Relocating to the Seattle area from Chicago
February 18, 2014 8:53 PM Subscribe
We are considering relocating to the Seattle area from Chicago after living here for 4-5 years. What should we know beforehand?
posted by deathpanels to Society & Culture (22 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My girlfriend and I are considering relocating soon, and our top choice of destination is Seattle for various reasons, mostly having to do with jobs and weather. She has better odds of landing a good job there, and there seems to be enough work in the area for me. Also, we have spent lots of time around the Pacific Northwest (Portland and Vancouver) and we love it, though we have not visited Seattle. I will be making a trip this summer for a writing workshop, and I'll likely have a few extra days to check out the area, so suggestions for places to visit would be appreciated.
Of course, I have a few questions/concerns. I'm just going to brain dump here, and you can pick out whatever portion of this question you care to answer.
- I currently work for a software company doing a combination of programming and design work with web applications. Am I going to need to work on my resume to find a fit in Seattle, or are there jobs like this in the area?
- My girlfriend works in education, particularly in digital/online courses. Are there education companies in the area that she should look into?
- I bike a lot. It is my general impression that Seattle is bike friendly, but I don't know how this translates to my everyday biking activities. In Chicago, I have a ~20 minute, 6 mile bike commute which I can do about 8 months a year, weather permitting. Is Seattle, by comparison, better or worse than Chicago for biking to work?
- Is it possible to live without a car? In Chicago, I mostly bike or take buses/trains. My girlfriend has a car which she uses to commute and get groceries, so we do drive, but we like having other options.
- I am a nerd. I get the impression that Seattle is a more geek friendly city than Chicago. Is this just because of the proliferation of Amazon/Microsoft culture, or is there more to it?
- Currently we live around the Logan Square/Humboldt Park area in Chicago. We are quite happy with our proximity to unique cocktail bars and coffee shops, and our relatively inexpensive rent. I also like the diversity of Logan Square. I know neighborhoods aren't interchangeable, but what would be an analogous area in Seattle that we should look into?
- How does cost of living compare? Online calculators are telling me Seattle is slightly cheaper than Chicago, but I don't know if that's actually the case, particularly as it seems that Seattle has been getting pricier in recent years.
- We are pretty used to Chicago at this point, and I am a bit concerned that wherever we move, it will feel less like a city to us. I love that i can drive in any direction in Chicago and end up in a totally different place without ever leaving the city. I think a small town vibe would drive us batty. Is Seattle metropolitan enough to make us feel at home?
I know these are somewhat vague questions, so I will try to respond to follow ups. Right now we're still in the "grass is greener" phase so hearing about some of the relative merits of Chicago over Seattle might also help to reign in our wanderlust a bit.
Thanks in advance!