Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

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thirdman
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Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by thirdman »

Hi Bogleheads,

I am thinking of moving to the Pacific Northwest. I am currently living in South Florida, but after years of snorkeling and the beach I have become a regular visitor to the dermatologist.

Age early 70's, retired, like hiking and bicycling. I have one more move in me. Where I settle will be the final move.

Seattle vs Vancouver? What area of Seattle? What area of Vancouver? Would like to spend up to $650K and be able to bicycle or walk from house. Do not mind driving to shopping. Buying electric car.

Thoughts. Suggestions?

Thank you.

Thirdman
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Watty
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by Watty »

thirdman wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:22 am I have one more move in me.
I used to live in Portland Oregon and the Pacific Northwest can be great but the long gray winters can be hard on people. For some people it can cause a very serious clinical depression which is a lot more than just feeling blue.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-con ... c-20364651

If you have not lived in the Northwest before I would highly suggest that you rent for a year before you buy a place to make sure that you really want to move there. It is not uncommon for people to move there then even if they do not have bad depression they may decide that they just don't want to live there because of the winters.

I don't want that to seem too negative though since it is a great place and when I lived there I would sometime just put on rain gear and go hiking in the rain, which is usually just a drizzle.

Part of the problem with the winters is not just the weather it is also since the cities are farther north the days are much shorter in the winter time. For example in Seattle on the shortest day of the year there is only about 8.5 hours of sunlight and the sun does not rise until 8:55 AM and it sets at 4:20 PM. With the overcast there is also little to no twilight. In the summer it may not get really dark until after 10:00 PM.

This means that someone that works normal business house will have several weeks in the winter when they are driving to and from work in the dark.

https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/usa/sea ... &year=2020

In contrast on the shortest day of the year Miami has about 10.5 hours of sunlight along with longer twilight.

One time when my parents were visiting me they got a good laugh out of the weather forecast because part of the forecast was for "chance of sunbreaks" which they had never heard before. That was because there was a chance that the clouds would break up enough for the sun to shine through for a brief time.
thirdman wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:22 am but after years of snorkeling
I never did it but I knew someone in Seattle that regularly went scuba diving there so you might look into that.
Last edited by Watty on Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
Isabelle77
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by Isabelle77 »

I live near Vancouver, WA. It's lovely here, much cheaper than Seattle, beautiful and very accessible to nature. Seattle is a great city but very expensive and a lot of issues with their governance right now. You might like the Uptown Village area of Vancouver, near downtown. It's walkable to restaurants and shops, but not a good grocery store. Otherwise, you might like Camas or Washougal, WA which both have small downtown areas and are closer to the Columbia gorge. 650K is plenty in any of those areas as long as you don't want anything extravagant or a fabulous view.

All of that said, have you ever lived in the PNW? It rains a lot as I'm sure you've heard :) We actually also have a high incidence of melanoma believe it or not. The summers are stunning as long as the fire season is under control, it's very dry and warm for about 2.5 months and the rest of the year can be dark and rainy. We don't mind it because it's also mild, the skiing is great, and people here don't let it keep them from going outside, but the rain can be very trying on newcomers.
runner3081
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by runner3081 »

Seattle is overcrowded. I would not advise moving there. Anything you would want to do, will be packed.
hicabob
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by hicabob »

Portland is way nicer and more interesting than its neighbor Vancouver but there is that pesky state income tax but no sales tax.
H-Town
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by H-Town »

thirdman wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:22 am Hi Bogleheads,

I am thinking of moving to the Pacific Northwest. I am currently living in South Florida, but after years of snorkeling and the beach I have become a regular visitor to the dermatologist.

Age early 70's, retired, like hiking and bicycling. I have one more move in me. Where I settle will be the final move.

Seattle vs Vancouver? What area of Seattle? What area of Vancouver? Would like to spend up to $650K and be able to bicycle or walk from house. Do not mind driving to shopping. Buying electric car.

Thoughts. Suggestions?

Thank you.

Thirdman
I prefer Vancouver - Canada.

Have you looked in to Burlington WA?
core4portfolio
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by core4portfolio »

No for Seattle due to uneven terrain, rain all time. "Seattle freeze" is real where people have less social life and making friends.
i blame on rain though !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Clever_Username
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by Clever_Username »

Watty wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:54 am I used to live in Portland Oregon and the Pacific Northwest can be great but the long gray winters can be hard on people. For some people it can cause a very serious clinical depression which is a lot more than just feeling blue.
I also used to live in the Pacific Northwest. If you don't know that you'll enjoy the winters, or at least tolerate them, don't do it.

