Moving from San Francisco to Seattle – Expert Tips and Advice
“See and settle” is what comes to mind when we hear the word Seattle. The pictures of this iconic city are already enticing, and if you were to actually move in the frame, you’ll find what jewels you’ve been missing out on. Speaking of gems, the city is also the birthplace of the iconic guitarist Jimi Hendrix who has been influential in the world of rock! Let us zoom in on life in Seattle to uncover many such emeralds.
Both these cities have warm Mediterranean climates thanks to the water bodies surrounding them. However, Seattle surfs past San Francisco by a slight margin when it comes to cold weather conditions with the temperatures going below 35°F in this city at times.
The warm weather conditions in Seattle won’t give you a sunburn either as the city very rarely sees the temperature hitting the 80°F mark. Fall and spring seasons serve a short stint in this city but mark their pleasant appearance in the city’s climate books. To give you more insights into the weather variations in the cities, read through the below comparison for the same.
Here’s the difference in temperature that you can expect during peak summers:
- San Francisco in July (the hottest month) – Average daily temperatures range from 56°F to 69°F.
- Seattle in August (the hottest month) – Average daily temperatures range from 57°F to 75°F.
Very alike, not too extreme, fairly enjoyable warm weathers are how we would describe summers in both these cities. When the sun gives you the leeway to enjoy outdoor activities in its prime months, you better not miss out on this bright opportunity!
Here’s the difference in temperature that you can expect during peak winters:
- San Francisco in January (the coldest month) – Average daily temperatures range from 48°F to 59°F.
- Seattle in December (the coldest month)- Average daily temperatures range from 37°F to 46°F.
The oceanic climate has its blessings reserved for Seattle and which is why winters around here are wet and very rainy. While Seattle is no stranger to snowfall, it doesn’t get more than 5 inches of snow on average annually.
Few Things To Bear In Mind About Seattle Weather:
- Though the city falls in the bearable warm weather side, it gets about 10 hours of sunshine per day during peak summers. So, make sure you keep your cool by donning a cap around this time.
- The months from May to September serve as the best time to enjoy the city of Seattle in its full glory. The Summer Sea Fair is one of the many popular outdoor attractions this city hosts around this time of the year.
- With more rainy days than other major US cities, it is safe to say that Seattle frequently has conversations with its pal, rainfall. However, these conversations aren’t too heavy as it only drizzles here for the most part of the year.
Also read: Moving To Washington State
If you are used to a certain kind of lavish lifestyle in the unapologetically expensive city of San Francisco, a move to Seattle is going to provide you with exactly the same at a lower price. Don’t believe us? On average the cost of living in Seattle is 45.4% lower than that in San Francisco. This could make it difficult to digest the fact that you’ve been splurging quite a few extra bucks in San Francisco! Let’s also take into account a few key aspects that impact the cost of living.
Even though moving from San Francisco to Seattle would mean a little less money being debited from the account, you’ll still be splurging a mammoth amount on buying a house in either of the cities. To give you a clue of the house rates in the two cities, below is a quick comparison for the same.
- Median Home Value in San Francisco: $1,545,059
- Median Home Value in Seattle: $933,000
If you don’t plan on owning a house in Seattle yet are keen on making a move here, you should probably get up to speed with the current rental rates in the area. Positioning itself a few notches above the national average of $1,650, the average rent for a 692 sq. ft. apartment, rent rates in Seattle stand at $2,210. This is still an acceptable figure given the kind of amenities you will be getting in Emerald City. Just for the sake of a final goodbye to San Francisco, it is worth mentioning that the average rents in this city run at a whopping $3,250!
You cannot possibly tally your expenses without considering your daily and monthly spending on basic utilities. This aspect dictates your everyday life in a given city which is why you need to be mindful of what to expect before moving to a new place. With that in mind, you will see yourself splashing an amount close to $183 in San Francisco when it comes to your average utility bill (Heating, Electricity, Garbage, and Water). Whereas, the same would cost you about $207 in Seattle, making it slightly more expensive than the former city in question.
If daily expenses are to be taken into account, a loaf of bread in San Francisco will cost about $4.35 in San Francisco which is almost at par with Seattle’s $4.29 for the same. A carton of eggs being priced at $2.30 in Seattle sits a few steps below San Francisco’s $2.35 for these white ovals.
A doctor’s visit in San Francisco will be more cost-efficient than in Seattle as healthcare in Seattle is about 24% higher than the national average and the same is nearly 20% higher in San Francisco. Still pretty costly, still not advisable, but a visit to a doctor is fairly expensive around here.
Comfortably positioning itself in the list of the top 10 largest regional economies in the country, Seattle is booming in the economy sector. Though the city has a stronghold in multiple industries and sectors, its main sources of revenue come from information technology, aerospace, and retail. Home to a number of Fortune 500 companies like Starbucks, Amazon, and Costco among others, the city’s economic pages are filled with promises and high hopes for its next chapter. A few other notable industries that help scale the city’s economy are music, interactive media, and clean technology.
Coming down to the unemployment rates, both these cities make sure to give their residents maximum job opportunities in whatever industry they choose. This is proven by the fact that the unemployment rates in San Francisco and Seattle rank well below the national average of 4%. While the former city has an impressive rate of 3%, the latter is not too far off with 3.10%. So, if you are moving to Seattle and looking for a change of pace job-wise, browse through the below list of some of the largest companies in the city and make your decision.
Some Of The Largest Employers In Seattle Are:
- Microsoft Corporation
- SSA Marine
- Alaska Airlines
It is probably a good time to slip in this interesting fact that Washington is one of the only nine states to enjoy a no-state income tax policy. So, you have that to look forward to in Seattle. Now that you have got up to speed with the economic scene, let’s round this off by having a look at what your average income looks like in both these cities.
