Moving to Seattle: Complete Moving Guide 2024

By: Harrison Gough Last Updated: Jan 01, 2024

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Seattle beckons with lush greenery and thriving tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft. Discover top schools, rich culture, and a diverse job market.

Moving to Seattle: Complete Moving Guide 2024

Welcome to Seattle, the captivating Emerald City, home to corporate giants, charming bookstores, and vibrant farmers’ markets. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about moving to Seattle, which long distance movers to hire, and living in this extraordinary city. Let’s dive in!

Seattle: An Overview

Nestled in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle, dubbed the “Emerald City,” enchants newcomers with its lush greenery all year round. This vibrant metropolis is not only famous for its picturesque landscapes but also for its coffee culture, giving birth to the global phenomenon that is Starbucks.

The city also holds a special place in music history as the birthplace of grunge, fostering a unique and influential music scene.

Beyond its cultural contributions, the city is a tech hub, housing corporate giants like Amazon and Microsoft, making it an attractive destination for tech enthusiasts.

While contemplating your move to Seattle, consider the climate. Summers are short, warm, and mostly dry, offering the perfect setting for outdoor adventures. However, winters can be chilly, wet, and predominantly cloudy. The average temperature ranges from 37°F to 79°F, with rare instances of below 28°F or above 88°F.

As you join the estimated 755,794 residents of Seattle, one perk to celebrate is the absence of personal income tax, easing financial burdens for many.

Why Move to Seattle?

Many are initially drawn by the allure of its tech scene and famous coffee. However, this city has so much more to offer. Here’s what entices people to move to Seattle:

  • Coffee Capital of America: Delight in the birthplace of Starbucks and embrace a thriving coffee culture.
  • Strong Housing Market: Find diverse housing options in a competitive real estate market.
  • No Personal State Income Tax: Enjoy the benefit of no state income tax on your earnings.
  • Rich Music Scene: Immerse yourself in the city’s musical legacy and vibrant music venues.
  • Endless Outdoor Adventures: Discover boundless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Competitive Wages: Seattle offers competitive wages across various industries.
  • Sport-Centric City: Root for the Seahawks and experience a sports lover’s haven.
  • Strong Restaurant Culture: Savor diverse culinary delights in a thriving food scene.
  • Amazing Social Scene: Engage with welcoming communities and a lively social environment.
  • Tech Hub: Join the ranks of leading tech companies in this innovative hub.

How Much Does It Cost to Move to Seattle?

Looking for a moving cost calculator for your move? The cost of moving to Seattle can vary depending on your preferred approach.

DIY or truck rentals range from $350 to $4850, contingent on the number of rooms. Opting for full-service movers in Seattle may cost between $1200 to $17000, based on your home’s size. Alternatively, moving containers may range from $700 to $8000.

Additional factors, like stairs, large objects, and packaging, can influence the final expense. Research and compare moving companies in Seattle to find the best fit for your budget and needs.

Moving Approach Cost Range
DIY/Truck Rentals $350 – $4850
Full-Service Movers $1200 – $17000
Moving Containers $700 – $8000

Our Most Recommended Long-Distance Movers to Seattle

Selecting the right Seattle movers is crucial. After all, you don’t want to entrust your precious belongings to just anyone. Here are our top three choices for the best moving companies in Seattle.



Moving APT

  • Professionalism
  • Great customer service
  • Affordable rates
Get a Quote 800-360-0037 Read review



Native Van Lines

  • Highly professional
  • No hidden fees
  • Budget-friendly pricing
Get a Quote 888-809-1249 Read review



Adams Van Lines

  • 500 local agents
  • Binding prices
  • Customized services
Get a Quote 855-254-0416 Read review

What Are the Pros and Cons of Moving to Seattle?

Pros of Moving to Seattle

1. No Personal State Income Tax

Seattle’s lack of personal state income tax allows residents to keep more of their hard-earned money, contributing to a favorable financial environment.

