Moving to Seattle: The ULTIMATE Guide

Moving to Seattle, Washington

The ULTIMATE Guide for Moving to, or Living in, Seattle, WA

Moving to Seattle, Washington


Whether you have plans on moving to Seattle, Washington, or you are just thinking about it, we have compiled everything that you need to know about the Emerald City. People are moving to Seattle in droves. Between 2010 and 2013, Seattle has grown by an amazing 5% – which is the 5th fastest growth rate among large cities in America. In those 3 years over 170,000 more people started calling themselves Seattleites. Hopefully this article gives you a better insight on why people are moving to the Pacific Northwest and what you can expect if you do the same.

(See Also: Best Seattle Moving Company)

What You Need to Know About Seattle Culture

Seattle’s Obsession with Geoduck Hunting

Geoduck Hunting

One of Seattle’s most appealing features is its culture. There are many, many, things that make Seattle and Seattleites unique, and their way of life of such interest to outsiders. Geoduck hunting (pronounced GOO-EE-DUCK, locals will instantly correct you if you say GEO-duck) is an exercise in regional identity. Although a few of these huge clams live as far south as Baja, California, the Puget Sound has an abundance and it is where the art of geoduck hunting has been mastered. It’s hard to say which is more difficult, locating the clam or digging it out. Its unique name comes from the Nisqually word meaning “dig deep”. These “King Clams” are up to a yard under the mud and require very low tides for the opportunity to hunt them. But if you can catch them, you will have several pounds of delicious shellfish to eat!

If you aren’t into hunting or cooking them yourself, you can pop into Shiro’s Sushi or Taylor Oyster Bars for some amazing geoduck entrees. You will want to make a reservation.

Shiro’s Sushi
2401 2nd Ave.
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 443-9844

Sushi Kashiba
86 Pine St. Suite 1
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 441-8844

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Seattle’s Music Scene

Seattle Music Scene - Star on Stage

Seattle has a rich and varied music scene. It started with Jimi Hendrix and moved forward to Sir Mix-a-Lot but is probably most famously known for inspiring the grunge movement of the early 90’s with bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden. In the last 10 years there have been many other significant independent breakout artist from Seattle, including, Death Cab for Cutie, the Shins, Macklemore, Modest Mouse, and Band of Horses. There are a ton of places, large and small, where you can catch a live show, take a historic tour of iconic places, or visit a museum dedicated strictly to the music scene. If you are a fan of music, old or new, Seattle has incubated some of the best bands to ever play in its hazy rain and northwest isolation – culminating in some of the most original styles of music to ever reach your ears. You will find it difficult not to be inspired.

If you are looking to catch a live show in Seattle, or want to tour some historic places, The Crocodile and the EMP Museum are two musts.

The Crocodile
2200 2nd Ave.
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 441-4618

The EMP Museum
325 5th Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 770-2700

(See Also: Office Moving Alliance in Seattle, Washington)

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Seattle’s Food Trucks & Microbrews

Maximus Minimus in Seattle

Who doesn’t love pairing great food with great beer? The answer is – no one in Seattle. Seattle currently has 289 active permits for full-service mobile food units with menus ranging from Caribbean fusion to Southern grits and everything in-between. As the city’s mobile food scene has expanded, so has its beer culture. Particularly craft breweries. Instead of relying on bars, microbreweries are opening up their own taprooms and it is these taprooms, or more accurately, their parking lots, that a symbiotic relationship has developed between the beer business and the food trucks. Most Seattle breweries don’t have kitchens, so to help soak up the booze they have partnered with some of the city’s best mobile eateries. Now you can pair craft beer with burgers, po’boys, and barbecue.

If you want to sample some of the local flavors from food trucks and microbreweries you have to stop by Peddler Brewing Company and seek out the food truck of Maximum-Minimus – the pig shaped mobile eatery.

Peddler Brewing Company
1514 NW Leary Way
Seattle, WA 98107
(360) 362-0002

SE Corner of 6th and Pike
Downtown Seattle (or on the move)
(206) 971-4150

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How Seattle has Turned Recycling into a Religion

Recycled Cycles in Seattle

In Seattle, they take recycling seriously. They have set a goal for themselves to recycle 60% of all their trash and they currently fall just 3% behind that goal at 57%. But you will get more than a dirty look for throwing away that soda can. The Seattle garbage collectors will fine homeowners for throwing away recyclable or compostable materials and mark their trash cans with a bright red tag for all of their neighbors to see. They have also initiated a program dubbed “Zero Waste”, a plan to increase recycling, reduce trash, and upgrade Seattle’s transfer stations. Each year more items can be recycled and campaigns are being mounted to push commercial recycling to match residential gains. Saving the Earth is more important in the Pacific Northwest than the privacy of your garbage can. They rank among the top cities in the country for going green.

