Author Topic: Seattle  (Read 15132 times)

buffaloe

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Seattle
« on: May 12, 2015, 03:03:50 AM »
Hi Mustachians!  :)  There seem to be quite a few people on this forum in the Seattle area and as I'm just about to move there for a new job, have only visited the area once for my interview, and want to make smart financial choices in my move I wanted to ask your opinions. 

The company I'll be working for is located in Kirkland.  I'm currently in Germany with no car, and intend to keep it that way after moving.  I'm considering Kirkland, Bellevue or Seattle proper.  Kirkland seems terribly boring if you have no car, and downtown Bellevue oddly looks like a similar commute by public transport to Kirkland as some parts of Seattle!  I think I'd prefer Seattle as I walk everywhere when possible, or bike/take a bus if I need to.  It looks like I'm in for an hour commute each way, which isn't sooo horrible as long as I'm not driving...I can read, game, etc on the bus.  I also grocery shop pretty much daily or every other day so I need to be pretty close to an organic supermarket.  Which is also why living super close to work in Kirkland is out.  Some of my Seattle pals are suggesting Capitol Hill or Belltown but not all of them like to follow the same mustachian guidelines ;)  Does anyone here have any suggestions? 

Noodle

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2015, 07:28:49 AM »
Is there any possibility of a roommate situation for a couple of months, to try out one of the two possibilities before you commit to a lease? That commute is an hour at best, but if there is any kind of traffic issue (rain--yes, I know, Seattle should handle rain better--an accident, or just a big sporting event) you could be sitting on the bus much longer. Unless you are lucky enough to score an apartment right off the bus line, you will also have to plan time to walk or take a second bus to connect to the cross-lake bus line. But maybe it is worth it to you to be closer to city friends and the nightlife. Or maybe you would find that Kirkland's outdoor activities and close proximity are worth being less exciting. (I think you can find organic groceries anywhere in the Seattle metro area. There are people doing clean eating pretty much everywhere, and if not, there are also a variety of delivery services to choose from.) I really don't think you can know for sure unless you try it.

If you do want to try the commute version, your friends may also be thinking that Capitol Hill and Belltown have relatively (note relatively) easy access to where the commuter buses come in from the East Side across the 520. Queen Anne, Ballard, Wallingford, Ravenna, etc would involve a bus to get to a connection for the East Side. Seattle is working on a Light Rail extension up into Capitol Hill and the University District which will make those areas more connected, but it doesn't open for another year.

MikePolo4

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2015, 08:18:15 AM »
Congrats on the new job! Kirkland is actually a fun place a live. It has a nice and popular downtown with well maintained and fun beaches just a walk away in the Summer. It is a great alternative if you are looking for a short commute (bike or walk). Though, if you are looking to live in the hip part of the city, Capitol Hill is the place. One word of caution, the rents are skyrocketing right now since so many people are looking to move there. Especially with Amazon's headquarters just down the street. On the other hand, Kirkland is pretty spending too. If you do chose to live in Seattle, I would recommend taking the bus instead of driving as you will have to pay $4-5 each way just to cross the 520 bridge with you car and while sitting in traffic. There are new bus lanes on 520 so the buses are able to avoid the traffic altogether. My bus commute from Seattle to Redmond is 25 min in the morning and 35 min on the way home. 

Syonyk

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2015, 08:32:09 AM »
Big tech company, rapidly expanding in Kirkland, main offices out in socal? ;)

The cost of housing in the Seattle area is bad and getting worse, so the smaller a place you can deal with, the more you can save up.

