Moving to Seattle, WA – EVERYTHING You Need to Know

Whether you’ve decided to relocate to Seattle or you’re just mulling it over in your head, you’ve landed on the right page. Puget Sound Moving & Storage has helped hundreds of residents relocate to the greater Seattle area with ease. We do more than just providing moving services in Seattle. We are also relocation experts on cities in the Seattle Washington area.

We know all too well how stressful it can be to decide on where to relocate to. You’re not just choosing the best house or apartment, but you’re choosing the best city and neighborhood to live in. This includes the educational system, childcare, healthcare, the lifestyle, weather, culture, and processes for new residents.

We wanted to help our customers answer questions they might have about moving to Seattle. Where do you register your vehicle? How much will it cost to send your kids to school? Are the school systems highly rated? How do you get around? What’s the cost of living? Can you afford the utilities, house prices, rental fees?

Knowing the answers to these questions will essentially help you determine if you can navigate your day to day life as a resident of Seattle. In other words, is Seattle the best place for you to live? We’ll let you be the judge.

Chapter 1: Things to Know
Chapter 2: Local Utilities
Chapter 3: Useful Phone Numbers
Chapter 4: Cost of Living
Chapter 5: What’s The Weather Like?
Chapter 6: How’s The Food?
Chapter 7: What Are The Locals Like?
Chapter 8: Getting Around – Transportation
Chapter 9: Colleges & Education
Chapter 10: Local Job Market
Chapter 11: Best Places to Live
Chapter 12: Family Fun
Chapter 13: Parks & Landmarks
Chapter 14: Nightlife
Chapter 15: Things to Do
Chapter 16: Additional Reading

Moving to Seattle

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We’ve Moved Some Great Athletes to Seattle

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Chapter 1

Things to Know

Known best for rainy days and great coffee, Seattle is a unique and attractive city. Surrounded by the Olympic and Cascade mountains and situated near Puget Sound and Washington Lake, you’ll find gorgeous views throughout the city. The city is home to more than 600,000 residents and continues to attract newcomers each year.

Here are some things you’ll want to know about becoming a resident of Seattle:

  • It rains a lot.
  • There’s no income tax.
  • It’s quite an expensive place to live in.
  • Traffic sucks.
  • The nightlife is awesome.
  • It’s the 4th safest city in the country.
  • The food is awesome.
  • The winters are kind of long.
  • There’s a lot of stuff to do.

There are so many things you need to know about moving to Seattle. Skim through the links below for more detailed information.

Things to Know

Things to Know About Seattle

Chapter 2

Local Utilities

The good news is that Seattle makes it easy for new residents to set up new utility accounts. Many of the steps can be completed online at your convenience. Obviously, you don’t want to wait until moving day to set things up, so try setting things up a few weeks in advance. Local utility information for Seattle can be found here:

  • The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission is responsible for regulating services and rates for both public and private companies that provide utility services including gas, electric, telephone, and water.
  • Puget Sound Energy and Seattle City Light are the primary electric providers.
  • Seattle Public Utilities is the service provider for water.
  • Puget Sound Energy is the provider for natural gas services.
  • CenturyLink, Frontier Communication Northwest are the primary telephone service providers. However, other companies like Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon are options as well.

You can learn more utility information here:

Local Utilities

Local Utilities in Seattle

Chapter 3

Useful Phone Numbers & Websites in Seattle

As a new resident to Seattle, there are going to be a lot of questions you need answers to or services you need, but who do you call and what website do you visit? You can find some important numbers and links listed below:

  • Seattle Animal Shelter – 206-386-7387 (PETS) – for licensing your pets
  • Department of Education and Early Learning -(206) 233-5118 – to register children for school
  • Seattle Police Department non-emergency – 206-625-5011
  • King County Bus Service – (206) 553-3000

Got an emergency? You can find emergency contacts listed here:

Useful Phone Numbers & Websites

Useful Phone Numbers & Websites in Seattle

Chapter 4

Cost of Living

No matter what city you choose to move to, cost of living should be your top concern. If you can’t afford to comfortably live within a town, it gravely impacts your lifestyle. How much will it cost you each year to live in Seattle? Well, according to, it’s approximately 24% more than it would cost you to live in other cities. Let’s break it down:

  • Average home prices in Seattle are $440,000.
  • Average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Seattle is $1307.
  • Groceries on average are 11% more than the national average.
  • The cost of public transportation is $2.50.
  • The cost of energy is much lower than the national average.
  • No income taxes!

