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Anyone in, near, or once passed through Seattle?

Anyone in, near, or once passed through Seattle?

Old Jan 2nd 2019, 6:00 am
  #16  
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Default Re: Anyone in, near, or once passed through Seattle?

Thanks guys. What do you think of Bellevue as a place to live? We eat out and go to a lot of gigs, theatre, galleries, etc., here in Sydney - would like to keep that up wherever we are. I tend to think that if you have to choose one or the other you should live nearer work and go further to play, although presently we don't have to go far for anything.
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Old Jan 2nd 2019, 10:01 am
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Default Re: Anyone in, near, or once passed through Seattle?

I did not realise you were in Sydney when I typed my reply. I live in Australia now (not Sydney). Seattle is the better city. They are actually pretty comparable other than the weather. I even literally made the comment to my wife, a few years ago, when we were having coffee in the Sydney CBD - looking out the window, you could easily convince me I was in downtown Seattle if I didn't already know I was in the Sydney CBD. But Seattle has lower housing and cost-of-living expenses (comparing it to Sydney) and I would argue more, maybe far more, to do and see. In Seattle you are also only a 90 minute flight from Silicon Valley, which may be important to you as you are in tech.

Bellevue is a huge suburb and a lot of Microsoft people live there. You will find all manners of restaurants etc there. You may even want to investigate Sammamish, a bit further out but quieter. If I was going to live in the Seattle suburbs I would probably start there. If I remember correctly, Bill Gates lives on Mercer Island (which is in between downtown Seattle and Bellevue). Some are also moving to Tacoma and commuting in, as that city improves its image (I would not do that but it is a viable option for some).

Seattle's public transport is better than most American cities but you still need a car. Many of the tech companies in Seattle also offer free daily shuttles to the office from points in the suburbs for their employees. Worth investigating.

If you are interested in concerts, theatre performances etc the web site for Benaroya Hall is a good start to see what's on.

If you are interested in specific neighbourhoods etc feel free to PM me.
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Old Jan 2nd 2019, 1:52 pm
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Default Re: Anyone in, near, or once passed through Seattle?

Bellevue is pretty nice, had huge development in the last ten years alone so there are tons of skyscrapers now. It's expensive, but walkable to restaurants and bars.

If you are up for commuting, then be aware that 405 gets backed up every day, especially south of Redmond. Unless you can work hours outside of the normal I would not travel on it much. A lot of cheaper (but still not cheap) housing along I-90 towards Issaquah and North Bend which shouldn't be too bad for a commute. A lot of American cities don't have much nightlife outside of a few scattered bars, and it is rarely in walking distance of most houses - the larger cities are really the only places where that is possible without driving.
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Old Jan 2nd 2019, 11:23 pm
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Default Re: Anyone in, near, or once passed through Seattle?

Originally Posted by Kooky. View Post
I've been lurking around the US forums for a couple of weeks now so thought it only polite to say hello. (I've been on BE for many years.)

We're in the early stages and nothing yet confirmed, but my husband's in talks for a move to Seattle. We've never been - we're repeating history by looking at roles rather than locations and seeing where life takes us.

The office would be in Bellevue (yes, it's tech). Any information on living there or Seattle generally would be very much appreciated. Rumour has it the COL is high but we'd be coming from Sydney and before that we were in Singapore, so it's all relative. That's about the sum of my knowledge although I hear it rains a lot

We're childless, 40s and 50s, no fixed ideas on how long we'd stay in Seattle, and we would hang onto our Sydney apartment and rent in Seattle in the short to medium term.

Any tech industry salary information would also be fantastic - any online surveys you can point me to?

Many thanks.
You'd want to rent in Bellevue (or surrounding areas) for a job in Bellevue, not necessarily Seattle. Rents are high but then you'd be used to that from Sydney (SIL and her family have lived there for the last 5 years) Good luck on your move!

We've got a good friend that lives downtown Seattle (not as doom and gloom as some would want you to believe, but it's a big sprawling city and not Utopia!) he's a Techie and lives in a one bedroom apartment (about $2500 a month) and can walk to work and loves the social aspects of life there. My husband works downtown and I must admit we are contemplating moving there as well, DD is off to Uni next year so why do we need to be in the 'burbs...

Last edited by AmerLisa; Jan 2nd 2019 at 11:30 pm. Reason: more info
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Old Jan 3rd 2019, 12:44 am
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Default Re: Anyone in, near, or once passed through Seattle?

Thanks folks, this is all really useful. My husband has just confirmed a quick trip there next week (thankfully had the foresight to apply for a new ESTA last week, just in case) so I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old Jan 3rd 2019, 12:45 am
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Default Re: Anyone in, near, or once passed through Seattle?

We moved to Seattle nearly 2 years ago from San Francisco. For my career (tech) I wanted to stay on the West Coast but SF wasn't for us. Net net it's one of the best decisions we have ever made and love it here. I don't commute a lot, I'm on the road/work at home and so only hit rush hour traffic about once a week. My office is in downtown Bellevue and I live west of the airport, it's about 20 miles and at the peak of traffic takes about a hour. But, if I aim to get to the office for about 7 and leave some time after 6 it is usually quieter and about 45 minutes.

It does rain, but with that rain you get what I think is a stunning landscape, as mentioned above very easy access to some great hills and mountains. The past two summers here have been great, consistently warm and dry.

