What are the Pros and Cons to Living in Seattle?

What are the Pros and Cons to Living in Seattle?

Seattle is a perfect blend of booming industries and beautiful natural landscapes. And it is no surprise that a huge number of people are moving to Seattle, Washington. Watching them, you too may ask the question – should I too move there? Before that, we will discuss the pros and cons to living in Seattle, Washington.

The largest city in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle, Washington has a temperate climate all year long with relatively dry summers and wet winters. There’s a misconception that Seattle receives heavy rain than other major cities but it rains less in Seattle than New York, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, Baltimore, and many other places.

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

Let’s have a look at the pros and cons to Living in Seattle.

The Pros

The economy here is booming

Seattle is a booming city and it homes several MNCs and IT companies, where thousands are employed. Moving to Seattle, your chance of getting a job with better perks is high.

Seattle is a hub of global health and more than 100,000 people are employed in the health sector. Some of the big names in the health sector operating at Seattle include:

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • The Infectious Disease Research Institute
  • The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

There’s no income tax here

You heard it right. There’s no income tax in Seattle. This makes the paycheck much brighter and helps you spend more.

In Seattle, you can live in a houseboat

If living in water is your dream, come to Seattle. There are more than 50 houseboats here, more than any other city in the US. Living in a houseboat is in the DNA of Seattle and if you’re curious to experiment with it, you can either buy one or rent a houseboat for a weekend.

Seattle is one of the most pet-friendly cities in the US

Seattleites may appear grumpy but they are not. And a majority of them love pets. Every park in the city is opened to dogs, as long as they are on a leash. A good proportion of those parks also provide a section where you can let your dog run free.

There’re coffee shops with sections reserved for cats and you can also take a cat to the yoga sessions.

You will get any food at your fingertip in Seattle

Seattle is the city for foodies and is famous for its diversity, accessibility, and quality in terms of gastronomy. You ask for any stuff, restaurants are serving it – tacos, curry, dolma, cheeseburgers, or dessert. But two of its best and most notable culinary genres are seafood and Asian-fusion.

You are near to many major cities

Relocating to Seattle, Washington, you come close to many cities. It is a three-hour-drive away from Vancouver, British Columbia to the north and Portland, Oregon to the south. One of the pros of moving to Seattle is that you can take a family outing to a different city on a weekend without wasting much time and money.

Seattle’s landscapes are panoramic and scenic

For nature lovers, relocating to Seattle, Washington is the best way to come close to nature. Its scenic beauty also offers a visual treat to photographers. About 500 parks are spanning over 6,400 acres along with hundreds of miles of trails to walk or bike along. You can stand on the beach and still enjoy breathtaking views of the mountains.

You will love the weather here

Though the average sunny days in Seattle are 72, you will love the weather here for its unpredictability. It rains here plenty and the climate may appear more romantic. Seattle gets an average of 38 inches of rain per year.

There are plenty of outdoor activities waiting for you

Seattle has vast acres of parkland in and around, meaning you can find superb hiking and biking trails. Camping, hiking, skiing, and kite surfing are some of the popular outdoor activities here.

You can legally get stoned here

Marijuana is legal in Washington State. Hence, you can smoke pot here legally. Though public smoking is still illegal, don’t be surprised to catch a whiff while walking down the street, especially during Hempfest or one of Seattle’s other music festivals.

Here, coffee is taken seriously

Moving to Seattle, Washington, your coffee intake will double or go beyond that. What can you expect while being at the headquarters of Starbucks? It’s not just Starbucks; there are hundreds of other coffee shops in the city. While walking through the streets, the rich aroma of roasted coffee beans will invade your nostrils.

Some popular coffee brands in Seattle are:

  • Ballard Coffee Works
  • Espresso Vivace
  • Herkimer Coffee 
  • All City Coffee

Seattle is very much beerish

Seattleites take beer seriously and you will get the country’s best beer here. Thanks to the 50plus microbreweries in Seattle and those dozens which pop up every year.

The nightlife is euphoric here

For party animals, there’s nothing better than Seattle. The birthplace of Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden, Seattle is famous for its music clubs and nightlife. Once the sun sets, the bars and clubs here get vibrant and the city gets into a celebration mood.

Till now, we were discussing the pros of moving to Seattle and now we will focus on the cons of moving to Seattle.

The Cons

The cost of living is high here

One of the biggest cons of living in Seattle is the high cost of living. Since the city is booming and companies offer a better salary, the cost of living is going up every day. Starting from health, education to public transport, and groceries, everything is expensive here. Before relocating to Seattle, Washington, you need to be ready to shell out much to enjoy a decent life.

Buying a house here will burn your wallet

Seattle is expensive for a middle-class person to both buy a home or to stay on rent. The Census Bureau of Seattle says 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+

The crime rate is too high here

Once a relatively safe city, Seattle has witnessed a sudden rise in crime, especially violent crimes. The crime rate has increased by 70% in the last three years and before relocating to Seattle, Washington, you need to be prepared to wake up in the morning to watch crime news on TV. You will be shocked to know that Seattle’s average crime rate is 115 percent higher than the national average crime rate.

Traffic is too pathetic here

Moving to Seattle, Washington, you will be spending more time on the road as the traffic here is too pathetic. Rush hours could cost you almost an hour or more of your time and it’s quite exasperating after a long day at work. Compared to the rest of the world, Seattle’s traffic is ranked among the worst.

Seattle Freeze is a common problem here

Do not confuse it with the climate of the city. The ‘Seattle Freeze’ is the term used to refer to the cold attitude of the locals towards others. The city is notorious for its unfriendly behavior, unlike other US cities. Do not feel bad if someone does not respond to you while wishing him a good day.

Seattle is a good city if your focus is economical. The growing economy and the presence of hundreds of corporate offices make it an attractive destination to relocate. Maybe like any city, there are pros and cons of moving to Seattle, Washington. But I will suggest you to consider only the plus sides of Seattle and seriously considering moving here. You will never regret the decision. This is my word.

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Raj Kalra

A moving industry expert and an internet marketing enthusiast, I have been involved in the moving industry since 2004. Combining my passion towards technology and online marketing with my expertise in the moving industry, I've been focusing on building solutions to make your move easier. From planning to successfully executing your move, my tips and tricks will guide you all along the way. Have any questions for me? Send them to [email protected]