I have all sorts of nasty comments about the area, but if you're planning to bus everywhere, and can ignore the politics, they pretty much sum up to, "The busses sit in the same traffic as everyone else an awful lot of the time," and I'd echo the previous comment about how all it takes is rain, sun, an accident, a sporting event, or random chance to turn the entire Seattle metro area into gridlock.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2015, 09:13:59 AM »
I would probably think about Bothell or Woodinville if I had to commute to Kirkland without a car.   The Burke-Gilman bike trail will take you right into the U-district of Seattle from Woodinville or Bothell and the commute to Kirkland would not involve crossing a floating bridge.

littlebird

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2015, 09:54:06 AM »
Capitol hill is a good neighborhood for living without a car. It's pretty high density and has a grocery store every few blocks. Also easier access to busses to east side. Of course the rent isn't cheap, but rents are rising fast all over the city. I live in Fremont, which I would not recommend for bussing across the lake, and our rent went up 30% last year and 12% this year. Absurd! For cheap rent you'd have to go to Beacon Hill, but I'm not sure what that commute would look like.

celticmyst08

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2015, 10:04:13 AM »
Kirkland isn't a bad place, it's very up and coming, and the cost of living isn't as high as Bellevue or downtown Seattle. I have several coworkers who live there and really like it. I don't know about organic grocery stores, though. Your commute to Kirkland from Seattle won't be awful either, although it depends on where in Seattle you live. I commute from Shoreline (just north of Seattle) to Bothell (just north of Kirkland) every day and it's usually 25-30 minutes each way by car. I've bussed from Shoreline to Kirkland for an appointment and it took me just over an hour. If you were further down in Seattle, near the toll bridge, your bus commute would probably be better.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2015, 11:13:15 AM »
Downtown Kirkland is fairly walkable and has at least one grocery store, so you should be able to live there without a car if you feel like it. Given a choice, I think living near work and traveling for fun in Seattle might cost you less time and money traveling than if you chose to live in Seattle and commute to Kirkland.

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2015, 11:39:46 AM »
There's a PCC market very near Google. Son is in Kirkland rental house / board gamer roommates and loves it. Doesn't have the same walkability as Capital Hill or the U-District, but better than Bellevue.

buffaloe

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2015, 12:48:10 PM »
Wow, thanks so much for all the great ideas!  Luckily the company I'll be working for is going to put me up for a month and get me a rental car so I'll have some time to look around before I decide.  And worst case, I do have some friends in the area who have offered up spare rooms for a bit if I can't find anything that first month, so I'm in a pretty good spot!

And some of these neighborhoods you guys have mentioned I hadn't heard of at all so I'll definitely be looking into those.  I pretty much just google mapped my way to work and just dragged the "start point" around on the map until I found an acceptable commute :)  The fastest (outside of a walk/bike in Kirkland) seemed to be about 40 minutes, but of course that's with no traffic, rain, sports events, accidents....haha!  I'm totally fine with a small space and am shipping no furniture so I don't need a giant apartment or anything.  As for Kirkland, my main concern was just getting to the PCC or Whole Foods or Trader Joes or something.  They all seemed to be at least a half hour bus ride from the office where I'd be working so I would rather just live close to a grocery store and commute to work.

And yep, it's a tech company, how'd you know?  hahah :)  There seem to be several tech companies rapidly expanding in the Seattle area... I'm going to work for Monolith.  I've heard great things about the company and Seattle, so I'm looking forward to it!

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2015, 02:14:04 PM »
Talk about synchronicity... today's Seattle Times front page has an article headlined:  Why we live where we live.

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/data/lifestyle-trumps-affordability-in-central-seattle-even-for-some-budget-stretchers/

Syonyk

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2015, 02:19:58 PM »
Well, "affordability" is one reason I'm probably leaving at the end of my lease... I expect a spike of a between $300 and $500/month, since we're slightly below market prices for the area.  At some point, it becomes not worth it.

Monolith is in the Totem Lake area, not the downtown area, so prices are a little bit more sane if you want to live near work.

I'd personally prioritize "living near work" in this area over "living in Seattle proper," but I'm not exactly the norm for the area.  I've turned down job recruiters that would have required commuting across the bridges - I won't even consider it.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2015, 02:31:58 PM »
I'd personally prioritize "living near work" in this area over "living in Seattle proper," but I'm not exactly the norm for the area.  I've turned down job recruiters that would have required commuting across the bridges - I won't even consider it.

