview (in both directions), but I don’t really know much about the other two.

  349. Harborview is the burn center, and also sort of the public hospital. Swedish is probably considered the premier hospital in Seattle. I don’t know about Northwest, but there’s also Valley General down in Renton, and the Virginia Mason in Seattle proper (near Swedish).

    North Seattle is a relatively expensive area for what you get, but it’s reasonably nice, depending on the street.

    I have some clients that are into some type of gaming, but I don’t know which ones. They’re south end (Kent) however.

  350. Hello,

    My girlfriend and I are moving to the Seattle area in a month or two. While I will have a relocation assistance person, I was wondering if I could get some additional local advice for what neighborhoods to look at, especially with some varied commuting requirements. I’ll be working in Redmond, so I initially thought Kirkland. But my girlfriend may be getting a position that will have her going regularly to locations in Sea-Tac, downtown, and Kirkland. We plan on renting for up to a year and then buying a house. Our tentative budget is approximately 2000-2500/month (rent or mortgage). We currently live near Washington, DC, in an area that can be described as a “small town in the city”, near the river, and are looking for a similar environment. Ideas have included the north side (University and surrounding areas), Capitol Hill (trendiness alert?), Kirkland, and Bellevue (too suburban and upscale?). We’re definitely not suburban folks, more “semi-urban”, wanting to be able to walk within 15 minutes to grocery stores and restaurants. Any better ideas?

    thank you in advance,

  351. Hi Mark,

    The tricky thing is that one of you will have a commute accross either the 520 or I-90 bridges at some point.

    Since your girlfriend may occassionally be in Kirkland, and you are in Redmond, I would stay on the Eastside if you don’t want to have to take on the bridge traffic. The Eastside while more suburban than the areas you mentioned in your comment, does have concentrated areas (like downtown Kirkland and Bellevue) that might work for you.

    Since you are leasing for a year, you might want to give the Seattle side a try to have the experience and get immersed in Seattle life while you have the flexibility to do so.

    Post #396 has a link to a site that allows you to look at rentals on the MLS so you can see for lease properties in your range.

    If you do look on the Seattle side, check out Greenlake, Wallingford, Fremont, Ravenna, Leschi, Madrona, and Madison Valley. Comment #389 has a link to Walkscore that can give you an idea what is close to each of the listings you like, just put in their address.

    I hope your relocation goes wonderful!

  352. Hi Mark,

    I posted a similar question here several weeks ago when I wasn’t sure if I would be moving up there. Well, I am….

    My new employer is flying my wife and me up next week, so I will get an “outsiders” view of the area and report back to you. We’re in a very similiar situation.


  353. what are yalls opinions on living in seattles’ Capital Hill area?
    Ive read its more bohemian, its the art district, but are alot of drugs.

    is this the poorer side of town? Are there gangs and such? Or is it like hippie drug kinda things?

    i am interested in living in a very eclectic kinda area, because ive always grown up in the southern part of the southern town in south. So things are very baptist conservative.

    i dont mind the drugs, as long as its not a crack town or something… U know, i dont want to live next to a meth lab or something, but living next to some pot heads or something really wouldnt bother me, even though I dont do drugs.

    What do u know about capital hill?

  354. Mark,

    There are three short term rental places in Kirkland where you can start out and then take your time figuring it out. Kirkland Downtown and Lake area all three. Not suburban, and fairly trendy.

    Two are on Central and one is on Lake Washington Blvd. Your relo agent should know them and they rent for three months and up. You can rent for three months and then extend or leave. Gives you lots of options.

    One is The Villaggio at Yarrow Bay


    Second is The Westwater in the heart of Downtown Kirkland


    Westwater is at 1st and Central. There’s another up around 6th that I think is called Terra. I pass it twice a day. But I can’t find a link to it.

    My recommendation is move with few things first (you can get them furnished even sometimes) into a three month rental in Kirkland until you get a feel for what works for both of you.

  355. Just wanted to give Kudos to Dustin for this blog… the search engines love it… Great site for us future seattlites (is that what they’re called?).

  356. Thanks Ron! This post in particular gets a ridiculous amount of google traffic. Thanks to the 400+ comments, there’s simply a wealth of information on this page!

  357. Hi Jo,

    While Capitol Hill is electic/bohemian/trendy, it’s actually a fairly expensive area for buying. Fortunately there is a lot of rentals because the area attracts many people looking for an urban lifestyle.