If you want to get in on the recycling action going on in Seattle then you should consider Second Use for your next construction project and get your next bike at Recycled Cycles in addition to the mandatory roadside recycling duties of every Seattle resident.

Second Use
3223 6th Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98134
(206) 763-6929

Recycled Cycles
1007 NE Boat St.
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 547-4491

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Best Local Movers

What You Need to Know About the Seattle Economy

Seattle’s $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage

Seattle's $15/hr Minimum Wage

One of the most polarizing topics within the Seattle economy is a new law that has been passed raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. San Francisco and Los Angeles have recently followed suit. While living in a city where it is impossible to make less than $15 an hour at a job seems great for the low skilled populous, small business owners and entrepreneurs don’t share the same enthusiasm. For the people getting a pay raise this should lead to more disposable income and for businesses it should mean cutting their total staff in order to increase efficiency and off-set the added labor costs. So jobs will pay more but there will be less jobs to be had. Unskilled positions will get replaced by automated kiosks and self checkout stands. Prices will be raised at restaurants and cocktail lounges. With average income and unemployment rising hand in hand it could result in an overall wash for the economy. It is a recent development and while economists and activists debate on the data only time will really tell the true results on this social/economic experiment.

If you are looking to visit some of the restaurants embracing the $15 an hour minimum wage, whether to eat or apply, you should go to Ivar’s Salmon House or Dick’s Drive-In Restaurant.

Ivar’s Salmon House
401 NE Northlake Way
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 632-0767

Dick’s Drive-In Restaurant
111 NE 45th St.
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 632-5125

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Seattle Tech Sector Jobs

Facebook Nap Pod

In Seattle, many of the companies moving in or expanding are tech companies, such as Facebook, or Amazon, which plans to add 800,000 square feet to its already 4.2 million square feet of offices in the South Lake Union area. The tech industry is seeing strong growth in Seattle. Software developers should see lots of opportunity in King County in the coming year. The ESD predicts 1,500 new jobs and 500 more from turnover. But not all of the growth is in software publishing. From software developing to computer systems design, consulting services to manufacturing – tech jobs show up in a very large number of industries. Seattle also is home to other tech companies not named Amazon that you might have heard of, including Zillow, Redfin, and Microsoft. If you have a knack for technology then this job market is primed for you.

If you are looking to get in with some growing tech companies that are great to work for then you need to go submit your resume to UpTop and LiquidPlanner.

1501 4th Ave. Suite 2100
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 521-5700

2324 Eastlake Ave. E
Seattle, WA 98102
(800) 971-1601

(See Also: Residential Moving Services)

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Seattle’s Manufacturing Jobs

Seattle Manufacturing Jobs

Seattle’s manufacturing sector is a vital contributor to the city’s economy. They manufacture industrial machinery and fabricated metal, aerospace, printing and publishing, stone, clay, glass and concrete products, home and office furnishings, food, and beverage production. Seattle has formed a group they call “Seattle First” as an industrial business attraction and retention program. They deploy a Rapid Response Team to provide a coordinated reply to companies that are looking to locate or expand in Seattle. It is apparent that Seattle has made it a point to keep manufacturing a staple in its economy and in addition to growing the number of new companies setting up shop they cater to their current manufacturing powerhouses such as Boeing, Pacific Coast Feather Company, and Vigor Shipyards. If you can create things then Seattle has an open position waiting for you.

If you are looking to submit your resume or show your support for some of the cool, innovative, manufacturing companies in Seattle then you should look no further than Disc Makers and Big Dipper Wax Works.

Disc Makers
16300 Christensen Rd., Suite 310
Tukwila, WA 98188
(800) 468-9353

Big Dipper Wax Works
700 South Orchard St.
Seattle, WA
(206) 767-7322

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The Shipping and Maritime Industry in Seattle

Seattle Shipping Jobs

Seattle’s maritime industry directly employs almost 60,000 people and is worth more than $30 billion to the state’s economy. The state has a maritime history that traces its roots back to the Hudson’s Bay Company’s commissioning of the S.S. Beaver, the first steamship in the Pacific Northwest. The industry includes boat and shipbuilding, repair and maintenance, maritime support services, fishing and seafood processing, maritime logistics and shipping, and passenger water transportation. As a unit, the shipping and maritime industry is second only to the aerospace industry and is critical for the middle class of the state. Taking advantage of its position on the Puget Sound, Seattle provides a huge boost to its economy with the capitalization on water-centric job creation.

