U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Washington > Seattle area
 [Register]
Seattle area Seattle and King County Suburbs
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-23-2014, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Madrona, Seattle, WA
279 posts, read 439,944 times
Reputation: 330

Advertisements

How does Seattle rate in comparison to the rest of the country as far as cost of living is concerned. I was a bit taken back by Seattle Property Taxes. Seattle seems to have HIGHER property taxes than California. But, then Seattle doesn't pay state income taxes. Is there a site that someone recommends that can point these things out a little better? I guess I'm looking at an overall picture and end result. any and all input is good.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-23-2014, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
5,757 posts, read 4,897,086 times
Reputation: 11714
Well, pretty obviously by "most" COL calculators, it is "significantly more expensive" to live in Seattle than other US cities. OK, that's the first thirty second analysis. The details are more important, in any comparison: hell, someone used to Silicon Valley prices would fine Seattle metro a dawdle. Not so, say Baton Rouge LA to Seattle, however.

I look up cost of living calculators from time to time. Bankrate and Forbes are two that seem "interesting", though perhaps one needs to understand the assumptions (algorithms) behind the comparisons. Too, they improve over time, one of the values of so-called Big Data.

That is to say, a comparison that topically indicates (fictitious numbers) "San Jose is 1.6x expensive as Seattle" needs a lot more data behind it to make sense for a particular situation. Your particulars, that is.

These days, calculators that break down by either buckets (e.g. housing, taxes, rental, auto insurance) and/or direct comparisons (typical loaf of bread, gallon of gas, bucket of chicken) are most useful. You can pick and choose what is applicable to you. Bankrate in-particular does this, though again: check their assumptions.

(I am a homeowner w/o kids, and commute to work, so I care plenty about real estate taxes and various consumables and services, but little for college tuition, child care, etc.)

Your comments about sales tax, property tax, income tax are great examples/factors. Way back when, CA shaved 7% of my income (tax) right off the top, I never saw it again. These days, it's closer to 10%. That's absolute. WA does not do this. WA does, however, get you on sales take (near 10%, many areas) and other taxes. The more you consume, the more you pay. OR has no sales tax, but income tax and...you get the picture. It's a scenario to game-out based on your needs.

Even better, reverse the search: "cost of living comparison (YourTown USA) to Bellevue WA" as a search string. That string got me hits on ten calculators, all of which I'd look at pretty carefully if I genuinely cared about the data. I'd pop all that into a spreadsheet and average some things out, may give a somewhat-precise estimate of what you're up against moving from City X to Seattle (Bellevue, Everett, Bellingham, etc.)
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-23-2014, 01:18 PM
 
21,217 posts, read 13,899,558 times
Reputation: 12200
The Seattle cost of living calculators really depend on where you choose to live, your job (and the types of jobs available in your industry compared to other locations), taxes including property, income, sales, etc. and so many other things.

You can see here that the cost of homes and condos depends on location:

Home prices spiked sharply last year in some neighborhoods | Business & Technology | The Seattle Times

And for example, both Washington State and Texas do not have income tax, but we've heard that Texas has higher property taxes and higher utility costs due to air conditioning.

California has state income taxes and their property taxes are affected by Prop 13, but home and condo costs can vary dramatically (NorCal vs. SoCal for example).

I think any place can be more or less expensive depending on the compromises you are willing to make and that depends on how much you really want to live in said place.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-23-2014, 02:06 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
36,902 posts, read 67,237,512 times
Reputation: 43208
When we moved here from CA the property taxes were much higher but only because we were paying the lower Proposition 13 rates in CA. We don't have that here. If you buy the same priced house here and in CA you will find the rates pre-levy to be very close to the same. In my area we generally approve school levies, adding to the property tax, in fact another is on the ballot soon that would cost us an additional $228/year.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-23-2014, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Seattle
338 posts, read 805,433 times
Reputation: 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seacove View Post
And for example, both Washington State and Texas do not have income tax, but we've heard that Texas has higher property taxes and higher utility costs due to air conditioning.
That is correct. In Texas, we were paying $350/month in electric bills only for about 1/2 of the year. The rest of the year it was about $120/month.
Also, our property taxes were DOUBLE what we pay here.