    Another area you might want to look at would be Fremont, the self proclaimed “Center of the Universe”. While it has become “gentrified” over the past few years, it is still marches to it’s own drummer…or Solstice Parade… ๐Ÿ™‚

  358. Hi everyone!

    Hubby and I were thinking about relocating to Seattle. We live in Miami, he grew up here, I’m a NYer (love it and miss it like crazy, but we don’t want to raise our kids there). Anyway, I think I can handle the climate, but I am worried about him. He loves to bbq and go to the beach, so I think it would be difficult for him to adjust. We’re just SO over Miami, we think Seattle may be a happy medium. Any advice?

  359. Hi Eves,

    Well, I’d say Seattle is VERY different from Miami! ๐Ÿ™‚

    We do have a couple of nice beachy communities, one on Puget Sound; Alki Beach in West Seattle, and the other on Lake Washington in Kirkland.

    There are also great beaches in Golden Gardens in the Ballard and Loyal Heights areas, as well as various other parts of Lake Washington along the western side between the 520 Freeway and Seward Park. There are smaller beaches through out the area. Greenlake, while not really a beach, is a great place to walk, jog, ride a bike and rollerblade around, and is a nice community to live.

    Lots of outdoor activites to enjoy in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, so if you both enjoy outdoor fun, then you will like Seattle. We also have many wonderful urban places; restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, shops, galleries, museums, parks and events to spend your off time.

    People do BBQ a lot here, but we sometimes do it under overcast skies and our Seattle drizzle.

    Still, Seattle is very different, I would suggest that you both come for a visit to check Seattle out. I moved here myself from Southern California without knowing anyone, or having visited other than to the Worlds Fair when I was three. So you never know!

  360. That’s the same question my brother asked. He moved to CA well before the invention of Gortex, and didn’t know what it was.

    It’s a water proof fabric that breaths well so the sweat goes out, but the rain stays out too. It’s used in coats and boots, etc. Somewhat expensive.

  361. Ardell/Deborah/Ron,

    Thank you for your advice. We’ll be up in the area this coming weekend for a look around at properties, planning to move up the beginning of March. I’ll let you know what we find and decide when we get back.

    One other question. I’ve been following the Case-Schiller and OFHEO ratings, and it seems to me that the Seattle area is reaching a plateau in pricing. With the rest of the country already strongly trending down, looking at past economic trends I wonder if Seattle trails the rest of the country by about 2 years or so?

    And I talked with a mortgage company today, asking about rates and lock-ins. they quoted me only an additional 1/8% for a 6 month lock-in, making me think that they think the rates will stay relatively flat over the next 6 months.


  362. Hi Mark,

    We are trending a bit behind the rest of the country since our market was slower to heat up after the “dot-com bust”. And because the mortgage melt down has caused a slow down on buyers being able to get loans last fall, we seem to be “coasting” to a more stable market, although some believe that we will experience a drop in prices. Right now it’s hard to say which senario will be correct, although I think it will be a mix; some areas may decline (outlying suburban areas and houses that are in poor shape, location etc. since with a larger inventory buyers can pick the best ones) and many homes in areas closer in, well maintained, good locations will increase a bit.

    Have fun coming to Seattle this weekend and bring a rain coat or windbreaker (GORE-TEX!) because the weatherman says it’s going to rain! ๐Ÿ™‚

  363. Hi Mark and Deborah,

    We will also be in Seattle this weekend… Thursday through Monday. Staying at a place called Hotel 1000 which I beleive is downtown. I am trying to figure out what kind of coat to buy- something “appropriate” for Seattle. I don’t own any coats (live in SoCal).

    If your close, I will buy you guys a beer :p

  364. Ron,

    Do what I do. Stop by REI in L.A. and pick up some warmer stuff on clearance. In L.A. this time of year, the stuff that is just great for Seattle right now is usually on clearance.

  365. Ardell,

    That’s a great idea! I was going to go to Burlington, then though I would just see what people were wearing up there and buy in Seattle. I want something that can function as casual and trendy at the same time.

  366. I got some of my REI stuff in L.A. at 75% off. You don’t need much. I got way too much stuff. The salesman said where are you going? I said Seattle. He laughed and said “Keep your receipt…it ain’t Alaska”. ๐Ÿ™‚

  367. Here in Seattle you learn pretty fast to have fun with the wet days. No umbrellas. Rarely do you see someone with an umbrella. It’s like wearing TOURIST on your forehead.

