Seattle is an absolutely stunning city. There are high paying jobs, tons of cultural activities, endless outdoor recreation, great colleges, and more. However, considering a move versus actually moving, are two very different things. Let’s go beyond the surface level research, and dive deep into how the locals really live. Read on for insight and some useful information to help you figure out if Seattle’s a good fit for you.
Even if you have friends or family in Seattle, and they absolutely love living here, it’s still a good idea to visit in person. Technically, you can find out everything you want to know about Seattle online, but nothing can replace the personal experiences you’ll have when your feet are on the ground. After spending a few days or a week here, you’ll know in your ‘gut’ whether or not moving to Seattle feels right.
Also, there’s one more crucial point to make here — Seattle’s annual rainfall. On average, the city gets anywhere from 34 to 37 inches of rain each year. For comparison, Los Angeles gets just under 15 inches annually, Chicago about 35 inches and Houston 50 inches. If you’re not a fan of rain or gray clouds, this city might not be for you.
A recent study by The Council for Community and Economic Research ranked the 10 most expensive urban areas in the U.S. based on the cost of living. Not surprisingly, Seattle made this list and took the number five spot. This study also noted that housing made up a large percentage of the cost of living numbers. With that said, securing a job before you move is of the utmost importance. Fortunately, there are many technology jobs in the city led by tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft. And there are several small startups that have been widely successful. Regardless of the industry, you work in, landing a job before you come is a wise decision that will allow you to start living the moment you step foot in Seattle. Browse listing sites and job forums and submit an application for as many relevant positions as possible. It’s a numbers game, so don’t give up or get easily discouraged!
Selecting where you want to live is the next order of business. Two of the biggest factors in choosing a neighborhood are — cost and proximity to work. Even though Seattle just became the most expensive city for renters outside of major California cities, there are still some affordable areas.
However, living in less expensive parts of Seattle could create a long commute for you. An important decision to make is figuring out whether saving money on an apartment or saving on your commute time matters more. Once you come to that conclusion, then the next step is to look at the diversity and cultural attributes of a neighborhood. Also, if you love hanging out at coffee shops, or being close to parks, or the waterfront, then these considerations will also help you narrow down the neighborhood of choice.
Once you’ve locked down the neighborhood of choice, start searching for apartments in that area. Current rental trends tend to favor the landlord because of supply and demand. So, getting a head start on your apartment hunt is key. If you feel overwhelmed by the choices, take a look at some beautifully designed, serviced apartments offered by Blueground. Their spaces are created to help mid to long-term guests feel like a local right away.
A move-in ready apartment that comes completely equipped could be just what you’re looking for. Plus, it significantly cuts down on the stress of moving when you don’t have to factor in shipping furniture and calling up utility providers. Simply show up and start living.
After making all the necessary arrangements in Seattle, it’s time to prepare for the actual move. First things first. Closeout or transfer any local accounts you might have open, such as a membership at your local CrossFit studio or meditation center. Think about the items in your home that you no longer want or need. If you decide to donate most of your furniture pieces, contact a local charity and arrange for them to pick-up those items.
Before packing up your clothes and smaller items, reach out to local grocery and hardware stores, to ask if they have spare boxes. Make dinner plans with your friends and family so you can have some quality time with them before you move.
Finally, if you have a car, decide whether you want to drive it, have it transported, or hitched to the back of your U-Haul. Or maybe you’re thinking about selling it. If you can’t sell your car before you move, ask a friend to manage the sale for you. Preparation is key with any move, and it’s the most crucial part of the entire process. Take your time, and try to think of everything you’ll need to do before moving to Seattle.
You arrived in Seattle, congratulations! Now what? Well, hopefully, you’ve given yourself a few days to settle in before you have to be at work, or your first day of class. Whether you have one day or one week, use this free time to explore your new surroundings.
Go visit Pike Place Market, the Seattle Japanese Garden, eat at a local restaurant, load up on groceries, or have food delivered to you. Another helpful step is to find the nearest bus stop, metro station, or ferry dock if you’re planning to take public transit to work, school, or around the city. Allow yourself to take it all in, and in no time at all, you’ll feel right at home.