If you are moving to Seattle, you should be excited because that means awesome coffee shops, fresh brewed coffee, and seafood right off the shore. There’s more to Seattle than some know but in order to get the most out of the wonderful city, you will need to move to Seattle.
At first thought, you are thinking that summers are filled with rain and every other season is filled with inconsistent weather changes. Not to worry because most people that live in Seattle say that it stops eventually. Ultimately, moving to Seattle has its sunny and rainy days like any other city. Enjoy the beautiful monuments and museums that this city has to offer.
Moving to Seattle doesn’t have to be the road less taken if you have the right guidance. We have compiled a list of resources from getting your license to finding the right neighborhood in Seattle. Hopefully your move to Seattle will go much smoother than expected!
Protecting Yourself during Your Move to Seattle
Protecting yourself during the move to Seattle is extremely important to having a successful move. If you plan ahead, you will avoid making rushed decisions, signing too fast, or doing improper research. First and foremost before selecting a moving company, you should be doing your due diligence. This includes:
Verifying that they are a licensed mover
Getting a in person written estimate signed by the moving company
Review moving insurance
Before you make a final decision, make sure to ask:
What is the long distance mover liable for? Find out how you can protect your goods if they are damaged. Be comfortable with the terms.
Will the move be performed by a contractor or agent? Verify who will be handling the move.Get written agreements with valid contact information on who's handling your move.
Does the moving company have their U.S. DOT number? Make sure all paperwork is up to date. Verify that the moving company can perform the move.
What are your rights and responsibilities when it comes to your move? Inspect your movers tariff so you know what you are being charged.
Do you have an inventory list of everything being moved?
What happens if there is a dispute during the move? Find out what the dispute resolution for losses or damages. There should be an arbirtration program in place to protect you and the moving company.
If you know where you are moving to, it would be a good idea to find out if there any street or building rules to avoid getting a ticket or harassing your neighbors. If you are moving in to a building, make sure to speak with the leasing office to reserve an elevator for the move. This will help speed up the process and knock some minutes off your overall move.
If you are moving from one city to the next in the state of Washington, you can verify that a moving company is licensed by calling the Utilities and Transportation Commission at (360) 664-1222.
Switching Your License
Once you have settled in to Seattle, you will need to change your license over. Finding a driver licensing office is the first step. Before arriving, make sure to provide proof of identity, including your out-of-state license and a form of payment. There’s a $20 application fee and a $25 fee for your license that you can pay with cash, check, or debit/credit card.
Here is a video on tips for visiting the Driver Licensing Offices in Washington:
Commuting in Seattle
Like any other major city, commuting in Seattle can be a breeze if you know exactly how you plan to get around. There are several ways to get around the beautiful city of Seattle. Learn more about your mode of transportation in Seattle.
Bus-If you are within the downtown corridor, you are in luck because bus transportation is free. Visit each bus transit provider for specifics of the services they provide.
Metro Transit- Provides service throughout King County. You can plan your trip online or grab a schedule from your local library or mall. With options to either go to a bus stop or park and ride, you'll have convenient options to get you to your destination. For more information, call (206) 553-3000.
Sound Transit-Provides service that connects communities in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. You have the option between ST express buses, Central Link light rail, and Sound Trains. For more information, call (800) 201-4900.
Seattle Streetcar- The streetcar is Emerald City's newest way to travel through the South Lake Union line. It conveniently connects to other transit systems making it extremely convenient to travel. For more information, call (206) 553-3000.
Monorail- The monorail provides a convenient way to travel between downtown Seattle and Seattle Center. Its the nation's first full-scale commercial monorail system. With departures every 10 minutes, you'll get to your final destination in no time. For more information, call (206) 905-2620.
Finding the Right Neighborhood
Finding a neighborhood can be hard if you don’t know what you are looking for. No matter if you are looking for a house or an apartment, you have to know exactly what neighborhood is fitting for your lifestyle. Here are a few questions to keep in mind:
How far am I from public transportation?
How long am I willing to commute to work?
What is the crime rate in the area and surrounding neighborhoods?
How are there any good schools in the area?
How close are schools, grocery stores, and gas stations?
How far am I from the nightlife scene?
Searching for a Home
Finding a home in Seattle can be a challenge if you are not so sure where to start your search. It can seem like an overwhelming process, but it's not with the right tools. Here are some great ways to find a home in Seattle:
Apartment Guides – You can always rely on apartment search resources like ForRent.com. These general references are great for apartment hunting right from your computer.
Brokers - One of the most common methods of finding an apartment in Seattle is using a real estate broker. If you know what neighborhood you want to live in, it's usually best to find a broker based there. Many brokers also have Web sites where you can view available apartments, sometimes even with photos and detailed descriptions. If you have decided to use a broker, keep in mind that you will probably have to pay a brokers fee which is usually one month’s rent.
Word-of-Mouth – If you know someone who currently lives in Seattle, getting references from them could help out substantially. Finding an apartment through word of mouth is a lot cheaper than using a broker. Ask your friends and family if they can provide any help with your search.
Local Guides and Reviews - Area guides will certainly point you in the right direction to finding the right place. Make sure to check out the web sites of local papers and online message boards like seattle.craigslist.org.
Apartment Referral Service - For the savvy hunters who are comfortable searching the Internet, there is an apartment referral service. For a monthly fee, referral services will provide you with a list of no-fee apartment rentals as they become available.
Don't be in a rush to find an apartment. Give yourself enough time so you don't make a haste decision that you may end up regretting. Now that you have found the right apartment, it's time to find licensed moving companies in Seattle that can help.