The Pros and Cons of Moving from San Francisco to Seattle

seattle skyline

Ah, Seattle. It’s hard not to consider it a forested fairyland after movies like Sleepless in Seattle or Twilight. Seattle is certainly a free-spirited haven of growth and opportunity, and that’s just one of the reasons why people are flocking to this gem of a city.

If you’re moving from San Francisco to Seattle, you may be giving up San Fran’s impeccable climate, but you’re also going to gain a lot. New jobs are posted by the fistful every day; new apartment complexes are going up at lightning speed; new eateries are always being planted; and the outdoor spaces will knock your socks off.

Seattle has been earmarked as a city experiencing historic growth. In 2018, over 15,000 people chose to make Seattle their new home. So, when you consider that roughly 1,000 people move there each month, something good must be happening.

Let’s take a look at the reasons why people are flocking to Seattle. And, in an effort to be fair, we’ll also explore some of the difficulties new residents face. In the end, moving to Seattle from California may be just the ticket to a fresh, new life.

Pro: City-Wide Growth

We know. It’s hard to hear the word “growth” with COVID stifling us day after day. But, before COVID (and we suspect after it’s all said and done), Seattle’s economy will continue to bloom.

And, as the jobs continue to crop up, so do the new apartment complexes. The process of selecting a new home in Seattle will be quite exhilarating. If you’re keen on renting an apartment, the wealth of new complexes will leave you with many options.

We’ve noticed a few really unique micro-apartments if you’re looking to downsize. But, truly, you won’t be hard-pressed to move into a never-lived-in apartment to start fresh in.

Pro: Major Job Growth

In a moment we’re going to get into the con regarding the housing market. But, what might offset that is the fact that the average income is a nice, solid $93,500.

The tech industry, including Google, has made Seattle its home base. So, the opportunities abound, even in the midst of a worldwide pandemic.

The folks at Amazon have also set up shop, along with Starbucks, Nordstrom, T-Mobile, Microsoft, Eddie Bauer, and more.

The medical industry also continues to expand, along with real estate and transportation. In a booming housing market, a job in real estate isn’t a bad way to go. In a growing metropolis, the need for doctors and medical facilities continues to grow.

Right now, Glassdoor has an explosive list of over 60,000 job openings. Surely, the odds are in your favor if you’d like to start over with a new job, a new apartment, and a new life in beautiful Seattle.

Pro: Eclectic Neighborhoods

capitol hill seattle

Boy, will you have fun exploring the various neighborhoods in Seattle. Here are 12 of the most popular:

  • West Seattle
  • Beacon Hill
  • Ravenna
  • Columbia City
  • Ballard
  • Interbay
  • South Park
  • Central District
  • Georgetown
  • Lake City
  • Capitol Hill

We’ve been to Seattle a time or two and we have to say we really love Capitol Hill. It’s a wonderfully walkable slice of heaven. When we’re there, we love strolling from restaurant to restaurant, and bookshop to boutique.

It always seems like, every time we’re there, there’s a new apartment complex going up. Whenever we feel like dreaming, we dream of a gorgeous corner unit overlooking the colorful streets of Capitol Hill.

Every morning, we’d walk to a new coffee shop. On Friday nights, we’d check out a new restaurant or beer garden. There’s a fantastic bookstore called The Elliott Bay Book Company. It’s massive and, of course, we’d spend most of our Saturday afternoons there, too.

There’s much to love about each of these neighborhoods. They’re scenic and they have a lot to offer in terms of housing and activity. Seattle is certainly a driveable city, but it would be nice to call any of these walkable, colorful, and delightful neighborhoods home.

Pro: Plenty of Outdoor Activity

You won’t be hard-pressed to find a park, a trail, or some other open space that takes your breath away. And many of these open spaces are likely to overlook a lake or Puget Sound, or open up into spectacular views of Mt. Rainier.

Discovery Park is one of the largest parks in Seattle. You’ll have over 500 acres to explore here,  including its wildlife sanctuary. Green Lake Park offers some of those stunning lake views we all love to take in. There’s plenty of room to spread out and go for a swim in the summer months.

discovery park seattle

Seward Park is another oasis that offers plenty of cycling paths if that’s your go-to activity. There’s also an amphitheater that often has some great events lined up, an art studio, and a beach.

And, if you’re looking for something truly iconic, head to Kerry Park. You’ll enjoy panoramas of downtown Seattle with Mt. Rainier in the background.

Richmond Beach Saltwater park is just 15 miles outside of downtown Seattle and it is, perhaps, one of the best hideaways in the entire city. It’s not difficult to find your own, secluded little space here and just listen to the water lapping lazily away on the shoreline.

So, for a city that’s buzzing with life, it sure is nice to know that there was some serious forethought into maintaining wide, open greenscapes for residents to escape into. You’ll find a park you love and make it a permanent fixture in your new life. We’re sure of it.

