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 Post subject: Moving to Seattle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:24 am 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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I'm moving to Seattle. For reals, I think. By July. With husband, toddler, 2 dogs and 2 cats. I have no idea how this is going to work. I'm terrified, actually. I don't know if we will be able to buy a house or need to rent for a while. Not sure how to find a good rental that will work with a bebecito and 2 dogs and 2 cats. We need a yard. And probably no stairs - which is maybe the biggest issue.

Okay, fear factor aside, I am very excited. I got a new job (verbal offer) and am awaiting the written offer to get things moving.

Any advice on... I dunno? Where to live? (Near the university or commutable...)


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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Seattle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:49 am 
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Yay! I hope that you're going to love it here!

Traffic can suck, but if you're working at UW at least you're skipping out on downtown traffic and there are places to live where you could even avoid the freeway for your commute. Rental listings will pretty much all give the neighborhood by name, which makes it a little easier to tell how accessible they are to the school. Here's a pretty basic map of the neighborhoods:

Image

I don't know how hard/easy it will be find a pet-friendly rental, but there are more dogs than kids in Seattle so I'd hope that means there are plenty of landlords who allow pets?

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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Seattle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:15 pm 
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That's a great neighborhood map. Thanks! I would love to live somewhere I don't have to take the freeway. I am not sure yet if I will be able to afford it though. I still have to figure out a lot of stuff regarding finances as well. Thanks again.


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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Seattle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:30 pm 
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That's exciting! I don't have any specific advice but I hope things go smoothly for you guys. Congratulations on the job!


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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Seattle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:49 pm 
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Kimba, I don't know anything about Seattle except that there's good vegan food there and lots of PPKers... but wanted to say congrats on the job and good luck with the move!

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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Seattle
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:34 pm 
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I live in the Central District. I imagine that's crucial info for you.

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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Seattle
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 10:17 pm 
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Awesome, kimba!

Footface! You should come to our brunch meetup next weekend.


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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Seattle
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:26 am 
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Oh yeah? Well, maybe I will!

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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Seattle
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:19 pm 
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FootFace wrote:
I live in the Central District. I imagine that's crucial info for you.


Of course it is! Thanks for all the congrats!


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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Seattle
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:23 pm 
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I'm visiting Tues and Wed (June 17th and 18th) to find a place to live. It's not going very well. I only have 2 places to look at so far .


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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Seattle
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:44 am 
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kimba wrote:
I'm visiting Tues and Wed (June 17th and 18th) to find a place to live. It's not going very well. I only have 2 places to look at so far .


In my experience, it's easiest to find a place to rent in Seattle if you are physically here, checking Craigslist constantly, calling immediately to schedule a viewing if you see something, and being prepared with the info and money needed to apply on the spot. At least on Capitol Hill, you can often find unlisted vacancies by walking around the neighborhood and calling places that have their vacancy signs out. It's a really competitive, fast-moving rental market, and it's hard to be in the game remotely. Visiting is a really smart strategy. Best of luck to you!


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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Seattle
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:00 pm 
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Good luck, kimba! That sounds stressful. I hope you find something that works for you guys.


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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Seattle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:45 pm 
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Hi Guys! Let's just say we were considering moving to Seattle area for a job in Redmond. how bad is the commute from seattle to redmond? is it worth paying, what seems to me to be, really expensive rent in redmond to be able to walk to work vs cheaper rent and driving in from seattle? I'm not thrilled about the idea of living in redmond, but considering, if this happens, that we'll likely need to buy 2 cars, it might be better for one of us to be able to walk to work?

what would you say are average rent prices for a 1-2 bedroom apartment?

i probably shouldn't be posting about this online yet, but i'm freaking out a little!

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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Seattle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:43 pm 
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Personally, I would live in Seattle and consider commuting by bus (I live in Seattle and commute by express bus to Bellevue, which neighbors Redmond.) But that's a personal preference based on my dislike of the Eastside suburbs and your mileage may vary. Depending on work hours, driving is doable as well (my sister works in Kirkland and gets to work across the bridge lickety split because she starts at 6am.)

