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So I've decided to look into moving to Seattle.
June 12, 2006 11:39 AM   Subscribe

So I've decided to look into moving to Seattle. Where should I live with the budget I have?

I would like to spend no more than $1,100 for a 1 bed room apartment.

I'll probably be working in bellevue, but don't necessarily have to live IN Bellevue or even right-beside Bellevue.

My biggest issues are that:

- I want the best of both worlds: Feeling like I'm in a community and not a huge city, being relatively close to the water/mountains, but still being a part of Seattle.

- I wanna feel like I live "in Seattle." Meaning, I want to relatively close to the action. I will have a car, but I don't wanna live 30 minutes out of town.

- I'm a 25-year-old and single/straight male and would like to be in an fun, safe area with a lot of young professionals.

Any suggestions on areas, apartments, and anything else you think I should know?
posted by bamassippi to Home & Garden (35 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm kinda in the same situation. I was living in a great house in Lake City that was very inexpensive, but after two years I was going crazy, because there was nothing to do. I pay more now to live somewhere where I feel like I'm part of a community (and I don't have to drive everywhere).

Good neighborhoods for you? Here are the ones I've looked at houses in:

Fremont (hippie-dippy)
Ballard (gentrified industrial)
Wallingford (students)
Ravenna (students, quieter, short walk to U-district)
U-District (apartments are cheap, houses are expensive, obviously lots of students)
Capitol Hill (Great, fun, young, artsy, shitty parking, drugs, bums)
Queen Anne (Similar in many ways to Capitol Hill, but my perception is it's a bit more expensive)
Beacon Hill (cheaper, in the process of getting cleaned up, within biking but not walking distance of fun stuff)

Right now, you can expect to spend about $500-600 for an apartment, and $600+ for a house, assuming you live with 1-2 room mates, and you're looking at basically the same kinds of places I'm looking at (decent).
posted by Hildago at 11:55 AM on June 12, 2006


I realize that I might be thrusting my prejudices on you here, but I would highly recommend looking in and around Bellevue if you're going to be working there. Living in Seattle would be trading proximity to "the action" for a hellish commute, which might not be apparent if you're just looking on a map. Bellevue is separated from Seattle by Lake Washington and the only way to get across is two bridges -- 520 and I-90 -- both of which are traffic nightmares.

I really don't know much about living in Bellevue or any of the directly adjacent places in terms of nightlife, but it's definitely close to the water, and closer to the mountains than you'd be living in Seattle.
posted by camcgee at 11:59 AM on June 12, 2006


Oh, and since I'm coming off of 6 years as a UW student, my experience is biased towards being within one bus from campus (and in N. Seattle). I know people who live south of down town, and places like Georgetown and South Park are certainly cheap and not terribly far from things. Down side would be that they're not extremely safe either, though my perception in recent months is that there's been a severe crackdown by police, in an effort to clean them up.

For instance it's been a couple months since I saw an obvious prostitute soliciting on Marginal Way. I used to know the regulars by sight. I really miss old Club Foot and Snaggletooth.
posted by Hildago at 12:01 PM on June 12, 2006


Ack, yeah, I didn't notice you're going to be working in Bellevue. If that's the case I highly, highly recommend you live on the East Side, as the commute will rob you of your soul. I've no experience with East Side living, so I can't give recommendations.
posted by Hildago at 12:03 PM on June 12, 2006


I bought a house about a year ago in Wedgwood (north of UW, south of Lake City). I love it, but it's a bit lacking in the nightlife department. I'm expecting it to skew younger over time, though (everyone here is either quite young or quite old).

I would recommend Beacon Hill. It was a bit sketchier than I liked, but it's definitely the most affordable area that Hildago listed, it's close to everything, and there's a good range of people.
posted by bjrubble at 12:04 PM on June 12, 2006


Kirkland is nice ... on the Eastside, some areas not terribly expensive (although some are). You're 15 minutes from Seattle (except during rush hour, which is bad-bad), and the little Kirkland downtown can be fun. Many will argue that the Eastside is not "Seattle," but I wouldn't knock it.
posted by frogan at 12:08 PM on June 12, 2006


I will go ahead and knock the east side. People mentioned the hellish commute to the east side. Now imagine that none of your friends will come visit you because of that same hellish commute.

Just about any neighborhood in Seattle has a sense of community (possibly excepting Belltown) and will put you close to "the action of Seattle."

