Washington is a large state that’s home to nearly eight million people. Though various regions of Washington may look the same, there are vast differences between living in Seattle, than other cities or towns. So, when you are considering moving to the Emerald City, there are some things you should know. Don’t worry, though! The following guide will outline things to consider before buying a home in Seattle, WA.
Seattle is Comprised of Neighborhoods
Seattle doesn’t offer just one flavor. Instead, this city boasts lots of neighborhoods for buying a home. There’s hip Wallingford, ritzy Bellevue, quirky Ballard, suburban Renton, and more.
After settling into Seattle, enjoy a drive around the various neighborhoods and experience unique vibes. The best news is that if none of these areas suit your needs, there are many other towns and areas that lie on the outskirts of the city.
It Rains … A Lot
You’ve probably heard the rumors about how much it rains in Seattle, and they’re not wrong. In fact, this city has nearly 152 rainy days on average, but other days are still foggy and dreary. So, Vitamin D and good lighting are essential for your new home. And remember, native Seattleites don’t carry umbrellas, so avoid these unless you want to look like a visitor.
On a serious note, all of this rain means it’s vital to find a reputable gutter cleaning company to help with all of your gutter maintenance needs. This is imperative to protect the integrity of your new home from costly water damage and other issues.
Though most places in Washington encourage recycling services, Seattle is serious about it. The truth is that in the Emerald City, recycling is more a way of life. Approximately 90% of the area is fueled by hydroelectricity, and recycling and reusing are required inside city limits.
To encourage residents to buy recycled products, Seattle outlawed plastic shopping bags in 2012 and forced retail stores to only offer paper bags for a minimum charge of five cents. The most recent changes are to limit waste contamination in the ocean, and the legislation prohibits disposable straws and cutlery.
Houseboats Aren’t The Best Choice
If Tom Hanks gave you the idea to move to Seattle and live on a houseboat, you might want to think again. It’s not a city full of boats; sure, houseboats exist, but they’re actually pretty rare. And even if you do find one, they are small and more expensive than any other neighborhood.
Here’s a pro tip for you: Rather than buying a houseboat yourself, befriend someone who has one so you can hang out by the water occasionally.
Traffic is Terrible
Do you have to drive anywhere between the hours of 4 pm and 7 pm on weekdays? If so, you’ll need to add an extra 30 minutes to an hour to your travel time. Seattle’s rush hour is bumper-to-bumper; this is especially true for I-5, the main artery through the city that runs north and south.
The Mountain is Out!
Even if you’ve lived in Washington your entire life and heard about how massive Mount Rainier is, you won’t believe it until you see it. Newcomers are amazed by its sheer size; at 14,417 feet, it’s the tallest mountain on the west coast.
Seattleites simply call it “The Mountain,” and it’s something like a local celebrity. Though it’s covered most of the time, you will catch glimpses of the snow-capped volcano when you least expect it. So, don’t be surprised when your neighbors are raving that the mountain is out!
Seattle is Expensive
If you’re moving to Seattle from another city in Washington, you may think it’s not going to be much different. After all, the entire state is known for being a bit more costly. However, the Emerald City has a cost of living that’s an average of 24 percent higher than the rest of the country. However, when compared to Portland, Oregon, Seattle is nearly 35 percent more expensive.
Ultimately, Seattle is a gorgeous city, so if you’re considering buying a home there, you should visit if you haven’t done so already. Though some of the things we mentioned above are shocking at first, once you move to Seattle, they’ll seem totally normal!