Moving to Seattle, WA? Complete Moving Guide for 2020

This is a complete guide for Moving to Seattle, WA.
Get all the information you need to know about moving to Seattle, WA.

If you'd love to live in a beautiful city with lots of outdoor recreation, regular rainfall, great public transit network, and breathtaking mountains, moving to Seattle, in Washington D.C. could be the right choice for you.

Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest. The Emerald City is easily recognized by its most iconic landmark, the Space Needle.

For many years, Seattle has always been listed as one of the best places to live in the US. If you'd like to live in the capital of the US and wondering if Seattle is a great city, we have all the information you need to make the right choice.

facts of seattle

Quick Facts to know about Seattle, WA

Learn some facts about Seattle, WA before moving to the city to help you decide if it's the right place for you.

Seattle's Population

How many people are living in Seattle, WA?

The following is a summary of Seattle's population according to World Population Review:

  • Seattle's population is 783,137 making it the largest city in Washington.
  • Seattle has a population growth rate of 2.50% annually
  • Seattle's population has grown by 28.67% since the recent census
  • Seattle has a population density of 9,338 people per square mile

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Seattle's Weather Info

Seattle's temperature often ranges from 37°F to 79°F and is hardly below 28°F or above 88°F. The winters in Seattle are extremely cold, wet, and typically cloudy. Also, summers are warm, short, dry, and sometimes cloudy, according to WeatherSpark.

Seattle's Transportation

How fast can you move around if you decide to move to Seattle, WA?

Seattle's average one-way commute time is 27.5 minutes. The U.S. average is 26.4 minutes. According to a study by WalletHub, Seattle has the best public transportation network in the U.S.

Here's a simple summary of how Seattle's residents commute to work, according to Best Places:

  • 48.8% of residents in Seattle, WA drive their car all alone
  • 7.6% of Seattle residents carpool with others
  • 7.0% of residents in Seattle work from home
  • 21.4% of Seattle residents use the mass transit
move to seattle

Top 10 Reasons To Move To Seattle, WA

Why should anyone consider moving to Seattle?

  • Seattle is one of the most dog-friendly cities in the U.S.

    The people of Seattle love their dogs and you will find the four-legged animal welcome everywhere, including cafes, restaurants, parks, and even public transport.

  • Seattle has no personal state income tax

    While in Seattle, you pay no income tax as Washington State levies no tax on personal income. However, the state charges sales tax of up to 7% and property tax of 1%, which are lower than the national average.

  • Seattle is attractive to millennials

    Seattle is ranked the 4th best city for the millennial population because of the booming job market, unlimited outdoor recreation options, cultural diversity, progressive views, and sports culture.

  • Seattle is a sport town

    The people of Seattle are crazy about sports and passionately support their favorite teams. The city is home to six major professional teams and soccer, basketball, ice hockey, baseball, and football are the majorly watched games in Seattle.

    The major professional teams from Seattle are:

    • Seattle Sounders FC
    • Seattle Seahawks
    • Seattle Mariners
    • Seattle Kraken
    • Seattle Storm
    • OL Reign

  • Seattle is home to some of the best restaurants in the U.S.

    One of the best food cities in the US, Seattle has an incredible mix of laid-back and upscale restaurants that serve innovative and mouth watering dishes day and night. Some of the best restaurants to exploring in Seattle are:

    • Zylberschtein's
    • Cafe Juanita
    • Café Munir
    • Addo
    • Frelard Tamales
    • Xi'an Noodles
    • La Carta de Oaxaca
    • Off The Rez Cafe

  • The coffee in Seattle is great.

    With one café for every 2,300 residents, Seattle is ranked as the best city in the US to have coffee. With every prominent coffee company having shops across Seattle, there is no excuse for claiming that you had a bad coffee. You will find coffee roasting companies Conduit Coffee Roasters, Fonté Coffee Roasters, River Trail Roasters, Caffè Umbria, Torrefazione Italia, Fremont Coffee Company, Herkimer Coffee, and Victrola Coffee Roasters having facilities in Seattle.

  • Seattle is one of the friendliest cities in the U.S.

    While in Seattle, do not be surprised when a stranger stops to wish you while jogging through the sidewalk because the residents are famous for their amiable nature. It is easy to make friends in Seattle - just smile at someone at a park, coffeehouse, or bar - he will walk up to you to start a conversation.

  • Seattle has a stellar job market

    Seattle is not just one of the fastest-growing cities in the US; it is also the tech hub of the country. Experts call Seattle the best city to launch a start-up and Amazon, Starbucks, Boeing, Adobe, Google, Apple and Facebook were once startups here before transforming into corporate giants. All these companies are still headquartered in Seattle. And finding a job is not a big deal here. If not interested in that, plan a startup.

  • Seattle has the best public transit in the U.S., according to WalletHub

    Seattle’s public transport system is so robust that you can keep your car at home and catch a train, bus, or cab to reach any part of the city. The light rail is a very convenient and affordable way to get around Downtown Seattle.