I'd happily take summers in Phoenix over winters in PNW.
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Godot
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by Godot »

thirdman wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:22 am Hi Bogleheads,

I am thinking of moving to the Pacific Northwest. I am currently living in South Florida, but after years of snorkeling and the beach I have become a regular visitor to the dermatologist.

Age early 70's, retired, like hiking and bicycling. I have one more move in me. Where I settle will be the final move.

Seattle vs Vancouver? What area of Seattle? What area of Vancouver? Would like to spend up to $650K and be able to bicycle or walk from house. Do not mind driving to shopping. Buying electric car.

Thoughts. Suggestions?

Thank you.

Thirdman
I'm a hardcore cyclist, hiker, and kayaker, have been in Portland for 20+ years, and love it. Rainier, Mt. Hood, the Gorge, etc, etc. Spectacular beauty. If you live close-in you can easily get by without a car. There are 95 distinct neighborhoods, each with their own character. Yes the city, at least parts of downtown, can be challenging, but I grew up in NYC during the 1970s. This is nothing. Best neighborhood in Vancouver, WA for biking/walking is the Waterfront, and adjoining 'hoods (https://thewaterfrontvancouverusa.com), right across the Columbia River from Portland.

FWIW, I love the weather, year round. Millions of people do.
Estragon: I can't go on like this. | Vladimir: That's what you think. | ― Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot
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thirdman
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by thirdman »

Thank you all for the replies. I plan to stay at a Residence Inn initially, then rent for a year. I will keep my condo in Florida until I have made a decision.

I have looked at over 55 communities online. I would only buy a one story or a house with a bedroom on the ground floor. An elevator building would probably be ok, but I would need an electric car charging station.

My condo in Florida is really a small house with a garage, which has allowed me to go outside without riding in an elevator, so I gravitate to an individual house. Also the condo community takes care of the lawn and all of the exterior maintenance, and there are lots facilities including tennis courts and a pool.

I did not know about melanoma in the Pacific Northwest. I will look at Uptown Village, Camas and Washougal. I didn’t know about Burlington, WA.

Thanks again.

Thirdman
bloom2708
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by bloom2708 »

That would be a tough move after years in S. Florida.

UV can get you in Seattle or Vancouver and through clouds. I wouldn't move to the rain/cool/clouds/winter for that reason.

I would do many trips during different seasons and stay more rural. That would rule out Seattle proper.

I would not recommend the move.
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jjunk
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by jjunk »

650K wont get you much in the Seattle area, unless you're looking for a small fixer or want to live further out of town. Depending on what you want, the recommendations would vary quite a bit. For example, I live in downtown Bellevue and you cant buy a place here unless you double your budget.
IMO, you basically want to live on whichever side of the lake you're likely to spend the most time. Traffic here in non-COVID times is nuts. Sure the Seattle Freeze is real, but I actually prefer it. People who strike up conversations are actually interested in chatting with you, which is how I prefer to communicate.

Depending on how you feel about weather, looking further north, at Bellingham, could also be a consideration. 650K goes a lot further there.
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Watty
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by Watty »

One more thing. I do not know how Seattle and Vancouver are but I was in Portland last year and the number of homeless people was an order of magnitude higher there than when I lived there. That seems to be a bigger problem in certain parts west coast cities and when the homeless people do things like set up tents on the sidewalk that seems to be tolerated a lot more on the west coast. I don't have a good answer to that but when you visit the areas to see research that especially if you are thinking of living in one of the more urban areas.
sean2724
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by sean2724 »

I've lived in Portland for the last 5 years. Vancouver is relatively affordable. Their downtown waterfront has seen some development and is looking good. You're also just across the river from Portland which has no sales tax.

Portland generally has a lot more going on in terms of food and culture - so it's nice to have that at your disposal. Being from Los Angeles I'll say it's an easy area to get around, unless you're traveling to Vancouver in rush hour. As for Seattle... they have a lot going on too. I'd rather not deal with the hassle of getting around in Seattle though - hard pass.

Someone else mentioned Burlington, WA -I think they meant Bellingham. That's another wonderful college town just south of the Canadian border. It's a bit more expensive though.