There are some areas of Seattle that put you within one bus route of the east side. This is the compromise that most of my friends who are stuck working there have made. Some neighborhoods like this would be Montlake, Capitol Hill, U-district, Rainier, Ravenna. Seriously, start your search with a bus map.

There's nothing that is a priori wrong with the East Side, it's just the difference between living in a city or living in a suburb. You can work around commutes and rents but if you want to feel like you're living "in Seattle" you can't do that on the East Side.

btw, $1100 at this time should be just fine for rent.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:18 PM on June 12, 2006


This is sort of a rough map of Seattle by neighborhood. Anything further west/north (Fremont, Ballard, Magnolia, even Queen Anne) will be harder to get to the highway for commuting to Bellevue. Anything a bit west (I'd vote for Capitol Hill, Montlake, Magnolia or Madison Park if you can find a good building) puts you quite a few exits onto the 520 for crossing the lake and you don't have to deal with downtown traffic there. As a young or mid-20s, single, active guy, I'd still vote for staying on that side and commuting. There are HOV lanes and commuter buses, and even more options if you work for a large tech company over there.
posted by fionab at 12:21 PM on June 12, 2006


Ps. moving to Seattle is one of the wisest choices an adult can make in life, right up there with going to college and choosing a good spouse.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:22 PM on June 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


Here's the map. I agree with Slarty Bartfast. If you know the bus route of your employer, or have a carpool/shuttle to use, work backwards. I'd still rather live in one of these neighborhoods and commute (sensibly) than live on the East side - especially if you're new to the area and want to meet friends, make new ones, go to shows, walk around, sit in coffee places, walk around new neighborhoods, etc. Maybe after a year or two, when you know the scene more, you can move to the East side. I wouldn't recommend it for newcomers.
I don't actually live in Seattle, but I've spent a ton of time there and have dear friends that have made the above mistake.
posted by fionab at 12:26 PM on June 12, 2006


PS: Don't go for Belltown or Pioneer Square places. They're both sort of touted as hip new industrial-turned-loft neighborhoods and they're both just weird, in different ways. Neither one really works for your commute anyway. I'll shut up now.
posted by fionab at 12:28 PM on June 12, 2006


I have to agree with everyone saying you should live in Bellevue if you work in Bellevue. You say you want to be within 30 minutes of work from home, but a commute from Seattle to Bellevue most days is at least 30 minutes, assuming you're taking I-90. 520 is a nightmare. For a while I worked at 520 and Lake Washington and lived in Northgate. The commute ranged from 45 minutes to well over 90.

You could try Mount Baker, but it may be too residential for you. Beacon Hill is gentrifying, slowly. There's also Capitol Hill, which has the demographics you're looking for, but then you're locked into 520.
posted by dw at 12:33 PM on June 12, 2006


Seattle is the place to start, if you are new to the area. Once you know seattle well, there are advatages to the east side. Construction quality is *much* better out east. Good luck finding houses with insulation or double paned windows on the west side!

If you spend a lot of time in Seattle, the commute from one side to the other seems to get longer and longer. It only takes a few weeks in LA to realize that distances and traffic in Seattle are trivial.

The east side will suck out your soul, so if you do start out east, plan on spending a lot of time over in the city.
posted by b1tr0t at 12:42 PM on June 12, 2006


520 is not bad if you have a person (or a "slug") to share the ride with. Being able to use the commuter lane == acceptable commute. Not being able to == death.
posted by zpousman at 12:45 PM on June 12, 2006


I've never lived on the East Side, I must admit. But moving here 8 years ago, not knowing anyone, I was amazed by the number of friendly, open minded people I met almost instantly living in the city. Maybe you're older or a more private person, but moving to a new city is so much easier when you establish a social circle quickly and that can happen in the city.

Take an ipod or a book and spend an hour on the bus reading every day.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:50 PM on June 12, 2006


Now imagine that none of your friends will come visit you because of that same hellish commute.

Well, the nice thing is, bamassippi probably doesn't HAVE many friends in Seattle yet.

I work in downtown Bellevue and live in the Eastgate/Factoria area of Bellevue. I would stick with Bellevue or Kirkland if you will be single-commuting to work, UNLESS you have a schedule flexible enough to go in at say 10 AM and leave at 7 PM. I actually lived in Lynnwood (actually, it was practically Mukilteo) and commuted to Bellevue and/or Seattle for several years and I'd prefer that to trying to cross the water at rush hour, frankly.