2. Incredible Natural Surroundings

Embrace the breathtaking beauty of the Pacific Northwest, with stunning mountains, lush forests, and serene waterways right at your doorstep.

3. Excellent Job Market

As a thriving tech hub, Seattle boasts job opportunities with tech giants like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and numerous innovative startups.

4. Thriving Music & Art Scene

Immerse yourself in a city known for its rich musical history, vibrant art galleries, and cultural events that foster creativity and inspiration.

Cons of Moving to Seattle

1. Dreary Winters

Seattle’s long, gray winters with abundant rainfall might be a challenge for those seeking sunnier climates and more consistent weather.

2. High State Sales Tax

The state sales tax of 10.25% can impact everyday purchases, prompting some residents to opt for shopping across state lines.

3. Expensive Housing Market

Seattle’s housing market is notably pricey, with costs around 20% higher than the national average, making affordable housing a potential concern.

4. High Cost of Living

While offering an array of amenities, Seattle’s overall cost of living, including transportation and groceries, can be relatively high.

What’s the Cost of Living in Seattle?

For a family of four, the estimated monthly costs in Seattle, excluding rent, average about $5,392.7. Individuals can anticipate around $1,506.5 in monthly expenses without rent.

While Seattle is 2.1% less expensive than New York, it stands 31% higher than the state average and a notable 50% above the national average.

Housing costs are 111% higher than the national average, making it a significant factor in the overall cost of living. Additionally, utilities are approximately 6% more expensive than the national average.

A closer insight into the factors influencing Seattle’s cost of living reveals several aspects:

The city’s vibrant job market, primarily driven by its tech industry, contributes to a higher demand for housing, resulting in elevated real estate prices. With the city’s picturesque natural surroundings and thriving cultural scene, entertainment and recreational activities may also account for higher expenses.

Transportation costs may vary based on location and commuting preferences. While owning a car can get pricey due to fuel, insurance, and parking fees, Seattle offers budget-friendly public transportation options. Groceries and dining expenses can also fluctuate depending on what your prefer, with a wide range of choices available.

We recommend that individuals and families moving to Seattle carefully evaluate their lifestyle choices and budget considerations. By understanding the cost of living factors, you can better plan your finances and enjoy the abundance of opportunities Seattle has to offer while maintaining a comfortable standard of living.

Cost Category Family of Four Monthly Cost
Estimated Monthly Costs $5,392.7/Mo- $1,506.5
Housing 111% higher than national average
Utilities 6% more expensive than national average
Seattle vs New York 2.1% less expensive
Seattle vs State Avg. 31% higher
Seattle vs National Avg 50% above

What Are the Best Neighborhoods to Live in Seattle?

Moving to a new city can be a thrilling adventure, but finding the right neighborhood to call home is one of the most important decisions. Luckily, Seattle offers a variety of vibrant and unique neighborhoods, each with its own charm and appeal:

1. Fremont

Fremont, known as the “Center of the Universe,” is a quirky and artistic neighborhood. It boasts a strong arts scene, with colorful street art and quirky sculptures in the streets. Fremont is also home to the iconic Fremont Troll, a popular landmark. Residents here enjoy a vibrant community atmosphere, excellent local dining, and a short commute to downtown Seattle.

2. Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill is a diverse and lively neighborhood, offering a mix of historic architecture, trendy boutiques, and exciting nightlife. This area attracts a young and creative crowd, making it a hotspot for art, music, and culture. With numerous parks and proximity to downtown, Capitol Hill provides both urban convenience and green spaces for recreation.

3. Belltown

For those seeking a vibrant urban lifestyle, Belltown fits the bill. This neighborhood offers an abundance of upscale dining, chic boutiques, and lively entertainment venues. Belltown’s proximity to the waterfront provides stunning views of Elliott Bay and easy access to Seattle’s iconic attractions.

4. Ballard

Ballard, once a Scandinavian fishing village, now exudes a trendy and maritime-inspired ambiance. This neighborhood is famous for its Ballard Locks, which facilitate boat traffic between Puget Sound and the freshwater Ship Canal. Residents enjoy a mix of historic charm, excellent seafood restaurants, and a thriving farmer’s market.

