Moving From Los Angeles To Seattle - Expert Tips & Advice

Los Angeles is a city that is known for its warmth, sunshine, and laid-back lifestyle. The city has something for everyone, from its world-famous beaches to its thriving art and cultural scene. Los Angeles is also a great place to raise a family, with plenty of parks and activities for kids.

While Los Angeles has many great qualities, there are a few reasons why one might want to move out of the city. One main reason could be the cost of living. Los Angeles is one of the most expensive cities in the United States, and it can be difficult to make ends meet even on an average salary. Additionally, the traffic in Los Angeles is notoriously bad, and the city is known for its smog.

If you’re done with the thrills of Los Angeles and would like to move someplace greener and with tons of opportunity, Seattle in Washington State is a great option. It’s a beautiful city located between Puget Sound and Lake Washington with a thriving economy. Want to know everything about moving from Los Angeles to Seattle? We’ve got you – and the topic – covered!

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Factors To Consider Before Moving From Los Angeles To Seattle

Weather Conditions

If you’re moving from Los Angeles to Seattle, you’ll want to be prepared for a big change in the climate. Los Angeles has a temperate climate, with average temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to the mid-80s. Seattle, on the other hand, has a much cooler climate with average temperatures ranging from 30°F to 60°F – sometimes reaching up to 90°F!

As for snowfall,  Seattle is known for its snow, which can be a bit of a shock to someone who is used to the rain in Los Angeles. If you’re not used to cold weather, it might be a good idea to pack some warm clothes and purchase a heavy coat before moving. When it comes to rains, Seattle also receives more rainfall than Los Angeles. To add to this, Seattle is known to be among the cloudiest cities in the U.S. In fact, the high number of cloudy/rainy days in the region has become the cause of a seasonal affective disorder in Seattle!

Cost Of Living

Yes, Los Angeles and Seattle are both major metropolitan areas with a high cost of living. But only a few cities in the U.S. can compare with the cost of living in Los Angeles. You already know that nothing in Los Angeles is cheap, and if you don’t have a six-digit salary, you’re going to have a hard time living here comfortably.

Even though shifting from LA to Seattle is not going to add to your monthly expenses, it would also not prove to be a huge respite considering that Seattle is also not an inexpensive city by any means. The living expenses in Seattle are 4% lower than in Los Angeles, but where Los Angeles leads in housing costs, Seattle does in terms of utilities and groceries. Don’t despair just yet, because it’s not too late for some good news: when it comes to taxes, Washington has no state income tax, while California has some of the highest rates in the nation. You may even read our article on Property Tax Rates By State to know more on this.

Now let’s look at the different factors that affect the cost of living in Seattle and Los Angeles.

Buying A House

More likely than not, your dream of owning a home in Los Angeles will quickly disappear when you see the average prices in the city. According to Zillow, the median home value in Los Angeles is $934,305. But if you were managing just fine in Los Angeles, moving to Seattle and getting a house will be quite a breeze. The median home value in Seattle is $915,340! Although both are significantly higher than the U.S. average of  $325,677, Seattle comes slightly cheaper in terms of housing than the City of Hollywood.

But that’s not to say that Seattle doesn’t have its own housing problems. Seattle is currently in the middle of a housing crisis with prices rising rapidly and availability dropping. So if you’re looking to buy a home in Seattle, you’ll want to do it sooner rather than later.

Renting An Apartment

If you don’t want the responsibility of owning a home, that’s okay! You can always rent an apartment in Seattle and save even more money. The average rent for an apartment in Los Angeles is $2,563 while the average rent for an apartment in Seattle is just $2,197 (according to Rentcafe).

If it’s affordable neighborhoods in Seattle you’re looking for, consider places such as First Lake, the University District, Madrona, and Bitter Lake.

Utilities

Another factor to consider when moving from Los Angeles to Seattle is the cost of utilities. Utilities are one such domain that is going to cost you more in Seattle than it would back in LA. While the cost of utilities in Los Angeles is 8% higher than the national average, it is a whopping 23% higher in Seattle, so you’ll have to make the required budgeting changes before moving.

Let us give you a closer picture; In Seattle, one month of your basic utilities (which would typically include electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage) would cost you around $215. This would’ve amounted to only around $145 in Los Angeles. However, this discrepancy is more than made up in the other general expenses you would save up on, once you shift to the coffee capital of the country.

