Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
tevenian
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:48 pm

Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by tevenian » Sat Jul 02, 2016 6:51 pm

Hi all,

I'm an engineer in my 20s in the Seattle area; I'm thinking of moving to Madison, WI to work with a different group at my current company. The group in Madison is closely affiliated with the University and does exciting work, so I'm trying to decide whether to move or not.

1. Personal finance things - nerdwallet.com's simple cost of living calculator claims Madison has a ~12% lower cost-of-living. (A big part of that seems to be from housing). Rents in Madison proper seem to be a fair bit lower than Seattle....

OTOH Wisconsin has a state income tax, Washington does not.

2. I'm a pretty outdoorsy person (trail running, road biking, camping). Seattle/Washington are great for these things -- anyone have any idea how Madison/WI fare?
Seattle has Mount Rainier / ONP within ~100 miles. How do the UP/Nicolette NF (>200 miles) compare?

3. Madison is smaller than Seattle, particularly when the surrounding are considered.
Is there anything like Seattle's coffeeshop/cafe culture?
Do folks have to go out to Milwaukee or Minneapolis for Big City Things?

4. Anything I should know or look into before deciding?

Thank you!

bstevlin
Posts: 162
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 10:05 am

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by bstevlin » Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:24 pm

Even with the WI state income tax your overall cost of living will be lower mainly do to housing. There is plenty of biking and camping to be done in Wisconsin except for the months Nov. thru March. If there is snow cross county skiing is a blast with a with a lot of challenging trails and awesome cardio workouts. Those same trails are used for biking in the milder months. Wisconsin is not Washington state, there is nothing close to Mt. Ranier. The weather in the Seattle area is just much better. I would recommend you take the job because of the stimulating lifestyle connected to the university and the surrounding tech communities. You are young, you can always move back to the West coast. Oh yes, Mad town has a great coffee shop culture, but again I doubt it can match Seattle. One final comment, Madison has lots of good restaurants and young folks watering holes.
Last edited by bstevlin on Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

livesoft
Posts: 71411
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by livesoft » Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:28 pm

tevenian wrote:Is there anything like Seattle's coffeeshop/cafe culture?
Culture? That made me laugh. :) I've been to Seattle many times including last month and I didn't notice anything different about coffeeshops from the rest of America or the world for that matter. The oysters were pretty good though.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

dbr
Posts: 32531
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:50 am

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by dbr » Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:39 pm

If you like road-biking then try this: http://horriblyhilly.com/

Then there is this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIYeSk8Dw4I Check the spindrift in the snow at about 1:40. Also that ice is not going to break -- it would be anywhere from 10"-20" thick at that time.

And this: https://vimeo.com/89447334

And: https://www.cityofmadison.com/parks/fac ... Trails.cfm

But in better weather: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCHYoK0jx7E

If you can relish winter sports as well as summer you will do well, if not you will die.

There is nature like this: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/wildlifeareas/horicon/

But a drive to the Porkies in the UP is five hours and Boundary Waters in MN more like seven hours.

For fascinating natural and geological areas there is this: https://www.google.com/search?q=driftle ... A&dpr=1.25

Madison is a great town. I have a feeling you might be dissappointed a little regarding coffee house "scene" -- hard to say. It is a liberal minded university time with a lot of brain trust industry, but it is not a cosmopolitan center. Here is State Street: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIuL7hSpVLg and a different State Street at night: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1ExB4u2N5Q (it is a beer-swilling college town).

PS: As the homestate of both McCarthy and La Follette Wisconsin is a politically schizophrenic state. The career of the current Mayor is a fascinating time capsule of American History, Soglin having been mayor the first time in 1973 and again in 2013.

Madison is a really easy town to live in.

For big city visits Chicago is nearer than Minneapolis.

Also PS: I don't live in Madison or even particularly near it, but I do know a lot about it.
Last edited by dbr on Sat Jul 02, 2016 8:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.

quantAndHold
Posts: 4503
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by quantAndHold » Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:58 pm

livesoft wrote:
tevenian wrote:Is there anything like Seattle's coffeeshop/cafe culture?
Culture? That made me laugh. :) I've been to Seattle many times including last month and I didn't notice anything different about coffeeshops from the rest of America or the world for that matter. The oysters were pretty good though.
Well, there is the fact that the coffee in Seattle is actually....good. That's one thing that's different from most of the rest of the country.

