Moving to Seattle: Things You Need to Know Before Making the Big Leap

Moving to Seattle: Things You Need to Know Before Making the Big Leap
There are endless reasons to consider moving to Seattle. Countless outdoor activities, a hot job market, and high-quality schools are just the beginning for this Pacific Northwest gem.

Seattle is consistently ranked among the best places to live in the United States. The city is surrounded by lush forests and is famous for being environmentally friendly. Not to mention, its residents also earn above-average incomes. 

These are just some of the reasons moving to Seattle is a great idea. Below, you’ll learn about Seattle’s neighborhoods, the cost of living, the jobs market, and more. In this guide, you’ll learn what you need to know before moving to Seattle and all the things that make the Emerald City the perfect destination for your new life.

Seattle Neighborhoods

Each neighborhood in Seattle has something different to offer for residents and visitors. Use this helpful neighborhood guide to decide which one is right for you. 

Capitol Hill

A highly populated neighborhood in the middle of the city, Capitol Hill is a popular neighborhood for young professionals. If you like the hustle and bustle of metropolitan living, this is the neighborhood for you. It is a diverse neighborhood that ranges from cozy apartments to Millionaire’s Row. On a sunny afternoon, you can take a walk around Volunteer Park, and at night, you can check out the eclectic and vibrant Seattle nightlife.

Belltown

A popular neighborhood for young, trendy couples and singles. It offers great proximity to downtown and has amazing walkability. With Pike Place Market on the south side, gorgeous piers and water on the western side, and an abundance of shopping and restaurants in the center, Belltown is full of exciting things to do, day or night.

Queen Anne

Located just north of Belltown, this affluent neighborhood is home to the Space Needle, Seattle’s iconic landmark. Queen Anne features some of the best views in the city, and features two distinct identities. 

Lower Queen Anne is blocks off of downtown, inhabits much of the urban feel and mainly consists of condos. Upper Queen Anne, while still close to downtown has a much stronger suburban feel with winding tree-lined streets as well as the added bonus of cafes, restaurants and shopping with some amazing views of Seattle. 

Eastlake

Moving to Seattle with a boat? Then this might be the place for you. Located on the eastern shores of Lake Union, Eastlake has many piers and marinas that provide easy ways to take your boat out on the water and enjoy the gorgeous view.

University District

This neighborhood is a great place for students to live and learn. Home to the University of Washington, this neighborhood features casual bars, food joints, bookstores, and other shops all across University Avenue. 

Cost of Living

With all there is to do, Seattle offers a favorable cost of living when compared to other west coast cities. Here is some basic information about Seattle’s cost of living to help you budget for your move.

  • Home prices: According to Zillow, the median value of single-family homes and condos in the Seattle area is $780,126.
  • Utilities: For a 3-bedroom property, the average cost of utilities is around $260 per month, and the cost of internet services ranges from $45-$90.
  • Food: On average, residents of Seattle spend about 13.6% of their household budget on food. This is slightly above the national average. Of that total, 41.7% is spent on dining out, and 58.3% is used for meals at home.
  • Transportation: A monthly transit pass for an adult in Seattle can range from $75-$116, based on the distance traveled.

Seattle Housing Market

Seattle’s housing market remains very competitive despite the effects of the recent pandemic. Housing prices continue to rise as the August median closing price for homes in King County rose 11% from a year ago.

Rising prices are spurred by a shortage of housing as inventory records have reached 10-year lows. Demand for homes has remained steady as homebuyers are trying to take advantage of record-low interest rates.

Industries

Seattle residents on average earn about 12% more than the average American. Both hourly wages and yearly salaries are well above the national average. Seattle also boasts a significantly above-average minimum wage. 

Seattle’s growing tech industry has created an increased demand for highly skilled and well-educated employees. This has led to higher incomes for the top-tier jobs.

There are a variety of tech businesses in Seattle, ranging from established tech giants to investor-funded startups. Seattle’s tech industry is headlined by Amazon and Microsoft. It is also home to Boeing, Expedia, and Nintendo of America.

Seattle is also home to big names in the retail, food, and service industries including Nordstrom, Zulily, and Tommy Bahama, Costco & REI. 

Seattle is known around the world for its coffee. Popular coffee businesses such as Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, and Tully’s call the city home. 

Universities and Schools

Seattle has a diverse mix of public and private schools, and over 500 institutions call the city home. There are seven universities and colleges within Seattle’s borders, and another 14 located within 40 miles.

The largest and most well-known institution for higher learning in the city is the University of Washington. The university has an amazing graduation rate and consistently graduates over 80% of students. 

Seattle University, Seattle Pacific University, and Seattle Central College are also home to large student populations.

Transportation

Seattle is known for having one of the best public transit systems of any major metropolitan city. It provides diverse methods of travel that are safe and efficient. Using public transportation can also help you save on tolls of the popular roadways and avoid the hustle and bustle of metropolitan traffic.

Residents typically use the Link train to get to and from the airport. The King County bus system has more frequent stops than the Link and is what the majority of commuters use for the daily commute. 

Seattle residents love to ride their bikes, and many choose to get around with their own set of wheels for a little bit of extra exercise and some fresh air on their ride to work.

Activities

The diverse landscape and unique mix of people provides for an endless amount of fun and recreation in Seattle. You shouldn’t have difficulty finding something new to do.

You can watch the magnificent sunrise at Lower Kerry Park, just north of Lower Queen Anne or take a walk through Washington Park Arboretum on a fall day and witness the gorgeous foliage. If you enjoy fresh brewed craft beer, head to Chuck’s Hop Shop and choose between 50 different taps.

You can also head to the Seattle Aquarium to learn about life under the sea, and head down to the water afterwards for the view. Whatever your choice, Seattle provides an abundance of fun activities for your day and nightlife.

Ready to Move to Seattle?

Nearly any real estate transaction is about life change. The addition of a new family member, a new job or a new career, or a move out and into a new neighborhood. It’s about a new direction for your life that’s either just happened or right around the corner. Get in touch with Vicinage Group and let’s get you into your new dream home in scenic Seattle.

Written by Laura Highsmith 

I can't think of anything more satisfying than helping others find the home that speaks to them. We are all unique individuals with our own personal tastes, whether selling or buying it's my goal to help guide you through the process to a successful close. Let's talk!

Vicinage Real Estate Group