As for the weather - yes, perhaps you'll want to test the waters since you're from Florida. I lived in Vermont before moving to Oregon, so perhaps that helped me appreciate the weather here. Snow is rare. The shoulder seasons are getting drier (even the winter too). Summer is amazing. The temperatures are moderate. I was expecting more rain honestly.
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jjunk
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by jjunk »

Watty wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:21 pm One more thing. I do not know how Seattle and Vancouver are but I was in Portland last year and the number of homeless people was an order of magnitude higher there than when I lived there. That seems to be a bigger problem in certain parts west coast cities and when the homeless people do things like set up tents on the sidewalk that seems to be tolerated a lot more on the west coast. I don't have a good answer to that but when you visit the areas to see research that especially if you are thinking of living in one of the more urban areas.
Seattle has a very large homeless population and it's only growing. Add to that the city council just voted to approve a defund the police measure which eliminates the task force which was used to remove the camps and it's only going to get worse. So yes, if thats an issue for you, Seattle/Portland are not good options.
depressed
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by depressed »

One consideration for some: Both Washington State and Oregon have a tax on the value of an estate at death. In Washington State, the death tax currently begins at 10% (for amounts over $2,193,000) and rises to 20% (for values over $11,193,000). For married couples, this generally applies to half the estate on the death of the first spouse, and later it applies to the entire estate on the death of the second spouse (including that part of the estate that was inherited from the first-to-die).

This might not be a deal-breaker, but it may require some specialized estate planning.
runner3081
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by runner3081 »

Clever_Username wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:43 pm
Watty wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:54 am I used to live in Portland Oregon and the Pacific Northwest can be great but the long gray winters can be hard on people. For some people it can cause a very serious clinical depression which is a lot more than just feeling blue.
I also used to live in the Pacific Northwest. If you don't know that you'll enjoy the winters, or at least tolerate them, don't do it.

I'd happily take summers in Phoenix over winters in PNW.
Agree. That is the exact choice we made!
vu8
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by vu8 »

Watty wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:54 am
thirdman wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:22 am I have one more move in me.
I used to live in Portland Oregon and the Pacific Northwest can be great but the long gray winters can be hard on people. For some people it can cause a very serious clinical depression which is a lot more than just feeling blue.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-con ... c-20364651

If you have not lived in the Northwest before I would highly suggest that you rent for a year before you buy a place to make sure that you really want to move there. It is not uncommon for people to move there then even if they do not have bad depression they may decide that they just don't want to live there because of the winters.

I don't want that to seem too negative though since it is a great place and when I lived there I would sometime just put on rain gear and go hiking in the rain, which is usually just a drizzle.

Part of the problem with the winters is not just the weather it is also since the cities are farther north the days are much shorter in the winter time. For example in Seattle on the shortest day of the year there is only about 8.5 hours of sunlight and the sun does not rise until 8:55 AM and it sets at 4:20 PM. With the overcast there is also little to no twilight. In the summer it may not get really dark until after 10:00 PM.

This means that someone that works normal business house will have several weeks in the winter when they are driving to and from work in the dark.

https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/usa/sea ... &year=2020

In contrast on the shortest day of the year Miami has about 10.5 hours of sunlight along with longer twilight.

One time when my parents were visiting me they got a good laugh out of the weather forecast because part of the forecast was for "chance of sunbreaks" which they had never heard before. That was because there was a chance that the clouds would break up enough for the sun to shine through for a brief time.
thirdman wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:22 am but after years of snorkeling
I never did it but I knew someone in Seattle that regularly went scuba diving there so you might look into that.
I cannot agree more my friend, I’m moving out of Central Ohio precisely because of the long depressing winter I’m not going to spend the rest my life in any place that is not sunny ever
nordsteve
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by nordsteve »

Might look at the Kitsap Peninsula, across the sound from Seattle. Better prices and better biking.

My former boss retired to Sequim (even farther west). Likes it there, has much better weather than Seattle.
Isabelle77
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by Isabelle77 »

jjunk wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:29 pm
Watty wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:21 pm One more thing. I do not know how Seattle and Vancouver are but I was in Portland last year and the number of homeless people was an order of magnitude higher there than when I lived there. That seems to be a bigger problem in certain parts west coast cities and when the homeless people do things like set up tents on the sidewalk that seems to be tolerated a lot more on the west coast. I don't have a good answer to that but when you visit the areas to see research that especially if you are thinking of living in one of the more urban areas.
Seattle has a very large homeless population and it's only growing. Add to that the city council just voted to approve a defund the police measure which eliminates the task force which was used to remove the camps and it's only going to get worse. So yes, if thats an issue for you, Seattle/Portland are not good options.
Yes, definitely a big issue in Portland. Less so on the Vancouver side. One thing to note OP, is that Clark county is more conservative than Seattle and Portland, so if you’re looking for a very progressive city, Vancouver isn’t that. It’s not Texas either but it’s certainly not Portland.
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MP123
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by MP123 »

South Florida to the Northwest is a huge move culturally, politically, weather, and so on.

