Moving to Seattle

2019 Moving to Seattle Relocation Guide

Welcome to 2019 Ultimate Moving to Seattle Relocation Guide! Before this big step, find out all important information about Seattle.

  • Basic information about Seattle zip and area codes, average yearly temperature and spoken languages.
  • Read about Seattle neighborhoods and learn some fun facts about the city.
  • Check out the list of Pros and Cons of living in Seattle before deciding to actually move.
  • Most importantly, find out all about Seattle moving and living costs!

    Take a look at the list of basic daily expenses, transportation costs, basic leisure, and recreation costs and housing and utilities cost in Seattle.

  • Read all about moving and shipping costs.
  • Learn about flight costs from Seattle.

    Every information regarding costs and pricing is compared with average US pricing.

  • You will also find very detailed information about the average yearly salary in Seattle, as well as the information about schools and education.
  • We prepared lists of moving to Seattle tips.

For moving tips in general check out our Moving Checklist and Paperwork page.


Welcome to the rainy city, the city of coffee and music. Welcome to the port city, the city of fairy boats and ships. Welcome to Settle. Seattle is a fast-growing city that thrives cultural activity around the clock. The city is a financial and commercial center that values art, literature, and music. Seattle is a birthplace of some of the most important grunge rock bands, including Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam. Some would say that grunge music was inspired by Seattle's grey skies.

Gunge music is one of the most important Seattle symbols, along with the Space Needle and coffee shops. Apart from the alternative art scene you Seattle is also home to countless art galleries, opera houses, theaters, museums, and libraries.

The city is growing rapidly, but it still keeps the suburban vibe, with numerous beautiful parks, family houses, and small local shops. Seattle is the city of a free spirit with overall chill vibes where you can never get bored.

Moving to Seattle Pros & Cons

Seattle is famous for its so-called “Up For Anything” vibe. This means that the city is open for everyone, it is diverse and it accepts differences. You will find plenty of things to enjoy here, start from exploring art, outdoors, sports scene and thriving job market. The list of Seattle pros can be countless since Seattle is one of the most liveable cities in the USA. But you will also have to prepare for some of the cons. If you are not a big fan of rain, the weather will be a challenge for you. Living costs are close tot he national average but hosing costs are shockingly high. Go ahead and read all about the pros and cons of moving to the City of Seattle:

Moving to Seattle Pros

1. Average Living Costs

Living costs in Seattle are close to the national average. Housing costs are much higher but basic everyday living in Seattle is more affordable than in other major US cities. Utilities and healthcare are even cheaper than the USA average by 20%.

2. Job Opportunities

Job opportunities are one of the main reasons for moving to Seattle. The unemployment rates are low, just about 3%, and the number of working places is growing. You can work for some of the world's most famous companies, and the biggest number of citizens are employed in technical, business and scientific industries. Education and healthcare are also very popular.

3. Education

Seattle is the city of high-quality education. Young families are moving to Seattle because of education opportunities. Both private and public schools will provide you with top-quality education. Apart from great schools, there are also several world top universities and colleges. Seattle is also one of the most literate cities in the world with over 80 percent of adults owning a public library card.

4. No Personal Income Tax

The personal income tax in Seattle is zero. Sales tax is higher than the US average, but you can still save your money because of the no personal income tax situation.

5. Recreation and Activities

Outdoor recreation opportunities in Seattle are endless. You can easily access the ocean, hills, deserts, mountains, forests or islands. This means that you can enjoy hiking, camping, skiing, surfing, fishing and almost any other outdoor activity that you can think of. Apart from that, if you decide o stay in the city you will also have plenty to do. You can never get bored in Seattle.

6. Great Music Scene

Seattle played a significant role in the musical culture for many years, and it still has a very vibrant music scene. Many grunge rock bands started their careers in Seattle, but that is not all. You can listen to the music of almost any genre here, you can go from rock over jazz to hip hop and even opera and classical music. You need to visit the Seattle Opera and Seattle Symphony if you are a big fan of music.

