Living in Seattle: Pros and Cons of Living in The Emerald City

Welcome to “Living in Seattle: Pros and Cons of Living in The Emerald City,” where we embark on a journey to explore the multifaceted experience of calling Seattle home. Nestled in the breathtaking Pacific Northwest, Seattle, often referred to as the Emerald City, boasts a unique blend of natural beauty, vibrant culture, and dynamic urban living. In this guide, we’ll delve into the advantages and challenges of residing in this iconic metropolis, from its picturesque landscapes and bustling city life to its notorious traffic and cost of living. Whether you’re considering a move to Seattle or simply curious about life in the Emerald City, join us as we uncover the pros and cons of living in this captivating urban oasis.

The Emerald City

Nestled within the captivating Pacific Northwest, Seattle stands as a beacon of innovation, cultural diversity, and natural beauty. Renowned as the Emerald City, its lush surroundings, including the stunning vistas of Puget Sound and the majestic Cascade Mountains, contribute to its allure. From the vibrant streets of downtown Seattle to the eclectic neighborhoods like Capitol Hill, Seattle offers a tapestry of experiences that cater to a diverse array of interests and lifestyles. Boasting iconic landmarks like the Space Needle at Seattle Center and the bustling Pike Place Market, the city has garnered global recognition for its thriving arts scene, culinary delights, and progressive ideals.

Pros & Cons of Living in Seattle, WA - What's It Really Like?

In this blog, we’ll embark on a comprehensive exploration of living in Seattle, delving into its distinctive neighborhoods, vibrant downtown area, and the broader Seattle area. From the tranquility of waterfront communities to the dynamic energy of Capitol Hill, we’ll uncover the unique characteristics and amenities that each neighborhood offers. Additionally, we’ll examine the advantages and challenges of residing in downtown Seattle, from its bustling urban core to its proximity to key attractions and employment opportunities. Join us as we navigate the diverse landscape of Seattle living, providing insights and guidance for those considering making the Emerald City their home.

Best Place To Live In The Pacific Northwest

Seattle’s geographical location is nothing short of spectacular, nestled between the shimmering waters of Puget Sound and the rugged peaks of the Cascade Mountains. This iconic setting not only provides breathtaking views but also offers a myriad of outdoor recreational opportunities. Residents have easy access to hiking trails, water sports, and scenic drives, making Seattle a paradise for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike. The proximity to Puget Sound also influences Seattle’s maritime climate, characterized by mild temperatures and frequent rainfall, contributing to the city’s lush greenery and vibrant ecosystem.

Neighbourhood With Diverse Population and Distinctive Characteristics

Diverse Seattle neighborhoods are as varied as they are vibrant, each with its own unique personality and charm. From the historic charm of Pioneer Square to the trendy boutiques of Capitol Hill, Seattle’s neighborhoods offer something for everyone. Waterfront communities like Ballard and West Seattle boast stunning views and a relaxed coastal vibe, while urban hubs like South Lake Union buzz with innovation and tech-driven energy. Whether you’re drawn to the artsy ambiance of Fremont or the family-friendly atmosphere of Queen Anne, Seattle’s neighborhoods provide a rich tapestry of cultures, cuisines, and lifestyles to explore. Join us as we delve deeper into the distinctive characteristics of Seattle’s neighborhoods and uncover the hidden gems that make each one a unique destination unto itself.

Seattle’s Mild Climate and Reputation for Rain

Seattle’s climate is characterized by its mild temperatures and notorious reputation for rain. Situated in the Pacific Northwest, the city experiences a temperate maritime climate influenced by its proximity to the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains. While Seattle does receive a fair amount of rainfall, particularly during the fall and winter months, the city also enjoys relatively mild temperatures year-round. Summers are typically pleasant, with warm, dry days and cool evenings, while winters are mild, with temperatures rarely dropping below freezing. The city’s unique microclimates can vary depending on location, with some areas receiving more rainfall than others. Despite its reputation for rain, Seattle’s climate fosters lush green landscapes and abundant natural beauty, making it an ideal backdrop for outdoor adventures.