When I lived in California, I had a friend that moved to Madison for a couple of years. Every time she would ask a question, the answer she would get was, "You're not from here, are you?" She ended up moving back. She said something about cows, cold, and conservatives.

If the job sounds good, give it a try. You're young. You can always come back if you don't like it.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.

Flora
Posts: 95
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:19 am

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by Flora » Sat Jul 02, 2016 8:20 pm

:dollar .http://www.livability.com/wi/madison/re ... in-america

Perhaps you haven't heard that Madison, WI was ranked the best place to live in America for 2015!


Though dropped to 3rd place for 2016:

http://www.livability.com/best-places/t ... -live/2016

User avatar
jabberwockOG
Posts: 2093
Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 7:23 am

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by jabberwockOG » Sat Jul 02, 2016 9:55 pm

Seattle is an amazing vibrant growing town surrounded by beautiful mountains, rivers and the magnificent Pacific ocean. Within 1-3 hours of Seattle are some of the most beautiful places to see and explore in all of North America. I can't see moving from Seattle to Madison as being a positive move in terms of living and lifestyle.

If I absolutely was forced to move to Wisconsin (ugh), I'd prefer to live in Madison. If you go invest in some high quality outerwear - be prepared for super cold freezing dark gray winters.

livesoft
Posts: 71411
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by livesoft » Sat Jul 02, 2016 9:59 pm

Wait a minute, isn't Seattle actually quite far from the Pacific Ocean? Like 2+ hours by car?
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

Dottie57
Posts: 8533
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm
Location: Earth Northern Hemisphere

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by Dottie57 » Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:13 pm

livesoft wrote:Wait a minute, isn't Seattle actually quite far from the Pacific Ocean? Like 2+ hours by car?
Ummm. I think there were large ships in the harbor. Like cruise ships.

There are also ferries to nearby islands.

User avatar
William4u
Posts: 1390
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by William4u » Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:30 pm

Madison is a nice town. Good food. Good biking. Good sailing. Good hiking. And it is 2.5 hours to Chicago. I'd go.

investor384
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:37 pm

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by investor384 » Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:51 pm

Hi Tevenian,

I've lived in the Madison area for about the last 20 years and really enjoy the area and everything Wisconsin has to offer. Here are my thoughts on your questions, please feel free to ask me any more questions!!!
tevenian wrote:
1. Personal finance things - nerdwallet.com's simple cost of living calculator claims Madison has a ~12% lower cost-of-living. (A big part of that seems to be from housing). Rents in Madison proper seem to be a fair bit lower than Seattle....

OTOH Wisconsin has a state income tax, Washington does not.
Rents have been going up the last few years due to a large increase in demand. A couple of local companies are growing at a pretty nice pace and a lot of new people have been coming to Madison and renting. If you are looking for slightly less expensive housing, check out a surrounding community like Sun Prairie, Middleton, Monona, Verona or Waunakee. Any of those places are within a reasonable drive to Madison.
tevenian wrote: 2. I'm a pretty outdoorsy person (trail running, road biking, camping). Seattle/Washington are great for these things -- anyone have any idea how Madison/WI fare?
Seattle has Mount Rainier / ONP within ~100 miles. How do the UP/Nicolette NF (>200 miles) compare?
Lots of things like that. Madison has a decent trail system and there is lots of camping nearby and throughout the state of Wisconsin. One of the popular camping locations near Madison is Devil's Lake State Park, which is only about an hour or so from Madison.
tevenian wrote: 3. Madison is smaller than Seattle, particularly when the surrounding are considered.
Is there anything like Seattle's coffeeshop/cafe culture?
Do folks have to go out to Milwaukee or Minneapolis for Big City Things?
I can't speak to Seattle's culture, but there are a number of coffee shops/cafes on State Street in downtown Madison and throughout the community. I'm not into coffee shops, so its not something I have sought out.

