So you want to know if moving to Seattle is right for you in 2020. Seattle, famous for its lush evergreen forests is a blend of scenic beauty and skyscrapers.
A booming city at the east of the Pacific coastline, 113 miles south of the US-Canadian border, Seattle, the largest city in Washington State homes hundreds of corporate offices and promises a high standard of living.
Seattle is not just any normal city but it is the best city for you to start a new life in the US. Are you curious to know why? Come along with me and let me explain to you what makes the ‘Emerald City’ so special.
Seattle – City facts
- State: Washington
- Metro area: 8,186 sq mi
- Population (metro): 3,979,845
- Average high temperature: 60ºF
- Annual low temperature: 45ºF
- Annual hours of sunshine: 2163 hours
- Average annual precipitation: 3713 inches
There’s no income tax in Seattle
One of the biggest factors that tempt thousands to relocate to Seattle is the lack of income tax here. Living here, you are saved from paying the tax, and as a result, there won’t be much difference between your take home salary and what’s offered on your salary slip.
The city is amazingly scenic
Seattle is breathtakingly beautiful with massive Douglas fir trees dotting the landscape. The 535-acre Discovery Park is the largest green space in the city. It features rugged trails spread over miles and beaches.
Relocating to Seattle, Washington you can spend your weekends with family at various outdoor destinations indulging in different activities like hiking, trailing, camping, skiing, backpacking, and surfing. Or you can even visit many of its tourist attractions including museums and parks.
Some of the popular green spaces in Seattle are:
- Kerry Park
- Volunteer Park
- Washington Park Arboretum
- Green Lake Park
- Gas Works Park
Seattle summers are the best in the universe
Do you like warm summer days, low humidity, and incredible views? Moving to Seattle, Washington will be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. With the average summer temperature touching 75 degrees and with the lowest humidity in the U.S., summer days here are packed with art, music, and food festivals.
This is also the time to indulge in kayaking, water skiing, or parasailing. If adventure sports are your cup of tea, go hiking at this time of the year.
In Seattle, everyone loves their dogs
Seattle people may look grumpy and Seattle Freeze is not a myth but they love pets than anyone in the US. This is one of the most dog-friendly cities in the country and no home here is complete without a dog or two.
At restaurants, it is normal for cats to relax on the sofa, and ay yoga centers, people prefer taking dogs along with them.
Seattle is one of the US’ tech capitals
Seattle is now only second to San Francisco in the list of the nation’s greatest tech cities. And more companies are flocking to the city. Tech giants like Amazon, Microsoft, and Boeing employs more than 160,000 Seattleites and recent additions to the region are companies like Google, Adobe, Dropbox, Apple, Facebook, and Snapchat.
It is one of the growing cities in the country
You can confidently move to Seattle, Washington as the city is growing every day. The city is the second growing city in the US and a visible sign of this growth are the dozens of tower cranes spread out across the Seattle skyline, earning the city the nickname “The Crane Capital of the U.S.”
Some of the biggest companies having an office in Seattle are:
- Costco Wholesale
- PACCCAR Inc.
- Weyerhaeuser Company
- Starbucks Corporation
- Nordstrom, Inc.
- Expeditors International of Washington, Inc.
- Alaska Air Group, Inc.
Houseboat living is a part of the Seattle culture
If living in water is your dream, accomplish it by moving to Seattle, Washington. The city has no fewer than 500 houseboats, more than any other city in the US. Houseboat living has been ingrained in the very DNA of Seattle. Living here, you can hire a houseboat to spend a weekend with family on the water.
Seattle is a favorite location for movies and TV shows
Seattle is one of the most photographed cities in the US. And it is also one of the most popular movie locations. You will find the city in several movies and TV shows as more than 500 filming permits are issued annually, about 80% of them for commercials and 20% for films and TV shows. Around 5,000 local crew members work on those filming sets.
The city residents are highly educated
Seattle is one of the best-educated cities in the US. 63% of its population aged 25 and older has a college degree, according to the US Census. Also, the Seattle Public Library system estimates that around 80% of the adults are library cardholders. In 2018 alone, 5.2 million visited the Central Library and its branches.
Seattle Freeze is not a myth and is not a climate change
After relocating to Seattle, Washington, you will get used to Seattle Freeze. Now, don’t mistake it to be climate change. It is a term for native Seattleites’ tendency to give you the cold shoulder. Studies prove that those who are born and bred in Seattle are not the friendliest bunch. 49% of them don’t want to have even a short conversation with people they don’t already know.
