Cost of Living in Seattle| City Guides | Long Distance USA Movers

Everything You Need to Know About the Cost of Living in Seattle

The cost of living in Seattle is something you should seriously consider when moving to this incredible metropolis full of opportunities. Before looking for a new home, calculate your budget by researching prices of housing, transportation, utilities, groceries, and entertainment – and comparing them to your current or expected income. It will give you a rough idea of the kind of lifestyle you can afford.

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Home Prices - Compare the Data Before Making a Decision

Living in the Emerald City will bring some benefits to your budget, like lower electricity bills, but expect housing to be the most considerable expense. Still, if you choose the right neighborhood, you might even be able to save up some money if that’s what you’re looking for.

As anywhere, your lifestyle and your habits will dictate the amount of money you will spend on entertainment and food. If you choose to dine out all the time, it will reflect on your budget. Luckily, you can cut down some expenses by biking, or exchanging a gym membership for outdoor activities like hiking.

Home Prices – Compare the Data Before Making a Decision

If you decide to hire Seattle movers with professional moving services to handle your belongings, you will have enough time to think about the living situation. First things first, are you renting or buying a new place? Before you make up your mind, you should check the housing market, compare data, and find the best solution that will strike a balance between your goals and dreams and your budget.

Are you set on buying a house or a flat? You may be surprised by the high prices. The median home sales price is nearly half a million dollars, according to the National Association of Realtors. One of the essential things you should know before moving to Seattle is that your place will have a long-term appreciation rate because home values have increased by 179.65% from 2000 to 2018.

If you don’t think that owning a home is a good move for you at the moment, renting is the solution. The median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,659, which is nearly $500 higher than the national median. This can also be applied to one-bedroom flats, as the median of $1,332 is $385 more expensive than the median mark for the whole country.

How to Cut Down Living Costs?

When relocating to Washington State or anywhere else, thinking about saving up is only reasonable. When it comes to reducing the costs of living, there are a few ways you can go about it. Research the best places to live in Seattle, make a list of the things you need, gather data on a few areas, and compare it. Finding the best neighborhoods in Seattle that will suit all of your desires will take time, but you will surely find one that is within your budget limits.

Staying in a more affordable area will be right for your budget, and if you are relocating alone, think about finding a roommate. Having somebody to split rent with is an excellent way to save up. Don’t let the fact that you have a roommate bum you out. It is not like you are moving back in with your parents at 30. You will probably find somebody of your age to share a space with.

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Seattleites Have Cheaper Electricity

When you find a house or apartment to settle down in, you should check out other expenses that are waiting for you in this West Coast metropolis. Consider utilities and how much money you will need to set aside for them.

Great news for Seattleites is that electricity is cheaper than almost anywhere in the country. This might be due to a number of major hydroelectric power plants throughout the state. The national average cost of electricity is 13.5 cents per kWh, while Seattleites pay only 11.0 cents.

Basic utilities like electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage for 914.932 square feet apartment are, on average, $157.52.

Since we live in the 21st century, having an internet connection has become more of a necessity than a luxury. You should know that you will have to pay around $65 a month for unlimited, 60 Mbps speed.

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How Transportation Affects the Cost of Living in Seattle,  Washington?

Going from one place to another, especially in big, urban areas, means you will have to either drive or use public transportation. Since this is one of the cities with the best public transportation, you should know that every part of the metropolis is covered and well-connected.

Locals use King County Metro as a primary method of transit, and its network covers many locations. The price of the ticket for Metro is $2.75, and you can pay with cash or ORCA cards. The monthly price for the Orca is around $100, which is similar to the price of public transport in Los Angeles and Chicago.

Sound Transit is the second method, and it includes express buses, Link Light Rail, and commuter trains. Fares here depend on your age group, type of trip, and the distance traveled.

Using a Monorail sounds like something tourists would do, and for locals, it is mostly a tourist attraction. It can also be a quick way to travel between Westlake and Center, so feel free to use it whenever you want.
Did you know that Emerald City is the first town to have police on bicycles? So if the police can do it, so can you. With bike maps, you can easily figure your way around the neighborhood and cycle when you want to save some money on transportation costs or just do something good for your body. That’s why you shouldn’t leave your bike in storage. You will probably need it.

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The Cost of Driving a Car

If you are set on shipping your car and having it with you in your new place, you should know that Emerald City has a good network of roads, streets, and highways. Still, according to the US Census Bureau, Seattleites spend almost half an hour commuting daily.

