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Contemplating a move from East Coast to Seattle

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi! My husband and I are contemplating a huge move. I am an attorney and expect that I would work downtown (not close enough to start the job search). Obviously if that isn't the case we will reconsider but assuming that I am working in the city, we have some questions about where we would live.

A little about us:
-34 and 40 years old with two children 3 and 6 months.
-number one priority is access to high quality education
-want a safe neighborhood in walking distance to parks,preferably with a back yard
-would love to be walking distance to a few restaurants and shopping
-would love to have access to public transportation

We would love to be in the city,but I understand that the public schools in the city are no good. If we had to send our children to private school, is it affordable? Close by? Terribly snobby? What are some good in city neighborhoods?

Assuming that good schools in the city aren't an option, what about east side towns? Any better or worse in light of what we are looking for?

Next, what are the laws regarding vaccination waivers and homebirth? We are delaying/selectively vaxxing and I will want to have a home birth if I am ever pregnant again.

Thanks so much in advance!
post #2 of 5

I've only lived here just over 3 years, but we're in Ravenna and I love the area. Close to good schools, eating and shopping. Not sure if your price range though, it's a higher priced area.  Good access to downtown and buses.

 

I haven't had a problem seeking a homebirth - it's very accepted here. I even had a homebirth as a VBAC. We also quickly found an ND who is on board with our vaccination choices. I think you have a lot of options here for that as well. I don't know how MDs are, but NDs are great.

post #3 of 5

I'm not familiar with specifics of what its like living in Seattle neighborhoods, so I can't answer to that. I do think that where I live, (north of Seattle) is a pretty nice area. The Shoreline and Northshore school districts are great. The public transportation around me is pretty good, but of course, gets better the closer you get to big cities. For commuting downtown, its great. 30 min to downtown, no transfers. During peak times a bus will come every 10 min or so. I don't know much about living on the eastside, but I think there's a couple pretty good school districts there too. 

 

vaccine waivers are pretty easy to come by. The only annoyance is its recently become required to get a dr to sign it. I'm pretty sure an ND can sign. And its not hard at all to find even a pediatrician who is totally cool about signing off on an exemption. We have philosophical exemptions and you can pick and its totally fine to do some but not all with an exemption. 

 

Home birth is pretty widely accepted. Plenty of midwives, both CNM and CPM. There's a few birth centers too that I hear are excellent (and the midwives who run them also attend home births) Some naturopaths attend homebirths as well. Good options all around!

post #4 of 5

I think you will find everything you are looking for in Seattle proper. Public schools generally tend to be better on the north side than on the south side, but there are exceptions. There are also a ton of private schools to choose from, from laid back to prep schools. I think most private schools will be in the $20k and up range, but that is a gross generalization. 

 

The south side has better access to light rail, but the north side has good buses that go downtown. 

 

Homebirth is very accepted in Seattle. You won't have any trouble finding a provider. There are also tons of NDs, and you shouldn't have trouble finding someone who will support your delayed/opt out vax wishes. 

 

I love it here! Beautiful city, great restaurants, nature all around you, the people are involved and educated, great arts scene, mild weather (usually), amazing gardening, people come from all over the nation and the world, great produce

 

And here are my complaints: it's expensive (not NYC or SF, but expensive all the same), it's competitive (lots of educated people all vying for good jobs -- again not like NYC or SF), it takes forever for the city to make political decisions due to our consensus-based political style (which is why we don't have any many public transportation options as you think a progress city should have), the month of June is downright awful (we call is Juneuary), & people can be very passive.

post #5 of 5

Hi there. I moved to Seattle from the east coast 4 years ago, and I am so glad I did!

 

I agree with writinglove's response above- you can find everything you need in Seattle proper. I think the schools are generally better on the north end, and when you are neighborhood shopping you should do some research into the local schools to be sure. There are some great ones and some that are less great. But I came from Washington DC and grew up in NYC- so relatively speaking, the public schools here are so much better. I live in the Greenwood neighborhood, which is one of the more affordable areas in the north end in Seattle proper. It is more socio-economically (and racially) diverse than other parts of North Seattle, so that translates to school test scores averaging lower. But don't be fooled- I know people who chose to send their kids to our local elementary schools over their higher scoring schools, because they didn't want their kids to only know upper-middle-class white kids. And they are getting a good education. My kids are not old enough for public school yet (they are 4 & 2), so I can't speak from personal experience.


We have great transportation (lots of good bus lines), a walkable neighborhood (though above 85th st no sidewalks- a bit of an issue), parks & playgrounds galore (I can walk to Carkeek Park, right on the Puget Sound, from my house, which is awesome), and everyone here has a backyard. I even live just a couple of blocks from someone who keeps goats, ducks, and geese in their backyard. Lots of people have chicken coops. Seattle is very into urban gardening & farming. I feel like my neighborhood is the best of both urban & rural lifestyle. I work downtown and my morning express bus ride is about 30 minutes, outside of rush hour I can drive to downtown in 20 minutes.

 

I also agree with writinglove that jobs are competitive, there are a lot of highly educated people here vying for the good jobs, and the big companies & organizations recruit nationally. It would be tough to come here with little experience, right out of college or grad school. And I have heard that the law market in particular is a tough nut to crack- they do prefer to hire locally in the local firms. I have a good friend who graduated from Harvard Law School- like me he is from NYC, but he went to U Washington (here in Seattle) for undergrad, which gave him some local credibility when he looked for law jobs. He has friends from his class at Harvard who are successful east coast lawyers who have asked him about finding law jobs in Seattle, and he advises them that it will be very difficult. This is just what one person has told me, but I believe it based on what I see here.

 

There is also something called the "Seattle freeze" that you should be aware of- people are not as friendly and open as in other places, and it can be hard to make true friends. It is easier when you have kids because everyone wants to have "play dates," but even so after 4 years I don't feel like I have a great social group (partly because I got here 34 weeks pregnant with my first child- I haven't quite figured out how to make friends and be a mom).

 

And yes, there is a strain of passive-aggressive behavior that runs rampant. But people are cordial and polite, in general. I like it for the most part. And you can't beat the views.

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