Moving to Seattle: 8 Things to Know Before Moving

Thinking about relocating to the Emerald City? Our guide explores all the important points, including career options, cost of living, climate and more.
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2021's Guide to Moving to Seattle
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There are numerous reasons to choose Seattle as your next home. The international schools, growing job market, and unlimited opportunities for outdoor exploration are just a few of the things to do in Seattle.

Whether you have made up your mind to move to Seattle or still thinking of it in your head, you are on the right path already. This guide is compiled for you.

Seattle, also known as The Emerald City has forests and water in its boundaries, which implies that natural living here is certain.

Seattle has an oceanic climate and it is reasonably a wet city; however, true Seattle locals always make most of each rainfall.

These reasons and many more are why we believe Seattle turns to be a great destination for many people like you.

Here, you will find out the best neighborhoods to live in Seattle, the cost of living in the city, where to find employment, and so on.

This article will teach you every important thing to know about a move to Seattle and why the Emerald City is so unique.

Check out the list of best Seattle movers

What’s Seattle’s Population?

Seattle has a population of 776,555 people as of 2020. Its diversity of people from different locations all around the globe makes up 18.5% of the entire population. It is also a young city, with an average age of 35.

Young professionals enjoy living in Seattle as over 40% of the entire population is between 20 and 39 years of age. There is also an equal gender split, with a married population around 57% of the entire population.

People are moving to the city in multitudes. Population in Seattle has estimated dated to be 22% higher in 2019 than it was in 2020.

Seattle is a city of educated people, with 65 percent of the population holding a minimum of bachelor’s degree, a number gotten partially by the development of local companies, such as Microsoft and Amazon.

Popular Seattle Neighborhoods in Settle in

Whether you are determined to start a family in a calm neighborhood or you just want a bustling nightlife, different neighborhoods in Seattle offer everybody what they want.

Below is a fast brief on some of the leading neighborhoods in Seattle that you should consider: 

  • Queen Anne: A waterside neighborhood that has a calm residential feel.
  • Fremont: Bustling and lively neighborhood with lots of things to do.
  • Green lake: Family-friendly area and is a lake.
  • Beacon Hill: A different and affordable neighborhood closer to downtown.
  • Capitol Hill: High prices of housing, but closer to everything. A lot of coffee shops, nightlife as well as restaurants.
  • Pioneer Square: Located closer to Downtown Seattle, this area contains many historic buildings and it is referred to as Seattle’s original neighborhood.
  • Ballard: Hip and combination of residential and city feel.
  • University District: An ever-bustling neighborhood with the University of Washington located here.

What is the Cost of Living in Seattle?

Seattle’s cost of living is more than the national average by 57.6%. To be able to enjoy living with the expensive cost of living, the median income is $60,258, almost the same as the national average household salary.

However, since the average housing cost in Seattle is $370,000, owning a home can be difficult for many residents in the city. If you desire to buy a home, apartments in Seattle is the smallest in the country, and even won an award for it, with an average size of 711 sq-ft.

Renting an apartment in Seattle costs $1,352 per month.

When you shop for groceries in Seattle, get ready to pay around

  • $1.59 for a ½ gallon of milk,
  • $4.71 for a loaf of bread, and
  • $1.98 for a dozen eggs.

To determine the exact cost of living in Seattle, make a comparison between the city and another city with a bit higher population, such as New York City, Portland, Oregon, and others.

Here is how Seattle comes out:

What is the Cost of Living in Seattle?

City Name

Cost of Living

Average income

Average Home Price

Average Rent

Seattle, WA




$1,352 per month

Portland, OR





New York City, NY





How is the Weather Situation in Seattle?

Are you aware that an average of just 72 sunny days is experienced in Seattle annually? That is too much rain and clouds.

