Relocating to Seattle For A Tech Job

Relocating To Seattle For Work - Commutes, Where To Live, Where To Work, Buying A Home

Are you relocating to the Seattle area for a tech job? We have a lot of tech companies here. First, it was Microsoft, who has a huge campus over in Redmond. Then it was Amazon and we’ve also got Google and Facebook offices now. So the tech presence in Seattle is growing and it’s bringing a lot of people to town. So if that’s you, and you’re wondering where to live and what are the pros and cons of these different neighborhoods in Seattle for the IT worker, be sure to watch this video, I’m going to break it down for you.

Neighborhoods in Seattle

Hi, my name is Emily. My husband works in IT. My brother-in-law works in IT. And I know a lot of folks who are in that technology space, here in the area. I live in Lake Forest Park, and there are a lot of benefits to this location, but let’s talk about it in terms of you and your needs.

First of all, where do you work? Microsoft was the one that started it all and they kind of built their own giant facility over in Redmond. So Microsoft has a lot of employees and it also has a lot of contractors and they are over on the east side. So if you’re at Microsoft, having good access to the east side is what you want to do. And the nice thing is that real estate over there on the Bellevue side of Lake Washington tends to be a little bit less expensive.

So north of there, you could be looking at Woodinville, Kirkland, Kenmore, Bothell on the north side of the lake, or you could go east of Bellevue and look at Issaquah, Lake Sammamish. And even out to Monroe, I know folks in Monroe who have horse property and they love it. And they’re willing to commute in from the rural east side to the developed east side. So those are our places to take a look at if you’re a Microsoftee.

Google, their primary campus was in the Fremont area. And they also have one in Kirkland, which is on the east side of the lake. And they also have one in downtown Seattle. So take a look at which of the Google offices you think you might be working in the most, where are your coworkers going to be located? And what’s going to be closest to your house?

It’s fun because in the Google office in Fremont, you can actually take a kayak and you can kayak down to the new office, which is right across the street from the Museum of History & Industry on South Lake Union. And so, you can get there from office to office, through the water. They also have a bus, if you’re not a paddler and you could even bike if that’s your thing. So those two offices are fairly close together. And then there’s also the Kirkland office and they are connected by a kind of proprietary little bus shuttle service.

So what my brother-in-law does, he works at the Kirkland office, which is on the east side of the lake and he lives in Shoreline and it’s closer for him to drive to the office at South Lake Union in Wallingford. And then he takes the bus. But as soon as he gets on the bus, they have Wi-fi there and he can be working and checking his email. So he has a short drive to that office. And then he takes the bus around to the Kirkland office. So looking at those things that can help you.

Amazon has most of its offices located in the South Lake Union area, but they don’t label their office. There’s no big Amazon sign on the outside of the office building, so it can be hard to tell. They own some buildings and they lease some buildings, but they keep it pretty incognito. Overall, the area that’s considered Amazonia is in the South Lake Union area, I think 8th & Olive and that domain. And so that’s kind of the north part of downtown. It’s near the Space Needle. And if that’s where you’re headed, you are going to have a big traffic problem.

So what a lot of people do, is they rent a very expensive apartment in the urban core, that’s walkable to work. And a lot of young, single people enjoy that kind of downtown, urban lifestyle. They can hit the bars and restaurants at night. They can easily get back and forth to the office. But for those who have families or who don’t enjoy living in an apartment, and maybe because of coronavirus, they’re looking to get a little bit farther out of town, for those folks, a lot of people look at the commute. So if you go north, your office is on the north side of Seattle. So going north makes more sense. So you go north on I-5, you’ll come through North Seattle. And a lot of people want to get north of 145th Street because that’s kind of the borderline for the city of Seattle, which has some benefits of being out of that Seattle school district and into the Shoreline school district.

Also, farther north is Edmonds, Lynnwood. So depending on how far north you want to go, you can get less expensive, you can get more square footage. But the county and even Snohomish County, which is north of Shoreline. Lynnwood is in Snohomish County. They have a very good bus service, but they are orienting all new development to be high-density development. So if you want a new home, chances are it’s going to be a vertical home. It’s going to be a three-story townhouse with a very small lot. So that’s what’s going in. That’s what’s being permitted for new construction. If you don’t want that style of home, you’re going to have to go with pre-existing construction. And a lot of the homes are older from the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s. That’s kind of when this area was developed. So that’s the era of home that you’re going to be looking at.

