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Old 03-03-2012, 06:41 PM
 
6 posts, read 28,403 times
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Hi everyone,

My husband and I are contemplating moving to Seattle sometime soon. Though he is still in the process of interviewing with a company there and it'd really depend on whether he gets the job or not, I am a planner so I've started researching homes and neighborhoods in Seattle for the possibility of moving. We currently live in DC metro area and have visited Seattle a few times -- we both really liked it.

The first time we went was in January and it had snowed right before we got there (stayed in Downtown Seattle) but the weather cleared up and it was sunny and nice the whole weekend of our stay. Yes, it was cold but still, it was sunny so I had a great impression of the city.

The second time we visited was in September and it was rainy and drizzly the first day but the next two days were okay and partly cloudy with some sun. So I guess we lucked out?

Anyway, I've read some posts here and the only big concern of mine is the weather... Because I didn't really get to see the "dark, gloomy and thick overcast" it is kind of hard to imagine what it's really like in the non-summer months.

If you have lived in DC metro area you'd know that weather here isn't all that nice either. I grew up in the area so I'm used to it but I've seen so many people from CA and TX who move here and absolutely hate the weather. I have to agree with them b/c the weather here is bipolar crazy. One day it's sunny and nice, goes up to like 60 degrees (I'm talking about winter months here), the next day it's pouring rain and drops to low 30s. This winter in particular was just weird because we didn't get any snow (except for that freak snow in late October -- what was that all about?) but just plain cold and nasty. In the spring it pours for several days in April... I mean, yes, we do have many many sunny days but we also have many rainy days. In the summer it's HOT and HUMID. So I'm not really a fan of DC weather, as you can see. BUT, I do like sunny days and I find myself really dreading to get out of bed in rainy mornings when its dark out... So if the weather is always like that, I don't know how I can cope with it.

I read that except for the non-summer months, Seattle is 40-50s all year around. Is that true? I think I can deal with that... How would you compare Seattle weather with that of DC? When they say it's overcast, is it really really dark or is it still kind of bright out? Today it was overcast in DC but it was still bright out and I had no problem with it. Is it really hard to adjust if you move from here to there?

Also, if we do get to move my husband will be working in Redmond and I will be working in Downtown Seattle. So I'm thinking we should get a place that's in the midpoint of our work places... I'm looking at Bellevue and Kirkland (Finn Hill and Jaunita(?) area. I heard from some people who moved here from Seattle and vice versa that Bellevue is like McLean so I can kinda guess how it is. How would you describe Kirkland? Is it suburbia like Fairfax/Reston? I saw that if I take a bus from Kirkland to Downtown it'd take me an hour to get to work. That seems like a really long time... how's the traffic like during rush hour? Traffic here is ridiculous and it is getting worse year after year.

Also, how is Shoreline? How is it comparable to an area here? I noticed that home prices were noticeably cheaper there than Kirkland.

If you can share your thoughts/experiences it'd be greatly appreciated!
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:23 PM
 
173 posts, read 480,859 times
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Just moved out here from Herndon in November. My comments below.

Quote:
Hi everyone,

My husband and I are contemplating moving to Seattle sometime soon. Though he is still in the process of interviewing with a company there and it'd really depend on whether he gets the job or not, I am a planner so I've started researching homes and neighborhoods in Seattle for the possibility of moving. We currently live in DC metro area and have visited Seattle a few times -- we both really liked it.
Loving it out here, much more laid back than the DC area. Formal wear out here is a clean flannel shirt and jeans (I am only slightly exaggerating there). There is a lot to do out here and the traffic really isn't bad. Locals call it bad but compared to NoVA it is pretty tame.

Quote:
The first time we went was in January and it had snowed right before we got there (stayed in Downtown Seattle) but the weather cleared up and it was sunny and nice the whole weekend of our stay. Yes, it was cold but still, it was sunny so I had a great impression of the city.
Pretty funny out here. Snow is the end of the world, even more so than DC. Problem is that the hills are much steeper and they don't have the equipment to handle it.

Quote:
The second time we visited was in September and it was rainy and drizzly the first day but the next two days were okay and partly cloudy with some sun. So I guess we lucked out?

Anyway, I've read some posts here and the only big concern of mine is the weather... Because I didn't really get to see the "dark, gloomy and thick overcast" it is kind of hard to imagine what it's really like in the non-summer months.
Weather isn't that bad. It rains way way more but the rain isn't as hard as it usually is in DC. The thing that catches you by surprise is how short the days get. Seattle is a higher latitude than just about all of Maine so winter days get very short. Flip side of that is the summer days are way longer than DC. The longest day starts at 5:11 a.m. and ends at 9:10 p.m. This is our first winter here and it hasn't been that bad, you get used to it pretty fast.

