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Thread: Moving to Seattle area

  1. #1
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    Hi all,

    It is likely that my wife and I will be relocating from sunny Jacksonville, FL to the Seattle area this August. I figured I would ask you all for your opinions on where to look for a place to live (or more to the point, where NOT to live).
    I'm not a stranger to the area, but I wouldn't say I'm familiar either. I've been there twice in the last 18 months, but only 4 times total in my life. I like the area in and around Seattle-proper, but I don't think I want to live there. It's way too left-leaning for me. The areas that I've seen and liked were Bothell (the nice people who gave me a non-res WA CPL, and even mailed it to me in FL), Edmunds, Bellevue, and parts of Renton and Kent.
    Any advice you all could give me on where to avoid, and any other helpful info would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!





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    I like Kitsap County. It's close enough to Seattle whenever you need to interact with them city folk, yet rural enough that you don't have to deal with all the problems. There is pretty much everything on this side of water and like I said, Seattle is only a 45 minute ferry ride away. I assume you're Navy coming from Jacksonville? There is also two Navy bases in Kitsap County to make life easier.

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    Regular Member Machoduck's Avatar
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    Welcome Starbuck! It would help if you could narrow the geographical area a little. Do you have a job yet? Its location would be a natural center for your search. Your commute will be a factor in your happiness. Try to avoid certain routes such as I-405 at regular commuting hours. If you've selected an area, Bothell for example, drive around a lot and pay attention to what you see. Don't like certain things to be nearby, such as airports or landfills? When you've narrowed it down to an area, let us know.

    MD

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    Hi G27. Nope, I'm not navy. I think I'm the only person in North Florida who isn't
    I like the way Kitsap county looks, especially with regard to cost of living, but not being military, I don't think there's much there for me.

    machoduck- I'm hoping to have a job lined up before the move, but it's very possible that I'll be jobhunting when I get there. I work for a software development company, and we have several clients in the Seattle area, so hopefully that will help out.
    As for commute, I live in the largest city in the lower 48 (in terms of land area), so given Jacksonville's rampant urban sprawl, my tolerance for long drives tends to be higher than people I know in other cities. My current drive to work is 18 miles each way, and that's not really that bad, for Jacksonville. I guess what I'm saying is that the geographic area isn't really important to me, as long as it's within reasonable driving distance to the metro area (reasonable to me is 20-25 miles).
    My main concern is places to avoid. I'm not familiar with what areas are rougher than others. An old roommate of mine lives in Tukwila, and after staying there last year, it isn't on my "short-list" of places to settle down.

    Thanks!


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    Starbuck, are you moving for work ? that would have a tune on what area you plant your selves. I grew up in Federal and moved to Snohomish County in 84. It then was like F/D was in the late 60's. Boy has that all gone by by.



    Any ways this part of the state is the best, you have it all from ocean to desert in a few hours drive. Good luck :celebrate

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    Regular Member j2l3's Avatar
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    Tukwila is right next to Renton and Kent. Keep that in mind. So is SeaTac. You would probably like Edmonds a lot. Quiet, low crime, a nice downtown and waterfront areabut not far from anywhere. Being only about 15 miles from downtown Seattle.

    We rarely measure the commute in distance around here. 18 miles can tak you an hour on the road in rush hour. Maybe longer. I live 8 miles from work and it takes over half an hour to make the drive in Seattle.

    My assistant lives 30 miles or so from work and it often takes him 90 minutes to get to the office, and that's in the afternoon BEFORE evening rush hour.

    Seattle is in the top 10 cities for the worst traffic congestion in the country.
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    j2l3 wrote:
    Tukwila is right next to Renton and Kent. Keep that in mind.
    How are they, compared to each other?

    I'm probably going to come back out there next month or in June, to "scout" some places out.

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    Bothell is very nice. I lived there for 3 years. Commuting is a big deal in the Seattle metro area. My 12 mile commute took 55 minutes. I was willing to put up with that for the sake of living in quiet Bothell, but I don't miss it now that I'm out.

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    The bridges suck for commuting so if you don't know if you'll be working in Seattle or the east side being at the north or south end of the lake is good. I think most people will agree that on average the north end has better neighborhoods. It sounds like you will prefer the eastside in general and probably the NE quadrant ( Bothell, Woodinvile, Kirkland, Bellivue, Redmond) however there is a large software company in the area, and you may not like the prices.

    Renton is undergoing a bit of a revial, however commuting north on 405 is really tough. You might want to hold off on buying till you find a job, renting a house till you have a job.

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    Regular Member j2l3's Avatar
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    starbuck wrote:
    j2l3 wrote:
    Tukwila is right next to Renton and Kent. Keep that in mind.
    How are they, compared to each other?

    I'm probably going to come back out there next month or in June, to "scout" some places out.
    I have friends that live in both Renton and Kent. They like it there. Tukwila is a little rougher overall, more gang activity. They have a large mall that isn't considered the safest place to be.

    House prices are pretty good in those areas though.
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    I moved to Poulsbo (Kitsap County) from Atlanta in December - it's a 30-minute ferry ride from Seattle, but the feel is a lot more small-town. Crime's a lot less, and prices are usually lower. A LOT of people live out here on the peninsula and commute to Seattle for work.

    I'm also a software developer, btw. If you're looking for a position with one of the big companies like Google or Microsoft, you'll want to live closer to Redmond. It's a long commute from the peninsula :\

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    starbuck wrote:

    As for commute, I live in the largest city in the lower 48 (in terms of land area), so given Jacksonville's rampant urban sprawl, my tolerance for long drives tends to be higher than people I know in other cities. My current drive to work is 18 miles each way, and that's not really that bad, for Jacksonville. I guess what I'm saying is that the geographic area isn't really important to me, as long as it's within reasonable driving distance to the metro area (reasonable to me is 20-25 miles).
    The difference between commuting here in the Greater Seattle Area and anywhere else in the US where there is "Urban Sprawl" is that traffic everywhere else MOVES. For some reason everyone here loves to come to a complete stop for no apparent reason, drive 2 miles per hour when it Snows and only 5 mph when it rains.