I'll agree with Slarty that moving here is a great idea. I visited here in 1990, loved it, and then (stupidly) turned around and went back to Detroit, thinking I'd like to live out here "someday." I finally got the chance in 2000 to move here, though I almost didn't due to the prospect of losing all the Michigan friends I'd made. (Said Michigan friends looked at me like I was nuts. "Go! Go!" That's what made my mind up in the end.) Best decision ever.
posted by kindall at 12:54 PM on June 12, 2006


The 520 HOV lane westbound requires 3 riders, so one "slug" isn't going to be enough.
posted by matildaben at 1:01 PM on June 12, 2006


If you spend a lot of time in Seattle, the commute from one side to the other seems to get longer and longer. It only takes a few weeks in LA to realize that distances and traffic in Seattle are trivial.

Totally. This hellish commute everyone's talking about is really the worst commute in the Seattle area (the commute is reverse, ie people live in the city and commute to the east side). 45 minutes is the norm in California going anywhere to anywhere.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:10 PM on June 12, 2006


Save your sanity and live on the same side of the lake that you work on. I've live on the eastside for ten years and have worked both sides of the lake. I love it and wouldn't live in "Seattle" for anything.

Right now I'm 15 minutes from work on a bad day and the minutes I save every day are adding weeks to my lifespan.
posted by trinity8-director at 1:26 PM on June 12, 2006


You can either have an under 30 minute drive to the fun in Seattle, or an under 30 minute drive to work. It'll be hard to manage both if you are working in Belluvue.

The bridges are crummy at rush hour no matter which direction you are going. There are still plenty of people who live on the east side and commute to downtown.

If you do decide it's important for you to live in Seattle proper, I'd check out the transit maps and find places that are an easy 1-bus ride from work, then work from there. Buses still get caught in traffic when its at its worst, but the cross-lake busses are generally pretty nice, and someone else is doing the driving, so you can relax and read.

BTW, downtown Bellevue has a very different feel these days than it did a few years ago. There is now a walkable core and downtown condos and apartments.
posted by Good Brain at 1:59 PM on June 12, 2006


It only takes a few weeks in LA to realize that distances and traffic in Seattle are trivial.

The commute is a matter of perspective, but pointing out that it's worse in Los Angeles doesn't make it less unpleasant unless you happen to be coming from there. The asker lives in Alabama, so it's pretty much guaranteed to be worse here than what he's used to.

My own perspective comes from living most of my life in places less densely populated than Seattle (mostly in Tennessee), but every time I have to deal with rush-hour freeway traffic or delays on the bridges, I offer a quiet prayer of thanks that I work from home. (It could be I'm just spoiled from lack of daily commuting.)
posted by camcgee at 2:05 PM on June 12, 2006


I lived a little over a year in West Seattle and around a year in Cap Hill, and I would recommend either.

The place in W Seattle was the basement of a house. The apartments I looked at over there were kinda small and a bit pricy. There was a neat little community centered on "the Junction" where California and Alaska meet. It was a very residential area and quite quiet. I was around 15 minutes from downtown. There are a lot of restaurants and whatnot, but nothing like the rest of the city. Alki beach is in West Seattle, and is very pretty if you can get through the sea of bodies roaming around on a sunny day. It makes for some excellent people watching. West Seattle may be a bit of a commute to Bellevue though.

For a one bedroom on Cap Hill, I paid 675 a month (which included 40 for a parking space) but that was a wacky deal that I stumbled upon by being in the right place at the right time. Cap Hill is much more dense population wise and consequently, there was much more to do within walking distance. It is a funky area where you are likely to see business suits walk past three guys with mowhawks and a homeless teenager to get in his Mercedes parked next to a soccer mom's mini-van. As I understand it, there is a large gay community centered in Cap Hill as well as a lot of little clubs, bars, restaurants, coffee shops, you name it. A lot of people I knew were the coffee shop hanger-outers, and knew each other though that or the music scene. (Most of the REALLY interesting parties I have been to were in that area.) More people, of course, means more noise and hubbub. I got to the point where I didn't really hear sirens unless they were close. (I lived a few blocks from like 3 hospitals. Not trying to give the impression it was martial law or anything.) Parking SUCKS, so I would recommend getting a place with off street parking if you can. If you are interested in Cap Hill MAKE SURE you go look at the place. I shopped around for around a month and saw a LOT of pits. Oddly enough, my place was not much to look at from the outside (You live in THAT?) but was quite nice on the inside. Once again, Cap Hill might, depending on how close you are to an on-ramp, be a bit of a hassle to get to Bellevue for work every day.