We have a lot of 2000, 2,500 square foot homes, split level, ranch style, those types of homes. And then it’s kind of a matter of choosing one that’s been updated or that’s in a location that you like. We want to be kind of close to the freeway, but not so close that we’re getting freeway noise, that we’re getting a lot of bus traffic. You don’t want to be on an arterial. So you can go west a little bit, into Richmond Beach and Edmonds. And then when you go west, you hit the water. And when you hit the water view, you get a very nice view. It tends to get a little bit more expensive. You can also go east of I-5 and you can go east a little bit and then you hit water there too.

So we’ve got Lake Washington on the east side, and that’s really kind of, one of the constraints of the Seattle market, is that we’ve got so much water and I-5 goes right between it. We’re just kind of a narrow, skinny band, water, water, and freeway. So we’ve got to be close enough to the freeway, but saving money by not being too close to the water. And that’s kind of the compromise. And otherwise, you just keep going north and you can go north to Lynnwood and you can go north to Everett and still make it into Seattle.

In fact, Lynnwood and Everett, my first home that I purchased here, in the Seattle area, was in Lynnwood because we didn’t know at the time… My husband was an independent contractor working from home. And we didn’t know if when his contract ended, he’d be getting a job in Everett or in Bellevue or in Seattle. And these areas at the top of the Lake with good freeway access, you can hop on I-5 and go down south into Seattle. You can hop on 405 and go south into Bellevue, or you can hop on I-5 and go north to Everett and Marysville. So I do think that that top of the lake location provides a lot of flexibility, if you want to keep your options open for going down either freeway. And with the bus service that we have, if you can get a direct… The bus kind of picks up in your neighborhood and then zips on the freeway and it doesn’t make any more stops until it gets downtown, you’ll have a pretty good commute.

So if you’re a new IT worker, kind of coming to the Seattle area, looking at the urban core, if that’s the lifestyle that you want, you can get a nice apartment there. Or if you have a family and you want a little more space and a little bit more yard, you’re going to be looking at probably buying a preexisting home and making it your own, along the I-5 or 405 or at the top of the lake.

So I hope that’s helpful. I’ll look forward to meeting you and helping you. I do enjoy specializing in people in the IT field. I guess, that’s who I married, who our family just hangs out with. So if that’s you, and if there’s anything I can do for you, please feel free to get in contact with my office. And we will look forward to helping you find the type of home that you’re looking for.

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Relocating To Seattle For Work - Commutes, Where To Live, Where To Work, Buying A Home
Video Transcription

Are you relocating to the Seattle area for a tech job? We have a lot of tech companies here. First, it was Microsoft, who has a huge campus over in Redmond. Then it was Amazon and we’ve also got Google and Facebook offices now. So the tech presence in Seattle is growing and it’s bringing a lot of people to town. So if that’s you, and you’re wondering where to live and what are the pros and cons of these different neighborhoods in Seattle for the IT worker, be sure to watch this video, I’m going to break it down for you.

Hi, my name is Emily. My husband works in IT. My brother-in-law works in IT. And I know a lot of folks who are in that technology space, here in the area. I live in Lake Forest Park, and there are a lot of benefits to this location, but let’s talk about it in terms of you and your needs.

First of all, where do you work? Microsoft was the one that started it all and they kind of built their own giant facility over in Redmond. So Microsoft has a lot of employees and it also has a lot of contractors and they are over on the east side. So if you’re at Microsoft, having good access to the east side is what you want to do. And the nice thing is that real estate over there on the Bellevue side of Lake Washington tends to be a little bit less expensive.

So north of there, you could be looking at Woodinville, Kirkland, Kenmore, Bothell on the north side of the lake, or you could go east of Bellevue and look at Issaquah, Lake Sammamish. And even out to Monroe, I know folks in Monroe who have horse property and they love it. And they’re willing to commute in from the rural east side to the developed east side. So those are our places to take a look at if you’re a Microsoftee.

Google, their primary campus was in the Fremont area. And they also have one in Kirkland, which is on the east side of the lake. And they also have one in downtown Seattle. So take a look at which of the Google offices you think you might be working in the most, where are your coworkers going to be located? And what’s going to be closest to your house?

It’s fun because in the Google office in Fremont, you can actually take a kayak and you can kayak down to the new office, which is right across the street from the Museum of History & Industry on South Lake Union. And so, you can get there from office to office, through the water. They also have a bus, if you’re not a paddler and you could even bike if that’s your thing. So those two offices are fairly close together. And then there’s also the Kirkland office and they are connected by a kind of proprietary little bus shuttle service.

