Series: City Guides

5 Reasons to Move to Seattle

Posted on Aug 20, 2020

Are you exploring the idea of relocating but aren’t sure if Seattle is right for you? We’ve collected our top 5 reasons for why Seattle is a great place to live. Seattle has one of the nation’s strongest metropolitan economies, a booming housing market, a vibrant social scene, and no shortage of hikes, bouldering ,and other outdoor activities right outside the city. All of these are great reasons for why you should consider making the Emerald City your next home.

1. Economic Growth

Why move to Seattle? Aside from the beautiful waterfronts and picturesque mountain ranges within view of the city, many people are drawn to Seattle because of the explosive economic growth that has occurred in the Seattle metro area during the last decade. Year over year, Seattle has continued to experience rapid economic expansion, turning it into an economic powerhouse in the Northwestern United States.

Numbers from 2018 show that Seattle’s economy expanded nearly 7%, a rate that outpaces all other metropolitan areas in the United States with populations greater than 2 million. On average, Seattle’s economy is expanding at a rate of over double the national average.

Nearby counties are also experiencing rapid growth as well. King County actually exceeded the growth rate of the Seattle metro area, with an estimated expansion of around 7.5%. Snohomish County grew at an annual rate of 4.5%, while Pierce County experienced around 4% growth.

What’s driving this growth in the Seattle area? Some would say the online retail giant Amazon is the main factor. Amazon employs over 40,000 people and is certainly one significant factor in the growth that Seattle has experienced. However, Seattle’s growth can’t be attributed to Amazon alone. Seattle has become a tech hub, with dozens of Fortune 500 companies running research and development in the region.

2. Strong Housing Market

The Seattle area boasts a strong housing market that has continued to rise nearly unabated since the tail end of the economic recession in 2012. While the average home value index according to Zillow in 2012 was around $350,000, the average home value today in the Seattle metro area is $767,906. While data from Zillow indicates that home values dipped in 2018, values rose again 2.2% in 2019.

Nearby counties also have competitive housing markets. The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metro area experienced a 5.7% growth rate in home values from 2019-2020. The average price per square foot is $285, compared to the average throughout the state of $237. The median list price of homes in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area is $500,000 and the average sale price is $512,700, indicating that homes listed are selling for asking or slightly higher.

Housing prices are being kept aloft by a well-recognized shortage in available housing combined with a steady influx of new residents. The population in the greater Seattle area has increased more rapidly over the last decade than at any other point in its history aside from the Klondike Gold Rush at the turn of the Twentieth-Century. The region’s burgeoning position as a tech powerhouse has drawn in a stream of young, educated professionals. This fact is reflected in the population growth statistics for the region. During the period of time between 2013-2018, the population in Seattle grew by nearly 11.5%. This growth is expected to keep the housing market competitive for the foreseeable future.

3. Great Social Scene

There is certainly no shortage of things to do in the Seattle metro area. The region hosts a number of music festivals, an annual Comic-Con, the largest boat show on the West coast of the United States, and much more. When you move to Seattle you’ll have no problem diving into the social scene and connecting with others.

Coffee shops, breweries, and local bars provide the backbone for the music scene in Seattle. You can catch headline shows at the Seattle Center under the Space Needle, or check out the Concerts at the Mural or one of the many other free things to do in Seattle.

Two big festivals bookend the summer season in Seattle that you’ll definitely have to check out if you live there. Over Memorial Day weekend the Emerald City hosts the Northwest Folklife Festival, a massive festival featuring great music, cold drinks, and local food vendors. To wrap up summer you’ll have to check out Bumbershoot, Seattle’s largest festival that features music, comedy, art, crafts and more. Bumbershoot is held in the Seattle Center, adjacent to the Space Needle. What is the best time to visit Seattle ? Late May and early September are a great time to visit for fewer people, beautiful weather, and great music.