There may need to acclimatize to it, especially if you are moving in from the east coast, but a lot of residents of Seattle have managed to adapt to the usually unpredictable rainy, and gloomy weather. Below are some facts:  

  • The median temperatures start from 370 to 790 F.
  • Summer or warm seasons begins 20th of June to 13tthe h of September with a temperature rising to 700+.
  • Clear or less cloudy seasons are experienced for three months or so.
  • The cloudy season in Seattle lasts 8 months.
  • The city of Seattle experiences an average of 38 inches of rain annually.

Local Job Market in Seattle

If you are concerned about jobs in Seattle, you should understand that the city has many leading employers in the region.

Seattle’s unemployment rate is lesser than the country’s average which should provide some insight into the city’s economy.

There are important companies like Amazon, Zillow, and Microsoft including companies in biotech, manufacturing, computer technology, and healthcare industries here.

Below are some interesting facts about the job market in Seattle: 

  • The minimum wage in Seattle is $15 for each hour.
  • Median yearly income is above $80,000.
  • The common industries include biotech, healthcare, computer technology, and social assistance.

Getting Around the Seattle

Because of the quick development of Seattle, traffic in Seattle is now seen as one of the worst in the nation. To escape the congestion, a local abandoned her car for a year, and then share her experiences with conclusions that “all means of transit have unique moments of usefulness… I have just discovered that they are not as rough as the ones I experienced while driving”.

If you chose to perform your experiment through public transportation, understand that there are many options provided by Seattle:

Sound Transit’s Link Light Rail: These trains run every 6 – 15 minutes, based on the time of the day, and make 14 stops at about 40 minutes on its way through Downtown Seattle straight to the Sea-Tac International Airport. The cost of a 1-way fare for adults starts from $2.25 – $3.25.

King County Metro Transit: This bus service transports people in Downtown Seattle and nearby neighborhoods in King County. You can access timetables and routes online, and you can also get them at the Transit Information Center under the Westlake Center at 4th Avenue and Pine Street. You can get its mobile app for iPhone as well as Android phones.

Seattle Streetcars: The South Lake Union Streetcar runs every 10 – 15 minutes and stops 11 times across the South Lake Union neighborhood. It is available from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm every Monday to Thursday, on Fridays and Saturdays from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm, on Sundays and holidays from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.

The adult fare costs $2.50. For the First Hill Streetcar, availability is at every 10 to 25 minutes and stops 10 times from the Chinatown International District straight to Capitol Hill.

It operates from 5:00 am to 1:00 am from Monday to Thursday, on Fridays and Saturdays from 6:00 am to 1:00 pm, and Sundays and holidays from 10:00 are to 8:00om. Adult fare cost $2.50.

Seattle Center Monorail: These are popular trains that convey over 2 million passengers annually, traveling in-between Westlake Center and Seattle Center.

Regular working hours are from 7:30 am to 11:00 pm starting from Monday through Friday, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30 am to 11:00 pm.

Trains depart from station every 10 minutes and the travel takes just 2-mins per way. The cost of the 1-way trip for adults is $2.50.

Colleges & Education in Seattle

The Public School District is one of the largest located in Washington. The district at the moment educates over 50,000 students in over 90 schools.

This district’s goal is to give a learning environment that gets students ready for higher education as well as for life including work.

As regards higher education, Seattle has a lot of Universities and colleges. Some of the commonly known are:

  • University of Washington
  • Seattle Pacific University
  • Seattle University School of Law
  • Seattle University
  • Seattle Central College
  • North Seattle College

What Areas in Seattle are the Safest?

Looking for the best area in Seattle is so much important to most people. Look into one of the three safest neighborhoods.

Those Bryn Mawr located in the Southeastern region of the city, the areas closer to 45th Ave NE and NE 95th Street located in the north, including Lake City, an area that is home to Victory Heights, Mathews Beach, Olympic Hills, Meadowbrook, and Cedar Parks.

Neighborhood Scout reported that Seattle is safer than two percent of other United States cities. But that is just a top-level view of safety in Seattle.

If you desire to know more about the crime rate in the city of Seattle, check the Seattle Police Department website for reports and data. 