I’ve a friend who lives on the outskirts of Bellevue and works in SODO. She doesn’t mind the commute so much, but she is opposite the traffic. I try to avoid going across those bridges as much as possible unless it is the middle of the night.
posted by Chickenjack at 2:14 PM on June 12, 2006


45 minutes is the norm in California going anywhere to anywhere.

The difference is that LA has a lot of freeways; Seattle depends on two bridges to connect 2 million people together. If a bridge on the 405 were to collapse, there would be plenty of alternate routes, including city streets. If you went through the 520 closure in 1999, you remember what a nightmare it was for a couple of weeks.

Honestly, the fact I'm on the same side of Lake Washington AND the Ship Canal has had a profound influence on where I work and live. I'm making less money at the university, but my commute has only exceeded 45 minutes once in the last few years. I could work for a Large Software Company In Redmond and make twice what I do at the U, but it's a comparatively huge commute.
posted by dw at 2:33 PM on June 12, 2006


I generally wouldn't recommend ever living on the opposite side of the lake from one's job. Having said that, I wouldn't want to live on the East Side either, so that would limit my job choices... :)

Beacon Hill has been mentioned a few times -- it is, incidentally, very convenient to I-90. But of course, 90 is not quite as good for getting to Bellevue as 520 is -- depends on what part of Bellevue, though. (Aren't Factoria, Eastgate, etc. technically part of Bellevue? If the job's in that area, 90 is your choice.) Any commute involving 520 will kill you. Some have alluded to a car pool lane -- well, the 520 bridge itself doesn't have one, just the highway leading up to it. So it does save you time, but if the bridge is messed up you will still be stuck.

Given a choice I would almost always take 90 over 520.
posted by litlnemo at 3:12 PM on June 12, 2006


If you want hip and fun, you want to be in Capitol Hill, I'd say.

And if you're at all flexible, you do NOT have to live on the Eastside just because you work there.

We live in Ballard and work in Redmond. Options we work into our commute:
--Carpooling
--Drive to the Green Lake Park and Ride, take express bus to East Side
--Telecommuting
--Arranging to work non-rush hours. I can get from Microsoft to Ballard in exactly 30 minutes if I work noon-8 pm one day a week.
--We don't bike, but our friends do. They bike to a bus stop, put bike on express bus and take the bus the rest of the way.
posted by GaelFC at 3:13 PM on June 12, 2006


I drive to Bellevue every fucking day for my job. It sucks, but the only thing worse would be living in Bellevue. It is a worthless, souless imitation of a city populated by vacant-eyed yuppies (you know, people like me) stumbling to their BMWs. It is *not* walkable downtown and, even if it were, there's nowhere to walk to.

Try to arrange it so that you'll be commuting by I-90. It flies compared to 520. Also, 520 is a dangerous road, it's an arterial that's been forced to impersonate a freeway.

The best way to commute is by bus. Pick a neighborhood carefully so that you can catch a direct bus w/o transferring. It'll still suck time, but not your soul. If you're a laptop person, many buses have WiFi.
posted by stet at 5:54 PM on June 12, 2006


So, as a 12 year resident of Seattle, I can say without a doubt and echo stet and others:

You should live on the west side, even if for now you work on the east side. Jobs change easily, don't make your home and 'hood reflect your job- that's lame corporate servitude. Keep your life distinct from your job, live in a good place, and you'll find the commute is rarely that bad.

That said, this question is easier to answer if you tell us where in Bellevue you'll be working, and what are your non-work interests (are you a drinker? A carouser? An outdoorsy type prone to roller blading in his spare time? A wanna-be funky bohemian?).


Neighborhoods
Seattle has many cool neighborhoods for 25 year old single young professionals, and no part of Seattle seems like a "huge city"- it's very small town in the sense that you get to know circles of people, etc, and get a nice neighborhood feel in most every little area. It also doesn't really have many "unsafe" areas. The east side has no real community, it's for soulless uninspiring boring people who live in boring development communities and cheap "townhomes" and think happiness is a fancy home entertainment system and a pathetic BMW 3 series in the driveway. I've worked with these people, they are hopeless. And any cool friends you make will never visit you on the east side, because they'll all live in Seattle.

Capitol hill is still a fun neighborhood, close to everything, and I've lived here for years. While some in Fremont or other places might disagree, I think it's still the best neighborhood in seattle for the mid-20's set. Some good neighborhood haunts, and Broadway while having some aches and pains is pretty good still for getting many places to eat, drink, or just hang out.

You might also like Belltown- it's just north of downtown proper, and is a little more urban than other neighborhoods, and also a very close walk to the major bus routes to the east side (the #545, 554, 550, etc).

