Today marks the day that I’ve lived here for one year. I moved from Dallas, TX to Boulder, CO in January 2013 for a brief contract job. Then I moved to Seattle in April 2013. It’s been a great year with a lot of ups and downs, but it was worth it. When I was considering moving here, I did a lot of research so I thought I’d share some thoughts. The biggest sources of info that I used were City Data and this blog.
I arrived in Seattle late at night after a 12-hour drive from Salt Lake City, UT, and it was of course raining. The next day it rained some more and hailed a bit.
Yes, compared to Texas, a lot more days look like this:
That just makes you appreciate even more the blue and extra green of days like this:
The summers here are the best part compared to Dallas. It’s still often overcast, but it rarely gets unbearably hot - A/C is rare in houses and apartments here. Another source I found really helpful was Weather Spark, which gives you great graphs like these:
Dallas (top) vs. Seattle
It rarely snows here, and it rarely sticks when it does. I think it snowed more in Dallas than here this winter.
I do miss the thunderstorms back in Texas. They’re also a rare occurrence here.
Cost of Living
Luckily I’d done my research and came across the figure of a 20% increase compared to Dallas. I’ve found that figure to be fairly accurate so far, although rents continue to rise rapidly due in part to all the tech transplants. The median list price/sqft in Seattle is currently $317 vs. $132 in Dallas. Yet if you go 33 miles south to to Tacoma, WA, the median list price is currently $124/sqft - cheaper than Dallas. Parking was the biggest shock with rates between $280-$400/month in downtown Seattle. That coupled with the traffic is what drove me to start taking the bus and start cycling to work. A one-zone bus pass is $90/month, so I end up saving about $2600/year compared to driving.
The great outdoors.
Even when it rains, there are still a lot of people out biking and running. I rediscovered my love for biking while living in Boulder, and it’s a great way to explore this city. I’ve also fallen in love with hiking and kayaking.
One thing I miss about Dallas is Tex-Mex. I’ve found some great Mexican restaurants here, but they’re not the same style. There are a lot more Asian food choices, though - a lot of Teriyaki and pho.
Proximity to other cities
It’s great to be closer to cities like Portland and Vancouver, BC as well as other cities on the west coast, but Dallas does have more fare sales (in addition to being centrally located). The cost (both time and money) is one of the biggest downsides of living here when visiting home or other cities across the US.
Overall I’m glad I made the move. I miss a lot of people and aspects of Texas, but I think I would have regretted not taking this opportunity.