The Brit expat community here is interesting in that there are a lot of American members, so going to things like their pub quiz isn't just hanging out with other Brits. If you like the outdoors and the COL adds up for you I would recommend it in a heartbeat.
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Old Jan 3rd 2019, 1:51 am
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Default Re: Anyone in, near, or once passed through Seattle?

I've lived in Seattle for over 20 years now and love it. The city is growing at an insane rate, but still a very fun place to live. Love being surrounded by mountains and water, it is gorgeous here. I live north of Seattle (Ballard), tons of fun bars and restaurants, and a vibrant music scene if you like going to shows. Skiing is an hour away if you enjoy that. And lots of cool hiking spots. I cant imagine living anywhere else. Naomi.
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Old Jan 3rd 2019, 5:39 am
  #23  
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Default Re: Anyone in, near, or once passed through Seattle?

I was in Seattle in September Kooky and the weather was superb! Love the city. Depends which part of it you are visiting as to homeless on the streets. Seemed about the same as London to me ( altho I haven't been there in awhile) True it rains quite a bit, but go out to the San Juan islands and you get a totally different climate. My ED lives in the islands .
, just visiting us in Portugal right now as it happens so I can pump her for more personal info.
One thing they do say is that since Amazon moved there, both traffic and house prices have become horrendous. The other thing they said on this trip was that last summer never happened !! ugh For someone who has lived in Sydney this could be a big change
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Old Jan 3rd 2019, 9:40 am
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Default Re: Anyone in, near, or once passed through Seattle?

OK asked ED this morning here are her thoughts

Bellvue High Tech rich neighbourhood if you can afford it... Not very hip

Seattle fantastic if you can afford it...and the right area..Very hip.lots of great restaurants and bars,Great music scene. and of course the famous market place in the centre of town with the very first Starbucks. across the road. ( this is where your likely to see the homeless etc)
However.. lots of very affordable places outside of the city. Depending on how active you are ,lots of area' for water sports of all kinds. Cycling , walking ,hiking etc.
It is true it does rain a lot.. however when the sun comes out the view is spectacular as you are surrounding by mountains .
She and her partner and baby are however happy to be in the spectacular San Juan Islands .Life there is very much like a very quiet Sydney ,in so far as you take ferries everywhere ,from one island to the other. Too quiet for me as an ex Mancunian and ex Eindhovenaar... but they love it, as their business is on the water.

wish you every success in your new home
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Old Jan 3rd 2019, 11:30 am
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Default Re: Anyone in, near, or once passed through Seattle?

Agree with this, but would discourage OP from settling in the islands. I looked at doing so when I was living there, and all the locals advised me against it - simple reason being the commuting time with the ferries, if you have to go downtown every day, and I imagine worse if you are going to Bellevue. The ferries can also get backed up with long waits on weekends.

If I was living in the city I would probably target Wallingford, Ballard, Fremont and Capitol Hill in that order . . . the earlier poster who mentioned Ballard, that used to be a rough neighbourhood back in the day, only in the past 10-15 years or so has transformed into trendy (and it is quite nice now). Though Capitol Hill has gotten extremely expensive though I suppose no different than those other neighbourhoods.

Seattle is a bit unlike other big American cities in that the neighbourhoods really do take on distinct identities that the locals get quite proud of, it doesn't all just coalesce into one big suburban blob.

I think the key takeaways for OP are commute and traffic . . .

Congratulations, it is a step up from Sydney. A lot more great excursion areas within 3 hours as well. Olympic National Park, Mt St Helens National Park, the Snoqualmies, Portland, Vancouver . . . Washington State is also a wine-producing region (the area around Yakima).
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Old Jan 3rd 2019, 2:52 pm
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Default Re: Anyone in, near, or once passed through Seattle?

'Seattle is a bit unlike other big American cities in that the neighbourhoods really do take on distinct identities that the locals get quite proud of''

Like Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco etc then?
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Old Jan 3rd 2019, 3:01 pm
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Default Re: Anyone in, near, or once passed through Seattle?

Originally Posted by Hotscot View Post
'Seattle is a bit unlike other big American cities in that the neighbourhoods really do take on distinct identities that the locals get quite proud of''

Like Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco etc then?
Yes, unlike that. In Seattle, it is at a different level.
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Old Jan 3rd 2019, 3:39 pm
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Default Re: Anyone in, near, or once passed through Seattle?

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
Agree with this, but would discourage OP from settling in the islands. I looked at doing so when I was living there, and all the locals advised me against it - simple reason being the commuting time with the ferries, if you have to go downtown every day, and I imagine worse if you are going to Bellevue. The ferries can also get backed up with long waits on weekends.
I'd discourage it based purely on the fact that it is 90-120 minute drive to the ferry dock alone. Gorgeous place, but not really commutable unless you only need to go into the office once a week.
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Old Jan 3rd 2019, 11:22 pm
  #29  
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Default Re: Anyone in, near, or once passed through Seattle?

Thanks again. We're not there yet, might not happen, but I'm getting a better feeling about the place as your posts come in.
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Old Jan 17th 2019, 8:34 pm
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Default Re: Anyone in, near, or once passed through Seattle?

A quick update, a thank you for all your help so far, and a warning. An official offer has been made and accepted, now for the minor detail of applying for an E3 visa.

For several reasons I wouldn't be moving for a few months (including a very sick cat we can't/won't move, a job to plan my exit from, some major renovations starting the first week of February...) and my husband will gain a good few FF points, but that should give all parties a chance to decide if it's working, before we fully commit.

Still open-minded about how long this would be for but please be prepared for a shed load of newbie questions in the next few weeks - the US is not somewhere we've ever researched!
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