Seattle Moving Guide: Deciding if Seattle is Right for You

City Guides

by PODS Posted on September 26, 2019

Have you been considering making the move to the Pacific Northwest? You’re not alone — Seattle and its southern sibling Portland are quickly attracting newcomers to their shady, coffee-loving cities. In fact, Seattle consistently ranks in the top 10 cities that millennials are moving to, thanks to its laid-back vibe and rock-solid job market. If you’re wondering whether Seattle is right for you, read on for a little guidance in making your decision.

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Should I move to Seattle?

Seattle is a unique city full of character, great food and drinks, and an abundance of outdoor activities for every interest. But is it the right place for you? That all depends on what you’re looking for. Seattle boasts dozens of unique neighborhoods, meaning if you look hard enough, you’re bound to “find your tribe,” along with a neighborhood full of activities that interest you, whether that’s going to concerts, walking quiet shady streets, or sipping a local beer. You can explore more using our Seattle Neighborhood Guide.

Why move to Seattle?

There are so many reasons people move to Seattle.  For some, it’s the tech boom, and the chance to work for Amazon or Adobe. For others, it’s the mild weather and chill attitude. If you’re looking for reasons to make the move to the west coast, there’s no shortage. Here are a few of our favorites.

1. The summers in Seattle are unbeatable.
This is not an exaggeration. With July and August temperatures averaging in the mid- to high 70s, while the rest of the nation is roasting or steaming (we’re looking at you, Houston!), Seattle is sitting pretty, with pleasantly hot days, warm evenings, and low humidity. With outdoor activities abounding in this nature-rich area, you’ll have no shortage of things to do all summer.

2. While the overcast is real, the weather is temperate year-round.
The rumors are true: Seattle is a very gray, overcast city. While that may be a bummer for some, consider this: Average temperatures even in December and January are in the mid-40s. For those coming from the snowy Midwest, this is a godsend. We’ll take a light rain jacket and some drizzle over shoveling snow any day.

3. No income tax.
You read that right. While you may make up for those taxes in other areas, Washington does not charge a state income tax. Cha-ching!

Scenic view of the beautiful outdoors in Washington state

4. Boundless outdoor activities.
Seattle, and the Pacific Northwest more generally, is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground. With access to lakes, the Pacific Ocean, mountains, and even Olympic National Park, you’ll find a place to play no matter what your “thing” is. Mountain bikers, hikers, kayakers, and swimmers, rejoice!

5. Healthy job market.
With unemployment down around 4% and a booming tech economy in Seattle, opportunities for young professionals to make their next move abound. Amazon’s headquarters as well as major hubs for Adobe and other tech companies translate to opportunity at many levels. Additionally, the introduction of a $15 minimum wage builds a stronger base for those entering the job market.

6. If you live in central Seattle, you’ll enjoy great public transit.
If you live in more central neighborhoods of Seattle, you’ll be very well connected by public transit systems such as light rail, bus, and commuter rail. If not having a car is important to you, it’s very possible to get around in Seattle public transit, biking, and walking.

7. Great beer, wine, and coffee!
Birthplace of Starbucks and the artisanal coffee movement more broadly, Seattle is a haven for just about any beverage lover. Local coffee shops are around every corner, no matter which neighborhood you choose. The Pacific Northwest is also a major hub of craft beer culture, with more than 60 breweries for you to choose from. Finally, you can enjoy truly delicious local wines, including Cabernets, Rieslings, and more. What’s not to love about all these options?

8. Seattle is environmentally conscious.
If you’re looking for a city that will help you on your path to lower your carbon footprint, Seattle is a good one. Seattle’s expanding public transit system makes it practical to give up your car if you live in the central neighborhoods. With local options for recycling and even composting, the city makes it easy to do your small part for the planet. And if you’re looking to get more involved in an environmental cause important to you, Seattle has a strong culture of activism where you’ll find plenty of likeminded people.

Friends riding public transit

9. Lower cost of living than New York, LA, or San Francisco.
Depending on where you’re moving from, Seattle can be a major reduction in your overall cost of living. While costs are rising, those moving from other big metro areas will enjoy a big dip in rent and other expenses.

10. Are you a millennial moving to Seattle? You’ll be in great company.
With Seattle’s strong job market, unique neighborhoods, and public transit system, it’s no surprise that young professionals in the millennial demographic are moving to Washington’s largest city. If you identify as a millennial, you’re likely to meet lots of people your age if you decide to move to Seattle.

Things to Know Before Moving to Seattle

For every wonderful thing about Seattle, there are some factors you might want to consider before making the big move. Here are a few things to know before moving to Seattle.

1. Cost of living is lower than other big cities … but it’s on the rise.
As we mentioned above — those moving from major urban hubs like New York City may experience a pleasant drop in their cost of living expenses. That said, if you’re moving from a small town or even a smaller city, you may discover that life in Seattle runs a little steeper than expected. Average rent and other expenses, while low compared with San Francisco or LA, are on the rise.

2. Housing (renting and buying) is expensive.
Of all the expenses you’ll face in Seattle, your housing is likely to be the biggest piece of the pie. The average rent in Seattle is just shy of $2,000 a month, while the median home purchase price is about $750,000. The market is competitive, and you may end up parting with more money each month than you hoped for.

3. The “Seattle Freeze” is real … sort of.
People often joke that Seattleites can be hard to get to know, or a little “chilly.” In part, this is allegedly due to the city’s Scandinavian roots and a history of being more reserved. Many write this off as a total myth and advise that it may just take some time to find a group of friends. If you’re moving from a small town where everyone knows everyone, it may be hard to get used to slightly more private neighbors.

