I miss Seattle! (Kirkland, White Center, George: fit in, apartments, lease)
Seattle areaSeattle and King County Suburbs
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Hi everyone! I have enjoyed reading here for quite some time and love all the information this forum shares. Thank you for that!
I’m a 24 year old single female who currently lives in MN. I graduated college with a degree in elementary education… but unfortunately have not gotten a teaching job besides subbing so I am a nanny for the time being. I have a love for geography and although I haven’t traveled much, it is my dream to do so.
Last year, in November, I got in my car and drove out to Seattle. There was no reason for doing so... I just felt like checking it out. I fell in love and stayed for 3 weeks. And since then, I have been determined that I will someday move there. I was there during the Christmas tree lightings and it just felt so right for me. I’ve always lived in smaller midwest towns, with the exception of a year in Houston, TX and have never felt the way I did in Seattle. Of course, a nanny’s salary doesn’t allow me to just up and move so I have been doing research and seeing what my options are. Unfortunately for me, I don’t see the move happening anytime soon because I really need to be ready and know that I will make it okay financially there. Teaching jobs are hard to come by, so what might an elementary teacher with a love for geography consider as jobs to look for? I’ve thought about being a travel agent, but I’m not qualified for that. I think what would make me happiest is something dealing with travel. Any ideas?
Also, as a single female in my 20’s where should I be looking for an apartment? I traveled to Seattle alone and stayed in the Mediterranean Inn in Lower Queen Anne. Never once did I feel unsafe. I don’t know what my budget would be. Currently I only pay about $500 for rent and I realize that would be much higher in Seattle. I think a budget would depend on my job. I would like to stay under $1000 and still be in a safe area. Possible? And I'd prefer parking, but would easily be able to access public transportation as well. I don't mind commuting so I wouldn't have to be right near my job, but that won't help you anyhow without me having a job! I'd like to be near Seattle- either in it or a 'burb, but don't have to be right in the heart of it.
Please don’t tell me I need to further consider moving. I’m set on doing it, but I have arranged a date or anything. I realize what Seattle is like. I went in November to see what it was like in a non-summer month and still loved it. I don’t mind the gray or the clouds. I didn’t experience the Seattle freeze- the people I talked to were all very friendly and helpful- but I tend to mind my own business anyhow and don’t think I would mind other people doing the same as long as I had a few friends to fight the loneliness that comes from moving along.
I love to read and would like to know of any good book clubs/discussion groups out there. Also, I’ve read threads on the dating scene. I hope to find a nice man eventually in my life! I’ve heard both ways – it’s hard to meet men in Seattle and others had no problems.
So basically I’m just looking for good places to apartment hunt and job hunt. Again, I have no date in mind, but thought I’d get a head start. For all I know it could be where I end up retiring some day, although I really hope I make it within the next couple of years!
Thank you for reading my "book." I look forward to reading your comments
Iíve thought about being a travel agent, but Iím not qualified for that. I think what would make me happiest is something dealing with travel. Any ideas?
Also, as a single female in my 20ís where should I be looking for an apartment?... I think a budget would depend on my job. I would like to stay under $1000 and still be in a safe area. Possible? And I'd prefer parking, but would easily be able to access public transportation as well.
My wife works in a travel agency and she only has a degree from a foreign university in communications. Why do you say you're not qualified to work in one? I'm pretty sure you could pick it up, if anyone is willing to teach you.
I'm sure you could find odd jobs here and there. I'd go to a neighborhood and just walk around asking for applications left and right.
Under $1000 and in a safe area with mass transit and all the stuff people want (walkable, stores, shopping, etc etc etc) will be a challenge. Scratch that, impossible.
BUT, you could potentially search Craigslist or Hotpads or something like that for roommates. I'm going to go on a limb here and say you cannot find anything where you will live on your own for under 1k, so if you want a nice neighborhood and all that, better find roommates.
On the other hand, the suburbs near Kirkland and such will be more accessible to that income. Southern neighborhoods like Beacon Hill, Georgetown, SoDo, etc will be more affordable but varying levels of accessibility. Maybe West Seattle away from the beach or California ave.
Crime is only an issue in a few areas: near White Center, for example.
