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Old 10-16-2012, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA
739 posts, read 764,166 times
Reputation: 349
Default Tell me about Olympia

In Sacramento right now and want to get the hell out of here and the pervasive gangbanger culture that has California in its grip (along with bad schools, insane taxes, overpriced houses, crowding and political paralysis)... my organization has a lateral in the Olympia office. I'd be making approximately 95K a year... how can I live in Olympia on that? Can I get a decent house, in a decent gangbanger free school district?

I'm divorced, 50, I have a 10 and 12 year that live with their mother in CT but have expressed an interest in moving in with Dad, but I don't want them going to school anywhere in California. There are no good schools here - at all.

Rain doesn't bother me. I grew up in Iowa, I'm well acquainted with long, gray winters and sh*tty weather in general. I'm tired of months of weather in the 80s, 90s and 100s with no rain. It gets old fast.
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
867 posts, read 711,881 times
Reputation: 518
Hi!

I will give you my unbiased view of Olympia (because I don't live/didnt grow up in Seattle, but I am moving to Mercer Island in a few months).

Olympia is like Seattle, but smaller and easier to get around traffic wise. Comparing Sacramento to Olympia isn't really fair...as Sac is a huge metro, and olympia is just a part of one (~50-60 miles from Seattle). I spent a lot of time there last summer. it is all of the beauty, none of the issues. It is a neat town, still on the sound, and you shouldn't have any issues there with gang bangers haha (at least, nowhere near cali).

Look at the high school ranking for olympia: Olympia High School - Olympia, Washington - WA - School overview

it is ranked 9/10, that is pretty dang stellar.

Good luck!
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Seattle
356 posts, read 259,063 times
Reputation: 190
Neat community, affordable homes. Olympia somehow combines a real groovy, organic vibe with the seat of state politics with real country people quite close. Another nice feature, just a short drive to the Pacific Ocean.
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:21 PM
 
5,518 posts, read 6,202,524 times
Reputation: 4489
Olympia is not part of Seattle MSA; it is its own MSA. It is and does feel separate from Seattle. On a good day, you can get to Olympia from Seattle in an hour. On a bad day, add 30-50 minutes.

I love the town. The Capitol is quite beautiful, the Farmer's Market is unbeatably great and the DT core is very quaint. Lots of older homes around there as well-- so lots of character. Evergreen State College adds a funky flavor, and brings the quirks around-- though it does get annoying when those students get into protests. You have the military families around; lots of government employees as well-- Olympia personifies SAFE. 95K/yr is pretty good. I'm not sure how much you want to budget for a home, but Lacey is nearby and does contain the sprawl of homes that are affordable. Olympia School district is very well regarded. Lots of shopping around in Lacey, one hardly needs to go to Seattle area unless they're looking for something real high end. Very centralized position in the state, good access to everything (nature, Mt. Rainier, Canada/Oregon, the ocean, et. c).

Gang-bangers aren't really an issue. The only con I'd say the town has is... the homeless-- though it's nowhere as bad as Seattle's. Oh, and the government. There's a saying, the only crime in Olympia is in the Capitol House. LOL.
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
867 posts, read 711,881 times
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Like I said, it is 50-60 approx miles from downtown Seattle. It is, technically, its own metro area...however, I beg to differ from Inkpoe when saying you don't have the same culture. To be honest with you, without traffic, that 50 mile drive that includes entering and leaving Tacoma...you can't really tell the difference by the surroundings, the cuisine, the culture, the news, etc.

Its like you live in Seattle, with less Seattle. There is no major difference. I've always wanted to live in the Seattle area and if my job made me move from Mercer Island to Olympia, I wouldn't pout. Again, There would be/is little different. Less than an hour drive from all the concerts/sporting events/shopping you can handle.
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:50 PM
 
186 posts, read 332,639 times
Reputation: 98
Family and I moved to Roseville from Olympia a couple years ago. It is very beautiful, and the air is clean. Rain does get old. The downtown is run down, dirty and the city does not care to clean it up. If you don't mind cold damp weather, slow pace then Oly than you will like it. I found it to be boring, not much in way of good dining or entertainment. Used to drive to Seattle to do things an hour away.

Good luck.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:21 PM
 
8,200 posts, read 14,293,378 times
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Olympia does get considerably more rain than Seattle. I'm an old ' Greener( attended the Evergreen State College), and I like the town. But like GSherman said, some of the downtown is a little rundown and dirty, and proportionately speaking, it does have a lot of homeles folks. But it also has a nice farmer's market, a lot of artists, good coffee shops, smart people, good schools, oysters and clams. Traffic between Olympia and Tacoma can be brutal.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:54 PM
 
5,518 posts, read 6,202,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wlw2009 View Post
Like I said, it is 50-60 approx miles from downtown Seattle. It is, technically, its own metro area...however, I beg to differ from Inkpoe when saying you don't have the same culture. To be honest with you, without traffic, that 50 mile drive that includes entering and leaving Tacoma...you can't really tell the difference by the surroundings, the cuisine, the culture, the news, etc.

I never said they didn't have the same culture. Of course they do... It's the PNW culture (Western Wa-style). But Seattle and Olympia do not have the same feel. How can they? One's a bustling metropolis and the other, for all intents, a small town.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
867 posts, read 711,881 times
Reputation: 518
Again, I beg to differ.

yes, the actual small city that Olympia is does not constitute major city. However, it will take you about 5 minutes of driving on I-5, you will get the mega-metro feel.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:48 PM
 
5,518 posts, read 6,202,524 times
Reputation: 4489
Quote:
Originally Posted by wlw2009 View Post
Again, I beg to differ.

yes, the actual small city that Olympia is does not constitute major city. However, it will take you about 5 minutes of driving on I-5, you will get the mega-metro feel.
Not really. Nisqually refuge prevents that.

The Seattle mega-metro feel starts north past Ft. Lewis area.
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