Pros and Cons of Living in Seattle


  • Numerous production of local farm-fresh organics
  • Many restaurants that cook fresh and ethnic food from farm
  • Great cultural activities
  • Bustling nightlife
  • No state income tax
  • Mosquitoes almost extinct
  • Closeness to great outdoor life


  • The higher cost of living than most other cities
  • Drizzling and a lot of overcasting
  • Once in a while earthquakes
  • Heavy traffic jam
  • Professional sports teams are underperforming
  • Winter here is long and cloudy

Helpful Moving Tips to Seattle

If you decide to move to Seattle, below are a few important tasks you can perform to get ready and have a smooth transitioning.

  • As you are packing, label extra boxes “donate” and store any belongings you are no longer using in those boxes. You don’t need to move unnecessary, unneeded, or unwanted items; this will save you money as you move. For more information on how to pack for a move, read our Parking Tips.
  • Start looking for housing and jobs by subscribing to the Seattle Times.
  • Look into renting at first. Knowing a city takes some time, and before you purchase a home, be sure you know the best neighborhood for you. We have discussed some of the top neighborhoods above.
  • Throw a different moving party. Say farewell to your family and friends that you are leaving behind and enlist their help in packing moving boxes.
  • Endeavor to create a list of items packed in each box. Then, when fully packed, tape the record to the side of each box exterior. This will simplify unpacking for you, especially if you just need to find an item before you commence full unpacking.
  • Above all, make sure you create a moving checklist to follow throughout the move. This will help you to stay organized and never miss anything. Remember, moving comes with a lot of challenges, especially when you in the middle of the move. A moving checklist will help you manage your move perfectly.

Read our ultimate checklist to move out of state.


Why is it awesome to live in Seattle?

The risk of heart disease, diabetes, and anginas in people living in Seattle is lesser than the rest of the United States. Mostly, this is because of the continuous emphasis on health and wellness. More than 85% of residents of Seattle don’t smoke, and there is enough access to fresh, local food, which is just one of the many best things about Seattle.

Can you live without a car in Seattle?

Exploring Seattle without a personal car is not hard, especially when there are few tools: applications, such as City mapper and One Bus Away, as well as a membership in some car-sharing service will go a long way. Biking, walking, and busing are all part of a normal day in this great city.

Is Seattle costlier than New York?

Think this carefully, living in New York costs 33.0% more than in Seattle, WA. You would need yearly earnings of $79,790 to keep your current standard of living. NYC employers normally pay 10.0% higher than employers in Seattle, WA. I think, with this information, you should decide which is better.

Is moving to Seattle worthwhile?

There are several better reasons to consider Seattle as your next home. Seattle is not only bordered by lush green forests, but it is also popular for being eco-friendly. Also, people living in Seattle earn more than-average incomes. The city is widely known for being a rainy city.

What is it like to live in Seattle?

It is great to reside in Seattle, just speak with anyone who resides here. They will surely complain about the rain, graffiti, and traffic, but they don’t have plans to relocate any time soon.

A lot of people are moving to Seattle every year; Seattle is placed in the 4th position for development among the 50 biggest cities in the country by the United States Census.

What is the amount a single person needs to live in Seattle?

Estimated monthly costs for a single person are $1,160 excluding rent. Seattle is less than New York in cost at 13.21% (excluding rent). Rent is lower on average in Seattle compared to rent in New York

How bad winter in Seattle?

The winters in Seattle are very mild, usually 450F and gray. The summers in the city are warm and can get a little hotter, with about 900 often experienced in August and sometimes even up to 1000, which can get terrible for people that have no air conditioning.

Set to Relocate to Seattle?

So, should you start packing for a Seattle move? If you enjoy the outdoors, mountains, music, art, and coffee, then a move to Seattle is just perfect for you and you may discover that Washington is the number one state to relocate to according to the US News and World Report.

If you’ve decided to move to Seattle, our team at Moving APT would love to render our help. With more than 20 years of moving experience and local knowledge, we can surely assist you to have the seamless move of your dream. Our professional cross country movers can assist you with it all, whether storage, packing, or transportation.

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