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Discussion Starter #1
This question is directed to the Goldwinger's that live are have lived in Washinton state(God's Country). I lived there some twenty years ago on Whidbey and visiting there almost each year, I realize that home prices have skyrocketed there more so then in Florida. Being that Goldwinger's are quite adventuresome, I know they have more insight into living conditions, etc there. My question is, if, infact, if you were looking to relocate to the Washington area, what town would you consider in Washington and why? I know that there will be a range of varibles in the answer. I am retired so location is not a problem with work but my other half is still in the labor force, so that is a concern. Seattle is out of the question due to prices but I was thinking maybe Bellingham, Everett, or maybe Sequim. Thanking you in advance for any input. thx :)
 

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You will find that prices/congestion have just gone nuts all the way from Bellingham to Olympia. This includes the Penisula. If you are focusing on the wet side of the state, some where South of Olympia would be best to avoid crowds and for better prices. Growth Management act has also driven up prices in the traditionally rual areas of th Pugent Sound.
 

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Friends of our who live in the Seattle area recently purchased a home on Whidbey Island, on the west side. I don't recall the name of the little town or community there. The house is a nice little house, about 1700 sq. ft., on two levels, with some view, as I recall from the pix they showed me. They paid right at $350,000.00 for it! Pretty spendy, but the area prices command it, apparently. I have no idea what property taxes and other area taxes and annual fees are, but I suspect plenty. That whole area of Washington is very expensive. Very pretty, but expensive, unfortunately.
 

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Wa. St.

Median home price in King County (Seattle area) is $425K. Other areas float above and below that line (obviously the term "median") :)
If you don't mind a perpetual state of "dampness", then the west side is for you. Otherwise, consider the central or eastern part of the State. What type of work would your wife be seeking?
 

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We lived in the Pacific Northwest for all our lives until we moved to San Diego last year. We visit the Seattle area frequently, since our kids live there. As a matter of fact, we're in Orting right now, awaiting the birth of our second grandchild.
We plan on retiring to the Paciffic Northwest when the time comes in a few years, and have thought that the area south of Olympia would be best for us. You'll get more home for your money there, yet still be within a short drive/ride to larger communities.
 

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I was born in Seattle,and have lived north of Seattle all my life.
Property here in the nw corner isn't too bad.Better if you stay outside of Bellingham
It's less than 2 hours to the city,and only an hour or so to the mountains
I'm pretty well entrenched now,but I think if I had to relocate within the state,I would look at two places:
1)east of the montains,maybe in the Winthrop area.I think homes there are still reasonable.A little colder in the winter,but dryer in the summer,and still only a couple hours to get to the west side across a very nice highway 20.
2)SW Washington in the Raymond area.I think property is still reasonable there too.Close to the ocean,and still only a couple hours to Seattle if you have the need to go there
 

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Re: Wa. St.

Gldwng said:
...If you don't mind a perpetual state of "dampness", then the west side is for you. Otherwise, consider the central or eastern part of the State. What type of work would your wife be seeking?
This is a good question - while your wife is working, you obviously want something close to where she can keep you living in the lifestyle you've become accustomed to. :)

My mom moved to Sequim a few years ago - Sequim is one of the driest places in the NW:

  • Q. Why is Sequim so dry?

    A. Sequim is the driest spot in Western Washington, getting just 18 inches of rain a year. And it can thank its proximity to the Olympic Mountains. Most of our rainy weather around here comes from the southwest. The moist air will rise up the southwest side of the Olympics then condense and squeeze out its moisture. (Think of the Olympics as a big sponge in this case). That's why the Olympic rain forests get more than 200 inches of rain a year.

    On the flip side, once the air reaches the summit, all its moisture is gone. Plus, as it then goes down the northwest side of the Olympics, it sinks and dries out - right over Sequim! That's known as the Olympic rain shadow.
(Thanks to Steve Pool)

It's a quaint little area and not far from some interesting riding.

As you know, Washington's terrain makes for some interesting weather patterns. For example, Moses Lake averages about 8 in. of rain and 13 in. of snow per year while Seattle averages about 36 in. of rain and 5 in. of snow.
 

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As others have noted, anyplace along the I5 corridor from Olympia to well north of Everett is going to be expensive. The house next door to mine (NW Seattle), 2 bedroom, 1 bath, mostly non-expandable, on a standard 60x120 city lot, sold for about $380K a few months ago. My mother sold her house and lot (in Seattle about a mile from mine) for $450K, and they buldozed the house and built new on the property. Gives you some idea of the value of property. Prices have flattened in the last month or two, but have not dropped.

One person suggested Raymond, and if you look at the general Grays Harbor area (Aberdeen, Raymond, Cosmopolis, Copalis, etc.) you generally can find very good value for the dollar as it is economically depressed due to lumber restrictions. However, it is also a bit of a drive to get anyplace.

The Kitsap Pensinula (Poulsbo, Bremerton, etc.) area is a bit less costly than Seattle, due to the inconvenience of the commute to Seattle (either a very long drive or a costly ferry toll). However, there are still places in that area that can be pricey.

Southeast - Maple Valley, Orting, Graham, etc., general area tends to be more affordable, but again you are getting farther away as far as commute if either of you are working.

When you get south of Olympia, but still well north of Vancouver, you are generally okay. Vancouver is getting almost as pricey as Seattle, as it is a Portland suburb.

Some of the areas along Hwy 2 (Gold Bar, Index, etc.) have some more affordable housing, but again the commute becomes a nightmare if you need to go into anyplace. You absolutely want to avoid Hwy 2 on Sunday after about 1 or 2 pm westbound.

In general, where I have used the term "more affordable" or "generally okay", etc., I'm referring to house prices that range from maybe $250K to $350K. Not cheap by any means.

Carl
 

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If I were looking to move I'd seriously consider the tirangle area bounded by Ferndale, Birch Bay and Lynden. It's close to large enough cities, but still has a 'country' feeeling and there are some pretty decent people living close by, some of whom ride wings.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
overwhelmed

I am totally inspired by all the overwhelming thought out responses. It is a major move to get there, but with time, I feel it will happen. thx for the feed back. Appx two weeks ago, We returned from a kayak trip to the San Juan's and after this adventure, we feel we cannot live without the daily HIGH that Washington injects into a person. thx
 

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Washington is a great place to live, and we wouldn't have left if the job hadn't required it. We love San Diego, but will be back in Washington when we retire.
 

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Re: overwhelmed

MONKEYDUDE said:
..... the daily HIGH that Washington injects into a person.
And here I thought that the herbal cigarette industry in Washington was all but non-existent. Perhaps the talk is true that BC bud flowing south wasn’t smoked, but planted.
It COULD explain why those Skagit Tulip farmers are smiling all winter long.
 

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I lived in Bellingham for several years back in the early 80's attending Western Washington University and loved it out there. Close to Mt. Baker, Vancouver and the ride down Chuckanut Drive (http://www.chuckanutdrive.com/) along the water to Anacortes is awesome. Of course, once you're in Anacortes, you're just a short ferry ride out to the San Juan Islands (San Juan, Orcas and Lopez). You're only a couple of hours north of Seattle. As Jeff mentioned, you might do better going a little north of Bellingham (Ferndale, Lynden, Birch Bay) but is all beautiful and riding to Alaska is a lot closer.

Good luck on your adventure. I look forward to going back one day and visiting.

Bartman
 

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Try to avoid Kitsap peninsula. All routes on and off the peninsula will be forever blocked in a couple of years. The Tacoma narrows bridge will have tolls in 2007 and the only other driveable passage off the peninsula will be blocked by a proposed NASCAR track in 2010.
 
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