Moving to Washington State

Your Full Moving Guide | 2022

Have the wonders of the Evergreen State lead you to frequently daydream about moving to Washington State? If you’re nodding your head yes, then you’ve stumbled upon the right page. Because we know that this is a decision that requires some serious research (and because our goal is to make your life easier 😉 ), we’ve compiled all the information you might need to know about a move to Washington State below.

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Moving to Washington State: How Much Does It Cost?

Money, money, money… We know that this is probably the part you might be avoiding thinking about, but one of the most important things to consider when evaluating a move to Washington State is how much such will cost. Generally speaking, your moving costs will vary depending on the size of your move and on the distance between points A and B.

We understand this might all sound a bit vague unless you’ve moved around a few times already. So, to illustrate this better, we put together a list of estimates for a full-service move to Seattle (WA) from different cities across the United States below.

Departure1-bedroom2-bedroom3-bedroom
Austin, TX$4,154 – $5,840$5,840 – $7,513$9,058 – $12,273
San Francisco, CA$3,263 – $4,519$4,519 – $5,794$6,986 – $9,458
Atlanta, GA$4,474 – $6,316$6,316 – $8,133$9,806 – $13,290
Portland, OR$2,691 – $3,671$3,671 – $4,689$5,653 – $7,645
Denver, CO$3,612 – $5,037$5,037 – $6,468$7,798 – $10,561

Disclaimer: the rates shown above are just estimates. Costs will vary depending on your actual point of departure and the service rates of the company.

Moving costs are one of the hardest things to determine, so at the end of the day, the only way to get an accurate estimation involves requesting moving quotes. By filling out the form below, you will be able to receive up to 5 free moving quotes, which will ultimately help you save money on your relocation to Washington State!

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Moving to Washington State Checklist

Are you a fan of putting your memory up to the test? If the answer is yes, then a move to Washington State will definitely serve as the ultimate challenge. As you might imagine, there are a million and one things one needs to remember during a move and, even though we trust your memory, we want to give you an extra hand just in case you might need it. We recommend that you take note of the following:

  • Never, and I repeat —never, forget to declutter your belongings. Remember that the size of your move has a huge impact on your final moving costs!;
  • After decluttering, proceed to calculate the size of your move. This will help you get more accurate estimates when requesting quotes;
  • Before moving, research different cities and neighborhoods within them thoroughly. If possible, give them a visit to get a feel of the place you’re considering calling home;
  • Remember to gather all important documents (e.g.: birth certificates, passports) and keep them in a special folder;
  • Don’t forget to notify others (e.g.: governmental agencies) about your move to Washington State on time;
  • Start packing early –little by little. Make sure to label boxes as you go, it will make your life easier –trust us on that one.

If you’re interested in a more detailed checklist, we got your back! Check out our national moving checklist, it covers every little detail you might need to remember.

Moving to Washington State: Depiction of a lake surrounded by mountains and trees on a sunny day

Relocating to Washington State for Work

It’s great if you’re moving to Washington State with a job secured already, but in case you’re not, we are pleased to inform you that finding a position in this state won’t be as hard as you think! In fact, Washington State (particularly Seattle) has one of the best job markets in the country.

Home to giant corporations such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Boeing (aerospace!) the state of Washington has become an attractive option to those seeking big corporate jobs in the tech industry. In case of tech, life isn’t for ya’, don’t worry! There are plenty of jobs in other popular industries in the state, such as:

  • Food and agriculture;
  • Construction;
  • Forestry;
  • Life science & Global health;
  • Trade;
  • Maritime;
  • Tourism.

As expected, your average yearly income will depend on the career you pursue. However, you can expect an average yearly salary of around $74,000 (according to Payscale). When scouting for a job, we recommend that you check out the following job-seeking platforms:

Moving to Washington State: Seattle Skyline at sunset

Becoming a Washington State Resident

Becoming a true Washingtonian (yes, this is how Washington residents are called… quite a mouthful) is quite a simple process. All you have to do is prove that you intend to live in Washington for more than just a few months. To do such you can, for example:

  • Register to vote in the state;
  • Obtain a Washington State driver’s license;
  • Purchase a property;
  • Maintain residency for at least 12 months (particularly important for those interested in becoming a resident student).

For more details, we recommend that you check out the following information provided by the government of the state of Washington.

Costs of Living in Washington State

We can imagine that you’re more than ready to hop on a plane and start a new life in the Evergreen State, and we totally get why. But, before you do, it’s important that you evaluate the living costs in the state of Washington so you can prepare accordingly.

