Making the decision to leave the Bay Area isn’t easy, but if you’ve chosen to start a new life in Seattle, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.
To begin with, San Francisco is among the most expensive cities in America, so there’s a good chance you’ll save some money by going through with this relocation. Seattle also has a fast-paced atmosphere, a lively local culture, great job opportunities, and, of course, incredible coffee!
In this article, you’ll learn why Seattle has been named among the top spots to live in the US, especially if you can tolerate the occasional gloomy skies and rainy climate.
How Far Is San Francisco From Seattle?
The distance between San Francisco and Seattle is 808 miles. Depending on traffic, this trip takes around 13 hours by vehicle. The flight takes around 2 hours, so if the thought of sitting in a vehicle on a long road trip doesn’t appeal to you, considering taking a flight instead.
Cost of Moving from San Francisco to Seattle
Moving from San Francisco to Seattle costs approximately $3300-$4800 on average, depending on how much stuff you are transporting. Though this may seem to be an expensive option, keep in mind that you are moving your belongings 808 miles up the coast.
The overall cost of your move will be determined by a number of factors, such as the zip codes of your origin and destination, the season in which you’re moving, your household’s size, and the services you need.
A virtual or in-home walkthrough with a certified and insured interstate mover is the best way to get an accurate quote.
Is it a Smart Idea to Move From San Francisco to Seattle?
Housing and Cost of Living
Due to a huge difference in housing prices, Seattle is approximately 56% less costly than San Francisco. Seattle’s typical house price is $714,400, which is more than the national average of $231,200, but much less than San Francisco’s staggering $1,378,300.
Seattle has received twice as many new residents as San Francisco since the previous census in 2000. As a result of the increased demand for real estate, the Seattle market has seen a remarkable 55% rise in house value over the last five years. This rate surpassed San Francisco’s 49% house appreciation rate.
In Seattle, 52% of residents rent their houses, while in San Francisco,66% rent. A one-bedroom apartment in Seattle costs $1,728, whereas a similar size rental in San Francisco costs $2,639.
The cost of living is calculated using a 100-point US index. San Francisco has a cost of living index of 269 out of 100, whereas Seattle has a cost of living index of 172 out of 100. In Seattle, you’ll save around 42% on utilities, 7% on food products, and 15% on transportation expenses.
Both cities have very similar median family incomes: $114,049 for San Francisco and $115,414 for Seattle. In other words, for the vast majority, your money will go farther in Seattle.
Due to the fact that Washington does not have a state income tax, the sales tax is higher than the national average to counteract. Seattle’s sales tax is 10.1%, which is 1.6% more than San Francisco’s 8.5%.
Seattle has a property tax rate of 0.99%, which is 0.19% lower than the national average but 0.31% more than San Francisco’s 0.68%.
However, when you evaluate the median house values in each city, you’ll almost certainly pay less in property taxes by making the move from San Francisco to Seattle.
Economy and Job Growth
Seattle, like San Francisco, is a tech hub with locations of large corporations such as Amazon and Microsoft. Aerospace (Boeing is headquartered in Seattle), health, education, retail sales, and tourism industries are all drivers of the city’s economy.
Employment growth in Seattle is expected to grow faster than in San Francisco in the coming years following the pandemic.
However, San Francisco’s projected employment growth through 2031 at 29%, outperforms Seattle’s projected increase of 24%.
Transportation and Traffic
You’re probably already aware of San Francisco’s excellent public transportation, but Seattle is not far behind.
Commuters can access a large network of bus lines via King County Metro, whereas Sound Transit provides light-rail service across the city as well as to the airport via Sound Transit.
Residents of Seattle’s numerous island communities may get to and from the city via water taxi or ferry. You can easily live in Seattle without a vehicle if you pick your new home based on public transportation availability – a great way to avoid the 9th worst traffic in the nation, which Seattle has the title to.
Despite this, just 21% of Seattle residents use public transportation, opposed to San Francisco’s 34%… that is probably one of the reasons for their terrible traffic.
By moving to Seattle, you should expect to save approximately five minutes on average on your commute, each way. The typical commute time in San Francisco is 33 minutes, compared to Seattle’s 27 minutes.
The residents of Seattle don’t allow a little rain to keep them from walking and biking the Emerald City.
The city’s walk score is 74, although some sections have a stellar score of 100. Cycling and public transportation ratings are also much higher than the national average.
If you don’t plan on buying a car and require high levels of walkability, you should consider the International District, Belltown, and Downtown neighborhoods.
Weather and Climate
Relocating from San Francisco to Seattle will provide you with four pleasant seasons to enjoy. Thanks to the moderating influences of Puget Sound, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean, winters are generally mild.
Fall leaves and spring blooms enhance the contrast between the winter and summer seasons. Summers in Seattle can also reach fairly warm temperatures.
Despite being 800 miles north of San Francisco, Seattle’s annual July high of 76° Fahrenheit is considerably warmer than San Francisco’s average of 67° Fahrenheit.
San Francisco’s average January high temperature is 57° Fahrenheit, compared to Seattle’s January highs average 47 °F and lows average 37 °F, which is approximately 10° cooler.
With 38 inches of yearly rainfall compared to San Francisco’s 25 inches, the lush, green Emerald City has double as many rainy days as the latter. The five inches of snowfall each year is just enough to give the city a lovely white coating.
Although Seattle’s crime rate is much lower than San Francisco’s, both cities have higher crime rates than the national average. On the US crime scale, the average violent crime rating in the United States is 23, while the rating in Seattle is 32, and in San Francisco it’s 40.
