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Old 09-19-2007, 03:32 AM
 
11 posts, read 45,144 times
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Hi,

We are a family of 4 relocating from Europe to Redmond (ms job). After tons of research, I'm most inclined to Education Hill (schools, infrastructure, ...).

Top priority are schools (public). Next, infrastructure.

A tough question: Is it at all realistic to get around by public transportation? Here in Vienna the metro is excellent and I have never used a car, and even the kids (8 and 10) can get around easily. How is that in Redmond? Is it safe for kids to use the bus? Is it possible to get anywhere (eg. Redmond Twon Center) within reasonable time (say, 45 minutes)?

Another question: How does Woodinville compare to Education Hill (any aspects would be interesting). It is very hard to get a real feel for the area just over the net. Please, just tell me pros and cons, no matter how subjective.

Thanks so much for your help!!!
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Old 09-19-2007, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Austin 'burbs
3,225 posts, read 13,504,366 times
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No, you will need a car.

As for concerns about Edu Hill vs Woodinville - depends on what you are looking for in regards to property and home style... I think the schools are comparable, perhaps only slightly better on Edu Hill. You will have a different culture on Edu Hill, in my opinion - lots of bored kids, with money, and busy parents - my brother and his kids have lived there since they were 4, and the kids are now 15 and 17. This is by no means an across the board statement - there is a good population of good kids, good families in both spots... but I think you may have a slight bit more of the negative element on Edu Hill vs Woodinville...

Woodinville, the homes will be on more land. Edu Hill you have less land (still good sized lots for the area though). Edu Hill will be more of an HOA run, landscaped community - whereas, Woodinville has more custom homes on property - so you are kind of on your own and less control over what your neighbors house and land looks like. Lots of people own horses and other livestock in Woodinville - you won't find that on Edu Hill.

Both have great shopping options and convenience.

Either are good choices.
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Old 09-19-2007, 08:09 AM
 
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Jenbar, thanks for your reply!

bored kids? do you mean there isn't enough to do for kids in eduhill? or that there aren't many kids there to meet and play with?

where would you actually recommend living with kids 8-10 years old? if a car is needed, it might not matter after all to move further away, like issaquah or snoqualmie. It just feels so lost being far away from the city center. Here in Vienna we are so used to be able to get anywhere in no time, and everything at your fingertips - even without a car! That's luxury, really, as it seems, and it will be hard to adjust...

so what about the bus system? is it really so bad?
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Old 09-19-2007, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Austin 'burbs
3,225 posts, read 13,504,366 times
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No, the public transportation system is fine - but it's not like living in downtown Seattle. I probably should have clarified myself... for trips to work, you could take the bus. If you wanted to take the kids down to the library, you could do that... but running errands, going to the grocery store - you will need a car. You will likely find that a combo of bus/car use will work out.... but I wouldn't rely on using a bus for everything... so you will need a car.

Hmmm... "bored kids" ok, first, don't let that scare you off... Edu Hill is still a great area. If I were living in Redmond and could afford a home in the $650-700k range - I would live there without concern. An involved parent, with good kids need not worry... like I said there is a good amount of good kids and good families there to even out what I mentioned...

By bored, I mean - yes, there are things to do (sports, community center, library, school activities) but the community, in general, is kind of ... "rat race" centered. (Do you know what I mean?) It's so focused on the tech sector, which tends to be hard working, long hours, lots of money... so you have rich families with absent parents and a lot of kids sitting around playing video games and getting into trouble. And by trouble, it's the typical stuff that you see in upper middle class teens (drugs, underage drinking, shoplifting, graffitti)... I really don't want that to scare you off, because there is an element of this sort of thing in ANY community - but perhaps it stands out to me, in Edu Hill - because my brother is one of those Microsoft Millionaires, and one of his kids is like these "bored kids" I am talking about and I have spent a lot of time looking at her, and her friends, myspaces... and it's kind of shocking...

Anyway, Issaquah is a GREAT community - but the trade off will be a large commute.

If you can afford remond, and will be working in redmond - I would choose redmond (edu hill) first, with woodinville second, and issaquah as a third.
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Old 09-19-2007, 09:18 AM
 
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deleted.............

Last edited by Pittgal; 09-19-2007 at 10:14 AM..
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Old 09-19-2007, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Austin 'burbs
3,225 posts, read 13,504,366 times
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I commuted from Redmond to Klahanie - and it never took me 20 mins! That was 5.5 years ago - I can only assume it's worse. Large incomparison to commuting from Woodinville or Edu Hill.

Personally, I believe it's best to live where you work, if you can - and lessen the commute.

Commuting into Redmond from ANYWHERE is a challenge, because of the congestion, the fact that going into Redmond you only have one lane (each way) roads, and the large amount of people working there.