  368. Deborah,

    I have my ocean grade foul weather gear from offshore sailing – I think that’ll be good enough. ๐Ÿ˜‰


    Nice wellies!


  369. Hi Ron,

    Oddly enough I bought a nice warm coat at the Burlington Coat Factory in Huntington Beach before I moved…I was afraid I’d freeze in Seattle! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think that you will find that a sporty leather jacket with a sweater (or sweat shirt) and long sleeved t-shirt will be enough most of the time. When we have freezing weather (not very often) is when you would likely need more.

    Try a beer at the Pike Place Brewery in Pike Place Maket…nice views of the Sound!

  370. Hi Mark,

    LOL! Hey you could get a seasonal job on one of the crab fishing boats based in Salmon Bay (Seattle’s fishing fleet) for the Alaskan crab season (a la Discovery’s ‘Most Dangerous Job”) with gear like that! ๐Ÿ™‚

  371. Rhonda, Thanks for the link to your page, nice to see some sample numbers.

    Deborah, Love your “urban villages” reviews/surveys on your personal blog page, hope to see more soon. And while I probably could get a seasonal job like that, I think I’m getting a bit too old for that kind of “fun”. ๐Ÿ™‚

    A future coworker recommended the Sand Point, Wallingford, and Greenlake neighborhoods. Any comments? Again, our main commuting requirements will be my job in Redmond, and hers going to Downtown/Waterfront, Sea-Tac, and Redmond. He also offered up Bellevue and Kirkland (which he said may be more expensive???). Previously here I described us as “semi-urban”, wanting to be able to walk to stores/shops and around the neighborhood, not suburban folks at all (so no Lake Sammamish area).

    Also, does anybody have any recommendations for a 24 hour Veterinary hospital? Are there vets that have staff with specialists (cardiac, endocrinology/urinary, geriatrics)?

    And here’s the oddball request. I know about the asian markets in the international district. What about Middle Eastern food markets, specifically Turkish?


  372. Hi everyone,
    I’m moving to Seattle at the end of the month from Miami. I visited 4 times last year, even during the cold month of January. I really liked the city, the vibe and people seem to be really nice. I’ve been living in Miami for almost 10 years and I think I’m over it.
    I will be working in Everett, but I don’t wanna live so up north from Seattle. I don’t mind a long commute, here I drive around 35 miles to work each day, but always against traffic, so it takes me 40 minutes to get to work. I can’t stand traffic.
    Some friends have told me that Bothell or Kirkland would be good options. How’s the traffic driving north from these communities to Everett? How’s the renting market?
    And finally how’s the nightlife? I know it won’t compare to wild Miami, but there must be good places to go.

    Thanks for your help!!

  373. I was cop in Seattle and saw alot of deaths from some low grade heroin. If you can stay off you have a good chance of making it. The outdoor market is great.

  374. Hi Mark,

    Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Sandpoint might not be as urban as you might want, both Wallingford and Green Lake both have a nice neighborhood “downtown” the are great walk around places. The commutes might be a little long, but you should definitly check them out.

    Hmmmm, Turkish…well there is Turkish Delight in Pike Place Market, but it’s a restaurant.

    I don’t have personal knowledge of a vet clinic that you are asking about, I go to a specialist avian vet, but I found this in Lake City:http://www.criticalcarevets.com/index.htm and I am sure there must be more…Seattle is really dog friendly!

  375. Hi Yas,

    Sorry I don’t know that much about Snohomish county (Everrett) you might want to look at Edmunds, although it’s going to be really different from Miami! Maybe another contributor or reader will have some suggestions.

    I think you would have a reverse commute if you lived closer to Seattle and commuted north to Everett, but it would still take a while.

  376. Mark, I was commenting on the stats in the “Sunday Night Stats” thread here.

    King County is a real mixed bag. The main story is low volume, but not nearly as low as I thought it would be.

    But the south end didn’t do well, parts of the north end did very well, and the mix was such that overall it was slightly up YOY.

    The big news is the volume. That needs to recover. I didn’t look at the pendings extensively, but some of the harder hit areas did seem to be doing a bit better, so maybe the volume issue is correcting??????

    BTW, I hear the Times spun the figures in a more negative way, but I haven’t read that yet.

  377. Mark, one more thing. Agents don’t “see” more of the market, in that they don’t notice things while they’re out. What we see is far too small. But we do have access to more and better data–data split out more ways.