7. Breathtaking Nature

Seattle is surrounded by beautiful nature and it also has some of the most beautiful parks within the city limits. You can enjoy almost any type of landscape in Seattle. Mount Rainier and Discovery Park are the most famous open-air attractions, along with the breathtaking coastline.

8. Seattle is Pet-friendly

Seattle is the city where dogs outnumber children living there, you can take your dog anywhere with you. You will find all the necessary facilities, world top vet clinics and specialized open spaces for your furry friends.

9. Seattle Coffee

Starbucks coffee was founded in Seattle, and the city is widely famous for its coffee scene. Apart from Starbucks coffee, you will be able to enjoy endless small local coffee shops with unique tastes and atmospheres, and you will likely find your favorite coffee spot. Average Seattle citizens spend $40 on coffee per month.

10. Weather

Weather in Seattle is both a pro and a con. The great thing about it is that you will feel comfortable in any season. The temperature rarely goes to the extremes.

Moving to Seattle Cons

1. Housing Costs

Housing is very expensive in Seattle. Purchasing a house is not an option for everyone and there are only a few neighborhoods with affordable homes. Renting is expensive too. Housing costs are almost two times higher than the national average.

2. Earthquakes

Washington state in general features great seismic activity. Several fault lines run under or near Seattle, and there are many active volcanoes surrounding the city too.

3. Crime Rates

Crime rates in Seattle are moderate, but there are parts of the city where crime is still a really big problem. Homelessness creates influence crime rates a lot and they are both higher then the national average and you will need to be extra safe if you are moving here.

4. Traffic is Bad

The increase in population is leading to much heavier traffic. Be ready to spend from 30 to 60 minutes or more stuck in traffic during the rush hours. You can always choose to bike or walk and use public transportation.

5. Weather

As mentioned before, whether can be both a pro and a con. The downside of the weather in Seattle is the rain. You will face approximately 150 days of rain per year. On the bright side, you will enjoy the greenery.

Seattle Pros and Cons
Seattle Fun Facts

Moving to Seattle Tips

If moving to Seattle is the next step you will need to get used to the Northwest weather that can be both a pro and a con. Seattle is breathtaking on sunny days and outdoor recreation opportunities are endless. You will always have something to do here, even on rainy days. Job opportunities are endless, and the city has a lot to offer. Moving to a new city is always a challenge and you will need to get prepared, so go ahead and read our tips for moving to the City of Seattle and make sure that you are making the right decision. Read our 10 TIPS for moving to Seattle, 10 facts that will help you prepare for this step.

  • Housing costs are high, and the housing market is competitive. Seattle is not as expensive as San Francisco or New York, but you will still need to check if your salary will cover the housing costs. Seattle is also a fast-growing city, so the housing market is competitive and you may have some trouble finding a home.
  • Job opportunities are great, and the job market is constantly growing. Finding a Job in Seattle is easier than in most of the other USA cities. Technology and commercial industries are booming but apart from that, you will find job openings in almost any field. The job market is not as competitive as you may think.
  • Explore Seattle's art and culture scene. Art and music scene play played a significant role in creating Seattle's identity. Whether you are looking for classical art venues or alternative art spots you will enjoy exploring the artsy side of Seattle.
  • Choose your neighborhood wisely. All of them are different, and their unique characters will affect your lifestyle. You should also pay attention to schools and safety in the area, especially if you are moving with your kids.
  • Traffic in Seattle is bad, and it is even worse when it rains. Public transportation is getting better and you can avoid being stuck in your car during the rush hours, you can also walk or bike to work if you are not ready to test your patience in the famously bad Seattle traffic.
  • You will be charged with a $55 ticket for jaywalking. In Seattle, you can cross the street only on marked crosswalks. You will always need to wait for the green light, even if there is no traffic.
  • Seattle is walkable, but it is also hilly. If you are planning to walk a lot, buy some comfortable shoes. Seattle was built on hilly landscape which means that your casual walk can easily turn in to climbing exercise.
  • The food is great, and the choices are countless. The city is widely known for its seafood restaurants where you will find menus with salmon, clams, and lobsters. Chinese, Italian, Mexican and Indian restaurants are easy to find as well.
  • Seattle is a liberal, free-spirited and tolerant city. If you are not quite there yet, try harder. There is no place for discrimination here.
  • You will fit in easily, Seattle is primarily populated by people who came here from other places.

