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North Bend, WA
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4,400 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(Forwarding this question along for someone else on the board. There is a good reason for them to keep their anonymity on the question so that it's not an fyi to their current employer.)

Here is the question: If someone were to move to the Seattle area, what advice could the board members provide on good neighborhoods? Assume priorities are: a) proximity to downtown Seattle, b) good quality pre-schools/elementary schools (this is really important), c) services/things to do/parks, d) beauty & "nice neighborhood" factor and e) cost of housing.
 

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Hot Carl
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8,798 Posts
I'd look in to Wedwood, and possibly even West Seattle. I lived in Wedgwood for a while, and would highly recommend it. Not too bad of access to downtown, and it's a pretty quiet/safe neighborhood.
 

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Long Lost Member
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20,205 Posts
I have a couple of friends that live in West Seattle. They chose that area for every one of those reasons according to their reports. One of them has a heck of a commute but does not mind because the aera the family lives in is exactly what they were looking for. Best of luck to your friend.
 

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...
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545 Posts
When you say the Seattle area, does that include the eastside? If not, I would endorse both of what Evan and Mumbles already recommended, and add on Greenlake, Ballard and Wallingford. Only reason I ask about the eastside, is because the public school systems are much better and that seems to be the most important factor.
 

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Fly Guy Eat Pie
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460 Posts
I live in Northgate now and can't complain. Next to I-5 is important to me.
 

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Blind hog fisherman
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2,895 Posts
You all quit telling everyone about West Seattle. I don't ask you for your favorite SRC beach...

Seriously, I spent 1952-59 and 1992-present living in West Seattle. It's quiet, easy to get downtown, to ball games, to I-90 and I-5 south. SeaTac is a snap. There's Alki beach (nice in the summer for families, kids, and girl watching). There are enough good restaurants that you don't have to leave the neighborhood to find a good place to eat.

I'm sending you a PM and I'll give you my phone number. I'll be happy to assist them anyway I can. Just my way of saying "Thank you" for all of the hard work you put into this forum.
 

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Resident Swinger
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1,773 Posts
I've lived in the Wedgewood area for the last year and a half and like it. You don't have to go very far to get what you need. Local bar with good beer, Check. Groceries, Check. Top Pot Donuts, Check.

Not so sure as far as the schools go, but there is a high school and elementary a few blocks away as well as parks and the local pool. Give me a few more years and I'm sure I'll know all about the school thing.
 

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Senior Moment
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5,472 Posts
I love Ballard (old fisherman here) but it's a long way from the freeway (timewise) if you commute on I-5. West Seattle, Queen Anne, Magnolia, and Richmond Beach are all great places to live... if you telecommute. Again access is the issue. Takes forever to get to anywhere else. Great for inner-city access like a downtown job though.
Maple Leaf (between Lake City Way and Northgate) is good as is Wedgewood, View Ridge, Ravenna District and Greenwood although it may have a higher crime rate. Greenlake has a fairly high crime rate with a lot of breakins. Wallingford is worth a look too.
Can provide neighborhood general addresses if you like. I know dozens of RE agents too. A couple I'd even recommend.
 

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Registered
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2,630 Posts
West Seattle is a pretty cool neighborhood, but I don't think that the commute is going to be too awesome once they start tearing down the Viaduct.

I would vote for the Greenlake area.
 

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Remember when you could remember everything?
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7,182 Posts
Since schools sound like they're really important, I'd steer clear of Seattle proper altogether. No offense to those who live there (as I did for several years), but the city's public school system has some major challenges and is in crisis mode, closing schools, laying off teachers and trying to deal with a $45 million budget shortfall.

Some of our friends who still live in the city are either sending their kids to parochial schools or private ones. One family with a daughter in the Bush School is paying over $20K a year for what should be free in the city's public school system. Another family left Seattle altogether and moved to Mercer Island to avoid the high cost of private schools in Seattle and the mess that the public schools are in.

Instead I'd look at the eastside suburbs. The Issaquah, Mercer Island, Lake Washington and Bellevue districts consistently top the list of best districts in the state.

As an example, when our daughter decided to attend the University of Montana, she was unable to successfully log in to take the math placement test at the admissions center on campus. We spoke with the Admissions Director (and former chair of the math department at UM) who asked where our daughter had gone to high school. When we said Redmond, WA, she replied "Lake Washington school district?" When we said "yes", she waived the placement test on the basis of the school's math program reputation alone.

BTW, our daughter is in her second semester at UM as a business major. She says that the two required math classes she's had so far are easier than what she was doing as a Junior at Redmond.

K
 

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Hot Carl
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8,798 Posts
I'll vouch for Redmond as well since I live there now. On the worst of days, it's taken me no longer than 30 mins to get to or from downtown Seattle. The commute really isn't as bad as you'd think. Before I was laid off, I worked down in South Park (far south of downtown just north of Seatac. I don't see myself moving away from Redmond unless I absolutely have to.
 

