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Old 10-29-2011, 11:57 AM
 
9 posts, read 5,725 times
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Dear Friends!

We will be soon moving to Seattle from San Antonio.

My hubby will be working in UW medical center and Harborview.
I am a homemaker and we have a 9 yrs old Son.
We will appreciate sincerely inputs from the forum members about selection of apartments- keeping following requirements in mind:
1. Commuting: We need a place which is within 10-15 mints drive away from work places. In addition, we are looking for a place close to major metro transit centers, so that we can manage through public transportation too! (As I do not drive).
2. Good School district.
3. Amenities: We love to stay in open green communities. We are looking for communities with fitness centers, pool and playareas.
4. Location: Close to basic needs

We have shortlisted a few apartments:
1. Avalon Redmond Place and Avalon Parc Square: Both are close to Redmond Transit Center, about 15-20 mints drive away from working place(According to google) and 30-50 mints by Metro. The location is close to everything we need from life like grocery, library, restaurants etc.
2. Yarrow Wood Highland: This is 10-15 mints away from work place and manageable by Metro too (but takes 25-45mints and 0.5mils walk too).

Both apartments are situated in good school districts.However, don't know how accurate these communting time is?
Is it really possible to drive within 15-20 mints from Redmond to Downtown in peak hours (7-8am and 5-6pm)?
Secondly, will it be preferable to drive or use Metro?

We have never been in Seattle before and we not know anyone there.

I sincerely request the forum members to share their inputs about the shortlisted apartment complexes or any suggestions about other practical and manageable places meeting our criteria. Any place within 30 minutes by public transportation with good schools will be the our priority and we open to move in any safe part of Seattle.

Pls help!

Last edited by radgeek; 10-29-2011 at 12:06 PM..
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Old 10-29-2011, 02:25 PM
 
5,577 posts, read 6,483,594 times
Reputation: 4600
Quote:
Originally Posted by radgeek View Post
Both apartments are situated in good school districts.However, don't know how accurate these communting time is?
Is it really possible to drive within 15-20 mints from Redmond to Downtown in peak hours (7-8am and 5-6pm)?
Secondly, will it be preferable to drive or use Metro?
1st (bolded) question: Absolutely not. That time is not counting traffic. And its very frustrating. 520 is bumper to bumper/stop and go during those times. However... that traffic probably will free up some when the tolling start as some people are not willing to pay $7/day to use the bridge.

2nd (bolded) question: I think the bigger question here is... does your husband's work provide parking? Parking is limited in Seattle downtown; free parking is scarce and there is a limit to on-street parking (2 hours and you have to move it off that block and somewhere else). Parking garages are minimum $200/mo (unless work subsidizes). Lots of Seattle DT companies do subsidize public transportation, so find out if your husband's job do that... it definitely would turn out a better deal than driving.
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Old 10-29-2011, 03:39 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle, originally from SF Bay Area
14,537 posts, read 17,640,263 times
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The only real commute with good schools would be living on Mercer Island, and that has few apartments, and they are expensive. Even then, it's close enough to Harbor View but add another 1/2 hour or more to UW Medical Center.

I would plan on driving/walking to a park & Ride and take the bus. Even if you have free parking that $7 bridge toll along with $3.89 gas (currently) will add up. There are also carpools and vanpools available at the rideshare website.

In the middle of the night the 520 commute would be 20 minutes, during the rush hours, figure an hour or more without being able to use the carpool lane. Even with 3 people it only lasts to the bridge, then narrows to two lanes. From that bridge it's closer to UW but then add another 1/2 hour to Harborview.
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Old 10-29-2011, 04:51 PM
 
9 posts, read 5,725 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkpoe View Post
Lots of Seattle DT companies do subsidize public transportation, so find out if your husband's job do that... it definitely would turn out a better deal than driving.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
I would plan on driving/walking to a park & Ride and take the bus.

From that bridge it's closer to UW but then add another 1/2 hour to Harborview.
Thanks much for prompt reply.

Do you suggest that if we stay in Redmond, then using Metro can be a practical option? This takes 26 mints to UW and 50 mints to Harborview one way (express buses from Redmond to downtown).

Is there any other area which is closer to both places and meet our criteria?
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Old 10-29-2011, 05:39 PM
Status: "we are all Missouri State Police" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
13,249 posts, read 4,972,154 times
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It is not really an easy call. School-wise you would be better off In the bellevue-redmond-kirkland area (or Renton, which also has a very good school district). Commute-wise you'd be better off in Seattle. There is a ballot measure to be voted on Nov 8, I-1125 that will determine the future of tolling. But even if it passes 520 is scheduled to be tolled.
WSDOT - Toll Rates

If you live in Redmond or Kirkland expect to pay a hefty toll to get to Seattle. If I-1125 fails, expect to pay a hefty toll from anywhere on the Eastside. On transit of course, you don't pay the toll.