Job Market

Los Angeles is, without a doubt, an amazing place when it comes to job opportunities. Everybody knows how big its entertainment and tourism industry is. Not just that, the City of Angels also has thriving trade, technology, fashion, and petroleum industries. That being said, the high level of competition for jobs in Los Angeles can be quite daunting. Getting a job here can be a challenge and the high unemployment rate of 8.5% can be a bit of a concern for new (and old) residents. As for incomes, the median household income in Los Angeles is $68,044.

The better job market and solid income are definitely reasons worth settling in the city of Seattle. This city is known for its strong technology industry. Companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Apple have a formidable presence in Seattle and are always looking for talented employees. In addition to that, Seattle also has a strong maritime industry and is home to several large healthcare companies. Seattle is also a city of coffee-lovers and has multiple coffee-roasting and coffee supply chains! Fun fact: Did you know that the coffee giant Starbucks was born in Pike Place Market, Seattle?

Other major employers in the city are:

  • The Boeing Co.
  • Starbucks
  • Weyerhaeuser
  • Joint Base Lewis-McChord
  • Amazon
  • Expeditors International of Washington
  • University of Washington, Seattle
  • Nordstrom

The unemployment rate in Seattle is currently at 3.3%, less than half of what it is in LA! This means that, although Los Angeles generates employment at the speed of light, you are much more likely to actually land a job in Seattle or the Emerald City. The median household income in Seattle is $102,486.

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Traffic And Transportation

If the high traffic is the only reason that you’d want to move out of Los Angeles, there’s no way we’d blame you! In fact, Los Angeles has one of the worst traffic problems in the entirety of the United States! The city is vast and sprawling. Combine the large area size with a heavy car culture and a public transportation system that leaves quite a bit to be desired, and you can imagine why getting around in the city can be a hassle.

Seattle, on the other hand, is known for its well-functioning public transportation system. However, this transport system is not run by the Seattle Department of Transportation, but a number of agencies that have partnered with it. Whether it’s rail services (Seattle Center Monorail, Amtrak, Link Light Rail), buses, or even waterways, the network is quite good and arguably even one of the best in the U.S.!

When it comes to airways, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is the main airport in the Seattle metropolitan area. It’s the largest and busiest airport in the state of Washington and it’s also one of the 25 busiest airports in the world! So you can leave behind your worries if you’re a frequent traveler by air as this airport has flights connecting to and from all the major cities and countries in the world.

Seattle’s Strong Points

  • Seattle has a good job market in the tech, aviation, and healthcare industries.
  • The cost of living in Seattle is lower than in Los Angeles.
  • The traffic in Seattle is nowhere near as bad as in Los Angeles.
  • Seattle has a great public transportation system.
  • The climate in Seattle is much more temperate than in Los Angeles (which can be quite hot and humid).
  • Seattle has a lot more greenery than Los Angeles.

Also Read: Moving From Los Angeles To Las Vegas | Most Walkable Cities in the U.S. for 2022

Top Neighborhoods To Move To In Seattle

Capitol Hill

This is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Seattle and for good reason! It’s centrally located, just a few minutes away from Downtown Seattle. Capitol Hill is known for its trendy and eclectic shops, restaurants, and aesthetic beauty. The neighborhood is also home to a large number of art galleries and cultural institutions.

Speaking of nightlife, Capitol Hill is home to some of Seattle’s best bars and clubs. If you’re looking for a lively atmosphere and plenty of things to do, Capitol Hill is the place for you!

Median Home Value: $725,000

Monthly Median Rent: $2,407

Downtown Seattle

If you’re looking for a neighborhood that has it all, look no further than Downtown Seattle! You’ll find everything here from history and culture to great food and fantastic nightlife. Downtown Seattle is also home to the major businesses districts in the city. If you work in the tech industry, this is probably where you’ll want to live. This is the heart of Seattle and home to many of its most famous landmarks, including Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, and Benaroya Hall. Downtown is also home to major businesses, shopping spots, and cultural attractions.

Crime rates in Downtown Seattle and the Downtown area is generally considered to be safe so that’s one less thing to worry about while shifting with family!

Median Home Value: $688,000

Monthly Median Rent: $1,295

Queen Anne

Queen Anne is a beautiful neighborhood located on a hill overlooking Downtown Seattle. Queen Anne has stylish 19th-century houses if you want to consider living it up. The neighborhood is also home to a variety of businesses, shops, and restaurants and it is located in close proximity to the Space Needle and the Museum of Pop Culture.

