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Old 04-16-2012, 04:34 PM
4 posts, read 6,575 times
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We are contemplating a move to the Seattle area and are trying to find the right fit for our family. We are city or country loving people. The things are we lookin for most are 1. A friendly laid back community 2. Less than an hr commute to the airport 3. Good schools although more than happy to do Catholic if needed 4. Kids sports and arts activities ( specifically a Usag gym)

How are the environments in these places? Welcoming? Laid back? Moving from Chicago but East Coasters.

We are an interracial family. We have never experienced any kind of challenges but have always lived in a diverse community. Thoughts?

Our budget could provide the upper mid to high end homes in these areas.

Would appreciate any feedback.

And about the rain, I'll exchange them for
Chicago winters and hot summers!
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:01 PM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
27,500 posts, read 48,538,070 times
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Gig Harbor and Bainbridge are so different from Seattle it's hard to imagine those 3 being your choices.
Bainbridge schools are good, and they also have a good Catholic School. With the ferry ride or driving around it will be well over an hour to the airport, though. Gig Harbor schools are not terrible but not great either, and you'd be at least an hour to the airport except during the wee hours. Seattle has good schools in Magnolia and Queen Anne, and from that part of town it's almost always about 45 minutes to the airport, but it could take longer between now and 2016 as the viaduct replacement tunnel project gets going. Have you considered Issaquah, Bellevue and Sammamish? Except for commute times 25-30 minutes to the airport and great schools.
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:50 AM
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Just went to Gig Harbor agian on this trip to visit family, its gorgeous but more like a samll town compared to Seattle ( where I think your kids would enjoy more ) More things to do for young people. Gig Harbor a kinda retirement and vactaion atmosphere I think.
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:26 PM
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Gig Harbor = Definitely small town, with a great waterfront downtown center, but GH itself is spread out over a huge area. Good schools. Very white. Very cute and clean. Could possibly have a snooty factor to it (YMMV). Traffic isn't bad. However, retail shopping would have you going over to Port Orchard or Tacoma (better and more offerings but comes with a toll). Easy to take advantage of Tacoma big city ambience (has zoo, great restaurants, et. c)-- there is only a one way toll.

Bainbridge Island = Smallest of the three. Definitely a small town with also great charming downtown center. (I actually prefer the B.I. downtown core to GH.) Best school district out of the three. Just as white as GH. Snooty factor's there though again, YMMV. Also more time to get to the airport as you're very dependent on the ferry schedule. You can walk on the ferry from B.I. to get to Seattle DT for free-- but you're paying to walk-on from Seattle to B.I. With a car, it does get a bit too pricey to enjoy Seattle big city ambience and offerings. Better retail shopping would also have to be off the island as well. B.I. can be too quiet as well. They do also have issues every now and then where the lights go out.

Seattle = Such a broad area. Will only regard Proper Seattle, look to the Seattle forum for neighborhood suggestions or even suggestions for Seattle suburbs. These are the generalities:

North Seattle = "Safe", better schools, Less diverse, wealthier/well-off. [Though, this isn't to say that no crime happens in North Seattle. Nor all schools up in North Seattle are great/good. Nor that you'll never come across a person of color or a poor person in North Seattle.] Traffic sucks donkey butt.

South Seattle = "Dangerous", awful schools, too diverse, poor. Again though... this isn't to say you'll perpetually be a victim of a crime. Nor that all schools are awful-- there's some gems and the competition to get into them are great (and if you're willing to use private/Catholic school, then you'd don't need to worry too much of this aspect). And there's definitely nice homes and wealthy areas in South areas-- South Seattle generally is affordable. There's some nice areas that are (relatively) affordable that are prime for a boom (now if only the economy would sort itself out). Traffic sucks donkey butt-- but I'd prefer the South Seattle commute than the North Seattle commute-- it is easier.

Kids sports, activities and offerings are greatest in numbers and options in the Seattle area.
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