  • You'll experience abundant rainfall in Seattle

    Rain is on Seattle's horizon every time and the city gets wet about 150 days a year. One of the bonuses of the climate is that rainbows appear at a moment's notice.

pros and cons of seattle

Pros & Cons of Moving to Seattle, WA

Here we give you the chance to weigh your options carefully considering the pros and cons of moving to Seattle, WA.

The pros The cons
Seattle residents are well-read and highly educatedHigh home rental prices
Seattle has a great healthcare systemThe winters are kind of long.
Seattle has a mild climate appeals all year roundMarijuana is legalized here
Seattle is a pet-friendly city Hilly topography
Seattle has highly-rated schools, colleges, and universitiesThe city has more men than women
Seattle's job market and local economy are growing strongerSeismic activity including possible volcano eruption
Entertainment life in Seattle is remarkableHigh crime rates
Seattle has an awesome nightlife!Busy highways, seaport and airport
The food in Seattle is awesomeExpensive housing
housing market of seattle

Seattle, WA Housing Market

Here's a summary of the key metrics of Seattle housing market, according to Zillow:

  • Seattle's median home value is $767,906.
  • Seattle's median list price per square foot is $517
  • The median price of homes currently listed in Seattle is $689,900
  • The median price of homes that sold in Seattle is $705,600
  • In Seattle, 0.1 homes are foreclosed (per 10,000) this is lower than the U.S. value of 1.2

Average Rental Prices in Seattle, WA

Will you be renting a home after moving to Seattle? While you're considering that, we've compiled the key metrics of the Seattle rental market.

  • Renters in Seattle make up 50.3% of the population
  • 1.3% of apartments and homes in Seattle are available to rent

How much are you most likely to pay if you decide to rent a home in Seattle? Best Places is helping us out with relevant data.

  • The average rental price in Seattle is $2,554. The U.S. average is $1,470
  • The average price of a Studio apartment is $1,570. The U.S. average is $821
  • The average price of a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,728. The U.S. average is $930
  • The average price of a 2-bedroom apartment is $2,108. The U.S. average is $1,148
  • The average price of a 3-bedroom apartment is $3,033. The U.S. average is $1,537
  • The average price of a 4-bedroom apartment is $ 3,583. The U.S. average is $1,791
palces to live in seattle

Best Neighborhoods in Seattle, WA

The following are the best neighborhoods in Seattle according to Seattle Met:

Neighborhoods Place Median Sale Price Average Rent Walk Score Transit Score
Capitol Hill$567,500$2,0709180
Greenwood$645,750$1,8208554
Lake City$683,000$1,3796756
Central District$735,000$1,9488872
South Park$435,000$2,3105940
Interbay$714,000$1,5254949
Ballard$769,000$2,1748753
West Seattle (and Neighbors)$592,599$1,8326840
Beacon Hill$585,750$1,6346348
Georgetown$495,650$1,8006948
cost of living in seattle

Cost of Living in Seattle, WA

The cost of living in any city is typically calculated using a U.S. average of 100. Any amount that is higher than 100 indicates a more expensive cost of living. An amount that is lower, indicates a less expensive cost of living.

The cost of living in Seattle, WA is 172.3, according to Best Places.

Housing is rated as the most significant factor that differentiate the cost of living in one city to the next. The median home value in Seattle is $767,906, according to Zillow.

There are no income taxes in Seattle. That's one less thing to spend your money on. Also, the standard adult fare on Metro transit is $2.75. regardless of the length of the trip or time of day.

Seattle, WA Salary & Income Info

What's the average salary and income you're likely to be earning if you move to Seattle, WA? Let's find out using data from Pay Scale, and Data.io

  • The average salary in Seattle is $79,000. The U.S. average is $66,665
  • The median household income in Seattle is $93,481. The US is $61,372.
  • Most popular employees in Seattle are Boeing Company, Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp.

According to Pay Scale, the most popular profession in Seattle are Software Engineer and Project Managers and their earnings are within $47,000 to $139,000 per annum.

things to do in seattle

Best Things To Do In Seattle, WA

Seattle is a vibrant city and there are no boring outdoor moments. If you decide that moving to Seattle is right for you, there are tons of exciting things to do and breathtaking spots to visit.

We've compiled a simple list of the best things to do in Seattle. You can transform this into a bucket list:

  • Visit the Pioneer Square

    Once the heart of Seattle, Pioneer Square has structures dating back to the late 19th century and is drenched in rich history. Art walks, nightlife, lunch houses, and boutiques make Pioneer Square vibrant day and night.

  • Explore the Museum of Flight

    The world's largest space and air museum annually attracts over 500,000 visitors and holds online programs for thousands of students worldwide.

  • See the iconic Space Needle

    The iconic Space Needle is an observation tower and the landmark of Seattle city. About 20,000 people use the elevators every day and the tower attracts more than 2 million people annually.

  • Explore the famous Pike Place Market

    A public market overlooking the Elliot Bay waterfront, Pike Place Market caters to small farmers, craftspeople, and merchants and has been operating for more than a hundred years. About 10 million people visit the market every year.

