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Thread summary:

Washington: cold winters, windy places, steady career jobs, overcast skies, employment

 
Old 12-21-2006, 10:59 PM
 
54 posts, read 274,108 times
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Hi, I've been reading the threads here and some sites on the internet about Washington. I know that Washington is going to have cold winters and is all the way up North but I guess I've never lived that far up North. I read that there are places that are windy a lot and of course the cold rain 9 months out of the year in Seattle. I also read how it is dark most of the time. I guess I'm wondering how the weather is for the most part up there because I'm picturing cold, windy, snowy, wet, dark most of the time but I don't think that is right??? We would be looking for a place that is less than 100K, green w/trees, land, small town feel, not having to commute, yet have steady career jobs. We are outdoorsy, love to camp, hike, etc. We don't have kids yet but want to in the future. Not really interested the night life, more family oriented. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I've been reading the different threads here, especially the one called "Interested in moving to Washington, looking for the right place." Great discussion! Merry Christmas to everyone!
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Old 12-22-2006, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Bothell, Washington
454 posts, read 636,444 times
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Simmers,

Split Washington up into two seasons.

Winter. Cool but not cold, daily highs in the low to mid 40's, night lows in the mid to high 30's. Tempuratures are rarely below 15 degrees. The climate is considered mild by most.

Summers. Warm days, highs in the 70's, overnight lows in the 50's. We consider tempertures in the 90's as a major heat wave.

The rain is usually in the form of a drizzle, typical between October and May, then hit and miss over the summer. Overcast skies are more normal than rain, though.

Now, for a heavy dose of reality...

Many areas of the greater puget sound region fit what you are looking for except for house prices. I don't know of any areas where there is healthy employment capabilities where the house prices for even starter homes is less than 100K. Figure a housing budget of 180-300K for most areas of the Puget Sound, with land other than normal sized city lots expect a price of 300K and up.
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Old 12-22-2006, 11:27 AM
 
331 posts, read 1,872,315 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simmers View Post
Hi, I've been reading the threads here and some sites on the internet about Washington. I know that Washington is going to have cold winters and is all the way up North but I guess I've never lived that far up North. I read that there are places that are windy a lot and of course the cold rain 9 months out of the year in Seattle. I also read how it is dark most of the time. I guess I'm wondering how the weather is for the most part up there because I'm picturing cold, windy, snowy, wet, dark most of the time but I don't think that is right??? We would be looking for a place that is less than 100K, green w/trees, land, small town feel, not having to commute, yet have steady career jobs. We are outdoorsy, love to camp, hike, etc. We don't have kids yet but want to in the future. Not really interested the night life, more family oriented. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I've been reading the different threads here, especially the one called "Interested in moving to Washington, looking for the right place." Great discussion! Merry Christmas to everyone!
I would like to comment on the dark... No it isn't dark all the time. In the summer the days are forever. We love that aound this neighborhood. At 9pm and still not dark out. Seems like you can fit so much into a day. And Yes in the winter the days end early. And there is not a "cold rain" 9 months out of the year. More like a lot of drizzely days and with the temps staying with in 10-20 degs of its self... you don't feel it as much. Unlike in So CA where it is 85 during the day and 45 at night...that 45 feels really cold. Here you will get 45 at night and maybe 55 during the day. So it doesn't feel as cold because your body adjusts to it.

From what you described that you like... did you have an "area" you were looking at?
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Old 12-22-2006, 12:52 PM
 
45 posts, read 246,257 times
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Default Narrowing down a city in WA

Simmers:
The previous post was a good description of Western Washington. Eastern Washington is normally warmer in the summer, drier, and in places a high desert climate where it can get fairly cold because you don't have the coastal jet stream to moderate the temperatures. He's also correct that your chance of locating a home in Western WA around 100K is not great. You are probably going to find only older trailer/manufactured housing and bungalows under 1000 sq feet in smaller towns. I recommend that your get on a real estate search site with a road atlas in hand to see where they are available. Some counties, like Grays Harbor, are pretty depressed economically, because of cutbacks in the lumber industry.