What do you mean by Big City Things? Most people I know go to Chicago (about 3 hours away) more than Milwaukee or Minneapolis.
tevenian wrote: 4. Anything I should know or look into before deciding?
Possibly think about spending a few days in Madison before deciding?

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 19325
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by Watty » Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:53 pm

To me the big question I would look at first is how this would impact your career and if the new position is in effect a promotion even if you don't get a new job title.

One a the financial side of the decision that could be a lot more important than the details of your income numbers over the next couple of years.

In a couple of years you may very well be ready to change jobs anyway and if this is a step up it could turn out very well indeed. In the university setting you may also make lots of very good contacts.

tevenian wrote:1. Personal finance things - nerdwallet.com's simple cost of living calculator claims Madison has a ~12% lower cost-of-living. (A big part of that seems to be from housing). Rents in Madison proper seem to be a fair bit lower than Seattle....
That 12% cost of living figure could be a bit misleading since your disposable income could increase dramatically.

In purely made up round numbers if you make $100K in Seattle and have $24,000 in disposable income and you move to Madison and make the the same $100K but the overall cost of living goes down by $12,000 then you will now have $36,000 a year in disposable income. That would be a 50% increase in disposable income.

This is GROSSLY oversimplified but you can work through your numbers to see how your disposable income would change.
William4u wrote:And it is 2.5 hours to Chicago.
The last time I was in Seattle it seemed like it could take you about that long just to get from one side of the city to the other. :D
Last edited by Watty on Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Flora
Posts: 95
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:19 am

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by Flora » Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:54 pm

Madison is the state capital with a population of around 250k, I wouldn't exactly call it a "town".

It's not dark gray in winter. There are over a month more per year of sunny days on average in Madison than Seattle.

Polymath
Posts: 133
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:52 am

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by Polymath » Sat Jul 02, 2016 11:40 pm

I've lived in both. PM me if you have specific questions, happy to help.

In a nut shell, very different ways of living with both being great places IMO. I really enjoyed Madison, college town and great farmer's market downtown. But its not a large city. So it comes down to what you want out of life and how you want to live.

obgraham
Posts: 1255
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:30 pm

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by obgraham » Sun Jul 03, 2016 12:03 am

Polymath wrote:I've lived in both.
In a nut shell, very different ways of living with both being great places IMO.
Me too. 7 years in Madison, now in Washington with 2 kids in Seattle. Familiar with both. I agree with what others have said about Madison. Here's another perspective:
Both cities have a "U Dub" of similar size and similar reputation. But UW in Madison is a much more important part of life there simply because the town is smaller, so the influence of a university of 40,000 is greater. A huge proportion of Madison's cultural life involves UW, either directly or indirectly. So the town has great appeal for younger people, and is very dynamic. (When you get to be an old right-winger like me, it's less of an appeal!)

It can be cold as dickens in Madison, though likely not now like it used to be!

User avatar
BL
Posts: 9405
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:28 pm

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by BL » Sun Jul 03, 2016 12:09 am

In Winter there can be snowmobiling and ice fishing. It is not as bitter cold as "up north". I lived in a city to the east once upon a time and expected to land in Madison, but it didn't happen. Really enjoyed my few years in WI, but I expect I would like Seatle as well, except maybe for the rain. Most places are fine, if you are able to adjust easily.

letsgobobby
Posts: 12073
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:10 am

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by letsgobobby » Sun Jul 03, 2016 12:50 am

Really different experiences but if you've spent most of your life in Seattle, the summer humidity and winter cold are going to be shocking. And the mosquitoes. And black flies by the lakes. But Big Ten college towns are pretty progressive and relatively diverse, and you won't starve. I like Ann Arbor a lot and people say Madison is like Ann Arbor but a little less so. If I had to leave Washington and head back to the midwest, Madison is one of just a handful of spots I'd consider.

The outdoors won't compare unless you get into ice fishing, snowmobiling, hunting, fishing, and canoeing more than hiking, camping, kayaking, rafting, mountain biking, and skiing.