Plenty of other neighborhoods are neat, but further away from the west-side/east-side bus commute routes. If you go the car (hopefully carpool!) route, some of these are easier and have their own charms- and it is true that I-90 is an easier commute even by solo car.


Costs
You should have no problems finding a place for well under $1100/mo, unless you want to be stylin' in a "luxury apartment" type place, or to get a place with a view. I've got a nice apartment just off Broadway a half block from the #43 and #49 routes to most everywhere I need, and it's only $835/mo. The extra budget will probably also help ensure a place with parking included for an extra $30-50 a month, so you should be okay there- but again, you can find good neighborhoods where you will rarely need a car, but can benefit in having one for weekend excursions, etc.


Commuting via mass transit
Two important links:
http://transit.metrokc.gov
http://www.soundtransit.org

Seattle is pretty good about encouraging HOV commuting, and many employers- especially Large Software Company in Redmond, Large Web Travel Company in Bellevue, etc- offer free flexpasses (free bus/rail passes) to employees, and often will help subsidize other options including carpool and vanpool systems. Many employers also allow for "flextime", i.e., you roll in at 10am instead of 8am, leave at 6:30 instead of 5, and bypass a lot of the slow commute and traffic jam. And as was mentioned, lots of people will bike to a transit area, lock their bike, and ride to work (for example, people in the U-District or Montlake or Madison could bike easily to the Montlake stop, where they have bike areas to lock your bike, and catch the #545 over to MS).

So for work, you'll rarely need a car depending on where you are in Bellevue. For example, while I no longer work at that LSC in R, the #545 (unofficially the Microsoft express) makes a fantastic stop on Capitol Hill, maybe 3 blocks from my front door. When I commuted that way, I could walk down the street, hop on the bus, and be dropped off directly in front of 'LSC in R' ~25 minutes later, depending on the time of day. And on that bus ride you could nap, listen to music, read a book, watch movies/tv, etc. In the evening ride, I'd often carpool with a couple who needed a third, and we'd zip happily by all the losers on 520 who were stuck in traffic... alone. :)

I still live in the same place I've lived for years, but now work at Expedia, and take the #554 which zips through Bellevue and drops me off a couple hundred yards' walk from my office. Total commute time = out my front door by 8:52a, stopping by the Expedia company cafeteria to an omelet at 9:38a. There's also the Bellevue Transit Center, in the heart of "downtown" Bellevue and near the new Lincoln Center, etc, which is serviced by numerous seattle->bellevue buses.

Honestly, I think the "commute sucks" people are the same ones making it suck by driving their single-occupancy cars across the bridges each day.
posted by hincandenza at 9:09 PM on June 12, 2006 [3 favorites]


From a native's perspective I would say you will find living on the Eastside the same as living in any suburb in the coastal US. Nothing is in walking distance. Biking is always an option if you don't mind wet about half the time. For neighbors of your age Capitol Hill is the obvious option - a touch of an urban neighborhood. Kirkland would be the place to live if you decide to settle on the Eastside - it's the closest thing they have to urban albeit it is Very Very small. I would suggest living in the city for a year to acclimate and decompress. Select your site with a bus map in hand, the commute to the east side isn't worth the hassle of driving in daylight hours. We really do things a little bit differently here.
posted by ptm at 9:17 PM on June 12, 2006


Honestly, I think the "commute sucks" people are the same ones making it suck by driving their single-occupancy cars across the bridges each day.

Not necessarily. I don't drive -- I bus or carpool, almost always with stet -- and even passengering sucks. Bus is better as you can ignore your surroundings more, but less flexible, of course. But it's easy to hitch a ride home from work with a coworker.

Friends just bought a house in Beacon Hill, from which one party commutes to Bellevue. That seems to work out. I agree with stet, of course, that you want to try to get an I-90 commute rather than a 520 commute. Much quicker.
posted by librarina at 9:49 PM on June 12, 2006


I work on the east side and have tried living on both the east and west sides. I've finally concluded that my sanity and social life require me to live on the west side even though the commute sucks. When I lived on the east side, I had much less of a social life because the scene there is so yuppified and family-oriented. People in Bellevue are pretty insular and aren't often keen on meeting new people. There's no singles scene to speak of.

Also, people in Seattle won't come visit you if you live on the east side. They are afraid of being eaten by the troll that lives under the bridge. It's a common misconception; they are thinking of the wrong bridge.

