Post # 1
Hi Bees! DH is going to Seattle this month to meet a business owner about a job opportunity there. We have not ever been to Seattle, although DH moved around alot growing up (Arizona, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Miami, Atlanta). We met in Atlanta and enjoyed the big city, but not the conservative GA attitude (generally ATL itself is a little better), so we moved to northern CA. While we both LOVE it here, there aren’t many ties and we both know we could make better money and possibly love somewhere else just as much. Worse case scenario we can always come back to our small norcal town- in all reality the same ppl will be doing the same thing 5, 10, 15 years from now…
So, Seattle bees- is there anything you can tell me about Seattle or the area that might help us with this decision or prepare us? The weather we are somewhat primed for- our area in norcal is pretty foggy/rainy with little in the way of seasons (high 65 in summer, low 40 in winter) so we expect our local weather but with more oomph =)
Here’s some of my specific questions:
-How is housing? it looks expensive as shit and all I’m seeing is a ton of condo’s apartments. We really want a house as we have a pooch, possibly two as a friend may be making the move with us and she has a pup as well..
-Is Seattle pit-bull friendly? I couldn’t find any straight up bans on the breeds, but that doesn’t mean the community in general is friendly towards them.. Our paperwork from the shelter & vet says she is a boxer mix so technically she is not a pitty although she looks alot like one…
-How is the job market? I’m a legal assistant now and would likely be looking for a clerical/admin assistant job there (maybe with UNW or amazon or even another law firm if I have to) but starting pay would have to be at least what I make now ($15/hr) hopefully more…
-Any areas you can recommend? I had no idea Seattle had so many options! The job he is looking at is in Queen Anne, although we are not sure the exact location yet until the owner calls us back this week.
Post # 3
Welcome to Seattle (maybe!) The Pacific North West is amazing. From the sound of your current weather you’ll be just fine here- lots of cloudy days and rain, but when it get nice outside it is absolutely gorgeous. Cascade Mountains on one side, Rockies on the other, Mt. Rainier looming in the background, the Sound glittering in the sunlight…amazing! In the summer it can get hot, but usually stays in the high 70s. Winters are also mostly temperate with lows in the 40s, but we definitely have our cold snaps!
Housing is expensive. Especially in Seattle-proper. If you go a bit north (Northgate/Shoreline) or a bit south (Beacon Hill/Rainier Beach or even Renton) you can definitely find much more reasonable housing prices, but the cost is a longer commute (and rush hour is awful here). For a job in Queen Anne, you might be able to find some reasonable stuff around the Ballard or Fremont neightborhoods, and that’s a quick commute. Try areas like Greenwood and Greenlake too. Seattle has so many neighborhoods. Here’s an infographic of them all!
Seattle is really dog friendly. The city is made up of smaller neighborhoods, so it might vary from one to another if they are pit friendly specifically, but on the whole Seattle loves dogs.
The job market is OK…from my own experience it’s not better or worse than anywhere else. Amazon is tough to get into. I recommend looking at the Universities here; they often have admin positions and they pay well. Cost of living is a bit high here, so you should have no trouble meeting your $15/hr min.
I hope you guys enjoy it here!
Post # 4
@BeckyS0: Another advantage to moving to Seattle is that you are only a 2 hr drive from Vancouver, BC!!
Seriously, I love Seattle. We travel to Washington and Oregon all the time. Both are beautiful and have way better shopping than we do.
Post # 8
I would suggest looking outside of Seattle proper for housing. Look a little north or south on the I-5 corridor for housing, as others have suggested, and it becomes MUCH more affordable. If you’re right on the I-5, it’s a straight shot into the city, so the commute is easy (although depending on the time of day you’re making the drive, it can get backed up, so plan accordingly) and getting lost isn’t a big concern. Parking in the city can be a pain (expensive), but if your DH is going to be working somewhere that provides parking, that won’t be a concern. Look at working for state/community colleges or universities. They’re always hiring, and if you can get a job working for the state (in any full-time .5 FTE or higher position, for a college or not) any education you want to pursue will be subsidized BY the state, provided you are attending a state/public school. It’s the WA State Employees Tuition Waiver, and it’s paying for most of my MA and PhD (so I won’t have student loans).
Everett has breed-specific legislation, and other cities might, as well, but Everett is the only one I know about for sure.