I have no idea what average rent is. It probably depends a lot of what part of the city you're looking at. My mom lives in a very small 1 bedroom in an older 4-plex. Cute and in a great neighborhood (Phinney Ridge) but cramped. I think she pays $1100 or $1200? A friend lives in a nice-sized, comfortable but non-fancy apartment in a triplex in Green Lake (also a great neighborhood) and only pays ~$1000 because her landlord owns most of the block and likes to keep his rents low to attract long-term tenants. Some newer apartments near me in Greenwood go for $1450 for "large" 1 bedrooms (their ad, not sure what that means in reality.) That's about what I know about apartment rents here... all of those are places I would be comfortable living in. I'm sure there's cheaper and I know there is (way) more expensive.

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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Seattle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:46 pm 
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THANK YOU! and yeah, i'm really not super into the idea of living in redmond, but considering we have to move into an apartment sight unseen, it might be easier to just find a place based on the recs that his new job gave us for the first year and then figure out what the hell we want to do.

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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Seattle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:53 pm 
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Hey, some people really like the Eastside. It's just a whole different flavor than Seattle. Even if Redmond's not your speed a year won't hurt.

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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Seattle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:55 pm 
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Thanks for your input! As long as I can easily drive to get good food and DONUTS in seattle, then i'd live anywhere. there's a veggie grill in seattle, right?

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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Seattle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:12 pm 
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I think there are two. Downtown for sure and maybe South Lake Union, but I could be making that up. I still haven't eaten there. Which is silly.

ETA: whaddaya know, there's a third one in U Village.

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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Seattle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:50 pm 
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you gotta go!

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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Seattle
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:08 pm 
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Chompy LOVES Veggie Grill. We used to go there once a week (South Lake Union), but thankfully that's eased up.

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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Seattle
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:45 pm 
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IJDI, this is really long, but it contains lots of information.

I have rented both 1 and 2 bedrooms in Seattle proper for the last 5 years...and I have worked in Redmond (on the Microsoft campus, if that gives you any extra helpful info) and also farther west in Woodinville. I've both driven and taken the bus.

I hated the commute so much that I initially left the job in Woodinville to work for way less money in a crappy job in the city. Then got the better job in Redmond, but the commute was still hell (traffic on the bridges during rush hour sucks. What is normally a 20 minute drive took me an hour every day). Thankfully, now, I have a good job. I used to walk to work, but we had to move out of our neighborhood due to rent increases / everything turning into condos.
To be quite frank, taking the bus for my commute to Redmond was not only cheaper (we got bus passes through Microsoft) but way faster, especially since I lived right on a fairly popular bus line at the time. So don't write off our public transit for commute!
My roommate is now doing the Seattle - Redmond commute, but he works odd hours, so never runs into rush hour. If at all possible, avoid that mess. It's significant, with Microsoft in Redmond and Amazon downtown.

Rent is nuts right now. Everything is really high and it's become a competitive market. I'm going to share some of my rental history so you get a feel for what's happening:

When I first moved out five years ago, I rented a two-floor duplex, two bedrooms, large living areas both up and downstairs (daylight basement). Smallish but comfortable kitchen, one bathroom, with a porch and a gorgeous view of the canal, a backyard, washer/dryer, and a driveway for $995...in a fairly nice area of the city (Queen Anne, near SPU). We only paid the electric bill, all else was included. There was no pet deposit, and we only needed to pay first and last month's rent.
2 years spent here. We moved out because a very serious mold problem developed and the landlord was ready to sell.

I lived in a fairly spacious one bedroom apartment/daylight basement not long after that place. Nice, updated kitchen with dishwasher, small nook for a table, large-ish living space, and a really big bedroom and closet. Smaller bathroom. Only paid electric, washer/dryer on site. This was $985, and I lived here for six months. $500 deposit + first and last month's, $200 pet deposit. This was in Fremont. When I moved out, 30 people came to view the apartment and arrived ten minutes before the Open House started.

This is the most recent stuff:
I moved into a pretty spacious 2 bedroom flat. But the kitchen was literally so small only a single person could fit, and you barely open the fridge. Large bedrooms, large living area, fenced backyard, driveway, paid electric & gas, washer and dryer. This was $1050, and that's because it was kind of a shithole, with the kitchen plus a lack of interest in updating anything, even though it needed it. $1000 deposit plus first and last month's rent, plus $300 pet deposit. This was in Fremont.
They sold the property to developers (a very common thing happening right now. Half the neighborhoods of Fremont and Ballard are being bought up and condos are getting put in.