The city is truly cosmopolitan
The presence of corporate offices has helped Seattle absorb new cultures and civilizations without any hiccup. Thousands have flocked to the city in recent years, changing the demography of the city. This has made Seattle truly cosmopolitan. Moving to Seattle, Washington, you will find no difficulty in getting gelled up with the culture here. There also exists no discrimination based on race or country of origin.
Seattle is LGBT friendly
Seattle is open to new influences and it is perhaps the first landing site for those seeking adventure, or starting a new life. Seattle has a long-established gay community and boasts the nation’s longest-running gay bar, the oldest lesbian resource center, the oldest gay counseling service, and the second richest foundation devoted to gay issues.
Pot is legal here
If you need to get extra adventurous, you can legally try pot here. The purchase and sale of marijuana are legal in Seattle. Though it’s illegal to smoke in public, don’t get shocked after relocating to Seattle, Washington if you find someone smoking pot in a park or while at a music fest. Just let him have the fun.
The best coffee in the country is in Seattle
The city takes coffee very seriously and you will find coffee shops at every nook and corner of the city. At the streets, malls, narrow lanes, small shops – everywhere you will feel the rich aroma of caffeine invading your nostrils.
Starbucks is not the only coffee brand here but you will find many other names including:
- Ballard Coffee Works
- Espresso Vivace
- Herkimer Coffee
- All City Coffee
The culinary scene in Seattle is vibrant
For foodies, Seattle is the best place to start a new life. If you ask what’s special about Seattle’s food scene, I will state that you will get every food in the world at your fingertips here. I am not just bragging it but that’s the truth.
Tacos, curry, dolma, cheeseburgers, or dessert, you will find it at a restaurant here. And two of the best and most notable culinary genres, however, are seafood and Asian-fusion. Be it Vietnamese, Arabic, or Turkish, Seattle has specialized restaurants serving them. But beware of the price list as eating outside is highly expensive in Seattle.
Public transport is not that good in Seattle
The city needs to pull up the socks when it comes to public transportation. In daytimes, bus services are intact but once the sun sets, it gets sporadic. While some main thoroughfares have bus lanes, most streets do not, which means the buses are often subject to the city’s regular gridlock.
The light rail network does not connect the interiors of the city and you need to depend upon private transport which is polluting the air and contributing to the traffic. However, it is good to see that the city is improving its network of light rail and streetcars.
It’s a city of neighborhoods
Seattle neighborhoods are distinct and microcosmic, each with its personality, culture, and independent coffee shop. Moving to Seattle, Washington, do a little research before you finalize the living place.
Some of the best neighborhoods in Seattle are:
- West Seattle
- Median Sale Price: $585,750
- Average Rent: $1,634
- Median Sale Price: $838,500
- Average Rent: $1,598
- Columbia City
- Median Sale Price: $685,000
- Average Rent: $2,272
- Median Sale Price: $769,000
- Average Rent: $2,174
- South Park
- Median Sale Price: $435,000
- Average Rent: $2,310
- Central District
- Median Sale Price: $735,
- Average Rent: $1,948
- Median Sale Price: $645,750
- Average Rent: $1,820
Housing is highly expensive in Seattle
Be it for rent or purchase, you need to shell out big in Seattle for accommodation. According to the Census Bureau of Seattle, it is ranked in the top ten of the most expensive cities in the US.
Monthly Rental Prices in Seattle
- 1 bedroom apartment in City Centre: $1,400+
- 1 bedroom apartment outside the City Centre: $1,000+
- 3 bedroom apartment in City Centre: $2,700+
- 3 bedroom apartment outside the City Centre: $1,650+
Seattle Home Purchase Prices
- Price per square meter (10.7 square feet) to buy in City Centre: $5,700+
- Price per square meter (10.7 square feet) to buy outside City: $2,900+
Traffic is horrible here
Seattle traffic is notorious. Moving to Seattle, Washington, you may get stuck up at traffic signals for long hours. However, public transport is slowly catching up and we can assume that things will get sorted in near future.
The crime record does not look good in Seattle
Moving to Seattle, Washington, one of your major concerns will be the crime rate here. Seattle’s crime rate averages at 69 percent higher than Washington State’s average crime rate. And what makes worse it worse is Seattle’s average crime rate is 115 percent higher than the national average crime rate.
Seattle is the best place in Washington to start a new life. With amazing natural landscapes, vibrant nightlife, mouthwatering delicacies, and umpteen outdoor recreation venues, this is the city that you always wanted to live in. The city is booming up and more corporate are launching offices here. And this makes things easier. Move to Seattle, Washington and see how it is different from the rest of the USA.