Pro: Dog-Friendly

We almost titled this section “Possibly Pro.” Of course, dogs are not everyone’s forte but, for the most part, this is a pro for residents. Dogs are allowed in nearly every park (at least, we couldn’t find one that wasn’t dog-friendly) and several parks have special doggie play areas.

Walking downtown, you’ll see tons of dogs sitting outside at restaurant tables with their owners and we even have a friend who takes his dog with him to work at his tattoo shop in Capitol Hill.

It would be hard to get lonesome in Seattle but, if you’re a dog-lover, you don’t have to be without your faithful sidekick for long because the city’s really open to these extensions of the family.

Pro: Great Restaurant Scene

Whether you take Fido with you to Saturday’s brunch or not, you’re going to find that it’s easy to explore a new restaurant every weekend. The city’s seafood is other-worldly; it doesn’t get much fresher, coming right off the sound.

But, it also has some seriously eclectic and unique eateries from many different countries. Up in Capitol Hill, we love to eat at Kedai Makan for a new Malaysian dish. The best sushi is in the International District at Maneki.

kedai makan seattle

If you’re in the mood for pizza, Delfino’s will have your famous Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. And, when we’re in the mood for a more expansive Italian menu, we head back to Capitol Hill for some chicken parm at Altura.

Aside from the restaurant scene, Seattle’s coffee culture is also spectacular. They take their coffee grinds seriously and you’ll never have to walk for too long without being able to dip into a coffee shop to meet up with a friend or simply take some quiet time alone.

Con: Expensive Housing

Okay. So, there are a lot of housing options. That remains true. But, there’s a bit of a supply and demand issue that has crept the cost of housing further and further up the line.

Currently, Seattle is holding tight as the fifth most expensive city to live in. Only major metropolises like Manhattan, Brooklyn, San Francisco, and Honolulu edge out Seattle.

Presently, the cost of living in Seattle is quite high. According to Zillow, the average house costs a whopping $773,508. That means, if you put down about $15,000, you’re looking at a monthly mortgage of over $3,500.

If you’re looking to start your new life as a renter, then you’re looking at an average rent of $2,169. So, you may catch a bit of a break there, but it’s still going to cost you to embrace this wonderful new city as your home.

Con: Bad Traffic Patterns

As you’ll see, most cons are offshoots of the pros. And, with the rapid growth Seattle is experiencing, it’s putting quite a kink in the traffic patterns.

In fact, Seattle is ranked the sixth-most impacted city in the United States. It’s right there behind Los Angeles and we’ve often wondered how anything gets done in L.A., because all people do is sit in gridlock.

seattle traffic

Sitting in your car for extended lengths of time when you have somewhere to be will be truly exasperating at first. But, if you find you truly can’t acclimate, there are a few public transportation options you can check into.

Seattle’s train system is the Sound Transit Link Light Rail. Their trains run ever six to 15 minutes. So, if you live near a station, you might do well there. The bus system is called the King County Metro Transit. It runs downtown and into the surrounding suburbs.

Con: The Weather

The weather is a point of contention for some Seattle residents. When it’s good, it’s good. And, when it’s bad, it’s bad. You may know by now, but Seattle’s nickname is The Emerald City. All those parks that you’re going to enjoy are loaded will lush greenery.

But, to achieve such greenery, it requires a lot of rain. The average is about 152 days of rain per year. That’s just under half the year. For some, this is not a problem. Some even find the rain to be soothing and they just acclimate to it without much complaint.

For others, it can create a bad case of the blues. So, take some time to think about whether or not this will have much of an effect on your psyche. And, finally, there’s the winter. For all that time you’ll spend outdoors in the summer, you may find yourself in true hibernation in the winter.

Again, as an offset of all those wonderful parks by the sound, being on the water will make the winters a bit difficult. The cold winds that blow off the coast in the winter months are quite furious some days. So, be sure to take some time to go shopping downtown for winter gear as the colder months start to roll in.

Moving from San Francisco to Seattle

Moving from San Francisco to Seattle will have its pros and its cons. But, when you consider the growing list of job opportunities and the gorgeous new homes that are being built by the minute, we believe you can carve out a really special place for yourself.

When it’s time to get to the arduous task of packing up your house and home and moving north, why not give us a call? Here at Dependable Movers, we’re your San Francisco to Seattle movers and we’re proud to bill ourselves as truly white glove movers.

We take special care of all our clients’ belongings, treating them like our own. We’re happy to do the packing for you and we’ll bring all the supplies including the boxes, tape, blankets, packing foam, hand trucks, and more.

If you have a moving date in mind, feel free to come on over and get a free estimate. We’ve done the San Francisco to Seattle move before and we can promise you a smooth transition.

We may be fully licensed, but we also love what we do. We know each move is unique and we look forward to making your next chapter your best one yet.



Thank you so much for taking the time to check out our website. If you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to ask. We know moving can be stressful that is why we are here for you.

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