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Old 07-19-2011, 02:55 AM
 
18 posts, read 65,079 times
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I have heard some great things about Issaquah, Sammamish, and Redmond, but can anyone tell me what you dislike and really like about these areas? I am trying to hear both sides before I make a move there. I would love to hear your honest opinions about things like the weather, neighborhoods, location, activities, shopping, schools, if it's boring or not for families, and really anything else that you can think of.

Also, I have been told that the 200+ days of rain and clouds isn't that bad because it usually is cloudy and drizzly in the mornings, but clears up in the afternoon. Is this mostly true or is it usually cloudy and drizzly throughout most of the day?

Do a lot of people suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder) in the Seattle area?
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:23 AM
 
Location: Seattle area
492 posts, read 979,141 times
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On this forum it seems half the posts include some pro/con on the cloudiness. I've been here twenty years, love rain, even like overcast, but this last winter about broke me. It can be overcast most of the day for 6 days out of 7, for months. SAD is an industry here. OTOH summers are near-paradise. Of course they don't start until August some years, like this one apparently.

For me for dislike of Issaquah it's easy: property taxes. I lived there for a decade. The city does multiple $million+ nonsensical projects. (Example, a boardwalk that took a large crew 6 months to build, in a place nobody walks. Well I've seen maybe 3 people on it in years.) Consequently property taxes are high, relative to Bellevue, say.

Of those 3, Issaquah, Sammamish, and Redmond, I'd still take Issaquah, disregarding any commute. Sammamish is too remote. Redmond to Seattle is over a highly congested bridge, it'd be my #2 choice. Issaquah is on smooth-sailing I-90 (outside of rush hours) and is the most picturesque.
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:20 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
37,906 posts, read 68,617,260 times
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We do at times get as many as 30 days of 24 hour light drizzle, and yes, there are many people suffering from SAD. I happen to like the green all year and the weather that goes with that. For me, the only problem I have with Sammamish/Issaquah living on the plateau is the adventures in driving when we get snow and/or ice. Living at 600 feet it's all downhill going anywhere, and all uphill going back. Fortunately it's usually just 2-3 times a year for a day or two. I have been lucky enough to make it 18 years now with just one time going down backwards on the wrong side of the road, and managed to stop without crashing. I take I90 to Seattle for work and with my hours of 7:30-4 I can't complain about the traffic, it's rarely backed up at all on that route until after I have been through.


We live near Sahalee in the middle of the plateau, so other than the 2 little
strip malls we have to go 5-6 miles to wither Redmond or Issaquah to shop, but that's not been a problem. It's worth it to live in a woodsy area with views of the Snoqualmie Valley and the Cascade mountains.

My kids are all grown now, when they were in schoold they kept busy with activities, though these days I hear a lot of complaints from teens that it's boring here with nothing to do, but that's the same all over the eastside
except for the big malls, and I'd really prefer not to have a mallrat kid anyway.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:54 AM
 
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There is some truth to that, but there are parts that are very close to Issaquah. We were househunting last weekend and were pleasantly surprised by how close the Pine Lake development we visited was to one of our favorite shopping areas, Pickering Barn in Issaquah, with Costco, PCC, Trader Joes, etc. Not to mention the Farmer's Market. That part of the Sammamish Plateau is right up the hill, literally just a few minutes away.

Real Estate | Neighborhood of the week: Sammamish Plateau | Seattle Times Newspaper

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jalhop View Post
Sammamish is too remote.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Issaquah, WA
127 posts, read 381,707 times
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We've been in Sammamish for almost a year now and the weather has been pretty bad, and that is compared to the last 40+ years in England which isn't known for its brilliant climate! It doesn't generally brighten up here at all, it is cloudy for days on end. Maybe summer will arrive soon, but we do not have any empirical evidence for that yet.

So far we're enjoying the environment in Sammamish, and having Pine Lake and other parks nearby is great. Issaquah is only a short drive away and so we don't feel isolated. Schools seem pretty good, but we have nothing to compare them against, they're perhaps not up to UK academic levels but that may just be due to a different education system?

Our big issue has been making friends. I thought the Seattle freeze was a rumour, but people here are outwardly friendly but it's very hard to get beyond that. My wife is a stay at home mum and she's really struggled. But this seems to be a problem across all of WA rather than just Sammamish.

Real estate still looks pretty expensive and you get so little land/space for your $. But ~1% property taxes mean everything is well maintained and clean and the schools are top rated.

My kids have enjoyed the skiing over winter and the swimming in the lakes in summer. There are some mountain bike parks too. There are tons of day trips in Seattle and surrounding area. The mountains and hiking are just brilliant too.

Hope this helps!
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:33 PM
 
18 posts, read 65,079 times
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Are property taxes around 1%? If so, coming from Katy, Texas at 3%, that sounds great!

Also, are there any trails that run throughout any of the neighborhoods or would you mostly need to drive to them?

Thanks for the information!

Last edited by debfromtx; 07-19-2011 at 12:46 PM..
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:44 PM
 
Location: WA
4,246 posts, read 8,378,254 times
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We live in 'Squah. I personally prefer Redmond or Issaquah over Sammamish. Sammamish is just too far from Seattle for us (you might not care about that), and there are no good restaurants there. I'd probably classify it as "boring". However, it is really good for families: lots of mommy groups, playgrounds, parks etc.

I kinda hate that people drive like 90 years olds in Sammamish: To get to Redmond for shopping, I now go through Bellevue on 405 even though its longer because I just couldn't stand the drivers.

Redmond has the best shopping of the three you mentioned. I do a lot of my shopping at their outdoor mall.

I do like the views from Issaquah, plus its close to hiking. To get to good restaurants, we still usually go into Seattle, although there are enough options in Issaquah and Redmond for weeknight dinners. For us, it was all about where we could afford to buy and how we could minimize commutes.

All in all, all 3 areas are nice and probably more similar than dissimilar.
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:42 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
37,906 posts, read 68,617,260 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seattlenextyear View Post
I kinda hate that people drive like 90 years olds in Sammamish
After 18 years here, I would agree, but there are very few elderly drivers
in Sammamish. Most of that is caused by the 15-16 year-olds learning to drive, with 3 high schools within 2 miles. Even then it doesn't seem to work, with daily wrecks on 228th near Inglewood Hill every afternoon during the school year.
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Seattle area
492 posts, read 979,141 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debfromtx View Post
Are property taxes around 1%? If so, coming from Katy, Texas at 3%, that sounds great!
Yeah but the houses here might be 3X the price! You can get the actual tax amount for any property from the King County Parcel Viewer (googleable), property tax tab.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:22 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
37,906 posts, read 68,617,260 times
Reputation: 44926
We're up to about $5,000 a year now for property taxes. Comparable to California in percentage, but still somewhat lower prices. Far higher than most places in Texas. Median price in this area is $450,000 with some over 2 million and the lowest at about $375,000 for a small 3 BR 2 BA.
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