Check out our printable Stage-by-Stage MOVING CHECKLIST.

This ultimate moving checklist will help you complete your moving without stress.

Moving Checklist

Seattle Moving Costs

There are certain costs associated with moving that most people tend to neglect. Even if you have opted for a self-moving job that does not involve hiring a professional moving company, you will have to pay extra for certain things. Here is a list of moving and packing costs you may have forgotten.

  • Packing Supplies

    If you plan to move on a budget and want to fo the packing yourself, you must know that you will need to invest in packing supplies like boxes, tape or bubble wrap.

  • Moving Insurance

    During the move something almost always brake. Getting moving insurance is always recommended. Most of the moving companies offer insurance and you can decide how much to get, considering how valuable your things are.

  • Moving Start-up Costs

    For renting new space start-up costs include things like your first and last month’s rent, a security deposit, a pet deposit or an application fee.

    If you are buying start-up costs are much bigger. They include closing costs for your new mortgage which is often measured in thousands of dollars. Average closing costs typically range from 2% to 5% of the cost of your home. These costs include things like a fee for running your credit report, a loan origination fee, attorney’s fees, the cost of a home inspection, a title search, an appraisal fee, and a survey fee, etc.

  • Boarding Your Pets

    You can expect extra costs for boarding your pets. Often enough, people tend to move their pets overnight, that way pets are not exposed to the stress.

  • Stair Fees

    Some of the moving companies will ask you to pay a stair fee.

  • Moving Large Items Fees

    It is always best to check with moving companies about extra fees and inform them about your large items, like piano or pool table, in advance. That way you will avoid surprises on a moving day.

  • Valuable Artworks or Decorative Pieces Are Often Handled by Specialised Movers

    There are professionals who are trained to handle valuable items. Packing and moving valuable items is more complex than regular moving. So you can expect to pay extra on moving those kinds of pieces.

  • Storage Space Renting

    Sometimes, you don't want to bring all of your things to your new home, but you don't want to throw them either. If you find yourself in this situation you will have to find storage space for those things. Having to store items could mean an additional monthly expense.

  • Re-buying Items Once You've Moved In

    While you shouldn't get rid of everything before a move, there are going to be some items that you're not going to want to bring to your new space.

  • Tips For Your Movers

    Your movers are doing a lot of hard work and heavy lifting, and they deserve to be compensated. Just note, that tips are always expected by your movers.

Seattle Shipping Costs

Here you can find a list of shipping costs. Please note that the cost of international shipping (calculated with reallymoving) is solely the cost of shipping itself, while the cost of shipping within the United States (calculated with also includes other additional expenses. Costs are calculated for moving entire two bedroom home, in the next three monts.

International Cost
Vancouver (Canada) $3,100 - $4,300
Sydney (Australia) $4,200 - $5,700
Auckland (New Zealand) $4,100 - $5,700
Beijing (China) $4,100 - $5,500
Tokyo (Japan) $3,800 - $5,300
Dubai (United Arab Emirates) $3,800 - $6,400
Mexico City (Mexico) $3,400 - $5,800
London (United Kingdom) $4,300 - $5,900
Dublin (Ireland) $4,300 - $5,800
Singapore $4,200 - $5,800
United States Cost
San Francisco, California $2,883 - $3,621
Denver, Colorado $3,382 - $4,270
Los Angeles, California $3,305 - $4,171
Chicago, Illinois $4,187 - $5,319
Austin, Texas $4,155 - $5,276
New York, New York $5,076 - $6,481
Washington, DC $4,858 - $6,193
Boston, Massachusetts $4,978 - $6,351
San Diego, California $3,406 - $4,302
Miami, Florida $5,292 - $6,759

Seattle Living Costs

Basic everyday groceries are near or slightly above the national average, the same goes for the clothing and healthcare expenses. Housing costs in Seattle are higher than in most of the other major USA cities. Seattle taxes are important factor to keep in mind while considering moving here. Seattle has no personal income tax, but sales tax rates are one of the highest in the country. If moving to Seattle is the next step you will probably need to get informed about the cost of basic and personal necessities in this city. For more information about living costs visit numbeo or expatistan.