    As to the first point, I had no idea that King County’s volume would be so low in December. We were incredibly busy. Just looking at our small part of the market I’d have thought the volume was up. That’s why you need to turn to the data, not impressions.

  378. Folks,

    An update. Yesterday we drove around Kirkland, Bellevue, Capitol Hill, Queen Anne, Wallingford, Green Lake, looking at neighborhoods. Today we put a deposit on an apartment in Kirkland (near Carillon) with incredible views and we’re very happy with it. Have to recommend “Cactus” as a great restaurant in Kirkland.

    Thanks for you help and support!

  379. So happy for you, Mark! It’s fabulous around here when the weather warms up. You’re going to have a great Spring and Summer. Give me a call sometime and stop by, neighbor. I live just North of the Downtown Area, and walkable from Lake and Central.

  380. Hi Mark,

    Oh, you are going to love it there, the drive and walk along side Lake Washington Blvd is really nice! Of course, ARDELL as a neighbor is the extra bonus! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Welcome to Seattle!

  381. I am considering relocating my family back to the pacific northwest (we lived in Portland for many years) and we are strongly considering Seattle. We are having a tough time deciding between Seattle and southern California. I wouldn’t normally ask strangers for an opinion, but this decision is really difficult. My wife and I aren’t really agreeing, (she prefers southern California and I prefer Seattle), but neither one of us feels strong enough to take a stand. Incidentally, I favor Seattle for the lower cost of living. Any thoughts?

  382. Hi John,

    I would recommend having you and your wife write down on separate sheets of paper the things that are the most important to each of you. For example, good public schools, polution, traffic, commute time, crime stats, affordability, weather, and so forth. Then each of you would rank them in order. Now you can compare your lists. Start with just the top two or three things and research just those things for the two areas.

    Also, consider that whatever area wins, you might not like it. You could be faced with moving again within a few years. So, you could also factor this in. When doing so, consider how hard it would be to sell a home IF you’ve decided to purchase a home as part of your relo.

    Low cost of living is all relative. Do you mean home prices? Rent prices? Well that depends on where you decide to live.

    Example: If great schools are both in your top priority list, yet you choose based on lower cost of living, what if the schools in that area are awful? Now you’re increasing your COL expenses by having to pay for private schools.

    Good luck!

  383. John,

    I have LOTS of thoughts on that ๐Ÿ™‚ When I first moved here in early 2004, part of my reasoning was the lower cost of housing compared to “The South Bay”. Today I can’t really say the same, as I’m sure I can find a nice home in a nice area in Hermosa Beach or South Redondo, for the same price as the one I own here in Kirkland. The house might be smaller, but I’d be able to walk to the Beach. Trade offs.

    The primary factor has to to with whether or not you have children, or are going to have children, in my opinion. Clearly, without question or doubt, which is the better place to raise your children is a factor that should be high up on your list. Not simply school performance, but total environment issues.

    If you don’t have children and aren’t going to have children, I’d let your wife win this battle. If you do, then hold out for Seattle. I have significant experience in that regard. I would stay in Seattle forever, if I could get my daughter to come with my grand daughter. Nothing else would matter. Not how I feel or how Kim feels, if I could get my grand daughter and daughter up to the Seattle Area, I am absolutely positive that she would have a healthier upbringing, even though she now lives in one of the “richest” places in the world.

    My $.02 YMMV

  384. Hi Everyone,

    Well, we got back from my employee sponsered visit yesterday. We were there for five days and fell in love with the city…

    Here are some honest observations from an Orange County person’s point of view for all considering your fine city:

    The Topography- Lots of water and trees! Stunning!

    The City- Absolutely amazing! Feeling safe in a such a dynamic and goreous major city is intoxicating. So much to do and see. We never got bored.

    The Suburbs- Not so amazing IMO. We visited Bellvue, Redmond, Everett and many inbetween. However, unlike Orange County if you live there, a quick trip to the city is easy. Anything cultural around OC is almost prohibitive due to traffic and distance and there is no epicenter like there is in Seattle. Hell, we don’t even have a football team to drive too.

    The Traffic- Please don’t ever let me hear anyone complain about Seattle traffic again. We had to drive from or to the the Suburbs during rush hour a couple of times and it was heavy with a lot of stop and go. But compared to OC and LA it is NOTHING. And, when it wasn’t rush hour, the freeways move. Imaging that.