I live and work on the Seattle side. I agree that you should probably live and work on the same side of Lake Washington. I have also flatly rejected recruiters from the other side of the lake. Life's too short to deal with traffic like that twice a day. Give Kirkland a try. If you decide you might like to try living in Seattle, that might be a sign that you should also look for a job in Seattle.

Syonyk

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2015, 02:35:39 PM »
Seattle Cyclone... Iowa State Cyclones, by chance?

seattlecyclone

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2015, 03:05:04 PM »
Indeed.

Syonyk

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2015, 03:40:32 PM »
What years?  I was there 2000-2004 and 2007-2008.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2015, 03:44:36 PM »
2003-07 for me.

Jeremy E.

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2015, 03:50:56 PM »
I don't know about you... But I go to work more often than I go to the grocery store, so I would prefer to live closer to my work, and bus to the grocery store as necessary.

buffaloe

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2015, 04:24:38 PM »
Well, it's probably not very mustachian of me, but you'd be surprised.... I tend to go to the grocery store more often than I go to work!  Cooking is a big hobby for me so going to the grocery store is something I do alot... sometimes two different stores in the same day, haha :)  And I love farmers markets... which is why the Seattle area seems more appealing as well because I can try out the Pike's Place Market I've heard so much about!  And then I get to take delicious leftovers to work for lunch, so that helps save some cash :)  I also love to take walks in my neighborhood and for those I prefer the larger cities just because they interest me more which makes me walk more. 

But you guys are right, I'm definitely going to take another look at Kirkland.  I just filled out some forms for relocating and I added Kirkland to the list of areas I would like to check out while I'm apartment hunting :)  And a few more that I am just hearing about on these forums, so thank you!

And thanks so much for that article!  It's fascinating to see how much people are interested in walkability, commute times and access to public transportation... I just wish public transport was a more viable option in most cities.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 04:28:50 PM by buffaloe »

SeattleStache

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2015, 04:28:37 PM »
I live and work in Seattle so I'm not experienced with commuting to the east side but I'd recommend looking at First Hill as well (that's where I live and it is SO easy to get pretty much anywhere by walking, biking, or busing).  According to Google Maps it's a 50 minute commute to Kirkland, including walking to the bus.  I like First Hill because it can be quieter/more affordable than much of Capitol Hill but still in the middle of everything and slightly easier to catch transit.  Buses typically have racks with room for three bikes so you can take your bike with you if you need it on the Kirkland side.  There's a great co-cop and a Trader Joe's within walking distance too so you'll be set for organic groceries.  Although this being Seattle, most every store will have organic options. 

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2015, 05:01:40 PM »
Well, it's probably not very mustachian of me, but you'd be surprised.... I tend to go to the grocery store more often than I go to work!  Cooking is a big hobby for me so going to the grocery store is something I do alot... sometimes two different stores in the same day, haha :)  And I love farmers markets... which is why the Seattle area seems more appealing as well because I can try out the Pike's Place Market I've heard so much about!  And then I get to take delicious leftovers to work for lunch, so that helps save some cash :)  I also love to take walks in my neighborhood and for those I prefer the larger cities just because they interest me more which makes me walk more. 

But you guys are right, I'm definitely going to take another look at Kirkland.  I just filled out some forms for relocating and I added Kirkland to the list of areas I would like to check out while I'm apartment hunting :)  And a few more that I am just hearing about on these forums, so thank you!

And thanks so much for that article!  It's fascinating to see how much people are interested in walkability, commute times and access to public transportation... I just wish public transport was a more viable option in most cities.