To find gainful employment, or to see some of Seattle’s best maritime companies first hand, you should seek out Foss Maritime or Harley Marine Services.

Foss Maritime
1151 Fairview Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 281-3800

Harley Marine Services
910 SW Spokane St.
Seattle, WA 98134
(206) 628-0051

(See Also: Bekins Northwest is Taking the Seahawks to the Super Bowl, Again!)

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Seattle Statistics

Seattle Crime Statistics

Crime Statistics

Seattle is a lively, cosmopolitan city set in a dramatic backdrop of water, forests, and mountains. The main downtown area sits on a narrow, hilly, strip of land between the Puget Sound to the west and Lake Washington to the east. Modern skyscrapers rise on the high hills in the city center with residential units lining the lower areas along the water and north of downtown. As far as crime rates go for major metropolitan cities, Seattle ranks as the 4th safest place to live in the United States. It has the 3rd lowest violent crime rate, 2nd lowest workplace death rate, 8th lowest traffic death rate, and ranks 31 of 40 for a risk of a natural disaster. You should be pretty safe as long as the fault lines don’t shift and the volcanoes don’t blow. The only cities that rank better than Seattle are Minneapolis, MN, Milwaukee, WI, and, it’s neighbor to the south, Portland, OR. Barring any acts of God, the Pacific Northwest should allow you to sleep peacefully at night.

If low crime rates aren’t enough for you to feel safe, you can enhance your personal security by contacting Guardian Security or Absolute Security Alarms.

Guardian Security
1743 First Ave. S
Seattle, WA 98134
(206) 622-6545

Absolute Security Alarms
1715 NW Market St.
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 257-1951

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Seattle School Systems

School System

Education in Seattle is an important part of many of it’s residents, particularly due to the high concentration of technology, engineering, and other jobs that require advanced degrees. Of the city’s population over the age of 25 – 53.8% holds a bachelor’s degree or higher (national average is 27.4%). The United States Census Bureau surveys indicate that Seattle has one of the highest rates of college grads among major U.S. cities. In additions to obvious institutions of education, there are significant adult literacy programs and considerable homeschooling. Seattle was found to be the most literate city in the U.S. based on a study conducted by Central Connecticut State University. Seattle is home to one the University of Washington, the largest school in the Pacific Northwest and one of the nation’s most respected public universities. Many of the University of Washington’s departments are ranked in the top 10 for research universities in the United States and the school itself ranked as the 22nd best university in the world by Newsweek International.

If you are looking for continuing education in Seattle, you can easily upgrade your knowledge base by enrolling in Galvanize or learning audio engineering at Seattle Academy of Recording Arts.

111 S. Jackson St.
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 886-0556

Seattle Recording Academy
219 1st Ave S. #1
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 623-7272

(See Also: Local Moving Services)

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Seattle Demographics


The demographic trends in Seattle suggest that there will be continuous flows of migration into the city by a diverse group of individuals and families. Seattle is considered to be one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Young professionals, families, return migrants (people returning home after school or career), and people moving to take advantage of the employment opportunities available here are making Seattle their permanent home. This influx of people has important implications for the labor and housing markets and the Seattle Public School District. According to the 2010 United States Census, Seattle had a population of 608,660 with a racial and ethnic composition of 69.5% White, 13.8% Asian, 7.9% Black, 6.6% Hispanic, 0.8% American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.4% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, and 5.1% identified as 2 or more races. Christianity is Seattle’s largest religious group with 52% of the population identifying as such, this is followed by 37% Unaffiliated, 1% Judaism, and 9% either “Other Faiths” or “Don’t Know”.

If you are looking to indulge in some cultural experiences then you should visit the Rainier Valley Cultural Center and the Asia Pacific Cultural Center in Seattle.