Well, I definitely see your point on not being near things for $1000, but where I'm from you either live near shopping or in the middle of a corn field. So I just mean I don't want to live in the middle of nowhere. Does shopping have to be right near me? Of course not... just so I'm not in the middle of the country somewhere is all I meant.
I looked around where I live for travel agency jobs and they all required a ton of classes that I would need to take. I don't mind taking a few classes for something I enjoy, I'm just not willing to go back to school full-time for it at this point. But I will definitely look into some out that way. Thank you for your help!
I'd also investigate neighborhoods like Ballard, where young people
now cluster as opposed to the 80's when I was there and it was
pretty much elderly Norwegians.
My son and his wife are right at that $1000 figure and have lived in
nice apartments in both Ballard and the Northgate area where bus transportation is quite good. Do not get discouraged.
I'd avoid the east side. That's where the rents can get pricey, even
though my daughter and son in law live in a nice 2 bedroom at under $1100
You will constantly hear how much it costs to live here in Seattle, but I can tell you there are lots of people with moderate incomes who do it and don't
live like paupers.
Just try to keep your overhead low, use public transportation, and if needed
consider a roommate as the previous poster recommended.
It is doable and I work downtown with many people your age who are doing it and enjoying their 20's.
Check out West Seattle. It's not usually mentioned on this board for 20 somethings since Capitol Hill is the 20 somthing mecca, but cost has pushed quite a few people around your age into W. Seattle. We now have a lot of bar/restaurants that also attract 20 & 30 somethings. There's new apartments and express buses to downtown.
There is one other thing I should mention: I am terrified of spiders! I've seen the thread on here with the gigantic spider behind the clock and that creeped me out. Would it be a deal breaker? No, but I would definitely need to be getting my place sprayed often to live comfortably. I can handle small ones and daddy long legs, but the one that was behind that clock... I'm not sure I could handle! I actually asked some people about it when I was in Seattle and everyone said that you don't really notice spiders there and that they're nothing more scary than what I'd be used to. For those of you living in Seattle, will I encounter monster spiders or nothing out of the ordinary?
Spiders are about the only crawly things we have here. Few mosquitoes, wasps for a couple of weeks, no flies, no cockroaches, no silverfish ... quite bug free - possibly cause the spiders eat most of them. Our house doesn't even have screens on the windows. My opinion is getting your placed sprayed often is far more hazardous to your health than the spiders sneaking around. The spiders here seem pretty normal ... nothing like those in the 50's horror movies.
Spiders can get big here as they eat the other small insects. When they get too big I catch and release outside (possibly their death sentence, as spiders have evolved as indoors or outdoors). I agree that spraying is worse. I'd much rather eliminate them by hand than have a higher risk of cancer. Very few of our spider types will do harm to a human.
I have a decent 1-bedroom apartment downtown and my girlfriend has a studio on Capitol Hill and we each pay under $800. It can be done. If you don't insist on driving, that is. Seattle is one of the few cities where its easiest to go car-less so you can free up quite a bit of income even after considering the high-ish rents.
I would like to stay under $1000 and still be in a safe area. Possible? And I'd prefer parking, but would easily be able to access public transportation as well. I don't mind commuting so I wouldn't have to be right near my job, but that won't help you anyhow without me having a job!
One thing I've noticed about Seattle is the high correlation between well-maintained yards, and safety. I can't think of a neighborhood that has well-maintained yards that is not safe, (feel comfortable walking around at midnight by yourself or sleeping with a window open) and I can't think of a neighborhood that doesn't have nice yards that would be safe.
One possible exception, I just haven't experienced it because it's so new, is South Lake Union, but that won't fit into your budget. Generally, the highly urbanized city is not safe for a young woman to be out by herself late at night.
Also, don't sign a long-term lease until you get a job. You say you don't mind commuting, but it can be cheaper to pay an extra $100 a month in rent than spend an hour in your car every day, stuck on the freeway. Traffic in Seattle during rush hour is horrendous. It typically takes me 20 minutes to half an hour to go the 12 blocks from Virginia to Columbia on 5th Avenue if I'm so foolish as to go around 5:30.
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