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Old 09-27-2008, 10:02 PM
Location: Arizona
6 posts, read 16,157 times
Reputation: 14


Hi folks! I've been lurking around here for a little while, searching through threads and am finally posting up.

First thing I'd like to say is: wow, what a fantastic trove of information!!

Second thing: an apology. I'm about to ask a variation of some questions I'm sure you've seen 8 million times; I've searched, found similar threads but nothing with an exact answer, so... I ask the natives here to point me in the proper direction:

1) Commute times. I'm going to be working in Bellevue - if I don't want to have to spend more than 20 - 30 minutes on the road (on average) heading to and from work, what kind of radius am I looking at? Is Renton too far away? Carnation? Sammamish? Bothell? Everett? Issaquah? North Bend? Etc.

2) A follow-up. In which directions does traffic normally flow to/from Bellevue. My research suggests that all roads in to Bellevue are stuffed in the morning, and all roads out are stuffed at night. Is that correct?

3) Nice & safe places to live. The skinny: single, very independent, very quiet, very private, professional female about to turn 30. Looking for a 3 - 4 br/2+ ba house under $2100/month. While I understand that crime can occur anywhere, where are particularly safe neighborhoods? Any places that are super shady that I should definitely avoid?

4) Finally: can anyone recommend particularly good websites for finding a rental home in the area? While I've found a couple of so-so sites, I have yet to find a really great resource. Does anyone happen to know of a site that will allow me to search the MLS for available rentals? Again... haven't found such a beastie...

Thank you in advance, everyone. I do appreciate it, and also apologize again for asking the same old same old question(s)!

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Old 09-28-2008, 12:01 AM
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,874 posts, read 12,302,579 times
Reputation: 2496
Hi. Given your requirements, I'm wondering why you aren't dead set on living in Bellevue? I've lived in Bellevue for 18 years, and I think that it would satisfy your wish list. Perhaps cut down the BRs by 1 to fit into your price. That's the only change I'd make. Is there some reason that Bellevue, much desired by many who want to live east of Lake Washington, isn't on your list?

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Old 09-28-2008, 10:27 AM
Location: Arizona
6 posts, read 16,157 times
Reputation: 14
Thank you so much for the reply!

Bellevue isn't not (...?) on the list... if I can find a place right in town, that'd be actually pretty perfect!

I'm just trying to establish a search radius, as it were - trying to figure out reasonable boundaries. After all, there is no reason to pine over the oh-so-beautiful house in, say... Renton... if living there means I'll be spending 2-3 commuting every day.

Alternatively, if houses in Bellevue are prohibitively expensive (and looking around, they're at the top of my range, which is fine), it is nice to know that I can look as far out as ... North Bend, for example... and still be within easy reach of the city.

And thank you for the links!! Fantastic! I really appreciate it.
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Old 09-28-2008, 12:31 PM
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,874 posts, read 12,302,579 times
Reputation: 2496
Hi. I too make creative double negatives, so I enjoyed yours!

Bellevue used to be farms, and it's pretty spread out, as you can see if you open Mapquest or another map. So if you live at one end of Bellevue and work at the other end, it'll take you 20 minutes to drive on the arterials or the side roads.

I get your desire to put the protractor point on the address of your job and draw a 20-30 minute circle around it (wasn't plane geometry fun?). And that would suggest that North Bend, maybe, and Issaquah, probably, and Sammamish and northern/northeastern Renton could be within your circle. Everett would be way outside and Bothell would be a nightmare of a drive twice a day. The other locations I mentioned could work, as long as the home location there isn't really far from the work location in Bellevue.

Commuter driving here is currently the worst it's ever been. Lots of people have transplanted from all over the country and the world, and many seem to live someplace from which they can only drive, in a single-occupant vehicle, to work. But tax dollars being as hard to get as they've become, road construction hasn't kept up with that. So all commuter routes are crowded, twice a day from 7:00 to 9:00 in the morning and 3:30 to 6:30 in the evening, toward Bellevue and Seattle in the morning, and away from in the evening, so your original point 2) is correct -- but it's the hiways that tend to be "stuffed" as you put it, not so much the side roads. Certain roads are parking lots, such as 405. So if you look at a map and figure "Oh look, there's a wide hiway, 405, between Bellevue and Bothell. I could live in Bothell" -- nope. You'd be asking for a situation twice a day in which you'd have the opportunity to practice all your patience, joy and love. Gets a bit difficult... and takes a whole lot of time out of your personal life. Everett is much too far away.

All the places you're considering are safe for a city area of its population size. No place is 100% safe always, but the crime in the areas we're talking about is usually property crime, such as car breakins, rather than person-directed crime, such as muggings. (I was mugged when I lived in NYC and so was almost everyone I knew; I don't know of anyone who's been mugged here. I'm sure it's happened, I just have never encountered anyone to whom it's happened.) Bellevue, Issaquah, in the trees in Redmond, northern Renton, parts of Bothell away from the hiways are nice quiet places to live and in some parts are actually semi-rural. Issaquah might have, and I'm pretty certain Sammamish has, more children "per square foot" than Bellevue and Redmond, so theoretically less quiet. The areas we're talking about don't really have "shady", let alone "super shady" areas.

I hope this helps!

Last edited by allforcats; 09-28-2008 at 12:39 PM..
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Old 09-28-2008, 03:31 PM
Location: Pacific NW
4,134 posts, read 2,143,800 times
Reputation: 3023
If you commute at typical times, when everyone else is too, you might average 20 mph so if you really want a 20-30 min commute you pretty much need to stay within roughly 10 miles of where ever you're working. Like allforcats said, I-405 looks like a good route on a map, but going from I-5 on the south end to Bellevue can take 45 minutes at commute times and it's only 12 miles.

North Bend to Bellevue (25 miles or more) can be done in 30 minutes, but not at peak commute times. You'd easily be able to do 70+ for the first 15 miles or so, then you'd hit the daily morning backup.

If you can be flexible on when you drive in to work, say 10am or later, it really changes where you might live and still have a 20-30 min commute. You could live as far out as Monroe and have a 30 min drive to Bellevue if you can avoid commute hours.
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Old 09-28-2008, 04:34 PM
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,874 posts, read 12,302,579 times
Reputation: 2496
Great insights, Haakon! Thanks for stuff I didn't think of.
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:42 PM
Location: Arizona
6 posts, read 16,157 times
Reputation: 14
Wow... what fantastic information. Thank you both so very much for taking the time to answer my queries. I can't express how much I appreciate it!
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