Going over Evergreen Point Floating Bridge means you will be driving across the largest floating bridge in the world. While Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge is the second largest, and Third Lake Washington Bridge is the fifth-longest floating bridge in the world.

You should also be aware that a gallon of gas costs $3.63, the most expensive in the Evergreen State, but still lower than other major centers on the West Coast. Maybe that is why many Seattleites use car-sharing apps. Apps like Car2Go are flexible because you can rent a vehicle on an hourly basis, and you don’t have to return it to the station. When you need transportation, the app will direct you to the nearest available car. This is great if you don’t own a vehicle, but you still want to drive.

Food Expenses

When relocating to the Emerald City, you should know that you will have a variety of options when it comes to dining out and trying different cuisines – for every income category. If you are somebody that enjoys fresh produce, there are many places, like Pike Place Market, where you can get them.

In some of the best restaurants in Seattle, you can try all kinds of dishes, from seafood to mushrooms. This is also one of the most vegetarian-friendly cities, so if you’re on a meatless diet, you have nothing to worry about. There is a restaurant for everybody’s taste. Asian immigration influenced the cuisine, meaning that you can have fried chicken but also stop by some fancy Japanese, Chinese, and Korean restaurants.
Keep in mind that a meal in dining establishments costs around $30 per person, so you might want to cook something rather than eat out every day. Make sure that the crew that provides you with packing services boxes up all of your kitchen appliances because homemade meals will save you a few bucks.

When it comes to grocery expenses, monthly recommended food spending is around $400, which is nearly $75 more than the national average. You will have to pay $4.22 for a loaf of bread, while a gallon of milk costs $2.46.

Since this is the birthplace of Starbucks, you should know that Seattleites are serious about their coffee. You can find every palate of coffee, from roasted to espresso pullers. Enjoying a cappuccino in one of many cafe places will cost you around $4.

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Education and Healthcare Prices

If relocating with your kids, you will probably think about Seattle public schools or private ones that can give your children a headstart in life. With the highest percentage of college and university graduates, the town is considered to be one of the most literate places in the USA.

The University of Washington that is located here is one of the top educational facilities in the world. It gets more federal research and development funding than any other public institution. If you are seeking to improve your education, this is the place to do it. You can find a number of smaller private universities as well.

If you are calculating how much money you will need for school tuition, know that average tuition fees in the Evergreen State are $5,278 for residents and $10,946 for students from other states per year.

Since the University of Washington is among the top leading medical research institutions, this is a place with outstanding healthcare. Three largest medical centers are located on First Hill, and the number of hospitals resulted in the neighborhood’s nickname “Pill Hill.” Whether you are relocating alone or you are moving with your family, you won’t have to worry about the accessibility of medical facilities.

When you find a new doctor, a visit will cost you around $137.50, while a trip to the dentist’s office will be about $118.13. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the typical cost of medical services for a single, full-time employed person is approximately $1,955 a year, while for a family of three, it adds up to $6,827 a year. And if you are relocating with your pet, a visit to a vet will be about $69.64.

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How Much Does It Cost to Have Some Fun?

Are you thinking about all the things to do in Seattle? Living in Jimi Hendrix’s hometown, the birthplace of the grunge movement and the place with the second-highest per capita rate of live music performances means you will be inspired to go out and have fun. If you are a movie enthusiast, going to see a new blockbuster will cost you $14 a ticket.

Are you thinking about how to adjust to a new town? Well, participating in outdoor activities is one way to fit in. There are many different things you can do, and most of them are cheap or free. If you want to hit the gym, know that you will have to pay $51 on monthly fees, which is way less expensive than working out in New York or San Francisco. If lifting weights is not for you, yoga classes cost $20.67.

Since the state has no personal income taxes, you get to keep a larger portion of your salary, but local retail sales taxes are a bit high. This jacks up the prices of clothes, meaning that you will have to pay around $55 for a pair of jeans and approximately $47 for sports shoes.

Compare Prices in Seattle to Other Popular Cities Like LA and SF

Thinking about relocation means you get to compare living in one place to being in another one. Maybe you are relocating from a small town to a big one – that would take some time getting used to. Or, perhaps you are relocating from Los Angeles or even moving from San Francisco, and you want to compare the costs of everyday life.

Big cities usually are more expensive than smaller ones, but even among them, prices vary.

That’s how clothing is a bit more expensive in Washington state than it is in California, but going to the movies is cheaper.

Seattleites can enjoy imported beer, water, and coffee for less money than people in Los Angeles.

Every city has something going for it, and if you calculate your budget carefully and find a decent job, you will always have the money to enjoy the things that matter to you, no matter how big or small they are.

Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

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