Alright, before we start, let’s clear any misunderstandings you may have about what to expect out of this article. We believe some of you, especially if you’re not from the United States, might unknowingly be confused, so here goes:
This article is about moving to Washington state, things to know before moving to Washington state, and living in Washington state.
NOT Washington DC.
In fact, Washington DC is NOT in Washington state (or any state, for that matter), and if you look at the map below, they are very, very, far away from each other (Washington state is at the top left corner, whereas Washington DC is on the right side).
It takes at least 6 hours by flight from Washington State to Washington DC, so yes, they’re nowhere near each other.
As we were was saying, this article is about moving to Washington State, the Washington on the TOP LEFT corner of the picture above, ……… NOT the one with the red drop pin.
OK, if you’re crystal clear, let’s get started with some basic info before we let you in on the 10 key tips for moving to Washington state!
Washington state is a state in western United States (U.S.), with Olympia as its capital and Seattle as its largest city. It is the 18th-largest state in the U.S., with an area of 71,362 square miles (184,830 km2), and is home to more than 7.7 million people, making it the 13th-most populous state in the U.S. as well.
It borders Idaho in the East, Oregon in the South and British Columbia and Alberta of Canada in the North.
Now that you know the basics let’s get right into it!
First up, we’re going to give you the rundown on some notable neighbourhoods you may want to consider living in, in Washington state! Here goes!
1. Neighbourhood For The Nature Lovers: Spokane
Located in eastern Washington, Spokane is a stunning neighbourhood perfect for nature lovers!
It is filled with mountain lakes, waterfalls, the Spokane River, an incredibly beautiful waterfront park, and plenty of green spaces! Pedestrian bridges and trails accompany the river, making it a go-to spot for walkers, runners, and meanderers alike.
But that doesn’t mean it’s a quiet neighbourhood. In fact, Downtown Spokane, which features a bunch of laid-back eateries, hip pubs and clubs, as well as chain stores and indie boutiques, is a vibrant district that hustles and bustles as a central business district does!
If you want to live in a vibrant neighbourhood with lots of nature and green spaces for outdoor recreation, consider moving to Washington state and living in Spokane!
If you’re fascinated by Spokane and intend to live here, the median and average homes’ prices are $379K and $425K, respectively.
2. Neighbourhood For The Art And Culture Enthusiasts: Tacoma
A mid-sized urban port city located just 32 miles (51 km) southwest of Seattle, Tacoma, WA, would probably be one of the most picturesque neighbourhoods you will see today!
Just look at Mount Rainier overlooking the quaint neighbourhood! Oh, living in Washington state looks so dreamy!
Though it may look rather quaint, Tacoma is home to many young professionals because it offers a more affordable and laid-back lifestyle than Seattle.
Another possible reason could be that the port city is oozing with art and culture! Tacoma’s Museum District comprises 6 major museums showcasing a range of collections, from exquisite glass exhibits to classic automobiles and history!
Did you know Tacoma is renowned for its glass art? If you’re living in Washington state and get the chance to visit Tacoma, keep your eyes peeled for glass art installations across the city, even in unexpected public places!
Tacoma is definitely a place for art enthusiasts to live in. If you want to consider living in Tacoma and wonder how much you’d have to spend, you may estimate using the median and average prices of $443K and $475K, respectively.
It probably looks pretty pricey, but that’s because a lot of the homes that were taken into account during the calculation had at least 3 bedrooms! So if you’re looking for a smaller home in the real estate market, it should cost you much less!
3. Neighbourhood For Those Searching For Convenience: Seattle
Seattle is a seaport city on the West Coast of the U.S. and, as mentioned before, the largest city in Washington state, so you’re probably considering living in Seattle after moving to Washington state, right?
So OF COURSE, it needs to be on this list!
Let us just start off by saying that Seattle has everything!
Vibrant And Thriving Downtown With World-Class Dining – Check!
Arts And Culture – Check!
Sports Culture – Check!
The Seattle Seahawks, Seattle’s National Football League (NFL) team, is no doubt the city’s pride! Their fans have set the Guinness World Record for the loudest crowd noise at a sporting event TWICE within the span of a few months!
A Booming Economy – Check!
With notable companies like Amazon, Starbucks, and other flourishing tech companies based in Seattle, money flows through the city, giving rise to a cycle of new businesses.
A Beautiful Waterfront – Also Check!
You’d expect no less from a seaport city, right? At Seattle Waterfront, you’ll find many things to do like having seafood, visiting the Seattle Aquarium, and even enjoy a ride at the Seattle Great Wheel for the picture-perfect view overlooking the waterfront!
All these can be conveniently found in the very walkable city of Seattle, which has a Walkability score of 74 – signalling that most errands can be accomplished on foot!
Certainly, with a myriad of amenities available at your fingertips, the price is expected to correspond. So if you’re intending to settle down in Seattle, the median and average prices of $799K and $769K should help you gauge how much you’d spend.
For those with a tighter budget, the numbers above may be daunting, but here’s some good news: there are more affordable homes in Seattle selling from about $250K! 😀
4. Remember To Factor In The Cost Of Living When Choosing Your Neighbourhoods Because It Varies From City To City
As you’ve seen above, the different cities provide drastically different amenities and lifestyles. As such, the cost of living is bound to vary, depending on where you’re living in Washington state. That’s why this is one of the most important things to know before moving to Washington state.
As you would expect, the cost of living in Seattle would be sky-high, but let’s compare that to the national average, and then to Tacoma and Spokane, shall we?
