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Seattle-Suburbs
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Facing the possibility of having to move to the Seattle area. More than likely working downtown on or around 2nd street.South of Pike Place Market. I am from the SF Bay area but have lived in the midwest the last 13 years. Any recommendations on locations. So far I have looked at Renton, Bellevue, Issaquah and Auburn. Looking to rent a house versus buying for now.

Does anyone have feedback on those locations. Mass transit, schools (Middle school). Weather and anything else positive or negative?
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Re: Seattle-Suburbs [mikemrtz] [ In reply to ]
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mikemrtz wrote:
Facing the possibility of having to move to the Seattle area. More than likely working downtown on or around 2nd street.South of Pike Place Market. I am from the SF Bay area but have lived in the midwest the last 13 years. Any recommendations on locations. So far I have looked at Renton, Bellevue, Issaquah and Auburn. Looking to rent a house versus buying for now.

Does anyone have feedback on those locations. Mass transit, schools (Middle school). Weather and anything else positive or negative?

Working downtown is a bit of a traffic nightmare but manageable in right location.

Cross Renton and Auburn off your list. The 405 heading north to I-90 then downtown is a nightmare, as is getting home.

Issaquah - heavily built up over the past few years, which means a lot of surface street traffic, small home lots, and a continuously longer commute on I-90 getting downtown. Could be made manageable by bus, which does have direct routes. Decent schools and relatively cheaper suburb. A Pro is you are 30 minutes from Snoqualmie Pass for skiing. Good biking around and MTB'ing

Bellevue - expensive, but manageable if you are looking to rent a Condo. Try to get into Chinook Middle School zoning. You would go over 520 bridge, which is a toll bridge so ~$4.50 each way and pay for parking downtown. If you live there I would recommend bus. Multiple go downtown. Bellevue has a decent downtown with restaurants, lake front, etc. Also look at Downtown Kirkland, which is similar. Good road riding.

Ballard is a Seattle suburb that is not on the eastside and has a more community feel and a little less expensive than other parts of Seattle and might be an easier commute for you. Its hyper-liberal so any school your child goes to will get BLM t-shirt monday, white privilege, yada yada yada. Ballard is also pretty bad for cycling.
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Re: Seattle-Suburbs [mikemrtz] [ In reply to ]
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We have lived here for 13 years and I work downtown. A simple primer:

1) King County -- Better commute, public schools are weak, some good spots can be found, good bus service, mass transit in the works. Look at Greenlake, Magnolia, Phinney Ridge, Greenwood, Maple Leaf. Stay away from Queene Anne, Madison Park, Capital Hill.

2) Mercer Island -- Good commute downtown, good public schools, higher cost of living, pretty contained social environment.

3) East Side - Good schools, shitty commute, higher cost of living, more commercial.

4) South End - Cross it off your list.

5) North End - Longer commutes, some good schools, lower cost of housing, level developed. Look at Northgate, Everett, Boradview, Lake City.

DM me if you want to jump on the phone.
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Re: Seattle-Suburbs [mikemrtz] [ In reply to ]
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Agree with everything the previous posters wrote.

We moved here 3 years ago. Wife with Microsoft so we started looking in the redmond/bellevue/woodinville area. We have 3 boys which impacted our house search.

Could find either nice house with no yard or small house with yard.

We slowly expanded our search to the Sammamish/issaquah/Snoqualmie areas. Same issues and they just felt like a suburb. Houses close together with nothing to walk to.

We ended up in Fall City with a large house on 5 acres with a great view of the Snoqualmie valley.

One place no one else mentioned is Bainbridge Island. We have friends that live there and they love it, except it is an island with no bridge so you committed to a long commute on a ferry if you use a car. If you work in Seattle near the waterfront you can bike or walk from the terminal to work.

Would reconsider downtown Seattle to live. If you are a foodie it is excellent but the streets are filthy. Homeless on every block urinatng and defecating in the streets.

Mass transit is mostly north/south corridor. Buses are the only option from the eastside.
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Re: Seattle-Suburbs [davec] [ In reply to ]
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I like Fall City. Great riding out there.

One item for the poster. Van Pools are pretty big here with most companies paying for them. If you work at a small company you can still join vanpools with people from other companies.

Also, unlike SF, Seattle and surrounding areas are building new homes and while houses in some areas like Bellevue are around $2,000,000, there are some decent condo options in a lot of areas that comparatively reasonable. We went that route for a year in downtown Bellevue and enjoyed it.
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Re: Seattle-Suburbs [Uncle Arqyle] [ In reply to ]
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Uncle Arqyle wrote:
mikemrtz wrote:
Facing the possibility of having to move to the Seattle area. More than likely working downtown on or around 2nd street.South of Pike Place Market. I am from the SF Bay area but have lived in the midwest the last 13 years. Any recommendations on locations. So far I have looked at Renton, Bellevue, Issaquah and Auburn. Looking to rent a house versus buying for now.

Does anyone have feedback on those locations. Mass transit, schools (Middle school). Weather and anything else positive or negative?


Working downtown is a bit of a traffic nightmare but manageable in right location.

Cross Renton and Auburn off your list. The 405 heading north to I-90 then downtown is a nightmare, as is getting home.