Post # 5
@Audrey2_sings: @julies1949: Thanks ladies!! Good lord that’s alot of options on that graphic! how about neighborhoods you would NOT want to live in- maybe work my way backwards since there’s so much! To start with, for at least 6 mos until we get a feel for the area, we’d like something convenient to the city closeby to food, shopping, etc. (we could do an apartment if we had to short term) and ideally in the long-term we’d like a progressive almost hippy type family friendly community with lots of outdoorsy activities…
I just thought of another question- how does the no personal income tax thing work? It seems totally crazy to me- are your sales/property taxes higher to makeup the difference?
Post # 6
@julies1949: I don’t know if DH could get into Canada as he got a DUI about 5 yrs ago… =( But we’ve been to Portland and LOVED that city so much there will def. be some trips down there if we make the move!
Post # 7
@BeckyS0: I always laugh at that rule. I know it’s not funny but there are people with far worse histories that we welcome with open arms.
Our own ex-premier of BC had a DUI while on Vacation to Hawaii, and he was appointed Canadaian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
He can apply for rehabilitation, but it takes a while.
Post # 8
I haven’t lived up there in ages, but that’s where my FI and I got engaged last summer.
I LOVE Seattle, the food, the people, the parks, however boy do I hate the traffic. Otherwise, I entertain the idea of moving back one of these days. Not sure about pit bull, but it is very dog friendly.
Post # 9
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rosehill Community Center
Housing is fairly expensive, but like a PP said, the cost of living is higher and the wages tend to reflect that. I think where your DH and you might be working will impact where you live – personally if you work on the north side of downtown, I’d say try to live on the north side, maybe Greenlake or Greenwood. There are a lot of townhouses that might be a good option, or cute little houses with backyards (though they can be incredibly expensive!). Queen Anne might just be crazy expensive, so you might avoid that. There are good and bad areas in like, all of the areas, maybe avoid right along 99…
I also feel like I’ve seen lots of pit bulls around. Definitely dog friendly!
Job market seems pretty decent. I have seen a lot of contract positions, which aren’t the best maybe, but at least a foot in the door.
Also – the Seattle Chill. I feel like people need to be warned that people here aren’t necessarily the friendliest, they aren’t always as outgoing or good at talking to people they don’t know… It’s not always the case, but it’s like people err on the side of keeping to themselves. They’re not mean or anything, but not as welcoming as other areas of the country!
Post # 10
julies1949: go figure LOL! I don’t think he can do the rehabilitation thing as he’s in the process of being sentenced for selling alcohol without a permit (long story short we owned a business and participated in a city wide art event that always has alcohol for a donation- we asked the police if we needed a permit and they said no, then ABC came and charged him). =(
Mimiz: ya, I’ve heard the traffis is horrid. I’m used to Atlanta traffic but I have enjoyed the lack of traffic in our little town now- rush hour means you sit through a light twice LOL! I will totally miss that aspect of small town life!
NowDontLetsBeSilly: We were looking in the greenlake/greenwood areas & there do seem to be more homes and townhouses versus apartments. We could swing an apartment but with us two plus our girlfriend, and we both have pitty’s that sounds rough in under 1,000 sq. ft!
I have read a bit about the Seattle chill. I’m kind of that way naturally (intorvert big time) but DH is very outgoing so I told him he would have to make friends for us both at first! Where we live now people are very friendly, but they hold you at arms length and it’s all pretty shallow- more acquaintances than friends really…. Is the chill worse than that or about the same?
Post # 11
BeckyS0: The February 2014 issue of Seattle magazine has a huge article on where the jobs are in Seattle from pages 70-87. See if you can access it online.
Post # 12
julies1949: sweet! Thanks! I’ve just been browsing craigslist & Indeed.com – I HATE it when employers don’t at least note the starting pay, it would save me & them alot of time & hassle!
