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DH has received two job offers for positions in the Seattle / Redmond area. I popped in here planning to scan for threads and posts about Seattle, and to ask some questions about living there. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be much traffic from Seattle moms. Is there something horrible about Seattle that we need to know?! :)<br><br>
Seriously, please post and tell me about Seattle or Redmond. These job offers came out of the blue and we know next to nothing about the area. We're both from Canada, and though we've spent a lot of time in the states, we are not familiar with the pacific northwest at all.<br><br>
If it helps, I can tell you a bit about us. We have two DDs, aged 2 and 3. Baby number three is due in May, and would be born in the US. I don't drive, and although I work two afternoons teaching at a local university here, I would be home full time after we moved.
 

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I think the traffic on this forum from Seattleites has cycles... we're just not posting much lately!<br><br>
I moved out here for my husband's job just voer two years ago from NY. I love it overall.<br><br>
The negatives are that housing is on the very expensive side- we just bought a 3BR townhouse and we'll be eating a lot of frugal meals for a few years! It can be difficult, IME to make friends. The extroverts I know don't seem to have as much trouble as I do, but its hard for me to put myself out there so much as an extreme introvert.<br><br>
I love the beauty of the area (snowcapped mountains all around!) and how short a drive it is to go on hikes/go camping/visit farms. The weather (never gets terribly cold in the winter, not too hot all summer,) definitely beats NY by a lot. I love the access to fresh organic produce- when I lived in NY it was a choice between supporting local farms and far flung organics. I also appreciate the access to midwifery and naturopathic care.<br><br>
In general, I find people here to be fairly educated. Many parents I have encountered are older then me- they worked for a while on building a career/saving money to buy a house before having children. Then again, I am on the young side to have a baby.
 

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I agree with what Erin said. People in Seattle can be a bit standoff-ish! And the housing prices are quite expensive. But I'm not sure what your financial situation is - maybe it won't be an issue. As far as Redmond goes, well, frankly, it's not somewhere I would want to live if I didn't drive. It's suburban and I don't mean that in a bad way - great schools, etc., but not very walkable and not a whole lot of character in my opinion. Seattle has some great neighborhoods where you could live and be able to walk to cafes, shops, library, etc. but traffic can be an issue. A bus commute might be an option to Redmond - I know Microsoft gives free bus passes and encourages people to bus if they can.
 

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Thank you so much for responding! We have glanced at real estate online, and I am completely terrified. I hope that I'm just looking in the wrong places, but I'm only finding houses in the half million dollar range. I saw a mobile home from 1975 and the people were asking $240,000 for it.<br><br>
We would be leaving a maritime climate in eastern Canada... so Seattle would be slightly warmer than what we're used to, but overall, very similar. Mostly, I'm worried about the cost of living, meeting people, and about the area being overly conservative.<br><br>
I'm really glad to hear that you don't regret you move to the area though. That's very encouraging.
 

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Hi<br><br>
I live in Issaquah, another suburb..many of the people working in redmond live in bellevue, Issaquah, bellevue,kirkland and bothell.Bellevue is my fav and is a very nice suburb to live in.Its expensive but not boring, has a lot going on.Pricewise, Just to give u an idea,Our friend recently bought a 1600 sq ft townhouse in bellevue , built in 1993 for 442k , it did not have any buyers or sellers agent.There are a lot of rentals and if homes are expensive then salaries are also quite good and a lot of people are moving in here and buying homes, so thats getting balanced in a way.Kirkland is another amazing suburb but even more expensive.If you are a canadian and coming here on visa then it makes sense to rent for a while and then invest in a house after getting a feel for the area.<br>
Western washington on the whole is very pretty, the contrast of mountains and waterfront all along is a great treat for your eyes.Lots of outdoor activities can be done. Lots really <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
But be prepared for grey days, lot of cloudiness during fall, winter and spring.This year summer also has been a downer of sorts.<br>
People are friendly but yes aloof.But I have heard that people here are very courteous and not rude unlike some places in the east coast. You definitely get used to it after staying here.<br>
Schools are good and people are on the higher end education level, I remember last year that this state has the highest no of graduates.People also read a lot. Libraries are always full and buzzing.<br>
Vey multicultural, suburbs are full of asians , europeans and people from all countires.<br>
All in all, very modern place to live in.Very pro green, organic, natural living. You will like living here for sure.<br>
Welcome
 