Rainier Valley Cultural Center
3515 S. Alaska St.,
Seattle, WA 98118
(206) 725-7517

Asia Pacific Cultural Center
4851 S. Tacoma Way
Tacoma, WA 98409
(253) 383-3900

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Seattle Housing

Seattle Housing

In the Seattle housing market real estate has been booming. Seattle has maintained a large volume of sales, low available inventory, and increasing property prices for more than 3 years. This is likely due to a combination of factors directly related to real estate as well as the thriving Seattle economy. Since the last recession the Seattle area has seen heavy migration, low unemployment, increasing wages, and heavy expansion to the local tech scene. Construction of new housing and listings of existing housing has not been able to keep pace with the strong demand from increasingly wealthy home buyers and renters. In short, the Seattle real estate scene is very hot. The average price of a home in Seattle is $525,900. That is a 12.8% increase year over year with an anticipated 6.6% increase in the year to come. If you are looking to rent, the average 1 bedroom apartment in Seattle averages $1,592 per month or, if you need more space, a 2 bedroom averages around $2,085.

If you are looking to find some living space in Seattle you should check out Premiere on Pine or contact the Findwell Real Estate Agents.

Premiere on Pine
1525 9th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
(844) 920-2621

Findwell Real Estate
920 Dexter Ave N.
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 462-6200

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Seattle Weather

Rainy Day in Seattle

Much fuss is made over Seattle’s weather. Known as the rain capital of the Pacific Northwest, you may be surprised to find out it doesn’t rain as much as people give it credit for. It’s reputation is mainly earned on the constant overcast, but not overly wet, climate. It is classified as an oceanic or temperate marine climate with cool, wet winters and warm, relatively dry summers. Temperature extremes are moderated by the adjacent Puget Sound, Pacific Ocean, and Lake Washington. The region is largely shielded from Pacific storms by the Olympic Mountains and from Arctic air by the Cascade Range. Seattle’s warmest month is July with highs in the lower 80’s and it’s coldest month is December when highs only reach around 46 degrees. Bring your rain boots and Northface jackets but keep in mind Washingtonians also buy the most pairs of sunglasses in the entire U.S. (It is speculated that is because they lose them so often due to infrequent use however.)

If you want to protect yourself from the 9 months of overcast weather and mud puddles you should go to Freeman and Chooka to get the best Northwest apparel.

713 Broadway E.
Seattle, WA 98102
(206) 327-9932

Chooka / Washington Shoe Company
Find Chooka in Nordstrom (or purchase online)
500 Pine Street
Seattle, WA 98101
(253) 234-3000

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Seattle History

The Founding of Seattle

Seattle History

Seattle was founded by native New Yorkers Arthur and David Denny. In 1851 they led a group of settlers across the Oregon Trail with the intention of settling in the Willamette Valley. On the way, they heard stories of good land and deep ports along the Puget Sound. When the Denny party arrived in Portland in the fall, they decided to keep going north. The settlers staked claims on Alki Point, in present day West Seattle. After a winter of wind and rain, the group determined that their fledgling city needed a deeper harbor and moved the settlement to the mudflats across Elliott Bay. The colony was named Seattle for the Duwasmish Indian Chief Sealth, who was a friend of an early merchant. The attitudes of Seattle’s first settlers established it as a progressive, budding community. Traversing the Oregon Trail was an arduous and costly adventure. The Pacific Northwest was not settled by penniless wanderers but by earnest young men and women, mostly in their twenties, who had the wherewithal to make the six-month trip and were determined to establish farms, businesses, and communities.

If you would like to learn more about the history of Seattle you should visit the Washington State History Museum and the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.

Washington State History Museum
1911 Pacific Ave.
Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 272-9747

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
319 Second Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 220-4240

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Notable Events in Seattle History

Seattle History

Seattle has been established for more than 160 years so you can bet that a lot has happened in that time. Major events in Seattle’s history include the Great Seattle fire of 1889, which destroyed the central business district but took no lives. The Klondike gold rush made Seattle a major transportation center. The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition of 1909 which is largely responsible for the current layout of the University of Washington campus. The Seattle General Strike of 1919. Seattle has held a World’s Fair (1962), the Goodwill Games (1990), and the WTO Ministerial Conference (1999) which was marked by street protests and a series of riots.

If you want to be a part of future notable events in Seattle, ones that are pre-planned, you would do well to look into the Seafair and the Seattle International Film Festival events that take place in the summer months.

2200 Sixth Ave., Suite 400
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 728-0123

Seattle International Film Festival
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 464-5830

(See Also: Long Distance Moving Services)

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Notable Seattle Residents

Bing Crosby

Seattle's Bing Crosby

With 38 number one singles he was the top selling musical act for two straight decades. He had a breakout movie career following that. With over half-a-billion records sold Bing Crosby is one of Seattle’s most notable residents.

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Bruce Lee

Seattle's Bruce Lee

Anyone who knows anything about the martial arts knows that Bruce Lee was one of the greats. He lived in Seattle from the time he was 19 until he was 26. He attended Seattle Central Community College and the University of Washington. He is currently buried in Seattle’s Lakeview Cemetery.

