10 Things to Know Before Moving From San Diego to Seattle

10 Things to Know Before Moving From San Diego to Seattle

Jan 05, 2023

Seattle Cityscape with Mt. Rainier in the Background at Sunset, Washington, USA

From one of the most expensive cities in America to another, from the warm sun to the cool wet, from beach vibes to endless greenery, moving from San Diego to Seattle brings with it many changes. In order to make the most of this potentially rewarding relocation, you need to know what to expect – And prepare appropriately. Here are 10 of the most important things to know before moving from San Diego, CA, to Seattle, WA. 

Expensive Real Estate Market

San Diego is known as one of the most expensive cities in the United States, but Seattle may require even more income in order to maintain your standard of living. While the two cities are comparable in many categories, from overall cost of living to groceries and healthcare, Seattle is significantly more expensive when it comes to housing. 

What can you expect from the Seattle housing market? Average costs that are 13 percent more expensive than in San Diego and a whopping 191 percent higher than the national average. Expect to pay, on average, $851,000 for a home in the Pacific Northwest.

In light of these costs, you may want to make sure that your income is at least as high as it was in San Diego, or higher, in order to ensure that you can afford both the housing and the essentials that you require to thrive in your new city. 

Cooler, Wetter Weather

seattle city scape with snow covered in winter,Washington,usa.

San Diego weather is known for endless sunshine and reliably pleasant days that rarely get above 80 or below 50 degrees. You will find a different climate in Seattle. This city, thanks to its location in the Pacific Northwest, is generally cooler and wetter than San Diego. 

What can you expect from Seattle’s climate? Plan on about 38 inches of rain a year instead of just 11 inches, and 152 sunny days a year instead of 266. Summer temperatures are about the same, but winters can be cooler, and you should expect a few inches of snow every year. 

What do these changes mean for your relocation? You may want to invest in warmer clothing for those chilly winter days, and you will definitely need an umbrella. 

Endless Greenery

A Seattle Sunset Illuminates Spring Foliage and the Puget Sound in Discovery Park

San Diego is known for is beachy vibes, but Seattle is renowned for its stunning green vistas. The city’s diverse geography includes mountains; including Mount Rainier National Park, water, including sparkling Puget Sound; forests, such as those in Discovery Park, and the seven hills upon which the city is built. 

The lush forests, stunning mountains, crystal clear waters, and gorgeous hills that surround Seattle give rise to a culture that embraces the outdoors. Do not let the rain stop you from the hiking, biking, boating, nature trails walking, and sheer enjoyment of nature that is available all around your new hometown. 

Thriving Job Market

the Amazon world headquarters campus and office towers featuring the Spheres terrariums with people located in downtown Seattle taken late afternoon under overcast sky circa March 2020.

If you need a job to support the high cost of living in Seattle, then consider taking advantage of the city’s strong economy. When moving from San Diego to Seattle, expect to find a strong job market and a growing economy that makes finding a well-paying job relatively easy. 

Seattle is home to a number of large businesses, including Amazon and Zillow. It also offers a burgeoning tech industry, alongside ample manufacturing jobs. That means that you can expect an average salary of $74,330, as opposed to the national average of just over $56,000. That should make your move financially possible, even if you need to find a new job when leaving San Diego. 

A Foodie Paradise

Homemade Seattle Style Hot Dog with Cream Cheese and Onions

If you cannot imagine leaving the diverse food scene of San Diego, then Seattle is definitely the place to go. Ranked by WalletHub as one of the best foodie cities in the United States, Seattle boasts some seriously mouth-watering cuisine. 

The list of places you can go is long enough to have you hopping to a different eatery every night you live in the city. However, Seattle is especially known for authentic Asian food and some of the freshest, most mouth-watering seafood (including salmon) on the West Coast. 

You could also explore local delicacies such as the Seattle dog (with cream cheese and grilled onions), the award-winning food at Canlis, and irresistible dining at a French steakhouse. Don’t forget that the original Starbucks is in Seattle, too! 

Thriving Arts and Culture

If you love the creativity and refinement of arts and culture, you may also enjoy Seattle. Perhaps even more vibrant than the scene in San Diego, this city offers many opportunities to enjoy art, theater, dance, and other highly creative endeavors. Here is a list of some of the places to explore when you relocate: 

  • Seattle Symphony
  • Pacific Northwest Ballet
  • Seattle Repertory Theater
  • The Meany Center for Performing Arts
  • Live Music
  • Multiple Art Museums
  • Century Ballroom
  • And more

Comprehensive Public Transportation

SEATTLE - MAY 30, 2016 - Bicyclists take a rest stop on Memorial Day in Gas Works Park

San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System provides a streamlined way to get around the city. Seattle’s public transportation options are more diverse. That could require a little more thought and creativity when trying to get around the city, but you should still find it to be a very easy place to explore, even without a car. 

Options for public transportation here include buses, light rail, and ferries. You can also participate in a bike share program or take advantage of the city’s many walkable areas. Either way, owning a car could be optional for you, depending upon where you live in the city and what your transportation needs are.  

Abundant Sports

November 25, 2018 - Russell WILSON (3) plays against the Carolina Panthers at Bank Of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC.  The Panthers lose to the Seahawks, 30-27.<

One significant change you can expect when moving from San Diego to Seattle is in the sports scene. While the beach plays a greater role in San Diego, sports are abundant, and well-loved, in the Pacific Northwest. 

Professional Seattle sports teams include the following: 

  • Seattle Seahawks (NFL)
  • Seattle Kraken (NHL)
  • Seattle Mariners (MLB)
  • Seattle Sounders FC (Soccer)
  • Seattle Storm (WNBA)

Whichever sport you love, chances are you can find a team to cheer on in your new hometown once you relocate. 

Upscale Shopping

In addition to being a foodie paradise, Seattle is known for its plethora of exciting shopping options. Within this city, you can find numerous upscale, boutique and interesting places to locate your next essential possession. Trust Seattle to deliver all of the following shopping locations from which to choose: 

  • High-end boutiques
  • Artisanal shops
  • Fashion stores
  • Outdoor food markets
  • Shopping mall
  • Farmers’ markets
  • Chain stores
  • Gift shops
  • Bookstores

Educated People

Ranked as one of the smartest cities in the United States, Seattle is known for attracting highly educated individuals to its environs. About 80 percent of all people who move there have at least a bachelor’s degree. This fact may be partly why the city is able to offer so many lucrative jobs and high salaries to so many of its residents. Plan to enjoy intellectual conversations, challenging viewpoints, and exciting new relationships in this Pacific Northwest city. 


Are you ready to move from San Diego to Seattle? Then look for a mover who is reliable, experienced, and capable of meeting all of your moving needs. As San Diego’s premier mover, Oakley Relocation has the full-service, women-owned services you need to make your relocation smooth and easy. Contact us today for a quote!

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