Queen Anne is a great place to live in if you’re looking for a quiet and peaceful neighborhood with plenty of amenities. The only downside is that it can be a bit expensive. But if you can afford it, Queen Anne is definitely worth considering.

Median Home Value: $613,000

Monthly Median Rent: $2,406

South Lake Union

If you’re looking for a trendy and up-and-coming neighborhood, look no further than South Lake Union. It’s located just north of Downtown Seattle and is home to Amazon’s headquarters as well as several other tech startups. You’ll never have a single boring weekend here as you could spend all your time at the highlight of South Lake Union; the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI).

South Lake Union has a bit of an urban feel to it too. The neighborhood is still relatively new and is constantly changing, so there’s always something new to explore. If you’re looking for a hip and happening neighborhood, South Lake Union is the place for you!

Median Home Value: $680,000

Monthly Median Rent: $2,492

Green Lake

Green Lake is a beautiful neighborhood located in the north of Seattle. It’s known for its large park and lake, which are popular for fishing, running, and walking. The neighborhood is also home to a variety of businesses, shops, and restaurants. Living up to its name, this area is for those nature-lovers who simply cannot live apart from the serenity and tranquility of experiencing the outdoors. The neighborhood is quite high-end and offers premium living in the lap of nature.

Median Home Value: $950,000

Monthly Median Rent: $1,450

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Things To Take Care Of When You’re Moving From Los Angeles To Seattle

  • Seattle weather is much more temperate than in Los Angeles, but it rains a lot more. Make sure you have proper rain gear!
  • You’ll need to get a Washington driver’s license as soon as you move.
  • Be prepared for the change in scenery. Seattle is a much more lush and green city than Los Angeles.
  • Make sure you have a good understanding of the public transportation system before moving. It may be a little confusing at first.
  • The traffic in Seattle is nowhere near as bad as Los Angeles, but it’s still a city and there’s always traffic congestion. Make sure you budget enough time for your commute!

Los Angeles To Seattle Moving Costs

The cost of moving from Los Angeles to Seattle will vary depending on the size and weight of your belongings, as well as the distance you’re moving. However, you can expect to pay anywhere between $2,000 and $4,000 for a move from Los Angeles to Seattle. This price includes packing materials and labor. If you’re hiring a professional mover, the cost will be higher, but it will likely be worth it to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your belongings are in good hands.

Summing Up

Moving is a decision that requires months-long planning and research. And while it seldom gets easier, the process can be simplified, to an extent, if you know exactly what you’re looking for and take all the necessary steps before shifting to the city of your choice. If you’re considering a move from Los Angeles to Seattle, be sure to consider all of the different neighborhoods that Seattle has to offer. No matter what neighborhood you choose, you can be sure that you’ll love Seattle’s temperate weather and lush green scenery We hope that we’ve been of help to you and wish you a pleasant moving journey!

FAQs On Moving From Los Angeles To Seattle

Is LA Cheaper Than Seattle?

While both Seattle and Los Angeles are among the most expensive cities in the United States, Seattle is comparatively cheaper with regard to living expenses. While Seattle leads the charts for both utilities and groceries, housing is a lot cheaper in the city when compared to LA. However, the cost of living can vary depending on the neighborhood you choose to live in. But generally speaking, if you can afford to live in Los Angeles, living in Seattle should be no trouble at all!

Is Moving To Seattle Worth It?

Seattle is a great city with plenty to offer. It’s definitely worth considering if you’re thinking of moving! The public transportation system is excellent, the climate is quite pleasant, and there are plenty of great neighborhoods to choose from. Just be prepared for the rain!

Is It Cheaper To Live In CA Or WA?

The cost of living in California is higher than the cost of living in Washington. However, this can vary depending on the city you choose to live in. Seattle is a more affordable option than the major cities in California, but it’s still important to do your research before making a decision.

See Also: Top Cross Country Moving Companies in the USA | Moving From Phoenix To Seattle | Moving From NYC To Seattle | Moving from Los Angeles to Miami

Written by


Rostislav Shetman is the founder of 9Kilo Moving. He has been in the moving and relocation industry for more than 25 years, making him an expert in his field. Rostislav started as a helper, dispatcher and driver and has worked his way up to owning his own company. He takes great pride in his work and enjoys helping people relocate across the United States of America. When he's not working, Rostislav enjoys spending time with his family and friends. They are the light of his life and bring him happiness every day.