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Old 12-05-2013, 12:54 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, 615' Elevation, Zone 8b - originally from SF Bay Area
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We came from the bay area 20 years ago, and have been happy here in Sammamish, but it is an expensive area. I would suggest that you look at Poulsbo, which has a similar but marine feel, good schools, and is more affordable than the eastside. When the economy finishes recovering I would expect growth there an in neighboring Silverdale which could be good for employment in your husband's field. It's also just a 15 minute drive to the ferry to Seattle, people commute that way. In general the Puget Sound/Seattle region is less expensive than Santa Rosa, but pockets especially on the eastside
are close or higher. Still not like Marin County, but the same or higher rent than you found there. You may find something affordable on Whidbey or Bainbridge Island but it will be difficult. Bainbridge is a little closer to Seattle than Poulsbo but it would take much longer from Whidbey.
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
I would suggest that you look at Poulsbo
That's pretty far out, though. I mean, Poulsbo is in no way convenient to Seattle. At that point, we might as well suggest places like Port Townsend or Oak Harbor. Granted, those places are physically further away, but the commute from Poulsbo to Seattle would be tough and expensive.

The other place the OP might consider looking is Portland, OR - same northwest feel, different housing market.

Last edited by PrincessoftheCape; 12-05-2013 at 01:09 PM..
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PrincessoftheCape View Post
The other place the OP might consider looking is Portland, OR -- same northwest feel, different housing market.
Different job market status as well... OP is more likely to find a job in the Seattle area than Portland. Portland, given that it's not as economically vital as Seattle, is one of those places you definitely need to line up a job before you move in.


Given how the OP describe themselves, Lake Stevens might be a little too red-neck for them. Something in the want list (from budget to the ambience of the place) needs to change, but the OP needs to decide what it is.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Inkpoe View Post
Different job market status as well... OP is more likely to find a job in the Seattle area than Portland. Portland, given that it's not as economically vital as Seattle, is one of those places you definitely need to line up a job before you move in.


Given how the OP describe themselves, Lake Stevens might be a little too red-neck for them. Something in the want list (from budget to the ambience of the place) needs to change, but the OP needs to decide what it is.
I wouldn't recommend Lake Stevens simply based on the questionable reputation of their police department.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:58 PM
 
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Thank you, Thank you everyone. If you have any other thoughts, keep 'em coming... they are so very helpful. Just curious, we are seeing quite a few house rentals on zillow around 9th ave. southwest Seattle for $900-$1200. Based on your feedback, I am assuming that this is a horrible place to live and that is why the housing is so cheap. Is that right?
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Old 12-05-2013, 02:08 PM
 
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Also, is there anything wrong with Tacoma? I know it's not Seattle but it is "in the area". Someone mentioned that we could live in Olympia and benefit from everything Tacoma has to offer. Why not just live in Tacoma? Is it junky? Are there gangs? Does everyone just commute to Seattle?
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Old 12-05-2013, 02:14 PM
 
9,618 posts, read 27,427,753 times
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Originally Posted by MiniExplorers View Post
Thank you, Thank you everyone. If you have any other thoughts, keep 'em coming... they are so very helpful. Just curious, we are seeing quite a few house rentals on zillow around 9th ave. southwest Seattle for $900-$1200. Based on your feedback, I am assuming that this is a horrible place to live and that is why the housing is so cheap. Is that right?
9th Ave SW in the Highland Park area is somewhat run down. I wouldn't call it horrible. There is a nice park nearby. But most of the houses around there are not well taken care of 1940's boxes, and the schools around there are pretty bad. But it's not a particularly dangerous neighborhood.
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Old 12-05-2013, 02:20 PM
 
719 posts, read 992,460 times
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Originally Posted by MiniExplorers View Post
Also, is there anything wrong with Tacoma? I know it's not Seattle but it is "in the area". Someone mentioned that we could live in Olympia and benefit from everything Tacoma has to offer. Why not just live in Tacoma? Is it junky? Are there gangs? Does everyone just commute to Seattle?
Any substantial city is going to have gang violence of some sort. Although I haven't lived in Tacoma, I have looked for housing there, and my impressions were not bad. It is not, however, 'mini Seattle,' so you shouldn't go away with that vibe. Tacoma is much more of a 'hands dirty,' working city than Seattle has become. That's not to say it isn't quite liberal, it's just a different take on the whole thing than Seattle has. I would equate it to many other modest-sized cities around the country: Wilmington, DE; Worcester, MA (it feels a lot like Worcester to me for some reason); Redding, CA (it's bigger than Redding, though).
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Old 12-05-2013, 02:27 PM
 
7,743 posts, read 15,925,505 times
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Originally Posted by MiniExplorers View Post
Also, is there anything wrong with Tacoma? I know it's not Seattle but it is "in the area". Someone mentioned that we could live in Olympia and benefit from everything Tacoma has to offer. Why not just live in Tacoma? Is it junky? Are there gangs? Does everyone just commute to Seattle?
No, I didn't. I said to live in University Place, which is next door to Tacoma and to benefit from those amenities. UP has the good schools you're looking for, plus its affordable.

Tacoma has its good parts and its bad parts. There are definitely people who commute to Seattle for jobs and there's public transit to support that. Tacoma suffers from a very unfavorable reputation, a lot of it based on its past. Overall, Tacoma could work for you given that it's a very engaging community, friendly people and not as busy (and expensive) as Seattle. However... One of your considerations is... Good schools. Out of that whole area, there's a handful of good to better school districts around and Tacoma isn't it. UP on the other hand does fit that. Personally, I like the area as it somewhat has that West Seattle vibe, just more spread out.

Olympia has excellent schools, pretty affordable, has a cute/quaint DT setting, good shopping nearby, excellent farmers market, not to mention you'll meet like minded individuals there as well. The only thing it doesn't have is that big city feeling and those kind of amenities, of which you can go to Seattle-Tacoma for.
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Old 12-05-2013, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Phoenix
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With 3 young kids, your focus has to be on getting employment of business to sustain a family of 5. Seattle is not as expensive as the Bay area but it's far from inexpensive. Seattle has a growing economy so there are opportunities but I suggest you put some feelers out about employment/business opportunities and you really need an income north of $100K imho to support a family of 5.

Prescott is wonderful if you don't have to earn a living there, Flagstaff is similar, you could live much cheaper in Phoenix area but the heat would be a significant adjustment from Santa Rosa. I still think someone's suggestion of Denver is a good one as it's a little cheaper than Seattle and has similar economic opportunities that will grow over time due to the abundant Oil Shales nearby.

There have been some good suggestions such as Maple Valley, Duvall, Renton nearby that would also be nice and not too expensive.
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