Tommy
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:47 pm

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by Tommy » Sun Jul 03, 2016 1:08 am

livesoft wrote:
tevenian wrote:Is there anything like Seattle's coffeeshop/cafe culture?
Culture? That made me laugh. :) I've been to Seattle many times including last month and I didn't notice anything different about coffeeshops from the rest of America or the world for that matter. The oysters were pretty good though.
Second to this. Those great coffee shops and coffee itself cannot be even close compared to European.
Yes, great place for outdoor activities. But they destroying green belts and putting houses like crazy. Traffic, although not LA yet, but we are getting there. 3 years ago I was driving to work 20 min(8 miles). Now , I'm lucky if I made it for 40.

livesoft
Posts: 71411
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by livesoft » Sun Jul 03, 2016 6:15 am

Dottie57 wrote:
livesoft wrote:Wait a minute, isn't Seattle actually quite far from the Pacific Ocean? Like 2+ hours by car?
Ummm. I think there were large ships in the harbor. Like cruise ships.

There are also ferries to nearby islands.
That's so true, but Puget Sound is not the Pacific Ocean.

I'd want to live in Seattle before I wanted to live in Madison. The wealth in Seattle is outstanding and that sets the vibe.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

srj
Posts: 56
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:18 pm

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by srj » Sun Jul 03, 2016 10:17 am

There's more to life than money and it sounds like the job there could bring you personal fulfillment. On the money end though - I moved out of Seattle and used to complain about cost of living there, but when I look at how much I pay in state income tax now it's equal to a years rent in a luxury apartment there. Living in a no income tax state is a big financial win.

jwhitaker
Posts: 70
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:57 pm

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by jwhitaker » Sun Jul 03, 2016 10:27 am

every thread like this is the same. a bunch of boring, frugal midwesterners who've never seen the ocean say "sure move, its great here, look at this ice fishing website!". OP, do you really want to hunt, ice fish, snowmobile, and eat fried cheese curds the rest of your life? sure you can always move back.. except you'll meet your wife here, she'll be from here, have a job here, not have any desire to move to seattle, and guess what? now you're stuck here. take it from me, a happy adopted midwesterner, stay put in seattle, a way nicer place to live than even chicago, say nothing of dumpy small town madison.

or less vehemently, there is a cognitive bias of regret you can prevent. if you don't move to madison, you'll never really regret it because you currently don't know what its like, know any people there, etc. think about it, how much do you regret not going to any other college than the one you went to? not much, because you have no idea what its like. but if you move, you know exacly what seattle was like and you will romanticize it in your mind. you will remember your friends, and favorite places forever, and will always think about what you lost by moving. you will never really care about what you theoretically miss by not moving to madison, just like you wont regret not moving to new orleans or any other place.

livesoft
Posts: 71411
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by livesoft » Sun Jul 03, 2016 10:47 am

jwhitaker wrote:every thread like this is the same. …..
But is there something to be said for moving to Purgatory and then going to Heaven?
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 19325
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by Watty » Sun Jul 03, 2016 11:23 am

tevenian wrote:2. I'm a pretty outdoorsy person (trail running, road biking, camping). Seattle/Washington are great for these things -- anyone have any idea how Madison/WI fare?
Seattle has Mount Rainier / ONP within ~100 miles. How do the UP/Nicolette NF (>200 miles) compare?

Some of the prior posts reminded me of an article that I read about New York city. There was an informal survey for the article of why people chose to live there even though it was so expensive. Other than nearby family the top reasons were things like all the great things to do like museums, Broadway plays, etc.

The followup question asked the people how many times they had actually gone to the things like a museum or Broadway play in the last year. The vast majority had not gone to one even once in the last year and very few people had done them more than a couple of times.

The people then were asked why they didn't live in a less expensive places and just take an occasional long weekend trip to New York to do the things they liked there. Few people had an answer for that.

It would be good to count up the numbers of times over the last year that you have actually done the things like "trail running, road biking, camping". If the number is low or only a couple of dozen times then those might not be the deciding factor and the less tangible things could be more important to you.

