Finance

Getting Around Seattle’s High Cost of Living

While Seattle has consistently been ranked one of the best cities to live in the US, it does have one of the highest costs of living in the country, about 56.8 percent higher than the national average. To live comfortably in Seattle, you would need to be earning around 82-thousand dollars a month. While there are many benefits to living in Seattle, the high cost of living and other financial factors often deters people from making that move.

High Cost of Living

However, there are workarounds for people who are dead set on moving to Seattle but don’t have enough housing. Whether you’re moving from across the country or from out of the country entirely, here are some ways you can get around Seattle’s high cost of living and call the city your home.

Know your budget and adjust your standards

Always have a set budget in mind, and try not to stray too far from it if you can. It’s good to have standards, especially if you’re looking for a long-term home, but take note of your budget and the standard that you can afford with it. If your budget leans more toward the cheap side, don’t expect to find a grand home that fits all your standards for a bargain. Understand what you can and can’t afford and manage your expectations to provide that.

However, try to find as many compromises as you can. While it might save you some disappointment to have realistic standards or expectations, you still need to have some levels of criteria if you want to live comfortably, such as safety and health conditions, utilities, and convenience. Remember: be realistic with your budget and expectations, but don’t compromise on your fundamental standards.

Find the right mortgage lender.

Finding a suitable mortgage lender who you can trust while also working with your budget can make or break your chances of finding a good home. As long as you meet the specified requirements, any mortgage lender would be happy to help you out, but you also need to have a discerning eye when it comes to looking for the best mortgage lenders in the city. In some cases, you might need a broker to look for you. Whichever route you take, finding the right mortgage lender with your budget while finding you the best housing in Seattle is essential to with and around Seattle’s high cost of living.

Consider renting instead of buying.

Just like with housing, rent in Seattle can be a bit more expensive than average. But if you can’t afford to buy a house right away, renting might be your best option. You will undoubtedly find many cheap apartments or housing options in the Seattle area, no matter your budget.

While there is some debate about whether buying is cheaper than renting, many agree that renting is more affordable. Sure, buying a house might be better in the long run, but whether you’re unsure about buying at an irregular period of your life or can’t afford it at the moment, renting rather than buying might be the best option for you.

Take advantage of no state income tax.

Washington is one of the few states in the country that doesn’t have a state income tax. While this doesn’t mean that people living within Washington are exempted from all taxes (there’s still a business and public utility tax), it reduces the amount you’re taxed.

And depending on your annual income, that could make all the difference. No state income tax is one of the benefits of living in Washington and is one good thing to consider if you’re planning to settle down in Seattle. That could mean more money that you can put towards paying off your mortgage or loans.

Take a look at available tech jobs.

Seattle is a tech hub city where many names in the tech industry, like Microsoft and Amazon, had their humble beginnings and big breaks. As such, lots of high-paying jobs in the tech industry are available for the taking in Seattle. Whether you’re a newcomer in the tech business or an expert in the field, Seattle has a lot to offer. And once you’ve landed a stable job in Seattle, the rest will follow. Other than the tech industry, a vast array of job opportunities are available in the Seattle area.

Jeremy D. Mena
Alcohol geek. Future teen idol. Web practitioner. Problem solver. Certified bacon guru. Spent 2002-2009 researching plush toys in Miami, FL. Won several awards for exporting tar in Libya. Uniquely-equipped for managing human growth hormone in Libya. Spent a weekend implementing fried chicken on the black market. Spoke at an international conference about working on carnival rides in Miami, FL. Developed several new methods for donating jack-in-the-boxes in Edison, NJ.