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Renter's Guide to Seattle
Seattle is best known for its high-quality coffee and its alternative and grunge music scene. Seattle is about the same size as Cleveland or Milwaukee. Thanks to its revitalization as a center of technology, business, and education, it is very popular among millennials. It has a hip urban center and plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures. It is by far the largest city in the state of Washington. It is a three-hour drive from Portland and a two‐and‐a‐half-hour drive from Vancouver without traffic. During summer, the average temperature is 66ºF and the city has a dry and sunny climate with not too hot temperatures. In winter, the average temperature is 47ºF; it is particularly wet and cool with the most frequent rainfall of any major city. Autumn and spring are also wet and cloudy.
Seattle, WA Demographics
- Total Population688,245
Female 345,628Male 342,617
- Median Age35.7
Cost of Living in Seattle, WA
A regular bus fare in Seattle costs $2.50 for an adult while children under the age of 6 ride free with a fare-paying adult. One of the most popular transit systems in Seattle is the light rail line that traverses the city. Seattle Yellow Cab operates over 600 taxicabs and there are several other companies offering their services in the city, which makes finding a cab a relatively easy task. There’s even a water taxi at Alki Beach. The average commute time in Seattle is approximately 26 minutes, which is slightly more than the US average of 25.7 minutes.
A meal for 2 people in an inexpensive, mid-range Seattle restaurant may cost you anywhere between $45 and $80, while a regular cappuccino goes for around $3.94.
Seattle residents pay $139 on average on utilities such as electricity, heating, water or garbage—for a 915-square-foot apartment—this is close to the US average of $147.
Average Rent in Seattle, WA
- Seattle, WA Average Rental Price, December 2019 $2,121 /mo
Seattle, WA Apartment Rent Ranges
- > $2,00048%
Seattle, WA Rent Trends
|Nov / 2016||Mar / 2017||Jul / 2017||Nov / 2017||Mar / 2018||Jul / 2018||Nov / 2018||Mar / 2019||Jul / 2019||Nov / 2019||Dec / 2019|
Average rent is projected to grow by 3% in 2019 compared to 2018.
Please note that projected rent growth is calculated at city level.
Living in Seattle
Like living in any major city, living in Seattle comes with a number of pros and cons. The inhabitants of Seattle are, for the most part, very open-minded and into expressions of art such as music, painting, glassblowing, theater, etc. It has a very active nightlife and the best restaurants are always packed with the freshest seafood. Another major advantage is that Seattle has no income tax, only a high sales tax that does not apply to groceries and home purchases. It also attracts a lot of well-educated and young people so you should have no difficulty locating a job or finding a hip social circle. Unfortunately, Seattle is infamous for its bad weather and has terrible traffic. Living in Seattle costs a lot compared to other major cities and requires a high paying job to afford the added expense and high property taxes. In recent years, the per capita crime rate has become greater than that of New York City.
Things to do in Seattle
Everyone knows when you come to Seattle, you do not want to miss the Space Needle and the Aquarium. It is perfect if you are traveling with children, your family, or as a couple. You and your significant other should not miss the Chihuly Gardens of Glass, which is located right below the Space Needle. Pike Place Market and the Experience Music Project Museum are also ideal destinations for couples. If you’ve got children to entertain, the Woodland Park Zoo, Pacific Science Center, and Woodland Park are the places to go. The most iconic shopping center in Seattle is Pike Place Market, but University Village and Fremont are also worth checking out. For when you don’t feel like spending money, some of the best free things to do include visiting the Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle’s Art Museum, Seattle Asian Art Museum, and Gallery Walk. There are also plenty of great places to walk your dog or spend some family time outdoors. The best parks include Camp Long, Carkeek Park, Lakeridge Park, Matthews Beach Park, and Lincoln Park. The biggest annual events to happen in the city include the University District Street Fair, the Northwest Folklife Festival, Freemont Fair and Solstice Parade, and the Bite of Seattle. With all of its live music and art festivals, Seattle is one of the best cities to experience unique expressions of culture.
Employment & Economy
Aerospace, manufacturing, and internet retail are some of the biggest industries operating out of Seattle. The city is home to the headquarters of Amazon, Starbucks, Costco, Microsoft, Nordstrom, and Boeing. As a result, Seattle is famous for its high paying technology, executive business, and aerospace-based jobs.
Seattle, WA Households
- Total Number of Households314,850
Family 142,796Non-family 172,054
Children 63,110No Children 251,740
- Average People Per Household2.11
- Median Household Income$79,565
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$1,566
Education in Seattle
An impressive 54% of Seattle residents have at least a bachelor's degree, which is more than any major city in the country.
The city is also home to the University of Washington, which ranks not only among the best schools in the country – but in the entire world.
Then there's Seattle University and Seattle Pacific University, along with several institutions for students of the arts, including The Art Institute of Seattle, Cornish College of the Arts, and Gage Academy of Arts.
The younger members of the family will be attending either the Seattle School District or Renton School District, though there are also plenty of great private schools in the area.
Seattle, WA Education Statistics
- No High School3%
- Some High School14%
- Some College19%
- Associate Degree6%
- Bachelor Degree35%
- Graduate Degree23%
Tips for Renting in Seattle
If you’re looking to move to Seattle from Portland, you will notice that people are more obsessed with education—there are dozens of universities here. In Seattle, landlords are required to give a minimum of 30 days’ notice of the termination of a year-to-year lease contract. A month-to-month agreement continues until either the landlord or tenant gives the other a written notice at least 20 days before the end of the rental period. Tenants come under the Washington State Residential Landlord-Tenant Act, which is although very similar to Portland’s current legislation, there are some important differences. For example, with a month-to-month rental agreement, either you or your landlord can end the agreement with a 30-day written notice in Seattle. In Portland, however, tenants are required to give a 90-day notice for no-cause evictions—the landlord does not have to tell you the reason for the 90-day notice, yet the reason must be a lawful one.
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