Our Seattle Relocation Guide

Seattle, also known as the "Emerald City," is one of two major metropolitan cities in the state of Washington (the other being Spokane). Nestled on the shores of Puget Sound on the west and Lake Washington on the east, downtown Seattle is a thriving city surrounded by water.


What to Know Before You Go


The cost of living in the Seattle area is high. According to the Cost of Living Index, Seattle is the fifth most expensive city to live in the U.S. With median home prices of over $700,000, the area's major employers in aerospace and technology pay their employees a premium to keep them happy. Other significant employers include Amazon and the University of Washington.


Learn to pronounce Puyallup (pew-AWL-up), and throw away your umbrella if you choose to live in Seattle. Even though it rains nearly every day, it's more like a fine mist rather than full-on rain, and it typically doesn't last long. The locals don't use umbrellas, so carrying one is sure sign you haven't lived there long.


Seattle Attractions and Landmarks


The Space Needle is Seattle's most iconic landmark, a holdover from the Seattle World's Fair in 1962. Other notable attractions include:


●Pike Place Market

●Chihuly Garden and Glass

●Museum of Flight

●Seattle Science Center

●Museum of Pop Culture

●Washington State Ferries (you can go all the way to Alaska if you want)

●Woodland Park Zoo

●T-Mobile Park



Popular Seattle Neighborhoods


Retirees tend to live in Queen Anne, a community full of upscale homes nestled on a hill above downtown. This neighborhood has some of the best views in Seattle and is home to parks, gardens, and historical landmarks.


Comfort and luxury are the catchwords for this neighborhood with stately homes and bustling retirement communities. Live theater shows, a neighborhood farmers’ market, and Seattle Center are other neighborhood features.


West Seattle is for families. This area is separated from the rest of Seattle by the Duwamish River while still in full view of the city's many skyscrapers. This community is also just a quick ferry ride away from Washington Island.


You'll find lots of beach-laden waterfront along with picturesque parks. There are top-notch public schools for the kids in this neighborhood, which is also one of Seattle's oldest with a rich history.


If you're a student, then the University District is for you. The U-District is further subdivided into Greek Row, University Heights, University Park, and the Brooklyn Addition.


The University of Washington is the heart of this district, which draws a younger crowd, but many older Seattleites, such as postgraduates and faculty, can be found there as well. It is also home to Seattle's iconic burger joint, Dick's Burgers, where burgers, fries, and shakes are all the same price.


If retirees perch atop Queen Anne, then young couples go to roost on Capitol Hill. Another area with breathtaking views, this densely populated neighborhood is in the heart of the city. This area is a nexus for the city's commercial district, the entertainment scene, and the counterculture movement.


Block parties, busy streets, and everything from low-income housing to Millionaire's Row can be found here. The list of things to do here is as diverse as the population that calls this district home.


In addition to these neighborhoods, Seattle has lots of lovely suburban cities bringing its downtown core. SeaTac is near the airport. Federal Way is also another southern suburb. Bellevue, home to Microsoft, is on the west side, and then there is Everett, home of Boeing, to the northFor those who want more privacy, there are communities like Friday Harbor, which are only accessible by ferry.


Helpful Moving Tips


If you're moving to Seattle, here are a few things that you can do to prepare so that your transition goes smoothly:


  1. When packing, label additional boxes "DONATE" and place any items you're not using any longer in those boxes. No need to move more than needed; it will save you money on your move.
  2. Subscribe to the Seattle Times to begin looking for jobs and housing.
  3. Consider renting initially. It takes a while to get to know a city, and before buying a home, make sure you know what neighborhood is best for you.
  4. Host a combination pot luck/packing party. Say goodbye to friends you're leaving behind and get some help packing boxes.
  5. As you pack, make a list of the contents of each box. Then, when the box is full, tape the record to the exterior of the box. This will help to make unpacking more manageable, especially if you're just looking for one thing before you get entirely unpacked.


We hope you've found this guide to be useful if you're planning to make Seattle home.



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