Why do people love Seattle, WA? Maybe for its good looks and cool vibe? Or being able to hit the slopes one day and take a whale-watching cruise the next? Between the lush greenery surrounding the city, the hip Seattle culture and lifestyle, and its flourishing job market, it’s not surprising that more than 20,000 people move to the area each year.
But, no matter how great Seattle is, downtown life isn’t for everybody: traffic jams, crowded spaces, and honking horns late at night can make the ‘burbs an attractive option for some city-dwellers. If you’re wondering what the Seattle suburbs have to offer in terms of rentals, take a look at these four cities that are all within a 30-minute commute of downtown:
Commute time to downtown Seattle: 24 minutes (15.8 mi)
Best find: Cedar Heights, from $1,215 for a 1-bed, 1-bath unit with 700 sq.ft., with 2- and 3-bedroom units available (check availability)
Perks: top-rated suburb; convenient access to I-405; covered parking; garages available; wood-burning fireplaces
If you’ve ever shopped at Costco, you already know where Kirkland gets the majority of its name recognition. Of course, there’s so much more to this King County suburb than bulk quantities of pickles and inexpensive food court pizza: from boating on the eastern shores of Lake Washington to world-class shows at the Kirkland Performance Center, there’s lots to do.
And yet, if budget shopping is your thing, Kirkland is one place you’ll definitely find apartments with a monthly rent less than the city average (compare with $1,391 for a one-bedroom in Seattle, according to Yardi Matrix). The apartments at Cedar Heights are one such option, with prices starting at a wallet-friendly $1,215 and easy access to the freeway.
Commute time to downtown Seattle: 26 minutes (20 mi)
Best find: Six Oaks, from $1,361 for a 1-bed, 1-bath unit with 680 sq.ft. to $1,910 for a 2-bed, 2-bath unit with 980 sq.ft. (check availability)
Perks: premier community in a top-rated suburb; shopping and dining on-site; furnished units available; 24-hour fitness center; full-size washer/dryer in every unit
Straddling King and Snohomish Counties, Bothell was once a predominantly “bedroom community” strictly for commuters to Seattle. However, with the addition of both a campus for the University of Washington and a wide range of technology businesses who opted to call Bothell home, many of its 35,000+ residents live and work there and avoid the drive into the city altogether. Community events include a farmer’s market from June-September, UW Bothell’s Block Party and the BrewFest. The upscale apartments at Six Oaks put you in the heart of it all.
Commute time to downtown Seattle: 21 minutes (12.8 mi)
Best find: Echo Lake Village, from $899 for a 1-bath studio with 516 sq.ft. to $1,369 for a 2-bed, 2-bath unit with 944 sq.ft. (check availability)
Perks: reserved underground parking; townhouse-style units available; washer/dryer in every unit; boardwalk leading to Shoreline Interurban Trail; YMCA facility next door
If life on Puget Sound is your ideal, but million-dollar mansions are just slightly out of your reach, you won’t be disappointed by the rental options available in Shoreline. The apartments at Echo Lake Village are one example of Shoreline’s great blend of budget, natural beauty, and convenient location. From bike trails to community astronomy parties, appreciation for nature is a hallmark for many of the 50,000 people who live in Shoreline.
Commute time to downtown Seattle: 22 minutes (16.6. mi)
Best find: The Timbers, from $1,660 for a 1-bed, 1-bath unit with 954 sq.ft. to $2,600 for a 3-bed, 2-bath unit with 1,294 sq.ft., with 4-bed units also available (check availability)
Perks: fully-fenced dog park; short-term leases available; mountain views; complimentary tanning facility; on-site movie theater
If you’re looking to live closer to nature, without a long commute to the city, Issaquah may be the perfect place to call home. Kayaking at Lake Sammamish State Park, hiking Tiger Mountain, or just dropping a line in at Pine Lake Park are just a few of the possibilities in this city of just under 35,000 residents. Rent may be slightly higher than the average in Seattle, but when you get a glimpse of the views from many of the well-appointed units at The Timbers, it’s well worth the extra cash.