As you can see there are pros and cons to the cost of living in Seattle vs other cities in Washington. For more information on the cost of living, click the links found here:

Cost of Living

Cost of Living in Seattle

Chapter 5

How’s The Weather?

Did you know that Seattle only has an average of 72 sunny days in a year? That’s a lot of rain and clouds. It may take some getting used to, especially if you’re from the east coast, but many who call Seattle home have somehow adapted to the often unpredictable, rainy, and gloomy weather. Here are some more specifics:

  • The average temperatures range from 37 degrees to 79 degrees.
  • The warm season or summer starts June 20th thru September 13th with temperatures reaching the high 70s.
  • The clear or less cloudy season lasts a little more than three months.
  • The cloudy season lasts eight months.
  • Seattle gets an average of 38 inches of rain per year.

How's The Weather

How’s The Weather in Seattle?

Chapter 6

How’s The Food?

Maybe the fact that Seattle has a great food scene makes up for the 290 plus days without sunshine. While most famously known for its coffee, Seattle has plenty of hidden gems you should try. The city’s diverse population and accessibility to rich, fresh ingredients have a lot to do with that. Try anything from fresh seafood and Asian cuisines to Mediterranean and American dishes with a modern twist. Need suggestions? Here’s a few:

  • Westward – casual dining; American, Seafood, Mediterranean dishes
  • Shiro’s Sushi – casual dining area with a great view, this Japanese restaurant serves up some of the freshest sushi in town.
  • Trove – four restaurants in one, Trove offers a casual dining area for Korean take on noodles and BBQ where diners get a chance to sear their own meat and even watch the chefs in action.

How's The Food

How’s The Food in Seattle?

Chapter 7

What Are The Locals Like?

When you move to a new neighborhood, you want to know that you fit in. What are the people around you like? Are they warm and inviting? Do they take some getting used to? Well, we’ve rounded up some cold hard facts about Seattle locals. Check it out:

  • They love the sun.
  • They’re die-hard Seahawk fans.
  • They’re not as mean as some make them out to be.
  • They love cream cheese on their hot dogs.
  • Rain gear is a common accessory.
  • The median age is 35.
  • 13% of the population is Asian.

Want to get a closer look at what Seattle locals are like? There’s more information provided on the links below:

What Are The Locals Like

What Are The Locals Like in Seattle?

Chapter 8


The great thing about living in a busy city like Seattle is that there are a lot of ways for you to get around. Whether you have a car, want to take the bus or light rail, Seattle has several transportation options available.

Link Light Rail will take you from the Angle Lake Station to the University of Washington making stops through downtown. The King County Metro is a bus service for the King County neighborhoods. The South Lake Union Streetcars run every fifteen minutes and makes stops in the South Lake Union neighborhood. The Seattle Center Monorail makes stops between West Lake Center and Queen Ann Hill.

While driving is an option, many in Seattle complain about the traffic. More information can be found here:


Transportation in Seattle

Chapter 9

Colleges & Education

The Seattle Public School District is one of the largest in Washington state. The district currently educates more than 50,000 students in more than 90 schools. The district’s vision is to provide a learning environment that prepares the students not only for higher education but for life and work as well.

Speaking of higher education, Seattle houses many universities and colleges as well. Some of the most popular include:

  • University of Washington
  • Seattle University
  • Seattle Pacific University
  • Seattle Central College
  • North Seattle College
  • Seattle University School of Law

Interested in how these schools stack up to others in surrounding cities? Read reviews and more information here:

Colleges and Education

Colleges & Education in Seattle

Chapter 10

Local Job Market

If employment in Seattle is a concern for you, you should know that Seattle has lots of top employers in the area. The unemployment rate is lower than the national average which should shed some light on the economy in Seattle. There are major companies like Zillow, Microsoft, and Amazon as well as companies in industries including biotech, healthcare, manufacturing, and computer technology. Here are some more facts about the Seattle Job Market:

  • Minimum wage is $15 per hour.
  • Average annual salary is more than $80,000.
  • The most popular industries include healthcare and social assistance, computer technology, and biotech.

Want to know who’s hiring in Seattle? Read the links included below for some of the area’s top employers.