Good luck!
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Old 12-23-2006, 01:11 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
20,774 posts, read 37,441,293 times
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If you can stand the 'west side'... (rain, but green...) You might try Centralia (1.5hr SO of Seattle, .5 Hr SO of Olympia)

They will have cheaper home prices, and a reasonable commute to urban area. They just had a major layoff or 'skilled trades' (mining) which is gonna hurt an economy still reeling from timber job losses. It is a pretty nice city, and probably adequate for variety of employment. Has a Community College (that is something nice to have -classes available, jobs, entertainment, recreation) It has a nice (and improving) Downtown area (like McMenniman's, Olympic Hotel) lots of antique shops, but not the 'trendy' ones (i.e. still some bargains)

It is on I-5 (which is not going to go away), that will assure future growth and stability, and some new companies are coming to town, as well as to her little sister town, Chehalis, 7 miles further south.

You will be very close to Mt Rainier, and still Upwind from St Helens, beach (not great... cold ) is 1.5 hrs west, Portland (no sales tax) is 1.5 hrs south, plenty to do within reach, and likely a good family community.

One problem... WA state is great if you have an income (no income tax) BUT... they are foolishly getting into 'overtaxing' for properties, thus forcing me (and many others) to leave due to too high prop taxes. It is no incentive to live here if you don't have any income (retiree). My property taxes went from $800/yr to $8,000/yr in 10 yrs, and my cost basis stayed the same (no major improvements) Next year they will be $11,000, That is over $30/day just for prop taxes, cheaper to stay in a sleasy motel (and they do the laundry...) WA state will live to regret this plan, as people age and leave...

Some rural counties are better, but I'd be careful of the 'urban' counties. If you plan to buy a home, Verify the mil levy and costs based on what you will pay for the home. WA state taxes 100% of the 'perceived' resale value. (not like WYO that taxes 7%...) Tax Assessors get measured on how much revenue they rake in, so some counties are terrible. Schools take a big chunk. In our area the mil levy can be 50% different just across the street, depending on the school district. Oh... be advised that WA and OR don't have voter representation, as 3 counties can swing the whole state vote, so... the rest of the state's ~50 counties don't have a voice, since the agenda only gets advertised in population centers, and the farmers and business owners are stuck with very unreasonable legislation. It is not a big problem if you are an employee, but it will kill you as an independent businessman. (L&I, B&O tax, Use tax, personal property tax...)

regarding "dark"... summers are nice and days are long, but... during the rainy season, put your motorcycle away if you commute at night, the rain and cloudcover absorb the light. You will be running over lots of possums, or worse... drivers are not used to seeing motorcycles, and there is no vehicle saftey inspection to make people replace their wipers, so they might not see you. It is really dark if you come from the 'plains' where you can drive by 'moonlight' on snow glistened evenings.

WARNING, never buy a home in the shade, get clear open skys to the south, trees are not nice when they fall on (through) your house, and the pine needles fill gutters and make moss grow on your roof

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 12-23-2006 at 01:18 AM.. Reason: forgot a point
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Old 12-26-2006, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Tri-Cities
148 posts, read 1,127,331 times
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For W. WA, you might find what you're looking for in Pacific County; maybe in/around Raymond or South Bend etc.. Less likely but possible is Grays Harbor County. Low cost/land and a small town w/ employment opportunities will be a tough if not impossible order to fill. Small towns may be cheaper and more quaint, but they inherently have less jobs. You'll likely need to loosen one or more of your qualifying factors. In any event, the best you might find in Pac. Cty. for $100k might be a 2-3br 1-1.5 bath possibly manufactured, if not, 60+ years old, on a 6-13k sq. ft. lot, and in a town with lots of wilderness around but mediocre job opportunitiesl; marginally better job odds with a commute of up to 30 minutes to neighboring towns.

Last edited by Ryan; 12-26-2006 at 11:42 AM..
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Old 12-26-2006, 12:13 PM
 
536 posts, read 2,808,975 times
Reputation: 220
Check out mason county. If you don't mind a 30-45 minute commute to work, it might work for you.
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