Moving to Seattle. Need HELP! :) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 21 Old 01-29-2011, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi there.  :)

 

I'm going to be moving to Seattle with my two kiddos (3 y.o.) in the near future.  As in very near future.  As in... a few weeks!

 

I've never even been to Seattle before.  It's a long story of how and why we're moving, but yeah...  I'm very excited but a bit nervous.

 

I'm going to be looking for apartments but am SO overwhelmed.  I have no idea where to look.  We live on a pretty fixed income, especially until I am able to find a job.  (Considering I haven't had a "real" work history since about 2006 that's going to be fun.)  I figure we can afford about 700-800-900 dollars of rent a month.  We need a 2 bedroom for that price.  Square footage doesn't matter nearly as much as safety and that it's not, like, covered in mold or bugs.  Yick.  I've read horror stories online - places that looked promising had reviews that the apartments were plain old falling apart or infested with black mold. 

 

We do have a car but I don't want to be driving around the city; I want to be able to live as carfree as possible.  There isn't really a commute to worry about but I'd love to be able to do city living as much as possible - I'm guessing there's NO way we could afford an apartment downtown unless it was a crackden or something, but I'm thinking maybe there's some areas on the outskirts of town that still have access to public transportation?  Maybe?

 

Does anyone have any advice on where I can *start* looking?  I've looked on Cragislist and a bunch of apartment places but right now the only thing I've heard is "don't move south of downtown cos it's not safe" - but that's all I know...


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#2 of 21 Old 01-29-2011, 04:49 PM
 
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not all south is bad in that price range I would look in becon hill ( some nice some scary ) northgate greenwood and ballard . Ballad being te safest and I would tie it with COlumbia city for safty I wil post more DS is grabing my arms lol

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#3 of 21 Old 01-29-2011, 11:12 PM
 
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I second the Graceie's recommendations. I've lived in both northgate and greenwood/crown hill without a car. In both cases, I had a couple grocery stores, cafes, restaurants, and buslines within a few blocks. Both are safe neighborhoods, though you might want to avoid Aurora Ave. I also agree that not all south is bad, though I've never lived there.
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#4 of 21 Old 01-30-2011, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey thanks!

 

I found a Wikipedia page that lists all the neighborhoods and the maps of where they are, so I've been researching the ones mentioned in the thread.

 

I like the advice, if anyone else has any more I would love to hear it.  I'm so lost when it comes to this so I'd love to know as much as possible before I go. We're not even visiting it first, just packing everything up in a Pod and moving up there all at once, staying in temporary housing until I find a place.  So overwhelmed.  Have a house to pack up and a life to sort out in like two weeks.  Yeek.


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#5 of 21 Old 01-30-2011, 07:42 PM
 
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You will be hard pressed to find much for $700 in the city, but $900 is not out of the question on the outskirts of the city.

Greenwood is a cute area and northgate is near the bus mass transit stations.  The closer you get to the University District (Roosevelt neighborhood) the more prices will increase due to demand coming from the college students.  Wallingford is another great area, but the prices might be higher.  Ballard is great too. 

To be honest, $900 is going to be tough to find with the quality you might want and the things you desire.  ie.. the ease of walking to the store, coffee shops type of stuff. 

 

If you have to go out of Seattle, Shoreline is a great place. 

 

Also, I am not sure what kind of income you are on, but these are recently built and available for fixed income families.  http://www.housing4families.com/cambridge.php  They are across the street from a nice community center, huge kids park with wading pool in the Summer, and a lake (although no one swims in it).  They are walking distance to the grocery store, starbucks, video store, some clothes store, and restuarants.  I dont know anyone that lives there so I cant give a review though. 

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#6 of 21 Old 01-31-2011, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the link!  I checked out their website and although it doesn't look especially glamorous it does look like it may be ideal for our family right now.  I emailed them with a few questions - if they all come back positive I'll definitely be touring them when I get there!  :)


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#7 of 21 Old 01-31-2011, 09:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagnoliaDragon View Post

Thanks for the link!  I checked out their website and although it doesn't look especially glamorous it does look like it may be ideal for our family right now.  I emailed them with a few questions - if they all come back positive I'll definitely be touring them when I get there!  :)


Yeah, I dont know anything about them other than they are new and probably going to be higher quality in that sense than anything else you could get for $900 in the city limits.  As far as the type of people that live there or the management of the building, I dont know anything.   I worked for city at the community center across the street before the Apartments were built.  The area has some transients, but nothing like downtown.  Its very close to the bus line too. 