You are going to LOVE Trader Joe's at Totem Lake.  Hell, *I* LOVE the Trader Joe's there, and it's 15 miles from my house.  Value Village (thriftshop) is also nearby - most of my wardrobe and furnishings come from there.  The apartments / condos just north of Trader Joe's are perfect for you - walkable, and near the Totem Lake I-405 freeway transit station. 
But as Walkscore.com says... "Totem Lake is a Car-Dependent neighborhood" 
https://www.walkscore.com/WA/Kirkland/Totem_Lake

Eastside commute issues all depend in some way on north & south I-405 - north of WA-520 (floating bridge over Lake WA)
Southbound the roadway is at-or-over capacity from 7am-11am, and Northbound from 3pm-6:30pm.

buffaloe

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2015, 05:25:49 PM »
Ooooh lunch time walks to Trader Joe's, nice! :D

And First Hill looks like it might work as well... lots of good options here! :)

littlebird

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2015, 10:00:37 AM »
I don't think Pike Place Market should factor largely into your decision of where to live. It's more of a tourist thing than a place locals shop. Though they do sell beautiful flowers!

Noodle

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2015, 11:21:11 AM »
Nearly all the neighborhoods have farmer's markets, including on the East Side. I actually preferred shopping at the neighborhood markets as Pike Place is bonkers a good part of the year. (I do find the flowers to be better downtown, though). Honestly, though, the farmer's markets tend to be fun rather than Mustachian. I always found them to be expensive compared to other sources (produce markets, ethnic markets, even a produce delivery box) and used them mostly for things that only taste good really fresh like stone fruits and corn.

buffaloe

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2015, 02:27:34 PM »
Wow, that's a shame to hear about the markets, I usually love those! :/  They're usually cheaper and have fantastic produce.

Syonyk

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2015, 03:31:46 PM »
Wow, that's a shame to hear about the markets, I usually love those! :/  They're usually cheaper and have fantastic produce.

Nothing in the Seattle metro area could possibly described as "cheaper" except in relation to other things in the metro area.

PowerMustache

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2015, 04:07:51 PM »
I work near Totem Lake and live in Seattle proper. I bike and bus commute most days and car commute 1-2 times per week.

Going across the bridges in a car during rush hour is my idea of hell and I don't recommend it if you can avoid it. That said, many people do it. I live in Seattle now only because my fiance works there. I used to live very close to work and I do miss the shorter commute, even though Seattle is generally a more 'happening' place to live.  My car commute time is typically 40-50 minutes in the morning and 50-60 minutes in the evening during rush hours.

If you work near Totem Lake, the most Mustachian places to live would be Totem Lake, Kingsgate, or Juanita neighborthoods. Rents are the lowest there and you would be within easy biking distance.

Many people want to live in a cool neighborhood surrounded by lots of awesome restaurants and bars. Seattle is clearly better for these things than Kirkland and anywhere else east of Lake Washington. However, the Eastside does have lots of great parks, bike trails, better access to recreation in the mountains, and it is hands down the best place to grow the biggest 'stache (if you are working on the Eastside).

PowerMustache

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2015, 04:11:26 PM »
I should add that I work in a place without great bus access so I always need to take my bike on the bus with me when I bus commute to work, then bike the final 2.5 miles.  This works well for me since I live at the very beginning of a bus line and there are always spots available for my bike on the bus's bike rack, but for many other living situations this is not as good. Each bus only has 3 spots on the bike rack, and if it is full (As it usually is by the time it gets to a bridge) then the biker needs to just wait for the next bus.

The bus/bike commute takes me about 40-50 minutes, similar to the car. The car is definitely faster (30 minutes) if I can avoid rush hour. If I bike all the way, it's about 20 miles on the beautiful Burke Gilman bike trail and takes about 90 minutes each way. This is my favorite option and always do it when I have the time.

ryan114

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #28 on: May 13, 2015, 05:00:43 PM »
I used to live in a condo across the street from the South Kirkland Park and Ride and worked up in Totem Lake. The real estate cost was quite reasonable, and I think it still is. It's a short drive up to Totem Lake on 405 against traffic to drive. It's also easily bikeable, but there are some hills so shower access was needed. The Kirkland PCC was close, but the Bellevue Whole Foods (one of the better Whole Foods, IMO) was nearly as close. There was excellent Bus access to Seattle via the park and ride with buses that went to downtown, the U-district, and North Seattle.