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Jimi Hendrix

Seattle's Jimi Hendrix

One of the most influential musicians in history, Jimi Hendrix was born in Seattle and attended Garfield High School. He toured with the Isley Brothers and soon became a singer-songwriter-guitar phenomenon with worldwide fame. Hendrix was buried in Renton, WA after his untimely passing.

If you want to learn more about these iconic Seattle figures you can go to the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience and the Experience Music Project.

Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience
719 S. King St.
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 623-5124

Experience Music Project
325 5th Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 770-2700

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Popular Seattle Area Attractions

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle is a huge sports town. With popular professional home teams the Seattle Mariners (MLB), the Seattle Sounders (MLS), and the Seattle Storm (WNBA), the crowd has a lot to root for in the Pacific Northwest. But nothing quite compares to the fanfare of the Seattle Seahawks. Known collectively as “the 12’s”, Seattle’s home crowd has twice set the Guinness World Record for the loudest crowd noise at a sporting event. These fans really get into it. The team itself gives them something to root for and they have made it into the postseason playoffs for 4 straight years, getting to the Superbowl in 2 of those years, and winning the championship once. They are constantly ranked in the top 10 in power ranking charts and have a chance to win on any given Sunday. The football season can’t ever be too long in Seattle.

If you want to establish yourself as a true “12” then you have to go to a game at CenturyLink Field or take a visit to the “We are 12” exhibit at the Experience Music Project.

CenturyLink Field
800 Occidental Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98134
(206) 381-7555

Experience Music Project
325 5th Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 770-2700

(See Also: Bekins Northwest is the Official Movers of the Seattle Seahawks)

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The Space Needle

Seattle's Space Needle

The Space Needle was built in the Seattle Center for the 1962 World’s Fair, which drew over 2.3 million visitors, when nearly 20,000 people a day used its elevators. At one time it was the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River, it is 605 ft. high and weighs 9,550 tons. It was built to withstand winds of up to 200 miles per hour and earthquakes of up to a 9.1 magnitude. It also has 25 lightning rods. The Space Needle has an observation deck at 520 ft. and the rotating SkyCity restaurant at 500 ft. Visitors can reach the top of the Space Needle by elevators that travel at 10 miles per hour. The trip takes 41 seconds. On windy days, the elevators can slow to 5 miles per hour. On April 19th, 1999, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Board designated it a historic landmark. The project was originally completed in April 1962 for $4.5 million. The body was painted Orbital Olive, the legs were Astronaut White, the saucer was Re-entry Red, and the roof was a Galaxy Gold. Every year on New Year’s Eve, the Space Needle celebrates with a fireworks show at midnight that is synchronized to music.

If you are moving to Seattle then you need to visit the Space Needle at some point. You can also get great views of this iconic structure from Kerry Park.

Space Needle
400 Broad St.
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 905-2100

Kerry Park
211 W. Highland Dr.
Seattle, WA 98119
(206) 684-4075

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Pike Place Market

Seattle's Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market is a public market overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront in Seattle. The Market opened on August 17th, 1907, and is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets in the United States. It is a place of business for many small farmers, craftspeople, and merchants. With more than 10 million visitors annually, it is Seattle’s most popular tourist destination and is the 33rd most visited tourist attraction in the world. The Market is built on the edge of a steep hill and consists of several lower levels located below the main level. Each features a variety of unique shops such as antique dealers, comic books and collectible shops, small family-owned restaurants, and one of the oldest head shops in Seattle. The upper street level contains fishmongers, fresh produce stands, and craft stalls operating in the covered arcades. Local farmers and craftspeople sell year-round in the arcades from tables they rent from the Market on a daily basis. It is truly a sight to behold.

Pike Place Market
85 Pike St. Room 500
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 682-7453

(See Also: Commercial Moving Services)

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The Moving to Seattle, Washington Conclusion

Seattle is a Northwest gem with a robust history and exciting present times. With so much to do, so much to see, and so much to experience there is little wonder as to why so many people are moving to Seattle. If you have the opportunity, and the means, there are few other places in the world that compare.

Do you live in Seattle or have moved there in the past? Tell us about it in the Comments Section Below!

One thought on “Moving to Seattle: The ULTIMATE Guide

  1. I havent been there yet, but i would love to move in asap. And why not ‘Seattizens’? Sounds so much catchier than’ Seattleits’ (a mouthful too). Awesome website.

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