It also was not clear if you had actually been to Madison yet or not. If not I would highly suggest going there for a visit before making any decision.

livesoft
Posts: 71411
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by livesoft » Sun Jul 03, 2016 11:27 am

^That makes way too much sense for this thread. I might have to flag your post. :beer
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

User avatar
whodidntante
Posts: 8035
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:11 pm
Location: outside the echo chamber

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by whodidntante » Sun Jul 03, 2016 11:37 am

The people of Madison have a lot of pride in their city. UW-Madison exerts a lot of influence there. It's left leaning. Excellent for road biking. The night life consists of various ways to drink alcohol. It is not an expensive place to live. The outdoors in Wisconsin are much less compelling than in Washington. It's flat in some areas and rolling hills in others. Any reasonable patch of dirt has a farm on it. It gets brutally, unbelievably cold some days and some years you will become convinced the winter will never end.

Milwaukee is close and has the feel of a bigger city, but Chicago is the only nearby place where you will feel like you're actually in a big city.

rgs92
Posts: 2597
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:00 pm

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by rgs92 » Sun Jul 03, 2016 12:13 pm

I think you should make the move if your salary stays intact because it will go a lot further (especially with housing of course).
(Think of all the money you could invest and the great long-term growth at your age!)

The main negative is the winter, but in your 20s and 30s, it's just an annoyance, not a real problem, so you could easily handle it
(I sure didn't care about the cold or even snow at that age). Also at that age you are flexible with lifestyle and adapt easily and a college town like that is a nice refined place to live.

I think saying that living in a nice town like that with a good salary and being young + healthy is not good enough for you is a case of not counting one's blessings and the good things that have been laid upon your table (I would listen to Desperado...).

vabeek
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 11:16 am

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by vabeek » Sun Jul 03, 2016 12:23 pm

When you go to check it out, make sure you visit during the summer and don't miss drinking a beer at the "terrace". They'll know what you're talking about.

I immensely enjoyed my time in Madison. I agree with many of the strikes against it - flat, perhaps less diversity than Seattle, cold winters, the need to explain to people on either coast how nice it really is - but overall, a wonderful place to live.

Enjoy.

dbr
Posts: 32531
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:50 am

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by dbr » Sun Jul 03, 2016 12:26 pm

Moving to and living in a different part of the country when you are in your 20's and have a positive job opportunity is a no-brainer.

Opportunity = ++++

Downside = 0

If you don't like it you will have a much better perspective on what you really do and don't like.

Dottie57
Posts: 8533
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm
Location: Earth Northern Hemisphere

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by Dottie57 » Sun Jul 03, 2016 12:28 pm

livesoft wrote:
Dottie57 wrote:
livesoft wrote:Wait a minute, isn't Seattle actually quite far from the Pacific Ocean? Like 2+ hours by car?
Ummm. I think there were large ships in the harbor. Like cruise ships.

There are also ferries to nearby islands.
That's so true, but Puget Sound is not the Pacific Ocean.

I'd want to live in Seattle before I wanted to live in Madison. The wealth in Seattle is outstanding and that sets the vibe.

I've been to Seattle and it is beautiful, However I like some of the towns outside of Seattle more. I live on in the Twin Cities and love all of parks available both county and state.

Madison would be a fine place to live and experience a different type of life.

beardsworth
Posts: 2135
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:02 pm

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by beardsworth » Sun Jul 03, 2016 1:14 pm

I've never lived in either city, but have repeatedly visited each, and their respective virtues and drawbacks are well-summarized in other comments above. With one exception.

I'm amazed that the conversation has progressed this far without anyone even mentioning the word "earthquakes." That would certainly be among my considerations in settling anywhere on the west coast, especially if I was going to own living quarters rather than renting.

This article, about the science of earthquake hazard in the Pacific Northwest, won a Pulitzer Prize for its author. The main takeaway is that the Northwest is woefully unprepared for a major quake, partially because of human inertia and partially because the science there is more recent than in better-known west coast tectonic zones. "The truly worrisome figures in this story are these: Thirty years ago, no one knew that the Cascadia subduction zone had ever produced a major earthquake. Forty-five years ago, no one even knew it existed."

