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Old 03-05-2014, 03:31 PM
59 posts, read 96,591 times
Reputation: 59


Hello! I am currently an administrator at a Community College in Pittsburgh, and I am looking at relocating to Seattle later this year/early next year. I love, love, love Pittsburgh. I always will. But increasingly I find myself not meshing with the styles, and sometimes backwater attitude here. I was out there over the holidays, woke up on the third day, went downtown, and said..."yep, this is where I should be"

A few things...
  • I've been to Seattle three times- Once in April, twice in December (last this december)
  • I have friends out there now- some in Renton, some in Shoreline, Some further in town, I also have friends in Vancouver BC and Portland
  • I have a bachelor's degree in PR, I have worked in Higher Education for 7 years as a professional, but I'm not opposed to going somewhere else
  • Shockingly the climate is one of the attractive things to me, after polar vortex on top of polar vortex this year and the inevitable stifling summer heat in 4 months
  • My goal is to come out there with as little debt as possible and start fresh

Suggestions on:
  • Housing (I know i will NEVER be able to get the rent I get here) but what's affordable, close to transit (have a car, but this still is important to me) and won't be super, super expensive
  • Bringing a car from PA to WA
  • Quality of life- what do you love about Seattle? What do you hate?
  • Anything else I should know

Any input would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:44 PM
Location: PNW
2,011 posts, read 3,432,543 times
Reputation: 1403
What are are you looking to live? The most affordable housing is south of the city with areas that are hit or miss but general pretty decent. Tukwila/seatac is a good area very close to the light rail.

I generally love most of the stuff about the city and don't really have anything a hate but I would like to see a more efficient rapid transit system here that doesn't envolve bus system within the next 10 years. Also I wish the area invest more into high quality museums as I think there important not only drawing tourists, but help adding fun educational resources for youth in the community (personal preference). I think your budget is gonna be the biggest factor as Seattle is more expensive then Pitt.
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:59 PM
59 posts, read 96,591 times
Reputation: 59
I'm not sure...I'm debating saving a lot of money, bumming around and applying for jobs or apply from here and interview...the job may determine where i move to....
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Old 03-05-2014, 04:55 PM
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
6,031 posts, read 6,073,898 times
Reputation: 12508
Originally Posted by urbanpreppie05 View Post
I'm not sure...I'm debating saving a lot of money, bumming around and applying for jobs or apply from here and interview...the job may determine where i move to....
...and that will drive the conversation about what is "affordable." There is no rational answer on where to live until. Some can live out of the back seat of a car in the Wal Mart parking lot for next-to-nothing, others shouldn't move an inch without six months of expenses socked away.

If just showing up with no job is the way to go, process would probably be:

- Gather resources at Point A
- Figure out how to move Point A to Point B
- Arrive to town, crash somewhere (pre-determined) to start a job hunt of uncertain duration.
- When job secured, figure out very quickly what is "affordable"
- Revenue dictates location

There are always a finite number of constraints regarding where to live in a place like Seattle metro. The "moving to Seattle Megathread" addresses some or most of it. Cliff's Notes version, variables include:

- Job location
- Tolerance for commuting
- Family issues
- Revenue stream
- Pets
- Hip/cool area or not

...and more specific to a given situation.
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:37 PM
Location: Wallace, Idaho
3,353 posts, read 6,637,735 times
Reputation: 3589
If you want (relatively) cheap living and access to public transit, I'd also recommend the SeaTac area, out by the airport. You can take the light rail to downtown Seattle from there. All the south suburbs have some sketchy areas, but probably nothing like you're used to out east.

Re: bringing a car. We drove ours all the way out here from the metro D.C. area. I drove the U-Haul while my wife drove the car. Don't know if it's just you, but you could always haul the car out on a trailer behind the moving truck.

Quality of life: I love it here. I can't really think of any huge negatives. As most of the country has been buried in snow, it's been nice to deal with drizzle and moderate temps. I think the coldest it got here for a few weeks was lows in the 20s and highs in the low to mid-30s. It's in the mid-50s and raining as I write this.