Be sure to visit for an extended period in the winter. Summers are great but many people have a hard time with the dark gray during the other 9 months.
allones
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by allones »

I've lived in Seattle for 16 years and would not recommend it for you. I am on my way out myself. I've only stayed here so long for work.

As others have said, you won't be able to find a livable property anywhere within biking or walking distance to stores or activities at $650k. There are far-out suburbs around the city that might meet your needs, but they do feel isolated and very residential. I feel the demographic skews young all around the county, so it might be difficult to find folks to socialize with.

The sentiments about the winters are real. I would say the weather is a factor even for Portland or Vancouver, WA. It gets very dark, both in the weather and people's dispositions. That said, the temperatures are not as extreme. It rarely snows, and almost never gets hot enough to need an air conditioner.
DemoEngr
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by DemoEngr »

You might consider Bend Oregon lots of the advantages but not as dreary.
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by KyleAAA »

$650k won't get you much of anything in Seattle. Decent homes in far eastside suburbs like North Bend or something on the Olympic penninsula can be had for that price. Don't know much about housing in Vancouver but it is a suburb of Portland, so it may not be cheap. Probably a lot more affordable than Seattle, though. Both have easy access to the cascades and a plethora of outdoor activities. The Columbia river gorge is near Vancouver, so that would be a plus. The winter weather gets steadily better as you go south, if you think the rain and darkness will get to you after living in sunny florida for so long. Traffic is also going to be a lot lighter in Vancouver, although traffic in Seattle isn't bad by any means.
trinc
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by trinc »

pdx resident since 1986...

Washington state:

If you want to be near Seattle then Port Townsand, Port Angeles or Anacortes ( ie banana belt ) are the common cities people will retire too.

Vancouver is an odd town... like a city without a central core, and what is there is run down. BUT ! now that Portland is SO expensive the Vancouver area is coming back to life. It is MANY years away from becoming a new 'pearl district' ( if it ever can ).

There are a lot of small cities between Seattle ( or Olympia ) & Vancouver but they are very lacking in culture. I grew up in one of them.

Oregon:

Portland has many neighborhoods and they are very diverse, you would really need to spend some time to figure out which area you would enjoy. ( zoom in on a pxd map, X marks the spot to the neighborhood i live in )

Eugene, it's worth a look but has a very interesting vibe.


Region:

East, or as many will say ' the high desert' Bend/Redmond area is fantastic but will have a colder winter.


i tell everyone to spend a couple years out here exploring the PNW & SW, so much to see.


Tim
Isabelle77
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by Isabelle77 »

trinc wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:32 pm pdx resident since 1986...

Washington state:

If you want to be near Seattle then Port Townsand, Port Angeles or Anacortes ( ie banana belt ) are the common cities people will retire too.

Vancouver is an odd town... like a city without a central core, and what is there is run down. BUT ! now that Portland is SO expensive the Vancouver area is coming back to life. It is MANY years away from becoming a new 'pearl district' ( if it ever can ).

There are a lot of small cities between Seattle ( or Olympia ) & Vancouver but they are very lacking in culture. I grew up in one of them.

Oregon:

Portland has many neighborhoods and they are very diverse, you would really need to spend some time to figure out which area you would enjoy. ( zoom in on a pxd map, X marks the spot to the neighborhood i live in )

Eugene, it's worth a look but has a very interesting vibe.


Region:

East, or as many will say ' the high desert' Bend/Redmond area is fantastic but will have a colder winter.


i tell everyone to spend a couple years out here exploring the PNW & SW, so much to see.


Tim
So I’ve lived in Camas for 12 years and I would have agreed with your assessment of Vancouver until about 3 years ago. It really is quite nice now, the new waterfront is upscale and lovely and downtown is no longer pawn shops and shady bars. We never used to go downtown and are now there several times a week. No, it’s not the Pearl, but it isn’t run down either and far fewer homeless than almost anywhere in Portland.
anonsdca
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by anonsdca »

Currently live in Vancouver, WA, arrived in 2014 --and absolutely have loved it.