How much are utilities in Seattle

  • 85m2 Apartment Monthly Utilities, Basic (Electricity, Water, Cooling, Heating, Garbage):


  • 1 Min. Of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans):


  • Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/adsl):


  • Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), for 20 Years Fixed-rate, Yearly:


Seattle VS US Average
Food Seattle US Average
Meal in Inexpensive Restaurant $15 $14.50
Mcmeal at Mcdonalds (or Equivalent) $8 $7.00
Water (1.5 Liter Bottle) $1.86 $1.45
Milk (Regular), (1 gallon) $3.15 $3.11
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) $2.72 $2.36
Eggs (Regular) (12) $2.7 $2.27
Chicken Breasts (1 lb) $5.62 $3.85
Potato (1 lb) $1.19 $1.1
Apples (1 lb) $2.42 $2.02
Local Cheese (1 lb) $7.28 $4.74
Child Care Seattle US Average
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Monthly $1,720.83 $886.18
International Primary School, Yearly $23,600.00 $17,116.12
Self Care Seattle US Average
Private Doctor Short Visit $131 $112
Box of Antibiotics $24 $17
Tube of Toothpaste $2.01 $1.78
Hair Shampoo 2-in-1 $6 $4.77
Deodorant, Roll-on $4.08 $3.39
Toilet Paper - 4 Rolls $3.71 $3.41
1 Box of 32 Tampons $7 $7
Transportation Seattle US Average
Local Transport - One-way Ticket $2.75 $2.20
Local Transport - Monthly Pass $98 $70.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) $2.6 $3.25
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) $2.7 $1.71
Gasoline (1 gallon) $3.45 $2.77
Housing Seattle US Average
Apartment (1 Bedroom) - City Centre $2,072.00 $1,291.27
Apartment (1 Bedroom) $1,628.18 $1,015.10
Buy Apartment in City Centre - Per Sq Ft $660.61 $239.62
Buy Apartment - Per Sq Ft $419.15 $173.92
Hourly Rate for Cleaning Help $34 $21
Leisure and Recreation Seattle US Average
Fitness Club Monthly Fee, 1 Adult $51.56 $36.17
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $27.83 $15.14
2 Movie Tickets $27 $25
2 Theater Tickets (Best Available Seats) $222 $171
Coke/pepsi (Small Bottle) $2.24 $1.80
Cappuccino (Regular) $4.19 $4.07
Domestic Beer (500ml) $6.00 $6.00
Bottle of Wine $15.00 $12.00
1 Cocktail Drink $14 $12.00
Marlboro Cigarettes 20 Pack $10 $7.25
Clothing Seattle US Average
Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 or Similar) $48.27 $43.12
Summer Dress (Zara, H&m or Similar) $41.38 $34.67
Pair of Nike Running Shoes $84.13 $73.84
Pair of Men Leather Shoes $115.93 $94.36
Laundry Detergent (3 L.) $13 $11

Work and Salary

Average Yearly Salary in Seattle is $70,814

Currently, most popular and best-paid jobs in Seattle are:

  • Software Engineer - $103,248/yr
  • Software Development Engineer - $110,044/yr
  • Project Manager, - $78,395/yr
  • Senior Software Engineer - $132,833/yr
  • Operations Manager - $65,853/yr
  • Software Developer - $89,575/yr
  • Marketing Manager - $71,098/yr

All the information is provided by Glassdoor and Payscale where you can get more detailed information about the job of interest. If you don't have a specific job in mind, you can also check this list of 10 common jobs and professions in the United States with an average salary for each of them.