Living within walking distance of a bus stop is a great way to make your commute tolerable. Make sure you only have to take one bus to get to your work, though. The King County bus system is not very punctual and many buses only run once every 20-30 minutes even during peak times. If you miss your connecting bus you can easily end up being very late to work and also drenched if it's a rainy day.
posted by rhiannon at 11:43 PM on June 12, 2006


Lived in Cap Hill for 18 months, Bellevue for 20.

I'll pretty much echo what stet said: Bellevue is fucking soulless. It is CEO & BMW land. There is zero nightlife. NOTHING. Maybe things have changed in the last 2.5 years but I used to walk out my door at midnight in the center of downtown and go to Safeway a mile off - and I wouldn't see a single other person on the street. Not one. Just a few cars.

There is a reason Bellevue is the cleanest American city I've ever seen, and went six consecutive years in the 90s without a single homicide.

Getting a nice apartment in Bellevue's downtown - say, the BelleArts complex - will run you $1000/mo for 750 square foot single bedroom. Head down a few blocks south and west for one of the older, non-luxury apartments on Bellevue Way SE and you can probably get 850 square feet for $750 a month.

Let's talk west side: there is an awesome sense of community in damn near every neighborhood, Cap Hill was no exception (it was getting pretty scummy though from the dot com implosion when I left - has that changed?). Night life is everywhere - I particularly had a blast a bunch of times in the U district, but I was with friends who knew where to go and what to do.

A nice single bedroom in Cap Hill will run you $900ish

My wife took the busses to her job in Bellevue from Cap Hill - the leg to the transfer station was 15 minutes, and the 550 which was the primary route for hopping across the lake took 30 (Cap Hill is in western Seattle proper, though).

I guess the question is - do you want to commute to work, or do you want to commute to your social life?
posted by Ryvar at 1:32 AM on June 13, 2006


Oh, and before you regret choosing Seattle over Boston due to commute issues:

Massachusetts has THE highest average rent in the United States, and Boston is the worst of it. You'd have at least a 30-minute commute to anywhere with a nightlife there, too, given your budget.
posted by Ryvar at 1:38 AM on June 13, 2006


Oh hey, I hadn't made the connection -- you're that guy! Congratulations, you made the right decision. Welcome to the neighborhood, expect your basket of fruit to arrive any day now.
posted by Hildago at 9:10 AM on June 13, 2006


The King County bus system is not very punctual

It's not very punctual except when it's too punctual. I've just started riding the bus to work this month and twice have missed my usual bus because it was more than five minutes early. So of course you'll get to your stop 10 minutes early just to make sure -- and then half the time, the bus will be 10 minutes late so you're standing there waiting for 20 minutes.

downtown Bellevue has a very different feel these days than it did a few years ago. There is now a walkable core and downtown condos and apartments.

This is true. I was shocked to be driving around on a Friday night here recently and there was a sizable number of people actually walking along Bellevue Way. Most of them probably live in the new Lincoln Square condos. They are putting up a whole bunch of new housing too -- a new Safeway with apartments on top, a couple condo towers a couple blocks from that, the Washington Square complex... now of course all of those will be inhabited by yuppies because they're the ones who can afford to live there. Nevertheless, over the next few years I think downtown Bellevue will become much more interesting than it has been. The early 2000s were particularly bad for Bellevue, as the dot-coms were failing left and right and downtown basically was deserted, so it wouldn't really take much to see an improvement.

That said, if you wanna be "close to the action" and "feel like you're living in a community," you do definitely want Seattle, at least for now. In that case definitely something close to I-90 will work best. There's an exit for Bellevue Way off I-90 that is probably the best way to get to downtown Bellevue during rush hour (rather than taking I-405 north and getting off at NE 4th or NE 8th) if you don't take the bus.
posted by kindall at 2:22 PM on June 13, 2006


Massachusetts has THE highest average rent in the United States, and Boston is the worst of it. You'd have at least a 30-minute commute to anywhere with a nightlife there, too, given your budget.

And driving in Boston is a frikkin' nightmare. Of course, Seattle's problem is that they're too nice on the road. Four days in Boston cured me of "nice" driving. They do have the T, though. Seattle won't have its light rail line (the Link) running until 2009, and it will be another decade before it runs to Bellevue.

And Boston rent is easily twice Seattle's, even with rents here creeping up. I knew a couple who had a three bedroom apartment right on the lake. They could kayak to work every morning. (Yes, you can commute by kayak.) Their rent was the same as a 1 bedroom they had in Cambridge.
posted by dw at 6:31 PM on June 13, 2006


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