First thing you need to know, is that "Vancouver"covers a pretty wide path. All the way from the Columbia River (downtown Vancouver) to where I live about 20 minutes North. I am on probably the outter most line of Norther Vancouver (near Battleground). It is great. I live in a sub-division, but just outside of that it gets real rural---which I like.

In 5 minutes you could be near many farms to get fresh produce, farms to get sides of beef, half a pig, eggs, chickens, etc. I absolutely love that about it. From about May-Nov, almost get everything I need from a farm, or local person selling from their garden.

Now, somebody said it was conservative rather than progressive like Portland. Well, OK, if you mean its leaders enforce the laws, take care of homeless and do not allow whole scale vandalism, looting and general violence every weekend, well, OK, I can get on board with that. Portlans is a mess with that stuff and it is a shame because it was so great to go there when I first arrived. Now it is very "SF like" and I spent a lot of time in SF., so if you dont know what that means, do some research.

Vancouver is a breath of fresh air from both Seattle and Portland and a great middle ground to live in a quality place but close access to things needed in a larger town. I hardly go anymore to either Seattle or Portland, but they both have a great restaurants.

The rain and grey is a real thing, but I don't think it is 9 months. We actually have a pretty nice springs and absolutely out of this world summers. Close to ocean, mountains, waterfalls, all outdoor activities are there for the taking. It gets cold and snows a few days of the year in winter, but it is usually gone quickly. Coming from FL as I came from CA, you will likely appreciate the seasonality of it all. I know I did.

I assume in your OP you chose the WA side due to zero income tax? If so, great reason. Plus you have all the benefits of a state next door with Zero sales tax.

Good luck
zie
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by zie »

The olympic rain shadow is worth noting for the Seattle area.

I've travelled all over the PNW and the winters can be pretty miserable and you can get full on rainforest if you head west a little ways.

The upside of the Vancouver area, is you get no income tax in WA and no sales tax in OR, a pretty nice tax situation. Note that Vehicles and things that WA gets to monitor are subject to WA sales taxes, so it's not a perfect tax situation.

King County(Seattle) has a bus tax that is noticeable, if you fall within the taxable region.

Good Luck!
trinc
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by trinc »

zie wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 3:59 pm The olympic rain shadow is worth noting for the Seattle area.

I've travelled all over the PNW and the winters can be pretty miserable and you can get full on rainforest if you head west a little ways.

The upside of the Vancouver area, is you get no income tax in WA and no sales tax in OR, a pretty nice tax situation. Note that Vehicles and things that WA gets to monitor are subject to WA sales taxes, so it's not a perfect tax situation.

King County(Seattle) has a bus tax that is noticeable, if you fall within the taxable region.

Good Luck!
This has been and will always be a big issue for businesses in Vancouver. Hard to compete with a tax savings of over 9%. until Oregon adopts a sales tax :shock:
upperleftcoast
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by upperleftcoast »

It was 98 degrees in Seattle yestersay. In the shade.
Winters are easy. Mild. "rains all the time" is a myth. 30-40 inches per year., no big deal. Gray? Sure, at times, but if you love the sun (I don't) Seattle would not be your first choice.
The PNW is beautiful. Seattle as a home base is hard to beat. Just back from camping in N Cascades NP, doing the same at Mt Rainier NP this weekend.
However....I've never considered Seattle a good retirement location. Expensive and crowded. Outlying areas would be better choices.
I'd be happy to help if you can figure out how to contact me.
WhiteMaxima
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by WhiteMaxima »

Seattle is more expensive. $650k will get you a house in Seattle suburb. Seattle has more hospitals and suit for senior retiree.
Vancouver is less expensive but a little boring. House cost around 25% less. Cross river is Portland.
Both cities has no state income tax.
quantAndHold
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by quantAndHold »

runner3081 wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:56 am Seattle is overcrowded. I would not advise moving there. Anything you would want to do, will be packed.
Nobody lives in Seattle anymore. It’s too crowded.

The median home price in Seattle is currently $689k. Median home price in Vancouver is $366k. So there’s that.

I lived in Seattle for several years, and left, partly because it was too hard to get from place to place, and partly because it was so freaking dreary ten months of the year. I was miserable. Seattle has a lot to offer, but was a difficult place to live for a number of reasons.

Vancouver seems...rundown. If I were wanting to live in that area, I’d probably live on the Portland side. A much more vibrant place with more going on.

In either of these places, especially coming from Florida, I would live there through a full winter before I did anything that would be hard to unwind.