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I live just North of Redmond in Woodinville. It can be a little more affordable than Redmond or Bellevue.<br>
I personally really like this area, but it would be difficult to live here without driving. Perhaps downtown Seattle would be a better choice, it is more expensive to live there but the buslines are good. If you can learn to drive, though, I much prefer the eastern suburbs. I wouldn't feel terribly comfortable living in a "big city" area and I think the schools over on the East side are better.<br>
The housing costs can be really discouraging, but the salaries are usually pretty good to make up for it.<br>
Good luck with your decision! I've found most people who move here really like it unless they like hot sunny weather <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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We are Canadian and we moved to Redmond from Ontario, but are originally from Vancouver. We found Redmond to be very icy, and have heard other transplants and the counsellor we went to a few times say the same thing. There was a big article in the the Seattle Times that talked about the area with the area with the headline (N)ICE; which would be an apt description. People initially appear to be friendly; but it is very superficial.<br><br>
Redmond is not a very good location to be without a car. I would recommend Seattle over Redmond as it is easier to find walking neighbourhoods etc. Also easier to take the bus places. Also, I think Seattle is not as icy as Redmond/Bellevue/Kirkland. I met one woman from the midwest who lived for 3 years in Redmond, Bellevue with her family before moving to Mill Creek. She said she never made one friend in the Redmond/Bellevue, but Mill Creek was very friendly and her family was very happy. When we visited the area, it did seem much more family friendly. Again, I think not the best location without a car.<br><br>
Aside from that I think it depends on your preference. We like older houses, walking neighbourhoods. Redmond, Bellevue, Kirkland is like upscale suburbs.<br><br>
The most important thing I would consider as a Canadian taking a job in the US, is how would you feel if your husband lost his job completely out of the blue. It happened to us and we are now relocating again. It is a completely devastating experience, especially when there was no justification for it. I have heard from lots of other Canadians who have the same experience. As a Canadian on a work visa, you are completely without status the day a job is lost, and in theory should leave the country immediately.<br><br>
Also, I have heard from many people that think they make more money in the US. In our experience, the cost of goods is cheaper, but anything service related is 2-3 times the price. Utilities are way more expensive and some of the costs that as homeowners we paid for in house taxes, are passed on to tenants. There is no State tax, but the State gets their money in other ways. For the same salary in Canada, our take home pay is the same if we factor in the yearly tax refund we get, and we got several hundred dollars from the Cdn gov't for child benefits, not to mention the 20% grant for RESP contributions. So financially we are better off in Canada, and have better schooling options, healthcare etc.<br><br>
If you have any questions, feel free to pm me.
 