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/ ... ly-big-one

User avatar
ram
Posts: 1559
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:47 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by ram » Sun Jul 03, 2016 1:49 pm

I live in the "up north" portion of Wisconsin. If you have doubts about coming to Madison then you certainly do not want to be anywhere near the "up north" portion. For non wisconsinites the state is divided into 3 parts. Milwaukee, Madison and "up north". For somebody moving from Seattle the 'Madison' part of the state is the most desirable. For the last 6 yrs my daughter has been a student at Madison. There is a 30,000 + student population at UW WI and there are enough coffee shops to service this population. My daughter thinks that some of them are more 'cool' than others. When I go all I need is a cup of good coffee.
I have never been to Seattle for more than 5 days at a time and I mostly know the area around the convention hall and the touristy spots. But Madison traffic is much better than Seattle. I go to Madison to go to all the 'nice' restaurants. There is a good choice but substantially less than in Chicago.

For 3 years my daughter used a bicycle, for one year a moped (buses in winter) as her transportation. For the last 2 years as a medical student she has a car. (There are no buses at odd hours and 2 wheeled transportation does not work for 4 months of snowy weather). Its a decent place to live and I suspect that the cost of living is lower than the 12% that you quote.
Ram

Atilla
Posts: 1447
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:44 pm

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by Atilla » Sun Jul 03, 2016 3:27 pm

I believe Madison has the most restaurants per capita of any city in the US - almost all are local/ethnic choices and not a bunch of chains. The variety is staggering. Lots of live music venues.

Downtown is booming right now due to Epic hiring thousands and thousands of young folks who want to live where things are happening. Renting somewhere decent downtown will cost you big bucks. Forget about owning unless you get out to the burbs - property values and taxes are insane.

The bike path/trail system is extensive and will get you anywhere you want to go in town and as far away from town as you care to pedal or run - all the way to Illinois or the Mississippi river if you want.

The driftless area of WI immediately south and west of Madison is beautiful.
Image

We have gangs and related shootings so big city life is here. The mayor's current push is to educate the community that resisting arrest is not OK. He believes it's a cultural thing some folks don't understand and need to be educated. I'm not kidding on this one.

The nearest Metra train station to Chicago is only 75 miles away if you want to get away to a real big city. Super easy to get downtown without driving all the way.

Milwaukee has nothing to offer that Madison doesn't except professional baseball and basketball.

Winters are not really that cold in Madison and summers are not that humid. Winter sunny days are plentiful.

Even in the dead of winter people are out and about and active daytime and nighttime.

Old Guy
Posts: 380
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:20 am

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by Old Guy » Sun Jul 03, 2016 3:48 pm

I lived in Madison for 10 years as my wife and I had second careers after working in DC for the Feds. We loved Madison but it can get cold, really cold although each winter can be different. We moved to Hilton Head, and as I tell people: "No more -14 degrees. No more over a hundred inches of snow." The cold comes early and stays late. I felt that as long as it got up,to 15 degrees, it was sunny, and there wasn't any wind, I was ok.

On the positive side, we lived downtown, had a dead on view of Lake Monona, and could walk to the Saturday farmers market, the largest type of is kind in the country. The restaurants and theaters were right nearby. The University brings lots of activties. Everyone you meet in Madison has an interesting story.

We never went to Minneapolis and only a few times to Milwaukee. Instead we bought a 2+2 condo on the 18th floor in the River North section of Chicago. We went 2 to 3 times a month. Traffic can be a killer once you hit O'Hare. We had a wonderful time in Chicago. Great city. Restaurants. Shopping. Theater. Comedy. Music. Dance. Very walkable.

You should be aware that compared to Seattle, Madison is small and certain times of the year you can smell the manure from the surrounding farms. You should also be aware that the University and the University System have been under attack for years by the governor and the legislature and they have stripped hundreds of millions of dollars from the University and its sister institutions. I'm mention this because it may impact the work you do with UW scientists.

My wife and I had a great time in Mad City.

User avatar
TxAg
Posts: 1635
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:09 am

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

Post by TxAg » Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:11 pm

Madison sounds like my kind of town

Post Reply