Abundance of Outdoor Recreational Opportunities

Seattle’s stunning natural surroundings offer a wealth of outdoor recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. From hiking and skiing in the nearby Cascade Mountains to kayaking and paddleboarding on Puget Sound, outdoor enthusiasts will find no shortage of activities to enjoy. Seattle is full of parks, trails, and green spaces provides endless opportunities for exploration and adventure, public transportation is readily available.

Discovery Park, one of the city’s largest urban parks, offers miles of scenic trails, sandy beaches, and panoramic views of the sound and mountains. For winter sports enthusiasts, nearby ski resorts like Snoqualmie Pass and Crystal Mountain provide world-class skiing and snowboarding opportunities just a short drive from the city. Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline-fueled adventure or a leisurely stroll through nature, Seattle’s outdoor offerings are sure to delight adventurers of all ages and skill levels.

leaning against the railing of a ferry boat as it glides gracefully across the waters of Puget Sound
Leaning against the railing of a ferry boat as it glides gracefully across the waters of Puget Sound

Local Economy and Job Market in the Emerald City

Seattle boasts a robust economy fueled by a diverse range of industries, with technology and aerospace leading the forefront. As the birthplace of tech giants like Microsoft, Amazon, and Boeing, the city has earned its reputation as a global hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. The thriving tech sector continues to drive economic growth, attracting top talent and investment from around the world. Additionally, Seattle’s aerospace industry, anchored by Boeing’s presence, plays a pivotal role in the city’s economy, contributing to job creation and innovation. Beyond tech and aerospace, Seattle’s economy encompasses a broad spectrum of sectors, including healthcare, biotechnology, tourism, and maritime industries, further diversifying its economic landscape.

High Paying Jobs in Seattle, WA: Top 5 Employers

Seattle’s dynamic job market offers a wealth of opportunities across various sectors, catering to a diverse range of skill sets and interests. The city’s burgeoning tech scene, in particular, presents abundant employment prospects for software engineers, data scientists, and IT professionals. Additionally, Seattle’s robust healthcare sector provides opportunities for medical professionals, researchers, and healthcare administrators. The city’s strong emphasis on sustainability and environmental stewardship has also fueled growth in renewable energy, green technology, and sustainable development, creating new job opportunities in these emerging fields. As the city continues to evolve and adapt to changing market dynamics, job seekers can expect to find a multitude of employment options in Seattle’s thriving job market.

Cost To Live In Seattle

Seattle’s cost of living is often higher than the national average in Washington State, reflecting the city’s thriving economy, desirable amenities, and high quality of life. Various factors contribute to this, including housing prices, transportation costs, and everyday expenses. While Seattle offers an array of benefits, such as robust job opportunities and vibrant cultural offerings, it’s essential for residents to consider the overall cost of living when planning their budgets and financial goals. 

Cost of Living In Seattle, Washington [2023]

Housing prices and apartment rental rates in Seattle have experienced significant growth in recent years, driven by high demand and limited housing supply. Factors such as population growth, urban development, and geographic constraints contribute to the city’s competitive real estate market. Additionally, desirable neighborhoods in Seattle, proximity to amenities, and quality of life amenities also impact housing affordability.

While the cost of living in Seattle may be higher than in some other cities, Seattleites benefit from access to top-tier healthcare, museum, education, and cultural experiences. Understanding the factors influencing housing prices, rent, and overall affordability is essential for residents and prospective homebuyers to make informed decisions about their housing needs and financial planning.

Culinary Delights and Diverse Dining Options

Seattle’s culinary landscape is as diverse as it is delectable, with an array of dining options to tantalize every palate. As a coastal city, Seattle is renowned for its fresh seafood, from succulent salmon to plump oysters, sourced locally from the waters of Puget Sound. Beyond seafood, the city boasts a thriving food scene, with a rich tapestry of international cuisines reflecting its diverse population. From authentic Asian eateries in the International District to trendy gastropubs in Capitol Hill, Seattle offers a culinary journey around the world without ever leaving the city limits. Foodies can indulge in farm-to-table fare at upscale restaurants, savor artisanal delicacies at bustling food markets like Pike Place Market, or sample innovative culinary creations from up-and-coming chefs pushing the boundaries of gastronomy. And, of course, no mention of Seattle’s culinary scene would be complete without a nod to its coffee culture, with the city being home to the global coffee giant Starbucks, as well as numerous independent coffee shops and roasteries, where locals and visitors alike can savor the perfect cup of java amidst the city’s bustling atmosphere. With its blend of culinary creativity, cultural richness, and caffeinated delights, Seattle is a haven for food enthusiasts and culture aficionados alike.