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OK, I had to respond to this <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">... I'm a Canadian, raised in Alberta, lived for a very happy year in Nova Scotia, lived in Seattle for 18 months...<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ChetMC</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9075373"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thank you so much for responding! We have glanced at real estate online, and I am completely terrified. I hope that I'm just looking in the wrong places, but I'm only finding houses in the half million dollar range. I saw a mobile home from 1975 and the people were asking $240,000 for it.<br><br>
We would be leaving a maritime climate in eastern Canada... so Seattle would be slightly warmer than what we're used to, but overall, very similar. Mostly, I'm worried about the cost of living, meeting people, and about the area being overly conservative.<br><br>
I'm really glad to hear that you don't regret you move to the area though. That's very encouraging.</div>
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Real estate is INSANELY expensive compared to the Maritimes. Make sure your husband is getting a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE raise. Try some of the online cost of living calculators - the Seattle salary may sound big but leave you less well off than you currently are.<br><br>
Climate wise, you'll be fine <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">.<br><br>
And it's not conservative compared to the Maritimes, but very much less friendly - my experience is that most people are friendly enough in a superficial conversation, but pretty busy with their own lives and not really looking to meet new people. Compared to my experiences in Nova Scotia, where sometimes it was a bit harder to start a conversation, but people were incredibly warm and welcoming once you did - I loved the "kitchen table" gatherings, those don't happen in Seattle... Also, the pace of life in Seattle was much faster and far more focused on material things, good schools (every 3 year old I knew was in preschool except mine), achievement, classes for kids, etc... Lots to like, but after 18 months we relocated to get a bit more "small town" - slower, friendlier life (and I lived in Toronto for 8 years, I know big cities).<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>westcoastmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9078344"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The most important thing I would consider as a Canadian taking a job in the US, is how would you feel if your husband lost his job completely out of the blue. It happened to us and we are now relocating again. It is a completely devastating experience, especially when there was no justification for it. I have heard from lots of other Canadians who have the same experience. As a Canadian on a work visa, you are completely without status the day a job is lost, and in theory should leave the country immediately.<br><br>
Also, I have heard from many people that think they make more money in the US. In our experience, the cost of goods is cheaper, but anything service related is 2-3 times the price. Utilities are way more expensive and some of the costs that as homeowners we paid for in house taxes, are passed on to tenants. There is no State tax, but the State gets their money in other ways. For the same salary in Canada, our take home pay is the same if we factor in the yearly tax refund we get, and we got several hundred dollars from the Cdn gov't for child benefits, not to mention the 20% grant for RESP contributions. So financially we are better off in Canada, and have better schooling options, healthcare etc.<br></div>
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Amen to all that. BTDT on the visas, NOT fun (so sorry, westcoastmom!). And no richer here either <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">, although I did get a husband from the move, so I'm here for the long haul...
 

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I live in Seattle and work on the eastside in Issaquah. Here are some pros and cons of Seattle living...<br><br>
1. It's a city. So that means you can get food delivered, there's a great library system, lots of parks, easy access to amenities, museums, a bus system, etc.<br>
2. It's a city. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> If you are more into rural or suburban living, then living in Redmond, or outside of Redmond, will probably suit you better.<br>
3. The real estate prices are ridiculous. The median for Seattle is something like $425,000. I don't know what it is for Redmond. I second the suggestion of making sure your husband is getting A LOT more money.<br>
4. The school system in Seattle... well, it could be improved upon. If only we had purchased a house 11 blocks north, we would be in another district!<br>
5. Yeah, it is hard to get to know Seattleites. I don't know if it's different in Redmond and smaller communities, but the old joke about Seattle is that if you move here, you need to bring your own friends. It's weird, because people are more willing to meet your eye and smile on the street, but it seems REALLY difficult to cultivate a friendship with someone who is an acquaintance.<br>
6. Compared to other cities (especially in the east!) the public transportation system is not fabulous, but it's much better in Seattle than in the suburbs. Most of the burbs are designed to be driveable, but not walkable.<br><br>
Hope this helps a bit! Good luck with your decision making!
 