Be very careful with the Seattle school district; check out this horror story:

Public schools and why we leave | Crosscut.com

If it were me I would look for a temporary domicile in Bellevue or Renton until I got the lay of the land. Best of luck.
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Old 10-29-2011, 06:06 PM
 
5,577 posts, read 6,483,594 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radgeek View Post
Do you suggest that if we stay in Redmond, then using Metro can be a practical option? This takes 26 mints to UW and 50 mints to Harborview one way (express buses from Redmond to downtown).
Honestly, even with the Express bus, it's not going to get your DH's locations much more quickly because as Hem pointed out, there's a bottleneck going on to the bridge. And the hours DH would be on the road are rush hour-- it's always going to be bad.

Using Metro practical in the sense that (if work doesn't provide/subsidize a parking space) DH wouldn't have to find parking (which will consume a lot of time), pay expenses (parking/gas/toll) and it be less stress as someone else is doing the driving.

Quote:
Is there any other area which is closer to both places and meet our criteria?
Honestly, I would also look to the North and around. Lake Forest Park/Shoreline might be just a tad easier (since it does fulfill most of what you're looking for).

But one of your criteria mention specifically a 10-15 mins drive-- which would put you in Seattle proper. People will point out Seattle Public Schools are good north of i90. So areas like Ravenna, Upper Queen Anne which is pretty close to UW, very walkable and has decent schools. (With Seattle Public Schools, it would require a lot more diligence than you would expect to exert... more than you would on any of the Eastside schools. There are some good schools in Seattle Public.)

I know the previous poster mention Renton, but the only good part of the schools are on the Eastern part going towards Issaquah. Traffic won't be any easier coming from there as well.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Greater Seattle, WA Metro Area
1,938 posts, read 3,881,173 times
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What about Shoreline WA? Commute to UW and Harborview is not terrible, you avoid the bridges and the schools are mostly pretty good.
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:41 PM
 
9 posts, read 5,725 times
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Dear wutitiz, Inkpoe and texastrigirl:

I am really very thankful to all of you for answering my queries and providing honest opinion.

Honestly, good school is must for us and we can not take any chance with our growing kid (Who will soon be a teenager), hence after much contemplation, we have decided to find a home in Yarrow Point-Bellevue 98004. The driving from here will be approximately 6 miles (UW) to 9 miles (Harborview) one way, which appears manageable.

The only concern is the bottle neck described above. I googled it and found this probaly exists at Bellevue Way/Lake Washington Boulevard. Is this before the Yarrow Point (While coming from Bellevue-Westbound) or after that? Kindly guide, if this is okay and manageable to stay in Yarrow point to avoid the congested part of 520?

Once again, thanks for all your inputs and suggestions friends!
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Old 10-30-2011, 12:12 AM
 
8,301 posts, read 14,699,835 times
Reputation: 3720
Quote:
Originally Posted by radgeek View Post
Dear wutitiz, Inkpoe and texastrigirl:

I am really very thankful to all of you for answering my queries and providing honest opinion.

Honestly, good school is must for us and we can not take any chance with our growing kid (Who will soon be a teenager), hence after much contemplation, we have decided to find a home in Yarrow Point-Bellevue 98004. The driving from here will be approximately 6 miles (UW) to 9 miles (Harborview) one way, which appears manageable.

The only concern is the bottle neck described above. I googled it and found this probaly exists at Bellevue Way/Lake Washington Boulevard. Is this before the Yarrow Point (While coming from Bellevue-Westbound) or after that? Kindly guide, if this is okay and manageable to stay in Yarrow point to avoid the congested part of 520?

Once again, thanks for all your inputs and suggestions friends!
Going westbound, Bellevue Way/Lake Washington Blvd would be east of Yarrow Point, so if you entered 520 at at Yarrow Point, you would not pass Bellevue Way. But you can google to your heart's content and still not know exactly what's going on. During rush hour, 520 is godawful, and you will sit on the bridge, either not moving or moving at walking speed.
Take the bus, if possible. The Sound Transit express buses 540 and 542 go to the UW and take about 16 minutes from Yarrow Point. It's a whole lot less stressful than driving.
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Old 10-30-2011, 12:57 AM
 
9 posts, read 5,725 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks Ira500.
As you are a professional, can you pls guide me such an apartment on busline of 540/542?
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