JoJo

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #29 on: May 13, 2015, 05:58:12 PM »
Another Kirklander here.

I have another vote for Juanita if you want to save on the commute.  1.4 miles to your office- easy to bike.  If you want to get to Seattle for fun it's only a $2.50 bus ride on the direct 255 line  from Juanita to DT Seattle that runs til midnight.

Juanita has a few restaurants, pub, drug store.   The park & beach at Juanita are really nice.  Also the juanita bay park on the south side of the bay is one of my favorite places in the city - I regularly see turtles, beavers, bald eagles, ducks, cranes, and egrets there.    You're also very close to Totem lake with ample shopping (Trader Joes, Fred Meyer).

From Juanita you're only 2 miles from DT Kirkland with more restaurants, bars, movie theater (I regularly walk it).   Kirkland has lots of festivals throughout the year (summerfest, Octoberfest) .  Free concerts on Thursday nights in Marina Park.

JoJo

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #30 on: May 13, 2015, 06:01:42 PM »
One more thing to add if you are thinking about longer bus commutes - most of the buses get pretty packed during rush hours - so if you are getting on at one of the first stops you'll get a seat.  I personally don't like standing on a packed bus but it doesn't bother everybody.

Syonyk

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #31 on: May 13, 2015, 06:45:14 PM »
It's also easily bikeable, but there are some hills so shower access was needed.

Or a small electric motor. ;)

JoJo

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #32 on: May 13, 2015, 07:18:01 PM »
I used to live in a condo across the street from the South Kirkland Park and Ride and worked up in Totem Lake. The real estate cost was quite reasonable, and I think it still is. It's a short drive up to Totem Lake on 405 against traffic to drive. It's also easily bikeable, but there are some hills so shower access was needed. The Kirkland PCC was close, but the Bellevue Whole Foods (one of the better Whole Foods, IMO) was nearly as close. There was excellent Bus access to Seattle via the park and ride with buses that went to downtown, the U-district, and North Seattle.

Actually no hills for this bike ride any more... Cross corridor trail goes from South Kirkland P&R up to totem lake on old railroad tracks.

buffaloe

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #33 on: May 14, 2015, 01:17:21 PM »
Oh wow that's a good point about packed buses too... I don't mind standing for a 10 minute ride but if I'm doing an hour each way that would get old fast.  You guys are making some very valid points here :)  I'll definitely check out Juanita as well!

Exhale

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #34 on: May 14, 2015, 09:37:15 PM »
Live near work and skip the commute - especially now that bus service has been been reduced. I've done the Seattle/Kirkland commute and found it awful most of the time. I now live close to work and commute one foot - this has helped me lose weight, improve my mood, etc.

Then you can use your saved money/time/sanity to go play in the city. Also, with so many of us getting pushed out of Seattle and there's more and more fun stuff happening elsewhere as well as diverse and interesting communities. Finally, the King County Library System (which you'd have access to on the Eastside) is amazing.

A great way to get produce is order a CSA box (Community Supported Agriculture). This can be especially fun for people who like to cook and are willing to experiment with new produce. And don't miss PFI (Pacific Food Importers) located right off Highway I-90 in the International District.

Good luck!

Cressida

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #35 on: May 14, 2015, 10:30:45 PM »
The worst part about the commute is how unpredictable it is. Sometimes you're going to have a relatively painless 45 minutes where you can read or whatever. But sometimes you're going to have an awful crowded 2-hour slog where you have to stand up the whole way with people breathing on you.

Around here, I wouldn't live and work in different cities if one of them is Seattle. I've done it and I will definitely not do it again.