I love Issaquah though - and if you don't mind a commute, it would be an excellent choice. Considering she was asking about being "car free" I assumed she was looking to lessen the commute.
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Old 09-19-2007, 09:41 AM
 
11 posts, read 45,144 times
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well, that was VERY informative, many thanks, jenbar!

As I am not working, with two youngish (8,10) kids, used to keeping a very busy home with their friends around a lot, I am relieved about your reply. The same problems exist anywhere, with parents absent most of the time, many kids tend to get in trouble sooner or later, unless there is someone else watching over them. Of course, I will worry once they reach 12,14 (probably most mothers do!!!). Then, I will try to have their friends around so I can stay in touch (I hope that's not illusory).

Your choice is exactly what I hoped to hear. Education hill, Woodinville, Issaquah. What about the Somerset area in Bellevue? That, too, seems to be a very good school area (Tyee, Newport High)?

Also, we might be renting a house instead of buying, just to see how things develop... After a year or so, if things go well, we might buy. From what I have read so far in this forum, some people do not seem to settle well in Seattle/Eastside. Because of the wheather being gloomy (for now, I find that attractive after the hot summers here with aggressive sun burning down), or people being reserved (couldn't be much worse than here, where, typically, you only get to know two or three neighbours out of 12 in a building).

btw., we used to live in Austin, and I was so surprised how many people favor Austin over Seattle (especially, BECAUSE of the wheather). We lived in Steiner Ranch, and it was kind of cool to get a direct comparison. For me, Steiner Ranch was nice (with small kids, who were 2 and 4 at that time, the ideal place really), but now I wouldn't choose such a far-off suburb anymore. Plus, for some reason, I am expecting people in Seattle being more liberal, tolerant, open-minded, educated, because of the greater cultural mix. Am I wrong?
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Old 09-19-2007, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Edmonds, WA
223 posts, read 1,225,465 times
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Isabel, the Eastside (of which Redmond and Issaquah are both a part) is not at all public transportation friendly. The Eastside was brought about as bedroom communities to serve Seattle well before public transportation was ever thought of in the Seattle area. As a result, the bulk of the bus routes are designed to get people to Seattle in the mornings and from Seattle in the afternoon. Yes, there is local service, but nothing like you would find in the city of Seattle, and certainly not anywhere near what you're used to in Europe. While getting along without a car would be fairly easy in Seattle proper, doing so in Redmond would be possible, but not very convenient.
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Old 09-19-2007, 10:10 AM
 
11 posts, read 45,144 times
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Oh sorry, I should stick to the topic!

Living in Seattle city I think is out of the question because of schools and commute to Redmond. So, I guess, I could get around by bike for errands or shopping, if we lived in Education hill, it's very close to RTC.

Americans are so fast in everything, usually. Why don't they speed up with public transportation systems, looking at the future and at our everyday quality of life, air quality, etc... They might be far behind Europe right now, but, who knows, in ten years or so, they could be ahead of everybody else once again.
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Old 09-19-2007, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Austin 'burbs
3,225 posts, read 13,504,366 times
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Quote:
So, I guess, I could get around by bike for errands or shopping, if we lived in Education hill, it's very close to RTC.
and at the top of a very steep hill!!

Quote:
What about the Somerset area in Bellevue? That, too, seems to be a very good school area (Tyee, Newport High)?
Personally, and again, this is personal opinion - I have never viewed Bellevue as a place I would want to LIVE. Visit and shop in, yes, all the time - live, not really. The nicer areas are 1 million plus... so... maybe that's why it was never a consideration to me I think for the price of a decent house in Bellevue outside of the million dollar homes, you can get more in Redmond, Woodinville, Issaquah - and wouldn't have the suburby strip mall, dirty city areas that you get in Bellevue. Redmond, Woodinville and Issaquah have strip malls - but it doesn't LOOK like a typical suburban area. But that's just me!

Quote:
Plus, for some reason, I am expecting people in Seattle being more liberal, tolerant, open-minded, educated, because of the greater cultural mix. Am I wrong?
Well, in this instance - I think Austin and Seattle are matched.... I don't think either cities are particularly diverse. Being that they are both college towns, with large tech employers - I think the education level is on par. They are also both viewed as "tolerant, open-minded and liberal" but, I would bet that you will only hear that from the "tolerant, open-minded and liberal" set - you know what I mean? Tolerant of others views, as long as it goes along with the other tolerant views (this is coming from a "tolerant, open-minded, liberal)

Steiner Ranch, well - I think Steiner should be it's own city or something and not compared with most of Austin. It's more like Orange County, California, in my opinion... I couldn't compare anything in Seattle to Steiner.
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