Cost of living in Seattle

I’ve been speaking with a company in the Seattle area lately about a job and may end up taking it. What I want to know is what the cost of living is like out there and where are the good places to live? Of course, I may not be moving but its good to know these sort of things.

/local crank

it used to be nice place to live before all the Californians drove up the housing market and clogged I-5

/local crank

Seattle cost-of-living continues to skyrocket and most people that want to own a home wind up moving to outlying counties and commuting to work. I don’t think you’ll find a prettier summer day than a blue sky day in Seattle. Summers here are fantastic. Winters here are depressing if you like to see a sky that features any color other than dirty sweatsock grey.

Some good friends sold their very modest 2-bedroom 1800 sq.ft. home in Snohomish County (about 30-45 minutes north of Seattle) when they were relocated to the Dallas area where, for the money their home sold for, they bought what basically amounts to a mansion with an expansive yard.

I bought a 3 bedroom condo on Bothell for 180 in 2003. Resold it in 2005 for 220 take that for what you will.

Bothell is about 30-40 min ish from downtown.

I’ll be looking at Redmond. I plan on just renting at first.

a Decent 3br place will prolly run you 1500+ I would think.

/local crank

Tell me about it. Jeezus, I grew up northeast of Seattle, in a beautiful little town where 20 years ago traffic was when you got stuck behind a farmer in his tractor on a little narrow road. Now all that farmload has been developed into apartment complexes, and I was shocked at how it’s bumper for bumper for miles. Same little country roads, but now stuffed with hundreds of cars at rush hour.

I hate that. Beautiful countryside ruined.

/local crank.

Seattle is expensive. Not as expensive as the trendy parts of the East Coast – say, Connecticut – but pricey. The eastside (Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, Totem Lake, etc.) is more expensive than the rest of the 'burbs surrounding Seattle. It’s also where all the decent jobs are, so expect to either pay lots for rent, or face a long commute on I-405.

Here is a recent article from the local paper on the cost of houseing in Seattle. In addition to Redmond, you should look at the eastside of Bellevue, where a 1 bedroom is like ~750 and 2 bedroom is like ~900.

Which makes it… cheaper than the average rents in Burlington, Vermont. In my building, singles in tiny apartments go for 800+.

Making things even more amusing, the average yearly income here is some of the lowest in the country. Crazy.

The seattle area is basically full, and the yuppies are in a price war over the existing real estate, and driving everyone else out. There’s nothing on the horizon to deal with the problem, either.

Seattle, for example, just will not suck it up and deal with their building height restrictions. Result - a decent house in Seattle is a half million. We’ll just keep chopping up more terrain outward from seattle & bellevue until we look like LA. Real lack of political leadership on this.

It’s not a big deal for software developers, but I don’t know where the rest of the population is going to live.

Speaking of price increases…my parents live in Bellingham, 80 miles North of Seattle and they bought their house in '97 for $184,000 (10 miles out in the country) and now its worth $426,000. I was thinking of moving up there before…not no more!

Don’t forget that geography here causes transportation issues. You can end up with some horrific commutes; not quite L.A. level, but pretty bad. Top 10 worst traffic city pretty much every year.

I’ve lived here 10 years and 8 years ago voted for a light rail mass transit system. After millions in collected taxes, that consists of a couple of trains a day on existing freight track and one short line still in construction.

re eastside: A nice 2 bedroom apartment will set you back around a grand a month. You can go cheaper (much cheaper if you’re willing to live in the Crossroads area) but that’s about the area.

Jason’s pretty much spot on about the area.

Bellingham is a bizarre case; it’s a real shithole of a town - I would not advise moving up there if you want to have anything to do. But for some bizarre reasons the real estate up their is absurdly inflated; I chalk it up to lots of retirees + big influx in anticiipation of the Olympics in Vancouver.

Oh, and depending on where you work: If you can tolerate a bus commute your options open up. I live in Mill Creek and while that’s a good 20 minute drive to Redmond without traffic (as much as 90 minutes with traffic) there’s a bus line that goes from a nearby P&R to right outside my office. My commute is still around 30-45 minutes each way but in the morning I just read a book and in the afternoon I get a nice little nap. Prices are cheaper up there too.

That’s pretty interesting, I could handle a bus.

It’s only a shithole of a town if you don’t like instant access to amazing hiking/bicycling/mountain biking/rock climbing/mountaineering/sea kayaking/sailing/running. With a gorgeous waterfront park where you can rollerblade or play volleyball or just relax and read a book. With some great restaraunts and a couple really nice pubs.

Yeah, where I work gives me a free bus pass so I end up saving a good chunk of change vis a vis fuel (which is currently around 3.10 a gallon for premium) and wear-and-tear on my car.

Ryan: I should have elaborated. It’s a gorgeous area - like you said lots of outdoorsy type stuff to do. But other than that? It’s 90 minutes away from the nearest real city, the nightlife there isn’t all that great (I don’t much like its bar scene there myself), and with the exception of said bars the city pretty much shuts down at 9PM. Combine that with terrible job market (I’ve got a bunch of friends from up there; most have emigrated down to Seattle to find decent work that’s not service industry stuff). Plus the housing market there is just gonzo - one of the most overpriced markets in the nation. I think that’s mainly a combination of lots of retirees and the Vancouver Olympics.

This cost-of-living/salary calculator is by far the best one I’ve seen.

It breaks down cost of living into components (housing, transportation, food, etc.) and for each component gives ratios comparing each of two cities to the national average. Much more detailed (and more trust-inspiring) than the usual $60K Chicago=$90K Boston generalization.

Yeah, this move will be from cincinnati oh to Seattle. Not too terrible bad, its 38% more expensive