  • Tour the Museum of Pop Culture

    A museum dedicated to contemporary pop culture, it organizes dozens of exhibits every year both across the US and internationally. The museum is situated just next to the historic Space Needle and houses some of the world's legendary pop culture artifacts.

  • Tour the Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing

    An aviation museum and education center 25 miles north of Seattle, the Future of Flight Aviation Center, & Boeing Tour is the only commercial jet assembly plant in North America open to the general public. There is a 28,000-square feet gallery with static and interactive exhibits and displays.

  • Explore the Bainbridge Island

    An island drenched in natural beauty, Bainbridge Island has boutiques, restaurants, and accommodation options for visitors. Ferries connect the island with Seattle to unplug from daily life.

  • Tour the Chihuly Garden and Glass tour

    Just next to the Space Needle, the Chihuly Garden and Glass provide a look at the inspiration and influences of artist Dale Chihuly. A 100-feet installation inside the Glass is Chihuly's largest suspended sculpture.

  • Visit the Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

    Seattle Art Museum or SAM exhibits 25 European paintings and sculptures of Samuel H. Kress along with one by Van Gogh. Altogether, the museum has about 25,000 pieces on display including a collection of Aboriginal Australian art.

  • Visit the Olympic Sculpture Park

    A modern park, the Olympic Sculpture Park has a 9-acre outdoor sculpture museum, indoor pavilion, and a beach. The park is free for all.

  • Take a ride on the Seattle Great Wheel

    The 175-feet tall Ferris wheel is the tallest on the West Coast of the US and has 42 enclosed, heated, and air-conditioned gondolas that can hold up to 8 people each. Once inside, the wheel gives a spectacular view of the city from a height. There is also a light show every weekend.

  • Explore the Pacific Science Center

    The Pacific Science Center in Seattle started with an aim of igniting curiosity among people for discovery, experimentation, and critical thinking. In association with different science centers, the Pacific Science Center hosts multiple camps and research programs. Almost 1 million people visit the center every year.

  • Visit the amazing Ballard Locks

    Ballard Locks or Hiram M. Chittenden Locks at the west end of Salmon Bay is an engineering landmark and is one of the most visited attractions in Seattle. It carries more boats than any lock in the US and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

how safe is seattle

How Safe Is Seattle, WA To Live?

Will you feel safe living in Seattle or is it a scary city full of crime?

According to Neighborhood Scout, Seattle has a crime rate of 60 per a thousand residents making it one of the cities with the highest crime rates across the nation.

This is in comparison with various communities of all sizes ranging from the largest cities to the smallest towns.

Also, the chances of anyone becoming a victim of either property or violent crime in Seattle is 1 in 17.

Seattle, WA Crime Stats

Using data released by the Seattle Police Department and Area Vibes, the following are the key metrics of crime stats in Seattle:

  • Crime rates in Seattle are 126% higher than the national average
  • Violent crimes in Seattle are 79% higher than the U.S. average
  • In Seattle you have a 1 in 18 chance of becoming a victim of crime
  • Seattle is safer than 5% of the cities across the country
  • Year over year crime in Seattle has decreased by 4%
schools in seattle

Top Schools in Seattle, WA

The quality of schools is one the key things you'll have to consider before making up your mind about moving to Seattle. The city enjoys some of the best school ratings across the nation.

Below is a simple summary of the best schools in Seattle, WA as ranked by Great Schools from elementary to universities and colleges.

Top Middle Schools in Seattle

  • Mercer Middle School
    Seattle Public Schools,Public, 6-8 | 1136 students

  • Eckstein Middle School
    Seattle Public Schools, Public, 6-8 | 965 students

  • Hamilton International Middle School
    Seattle Public Schools, Public, 6-8 | 986 students

  • Mcclure Middle School
    Seattle Public Schools,Public, 6-8 | 540 students

  • Whitman Middle School
    Seattle Public Schools, Public, 6-8 | 566 students

Top Elementary Schools in Seattle

  • Coe Elementary School
    Seattle Public Schools, Public, K-5 | 560 students

  • Greenwood Elementary School
    Seattle Public Schools, Public, PK-5 | 361 students

  • Lawton Elementary School
    Seattle Public Schools, Public, K-5 | 453 students

  • Wedgwood Elementary School
    Seattle Public Schools, Public, K-5 | 485 students

  • West Woodland Elementary School
    Seattle Public Schools, Public, K-5 | 566 students

Top High Schools in Seattle

  • Ballard High School
    Seattle Public Schools, Public, 9-12 | 1930 students

  • Roosevelt High School
    Seattle Public Schools, Public, 9-12 | 1867 students

  • Garfield High School
    Seattle Public Schools, Public, 9-12 | 1857 students

  • Cleveland High School
    Seattle Public Schools, Public, 9-12 | 871 students

  • Ingraham High School
    Seattle Public Schools, Public, 9-12 | 1387 students

Top Colleges and Universities in Seattle

  • University of Washington

  • DigiPen Institute of Technology

  • Pacific Lutheran University

  • University of Puget Sound

  • Seattle University

  • Seattle Pacific University

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