To give you an idea, compared to the national average (standard of 100), Washington State currently scores 118.7 on the cost of living index. You might be wondering what this number even means, so to help you out we’ve broken down the costs of living into the most common categories in the sections below.

Housing

Moving comes along with the famous “to rent or buy” question. When it comes to renting, the average rent in the state of Washington currently stands at $1,995 a month. In terms of property costs, the median home value in the state is around $428,000. Of course, these costs will very much vary depending on the city (and neighborhood) you decide to settle in!

To give you a rough idea of what you can expect, the table below summarizes both the average rent and median home values for different cities across the state.

CityAverage Monthly RentMedian Home Value
Seattle$2,061$670,300
Bellevue$2,334$819,700
Renton$1,792$436,700
Vancouver$1,337$281,200
Kent$1,546$360,400
Bellingham$1,235$359,500

Disclaimer: The prices shown above are just estimates. These prices will vary depending on the property size and the neighborhood of your choice.

Moving to Washington State: Depiction of the sunrise over the Seattle skyline

Food and Groceries

In our opinion (which might be just a bit biased as we are total foodies), one of the most exciting parts about moving is having the opportunity to explore the state/city’s food scene. Whether you do this by treating yourself to a meal out or by including the state’s fresh coastal seafood into a homemade meal, it’s important that you’re aware of the average cost of food and groceries so you can budget accordingly.

Food & GroceriesAverage Cost
1 gallon of milk$3.72
1 lb. of beef round$6.47
1 lb. of potatoes$1.04
Bottle of wine$15
1 lb. of chicken filet$4.84
1 lb. of bananas$0.81
1 lb. of salmon$10.99
Loaf of fresh bread$3.34
Carton of 12 eggs$2.89
1 lb. of rice$2.14
Cappuccino$4.67
Three-course dinner for two$80
Lunch menu$16

Taxes

Now moving on to everyone’s favorite topic, taxes. To start off, we have some good news. The state of Washington is one of the few states in the country with no income tax –yay! There are, however, a few other taxes you might be subjected to when you move to Washington State, such include:

  • State sales tax of 6.5%;
  • Property tax of 1.03%.

Moving to the State of Washington: Depiction of Seattle's Marina

Transportation

Overall, the state of Washington is well equipped with diverse public transportation options for its residents across different cities. As you might expect, transportation costs will very much vary per city. For example, in the city of Seattle usual costs are around the following:

  • One-way ticket in public transport (metro, bus) is $2.75;
  • Monthly public transport pass is $99;
  • Taxi start tariff of around $2.60 (plus $1.68 per half a mile of travel over that).

Leisure

When moving to Washington State, you’ll quickly find out that the Evergreen State is full of amazing things to do –from dining out to exploring beautiful national parks, this state will manage to keep you on your toes.

To help you picture your new adventure in the state of Washington, we put together a list of cool things you can do in the state and their respective costs.

ActivityAverage Price
One movie ticket$11 – $15
Ticket to the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit$18 – 29
Ticket to Boeing’s Future of Flight museum$27
Two theater tickets$212
Ticket to the Museum of Pop Culture$23 – 28
Ticket to the Museum of Glass$ 28 ($14.50 for local residents!)
Domestic beer at a local pub$6.25
Monthly gym membership$69

In case you’re an outdoors lover, these are some beautiful parks we recommend visiting:

  • Hoh Rain Forest;
  • North Cascades National Park;
  • Olympic National Park;
  • Mount Rainier National Park.

Depiction of a national park in the state of Washington during the fall

Did You Know…?

  • The state of Washington is the country’s #1 apple producer —maybe we should reconsider calling NYC The Big Apple?;
  • Despite being surrounded by 10 volcanoes (yes, 10!), Washington is somehow one of the safest states when it comes to natural disasters;
  • A tree grew around a bike that had been left chained to it in Vashon Island —locals say the bike belong to a man who left it chained to the tree before he left to fight in World War I;
  • A war started between the British Empire (which controlled Canada at the time) and the US because a pig trespassed from Canada into US territory to eat some potato crops and was, consequently, shot by an American settler —let’s just say that the poor piggie at least received some justice.

We hope that you found exactly what you were looking for in this article and feel fully prepared to take the plunge and give the Evergreen State a chance. If you still feel like you might need some extra help, we got your back. Check out the articles we have linked for you below. 🙂