12 Reasons Not to Move to Seattle, Washington

Seattle downtown skyline and Mt. Rainier, Washington.

Washington is known for its plentiful greens and fresh apples and its nice supply of fish and other seafood products. We also know it is certainly the home of big companies such as Microsoft, Starbucks, Boeing, and much more. Seattle also provides some familiar faces such as Bill Gates, Jimi Hendrix, Paul Allen, and much more.

The Space Needle is also a sight to behold alongside the Pike Place Market with the group and family-owned businesses to catch your attention. Though these all sound very desirable and exciting to explore, that is, the only reason why you would want to go to Seattle is just to visit. You may consider wanting to live here but there are plentiful reasons why anyone should reconsider moving here. Take it from me who has lived in Seattle, Washington for at least 24 years and has had my fair share of downs while living here. Here are some reasons why you should never live in, consider living in, and reconsider living in Seattle, Washington.

1. Living is Expensive

What better reason to not be in Seattle, Washington, and like many others that reside alongside a large body of water, especially major oceans, are that they are very expensive to live in. And this is the average cost of living with an estimate of $2,000/month for a one-two bedroom, close to $5 for gas/gallon, and about 12% of gained income on food alone. Imagine the higher-end prices! The relative cost of living compared to most states within the nation is extremely costly and unless you have a set job that pays extremely well, you are not going to fully survive living in Seattle.

Mediocre jobs in Seattle are only really good if you are currently living with someone else either cost-free or sharing the load. Living by oneself entirely is a recipe for disaster with such mediocre jobs. The high cost of living is certainly a factor that would dismay anyone living here. Even those who are veteran locals in Seattle still contemplate whether living in Seattle is worth it or if they need a change in pace in terms of being more resourceful and saving money for other endeavors they may want to engage in.

2. Criminal Activities

selective focus of chalk outline and evidence markers at crime scene

Another reason why Seattle, Washington may not be an option for you is the rising occurrences of crime within the city. According to Van Life Wanderer, the 2020-2021 crime rates that range from homicide to arson to aggravated assault, etc. have risen to 10%. Most crime-related activities have risen in one way or another. Only rape, homicide, and burglary have had a decline within that year, having homicide being the largest change at around 25% decline while the other two are steady at around 1-6% decline. The HPC states that the crime rates have made Seattle one of the worst property crime rates and seem to only be improving in this particular type of crime with it being almost triple the national average as well.

3. Weather

car rides in heavy rain on a flooded road.

Now, how can you complain about Seattle without mentioning its constant rain and mist and especially its never-ending overcast environment? Sure, Seattle is nowhere near at risk of drought during the hot Summer, but on a mental health level, it can be seen that having constant rain and gray skies overhead can create a sense of depression and lack of motivation to be positive, especially during the cooler climates of Fall and Winter and even early Spring. These seasons are where it is at its worst. Lack of exposed sun can make anyone go mad in terms of not feeling good or not feeling like paradise, plus it’s so cold it is likely that you will freeze to a large extent.

The green and fresh vegetables and fruits that emerge from such nourishment don’t help the fact that Washington as a whole is just a gloomy state that does not provide sunlight throughout the year. Whenever the sun does expose itself during the late Spring and all of Summer, it is a sign of relief and rejuvenation. However, if you are here for the sun, Seattle is certainly not the right place for you.

4. Traffic

This next reason should be a no-brainer for anyone who has even traveled past a city which is the constant and never-ending flood of cars. In all cities like Seattle, there will be traffic, and when you are deciding to travel in Seattle in the morning, during lunch hour, and during the end-or-work rush, you are making a mistake in thinking you can effectively bypass this.

The workers are certainly the main reason why the traffic is so busy and perhaps overcrowded, many jobs are provided within the city, and many have to commute long distances to attend to their workplaces. The city is always bustling with car horns, chatter among people, and some construction. The traffic just fills in the gap for these things and the nightmare never ends. Even for those who do not work there, the city is always moving in one way or another.

5. Overcrowded Noises

Another reason for not recommending anyone to live in Seattle, and perhaps large cities themselves, is the overabundance of noise. Living in the heart of Seattle at one point, made me realize how loud the city is. Not loud in terms of magnitude, but loudness in terms of frequency. As briefly said earlier, you can never go about your morning, noon, afternoon, and evening without hearing some sort of noise.

Whether this is from the car horns, crowds of people, or construction, you are never safe from such noises. quietness in the city happens very rarely and when they do happen, it does not last long. The slight sound in the background that never ends will continue to become an itch that you cannot fully rid of. You either have to get used to it or simply move out or spend money on sound suppression devices just for a chance of peace and quiet.