That said: You have one advantage, which is that if you did live in Seattle, you'd have the so-called "reverse commute." It's still a bad commute, don't get me wrong. But with the regular commute, the worst part is always the last mile in the morning and the first mile in the evening, when you're dealing with traffic in the city center and it's all trying to go one way. Not having to deal with that just might make it tolerable. I'm only guessing though; I haven't done it.

Other random thoughts: Seattle is going to have much higher rents than Kirkland, which someone has probably already brought up (I did read the thread, but it was a few days ago). Also, the traffic situation is only going to get worse over time.

orcas50

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #36 on: May 14, 2015, 11:19:45 PM »
I live in Kirkland, moved here from Queen Anne 10 years ago. Traffic is pretty horrible, as others have said, even within Kirkland proper. My husband commutes by bus the other way, into Seattle, and it is grueling. We do have 2 VERY nice grocery stores walking distance to Google, one is an organic co-op, the other a fancy-pants gourmet market. ETA saw you will be working in Totem Lake. Much more affordable than Houghton (Google neighborhood) or DT Kirkland! Totem Lake does have a great Trader Joe's, as others have mentioned.

Kirkland is a great place for families, which is why we moved here from Seattle, but I also see lots of younger/single people here in the past few years. Nowhere near as hip as Belltown or Capitol Hill, of course, but honestly, the hipness factor in those neighborhoods would exhaust me. It's a beautiful spot with unlimited biking, paddle boarding (on the lake), running trails, parks, some pretty decent restaurants, and a small town feel. Oh, and a great library system (King County), one of the best in the country. Also easier access to the mountains if that's something that interests you. Juanita and DT Kirkland, Redmond and Bellevue have good farmers' markets May-October, too. Pike Place Market is fun but really for tourists!
« Last Edit: May 14, 2015, 11:29:56 PM by orcas50 »

Tjat

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #37 on: May 15, 2015, 04:52:59 PM »
I'd suck it up and buy a cheap reliable car and live in Kirkland. I'd rather have to drive to fun places on the weekend then live in a fun place and commute 10 hours+ a week on a bus.

crazycatlady

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #38 on: May 15, 2015, 08:23:17 PM »
Another Kirklander here.

I have another vote for Juanita if you want to save on the commute.  1.4 miles to your office- easy to bike.  If you want to get to Seattle for fun it's only a $2.50 bus ride on the direct 255 line  from Juanita to DT Seattle that runs til midnight.

Juanita has a few restaurants, pub, drug store.   The park & beach at Juanita are really nice.  Also the juanita bay park on the south side of the bay is one of my favorite places in the city - I regularly see turtles, beavers, bald eagles, ducks, cranes, and egrets there.    You're also very close to Totem lake with ample shopping (Trader Joes, Fred Meyer).

From Juanita you're only 2 miles from DT Kirkland with more restaurants, bars, movie theater (I regularly walk it).   Kirkland has lots of festivals throughout the year (summerfest, Octoberfest) .  Free concerts on Thursday nights in Marina Park.

Hi JoJo!

Another Kirklander here, born and raised.  Kirkland is really a nice place, but commutes around here (in the greater Seattle area) are brutal.  I am now FIRED, but previously I had a 3 mile commute from my house on the borders of Kirkland, Bellevue and Redmond to Totem Lake.  I wouldn't want to commute any longer than that.  Even within Kirkland/Redmond/Bellevue our populations are increasing and it gets more and more congested, not just the freeways, but the side streets as well.

I think JoJo's suggestions above are excellent.  Juanita would be a good distance to work and it has nice parks.  Downtown Kirkland has a Farmer's Market on Wednesdays which is fun, but not inexpensive.  In addition to the Trader Joe's in Totem Lake, there is also a QFC that has good produce.  You can really get organic produce anywhere, and actually Fred Meyer tends to have the best prices.  If you befriend a fellow Mustachian with a Costco membership you can get some good buys there as well.  Your closest libraries will be in Kingskate and Downtown Kirkland.  Our library system KCLS is excellent and I would highly recommend it.

