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Old 04-29-2006, 01:29 PM
 
2 posts, read 13,302 times
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My family and I are looking at the possibilities of moving to the NW Washington area and are looking for some ideas on what area to start looking. I have been doing research on the internet but it would be nice to get some personal advice. Two of the cities that caught our eye were Port Townsend and Sequim.

I will tell you what we are looking for and maybe you can give us an idea of what you would recommend. My wife and I have 3 children ages 6, 19 months, and 2 months, so education is important to us. We would be relocating from Cleveland, OH and one of the things that looks attractive about NW Washington is the mild weather and the abundance of outdoor activities. We are looking for a small town atmosphere, with low crime rate but still has some of the 21st century conveniences. Employment is not a major concern for us because I run a small trucking company and I can be based anywhere. It would be nice to be close enough to Seattle or Vancouver, BC when we want to visit, etc.

I guess in summary, what would you recommend as the best cities to raise a family that are similar to Port Townsend or Sequim. One other thing, we liked the idea that the area around Sequim had very little rain compared with surrounding areas.

Thanks,
Jeff
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Old 04-29-2006, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Tri-Cities
148 posts, read 1,189,576 times
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Port Townsend is very nice, but Sequim is turning into just another big retirement community; it's pretty boring. I wouldn't want to live there. The cities I'd consider are Bellingham, Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island, and Olympia. Poulsbo is a beautiful old original Dutch colony. Good shopping, good schools and low crime. Small town with LOTS of charm. Bainbridge Isl. is pricy, has no crime and not too much to do, but it's beautiful and quiet and safe. Olympia is the least expensive of those areas and is a great all around city with a small town feel and big city amenities.. Belllingham has 3 of the top 10 school districts in the US. If you don't mind living in/by a larger city, Vancouver is one of my favorites. The areas of Camas, Battle Ground and Washougal around Vancouver are nice "countrier" alternatives, and have excellent schools and very low crime.
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Old 04-30-2006, 11:10 AM
 
331 posts, read 2,017,590 times
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What kind of "background" do you like? Ocean, open, secluded, foresty???? And of course buget plays a big part too.

I live on what is called the Eastside and I love it here. (about 20-30 min from Seattle) Both Lake Washington School District and Issaquah School District have great reps for schools. The town of Issaquah is a great place to raise a family. I am up on the Plateau and we get a bit colder weather up here. For instance we had some ice-rain and snow up here yesterday. While down the hill they only got rain.

But in order for us to know more what direction to point you, if you could give us some kind of price range and what type of scenery you would like, we could be more helpful.
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Old 04-30-2006, 12:45 PM
 
2 posts, read 13,302 times
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We really want to be near the water. As far as price range, we want to be able to find a 3 or 4 bedroom home in the 500k-750k range. We are taking a trip out to the Seattle area on May 17th to start looking at these areas so this advice is great. The top 3 things on our list are: education, small town feel, near the water. Also, weather is another that is extremely important to us. I have heard that some areas get a lot of rain where others see almost nothing. We would prefer to be in an area that gets very little rain with as much sun as possible.

Thanks,
Jeff
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Old 04-30-2006, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Tri-Cities
148 posts, read 1,189,576 times
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I just wanted to correct my previous post; Bellingham does have great schools, but I was confusing my information with Bellevue. Bellevue arguably has the best public education system in the US.
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Old 04-30-2006, 05:11 PM
 
170 posts, read 542,464 times
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I live in a town called Lake Stevens. It is 1/2 hr. north of Seattle, and is definitely a small town feel, but close to everything you could need. We have approx. 7000 people, with a huge lake right here. (lots of boating, jet skiing, just beautiful)! We have an Aquafest festival every July downtown, (booths, music, fireworks over the lake), which we love. We definitely have houses in your price range, and outdoor activities are endless. As far as rainfall, I really think if it's raining here, it's raining in most of the areas around. As far as schools, one of the main reasons we moved here was because of the schools- I have 2 kids, and have been nothing but pleased with them. Any other questions, feel free to ask. Good luck.
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Old 05-03-2006, 12:53 AM
 
Location: Maine
20,873 posts, read 24,889,929 times
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Port Townsend and Port Angeles are both very nice places. Myself, I'd avoid Sequim. (It's pronounced "Squim" by the way.) The town is really struggling to stay alive.

If you have children, definitely avoid the Olympia/Tacoma/Seattle/Everett area. Crime, drugs, and traffic are a nightmare.

I've heard good things about Wenatchee, but I've done no more than pass through there. It's on the eastern side of the mountains, so they get much less rain, hotter summers, and more snow in the winter.
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Old 05-07-2006, 03:49 PM
 
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Bellingham sounds like the perfect town for you. There is a relitively low crime rate here, the education system is good, and there is a wide variety of schools to choose from for all ages. Bellingham is about 1 hour and 45 minutes away from Seattle, 15 minutes away from the border, and aprx 30 minutes away from Vancouver BC. Bellingham is a very small town, but has almost everything a big city has. Basically anywhere you go in NW Washington is going to have rain, sorry.
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Old 05-08-2006, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Maine
20,873 posts, read 24,889,929 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pangaea
Bellingham sounds like the perfect town for you. There is a relitively low crime rate here.
Actually, Bellingham has pretty high crime. I have a friend who went to school there, and he often told me horror stories of the high crime for such a small place.

This seems to confirm that:
//www.city-data.com/city/Bellin...ashington.html
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Old 05-10-2006, 09:20 AM
 
4 posts, read 34,559 times
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Hi Jeff,

I also live in Lake Stevens and have lived here all of my life. We just sold our property and are moving south to the Vancouver, WA area (Washougal). Lake Stevens is a beautiful town, BUT, it is growing very quickly. The schools are good, but crowded. They're working on it and are building a new school, but the developments are going up faster than can be kept up with. The roads are getting crowded as well. The days for taking a quick trip to the store is gone.

The traffic is horrible in Snohomish County all around. In the past few years, Snohomish County has been one of the fastest growing and seems to be having a hard time keeping up with things.

So....if you don't mind the traffic and want to stay fairly close to Seattle and Vancouver, BC, this would be a great area to raise your kids! The Sound and the Mountains are all within one hour's drive, and there are lots of things to do in between.

You might also want to look into Skagit County. It's about halfway between Canada and Seattle. I'm not sure how the schools are. I haven't looked into them lately, but Sedro Woolley was a pretty good choice about 4-5 years ago when we were looking to move up there.

Where we are moving to Washougal, it's near the Oregon border. It's also closer to the Oregon and Washington Coast and right on the Columbia River. There are lots of rivers and lakes. The schools are great there and the high school has a pretty impressive AP/Honors program.

Good luck in your venture and hope this helps you!

Renee'
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