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Interested in moving to Seattle

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Asheville, North...
posts: 32
reviews: 5
Interested in moving to Seattle

My family is starting to talk about a fresh start on the west coast. We currently live in North Carolina and have about had it with the hot humid muggy weather. Our daughter is a rising 7th grader. Our schools here in Charlotte are a mess so high school prospects don't look great. We currently live in a suburban neighborhood on a lake with a 15 minute drive to the city center. We have a 3200 square foot brick house that we custom built on 1/2 acre. I know that we would likely have to give up some house but we are willing. I have a few questions:

1. How easy is it to get a job in the school system? Although I do not have my masters, I have taught middle school for almost 20 years. My husband has his masters and will likely have 18 hours on his advanced degree in administration by the time we move.

2. We really desire to live close in with more of a city setting than a surburban. What neighborhoods would you suggest in the $500s that would have a really good high school for my daughter?

3. We also are boaters. Is boating in the Seattle area reserved for the wealthy? How much would it cost us to keep a small boat or sailboat docked on one of the lakes/ waterways?

Thanks.

San Diego...
posts: 17,863
1. Re: Interested in moving to Seattle

1. Not sure

2. $500k in Seattle's (proper) better neighborhoods will get you about 1100-1500 sq ft. The best suburbs would be Bellevue and Kirkland you probably would get a bigger house. Issaquah, Sammamish and Redmond even a little bigger. The Bellevue school district is one of the best in the US. I think 2 or their HS's were ranked in the top 25 nationwide. If you want to be right in Seattle there are lots of great family neighborhoods, but you will get a small house for $500k. Magnolia, Madison Park, Queen Anne are all a within 2-5 miles from downtown, however home prices are high. I live in Magnolia and the aveage home price is around $650K, Queen Anne is similar and MAdison PArk is even more.

3. Boating is not reserved for the wealthy. a 20-25ft covered slip in Lake Union (right in Seattle) on a year lease is about $250-$300/month.

birmingham, al
posts: 961
reviews: 26
2. Re: Interested in moving to Seattle

My family just returned from a trip out to Seattle. I have lived in Alabama my entire life. I thought Seattle was so beautiful. We too get tired of the hot muggy weather heat here. But that said, the seasons here in the south are nice. I love fall and spring. Yeah around July and August is pretty hot and sticky but there are plenty of pools, lakes, and beaches around here to enjoy. Have you considered the rainy, cloudy days that are quite common in Seattle? The few days we were in Seattle we did have sunshine and clear skies but we were constantly being told that it was unusual and to enjoy it. Maybe people exaggerate about the rain there but I personally feel that constant rain would depress me and I know I love the mostly sunny days here in the South. This is just a thought from a down home Southern girl.

San Diego...
posts: 17,863
3. Re: Interested in moving to Seattle

I grew up in Southern California nad then spent 10 years in Vegas before moving to Seattle where yesterday marked my 3rd year here. I thought the rain and clouds would bother me, but #1 it is totally exagerated. #2 there is enough sun here year round (especially in the summer), but also the 9 other months, it seems just as youve had too many cloudy days the sun will come out for a week, even in Jan., that I dont mind the rain we get and #3 The trade off for the rain is the most beautiful city in the world.

BTW-We get less rain per year than most of the South and East Coast cities. Look it up.

posts: 322
reviews: 17
4. Re: Interested in moving to Seattle

I agree with GoodBeer, we get far less rain the New York and Miami. Our trouble spots are gray days and a little drizzle. It rains a lot in November and December, then the weather starts to change. We'll get plenty of blue skies, crisp clear day and it's so green and white from the snow in the mountains, you definitely need your sunglasses. We moved here in 1988, adjusted to the weather just fine. I don't miss the humid, hot weather. Our summers are the best, of course, while everyone is hot and humid, we're in the 70's and 80's. And just when you thought the sun would not shine in the winter, here it comes for a few days.

Schools and places to live, you might want to check out Mercer Island, Kirkland, Fremont, Ballard. Fremont and Ballard are in the city area, but nice neighborhoods, not too sure about the schools, but haven't heard terrible things about them either. Mercer Island is lovely and I know the schools are good. You can go further out but then you would have traffic problems.