Post # 13
BeckyS0: Seattle is a beautiful place to live! And yes weather is a factor but let me tell you, I woke up to wind and rain yesterday, went out for lunch to find some blue sky, and went home in more horrid rain. It’s totally unpredictable. Our summers are beautiful and a great temperature. Typically in the 70s. If you like the outdoors, you’ll never be bored. Jobs – our job market seems to be very strong at the moment. Start getting on linked in and see if you can make some connections there, a lot of people use it. Unfortunately I don’ t know anyone in the legal field or I would help you but I can’t imagine that it would take too long to find a job. Dogs – As far as I know there are no city ordinances about pit bulls, MANY people have pit bulls in Puget Sound. Maybe it’s because we’re so liberal, and dog loving, we like to give everyone a chance ;). You just want to make sure you check with any land lords or apartment/condo rules, those are the ones that may limit “aggressive” breeds. Cost of living – Yup, it’s expensive, but we also have a high minimum wage (9.26 at the moment) and as PP’s said wages tend to reflect cost of living. As far as good areas to live, I’m curious what type of atmosphere and area you are interested in? Yes any of the direct Seattle neighborhoods (queen anne, capital hill, fremont etc) are going to come with high rental prices. The further out you get the better the price, but our bus system is fantastic and MOST people who work downtown commute via bus. Greenwood/Lake is an excellent area if you can find something that is affordable. There are some great bars, parks, and of course the lake itself which has a biking/walking/running dog friendly path around it. If you go a bit more north like into shoreline or northgate, you are still in close proximity to greenlake but the rent gets cheaper. So yeah my big question is what are you into, what kind of neighborhoods/people do you like? Do you want to be able to walk everywhere, do you want a good night life, will you have cars, etc… Nice thing about the puget sound is that you can pretty much find something no matter what you like!
ETA: The chill – it’s about the same. People are friendly, but can be hesitant to invite people into their group. There are lot’s of ways to get around this though. And honestly I have never had a problem meeting new people. Granted I grew up here but people are friendly and if you have something in common they will totally chat and love to do happy hours etc.
Post # 14
I just moved to the Seattle area, we arrived this past weekend to be exact! We got an apartment in Greenwood, and so far I really like the area. There are a ton of great bars and places to eat, and I am in walking distance of Walgreens, Safeway, and Fred Meyer. DH commutes into downtown and it takes him about 25 minutes on the bus. I’m currently looking for work. I haven’t noticed the “Chill,” some posters are talking about. Everyone we’ve met so far has been pretty friendly. Then again we are really friendly people so perhaps DH and I bring it out in the people we meet? The weather is taking some getting used to for this Texas girl. Everything is a bit more crowded than we are used to, as well. I feel like there is no elbow room! Cost of living was a shocker, too, but it seems wages take that into consideration.
Good luck! There are some great bees here that helped me during our move. I’m hoping we can all do a meetup soon!
Post # 15
Welcome (maybe) to Seattle BeckyS0 !! I’ve lived here for 6 years now and still love it. The weather is usually what gets to people when they move here, but I moved from Portland so pretty much the same thing. Summers here are AMAZING and really do make the rest of the year more bearable.
JOBS/WAGE: Like other bees have said, the job market is pretty decent and you will very likely get the $15/hr you’re looking for because cost of living is kind of ridiculous.
HOUSING: It IS expensive as shit. I was shocked when I first moved here. If you’re concerned about cost, I don’t think you’re going to want to find housing in Queen Anne although it’s a fun area to be in. What type of atmosphere are you looking for in the area you live? That will definitely help narrow down the neighborhoods since each area really does have a different feel. Greenlake or Greenwood are popular areas and a decent commute to Queen Anne. If you want to live in the south part of Seattle, Columbia City is a nice area. I used to live near Columbia City but we decided to buy a house and ended up moving outside of Seattle to get more house for our money. We’re up in the Mountlake Terrace/Lynnwood area (about 20 min north of Seattle)…the commute sucks but if you’re able to take a bus into work, it really is pretty convenient. Some things to consider when picking a neighborhood is:
- ease of parking – do you have people over a lot and would it be difficult for them to find parking since it’s a pain in some areas like capitol hill or expensive (some areas the parking is $3+ per hour)
- walkability – do you want to be able to walk to coffee shops, restaurants, bars or do you not mind driving?
- proximity to freeway – will you be doing a lot of commuting? I love Ballard but it is a pain in the ass to get to places from there since it can take forever to get to the freeway
- level of activity – some neighborhoods are busier/louder than others (eg. Capitol Hill, University District, Belltown) and some are super quiet and everything closes early (eg. Wedgwood)
- Just avoid living along 99 period. There are some ok stretches but most of it is sketchy. Same with most of the central district and I wouldn’t go south of columbia city.
DOGS: Seattle is super dog friendly! I see pitbulls all the time at the dog parks and it doesn’t really seem to phase many people. There are some apartments that don’t allow pitbulls but you would have to look at the rental agreements because it really does vary. I see pitbulls all over town so I don’t think you have a lot to worry about in terms of the city being pitbull friendly.
As for the Seattle Chill–I think it really depends. I’m an introvert so it’s harder for me to make friends and meet new people, but it’s a breeze for my husband and he is always meeting new people. I think it’s really how much you put yourself out there in terms of the response you get back. If you move here, we can be introverts together 😉 haha