Issaquah - heavily built up over the past few years, which means a lot of surface street traffic, small home lots, and a continuously longer commute on I-90 getting downtown. Could be made manageable by bus, which does have direct routes. Decent schools and relatively cheaper suburb. A Pro is you are 30 minutes from Snoqualmie Pass for skiing. Good biking around and MTB'ing

Bellevue - expensive, but manageable if you are looking to rent a Condo. Try to get into Chinook Middle School zoning. You would go over 520 bridge, which is a toll bridge so ~$4.50 each way and pay for parking downtown. If you live there I would recommend bus. Multiple go downtown. Bellevue has a decent downtown with restaurants, lake front, etc. Also look at Downtown Kirkland, which is similar. Good road riding.

Ballard is a Seattle suburb that is not on the eastside and has a more community feel and a little less expensive than other parts of Seattle and might be an easier commute for you. Its hyper-liberal so any school your child goes to will get BLM t-shirt monday, white privilege, yada yada yada. Ballard is also pretty bad for cycling.

If you can afford it, Bellevue is decent commute-wise, reasonably clean and has good schools. Many companies will pay for your bridge toll and/or bus pass as part of their incentives. The 550 bus goes from the Bellevue Transit Center to downtown Seattle and a chunk of that is through the tunnel so it's pretty consistent timing-wise

That said, Bellevue is *also* pretty bad for cycling... as most of it doesn't know what a bike lane is thanks to Kemper Freeman. But if you suffer a few blocks of traffic you can get to the 520 trail and that connects you all over the place without cars.

Redmond is more suburban and better for cycling but the park & ride options have been decimated by the light rail project and Sound Transit changes. The old 250 route to Seattle is gone. The park & ride at Microsoft is completely closed now and the Overlake Park & Ride is a shitty place to get to (lots of lights) and I don't think has any direct bus lines to Seattle.
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Re: Seattle-Suburbs [Uncle Arqyle] [ In reply to ]
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Question to the Seattlers ... are there more ferries than are depicted by the lines shown on Google Maps?

Is Bainbridge not a good option, or just cost of living a prohibitive factor? Seems like there should be more ferries connecting to downtown from Manchester or South Colby or something. How long is the ferry from Bremerton?

Gnothi Seauton.
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Re: Seattle-Suburbs [spudone] [ In reply to ]
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I lived in Woodinville for two years when I was there. Absolutely loved it. Great schools, good amenities, the entire WA wine business and great riding and running.

Commute would suck tho. There are busses however.
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Re: Seattle-Suburbs [Ready4Launch] [ In reply to ]
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Ready4Launch wrote:
Question to the Seattlers ... are there more ferries than are depicted by the lines shown on Google Maps?

Is Bainbridge not a good option, or just cost of living a prohibitive factor? Seems like there should be more ferries connecting to downtown from Manchester or South Colby or something. How long is the ferry from Bremerton?

Bainbridge is an option as is vashon island if you work downtown. You're dependent on a ferry though. A lot of people like it as it's a bit more rural and quiet.
http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/
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Re: Seattle-Suburbs [mikemrtz] [ In reply to ]
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If affordablity is an issue, don't be so quick to cross the south end off your list (Renton/Kent). There is a commuter rail that gets you into Downtown quickly. There is great cycling on the weekends towards Maple Valley and Enumclaw. There's a terrific Tri Club based in the south end too. As far as housing is concerned; you will spend 25% less for the same quality of home/apartment in the Southend. Spend less now save for your own home.
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Re: Seattle-Suburbs [mikemrtz] [ In reply to ]
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mikemrtz wrote:
Facing the possibility of having to move to the Seattle area. More than likely working downtown on or around 2nd street.South of Pike Place Market. I am from the SF Bay area but have lived in the midwest the last 13 years. Any recommendations on locations. So far I have looked at Renton, Bellevue, Issaquah and Auburn. Looking to rent a house versus buying for now.

Does anyone have feedback on those locations. Mass transit, schools (Middle school). Weather and anything else positive or negative?

You might want to note that it takes 5 sex-abuse allegations and the state of Oregon stating you are not fit to be a foster parent for a Seattle mayor to resign. Going out on a limb that one allegation would have done in a republican mayor.
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Re: Seattle-Suburbs [mikemrtz] [ In reply to ]
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mikemrtz wrote:
Facing the possibility of having to move to the Seattle area. More than likely working downtown on or around 2nd street.South of Pike Place Market. I am from the SF Bay area but have lived in the midwest the last 13 years. Any recommendations on locations. So far I have looked at Renton, Bellevue, Issaquah and Auburn. Looking to rent a house versus buying for now.

Does anyone have feedback on those locations. Mass transit, schools (Middle school). Weather and anything else positive or negative?

Welcome to PNW. I am working for a Seattle based e-commerce company downtown, but I live in Sammamish.
My wife and I love Sammamish due to good schools for our son (9y), lots of parks, easy to be active, easy to get to the mountains to ski, nice for biking, close to a great mtb bike park.
You will find many great areas around Seattle. Drive around and see if you like the neighborhoods, we are all different.


Member of Valhalla Racing Team
XC-skiing coach at Momentum Northwest
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Re: Seattle-Suburbs [mikemrtz] [ In reply to ]
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Ugh, you're looking at a bad commute no matter what. I'd consider 3 very different options: Mercer Island ($$$ but excellent schools and you could bike in or take bus), West Seattle (cheaper, family friendly, on the right side of town), or Bainbridge (assuming you can walk to both ferry terminals, good schools and standard of living). Or, north end of Seattle IF you can take an express bus.
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