Living in Seattle

Surrounded by mountains and bordering the sea, Seattle is Washington State's largest city and is home to around 730,000 residents. The surrounding area includes the cities of Bellevue, Redmond, Kent, Everett, Tacoma, Sammamish, Issaquah, and West Seattle. Each of these communities has its own distinctive character, making for a thriving metropolitan region.

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What is it like to live and work in Seattle or the surrounding area?

Below, you can learn about the cost of living, employment market, commute times, housing prices and more. While the focus will be on Seattle, we will also discuss Bellevue and the nearby area.

What is the Cost of Living in Seattle?

Seattle is one of the more expensive places you can live. Sperling's Best Places rates cost of living for locations across the country on a scale where the US average is 100. Those which rate below 100 are less expensive than average, and those which rate above 100 are pricier than average.

Seattle has a rating of 204. Bellevue is even more expensive with a rating of 231.7. For comparison, the rating for Washington state is 131. So it is more expensive to live in Washington than many other US states, but the Seattle metropolitan region is where the higher costs are largely focused.

What makes for these higher costs? The answer is housing. Utilities and health costs are actually less expensive in Seattle than in other parts of the country. Transportation costs are significantly higher. Grocery expenses are about average. But with housing, there is a huge difference.

Housing, like overall cost of living, is rated on a scale where 100 is the nationwide average. The state of Washington ranks in at a rating of 198so housing prices across the state are quite high.

But in Seattle, they are a whopping 407. Bellevue housing costs are rated at 504. So it is extra-important when you are shopping for a home in this area to make sure that you are getting the best possible rates and terms on your mortgage.

How Much Will You Pay in Taxes in Seattle?

One expense we haven't talked about yet is taxes. If you are living anywhere in the state of Washington, you are lucky enough to be paying no individual income tax. If you operate a business however, you will owe business and occupation tax on your receipts.

So that is excellent news. This helps to offset the high cost of housing in Seattle, Bellevue, and the surrounding communities. Sales taxes however can be high, ranging between 7.49% and 9.98% according to data 2017.

The Seattle Employment Market

What can you expect as far as the job market goes in Seattle and the surrounding area? Here, you can be optimistic. Sperling's Best Places reports that the unemployment rate for Seattle is 4%, which is significantly lower than the nationwide average of 5.20%. Unemployment in Bellevue is just 3.90%.

Additional insights are provided by the US Census. The Census reports that the median household income as of 2017 in Seattle was $79,565. The per capita income during that same timeframe was $51,872. 12.5% of the population was impoverished.

Sperling's Best Places to give slightly different estimates, stating that average household income in Seattle is $67,365, and that income per capita is $44,167. Regardless, both these figures and those provided by the Census are significantly higher than the average income for the United States.

While Bellevue is a more expensive housing market, this is offset by higher incomes. Sperling's Best Places lists an average household income of $92,524 and a per capita income of $50,405.

What Does the Average Home Cost in Seattle?

According to Sperling's, the median cost for home nationwide is $216,200. The median housing cost state wide in Washington is $370,000. In Seattle, it is $761,800. In Bellevue, it is $941,700.

Because this is such a competitive housing market, even with a solid income, purchasing a home here is a major investment. You will want to take your time shopping for mortgages so that you can find one which will fit your budget now and over the years ahead.

How are Seattle Schools?

According to Sperling's, the median cost for home nationwide is $216,200. The median housing cost state wide in Washington is $370,000. In Seattle, it is $761,800. In Bellevue, it is $941,700.

Because this is such a competitive housing market, even with a solid income, purchasing a home here is a major investment. You will want to take your time shopping for mortgages so that you can find one which will fit your budget now and over the years ahead.

Getting Around Seattle

There are a number of public transportation options in Seattle. These include the Sounder commuter rail, the Link light rail system, and the RapidRide bus system. Those who enjoy walking to get from place to place will also be pleased to learn that Seattle has received high marks in that regard.

Average commute times in Seattle are quite reasonable. Traveling one direction, it takes workers in Seattle an average of 22 minutes to reach their destination. The US average is four minutes longer. Commutes are much shorter in Bellevue, with a round trip taking only 20 minutes on average.

Leisure and Entertainment in the Seattle Area

In downtown Seattle, you will find plenty of diversions await you, including the towering Space Needle, the bustling Pike Place Market, the Museum of Pop Culture, the Chihuly Garden and Glass, and much more. Bellevue is home to the Museum of Flight, the Bellevue Botanical Garden, and other exciting destinations.

Prefer the splendor of nature? Go hiking in the Olympic National Park or North Cascades National Park, or take advantage of the numerous opportunities for fishing, boating and other water-based activities in your own backyard. You never will run out of things to see and do.

Make Your Dreams of Living in Seattle, Bellevue or Anywhere in Washington State a Reality

Blue Square Mortgage has more than 25 years of experience in the mortgage business. We are experts on the Washington housing market, particularly the high-demand neighbourhoods in Seattle and Bellevue.

We can connect you with an affordable mortgage and close fast so that you do not miss out on your chance to purchase your Washington dream home. Ready to turn that dream into a reality? We cant wait to help you out. Please call (206) 352-6453 to schedule your consultation.

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