The area is always looking for school teachers. Check out this site for the Mercer Island area: www.mercerislandschoolsfoundation.com

birmingham, al
posts: 961
reviews: 26
5. Re: Interested in moving to Seattle

Hey guys, Glad to get such info from your post. Seattle was so incredible but just wondering as to why people always refer to it as the rainy city? This is the thing, when we were coming out, my daughters grandparents (who live in Seattle) e-mailed us and said, "Be sure to bring "rain jackets" because it WILL rain." What is up with that? Then we they picked us up at the airport, they said, "well the sun has been shining, but it WILL rain", but it never did. Then when we would go in bars and talk to the bartenders and the locals, they would say, "isn't this weather great", like the sunshine was so unusual or something. Going on tour buses, etc, people would say: "isn't this weather great"? like it was so bizzare to have the clear skies etc. I will say that here is Alabama, we are on a big time drought. We are on heavy water restrictions. If there is all this "so called rain" in Seattle, send it our way.

Take Care and good luck on your decision.

Seattle
posts: 31,087
reviews: 14
6. Re: Interested in moving to Seattle

You found us out. That's just what we tell people from out-of-state to keep more people from moving here (old Seattle joke)!

I don't even own a rain jacket and i've lived here for a couple decades now.

Seattle
posts: 136
reviews: 8
7. Re: Interested in moving to Seattle

Yup. I've lived in Seattle since '99 and don't own an umbrella or raincoat. During winter months I'll often carry a cap in case its more than a drizzle.

If I really need an umbrella because I'm dressed up nice, I just run to the drugstore and shell out 10 bucks.

Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
posts: 16,764
reviews: 45
8. Re: Interested in moving to Seattle

1. Don't know. I'd simply contact the websites of the several school districts and check out employment opportunities. You cannot obtain good information from heresay and are better off going to the source.

2. Realistically, $500,000 is pushing the limit on most housing in this area. See this: …bizjournals.com/seattle/…daily19.html

Contact a Seattle area real estate broker and inquire about the low-down on what is available, by area, at what price. The brokers typically have this information on each area. With this information at hand, you can make a decision. See this: http://sea.themlsonline.com/

Mercer Island is nice but reality again intrudes; there is little available on the Island for less that $650,000 and even those are hard to find. And, as is the case most places here, they'd be snapped up fairly quickly. That's the story in the Seattle area.

You could look further at some newer home developments in Redmond, Kirkland, Issaqhah, etc.

3. There are several boat rental clubs at reasonable prices, as well as dockage, but oftimes you have to sign a waiting list.

Asheville, North...
posts: 32
reviews: 5
9. Re: Interested in moving to Seattle

Thanks for all of the advice. Trust me I'm not worried about the rain. Other than to get out of the heat and humidy, we aren't exactly moving for the weather. We are tired of living in suburban sprawl. We yearn for a city house where we can walk to the market and pick up fresh produce and baked goods. We yearn for a city that has public art and public spaces that are safe to hang out at. We want to live someplace where there are more entertainment options that going to a movie or shopping at a mall. We are also very weary of living in an extremely conservative area where you are ostracized if you don't go to church at least twice a week. I have looked at properties in Bellvue, but it wasn't quite what we are looking for. I'm not going to switch coasts just to live in another cul-de-sac. Even Mercer Island, though out of my price range, seemed a bit too "private" and "quite" for us. We really don't want to be in a townhome or condo but would not mind at all being four feet from the next home. We want a lot no bigger than 3 or 4000 sf. A tiny patch of fenced in grass would be perfect. Even though we will keep at least two vehicles, I want to be within walking distance to greenspace and public transportation. We are avid outdoorsmen (and women.) We hike, boat, and camp plus my daughter is a rock climber. North Carolina has been real kind to us in our outdoor pursuits, but lacks the city vibe. Seattle seems to have a lot to offer in way of fulfilling our lifestyle wishes, not to mention that the property taxes are about half of what we pay and the teachers' salaries are much higher.

Seattle
posts: 31,087
reviews: 14
10. Re: Interested in moving to Seattle

I think you will REALLY enjoy Seattle.