So what my brother-in-law does, he works at the Kirkland office, which is on the east side of the lake and he lives in Shoreline and it’s closer for him to drive to the office at South Lake Union in Wallingford. And then he takes the bus. But as soon as he gets on the bus, they have Wi-fi there and he can be working and checking his email. So he has a short drive to that office. And then he takes the bus around to the Kirkland office. So looking at those things that can help you.

Amazon has most of its offices located in the South Lake Union area, but they don’t label their office. There’s no big Amazon sign on the outside of the office building, so it can be hard to tell. They own some buildings and they lease some buildings, but they keep it pretty incognito. Overall, the area that’s considered Amazonia is in the South Lake Union area, I think 8th & Olive and that domain. And so that’s kind of the north part of downtown. It’s near the Space Needle. And if that’s where you’re headed, you are going to have a big traffic problem.

So what a lot of people do, is they rent a very expensive apartment in the urban core, that’s walkable to work. And a lot of young, single people enjoy that kind of downtown, urban lifestyle. They can hit the bars and restaurants at night. They can easily get back and forth to the office. But for those who have families or who don’t enjoy living in an apartment, and maybe because of coronavirus, they’re looking to get a little bit farther out of town, for those folks, a lot of people look at the commute. So if you go north, your office is on the north side of Seattle. So going north makes more sense. So you go north on I-5, you’ll come through North Seattle. And a lot of people want to get north of 145th Street because that’s kind of the borderline for the city of Seattle, which has some benefits of being out of that Seattle school district and into the Shoreline school district.

Also, farther north is Edmonds, Lynnwood. So depending on how far north you want to go, you can get less expensive, you can get more square footage. But the county and even Snohomish County, which is north of Shoreline. Lynnwood is in Snohomish County. They have very good bus service, but they are orienting all new development to be high density development. So if you want a new home, chances are it’s going to be a vertical home. It’s going to be a three-story townhouse with a very small lot. So that’s what’s going in. That’s what’s being permitted for new construction. If you don’t want that style of home, you’re going to have to go with pre-existing construction. And a lot of the homes are older from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. That’s kind of when this area was developed. So that’s the era of home that you’re going to be looking at.

We have a lot of 2000, 2,500 square foot homes, split level, ranch style, those types of homes. And then it’s kind of a matter of choosing one that’s been updated or that’s in a location that you like. We want to be kind of close to the freeway, but not so close that we’re getting freeway noise, that we’re getting a lot of bus traffic. You don’t want to be on an arterial. So you can go west a little bit, into Richmond Beach and Edmonds. And then when you go west, you hit the water. And when you hit the water view, you get a very nice view. It tends to get a little bit more expensive. You can also go east of I-5 and you can go east a little bit and then you hit water there too.

So we’ve got Lake Washington on the east side, and that’s really kind of, one of the constraints of the Seattle market, is that we’ve got so much water and I-5 goes right between it. We’re just kind of a narrow, skinny band, water, water, and freeway. So we’ve got to be close enough to the freeway, but saving money by not being too close to the water. And that’s kind of the compromise. And otherwise, you just keep going north and you can go north to Lynnwood and you can go north to Everett and still make it into Seattle.

In fact, Lynnwood and Everett, my first home that I purchased here, in the Seattle area, was in Lynnwood because we didn’t know at the time… My husband was an independent contractor working from home. And we didn’t know if when his contract ended, he’d be getting a job in Everett or in Bellevue or in Seattle. And these areas at the top of the Lake with good freeway access, you can hop on I-5 and go down south into Seattle. You can hop on 405 and go south into Bellevue, or you can hop on I-5 and go north to Everett and Marysville. So I do think that that top of the lake location provides a lot of flexibility, if you want to keep your options open for going down either freeway. And with the bus service that we have, if you can get a direct… The bus kind of picks up in your neighborhood and then zips on the freeway and it doesn’t make any more stops until it gets downtown, you’ll have a pretty good commute.

So if you’re a new IT worker, kind of coming to the Seattle area, looking at the urban core, if that’s the lifestyle that you want, you can get a nice apartment there. Or if you have a family and you want a little more space and a little bit more yard, you’re going to be looking at probably buying a preexisting home and making it your own, along the I-5 or 405 or at the top of the lake.

So I hope that’s helpful. I’ll look forward to meeting you and helping you. I do enjoy specializing in people in the IT field. I guess, that’s who I married, who our family just hangs out with. So if that’s you, and if there’s anything I can do for you, please feel free to get in contact with my office. And we will look forward to helping you find the type of home that you’re looking for.

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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