    The Weather- It’s freaking cold to us. The rain was light when it did rain, the overcast is bearable with actual cloud formations. Here in SoCal, when it is overcast or raining the sky is an endless monotone gray. The sun did come out a couple of times and it was beautiful. This however seems like the only drawback of Seattle to me. It will take some adjusting on our part.

    The People- Everyone we encountered in the area was very nice and engaging despite all the things I’ve read on the internet. The really nice thing about the people we ran into there was absence of pretention and arrogance (which is thick enough in OC/LA to cut with a knife). It is nice to go to a bar and meet people without having to hear about what kind of car they drive, what area code they live in, how much money they make, etc…

    Well, I will be there soon my future neighboors! Hopefully this will help people like us looking to relocate up there.

  385. Fabulous wrap up, Ron!

    We very much appreciate your taking the time to post it.

    I had to laugh at your bar encounter. In L.A. I once brought a Philly Girl with me, and the guys kept asking her what she did, and she kept telling them the truth. Then they asked her what she wanted to be doing, and she answered what she WAS doing, of course, why else would she be doing it. Finally out of exasperation they said “What’s your STORY?!?!” She had no clue that they were all living in their own movie and they couldn’t lie to her if she didn’t return “the favor” LOL It was fun to watch.

  386. Hi Ardell,

    Thats funny- but so typical here. In LA it is just like your experience. In Orange County its all about what company you own and where your house is, blah, blah, blah.

    For the record, people in Seattle are very nice and NOT fake. Not fake and pretentious like here in SoCal, and not fake and insincere like I’ve encountered in the South.

  387. YES!!! I’m amazed at how quickly you figured that out! Amazing! It’s why I love it here. It is almost identical to the Philly/Bucks County lifestyle I am from and love dearly.

    Of course you can find snooty anywhere, if you are looking for it. But by and large, Seattle is REAL and good people.

  388. Ron,

    Ditto on the traffic. Worst we saw was on the approach to the 520 bridge heading westbound around 2 or 3 on Friday. But it was MOVING, which even the locals admitted the worst almost always did. Compared to 4 to 6 hour long DC traffic “rush” hours that are parking lots daily, this was amusing.

    People seem more family oriented. My new team hosted me for a happy hour. Literally. I was used to meeting the folks after work for 4 to 6 hours back hour (partly avoiding traffic, partly because most people I knew did not have kids), so people bailing at 6 to go home was odd. This also seemed to affect eating out as well – DC peak restaurant time is 730 to 830, whereas Eastside seemed to be between 5 and 6, with the streets rolled up after 8.


  389. Aloha!!!

    I’m so stoked that I found this link. I’ve been seriously thinking/trying to move from Molokai, Hawaii to Seattle. Crazy thing is, I’ve never been to Seattle other than the airport on my way to the Pasco airport to visit distant relatives in Tri-cities. I’m 28 yrs. old and have never made such a huge move in my life. I’ve recently broken up with my boyfriend of 12 yrs. and NEED a change in my life. I don’t know what it is, but something about Seattle just seems so young, fresh, uplifting, & romantic that i’m really looking forward to making this move. I’ve been applying for jobs online (State, Federal & County employment). I’ve qualified for a few and even got to the point of getting an interview, but for some reason i was told they only do phone interviews for in-state applicants (hello!! I’m in Hawaii & they only gave me three (3) days notice to get up there…ugh!!!) I’m currently working for the State of Hawaii Dept. of Health so I’m looking more into government employment rather than private companies. I’m so new to this and would appreciate any and all information/suggestions.

  390. Hi Mahie,

    I have never been to Hawaii, so I can’t give you a comparison, and while Seattle is beautiful…tropical it is not! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have you thought of coming out for a week to check it out and maybe set up some interviews while you are here? It might give you a chance to “test drive” Seattle. Six months after I moved here, a friend asked to visit for a week to check Seattle out and take her portfolio around to some grahic design studios as a way to see if she liked Seattle (she did!) and check out the employment potential. My friend did move to Seattle (Capitol Hill) about 6 weeks later and had a job offer from one of the firms she took her portfolio to.

    With such a big move, it might be a good idea to make a short visit first, although while that is my advice, that is not what I did. However, I had been moving around a while by the time I decided to move to Seattle, and if it did not work out, I would have moved to the Bay Area.

    Anyway, someone else here may have something else to say or a better idea or take on your question….someone who has been to Hawaii! : -)