One interesting thing to note is that while property crime is at a 35 rating on average in the United States, Seattle’s is 77, and San Francisco’s is 79%.
The majority of Seattle neighborhoods have excellent safety ratings. It’s a good idea to look into the crime statistics in the Seattle areas you’re interested in for your own peace of mind. Ballard, Queen Anne, Magnolia, and Sunset Hill are some of the safest neighborhoods in Seattle.
Culture, Diversity, and Demographics
Seattle is 84 square miles in size, with 688,245 total citizens and a density of 8,207 persons per square mile.
San Francisco, on the other hand, has a population density of 18,442, which is more than twice that of Seattle, with 864,263 people living on 47 square miles. Since the previous census, Seattle’s population has grown by 22%, while San Francisco’s population has grown by 11.3%.
Seattle, like San Francisco, values diversity and inclusiveness. According to racial demographics, Seattle is 65 percent white, 14 percent Asian, 7 percent African American, 6.5 percent Hispanic, 5.8 percent Two or More Races, and 0.5 percent Native American.
In comparison, San Francisco has a population that is 41 percent White, 34 percent Asian, 5 percent African American, 15 percent Hispanic, 4 percent Two or More Races, and 0.2 percent Native American.
It’s hardly unexpected that Democrats outnumber Republicans in Seattle, given the city’s well-known counter-culture. In Seattle, 70% of residents vote Democrat, while in San Francisco that figure is85%.
On a scale of one to ten, around 60 out of the 113 Seattle Public Schools get a six or above. This district educates about 47,000 students in the Seattle metro region and benefits from an Amazon partnership.
The higher education options in Seattle are also very highly rated. The University of Washington is known for its medical, engineering, computer science, and scientific research departments.
San Francisco is situated on a mountainous peninsula bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and the north and east by the San Francisco Bay.
Seattle is unique in that it is situated approximately 90 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, on the pleasant beaches of Puget Sound, with some mountainous regions. The Sound not only cools the air but also offers a large, safe harbor with calm seas ideal for sailing and other water sports.
Things to Do
Seattle is overflowing with fun and interesting things to do, from the magnificent views from the Space Needle to a ferry trip out to the Puget Sound islands.
More than 40 museums, 8 professional sports teams, the 9 acre Pike Place Market, and around 485 parks that allow Seattle residents to satisfy their propensity for being in nature as often as possible—no matter what your hobbies are, Seattle has something for everyone.
Fresh Pacific Coast seafood is available in both San Francisco and Seattle. Seattle is particularly proud of its outstanding salmon.
Prime fish is only obtainable at certain times throughout the season and is priced according to the river where it was taken. For the freshest catch, go to the Pike Place Fish Market.
What is it about coffee and cold weather? – They blend together like magic. Starbucks opened its first shop in Pike Place Market in 1971.
The city now has 133 outlets of the well-known coffee chain. If you like fermented beverages, Seattle is the home of the ‘Northwest style,’ a highly hoppy IPA that is refined by different microbreweries. After the relocation, treat yourself to a pint of Fremont Brewing’s Lush IPA.
Finding Your Place to Call Home in Seattle – Top Neighbourhoods
With local bookshops, grocery stores, cafés, pubs, and coffee shops, each Seattle neighborhood appears to be its own small town. Here’s a rundown of the top neighbourhoods in Seattle:
Belltown, located just north of Downtown, is a wonderful place to live if you don’t want to own a vehicle. The circulator bus, eight municipal bus lines, and a light rail system can transport you everywhere in the city or beyond, and Belltown is quite walkable. You’ll find everything you need, from major chain shops to highly rated eateries.
In the midst of hip bars and pubs, cafés, coffee houses, and shops, you’ll discover a variety of apartments, condominiums, and lovely single-family homes.
Many of the 16,700 residents enjoy walking and cycling through bike-friendly Ballard, and the RapidRide D line connects them to Uptown, Downtown, and places in between.
Capitol Hill, a popular central Seattle neighborhood with 37,490 residents, is approximately an eight-minute drive from Downtown. Capitol Hill has always been the LGBTQ heart of Seattle since the 1960s. The area is home to single-family houses, historic brick apartment buildings, condominiums, lofts, and townhomes, among other housing types.
Tourists flock to Historic Pioneer Square, a strolling mixed-use area featuring shops, boutiques, cafés, pubs, and historical tours. Pioneer Square is located on the riverfront south of Downtown and offers easy access to public transportation through the King Street Station.
The Seattle Ferry Terminal is located directly north of the area and is a short walk away. Apartments, townhouses, and condominiums are available, with many offering excellent views.
Fremont, which claims to be the Center of the Universe, is home to almost 20,000 residents. In this area, where two-thirds of people rent their houses, a vibrant counterculture thrives.
Housing options include single-family houses, townhomes, condominiums, apartments, and live/workspaces. Casual cafés, coffee shops, interesting microbreweries, and a variety of retail options are all within walking distance.
North Queen Anne
North Queen Anne is an affluent neighborhood located between Puget Sound’s Elliott Bay and the Fremont Cut Ship Canal. Single-family vintage gems, townhouses, and condominiums abound in this green, established area, many with stunning views of the city and sound. Every now and then, a houseboat will come up for sale.
We are hoping that this article gives you an idea of what the process of moving from San Francisco to Seattle looks like. For those who are interested in being in nature more, getting into the housing market, and enjoy incredible craft beer, Seattle is a great choice.