    I would rather make a 50 mile commute in LA than a 20 mile commute here. (Oh wait, I'm retired. I don't got to make no stinking commute no more:celebrate:celebrate:celebrate)
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    I live on the "infamous" hilltop area of Taco-ma, it's not nearly as bad as people make it out to be. Most of your probable job opportunities are going to be in or around the Bellevue-Kirkland area, but the housing prices are something NASA can't even afford.
    You could try Dupont (near Tacoma, on the Fort Lewis side), but I hear the job market has somewhat dried up in that area for developers and I.T. guys. Fortunately, the housing isn't too expensive in that area.
    It's a hard call, there are jobs around here for tenacious types, it might get a little frustrating at first, though.
    Good luck, look me up if you want to when you get in the state and get settled.
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    amlevin wrote:
    starbuck wrote:

    As for commute, I live in the largest city in the lower 48 (in terms of land area), so given Jacksonville's rampant urban sprawl, my tolerance for long drives tends to be higher than people I know in other cities. My current drive to work is 18 miles each way, and that's not really that bad, for Jacksonville. I guess what I'm saying is that the geographic area isn't really important to me, as long as it's within reasonable driving distance to the metro area (reasonable to me is 20-25 miles).
    The difference between commuting here in the Greater Seattle Area and anywhere else in the US where there is "Urban Sprawl" is that traffic everywhere else MOVES. For some reason everyone here loves to come to a complete stop for no apparent reason, drive 2 miles per hour when it Snows and only 5 mph when it rains.

    I would rather make a 50 mile commute in LA than a 20 mile commute here. (Oh wait, I'm retired. I don't got to make no stinking commute no more:celebrate:celebrate:celebrate)
    I disagree, Bellevue has been downright pleasant to commute from and to (Redmond, that big software company) compared to Orange County, CA. Down there, a 10-15 minutes in "normal traffic" drive turned into 1-1.5 hours (commuting south on the 405... yeah, it's weird to move and still use the same freeways).

    As for areas, I think where you work matters a lot. If my gf and I had end up split jobbed (she interviewed at both Amazon and Microsoft while I already had a position at the latter), we might have ended up on mercer island (despite the high cost of living). What area of software development are you interested in? Do you have a resume available?
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    +1 for Kitsap County. It's a great place. My mom commutes to Seattle every day from there and while it's a longish commute, it's not a deal-breaker.

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    There are development and IT jobs all over the Tacoma/Seattle/Everett area, so there is no telling where you will end up working, though the greater Bellevue area does have the highest concentration of such work.

    The problem is that if you move here and THEN get a job there are a LOT of potential bad commutes. I would definitely rent when I got here until I have a good job, then purchase if I could somewhere with a good commute, because if you get a bad commute you WILL hate it, even if you learn to live with it.

    There are a lot of great places to live, and a lot of bad ones, but if I had to suggest just one area, I would say stick with the south side of Seattle:

    Kent
    Renton
    Tukwila
    Auburn
    Federal Way

    The North Side is a older and over-developed, so you won't find much in the way of open areas up there, and you have more lefty types on that side. We still have some open areas and are at least a little more right down on the south side. The East side has lots of rich people so they are a little more right there, but you really only want to go to the East side if you already have a job there, because the commute in and out of there is horrible any time of day. If you get a job anywhere else you are pretty much guaranteed a bad commute living there.




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    Let me second the recommendation for the Tacoma area. Lots more affordable than many places in King County.

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    +1 for Kitsap County, although our crime, especially violent crime is on the rise... Nice place to live though, pretty low key...

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    MadHatter66 wrote:
    +1 for Kitsap County, although our crime, especially violent crime is on the rise... Nice place to live though, pretty low key...
    Really? I hadn't realized. Any particular areas?

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    I'm partial to the Eastside like Bellevue, Kirkland, and even Bothell. Not sure about Kent though. Crime seems to be going up there. And there are random acts of violence like that Denny's shooting awhile back. Also I heard that Kent is the #1 place to go to buy guns on the street. Renton is decent and definately going through a redevelopment phase in "The Landing" area.

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    I've lived in Kent, Renton and Seattle, near the U (View Ridge). You couldn't pay me enough to live in Renton or Kent or anywhere south of the city again, but that's purely personal opinion. I've never lived north of the city, but Edmonds is nice. I used to work with a guy that commuted from Edmonds down to Kent every day, and he liked it a lot.

    If you have kids, I'd go with the Kitsap Co. suggestion. If I had to live in the Puget Sound region again and didn't have kids, I'd choose Seattle, preferably near the U. Yes, you have to deal with the leftist garbage, but it's a fun area. Green Lake, Phinney Ridge, View Ridge, Fremont...nice places.

    I left Seattle in 1998, so take my suggestions with a grain of salt.

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    I don't know. It seems that if you live in Kitsap and work in Bellevue or Redmond then the commute is going to get very expensive to transport your vehicle by ferry each day.

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    Peacemaker wrote:
    I don't know. It seems that if you live in Kitsap and work in Bellevue or Redmond then the commute is going to get very expensive to transport your vehicle by ferry each day
    Commuting via ferry isn't cheap.

    http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/wave...n=monthly_pass



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    Thanks a lot for all of the input so far! It's much appreciated!

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