In general, the cost of living in Seattle is 49% higher than the national average.
Seattle’s housing contributes significantly to this as it is 94% higher than the national average, followed by transportation, groceries and utilities, which are 33%, 27% and 23% higher than the national average, respectively.
However, as we’ve mentioned previously, this comes with a bunch of amenities at your convenience!
Now to compare Seattle to Spokane and Tacoma: To maintain the same standard of life that you can have with $6.3K in Seattle, WA, you would need around
- $4.1K in Spokane, and
- $4.9K in Tacoma.
5. Find Your Dream Course From The Several Acclaimed Universities In Washington State
Washington state is home to several acclaimed universities with high rankings, so if you’re planning on living in Washington state, you can be sure that you (or your child) would certainly be able to find a course you’re passionate about!
University Of Washington
Firstly, the University of Washington ranks at #58 in National Universities and its most popular majors are:
- Biological and Biomedical Sciences;
- Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services.
- Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services;
- Engineering; and
- Social Sciences.
Next, Gonzaga University which ranks at #80 in National Universities is known for these courses:
- Biological and Biomedical Sciences;
- Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services;
- Psychology; and
- Social Sciences.
Other high-ranking universities include:
- Seattle University (#124 in National Universities),
- Washington State University (#176 in National Universities),
- Seattle Pacific University (#196 in National Universities), and
- Whitman College (#47 in National Liberal Arts Colleges).
Other universities also found in Washington state include Western Washington University, Whitworth University and Pacific Lutheran University.
With so many universities (and high-ranking ones at that!), Washington state abounds in educational opportunities!
6. Make Sure The Job Market And Key Industries In Washington State Align With Your Career Aspirations
Relocating to another state will most likely affect your career. But whether it’s for better or for worse depends on the job market and key industries.
Some key industries in Washington state include:
- agriculture/food manufacturing,
- clean technology,
- information and communication technology,
- forest products,
- life science/global health,
- maritime, and
Washington state is also home to the headquarters of some of the most well-known companies which are the biggest employers in the state:
- Costco Wholesale
- T-Mobile U.S.
So if you’re planning to work in these industries, the job market at Washington state is suitable for you!
7. Water, Earth, Air: Enjoy A Variety Of Outdoor Adventure
Washington state offers so many opportunities for outdoor recreation that we are almost certain this will be one of the reasons you’ll be moving to Washington state!
From rainforests and deserts to alpine meadows and wetland estuaries, if outdoor recreation is not a hobby of yours yet, we bet it will be once you’re living here!
Let’s list out some of the unique outdoor adventures you can try in Washington state so you can seal the deal and pack up your bags!
Water: Cruises And Kayaks
- San Juan Cruises: Hop on various cruises, ranging from whale watching tours to cracked crab dinner cruises and wine tasting cruises.
- Sea Quest Kayak Tours: Paddle through routes that have been carefully designed to maximize your probability for an amazing whale encounter!
Earth: Mountains, Zoos And Other Green Spaces
- Woodland Park Zoo: Featuring nearly 300 animal species in the 92-acre award-winning botanical garden, experience the wonders of the natural world at Woodland Park Zoo with your loved ones!
- Mount Rainier and Mount Rainier National Park: Hike, kayak, zipline and more in this large active stratovolcano in the Cascade Range of the Pacific Northwest.
- And multiple state parks available for walking and hiking.
Air: Flight Tours And Paragliding
- Kenmore Air: Take a seaplane flight tour from Seattle to more than 45 destinations throughout San Juan Islands, Victoria & Inside Passage.
- Seattle Paragliding: Experience free flight in its purest form when you paraglide down the hill of Poo Poo Point at the top of Tiger Mountain!
Conclusion About Moving To Washington State
As we have seen above, Washington state offers a well-rounded curation of both work and play. From multiple acclaimed universities to the plethora of outdoor activities, you’ll be sure to have a fun-filled and meaningful life after moving to Washington state!
The state also consists of many cities with varying costs of living, making it easy to find a city that fits your budget and needs.
All in all, Washington state is for everyone, and once you’ve decided you want to relocate here, contact Sanelo for easy relocation.
Check out our guides about moving to other cities/states in the area:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Moving To Washington State
What Taxes Am I Required To Pay When I’m Living In Washington State?
Washington State has no income taxes, but its high sales tax offsets this. The state’s sales tax is set at 6.5%, but each city has an additional sales tax, so the total sales tax rate can be as high as 10.4%.
Are There Any Other Cities With Great Outdoor Recreation?
You bet! Many cities have the terrain for normal outdoor recreation like hiking, but Savannah has golfing, water sports and many beaches!
What Are The Benefits Of Engaging A Professional Mover When I’m Relocating To Washington State?
Some major benefits of engaging a professional mover are the convenience and expertise provided for clients like you.
Professional movers have been trained to handle all kinds of logistics for your move so that you can sit back and relax while they prepare, load, transport and unload your items for your big move.
They are also well-equipped with tools to make this process seamless and faster for your benefit!
How Can I Be Sure My Items Will Be Well Taken Care Of?
At Sanelo, we respect your belongings and the things you hold dear. To prove this, we will enrol you into our shipment protection when you engage us so you can be assured that your belongings are in good hands!
How Much Does It Cost To Engage A Professional Mover?
Sanelo understands that cost is an important factor when planning for a big move.
However, because no two moves are the same, we need to understand your circumstances better to advise you on the estimated cost.
Tell us about your move so that we can get started on a quote for you:
Or simply speak to us today!