Top Questions About Living in Seattle
Thinking about a new home in Seattle, the mecca for professionals? With mega-employers like Boeing, Microsoft, and Amazon this Washington state town is booming. Read on to discover the myths and realities of this beautiful region that’s become a magnet for those wanting to make a difference and a change.
Making your home in Seattle raises the inevitable question of Seattle weather—just how rainy is it, really?
Well, unlike some urban legends that it rains daily, Seattle only gets a little over 37 inches a year. How does that amount compare to other major cities?
Well, New Orleans and Miami top the list at over 60 inches a year with New York City and Atlanta not far behind at about 50 inches. Philadelphia and Baltimore receive approximately 42 inches per year, and even nearby Portland sees around 36 inches of rain.
So, as you can see although it’s known for being wet and rainy Seattle's annual rainfall is still quite a bit less than some of the big east coast cities. Now let’s look on the brighter side - Seattle still averages 152 days of beautiful sunshine every year, and even though it's somewhat less than the US average of 205 sunny days, it's still enough for outdoor lovers.
Seattle Cost of Living
Beyond all the outdoor adventures you might have, one thing that probably crosses your mind as you evaluate new construction in Seattle, is whether it is really affordable to live in Seattle.
Well, the cost of living in Seattle proper is about 24% higher than the average city in the US, which means if you’re looking to relocate and have an income of $50,000 you’d need to make around $64,000 a year to maintain that same lifestyle.
That said, Seattle’s higher cost of living needs to be balanced with its opportunities. With professionals needed to fill much-needed positions at companies like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon, there are opportunities to land well paying positions in a number of sectors. And, while housing in Seattle may be more expensive than other places in US, there are plenty of Seattle neighborhoods and suburbs where you can find more affordable new construction housing for you and your family to enjoy.
Top Seattle Neighborhoods & Suburbs
The Seattle suburbs offer something for everyone, from the young upwardly mobile with growing families to active retirees. Not very many places across the country can provide both the excitement and buzz of city life along with majestic evergreens and mountains nearby. So, where are some of the best suburbs in Seattle for folks looking at new homes? Well, here are our top five picks for the best of the Seattle burbs:
1. Bonney Lake
Surrounded by the natural beauty of Mt Rainer, new homes in Bonney Lake are popular for growing families. With quality schools, family-friendly activities like biking, hiking, and miles of biking trails this outer suburb of Seattle is also very close to Tacoma.
Bothell is growing community located just 19 miles from downtown Seattle, and home to a number of major employers like Google, AT&T, EKOS Corporation, HaloSource and Philips.
Originally a logging town, Bothell’s new construction homes now draw professionals to its strong economic base, beautiful surroundings and growing food and entertainment scene.
3. Lake Forest Park
Lake Forest Park is a popular bedroom community for commuters. Just north of Seattle, this suburb offers planned communities for those who love the diversity and excitement of city life but yearn for the peacefulness of outdoor living.
4. Lake Stevens
Located in Snohomish County, the new homes in Lake Stevens offer access to a fun, tight-knit lake community set against the backdrop of the Cascade Mountains. Every year, Lake Stevens’ residents host the summertime AquaFest, a family friendly event packed with food, crafts and carnival rides for all ages to enjoy. With an easy small-town charm, this outer Seattle suburb offers a lot for growing families.
Snoqualmie is a cozy and quiet commuter community 25 miles east of Seattle. It offers a small town atmosphere with lots of community activities for all ages. The nearby Cascade Mountain Range offers plenty of outdoor recreation.
Exploring Seattle with Kids
If your new home in Seattle happens to house a number of children, you may be wondering, “Are there things to do in Seattle with kids?”
Well, the short answer is—Yes! Outside of exploring the Seattle outdoors or spending time at local parks, here are some of the top things to do in Seattle with kids:
1. Lake Union Park
Airplane lovers should visit go to the south end of Lake Union Park and watch the seaplanes land and take off. While you’re there, go to the Museum of History and Industry which is right next to the park.
2. Guided Downtown Tour
Treat the family to a guided walking tour of the downtown area where children can try new food at the Pikes Place Market, participate in a fun art project by making their own musical instrument, and even make a few stops along the way to some of Seattle’s top museums.
3. The Seattle Aquarium
Located on the waterfront at Pier 59 the Seattle Aquarium is another one of the top things to do with kids in Seattle. Here children can meet an octopus, learn about the journey of the salmon, and read up and meet a number of marine mammals like the ever-charming seals.
4. Woodland Park Zoo
Spend a fun day at the Woodland Park Zoo and view majestic lions from the African Savanna, big cats from Australia, and entertaining and frolicking penguins, along with hundreds of beautiful multi-colored butterflies.
5. The Seattle Children’s Museum
With over 22,000 square feet of space for kids to explore, the Seattle Children’s Museum is a must visit for parents looking for things to do with their kids in Seattle. With exhibits that entertain kids from 10 months to 10 years, plus exciting exhibits like the Global Village where you can take a trip around the world, you are sure to find something to keep the whole family entertained.
While maybe not the top thing you consider when moving to a new city, one thing you want to keep in mind when moving to Seattle is -- coffee. Seattleites swear that Seattle coffee is the best in the world and it’s not only because of the artisan beans and crystal clean water but the culture and atmosphere add that “little bit of something” that can’t be transported. Add to that the discerning palettes of locals who demand pure beans such as Ethiopian and Arabica as compared to a mixture like mom and dad used to drink and you have the recipe for a fine cup o’ joe.
Keeping with Seattle’s general ethos, fair-trade coffee is a mainstay in the city, and although this is the land of Starbucks and Seattle’s Best, there are many local shops that not only do a booming business but keep both tourists and locals coming back.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this little peek about what it’s like living in Seattle. To find out more about why you should buy a new home in Seattle, be sure to visit Pulte’s new construction homes in Seattle.
Contributed to Your Home blog by Carol Youmans
Looking for more tips, ideas or inspiration? Return Home here.