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Member
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180 Posts
West Seattle get's my vote. I've lived previously on the East Side (Bellevue & Kirkland), South Side (Des Moines & Kent). West Seattle "WINS" hands-down.
1.) Year-round water (foot) Taxi to Seattle Center begins 4-15-2010; a 12 minute trip, or you can drive it w/ traffic in less than 20 minutes.
2.)(Car) Ferry access to the western Islands via Fauntleroy Terminal.
2.) Awesome Fwy. access to Hwy #'s 5, 90, 99, 509, & SeaTac Airport & Boeing Field.
3.) Elementary & Junior High schools rank well within the Seattle metro area. H.S. rank is more variable.
4.) LOT's of great safe parks & neighborhoods.
5.) LOT's of available activities, dining-out.
6.) Wonderful, down to earth neighbors, who I actually know, and who "have my back."
7.) The "rumors" about the GREAT Local easily accessable SRC Fishery are "over-blown."
 

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Registered
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5,158 Posts
I'll vouch for Redmond as well since I live there now. On the worst of days, it's taken me no longer than 30 mins to get to or from downtown Seattle. The commute really isn't as bad as you'd think. Before I was laid off, I worked down in South Park (far south of downtown just north of Seatac. I don't see myself moving away from Redmond unless I absolutely have to.
The 520 is much worse if you live in Seattle and work in Redmond. What a nightmare!!! Seattle is such a great city, you really can't go wrong from Beacon Hill north.
 

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Team Umiak
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410 Posts
Grew up in north Seattle..Green Lake/Roosevelt Avenue..used to bike to the U district, northgate, Woodland Park with regularity. That was then..this is now. If it were me I'd check out 80th avenue north. Also Kenmore, Bothell, Juanita. Schools now, don't know. In the 80's my commute from Kenmore to Eastlake was about 20 minutes..but beat the commute from Olympia to Eastlake at 75 minutes. Times have certainly changed..love livin on the east side where my commute is..get ready..5 minutes. Good luck on the search.
Eric
 

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Capt Kirk
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764 Posts
I was born and raised in Seattle. Lived in all areas of town from North Seattle, Queen Anne, Laurlhurst and just built two houses in South Seattle. If you have any questions send me a PM or call me. BTW- I am a Associate Broker at Windermere Real Estate. Shameless plug ;-)
 

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1,642 Posts
As the Rolling Stones famously sang, "You can't always get what you want." Hard for me to think of a neighborhood that meets all your criteria, but for convenience to downtown (and everywhere else for that matter), I would recommend the east side of Green Lake (around Tangletown on up to the north end of the lake). Seriously, it is the "center of the universe", so to speak, of Seattle. Easy to get downtown (via I-5, 99 and numerous side street options), and a quick jump onto I-5 to get north and 520 to get east. Green Lake Park itself is a great amenity for young and old (and a place you can fish in a pinch). And if you have little kids, you can't beat Woodland Park Zoo (right there in Green Lake) and the Seattle Center, which is 10-15 minutes away (Seattle Children's Theater, Children's Museum, Experience Museum, etc.). Good public schools is a bit more of a challenge, but in the last 10 years the area has attracted scads of young families - and young families bring more attention and commitment to the schools. There is a new elementary school opening on Latona in a year or two (an existing school building that is being remodeled; should be very nice), and I think Green Lake Elementary itself is moving up in quality (though don't know for sure as my kids are older - it was not very appealing when we were looking several years ago). I believe Eckstein Middle School is the middle school for that area and it is pretty well-regarded. High school is Roosevelt, which was recently remodeled and is a fantastic building; have heard from acquaintances with kids there that they're pretty happy with it. There are some high quality restaurants right in the area (Eva's, Mona's, Kisaku), scads of good good coffee shops (Zoka's, Cafe Lulu, Revolution), a couple decent watering holes (Lenny's for down and dirty, Tangletown Brewery and Latona Pub for something a little higher class), and lots of other good eating and drinking establishments not too far away (e.g., Red Mill Burgers, 74th Street Alehouse, Zeek's Pizza on the other side of the lake; and lots and lots of good options on 45th Street just to the south). Green Lake isn't the cheapest option for housing by any stretch, but it has (not surprisingly) become much more affordable in the last couple years.
 

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"Fish-On" Custom Fly Rods
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223 Posts
The heck with the dark side of the pass. Forget Seattle all together, live in Ellensburg and commute. No joke there are several folks who do it every day. Less crime, excellent schools, friendly folks, and close enough to that madness called Seattle...Oh ya more republicans on the east side as well!!! Just my 2 cents worth (Oh crap I can hear the replies already)
 

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Team Umiak
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410 Posts
And Omy..don't forget about Salvatores on Roosevelt..best damn puttenesca I've ever had..and I've had a bunch. As a cullinary treat and einticement for the viewers of this post I'll come with a batch for the upcoming Hoh Down..I've nailed the recipe.

Eric
 
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