6. Poverty/Homelessness

Though the city is moving forward and there is plenty of exploration to be had, be aware that not all of Seattle is a “happy-go” type of experience. Like all cities, Seattle is certainly an attraction for those who are homeless. People who are in the small crevices of Seattle are usually involved in heavy drug usage and dealings and there is no shortage of crime as briefly shared in the Criminal Activities section.

When traveling around Seattle, you have to be constantly aware of your surroundings regardless of your status and to be swift ad quick when traveling around such environments. It is no surprise that anyone who wants to live in Seattle will quickly realize that not everything is what it is cut out to be. If you are afraid of your well-being or are disturbed by the sight of poverty to any degree, then reconsider living in Seattle, or any major city for that matter. The outskirts seem to be a better option if this is the case.

7. Wildfires

Rain forest fire disaster is burning caused by humans

For a city that is known for its rainy seasons and constant gray, overcast, there is a surprising amount of wildfire occurrences that occur every Spring and Summer. Some of the worst in the past two years according to Embrace Someplace. The dusty smoke in the air fills our lives with a smoke-like fog which makes it hard to go about your daily routines, even when the routines are involved in the outdoors such as construction or daily exercises.

Wildfires are common perhaps of the large population of trees which makes it a viable source for fire ignition during the heated seasons. Thankfully, it is only involved in the Summer at most, and seldom during the Spring. However, if you are not a fan of the aftermath of wildfire occurrences either by personal choice or health reasons, then do not consider living here. Think about an area more northward perhaps for a cooler climate with rare chances of natural fire incidents.

8. The “Seattle Freeze”

This term is basically used to indicate that a neighborhood or even the entirety of the place has a reputation of being not friendly and unwelcoming to new guests. It seems to be a common trope in the heart of Seattle itself since everyone there is fixated on their own business. This social barrier has become a particular norm in Seattle itself and does not seem to be going any lower. If you are considering living here, you should have a connection who is from there who may help you get to know the people more effectively than trying alone.

9. Sports Fanaticism

Next in line for reasons not to live in Seattle, Washington is the number of fans for the Seattle Seahawks, mainly. Sure, there are other sports teams like the Seattle Mariners, Seattle Sounders, Seattle Kraken, etc. But nothing comes close to the extreme fanaticism that comes with a Seattle Seahawks fan. They are another breed of individuals who simply have passion for their team and want to see them succeed as much as possible. Be aware that if you are not a Seattle Seahawks fan in any way or if you openly mock or turn them down, the fans will fight back with words, and they will have the last laugh on you.

10. Overabundance of Coffee

Starbucks is definitely one of the most widely-known brands in the world. The start of Starbucks started in Seattle, and it is no surprise that everywhere you go, you will find the scent of coffee everywhere. If you are the type who does not like the smell or even appreciate the sight of coffee, then you are truly in the wrong neighborhood if you decide to live in Seattle, Washington.

11. Diversity Levels are Low

Being on the Pacific Ocean you would think there would be more diverse people living here, however, there is barely anyone who isn’t white who abides there. Sure, there is a growing community of Asian ethnicity, but no real significance in their growth. The area is a white-dominant area and as a comparison, according to the AreaVibes, Spanish-speaking individuals are only 4% compared to the significantly larger 78% of English speaking. If you expect to find diverse communities of all ethnicity and nationality, I suggest traveling down southward such as California.

12. Public Transportation

Close up focus on a red ‘Stop’ button inside a metro bus in Seattle

Lastly, the final reason for recommending not to live in Seattle, Washington is the lack of a public transportation system. They do exist in Seattle, but in very scarce numbers. It is more worth it to suffer and drive your personal vehicle throughout the city though it is very hard to secure a comfortable parking spot in any location throughout the city. The public transportation system that is currently in place is very underwhelming and would honestly, sometimes, be better to walk on foot in some cases. Plus, there isn’t enough for everyone to really use them at one time.

Because of the scarcity of the public transportation system, you are inevitably “forcing” others to find a different method of travel. It is just not a friendly location that does not support enough public transportation. They either need to revise their current system and/or improve and add more for the sake of the people wanting to travel around their area.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Seattle is a wonderful and beautiful place to live in, however, do your research and make educated decisions about whether or not you choose to live in Seattle. I recommend not taking the risk and finding better opportunities and options that provide better outcomes relative to your current needs and standing. Go ahead and visit Seattle anytime you want but reconsider your thoughts on living in such a place as Seattle, Washington.

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Paige Ramone

Hi, my name is Paige. An interesting fact about me is I am on a Women's field hockey team. I also love writing, but I do most of my writing after the kids are in bed.

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