5. West Seattle

West Seattle offers a more laid-back and suburban feel while maintaining a strong sense of community. With beautiful views of the city skyline and Puget Sound, this neighborhood provides a peaceful escape from the bustling downtown. West Seattle boasts parks, beaches, and a variety of family-friendly amenities.

How Is the Job Market in Seattle?

As one of the top 10 best cities in the US for jobs, Seattle’s vibrant employment landscape is largely credited to its robust tech-centric economy. The city’s buoyant job market is a testament to its thriving tech sector.

Home to tech giants like Meta, Amazon, and Microsoft, Seattle naturally exhibits a high demand for tech-related positions. However, the city’s diverse economy ensures opportunities across a spectrum of industries, thereby promising something for everyone.

As of November 2022, overall employment in Seattle was on track to grow by approximately 5%, equating to an increase of around 170,000 jobs. The city’s low unemployment rate, hovering around 4%, further reinforces this positive trend. The vibrant job market makes moving to Seattle an appealing prospect for many.

What Is Seattle Most Known For?

Seattle, with its edgy and gritty vibe as the home of Amazon, Microsoft, and the birthplace of Starbucks, exudes a unique charm. Here’s what Seattle is most known for:

1. Capitol Hill

A vibrant neighborhood known for its diverse community, Capitol Hill offers an eclectic mix of boutiques, restaurants, and a lively nightlife scene. Its liberal and artistic atmosphere makes it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

2. Coffee Culture

Seattle’s love affair with coffee runs deep, earning it the reputation as the coffee capital of the world. The city’s coffee culture is a way of life, with numerous independent cafes and iconic Starbucks stores scattered throughout.

3. Space Needle

An enduring symbol of Seattle, the Space Needle is an architectural marvel that offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city’s skyline and surrounding landscapes—a must-visit for any newcomer to Seattle.

4. Grunge Music Scene

Seattle played a pivotal role in shaping the grunge music movement of the ’90s, with bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden emerging from the local music scene. The city’s musical legacy continues to inspire artists today.

5. Amazon Spheres

A testament to Seattle’s innovative spirit, the Amazon Spheres is a trio of interconnected glass domes housing a lush, biodome-like workspace for Amazon employees. They showcase the city’s commitment to futuristic and sustainable architecture.

What Are the Best Schools & Universities in Seattle?

If you have children, choosing the best educational institutions for them is paramount. Luckily, Seattle offers a range of top-notch schools and universities to cater to various academic interests and aspirations:

1. Tesla STEM High School

For grades 9-12, Tesla STEM High School combines rigorous academic concepts with real-world applications, fostering students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills in STEM fields.

2. Raisbeck Aviation High School

As an aviation- and aerospace-themed STEM school for grades 9-12, Raisbeck Aviation High School inspires young minds to excel in the fields of aviation and aerospace.

3. University of Washington

Ranked #55 in national universities, the University of Washington boasts a renowned medical center and excels in top-ranked programs in engineering, medicine, nursing, and business.

4. Seattle University

With excellent academics and programs, particularly its esteemed nursing program, Seattle University follows a Jesuit philosophy of holistic education, nurturing well-rounded individuals.

5. University of Puget Sound

Founded in 1888, the University of Puget Sound stands as a leading national liberal arts and sciences university, offering a diverse range of academic pursuits.

These institutions exemplify Seattle’s commitment to providing quality education, making it an ideal destination for families seeking excellent educational opportunities.

Is Moving to Seattle Worth It?

With its vibrant job market, top-notch schools, and iconic attractions like the Space Needle, moving to Seattle promises an enticing lifestyle. The city’s coffee culture, grunge music heritage, and innovative tech scene create a unique blend of opportunities.

Though the cost of living may be higher, the allure of this emerald city, with its lush greenery and dynamic atmosphere, makes it a compelling choice for those seeking an amazing place to call home.