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I am a transplant from Southern CA, my husband from VT- both 15 years. I have found Seattle(Washington in general) to be very welcoming. We have lived in several parts of the city and the eastside.<br><br>
We currently live in a newer community/neighborhood 25 miles due east of Seattle called Snoqualmie Ridge. It is a master planned community with lots of sidewalks, trails, parks, and a growing retail core; health clinic with naturopath, optometrist, dentist, childcare center, restaurants(mexican, thai. italian, subs, pizza, teriyaki, chinese), Starbucks and Zoka, IGA grocery store, Public Library, veterinarian, tanning salon, nail salon, martial arts center, children's shop, with more coming this fall.<br><br>
Home prices are still pretty high(I think we at about $450K for 2000sf), but it is a wonderful community that is conducive to not driving(we had one car for the first 18 months we lived here). It is also accessible to Redmond via a rural highway(about a 30 minute drive).<br><br>
As a new Mom, the best perk living here is that there are so many families. I am involved in several local Mom & Baby groups. We really can't keep up with all the activities!<br><br><a href="http://moms.meetup.com/2108/" target="_blank">http://moms.meetup.com/2108/</a><br><a href="http://www.sridge.com/" target="_blank">http://www.sridge.com/</a><br><a href="http://www.snoqualmieridge.org/" target="_blank">http://www.snoqualmieridge.org/</a><br><a href="http://www.nwrealestate.com" target="_blank">http://www.nwrealestate.com</a><br><br>
Good luck with your decision. If you find yourself in the neighborhood, feel free to contact us <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Best,<br>
Michelle
 

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I moved to Redmond straight from Chicago nearly 10 years ago - hard to believe its been so long!<br><br>
As two 20-somethings leaving an extremely urban environment, it was quite devastating to live in an apartment complex in Redmond for a year. We were terribly lonely - did not make a single friend in 1 year. That said, we were the WRONG demographic to be out there. We did not have tech jobs, we were not yet married, didn't have kids -- therefore, there wasn't much way to break into a social scene there. If we'd had kids, I suspect it might have been easier.<br><br>
We moved to Seattle after that year and have lived in Wallingford, Greenlake, and now West Seattle. We liked all three much better than Redmond. In that time we've married and had babies and found that West Seattle was much more family friendly and just friendlier in general.<br><br>
I have to say, it did take us quite a bit of time to make friends here but we were able to make them through two trips through graduate school (one fo reach of us), jobs, extra curricular activities (ie hobbies) and then having kids and getting to know other families. You can make friends here and people are very nice but it does take a bit of effort.<br><br>
Coming from a major city like Chicago, I have to say - I really do not thing it would be easy to live here with 3 kids and no car.<br><br>
If you're interested in more info, including details about West Seattle which might be a good fit for you depending on location of DH's job, feel free to PM me.
 

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I echo a lot of ErinBird's perceptions about the city & peoples' attitudes here. It takes effort, just as it would in ANY new place where you don't have a set group of friends, to meet new people and establish a social circle. I've been going to a weekly knitting group on Monday nights and it's fantastic, and there's been a little chatter here about doing an MDC Seattle moms potluck every now & again, though I'm not sure what the final decision of that was. Housing costs are very expensive, but can vary depending on your neighborhood. For instance, we're in Queen Anne. A house up the street from us is for sale. 4 bedrooms, 1.75 bathrooms, $1.5M. A similar house in Georgetown, which is a little bit south and right by Boeing, is $389K. Capitol Hill, Queen Anne, and Magnolia are all very gentrified and therefore expensive, but the flipside to that is they're very walkable; we use an average of $10 in gas every month, only driving on George's days off because I REALLY hate driving in cities. I've never been to Redmond, so I can't speak to it specifically, but neighborhoods tend to be defined by the professions and personalities of the people who work there. The U-District is very artsy and bohemian and 20-something-friendly for obvious reasons. Queen Anne is very urban professional family, most of the families have nannies (one of my favorite playground games is "mom or nanny?") and use Bugaboo or Phil & Ted strollers. Read a good guidebook or three and keep asking questions here. Sometimes we just need to be drawn out of our shells a bit <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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It is amazing how difficult it is to make friends around here.. especially natural minded families. Here, being the general Seattle area. Though Seattle is probably more "crunchy" than the Eastside, which is where Redmond is. It goes in spurts. Sometimes you meet the most friendliest and sometimes I have to check to make sure I'm not in NY or something! But it's home to me and I love it here.
 