How’s It Like To Live In Seattle

Recently, there was an interesting conversation on my YouTube channel that I thought I’d share with you. Viewers engaged in a lively discussion about their experiences living in Seattle, exchanging insights and anecdotes that shed light on the city’s multifaceted appeal. From debates about the best neighborhoods to live in to recommendations for must-visit local haunts, the conversation was a testament to the passion and camaraderie among Seattle residents. 


My husband and I have lived in Seattle for 20 years. We recently discussed what we wish we could have known before moving here all those years ago. The top 5 points we wish we would have known before moving here are the following: 1. Seattle Metro area is extremely expensive (the fact that there’s no state income tax still doesn’t make up for how truly expensive the housing costs here are); 2. Seattle Metro area is Dangerous (75% unsolved murder rate); 3. Seattle Metro “progressivism” is actually a fundamentalist religion & you will be excluded &/or targeted if you do not blindly go along with their views. Your friendships will be transient and short once they learn you hold more traditional values (This is hands down the most ideologically rooted state that I have ever lived in) 4. You will never be able to retire here, so why choose to spend your life investing in a place that you will simply will not be able to stay in longterm; 5. Life here will become more and more limited overtime as you avoid more and more areas due to the aggressive rise in crime. When we moved here the only area we mostly avoided was Rainier and a couple of blocks in Pioneer Square. Now we avoid large swaths of areas entirely. Basically all of South Seattle, Ballard (unless it’s a Farmers Market Sunday & full of people), all of Downtown, Central District, Seward Park, Capitol Hill, Lynnwood (we lived near here for a decade and it has gone so far down hill – it’s truly frightening), Everett, majority of Shoreline. The ONLY areas we hang out in regularly are the Alaska Junction in West Seattle, Admiral in West Seattle, the Eastside (No, we do not live – could never even dream of affording it), and lastly Downtown Edmonds which is arguably the best town in all of Washington State. **In conclusion, I wouldn’t suggest Seattle Metro area to anyone who is looking for a Home. A place where they can build a life and potentially plan on retiring in. Unless, you are truly wealthy the amount of compromises you will need to make just to live here will simply be too great**


Hi! Thanks so much for your comments. That is so informative for my other viewers who may be thinking about moving here! 1) Yes! It is expensive. I believe we are ranked as having the 9th highest cost of living, according to the Seattle Times. (At least it’s not Bellevue.) I think you have to get an hour or more out of the city to see prices really start to come down into a more affordable range. 2) I do think crime has gotten worse in the last 10 years with homelessness, drug use, etc. especially within city limits. 3) Agree. If you identify as progressive, you’ll probably feel right at home. If not… then yeah, you’re right. 4) Retirement in the area is not a problem for everyone. I work with a lot of older folks who have lived here all their lives. The key is owning your home, so that it is paid down or paid off. With a senior tax exemption, you can still do okay on your housing costs once your house is free and clear. This can actually be a big wealth builder, if you do want to end up retiring out of state. 5) Downtown Edmonds and Kirkland are fun places for me and my family. We also like going hiking, boating and to fairs, etc. in the country-side. Bothell is great, and Lynnwood has improved a lot in anticipation of the light rail coming. I agree that you have to know your neighborhoods and not every area is equally safe/welcoming. Thank you so much for your commentary, it is definitely food for thought for those who are relocating to the area.

Emily Cressey

Emily Cressey is a real estate broker residing in Lake Forest Park, WA who services the Greater Seattle area including Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, Brier, Lynnwood, Kenmore, Bothell and Edmonds, WA.

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