In fact, moving to Seattle costs us less to live than it did in Texas. Our budget actually went down.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-23-2014, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Humble, TX
402 posts, read 610,728 times
Reputation: 442
Live about 30 miles NE of Houston for two years now. Property taxes here definitely higher; our's doubled. The purchase price of houses is, on average, cheaper. So did our auto and home owner's insurance. Electric bills for our 2100 sq foot house with decent tree coverage is $170-200 June-September. Low has been around $70-80 for a few months. Gas is about 40-50 cents cheaper per gallon here; milk is more expensive. We buy water because the muni water here is atrocious, so we figure that into our monthly budget. People told us "oh you'll enjoy the lower cost of living". Nah, in our estimation it has been a wash. Car registration is about the same, but you have an annual "safety inspection" to pay for here. You really have to look at the daily/weekly expenditures to get a fair idea of COL. Quality of life? Well, for me, it has taken a serious dive as I was big into hiking and backpacking and there is zilch here for that unless you go far west or near the border, but the summer time is not the time to do that stuff due to the scorching weather. I hope to make it back some day, but probably not until the kids are on their own.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-23-2014, 03:27 PM
 
9,638 posts, read 25,722,512 times
Reputation: 5348
Quote:
Originally Posted by seattlefun View Post
How does Seattle rate in comparison to the rest of the country as far as cost of living is concerned. I was a bit taken back by Seattle Property Taxes. Seattle seems to have HIGHER property taxes than California. But, then Seattle doesn't pay state income taxes. Is there a site that someone recommends that can point these things out a little better? I guess I'm looking at an overall picture and end result. any and all input is good.
It's too late. You already committed to moving here if the Seahawks beat the 49ers. You can't change your mind now. You have been assimilated. Resistance is futile.

California is a more expensive place than Washington, all things considered. Property taxes might be lower per thousand of assessed valuation, but if you're comparing apples to apples, you'd have to compare Seattle to a city of comparable size or importance. Houses are less expensive in Seattle than they are in San Francisco or LA. My daughter there was looking at houses to buy, and I accompanied her to a few large fixers in the 900 thousand dollar range. What would the equivalent house in the same style of neighborhood in Seattle cost? 650 on Phinney Ridge? That's what you'd need to compare, tax wise. You'd pay more taxes here for a million dollar house vs a million dollar house in LA. But you can get that million dollar LA house here for something like 700.
Gasoline's a lot cheaper here too.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-23-2014, 03:41 PM
 
5,075 posts, read 9,998,139 times
Reputation: 4654
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaonevar View Post
That is correct. In Texas, we were paying $350/month in electric bills only for about 1/2 of the year. The rest of the year it was about $120/month.
Also, our property taxes were DOUBLE what we pay here.

In fact, moving to Seattle costs us less to live than it did in Texas. Our budget actually went down.
Property taxes were higher based on the price of the house or the quality? From what I've noticed, a similar house in say Austin would cost less than in seattle, but the taxes on the house would be about the same, maybe a bit higher. For instance, in Seattle you'd pay about $10k/yr on a newer 3500 sq ft house (purchase price $850k) whereas in Texas you'd merely be able to buy a similar house for far less up front.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-23-2014, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Seattle
338 posts, read 805,433 times
Reputation: 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkarch View Post
Property taxes were higher based on the price of the house or the quality? From what I've noticed, a similar house in say Austin would cost less than in seattle, but the taxes on the house would be about the same, maybe a bit higher. For instance, in Seattle you'd pay about $10k/yr on a newer 3500 sq ft house (purchase price $850k) whereas in Texas you'd merely be able to buy a similar house for far less up front.
We bought a fairly new build house in Texas that was 2800 sq. ft., brick exterior (which is a huge pro down there), a completely upgraded $20K kitchen, etc. The works. It was $167,900. And our property taxes were $5000 a year.

Here in Seattle, we're in a home that's 1100 sq. ft. with gorgeous windows, hard wood floors in excellent shape, upgraded kitchen, etc. Built in 1991, so for Seattle, it's not OLD, but it's not brand new. It cost us $300,000 in Magnolia (so a nice neighborhood with high value homes). And our property taxes are about $3000 a year.

So yes, our budget went down, as did our property taxes (between Texas and here).
Our mortgage only went up in cost about $300/month for the additional price of the house. Not bad at all.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-23-2014, 08:33 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
36,902 posts, read 67,237,512 times
Reputation: 43208
Our 3,000 sf house runs as low as $150 for gas and electric from June-October, but our December bill was $359 and it was not all that cold, just down to 17 a couple of nights. For smaller homes the bills are pretty reasonable, since we don't need AC in summer and electricity is fairly low at about $0.07/KWH.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Washington > Seattle area
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2022, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top