If I really, for some reason had to live in the PNW, I would pick someplace in the rain shadow.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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ray.james
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by ray.james »

May I recommend Reno to the list. Low taxation, plenty to enjoy outdoors.
Pack the bike in the car, go to lake Tahoe in 30 mins and bike 100 miles around the lake. Spend a crazy night in casino and then go fishing in fresh water lakes around. Plenty to hike in sierra Nevada. Not crazy crowded since you are on 395 side. Weather does have more swings.
When in doubt, http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=79939
runner3081
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by runner3081 »

quantAndHold wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 4:57 pm
runner3081 wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:56 am Seattle is overcrowded. I would not advise moving there. Anything you would want to do, will be packed.
Nobody lives in Seattle anymore. It’s too crowded.

The median home price in Seattle is currently $689k. Median home price in Vancouver is $366k. So there’s that.

I lived in Seattle for several years, and left, partly because it was too hard to get from place to place, and partly because it was so freaking dreary ten months of the year. I was miserable. Seattle has a lot to offer, but was a difficult place to live for a number of reasons.

Vancouver seems...rundown. If I were wanting to live in that area, I’d probably live on the Portland side. A much more vibrant place with more going on.

In either of these places, especially coming from Florida, I would live there through a full winter before I did anything that would be hard to unwind.

If I really, for some reason had to live in the PNW, I would pick someplace in the rain shadow.
I was up in Edmonds. Dumpy old house that is now worth over 1/2 million. What a joke!

We left due to weather and crowding/traffic.

If we had to go back to WA, it would not be on the west side. It would be Ellensburg area.
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thirdman
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by thirdman »

I thank all of you so much.

Yes, Washington State because of the income tax. I am coming from a low tax state.

I have a lot of areas to look at. I did not know about the Olympic Rain Shadow. Thank you.

I will look at Reno.

thirdman
Xrayman69
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by Xrayman69 »

Late spring, summers and early fall in the PNW. Late fall winter and early spring in Florida.

I grew up in SoCal and moved up to seattle in the early 90s and have been here since. This will be our forever home city. We travel a lot and thus winters don’t bother us as it is a nice comfortable home feeling.

Seattle proper is likely inappropriate for your needs and wants. Any of the surrounding counties or islands would be a great fit. All the surrounding counties are 60-90 minutes drive from king county center and would provide you access to major airport for travel.

The surrounding counties are affordable and still have dense outdoor activities (mountains hiking and skiing, lakes, rivers, and the sound for water activities, biking trails is abundant). Full disclosure I only periodically do any of these outdoor activities as my family band I are city slickers. We intermittently consider a cabin in the mountains for winter in which now is a community in which people live year round (Sammamish and in Suncadia) about 90 minutes from our city home but after about 4 days we head home as we prefer the beach lifestyle in winter and go south. During summer the cabin is OK so the kid can “camp” in the cabin.

Again, seattle proper does not sound like a fit for your needs and wants. Look at the surrounding counties which remain affordable and still live able (not over crowded or urbanized issues)
GreenLawn
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by GreenLawn »

Pacific Northwest is beautiful, I lived there for 30 years. Very different than Florida in every way you can imagine so renting is the way to go for at least the first year. Seattle gets the attention but would be the last place I'd live up there. The suburbs east of Lake Washington can be nice but still very expensive. I'm renting a home on a lake here in Florida and buying a comparable home on a lake in the Seattle area would easily be four times the cost of this one.

My body got more wet in the first 3 weeks I lived here in Florida than the 30 years I lived in the Northwest, so put aside any stereotypes you may hear and have an open mind. Rain is cool/cold and mostly a drizzle there so a jacket is worn, whereas here you get soaked in shorts and a t-shirt walking from the store to the car during a sudden downpour. Folks like to talk about the rain, but the intense cloudiness for months at a time is the real story. Didn't bother me, in fact I kinda liked it, but for some folks it's understandably a deal breaker. Two of the richest men in the world voluntarily live there, so it can't be all bad:)

I much prefer the Northwest to Florida, but the girlfriend can't handle the lack of sun, so our search for a permanent residence continues (and won't be Florida, thankfully we rented).
stocknoob4111
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by stocknoob4111 »

Seattle isn't worth it, the weather isn't the best and for the same prices you can go to Southern California or San Diego where the weather is 1000X better and the geography and things to do are just as good, and the beaches are also way better. In my view the Pacific Northwest is way too expensive for what it offers.
iamlucky13
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by iamlucky13 »

I agree that moving to the Pacific NW is something you want to try for a limited amount of time before making a major financial commitment to it.