Quote:
If you have lived in DC metro area you'd know that weather here isn't all that nice either. I grew up in the area so I'm used to it but I've seen so many people from CA and TX who move here and absolutely hate the weather. I have to agree with them b/c the weather here is bipolar crazy. One day it's sunny and nice, goes up to like 60 degrees (I'm talking about winter months here), the next day it's pouring rain and drops to low 30s. This winter in particular was just weird because we didn't get any snow (except for that freak snow in late October -- what was that all about?) but just plain cold and nasty. In the spring it pours for several days in April... I mean, yes, we do have many many sunny days but we also have many rainy days. In the summer it's HOT and HUMID. So I'm not really a fan of DC weather, as you can see. BUT, I do like sunny days and I find myself really dreading to get out of bed in rainy mornings when its dark out... So if the weather is always like that, I don't know how I can cope with it.

I read that except for the non-summer months, Seattle is 40-50s all year around. Is that true? I think I can deal with that... How would you compare Seattle weather with that of DC? When they say it's overcast, is it really really dark or is it still kind of bright out? Today it was overcast in DC but it was still bright out and I had no problem with it. Is it really hard to adjust if you move from here to there?
Temperature is much milder than the DC area over all. Never gets as hot never gets as cold. Overcast can get pretty dark but when you have a clear day and see mountains all around it really is worth it.

Quote:
Also, if we do get to move my husband will be working in Redmond and I will be working in Downtown Seattle. So I'm thinking we should get a place that's in the midpoint of our work places... I'm looking at Bellevue and Kirkland (Finn Hill and Jaunita(?) area. I heard from some people who moved here from Seattle and vice versa that Bellevue is like McLean so I can kinda guess how it is. How would you describe Kirkland? Is it suburbia like Fairfax/Reston? I saw that if I take a bus from Kirkland to Downtown it'd take me an hour to get to work. That seems like a really long time... how's the traffic like during rush hour? Traffic here is ridiculous and it is getting worse year after year.
No where out here is like Fairfax Reston, Bellvue has a lot more to do and a lot more energy than FFX/Reston, a little bit like Mclean but the good parts. Kirkland is really nice and has a great vibe, issue with Kirkland is expense and small lots for the most part but not quite as bad as the avg lot size in NoVA. Haven't done Kirkland to the city on Bus but have from Redmond, the time isn't that bad and the bus service is pretty good. If one of the jobs is at MSFT check out the commuter bus service that MSFT runs, it can give you more choices. Like I said above the traffic is way tame compared to NoVA, the only bad thing is while drivers in NoVA are homicidal all the time, in Seattle they have a weird Dr. Jeckyl Mr. Hyde thing going on.

Quote:
Also, how is Shoreline? How is it comparable to an area here? I noticed that home prices were noticeably cheaper there than Kirkland.

If you can share your thoughts/experiences it'd be greatly appreciated!
Don't know about Shoreline, but I would consider renting out here for 6 months first to figure out where you really want to live. We are in our 4th month of temp housing and we have learned a lot about the are and it is helping us pick where to land permanently. It has been a rebirth for us out here. DC was making me old. One other thing out here is how close you are to amazing parks, food, skiing, water, and mountains.

Feel free to send me a private message if you want to talk more, happy to do it.
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:53 AM
 
Location: South Seattle Suburbs
3,350 posts, read 5,954,263 times
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Hi there! My wife and I moved to Renton (south of Seattle) in 2010 from the D.C. metro area. We started off in Fairfax and later moved to Alexandria. All told, we spent about seven years there.

There's not a single thing I miss about the D.C. area. The scenery here is beautiful, the air is fresh and clean, the people are much nicer, and the pace of life is notably slower and more laid-back. I love living here.

Weather: Yeah, you get drizzle for nine months out of the year here. But very rarely do you get heavy rain, and thunderstorms are as rare as hen's teeth. It's the nearly constant gray and drizzle that get to a lot of people here, and if you need sunny days to feel good, that is most definitely something to consider. But even though most non-summer days do tend to be pretty dreary, it's not like you never see the sun -- it does peek through now and then. We've had a couple of clear (but cold!) days here this winter, and they've been lovely. It's on days like those that people around here say "the mountain is out," which means Mount Rainier makes an appearance from behind the clouds. That's always a treat. My mother-in-law came out here for a visit and didn't believe that we have a clear view of the mountain just a few blocks from our house, because it never peeked out from the clouds!

The cloud cover typically makes it more overcast than dark, if that makes sense. It's not like the way the sky turns black before a big thunderstorm rolls in. It's more like a light steely gray canopy of clouds that does let some light get through. It's hard to explain unless you've spent some time here, but it's kind of like (nearly) constant clouds with filtered light.