Obviously Seattle has some great neighborhoods which we enjoy visiting.  I'm especially partial to lower Queen Anne, Wallingford, Ballard, Fremont and Magnolia.  But there is no way I would commute between Seattle and the suburbs ever again.  Years ago I commuted from Kirkland to University Hospital to work night shifts so was stuck in the "reverse commute".  It was absolute hell!  I sat on the freeway for about 90 minutes.  I think that was one of my motivations to retire early.  Anyway,  I go to those places when I have lots of time and not during commutes.  Generally on Sundays!

Feel free to email me directly if you have any questions or need help getting situated.  DH and I are FIRED, we have lots of time and love where we live.

buffaloe

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #39 on: May 17, 2015, 04:21:16 AM »
My only concern with living somewhere like Kirkland would be that my husband and I both refuse to get a car.  He loved driving until we moved to the US a few years ago and lived in the SF bay area... now he hates driving as much as I do.  He's a very defensive driver but we were rear ended twice in 2,5 years and there was no way he could have prevented it.  And after the 5 years I spent in Los Angeles I'm just done with driving.  An hour and a half on the bus sounds way better to me than 45 minutes of angry traffic, haha :)  Which was why I was considering Seattle but this thread is definitely making me rethink that idea.

So my question for those of you who live in Kirkland, would you say that it would be a huge pain to be without a car?  Most of the driving we did in the bay area was to get groceries, get to work, and visit friends, and in the Seattle area most of our friends happen to live in Seattle.  So you guys definitely make sense about taking a bus into the city to hang out with friends but now I'm thinking of day to day living.  Do you find you need a car to be in Kirkland if you also work there?  That was the impression I got which was why I was leaning towards Seattle at first. 

Exhale

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #40 on: May 17, 2015, 10:48:33 AM »
The worst part about the commute is how unpredictable it is...if you did live in Seattle, you'd have the so-called "reverse commute." It's still a bad commute, don't get me wrong...Also, the traffic situation is only going to get worse over time.

Mine was a "reverse commute" and while it was (as Cressida says) unpredictable, to be honest mostly it was bad and at twice/day it gets old very very fast.

I suggest live near work and then go play in Seattle. You can use the money your save on rent and get the occasional cheap Airbnb or find hotel deal. That way you can enjoy living like a Seattle local without the headaches. Also you could figure out house swaps on CL. Heck, you can use my sofa if you want a Seattle crash pad or we can swap houses for the weekend - I'd love to get out of the city every month or so.

buffaloe

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #41 on: May 17, 2015, 03:07:46 PM »
Oh wow those two apartment links are pretty great, I love the Kirkland loft :)  And a sublet is also a nice thought if our temp housing isn't enough of a try out for the area.  Weekend house swaps also sound great, I used to dogsit for some friends in the bay area who lived near the beach and it was almost like a little vacation :D 

NowClear

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #42 on: May 17, 2015, 04:00:40 PM »
Even living in Seattle, it can be difficult to live without a car. I haven't owned a car since I left LA a decade ago. I got along awesomely in places like San Francisco and Portland, but I  find it much more difficult to explore the city and area without a car in the Seattle area.

Mostly that's because Seattle's public transit/bike infrastructure seems to be less developed than in either SF or Portland. The light rail is not yet extensive enough to reach into the neighborhoods you're looking into; bus service is constantly reduced, resulting in overcrowded buses that pass people by, and they are notoriously untimely. The ease of biking can be excellent in some areas (can't get enough of the Burke-Gilman!) but very difficult in others. Geographic obstacles like lakes also throw a wrench into direct commutes and the size of Seattle means that you can't traverse the city as easily on foot as you could in a smaller place like Portland.

That said, I think Seattle is probably not the easiest city to get around with a car either! The traffic is insane and unpredictable and again it can be difficult to plan a direct route.