I personally like living here very much, but I grew up here, and the climate matches my temperament. Given my ancestry is entirely from various cool, wet regions of Europe, I suspect that is genetic.

I don't think many of the people I know like the climate as much as I do. Most tolerate it, but spend half the winter and spring wishing for summer or for vacations to warmer places. Personally, I spend half of summer wishing for October and the return of the rain. A sizeable number hate the winter grey and talk regularly of moving.

The most dramatic story I know of is an acquaintance who owns a rental house in one of the popular areas of Seattle. His first renters were a couple moving up from the Bay area to both take tech jobs. He probably shouldn't have shared, but he couldn't resist marveling that the salaries they stated on their rental application combined to something like 4 times as much as he or I made. Where as neither of us could believe the rent his real estate agent recommended he charge, they thought it was an outstanding deal. This was late summer or early fall.

By early December, they accepted a 2 month's rent penalty to break their lease, quit their job, and moved back to the Bay area, specifically citing the weather.

I also agree with those who say the crowding has gotten bad in the Pacific NW. Although there are plenty of bigger cities, the congestion is among the worst in the nation. I'd rate crowding as the factor most likely to ever make me move out of this region. Each year it gets harder and harder to see the forest for the SUV's.

All that said, many of us do really like living here, so again, my advice is try before you buy, and not just during the summer.
Watty wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:54 am
thirdman wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:22 am but after years of snorkeling
I never did it but I knew someone in Seattle that regularly went scuba diving there so you might look into that.
I don't scuba. However, friends who do seem to prefer doing so in other locations. They do a little diving up here, but I get the impression it is mostly to practice for their vacations to regions with clearer water and warmer temperatures.

I snorkel a little, but again, that's an easier past time to enjoy in warmer locations.
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Watty
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by Watty »

GreenLawn wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:09 pm...... so put aside any stereotypes you may hear and have an open mind....
+1

On ignoring the stereotypes.

Even in the long winter months there will be many nice days and when you are retired you can take advantage of them when they happen. For example you have seen the pictures of Mount St. Helens erupting and that was on a beautiful spring day.

When I was working there it seemed like most of the nice days were on weekdays when I had to work, but then the bad weather would set in at about 4:00 PM on Friday and it would rain all weekend. :annoyed

The winters will also often be a lot better or worse than average if there is an El Niño or La Niña weather pattern which can make the winter a LOT wetter or dryer than normal. Be sure to read up on those.

Just a bit a trivia.

One of the reasons that the Pacific Northwest has such a reputation for bad weather is that the Lewis and Clark expedition made it to the Pacific Northwest and stayed there over the winter during an unusually bad El Niño year where the rain was a lot worse than normal. To make matter worse they stayed right on the Oregon coast where the weather is even worse. They were miserable and very cold and when they got back they reported how bad the weather was. If they had spent that winter a hundred miles inland in the Portland Area during a normal year it would have still have been damp and cool but their reports would have likely have been about the lack of snow and the plentiful wild food and game.
Last edited by Watty on Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Gnirk
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by Gnirk »

I've lived in the Pac NW all my life....grew up in Seattle, and then moved south to Olympia 48 years ago. Yes, the rain and cloudy days can get you down, but I wouldn't trade it for the heat in the desert or the humidity in the midwest, east coast and south. There is no place more beautiful in the summer...which normally lasts from July 15th-Sept, as I tell my friends.

I learned to swim in the cold waters of Puget Sound , to water-ski in Lake Washington, snow-ski near Mt. Rainier, and fish in the lakes of Eastern Washington.
Seattle is not nearly the same as it was when I grew up. I wouldn't move back there because of the horrendous traffic and the current social issues they are experiencing.

That being said, my daughter lives there in a 650 sf condo, and loves it. She just got back from a day hike to Franklin Falls, about an hour east of Seattle. I'd post the phot, but can't figure out how to do it.

We've been snowbirds to the Palm Springs, CA area for the past 20 years, and we are staying home here this winter. It will be interesting to see how we fare.
Last edited by Gnirk on Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
hicabob
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by hicabob »

iamlucky13 wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:18 pm

I don't scuba. However, friends who do seem to prefer doing so in other locations. They do a little diving up here, but I get the impression it is mostly to practice for their vacations to regions with clearer water and warmer temperatures.