I love the clouds and rain myself -- I think they add to the cozy, relaxing atmosphere around Seattle, and of course the rain is a big reason everything is so lush and green here.

Then in the summer you get a break from the rain. The sun comes out, the skies are blue, the mountain is out in all its snow-capped splendor, and it's gorgeous. Most summer days are pretty mild -- mid-70s to low 80s. The biggest advantage over D.C. is the lack of humidity. I remember how D.C. felt like a swamp in the summer. You don't get that here. The heat is very rarely oppressive.

Winters are pretty mild. It'll get down into the 30s at night and up into the 40s, sometimes around 50, during the day. Spring and fall are slightly warmer.

It snows maybe once or twice a year here, and it usually doesn't stick around for too long. Either it gets warm enough to melt, or the rain washes it away. Be aware, though, that people here completely freak out at the first sign of snow. Also, if the snow falls fast enough and it stays cold, it gets packed down into ice on the roadways very quickly -- yet they don't salt the roads here. Businesses and schools just shut down, and if people need to get around and don't own a 4WD, they put chains on their tires. I kid you not.

Traffic: All the interstates get congested during rush hour, but it is NOTHING like Beltway and 66 traffic. At least the traffic tends to constantly move here, even if it is sometimes on the slow side. The worst part that I've encountered is on I-5 as you get into downtown Seattle, where traffic going through the city bottlenecks down into two lanes. People here complain about the traffic, but it's all relative. After you've lived in D.C., everything else pales in comparison.

One thing you'll find is that public transportation is a little more fragmented here than back in the D.C. area. There are bus lines, but there's no equivalent of the Metro here. There's a fairly new light-rail line (mostly all surface rail) that runs from the airport into downtown, with talk of eventually expanding it further out, so that's certainly a step in the right direction. There's also the Sounder commuter train for those who live farther out -- pretty much the equivalent of the VRE back your way. There's a streetcar that runs around the Lake Union area, but that would probably do you little good. And there's the monorail, but that's really just for tourists.

Suburbs: The east side of Lake Washington (Bellevue/Redmond) is definitely a higher-class area, roughly equivalent to McLean. But there really are no bad areas here. Ghettos simply do not exist here. There are some skeevy areas (White Center, Rainier Beach, the Aurora corridor in northern Seattle), but nothing even remotely equivalent to Southeast D.C.

I don't know a whole lot about the north suburbs, but I can certainly recommend Renton, where we live. My wife has a 40-minute commute from here to SoDo (south Seattle, near the stadiums), and homes in our area are nice but cheaper than in some other areas -- you get a lot more house for the money here than you would in Bellevue, Redmond, or Issaquah, for example. Renton is pretty much at the bottom end of Lake Washington, where I-5 and I-405 converge, so you can easily hop on 405 and head over to Bel/Red, or you can take 5 directly into Seattle. It's a pretty nicely centralized location, and we've never worried about crime in our neighborhood. If I had to compare Renton with anywhere around D.C., I'd say it reminds me a little bit of Falls Church -- not high-class by any stretch, but certainly pleasant and fairly down to earth.

Drop me a PM if you'd like to know anything else. I'd be glad to help however I can. I can even recommend an excellent real estate agent!

Last edited by Adrian71; 03-05-2012 at 01:15 AM..
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:38 PM
 
6 posts, read 28,403 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks so much for your responses, guys! This definitely helps me to get a better idea.

@Tulkas, I'm curious as to what the "Dr. Jeckyl Mr. Hyde thing" entails? LOL.
@gnab gib: I'll certainly hit you up with a PM once we find out if we're really moving to Seattle.

Thanks again!
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Old 03-10-2012, 02:16 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,505 times
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We moved out here to Kirkland from Herndon about a year and a half ago and I would echo a lot of what the folks above have said. I definitely have felt a much more laid back vibe since moving here. The summer is so much nicer here than VA, the combination of having much longer days with the temperature being about perfect and not humid makes it wonderful (although, having been used to having A/C, it was a must for us having it out here even though many do no). I also strongly recommend spending some time on the water in Lake Washington, one of the big reasons I agreed to come out here.

Traffic is nothing like DC, what most around here call "bad" I call "Tuesday" in VA Depending on where in Seattle you will be working, I think Kirkland is a good middle ground - the 520 bridge makes for a pretty short drive into south Lake Union (where my wife works), and it's right next to Redmond.

The grey skies of the winter do seem to last a while, but as someone else said you don't get the soaking rain and thunderstorms like back in VA, and very little snow in comparison. Just make sure to plan a getaway to get some sun when it gets around Feb

Good luck, we've been happy moving out here and hope it works out for you!
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