Job Seattle US Average
Cashier $27,225/yr $22,711/yr
Receptionist $34,545/yr $29,844/yr
Repair Technician $36,895/yr $32,606/yr
Actor $40,216/yr $37,208/yr
Registered Nurse $74,269/yr $69,270/yr
Secretary $36,345/yr $31,279/yr
Preschool Teacher $33,039/yr $28,973/yr
High School Teacher $52,398/yr $51,027/yr
Lawyer $118,229/yr $141,470/yr
Truck Driver $56,001/yr $57,062/yr

Seattle - Important Information

The City of Seattle

Seattle Seal

The city of Seattle is a seaport city on the West Coast of the United States. It is the seat of King County, Washington. With an estimated 744,955 residents as of 2018, Seattle is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The Seattle area developed into a technology center from the 1980s onwards with companies like Microsoft becoming established in the region. The stream of new software, biotechnology, and Internet companies led to an economic revival, which increased the city's population by almost 50,000 between 1990 and 2000. Seattle and the state of Washington have some of the highest minimum wages in the country.

  • Official City Website:

  • Official State Website:

  • Official Language:


  • Spoken Languages:

    Spanish, Russian, Ukranian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Tagalog, Hindi, Somali, French and others.

  • Area Code:


  • Zip Codes:

    98101–98119, 98121–98122, 98124–98127, 98129, 98131, 98133–98134, 98136, 98138–98139, 98141, 98144–98146, 98148, 98154–98155, 98158, 98160–98161, 98164–98166, 98168, 98170, 98174–98175, 98177–98178, 98181, 98185, 98188, 98190–98191, 98194–98195, 98198–98199

  • 142.07 sq mi (367.96 km2):

    Land: 83.94 sq mi (217.40 km2)

    Water: 58.21 sq mi (150.77 km2)

Seattle Population:

  • According to the last census (2010): 608,660
  • According to the latest estimate (2018): 744,955
Seattle Demographics by Race
White 472,347 68.63%
Asian 99,728 14.49%
Other Race 15,155 2.20%
Black or African American 48,884 7.10%
Two or More Races 45,657 6.63%
Native American 3,799 0.55%
Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander 2,675 0.39%

Taxes in Seattle

Single Filing Status, Average Seattle Salary ($70,814) Taxes:

  • Income Tax: - $14,296
  • Sales Tax: - $1,899
  • Fuel Tax: - $229
  • Property Tax$: - $2,469
  • Total Estimated: - $18,893

Percent of income to taxes = 29%.

For more personal information calculate your taxes with smartasset.

Seattle - Average Yearly Temperature

  • Hours of sunshine: 2163
  • Average Rainfall: 943 mm
  • Annual high temperature: 15.7°C
  • Annual low temperature: 7.2°C
  • Average temperature: 11.45°C

Seattle - Crime rate

Seattle is described as both safe and dangerous city. Overall crime rates are moderate so don't get too comfortable. You can go for a walk by yourself, but you will want to get some information about neighborhoods. Some parts of the city are extremely safe but there are a few more dangerous parts. You’ll hear people say both that Seattle is a safe city, and that it’s got its dangerous side. Seattle crime index by numbeo is 46.30 (moderate).

  • Level of crime: - 46.27 (moderate)
  • Property crime index: - 57.88 (moderate)
  • Violent crime index: - 40.98 (moderate)
  • Corruption and bribery: - 31.77 (Low)

Flight Costs from Seattle

List of flight costs, from Seattle to other major cities. Based on the cheapest flights from skyscanner, booked one month ahead.

  • Vancouver (Canada): $82 (direct)
  • Sydney (Australia): $562 (2 stops)
  • Auckland (New Zealand): $534 (2 stops)
  • Beijing (China): $267 (1 stop)
  • Tokyo (Japan): $460 (2 stops)
  • Dubai (United Arab Emirates): $472 (3 stops)
  • Mexico City (Mexico): $142 (1 stop)
  • London (United Kingdom): $261 (1 stop)
  • Dublin (Ireland): $280 (direct)
  • Singapore: $443 (2 stops)

Seattle Reviews