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I don't know, I know a lot of crunchy people here on the eastside! I guess it depends on who you hang out with. I lived in Redmond for four years and liked it very much, but I am not a city person. I live in Kirkland now, which is wicked expensive but really nice and walker friendly. At least downtown, which is on the water. I tell people I could never afford to live here if we hadn't bought awhile back. I moved here from Athens GA, where I was in school, but hail from New York originally. I have been here almost eight years (where has the time gone!?). I love it. I can't see living anywhere else. I did initially have a hard time making friends, but once I had kids it was easier. I also worked downtown for the first 4 years I was out here. That made it hard to make friends outside of work - a lot were commuting from Everett or Renton. I kind of think of the whole area as intellectual, liberal mecca.<br><br>
Coincidentally, I also have two dd 2 and 3 1/2 and one due in March. If you are ever here on a visit and want to meet up for a park date let me know. I can show you the eastside, it is very suburban but there are great parks and schools.
 

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I think it all depends on what city and what neighborhood you live in. For example, someone else said Mill Creek was friendly -- well, I lived in Mill Creek for 4 years and hated it! I thought it was very snooty. And soooo many rules! We now live in Bellevue (mere inches from Redmond <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> ) and love it.<br><br>
The Seattle area in general is pretty liberal. The Bellevue/Redmond area is conservative <i>for Seattle</i>, but you have to keep in mind that's compared to Seattle, which is really very liberal. Seattle is extra-crunchy, but the Eastside is pretty crunchy, too.<br><br>
Housing prices are pretty high. We live in a 'low income' area of Bellevue where the houses on our street are only $425k or so. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: But, it's still a nice area. I have the advantage of being on two bus lines and still within walking distance of a nice little mall, post office, several restaurants, drug stores, groceries (2), and a movie theater. And, two parks.<br><br>
I'm a Seattle-area native. But I have to say, the least friendly place I ever lived was Salt Lake City.
 

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I personally love the Eastside(Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond etc.). We moved to Redmond a year ago and I really love it. I don't feel too cramped. I would actually love to be more in the country(like in Duvall) but for the time being I do love it here. Its such a beautiful area and great access to just about everything.It just feels clean and like alot of places are newer. We lived in Bellevue for a year before our move to Redmond and that felt a little more city'ish for me. But it was still a nice area. I'm growing fond of Issaqah. It's a beautiful area at the base of the mountains. VERY pricy but an excellent commute to Bellevue/Redmond or Seattle. I'm a real estate agent so if you have anymore questions about the market, feel free to PM me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">:
 

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I've grown up in the Seattle area (Bellevue to be specific), and I'm surprised to here people say that it's hard to make friends here! I find people here to be very friendly and not so much aloof, but just busy I guess. I know that in downtown Bellevue or in certain parts of Seattle people can be a bit snooty, especially Mercer Island. Overall though I wouldn't anywhere else, despite the insane cost of housing. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: It's so bad that dh and I don't even know if we can ever afford to buy a house with the way it's going. We are young parents living on the Eastside, he's 24 and I'm 25, so we kind of stick out. Everyone else is about in their thirties or forties and generally has a master's degree, drives a large SUV or nice new Honda or BMW. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
Besides all the snootiness though people are really down to earth and accepting of alternative/off beat living here. There are a lot of crunchy mamas and tons of midwives, birth centers, naturapathic clincs, and plenty of non-vaxers too. The scenery is just beautiful and the weather is great too.
 

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DH and I just moved to Seattle from east of the mountains (different from the "east side" of Bellvue etc) I heard about the "Seattle freeze" --people being superficial but otherwise not very friendly. After 6 weeks, I haven't felt it. People have been very friendly and inviting. We rent in Portage Bay, just outside of the university district. We've met great people here, shared dinner and drinks with some other couples...We're regulars at the dog park and have had wonderful interactions with strangers. I think its hard to forge meaningful relationships anywhere you go....it takes a lot of tries. And don't worry about Seattle being conservative!
 
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