What that means  for me and my friends is that we have a pretty small circle of the city that we stay within. For my friends without cars, we tend to have about a 2 to 4 mile radius for most of our life. Work, home, groceries, restaurants, etc. all occurs in that radius. On weekends that expands with longer bike rides or special trips where we make use of ZipCar or carpool and share expenses. If it's possible to access by bus, we'll do that too, but it can be more complicated than you might think to bus across neighborhoods.

I'd suggest living where you will spend the bulk of your time during the week. For you, that'd be Kirkland. You can get by with a much more predictable commute, accessible groceries and restaurants, plus somewhat reduced living expenses there. On the weekends, you can head into Seattle for fun, and the time you spend to make the trip can be part of the fun: a long bike ride or a leisurely bus ride that's not packed with people.

Temporary housing will be a great opportunity! I ended up living in a different neighborhood than where my temp housing was located, but that experience helped me see what parts of my old lifestyle worked or didn't work in the new city. Good luck!
« Last Edit: May 17, 2015, 06:39:12 PM by NowClear »

crazycatlady

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #43 on: May 17, 2015, 04:12:24 PM »
I totally agree with NowClear.  Seattle just doesn't have great public transportation.  Looking at Google Maps I saw that your employer is located basically across the street from the QFC (Quality Food Centers)  The Trader Joe's and Fred Meyer are a little further but still walking distance from your workplace.

I would recommending waiting to decide on a car until you get here and can see how to handle the logistics.  Using the 255 bus will get you to Downtown Seattle and you can likely take care of your errands by foot or bike.  A car definitely makes those things easier, but it can be done without one.  You can always borrow a car or use a Zip Car as needed.

orcas50

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #44 on: May 17, 2015, 09:05:44 PM »
Kirklander here again. I have kids who get driven to school/bus stop (neither school is within walking distance), and various activities, so I cannot imagine living without a car and having kids on the Eastside. And we go out of town fairly regularly, so we like our car for that. But...if you lived in DT Kirkland or Houghton proper, or even Juanita, you could easily walk to grocery stores, library, parks, restaurants, coffee places, etc. And then bus to Totem Lake for work and to Seattle for entertainment. I don't think I'd want to live in the Totem Lake area without a car; while density there is increasing, it still feels pretty suburban to me (one child's school is in Kingsgate, so I do go there regularly). Hope this helps. Feel free to PM me for more info if you'd like. I've lived in Kirkland for 10 years, after living in Seattle (Queen Anne, Madrona, Greenlake and Wallingford) for the prior 10 years.

JoJo

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #45 on: May 18, 2015, 02:28:38 PM »
Having spent alot of time in San Fran area & Seattle eastside - it is WAY easier to drive around here.  Other drivers are quite polite.  Not so many hills on the eastside & parking is relatively easy. 

Trudie

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #46 on: May 19, 2015, 09:17:48 AM »
Seattle Cyclone... Iowa State Cyclones, by chance?

Not in Seattle, but Iowa and couldn't help but pick up on this.  Just a friendly shout-out from another ISU Cyclone.

buffaloe

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Re: Seattle
« Reply #47 on: May 20, 2015, 02:44:20 PM »
Thanks NowClear, that seems like pretty sound advice.  And thanks for the Kirkland breakdown, orcas50!  I've told the housing assistance person I'm working with to concentrate on looking for a place in Kirkland now... I think you guys have convinced me :)  The temp housing is still in downtown Seattle but I won't start work for two more weeks so it can be like a little Seattle vacation at first :D 

That's really too bad about the bus situation there, but I'm certainly glad to have gotten all this advice before signing a lease!  I just can't have another car... way too expensive and just super stressful.  I sold mine last October and even with the frequent strikes by train workers here, walking everywhere or taking trains or buses just makes my life so much more relaxed and happy :)   

I"m outta here Saturday morning so I'll be joining you Seattle area Mustachians soon! :D