20 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Seattle


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If you’re thinking about moving to the Seattle area, you probably already know it rains and that we’re particular about our coffee. But there’s so much more to living in the region. We asked local Redfin agents Ben Hitchins, KC Brants, James Sharpe and Ruby Manuel what they love — and hate — about the Emerald City and what you should know before moving here.

1. We’re really into group exercise.

#1-Group Exercise
Group exercise, such as spinning classes, are a popular way for people to mingle and get a workout at the same time.

“Seattleites enjoy working out together, indoors or outdoors,” Hitchins said. “So whether you prefer yoga, spinning or weight training, Seattle’s got you covered.”

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2. Our garages (and cars) are  filled with bicycles, skis, paddle boards and other sports gear.

#2-Sporting Gear
The Pacific Northwest has some of the most scenic areas for activities. So, whether we want to go skiing or paddleboarding at a moment’s notice, we have the right gear.

“It’s fairly common to see people park their cars outside to make room in the garage for their sporting equipment,” Sharpe said. “People in Seattle are willing to go to great lengths to get some fresh air, rain or shine.”

3. No one will admit it, but we kind of like Starbucks.

The original Starbucks is in Seattle, near Pike Place Market.

“When it comes to coffee, we will always prefer the artisan, hand-crafted experience over a shot pumped out of a machine,” Hitchins said. “But Seattle has more Starbucks stores per capita than any other large American city, making it the most convenient place to get your caffeine fix.”

4. Ride sharing is very popular because, you know, sharing is caring.

A quick Uber or Lyft ride is a convenient way to get around the city.

“From Uber, to Lyft, Car2Go and Zipcar, we have so many ridesharing options that you really don’t need to own a car to get around the city,” Hitchins said.

5. There’s nothing express about a Metro Express bus.

#5-Metro Express Bus
Although it’s convenient, an Express bus isn’t the fastest way to get into the city from the Eastside.

“It can take more than 45 minutes to get from the Eastside to Seattle,” Brants said. “The buses don’t have a designated lane on the freeway, and they make several stops.”

6. Tech workers ride in style — on company buses.

#6-Microsoft Bus (Photo credit_ me)
Microsoft’s buses shuttle employees to the company’s many offices.

“Companies such as Microsoft and Amazon provide a free bus service for their employees,” Manuel said. “The buses are also used to get around the companies’ giant campuses, which are like their own communities.”

7. When we do drive, we don’t know how to yield.

#7-Yield traffic
Seattle traffic has gotten worse over the past few years, and so have drivers’ habits.

“For some reason, Seattle drivers treat yield signs like stop signs,” Brants said. “Maybe it’s because we have so many four-way stop signs that we’re so used to hitting the brakes.”

8. We’re losing patience for our girl Bertha.

#8-Bertha_Alaska Way Viaduct
Bertha is boring a tunnel, which will replace the famous viaduct.

“We all had high hopes for Bertha, a tunnel boring machine that is building a new tunnel under Seattle to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct,” Sharpe said. “But it’s been controversial, once getting stuck and then overheating.”

9. We won’t judge you, but we will judge your jacket.

Seattleites take their outerwear fashion very seriously. If you move here, make sure to wear a great jacket, like this one from Under Armour.

“No one really cares about how you dress, but we take outerwear fashion, such as North Face and REI, pretty seriously,” Brants said. “It came as no surprise when high-end sportswear designer Moncler opened its first store in the region last year.”

10. We’ve been Seahawks fans since the beginning … of 2013.

#10-Seahawks Fans
When the Seahawks had a winning season in 2013, suddenly everyone became a 12th man.

“There are fair-weather fans, but true 12s have been fans for a long time. Win or lose,” Manuel said.

11. Speaking of football, we’ve developed some strange traditions.

#11-Seahawks Traditions
For good luck, some Seahawks fans don’t wash their jerseys the entire season.

“Some people don’t wash their Seahawks jerseys for the entire football season,” Manuel said. “It’s a superstition, but they are afraid to wash the good luck away. It’s only weird if it doesn’t work.”

12. We feel like we know Pete Carroll.

#12-Pete Carroll
In Seattle, Pete Carroll is more than the Seahawks coach. He’s the people’s coach.

“Pete Carroll is everyone’s coach. He’s the go-to guy for inspiration,” Sharpe said.

 13. Seattle is like a theme park for dogs.

#13-Dog Parks
Dogs play in and out of the water at Magnuson Park, one of many places for canines to go leashless.

“The city alone boasts 14 off-leash areas for dogs. But my favorite is Marymoor Off-Leash Dog Park, aka Doggy Disneyland, in nearby Redmond,” Brants said. “The park is 40 acres of open fields and trees where dogs can enjoy the ultimate freedom.”

14. We avoid tourist traps, especially the Space Needle, which no longer catches our eye.

#14-Tourist Traps
Seattleites skip the Space Needle and head somewhere more scenic, like Snoqualmie Falls.

“We prefer taking out-of-town guests to Discovery Park or to scenic areas like Snoqualmie Falls,” Manuel said. “And being foodies, we also like to take our visitors to all of the great local restaurants and bars.”

15. The downtown Macy’s hasn’t always been there.

The Macy’s downtown was once the Bon Marché department store, which was founded in 1890.

“Before Macy’s it was a Bon Marché,” Brants said. “True Seattleites pride themselves on knowing the store’s history.”

16. Your Facebook and Instagram feeds will be clogged with photos of the mountains, sunsets and scrumptious food. #Nofilter

#16-Social Media Photos
If you have friends who live in Seattle, expect to see a few photos like this one in your social media feeds.

“If you follow a Seattleite on social media, then get ready to see photos of the city’s skyline, the Cascades or brunch show up on your timeline,” Hitchins said.

17. Heirlooms are all the rage.

Knowing where your food comes from is important to Seattleites, and what better way to know than growing your own vegetables.

“You know you live in Seattle when you have some sort of heirloom collection, like heirloom vegetables or heirloom knickknacks,” Sharpe said.

18. There is only one forecast: rainfall.

#18-Rain forecast
The forecast is pretty easy to predict: it’s going to rain.

“We get so much rain that a five-day forecast consists of: rain, sprinkles, showers, drizzle and mist,” Brants said.

19. But we allegedly buy more sunglasses per capita than any other city.

On a sunny day, everyone’s out wearing their best eyewear.

“Seattleites buy sunglasses so frequently because we’re always losing them,” Brants said. “It’s probably because we store them away for eight months and then can’t remember where we put them.”

20. Everyone’s dream home is a Craftsman.

#20-Seattle Craftsman
A Craftsman is a classic Seattle home. You’ll see them everywhere.

“Seattle is full of Craftsman-style homes built in the early 20th century,” Hitchins said. “It won’t be long before you buy one, too.”

*One more thing you should know before moving to Seattle: Never eat the whole brownie.

For all the Seattleites out there, which of these things did you like best, and what did we miss? Tell us on Facebook, Twitter or G+ or in the comments below. And if you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in the Seattle area, be sure to get in touch with our local Redfin real estate agents, or check out what’s on the market on Redfin.com.

If you are represented by an agent, this is not a solicitation of your business. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice from a medical provider, licensed attorney, financial advisor, or tax professional. Consumers should independently verify any agency or service mentioned will meet their needs. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines here.
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