Family says move. (Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma: real estate, crime rates, home)
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OK - This is about as vague as it gets, but you have to start somewhere Ö
I currently live upstate NY and commute to the city (2hrs each way)
Obviously this isnít healthy or practical and itís finally starting to get to us.
I have family in Washington that have been trying to get us out there for years,
They all tell me the same thing- great place youíll love it MOVE NOW.
I am looking for some objective opinions, recommendations and reviews of several areas
(Not from my family=)
Our background- Me: Data center Technician and Landscape Photographer,
Wife: Retail Manager, Three children 10, 9, 2 years old.
Prefer: outdoor activities such as camping, fly fishing, hiking, culture and the arts.
Donít want to be to far from the coast or mountains
Home life: Prefer country setting with some property- minimum 1 acre.
Commute: Although I donít want to live in the city, my line of work forces me to
Stay within commuting distance (no more then an hour and fifteen minutes)
OK- these are the basics, any areas come to mind? Just looking for basic stuff
Now. I will be out there in June and would like to visit a few of these areas.
As well as discuss this with all of you as the replies start coming in!
Hmm, well, I'll start out. How about east King county? My choice would be Snoqualmie, Carnation, Duvall, Fall City ...even the North Bend area. This would put you closer to the amenities of the mountains and related recreational activities. It's still close enough to be considered part of the greater Seattle area so to take part in activities in the city. The schools and the crime rates are relatively good and property values, albeit a bit higher than other parts of the county, still reasonable.
You've got a lot of other areas to explore also but those I just mentioned might give you a good start.
Which part of WA is your family in? If it's anywhere near Seattle, you will have the long commute and traffic that you are saying you are trying to get away from. Actually the traffic, gridlock and general pain in the butt it is to get around here is why I'm leaving the area.
Also, property prices may be a concern. I thought upstate NY was very inexpensive home price wise, very expensive property tax though (from what I understand). Housing here is very expensive, just a thought.
And thank you for the fast response! Actually my family lives in Reardon.
but this has no leverage on where I would choose to live. Currently I live in
the Woodstock area of NY, average home price runs around 350,000. I guess
my main concern would be employment, currently I work as a data center technician but have previous experience working in the trades as a union cable
Technician and foreman(CWA local) I have also worked as a field service Technician for communications companies. I assume Seattle or Tacoma would be the best fit but I have no way of actually knowing(hence the posts).
I guess the location of the city doesnít matter - Its the community that I would be living in and the commute time that is most important.
Our current community is very small and focusís on nature, family, arts and the community. I would love to be able to replicate this (without the high real-estate price tag of course=)Ö but just to be clear, I am not looking for a hippie hideaway or commune. Just a place where my kids can learn and grow without game boys and X-boxes being the
Primary focus. Having malls Wal-Martís and best buys close buy isnít necessary=)
I know still pretty vague but I am sure things will narrow down as I research the state more.
You probably know by talking to your relatives that there is a vast differenct between the east side and the west side of the Cascades ...a night and day difference. Not only climate and terrain but also things such as the political leanings. West is generally blue politically and the east, red. West is wet, east is rather arid. West has LOTS of green, east is generally brown vegetation wise ...please note the "generally."
If you are considering the Seattle, Tacoma, Everett metro area, you have to realize that your relatives will be about 4+ hours driving distance away in Reardan.
I have a buddy who used to be a cable splicer (CWA) for one of the big phone companies in the Seattle area and he was telling me not too long ago that good splicers are still in demand in the greater Seattle area. Maybe I should call him and ask him for an update ...although he no longer works there, he still has connections.
...Just a place where my kids can learn and grow without game boys and X-boxes being the Primary focus. Having malls Wal-Martís and best buys close buy isnít necessary=) ....
That is a tough order in the rainy side of PNW. Kids tend to 'retreat, inside' like adults.
I'd seriously look into an Island destination, if you can find some type of work to sustain you (maybe Whidbey Air station). I think the quality of life is consistantly better on the islands, but they do have disadvantages. (not so much on Whidbey...ferry not necessary)
My other choice the kids won't like! Dairy Farm boarding School
Kids never have to wonder what they will be doing at 5 AM and 5 PM - 7 days / week You are so happy for 7 AM to come around so you can take off the manure boots and run to the school bus. School is a reprieve , and after school sports out of the question, You can usually only get homework and supper done between 7pm and 10 pm + one night at 4-H meeting and then taking care of your required 4-H book work in your free time. On Saturdays you clean the barn, and on Sundays you curry the calves. This can take a real bite out of their 'free-time'. I also charged my kids $1/hr to watch TV or play computer games with a $7 max available spend per week. No 'allowance' either They had to figure out how to generate the $7. Curtailed the TV usage...didn't hurt the kids, that I can tell...
You just might like the Spokane area - the only thing missing from your criteria is proximity to the coast. There's plenty of hiking, fishing, arts, good schools and lower cost real estate. You'd still be fairly close to your family but not too close If you're coming for a visit, you should make the drive across the full state so you can really get a feel for the different areas. Western, central and Eastern WA are all vastly different in terrain, population, climate, industries, etc...
Some great responses, I would have to say I prefer green. I lived in Arizona for 4 years and found the brown arid climate rather unpleasing . Yes, definitely green. The 4+ hour commute from my family wouldnít necessarily be a bad thing either. As far as political views go I'd probably lean to the west as well. Dairy farm boarding school... I threatened them with it last night, didnít work- they reminded me I'd be the one getting up at 4 to get them up at 5 I havenít seen 4am since I was in the Army and to be honest I donít really miss it . I'm lucky though my school age boys are both straight A students, hopefully my youngest will follow the same path, as long as they are surrounded by good influences.
Do the island ferries have a regular schedule? also is it realistic to say I could commute an hour from Seattle and still find affordable property?
scirocco22- Do you know what the wage is for CWA? When I was union about
8 years ago I made roughly $30.00 an hour as a tech (including lead pay).
going back outside wouldnít be so bad if the pay is comparable. besides I'm starting to get fat sitting behind a desk
hi again, photographer. Ya know, I tried to get a hold of my friend and he's changed his phone number without letting me know so I'll have to do a little networking to get back in touch with him.
From what I remember from conversations with him about a year ago, he was telling me that a lot of the work is now being contracted out. It probably shows the diminishing strength of the CWA. And you know darn well that those contracted (non-union) workers will be earning a much lower wage. Also, from my recollection, the wages for even the CWA workers are still just a hair below $30/hr. I'll have to check with him on that for an update, though.
Yes, sounds as if western Washington will be more to your liking. And, you'll be closer to the ocean if that's important to you.
As far as ferry schedules go, yes, the ferry system in Washington is one of the best in the country. I think it's the biggest too. It's run by the state and the system is very efficient. And service is regularly scheduled. It's a bit expensive to commute daily by ferry to Seattle taking a car but I know many coming from Bainbridge who use it as a passenger only. You can leave a car by the terminal on the home side (or be dropped off) and once arriving in Seattle, you can either walk --if you are working downtown-- or take a bus. Bus service is free in the CBD (central business district or commonly known as downtown), btw.
Here's the Washington State's Department of Transportation's ferry website where all the info about the system you could possibly want to know is available as well as where the schedules are posted:
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