If I was was on a $900 budget and wanted to live in the city, I would probably look into this place.  
 

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#8 of 21 Old 01-31-2011, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, the downside is that they don't allow ANY pets - and I'm not sure I can live without my two babies!  And the rent there is still a bit higher than we wanted  - it's 1100 for a 2 bedroom.  But we are still considering them because they do look convenient location-wise.

 

Another question - I've been seeing a lot of ads for Renton, WA.  A lot of promising places within our budget, and it doesn't look too far from the city itself.  My question is mainly this - how prevelant is military in that area?  (Or in Seattle in general.)  My husband doesn't want to be anywhere near a military base or see guys in uniform - he is ex-military and it triggers his PTSD.


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#9 of 21 Old 02-01-2011, 10:23 AM
 
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I live in Renton, and I love it here!  The closest military base is Fort Lewis.  There are no military dudes or dudettes in uniform hanging around unless you go south to Seatac and hang out inside the airport.  I assume they stick to the bases when they're in uniform unless they're having to travel by plane. 


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#10 of 21 Old 02-01-2011, 11:57 AM
 
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Renton is nice it just depends on where you are working and such . I love Ballard for alot of things and Renton for other . you could get more space in renton but the commute isn't great to parts of Seattle . it shouldn't be hard to find a two bedroom for 900 in either place

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#11 of 21 Old 02-01-2011, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a13xandra View Post

I live in Renton, and I love it here!  The closest military base is Fort Lewis.  There are no military dudes or dudettes in uniform hanging around unless you go south to Seatac and hang out inside the airport.  I assume they stick to the bases when they're in uniform unless they're having to travel by plane. 



Yeah - here there are several bases and uniformed people are everywhere from the grocery store to restaurants to just walking around aimlessly downtown.  I remember when my husband was up they werent allowed to just walk about in uniform off-post but apparently here those rules just don't apply.  So he was worried about that being the case in Seattle too - but I'm glad to hear that's not going to be an issue. :)

 

I found a few places in Renton I'm going to check out.  It's so frustrating - I've never lived in an apartment before (we're selling our house) and the apartment search is new to me.  Never mind doing it with two tiny kids in tow, and not knowing anything about the area.  Ohhh well I'm a nomad at heart so this should be fun for me lol.


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#12 of 21 Old 02-02-2011, 09:44 AM
 
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If I wanted to live near the city I probably wouldnt move to Renton, but its not horribly far away either.  Check out Shoreline too.  Its a nice area and its the first city north of Seattle.  Its been rated as one of the best places to live by a few magazines.  They have good schools, great parks and rec, and lots of things going on. 

I would probably choose Shoreline over Renton, but that is a location preference for me.  Its on the border of Seattle city limits. 

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#13 of 21 Old 02-02-2011, 10:14 AM
 
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If you look in rent on I highly advise staying in the north rent on or near down down area or east closer to bellevue there are a lot of places that look great online but are really in or near skyway
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#14 of 21 Old 02-02-2011, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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See I thought Renton was bordering Seattle - see, that's why I need local perspective!! :)

 

What's Skyway?


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#15 of 21 Old 02-02-2011, 01:38 PM
 
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think covneivce stores with bars on the windows and crack everywhere !    its also where all these low rent aparmetens with the the " aminties " think pool play ground ect are I dont get it and personaly I think its really not worth it .

 

if your thinking north maybe lakecity ? I was just there its OK and there a bunch of bus lines its in north seattle .

 

do you know where you will be working ?  how long can you stay in your temp houseing ? it helps to get a feel for the city

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#16 of 21 Old 02-02-2011, 09:27 PM
 
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I've looked at this thread a couple times and I'm thinking it would be helpful to know more about why you're moving.  Are you moving here for a job?  If so, where is the jobsite? The Seattle metropolitan area is big, and there's a huge lake right smack in the middle of it.  So sure, you can live in Renton, but if your husband is working in Northgate his commute is going to suck. You'll probablyw ant to look first at areas near where his/your job will be.

 

Do you want to become a carless family in the long run, or are you current carless?

 

It sounds like you are eager to live in the Big City, but is that what you really want, or are you just envisioning Seattle that way?  Because Seattle as a metropolitan area is quite large and varied, and much of it is highly inconvenient to get around in without a car.  Seattle proper has pretty good mass transportation, but outside of the city proper, the areas where I'd say you can reasonably live carless without wasting a heck of a lot of time making bus transfers or have your lifestyle severaly limtied by mass transportation are fairly few. It's "low income", but that's just by comparison to the rest of Bellevue.