While you are in Seattle be sure to spend some time checking out the Ballard Brewery District. One of the things to know before moving to Seattle is the Emerald City takes its brews seriously. You’ll need to spend a few weekends in the Ballard District to visit all of the award-winning breweries. Once you are done in the Ballard District, branch out to check out one of the hundreds of other breweries spread out throughout the city. If you’re looking for how to make friends in Seattle, check out a local brewery!

4. Outdoor Adventures

Seattle is a bustling metropolis, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up a love for the great outdoors when you move there. In fact, if you’ve ever wondered where Seattle got the name “Emerald City,” it’s because of the exceptional forest and vegetation that provides a backdrop to the city. Mount Rainier National Park is only an hour and a half drive away from downtown Seattle, making it a quick and easy trip to hit the trails, do some bouldering, or bike through the lush forest.

What is it like living in Seattle? You’re always just a short distance away from your neighborhood park. Seattle has over 480 parks, both large and small, spread out throughout the city. Discovery Park is the largest park in the city consisting of over 530 acres that include beaches and forests. Seward Park is a 300-acre park of old-growth forest that includes an amphitheater, garden, and art studio. Seward Park also boasts bike and hiking trails, as well as a 2.4-mile walking path. If you’re ready to get some sun during the summer consider hopping on the ferry and visiting Alki Beach Park. This beautiful beach park offers stunning views of the Puget Sound and the city, all cast against a backdrop of the Olympic Mountains.

5. Competitive Wages

If you’re wondering, “should I move to Seattle?”, you’ll probably get paid more if you do. Seattle’s strong economy is reflected in wages across industries that are higher than the national average. Seattle also has a higher cost of living than some other places, many professions pay very well in the metro area.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), across all occupations, the average hourly wage in the Seattle metro area was $32.91 compared to the nationwide average of $25.72. Specific professions and trades also reflect higher-than-average wages. Registered nurses are paid an average of $43.62 in Seattle compared to $37.24 nationwide. Electricians average $36.51 an hour compared to $29.02 nationwide. Construction laborers average $25.34 per hour compared to $20.06 nationwide.

Get to Know the City in a Great Rental

If you’re thinking about moving to Seattle, why not get to know the city from one of our homes in the Seattle-Metro area. Renting a home with Zeus is ideal if you’re just settling into a new city, or want to visit for an extended stay before you commit.

Our rental homes are available in a variety of sizes and pet-friendly options. At Zeus Living, we believe in creating a space that will feel like a second home. Our homes are thoughtfully furnished and equipped with amenities like WiFi and cookware. We stock our rental homes with everyday basics like paper towels and cleaning supplies, so you can spend more time getting to know the city and less time getting settled in.

Our rental homes are in great locations, so it’s easy to tap into Seattle’s public transportation system to get around. If you need some tips, head over to our guide for getting around Seattle which highlights the major transit lines and how to use them.

Closing Thoughts

There are a ton of great reasons why you should move to Seattle. We settled on the top 5 for us, but once you move you’re sure to find your own favorite aspects of the Emerald City. Seattle’s economy is booming and has been so for years. That economic expansion has led to a robust housing market as well as a solid population and wage growth.

Alongside strong economic incentives to move to Seattle, the city boasts a vibrant social scene with a wide range of activities available. Or, if you’re more of the adventurous type, make a visit to Mount Rainier National Park to do some bouldering or hiking.

Want to get to know the city better? Stay with Zeus in one of our beautiful Seattle home rentals. With great locations, personally curated furnishings, and stocked with the basics, our rental homes are the perfect space for you to call home while you explore what Seattle has to offer. To learn more, visit Zeus today.

Sources
  • https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/11/can-seattle-handle-its-success/546053/
  • http://www.seattlebusinessmag.com/economy/scores-are-and-greater-seattle-officially-fastest-growing-major-metro-nation
  • https://seattlebusinessmag.com/economy/seattle-ranks-one-top-boomtowns-country-among-large-cities
  • https://www.bls.gov/regions/west/summary/blssummary_seattle.pdf
  • https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_42660.htm
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