If you’re considering living in Washington, here’s everything you need to know.
Living in Washington
It has earned a reputation as a technology hub, an urban epicenter, a booming business city, and a place filled with incredible natural beauty. From coast to coast, the state is filled with diversity. Depending on where you live, the weather may be quite different. Additionally, there is a thriving arts scene and global cuisine. With nearly 7.7 million people in 2020, Washington has shown a 1.5% increase in population. With more people moving out of state, including California, Washington welcomes newcomers.
Washington State’s Cost of Living.
The cost of living in Washington is not exactly low. However, living in Washington does not entail paying income taxes. Your apartment budget will be able to increase as a result.
The affordability of Washington apartments depends on where you live. Seattle will be one of the most expensive cities to live in. This metro area is the 15th largest in terms of population, so urban density and high-rises are to be expected.
In Washington, the cost of living varies from city to city, according to PayScale. Living costs in Seattle are 49% higher than the national average, and housing costs are 94% higher. Even so, the cost of living in Tacoma is only 8% higher, and the housing cost is 3% lower than the national average.
Here is an example of how much things cost when moving to Washington based on PayScale’s report:
- Energy costs: $206.39
- A loaf of bread costs $4.22
- A doctor’s visit costs $137.50
- A gallon of gas costs $3.47
Rent in Seattle is the most expensive in the state. Seattle rents two-bedroom apartments for an average of $1,742, far higher than the national average of $1,114.
Vancouver is an excellent alternative if you want to live in a beautiful setting and not pay sales tax but commute into Portland. Two-bedroom apartments in Vancouver are currently rented for $1,420 on average. The price increased 6.8% over the past year. Rents in the United States have remained steady.
Rent in Tacoma is less expensive than Seattle at $1,465 for a two-bedroom apartment. The Tacoma rental market is on the rise again after a brief dip.
As a result of the pandemic, rents have declined over the last year. However, the rents have stabilized and are expected to increase shortly. Right now would be a great time to score a great deal on a rent special.
Taxes and income in Washington State.
Despite not having an income tax, Washington State has a steep sales tax to compensate for not having an income tax. Washington State has an income tax of 6.5%, depending on the city, but each town has an additional sales tax that can raise this to as much as 10.4%.
Effective rates in Washington range from 0.61% in San Juan County to 1.19% in Pierce County at the county level. Property taxes are paid annually by state inhabitants in the average amount of $3,601. However, the statewide effective property tax rate is only 0.93%, which is lower than the 1.07% national average because home values in this area are high.
Washington’s economy and the job market.
Washington has a thriving business and innovation scene. The city is home to juggernauts such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Expedia Group, who thrive in its booming and rapidly-growing tech scene.
Washington is the home of Boeing, Nordstrom, Alaska Airlines, and Starbucks. It would help if you didn’t forget the Evergreen State’s Aerospace, Farming, and Agriculture industries. Their GDP growth rates are among the highest in the country.
Approximately 1,300 aerospace companies are located in Washington State alone. Washington State is the nation’s top supplier of aerospace parts. It is also the center of production for commercial and military aircraft.
Although Washington supplies 70% of the U.S. apple crop, it is an unsung hero in the farming industry.
More than 300 different commodities are grown in Washington, from cherries to Christmas trees. Those crops lead to even more significant economic growth in food processing, agricultural production, and trade.
From coast to coast, the climate in Washington State varies a lot. These variations provide a diverse backdrop of environmental diversity.
The climate of Seattle and areas west of the Cascades is cool during summer and moderate during winter. There’s no doubt that Seattle gets a lot of rain. Even though it has a reputation for pouring rain, the amount that falls is not too much.
Meanwhile, Eastern Washington has an arid and relatively dry climate. The climate here is hotter in the summer and colder in the winter. Watersports and snow skiing are popular here.
What is Washington culture like?
Due to Washington’s proximity to the water, it became a critical Pacific Ocean trade center with a diverse mix of locals, including Scandinavians and Native Americans.
Washington’s diverse culture also contributes to the vibrant arts scene. In areas like Seattle, there is a cosmopolitan flair and a melting pot of cultures.
The state of Washington has always been a haven for artists and creators. An annual BAM ARTS fair with various genres and mediums is held at the Bellevue Arts Museum. Children are welcome as well.
Museums, galleries, and performing arts are featured in the waterfront village of La Conner between Seattle and Vancouver.
Exhibits and installations of outdoor art are also plentiful in Washington. Enjoy the Olympic Mountains and the Puget Sound while viewing the sculptures at Olympic Sculpture Park.
A treasure trove of historical stops and landmarks makes Washington’s history the most accessible. There are still remnants of the American and English camps erected during the Pig War of 1859 on San Juan Island National Park.
The Fort Nisqually Granary living history museum is located in Tacoma. It is the site of the first European trading post on the Puego Sound and sits in Point Defiance Park.
A National Register of Historic Places listing, the Milk Bottle Restaurant has an odd shape. Located in Tacoma, it was a part of the Benewah Dairy Company.
Additionally, you can see Chief Seattle’s colorful yet sad resting place, Suquamish. In the Nez Perce National Historical Park, there are 38 sites.