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Old 01-19-2011, 03:27 PM
 
1,490 posts, read 3,339,736 times
Reputation: 702

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There are so many neighborhoods, I also recommend renting until you find out what areas you like, and where you are working. A commute has to be considered when you choose a place to live; traffic is heavy to horrendous, depending on the weather. It took me a couple of years to get a handle on the different areas, and where I found myself spending my time.
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:34 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
34,553 posts, read 62,757,778 times
Reputation: 38685
Beating a dead horse or not, we and many other families we know did move here from CA and were able to buy twice as much house for the same money. In my case we went from 1,400 sf 50 yr old on 5,000 sf lot to 3,040 sf 12 year old on 1/3 acre. You had to spend at least as much as the sale price to avoid capital gains tax, and with 3 kids it was nice to have that much space. The other advantage here is no state income tax, which is at least 10% now in CA. so you can get by on less salary.

Coming from other states such as Michigan, the prices never got over-inflated, so moving here with the same salary means a lot less affordable.
Still, with an income of $70K you can afford to buy a nice house here, just not in Seattle, Mercer Island, or Bellevue. If you go further out there
are some nice areas with much lower prices, if you are willing to commute.

403 Pasco Place NE, Renton, WA 98059 | MLS# 67652
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:21 PM
 
3,117 posts, read 4,141,808 times
Reputation: 2872
I didn't sell a house in California to come up here. I still own a house almost 3 times as big as the OP's in one of the nicest parts of town. Secret? Hard work and smart investing. It's not rocket science.

To the OP - here's the deal: You'll find a lot of people on this site whining about how expensive it is to live here, but you have to keep in mind that the odds are you're not in the same boat they're in, nor would you be. Your 72K as an engineer in Michigan is probably worth 105K out here. You tack on a reasonably successful S/O, and you're making at least 160K a year, which is more than enough to afford a half a million dollar home.

You will find that this particular site is not all that indicative of the actual cross-section of the city. For example, you'll find a lot of people here who attempt to claim you should/could/will eschew the "car lifestyle". That's great if you're 23 and living in some 1 bedroom in Belltown thinking it's so great to be in the "middle of it all", and have a stance of it being more important to scrounge 5 bucks out of the couch to buy a latte instead of being able to swing a car payment. It's not so feasible when you grow up and realize that a house in the suburbs is the way to go. You'll hear people say you'll need to work 15 hours a day just to survive here - keep in mind these will be the people who don't have a solid earning potential, which it appears you do. You need to evaluate an area as it pertains to YOUR life and YOUR preferences and YOUR potential, not what other people say is and isn't feasible for you.
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:28 PM
 
1,490 posts, read 3,339,736 times
Reputation: 702
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xanathos View Post
I didn't sell a house in California to come up here. I still own a house almost 3 times as big as the OP's in one of the nicest parts of town. Secret? Hard work and smart investing. It's not rocket science.

To the OP - here's the deal: You'll find a lot of people on this site whining about how expensive it is to live here, but you have to keep in mind that the odds are you're not in the same boat they're in, nor would you be. Your 72K as an engineer in Michigan is probably worth 105K out here. You tack on a reasonably successful S/O, and you're making at least 160K a year, which is more than enough to afford a half a million dollar home.

You will find that this particular site is not all that indicative of the actual cross-section of the city. For example, you'll find a lot of people here who attempt to claim you should/could/will eschew the "car lifestyle". That's great if you're 23 and living in some 1 bedroom in Belltown thinking it's so great to be in the "middle of it all", and have a stance of it being more important to scrounge 5 bucks out of the couch to buy a latte instead of being able to swing a car payment. It's not so feasible when you grow up and realize that a house in the suburbs is the way to go. You'll hear people say you'll need to work 15 hours a day just to survive here - keep in mind these will be the people who don't have a solid earning potential, which it appears you do. You need to evaluate an area as it pertains to YOUR life and YOUR preferences and YOUR potential, not what other people say is and isn't feasible for you.
There is a huge lifestyle sacrifice between 180K and 500K lodging, especially since 1) there is little likelihood of recouping all of the OP's original down payment because of Michigan's RE slump, and 2) the OP didn't mention a SO, so we're all working with the facts he presented.
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,724 posts, read 26,541,578 times
Reputation: 13925
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlohaHuey View Post
the OP didn't mention a SO,
He did mention a fiance.
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:30 PM
 
9,638 posts, read 25,082,641 times
Reputation: 5321
Some people are chiming in that the OP doesn't need a 3000 square foot home, and then comes Xantahos, who says "I didn't sell a house in California to come up here. I still own a house almost 3 times as big as the OP's".
I'll admit that everybody is different, everybody's desires and needs are different, and who am I to judge?
But, if I'm reading this correctly, Xanathos has a what? 8500 square foot house? I'm not one to judge, but wouldn't that seem a trifle large? If you don't have 24 children or run a house of prostitution, it would seem just a bit large to me.
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:13 PM
 
Location: West Yellowstone, MT
239 posts, read 637,918 times
Reputation: 127
it is a good thing we live in America and are free to live in house the size we want, not just a house the size we need. My wife and I are moving to Seattle and will choose to live in a 5500 square foot house because that is what we want.
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:15 PM
 
304 posts, read 795,581 times
Reputation: 232
If you can earn $2,000/month, live simply and don't have any other mouths to feed you can make it here on your own. I know there are some people who don't believe that but trust me: It's possible. When I first got here I didn't have any source of income, only savings. That was my budget.
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
792 posts, read 1,291,302 times
Reputation: 614
Hey vandygirl, do you do contract work? I am thinking of looking for some in Seattle to replace what I do for a small company in Ohio. Any recommendations regarding the importance of contacts versus online applications? I am not in IT or computer science.
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Seattle Area
3,455 posts, read 6,573,410 times
Reputation: 3588
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xanathos View Post
I didn't sell a house in California to come up here. I still own a house almost 3 times as big as the OP's in one of the nicest parts of town. Secret? Hard work and smart investing. It's not rocket science.

To the OP - here's the deal: You'll find a lot of people on this site whining about how expensive it is to live here, but you have to keep in mind that the odds are you're not in the same boat they're in, nor would you be. Your 72K as an engineer in Michigan is probably worth 105K out here. You tack on a reasonably successful S/O, and you're making at least 160K a year, which is more than enough to afford a half a million dollar home.

You will find that this particular site is not all that indicative of the actual cross-section of the city. For example, you'll find a lot of people here who attempt to claim you should/could/will eschew the "car lifestyle". That's great if you're 23 and living in some 1 bedroom in Belltown thinking it's so great to be in the "middle of it all", and have a stance of it being more important to scrounge 5 bucks out of the couch to buy a latte instead of being able to swing a car payment. It's not so feasible when you grow up and realize that a house in the suburbs is the way to go. You'll hear people say you'll need to work 15 hours a day just to survive here - keep in mind these will be the people who don't have a solid earning potential, which it appears you do. You need to evaluate an area as it pertains to YOUR life and YOUR preferences and YOUR potential, not what other people say is and isn't feasible for you.
Not everybody wants to live in the suburbs...
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