I snorkel a little, but again, that's an easier past time to enjoy in warmer locations.
I had a work associate who used to dive shipwrecks in the UK ( for fun) . He said 1 ft visibility was good ... in frigid water too.
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CardinalRule
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by CardinalRule »

Gnirk wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:32 pm I've lived in the Pac NW all my life....grew up in Seattle, and then moved south to Olympia 48 years ago. Yes, the rain and cloudy days can get you down, but I wouldn't trade it for the heat in the desert or the humidity in the midwest, east coast and south. There is no place more beautiful in the summer...which normally lasts from July 15th-Sept, as I tell my friends.
I don’t think that any place has a nicer summer than the Puget Sound area does. And it goes great with the natural beauty of the surrounding area. If only it were slightly longer. :happy
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2pedals
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by 2pedals »

Image

Don't come to the PNW, it rains almost everyday. :wink:
iamlucky13
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by iamlucky13 »

^ Deception Pass as a location is awesome (the bridge over the Pass isn't quite as scenic this year due to maintenance work, but still quite a site).

However, if you're there on a weekend, there is a long line of cars waiting to turn into the parking lots on either side of the bridge. Deception Pass epitomizes how crowded the Puget Sound area has become.

The outdoors seems a lot less outdoorsy when there is line just to access the vending machine to buy a parking pass (normally I buy the annual state parks pass by mail, but realized it was expired the day of a visit, once).
dewey
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by dewey »

I’ve lived in Vancouver 20 years after growing up East coast and living in MN 18 years. We love the area. And the seasons. Winters are generally very mild though there is some rain. Often the winter rain forecasts are met via very early morning rain with nothing the entire remainder of the day. Summers are phenomenal with very hot days being the exception. We love spring and fall here. And we’ll take some clouds and some light winter rain over many other winters in the country. The city of Vancouver is progressive politically. It’s greater Clark County that has a well deserved reputation of being more conservative. It’s the classic urban/rural political differences you see almost everywhere in the U.S. Portland and Vancouver are great for biking, hiking, and all kinds of outdoor activities. The natural beauty of the entire PNW make it a fabulous area to live. I’m 71 also and enjoy biking. Vancouver has a very active Bicycle Club which is great. It’s a wonderful biking area for sure. We’re not leaving.
“The only freedom that is of enduring importance is freedom of intelligence…” John Dewey
Carguy85
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by Carguy85 »

A friend of mine got his nearly new Prius stolen out of a fairly nice neighborhood in the Portland area....I guess that’s a thing there and there be minimal/no repercussions. According to a person I was talking to that grew up in Portland, it’s a fact of life you don’t leave your vehicle parked outside..certainly not along the street.
Valuethinker
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by Valuethinker »

hicabob wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:35 pm
iamlucky13 wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:18 pm

I don't scuba. However, friends who do seem to prefer doing so in other locations. They do a little diving up here, but I get the impression it is mostly to practice for their vacations to regions with clearer water and warmer temperatures.

I snorkel a little, but again, that's an easier past time to enjoy in warmer locations.
I had a work associate who used to dive shipwrecks in the UK ( for fun) . He said 1 ft visibility was good ... in frigid water too.
I think the visibility is the issue more than just the cold water around the UK.

South coast of UK water can get to 70 degrees F. Pretty good for 50 degrees N. You can suit up for that. But the water is *murky*

I think the NW Pacific is a lot colder. No Gulf Stream (MAOC is the correct acronym I believe).
bighatnohorse
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by bighatnohorse »

That's quite a change and you don't give much to go on other than one can assume that you're and "outdoor" type person.
I might suggest Port Townsend or Sequim for you.
Downtown Seattle is a nice ferry ride from Port Orchard and major shopping area are an easy drive from there.
Sequim has all the shopping amenities and gets more sunshine - Pilots refer to that area as the "blue hole" (Sequim in in the leeward side of the Olympic mountains.)
Both areas put you within easy reach of outdoor activities, both mountain and water.

But, we get massive UV exposure at times - we are surrounded by water reflecting to the sky and back during the summer.
UV protection definitely required.

Winter- you get gray all day.
Mornings start to brighten a little about 8:am and it's pitch dark at 5:pm
A little drizzle all day and clouds. Tall trees to block the little sunlight that does come out.
I was once told that "if you wait for it to stop raining to go somewhere - you'll never go anywhere."
You've been warned.
Kennedy
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Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Post by Kennedy »

Speaking of the western Washington weather, if you go a little further west of Vancouver, you'll find the Longbeach Peninsula. If you're heading north from Astoria and just over the bridge on the Washington side, you'll see one sign for "Dismal Nitch" and another sign for "Cape Disappointment."
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