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#17 of 21 Old 02-04-2011, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Neither my husband nor I have jobs lined up.  As a matter of fact, he probably won't be working at all for a few years.  Not sure.  Me, well... I haven't the foggiest where to start looking for a job.  I don't have a career per se, started a family right out of college and never intended to be anything but a SAHM but life didn't turn out conveniently for that.  I might go back to grad school since Seattle has some great programs but we have to see if that makes sense. So right now... really any kind of job that will put food on the table will work, so I'm not really tied to any section of the city.

 

I would love to be a carless family.  Right now we have two POS cars that we'll probably trade in for one smaller vehicle but I hope to not have to use it on a daily basis - more to have for convenience sake or for trips out of the city etc.  I grew up in Budapest which, at the time, was extremely great with public transportation.  Then I also lived in Manhattan afterwards, where it was more convenient to NOT have a car than to HAVE one.  Lately we've lived in strip mall suburbia and I am soooo sick of it.  There is nothing within walking distance except a liquor store.  Considering we don't drink, that's really useful.  I don't intend to be completely car-free, but I'd like to be able to navigate mostly without it.  Like, I'd like to be able to walk to a grocery store when the need strikes me, instead of going once-a-month shopping, etc.

 

I wouldn't mind living somewhere less than ideal for the short run (provided it's safe enough and we won't get robbed or anything).  I'm certain in a few years we'll be better situated with finances.  Right now we're very low income but I don't see that as a constant.  Also, my husband is working with the VA for getting housing assistance for disabled veterans.  Hopefully that will come through.  I'm not especially thrilled to have to go down that route, but he's going to be concentrating on therapy for the next while instead of being able to look for employment.   


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#18 of 21 Old 02-04-2011, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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test...


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#19 of 21 Old 02-04-2011, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, I'm not sure why my last post didn't go through - it said it was being held for moderation because I was a new member? Who knows. Maybe it will still post, so I won't write the whole dang thing out again. Anyway, to answer your question, no, neither of us have jobs at the moment. I don't even know where to start looking as I never really started a career after graduating college. I might possibly go back for another run at grad school but then again, maybe not. The husband is not going to be employable at the time being, unfortunately, due to ongoing therapy. We may or may not have a shot at housing assistance for disabled veterans through the VA, but that's still up in the air. I'm willing to live in a less than stellar place for the time being until I get settled on a job. I just don't want to get robbed, mugged, raped... etc. And I don't want a place that's completely falling apart. We're leaving a pretty nice 3 story house in a very low-COL area to move into an apartment in a high-COL area so I know there will be tons of sacrifices, but that's alright.

 

Oh, and we do have 2 cars right now that we will trade in for one smaller, more reliable car - but I would prefer to not use it every day, just for special occasions (like a jaunt across town or out of town, etc.) - I would like to get to work and/or run errands with public transport if possible. (ETA: I grew up in Budapest where the public transportation was phenomenal, and then lived in Manhattan where it was more convenient to not have a car than to have one. But since then we've been living in strip-mall suburbia where there's absolutely nothing in walking distance.)

 

ETA again: By "temp housing" I mean I will be staying with my two toddlers in one of those rent by the week hotels. Not ideal circumstances. I wanna move into an apartment ASAP but hopefully with a 6 month lease if we can, and then once the lease is up (probably in a year or so, then) we'll probably look for a better housing option. Esp. cos in a year I should have a better idea if I'm working or going to school or what, and where.


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#20 of 21 Old 02-13-2011, 07:19 PM
 
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Sounds like you might qualify for HUD housing (apartment rent help). Here's the link: http://www.hud.gov/local/wa/working/localofficeseattle.cfm


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#21 of 21 Old 02-20-2011, 10:34 PM
 
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I just moved to Greenwood and I love it, and there probably are affordable apts here but I don't really know about them...

 

One small neighborhood that might work for you is Licton Springs.. it has a really sweet park and is heavy on the apartment living, the housing seems pretty basic but not bad.  It's a few blocks away from Aurora ave which is rough but you have a police station nearby and a few other things that keep it safe.  There's also North SEattle Community college right near by.  my daughter's babysitter lives there (in licton springs apt building, 9515 interlake ave n), and there are some issues with it but it's affordable and reasonable to live there with kids (she has a 2 1/2 year old and another baby on the way).  i've walked around there after dark from the bus, and it is ok..

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