Local Job Market

Local Job Market in Seattle

Chapter 11

Best Places to Live

Seattle is a pretty large city. Spanning more than 80 square inches, the city has many neighborhoods within its limits, each with its own personality and sense of community. Here are a few neighborhoods you might find interesting depending on your reasons for moving to Seattle:

  1. South Lake Union – ideal for young business professionals. Home to Amazon and many other small businesses.
  2. Lower Queen Ann – ideal for young professionals or families, this neighborhood has great public transportation.
  3. Capitol Hill – known as the heart of Seattle, this neighborhood is categorized as the top hipster neighborhood by Forbes.

There are plenty of other neighborhoods in Seattle. You’ll find information on each one provided in these links:

Best Places to Live

Best Places to Live in Seattle

Chapter 12

Family Fun

Just because there are more rain and clouds than the sunshine doesn’t mean that you must be cramped up on your home all the time. There are lots of things to do in Seattle, rain or shine. From cheap and affordable tours and museum admissions to fun-filled family days at the zoo, there’s an adventure waiting around the corner for your entire family.

Chocolate Tour – what a better way to get acquainted with your city than to take a guided tour? The Chocolate Tour is a great one to take. With frequent stops to cheesecake, cupcake, and specialty chocolate shops in the area, you can imagine it’d be a real treat.

The Seattle Aquarium – If your children love sea creatures, they’ll get a kick out of Seattle’s own aquarium. With exhibits that include starfish, fish, and other sea life, they’ll have a blast.

Family Fun

Family Fun in Seattle

Chapter 13

Parks and Landmarks

Seattle is packed with nice parks, historical landmarks, and other remarkable architectural buildings that encourage thousands to visit every year. Which ones are worth checking out? Probably too many to list here, but here’s s a few:

  1. Kerry Park – ranked #1 out of 119 parks on This park has great views located downtown right next to the Space Needle.
  2. The Boeing Factory – take a tour and see the iconic 747, 767, and 777 Boeing airplanes in production.
  3. Camp Long – plan a nature walk or sit by the campfire in the cabins found in Camp Long Park.

This was just three. Seattle has more than 450 city parks and even more historic monuments, buildings, and sights for you to see. Follow the links below for more information:

Parks & Landmarks

Parks & Landmarks in Seattle

Chapter 14


When it comes to the best nightlife in King County, Seattle wins, hands down. The city’s neighborhoods are packed with local bars, dive bars, college bars, blues clubs, and more.

Like the idea of just grabbing a beer and watching sports? Are you a college student looking to mix and mingle with fellow classmates? Want to hit the best happy hour after a long work week? Or maybe you want to put on your dancing shoes and just dance the night away?

Whatever your reasons for wanting to explore Seattle’s nightlife, you can pretty much guarantee they’ll have something to interest you. You can learn more about nightlife in Seattle here:


Nightlife in Seattle

Chapter 15

Things to Do

Are there things to do in Seattle that will be interesting to you? Will you be able to find something exciting to get into one Saturday afternoon or will you have to travel outside of the city to have fun?

Whether you want to learn more about the city on your own, explore it with a significant other, or allow the entire family to tag along, you’ll find something exciting to do in Seattle. Take these ideas for instance:

  1. Park Place Market – you’ve never seen a community market like this before. Open all year long, this market has vendors offering fresh fruits and vegetables, fine jewelry, clothing, and other gifts.
  2. Seattle Great Wheel – if you enjoy Ferris wheels then you’ll enjoy the Seattle Great Wheel. Enjoy a ride with a breathtaking view of the city.

There’s a lot more here:

Things to Do

Things to Do in Seattle

Chapter 16

Additional Reading

You’ve likely heard a lot about Seattle prior to reading this. Their great coffee. The rainy days. The “Seattle Freeze” attitudes… yet, if you’ve read our relocation guide and the provided links thoroughly, you’ll see that Seattle is not what it seems.

  • Seattle’s summers are some of the best.
  • They have great sushi.
  • They have some of the best fresh, locally grown organic produce.
  • It’s very pet-friendly (seriously, you can bring your pets to certain restaurants, buses, and stores).
  • It’s home to hipsters and millennials.

There’s just so much more to the city of Seattle than its coffee and gloomy days. If you’re really contemplating living here, you’ll want to review our relocation guide again including these links listed here:

Additional Reading

Additional Reading About Seattle


Puget Sound Moving & Storage thanks you for reviewing our Seattle moving guide. Though it was quite a bit of information, it provides answers to common questions you might have about moving to such a city. Feel free to pass this along to others who might be considering relocating to Seattle. Of course, give our moving company a call for a free quote when you’re ready to move.

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