Public transit is kind of fragmented, which could certainly be a negative if you plan on using it. We have the light rail, the commuter train, car ferries, a street trolley, and buses, and it wouldn't be unusual to have to use more than one of those methods to get where you want to go.

It would be a good idea to save up as much as you can beforehand. That's what we did, and we lived on our savings out here until we found work. We tried for a year to apply for jobs out here while we were still in the D.C. area, and we didn't get a single bite. That was just our experience, of course, but I think it stands to reason that you have a much better chance of getting a job if a company doesn't have to fly you in for an interview.
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:28 PM
9,618 posts, read 27,219,666 times
Reputation: 5382
How do you define affordable? The southern suburbs of Seattle are the most affordable. Compared to the worst neighborhoods in Pittsburgh, or any east coast city, Seattle's "slums" would be thought of as pretty middle class. But there are a lot of wealthy folks out here, and that's why housing is so expensive. But....Do you want to live in a lower income/kinda rundown area with relatively higher crime( even though it's nothing compared to Camden or Newark, etc)? Or do you think it would be worth it to spend more to live in a less looked down upon neighborhood? SeaTac, Tukwila, Kent, and Auburn are the least expensive for rents. Maybe Federal Way too. Kent and Auburn are on the Sounder commuter train route, SeaTac and Tukwila on the light rail route. Tukwila would be the closest to downtown Seattle. All of them are kind of boring. Renton and Burien are slightly more expensive, with nice parts and not so nice parts, both fairly quick bus rides into Seattle. Slightly more expensive than that are the northern burbs like Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, and Kenmore. Then the less expensive neighborhoods in Seattle proper( Rainier Valley, Lake City), then the nicer parts of Seattle and the eastside. You can find less expensive rentals in parts of Bellevue, but they won't be Tukwila cheap. And every once in a while, you can stumble upon a cheaper rental on Capitol Hill, or Ballard, or Wallingford. They exist, but are hard to find.

What I love most about the Seattle area are the big trees, the water( both lake and sound and river), the mountains, the moist cool air. Some neighborhoods within the city are great for walking around in and exploring, and some of the neighboring towns are fun and cute and hip. Seattle's got great Asian cuisine. I've been here about 35 years, being an east coast native, and Mexican food has improved greatly since I got here, and so has pizza.

What I dislike most is the traffic. I don't care whether it's the 4th worst in the US or the 9th worst or the 13th worst, it's bad. I guess that's the price you pay for being cool. Either you have a city with lousy pizza and light traffic, or a city with good pizza and horrible traffic.
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:02 PM
1,314 posts, read 2,043,833 times
Reputation: 1995
Originally Posted by Ira500 View Post
Either you have a city with lousy pizza and light traffic, or a city with good pizza and horrible traffic.
You are so wise, Obi-Wan.
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:15 AM
Location: Tacoma WA
17 posts, read 27,472 times
Reputation: 48
Comming from Pittsburg, you may get sticker shock from the high prices of Seattle. I recently moved from Austin, TX to Tacoma, due to a job transfer to Fife. Seattle and it's subburbs were out of reach, or had too many problems, especially south Seattle. I also can't stand suburban life, even though Fife and Milton are quite nice, I'd only live there if I had kids becouse the schools are better than Tacoma. You should consider Tacoma, it's not the gritty crime ridden city some of the smug Seattlites claim it to be. I moved to the Hilltop area, which has changed much over the last 15-20 years. It's a up and coming area thats very walkable, close to downtown and some of the colleges. Another neat area is 6'th ave around Wright park, and the north end around Ruston. You'll find plenty of charming 1920's apartments with rents under 700, and theres also some fancy newer buildings, but with higher rents. The downtown isn't as pretty as Seattle, though. You should also consider the Tacoma area, too, but I would avoid the eastside.
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:26 AM
295 posts, read 656,803 times
Reputation: 208
As far as public transportation is concerned, I have visited both Seattle and Pittsburgh multiple times in recent years, without a car, and find that Seattle's transit is far superior. I don't live there so I know people who ride it on a daily basis will have more knowledge of its problems, but overall Seattle has more frequent service, especially on nights and weekends. You can live without a car in Seattle, depending on where you live and work.
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