Traffic headed toward Seattle

5. Seattle’s traffic ranks as some of the country’s worst.
The high cost of housing in the center of the city translates to many, many people commuting. And for all of us, that means traffic that will test your limits. For this reason, many people choose neighborhoods specifically based on their commute time or access to transit.

6. The rain’s not as bad as people say … but the gloomy Seattle winters are no joke.
People make a big deal about the rain in Seattle, and for good reason. It’s likely to rain during any given month of the year. That said, the rain usually appears as drizzle — in fact, Houston, Texas gets about 40% more inches of rain per year than Seattle does! However, Seattle winters can be dreary, with early sunsets, low light, and over 300 cloudy days a year. If you’re a sun worshipper, you’ll want to seriously consider whether Seattle is right for you.

7. If you live outside the city’s core, public transit can be challenging.
Living in the core of Seattle means you have fantastic and varied public transit options, and they’re only getting better. But what about residents in more far-flung areas of the city or suburbs? The further you get from the city’s core, the poorer the service and the fewer options available to you. If you’re dependent on public transit, your options for neighborhoods may be limited.

Seattle skyline

Deciding to Move: Is Seattle Right for Me?

In the end, only you can decide if Seattle is a good fit for you, your preferences, and your lifestyle! If you’re in the process of deciding to move to Seattle, we hope these tips and insights helped with the process. Looking for more information? Check out our Seattle Neighborhood Guide and How to Find an Apartment in Seattle.

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Jacksonville, Florida, also known as The River City and is a long time, culturally diverse city. The tournament players championship is a popular annual golf event in Jacksonville. It’s held in Ponte Vedra, Florida, which is usually considered part of Jacksonville. Many options for music, concerts, and other special events held in downtown Jacksonville, including at a park venue right on the river. The University of Florida and University of Georgia annual football game is held downtown on the river at the NFL Jacksonville jaguars stadium. There is a beautiful baseball sports complex to enjoy fun, baseball games. Since Jacksonville is the largest city, land, wise, each area of town is like its own contained city. Everything you need from banks to grocery stores to shopping. Some of the best medical facilities in the United States, as well as the world, are in Jacksonville, Florida. Such as Baptist, children’s hospital, multiple Baptist hospital, locations around the city, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Saint Vincent’s hospital on the river and Mayo clinic near the beach. The Saint johns river, which runs north, has many park options to enjoy the river. A variety of wildlife can be explored and enjoyed, too. From right whale, watching, to dolphins to the famous manatees to the eagles, nesting on the river, the options are endless. The two most popular areas to hang out in on weeknights and weekends for shopping and restaurants are the St. Johns Town Center and Riverside, which is next to downtown and on the river. Avoid the Baymeadows area near interstate 95 for any hotels. There are some very beautiful springs and rivers to swim, canoe, kayak, and boat down that are easily accessible from Jacksonville. And Saint Augustine, Florida is an easy drive under one hour from Jacksonville. Orlando, Florida is also an easy drive from Jacksonville, Florida. As long as you miss rush-hour traffic in the Orlando area.
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Does anyone happen to know where I can live with a pit bull? Having troubles finding places
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I'm from Jesup Georgia and we always call Jacksonville the largest city in Southeast Georgia
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Great affordable housing in jacksonville florida and senior neighborhoods near the beach and malls and is ther great medical services and dentist and eye care? is ther adult ausitsm services /residentcy? Looking for a great place to retire with a special need adult on the spectrum.
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My husband & I would like to consider moving to Jax from the Fl. Panhandle (Santa Rosa Beach). We moved to SRB from Miami because we retired and hated all the crime and LOTS of traffic & people in the 305, so we thought that a quieter beach town would be perfect but WRONG. This place is slammed with people all summer long.....tourists from 5-6 states come here and crowd the beaches and restaurants every single day for at least 90 days in the summer and 2-3 weeks in the spring making traffic horrible too, and PS, we don't have the roadways for all of these people. Anyhow......we'd like to see if Jacksonville is a good fit for us. We love shopping, culture, movie theatres, YMCA, biking and more. The one thing that I'd like to know is if there are "seasons" in Jax? We love cool/cold weather in the winter and it does get cold here in the Panhandle but LOTS of rain :-/ Would you say it gets into the 30's or even 40's at night in Jax? :-)) Thanks!
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I'm getting ready to move to Jacksonville. What places would you recommend where the rent is cheap and the area is safe? Thanks!!
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What would you say are the safest areas to live at in Jacksonville? They don’t give safety a very high rating. Thanks for any information you can provide.
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Hello. Hello, I am 63 yrs.old. Hoping to relocate within the next couple of months while working from home so traffic won't be a problem. My 89 year old mom will accompany me. Any suggestions where to live?
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Jacksonville has long been known as the working son among Florida's playboys. It has a very strong blue collar background whereas Miami, Tampa, and Orlando have been the main tourist spots for decades. Also, it doesn't have a very glamorous name and there's a Jacksonville in about every other state so you never know which one people are referring to. If I visit North Carolina and say I'm from Jacksonville they assume I mean the one in there state.
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Thanks for all your great information everyone! I’m looking to rent an apartment for 6 months out of the year, as I live in PA and can’t stand the cold weather anymore. I too like the simple life and small town feel. If anyone has any suggestions, I’d appreciate it.
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