When we were forced to move in December, I had a lot of anxiety. Rent increased an obscene amount for someone like me, who was making below the poverty line up until last month. What I could've gotten for $1000-1100 even just a year ago no longer existed. 2 bedroom apartments couldn't be found in the city for less than $1400 (and even then, under $1600 was a rare find and I scoured Craigslist every day for a month). 1 bedrooms and studios are all at least $900 or more, more likely $1000 or more.

Our current place is $1425 and we pay all the bills (which I think is forking ridiculous). It's a 2 bedroom, one bathroom daylight basement (noticing a pattern? Daylight basements are cheaper and really common around here). We do have a washer/dryer and a dishwasher, and the kitchen and main room are tiled (bedrooms carpet). We kind of have a side yard (no fence), no driveway but easy street parking, and easy access to two major bus lines. Our deposit was first and last month's rent and I think a $1000 refundable deposit. The biggest reason we chose this place (aside from it being a thousand times better than every other "affordable" option, was there wasn't a pet deposit.
This is in Phinney Ridge.

If you're willing to live in South Seattle, a lot of neighborhoods down there are cheaper.
My roommate and I feasibly couldn't, as I work in the area and he used to work in Green Lake.


Not to make renting sound like a horror story, but it's a known fact that renting is getting really difficult in Seattle for folks with lower incomes. There has been a lot of conversation surrounding it in the last six months, and with the influx of people (especially those working higher-paying jobs), all the places that used to exist are getting torn down for condos, or they're able to charge way more than many people can afford. I worry that all the things that make Seattle amazing- our vibrant art scene, the music scene, all the social justice organizations here...are going to get priced out. I'm watching it happen on every street in my area.

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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Seattle
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:41 pm 
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missdelaney, thank you so much! This is super helpful. I think my husband may have the option to work odd hours that might make traffic less of an issue. We're definitely not discounting public transportation as we currently dont have a car and rely on subway and bus to get everywhere. And you're definitely not making renting sound like a horror story. Seriously, renting an apartment in NYC is crazy and stressful and hella expensive. I guess in my head, I wanted rent to be A LOT cheaper than we pay, but I think the truth is that what we currently pay ($1850 for a 2 bedroom in Queens) is really cheap for where we live. So, the stuff we were looking at in the $1400-1600 range for a large 1 bedroom is probably pretty normal for redmond. I think these large 1 bedrooms are probably much bigger than our 2 bedroom. Oh and he's not working for microsoft, just FYI and also not a tech job, so it's not one of those high paying jobs that probably most people moving to redmond have.

I really appreciate the help you guys! And it looks like we're definitely going to be out there pretty soon, so let's meet up!

I just hope we won't have too much trouble getting a place since most likely I won't have a job before we move there.

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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Seattle
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 1:50 pm 
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ijustdiedinside wrote:
missdelaney, thank you so much! This is super helpful. I think my husband may have the option to work odd hours that might make traffic less of an issue. We're definitely not discounting public transportation as we currently dont have a car and rely on subway and bus to get everywhere. And you're definitely not making renting sound like a horror story. Seriously, renting an apartment in NYC is crazy and stressful and hella expensive. I guess in my head, I wanted rent to be A LOT cheaper than we pay, but I think the truth is that what we currently pay ($1850 for a 2 bedroom in Queens) is really cheap for where we live. So, the stuff we were looking at in the $1400-1600 range for a large 1 bedroom is probably pretty normal for redmond. I think these large 1 bedrooms are probably much bigger than our 2 bedroom. Oh and he's not working for microsoft, just FYI and also not a tech job, so it's not one of those high paying jobs that probably most people moving to redmond have.

I really appreciate the help you guys! And it looks like we're definitely going to be out there pretty soon, so let's meet up!

I just hope we won't have too much trouble getting a place since most likely I won't have a job before we move there.


At least in my experience, as long as one person is employed and can show they can cover rent (and your credit and references are good) plenty of places will rent to you. Half the leases I've signed only wanted one person to sign them, even if there were two people living in the apartment.

And, yeah, the apartments here are most certainly a lot bigger than in New York! Unless you look at new buildings around here; those are getting smaller.

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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Seattle
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:28 pm 
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I forgot to tell you guys we have an apartment in Redmond and we're moving in on March 7th! we're starting our trek out to the pacific northwest this weekend! eeek!

meet up in march, please?

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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Seattle
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:20 pm 
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Yay! We for sure have to have a meetup once you're here.

I hope the rest of your move goes well!


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