- Median annual income in San Francisco (According to Payscale)- $103,000
- Median annual income in Seattle (According to Payscale) – $84,000
Getting around this tech hub of a city is less straining as you have a variety of public transportation services thanks to the Seattle Department of Transportation. A few of these services are listed below.
- King County Metro – Bus service that operates in the entire state and has stop stations in Seattle too. Its fare ranges from $2.25 to $3.25 solely depending on how far your destination is.
- Sound Transit – A public transit agency that provides rail and bus services in the Seattle metropolitan area.
- Kitsap Transit – Residents of the Kitsap county enjoy the services provided by this agency which include bus, vanpool, and foot ferry options among others.
- Amtrak – The nation’s best train facility provides its services in Seattle through the King Street Station.
- Seattle Center Monorail – Linking Downtown Seattle and Seattle Center, this rail service is a common commute choice for the residents.
Apart from this, the city also caters to the ones who prefer the traditional bike and scooter option to get around. Being a bike-friendly city, Seattle offers many bike-rental options for you. If at all you are one of those who would much rather opt walking over any other means of transport, then we have good news for you. The city has an outstanding walking score of 99 out of 100 which makes getting around the city feel like a walk in the park!
- No state income tax.
- Impeccable coffee culture.
- Thriving tech industry.
- The lush greenery that has helped earn this city the moniker “Emerald City”.
- Excellent walkable conditions.
Also read: Best Moving Companies In Seattle
A good example of a hustle-bustle neighborhood, Belltown ranks among one of the best upcoming neighborhoods for young professionals. Its proximity to Downtown and nearness to almost every bus line will make your life much easier and save precious time. Once you wrap up with your work and are out and about to serve your stomach, the scrumptious eateries around this neighborhood will come to your rescue. You can head to the Five Point Cafe or the Petra Mediterranean Bistro among others to feed your hunger pangs. All in all, it’s an excellent neighborhood for foodies and young professionals.
Median home value: $552,201
Monthly median rent: $2,740
Rejuvenating its spark in recent years, the state’s oldest neighborhood is fast becoming a hub for singles looking for a glimpse of Seattle’s extravagant nightlife. Pioneer Square has a high volume of bars which should sort your weekend plans well enough. From the residence point of view, the neighborhood boasts of its historic buildings that help maintain its connection with its roots. With quick access to sports stadiums, you won’t have to waste time traveling for hours to see your favorite team in action!
Median home value: $776,000
Monthly median rent: $2,085
Owing to its name, this neighborhood serves as a beacon of hope for young aspirants as it has an excellent education system in place. Affordability is another reason that makes Beacon Hill a residential neighborhood. For recreational activities, you will have the kind services of Jefferson Park Golf Course to swing and not miss the weekend vibe. Plenty of other options like parks and libraries make living in this neighborhood worthwhile.
Median home value: $709,000
Monthly median rent: $1,900
Another very affordable neighborhood in Seattle, Georgetown is an ideal moving location, particularly for young and aspiring artists in the country. To keep the artists hooked to its creative scene, these neighborhood hosts a number of arts and crafts and live music events from time to time. The Georgetown Carnival is among the popular gatherings you might not want to miss out on.
Median home value: $668,000
Monthly median rent: $1,540
Considered among the safer neighborhoods in Seattle, Fremont serves as an ideal moving destination for people of all age groups. From great schooling opportunities to excellent walkable conditions, residents of Fremont find no trouble spending a decent lifestyle. Though its slightly expensive nature makes you think twice about moving here, its central location makes it easily accessible to the other prominent neighborhoods.
Median home value: $898,000
Monthly median rent: $2,135
Also read: Top 8 Neighborhoods In Seattle For Families
Things To Take Care Of When You’re Moving From San Francisco To Seattle
- You’re already working pretty hard at your job regularly, why take the stress of carrying out a move of over 810 miles all by yourself? Let the professionals take care of the wheel while you focus on planning your new life in the Emerald City.
- To make sure your new life starts on a positive note, it is important that your belongings are relocated in one piece without any damage. For that, you need to ensure that the moving company you have hired is good enough to carry out such a move.
- Get moving estimates from at least three different moving companies to get well-acquainted with the current market rates. Once you have that digit picture, you can go on and hire the company that provides the kind of services you require at the best possible price.
- To make sure you don’t splurge your hard-earned money where you don’t need to, prepare a solid moving budget that you can stick to.
- DIY Packing videos on the internet are plenty and if you are looking to save some extra bucks on the move, they can really come in handy for you. Plus, the fun of coming across your old items and preserving them safely is unmatched!
See also: Best Moving Companies in San Francisco
You are looking at a move that will take nearly half a day and not your regular one-hour long car drive. With such a long commute time and 810-mile distance, it is going to cost you quite some bucks. The average move from San Francisco to Seattle will put you down about $2,150. However, this cost can always be altered depending on a number of factors like the location of your move and services you avail of among others.
You can also opt for a freight or moving container company instead of a full-service moving company to save some money on the overall move. On a DIY move, factor in the weather conditions, the road that you will traverse through, the traffic conditions to save time, and the ever-so-increasing gas prices.
The above preview of life in Seattle should surely convince you that a move from San Francisco to Seattle is going to be an exciting decision. So, get ready to blend in this up-beat atmosphere while caffeinating yourself with the best in business.
An average move from San Francisco to Seattle should cost you around $2,150. Depending on various aspects, this cost can very well vary.
A booming economy with lots of business opportunities and a coffee culture to keep you at it should be a good reason to consider Seattle as a moving spot for starters.
The average temperature of Seattle runs a few notches below the average temperature in San Francisco. Thus, making it a colder city than San Francisco.