What are the top factors to keep in mind when searching for a place to live in your city?
Neighborhood characteristics, amenities, school districts, proximity to public transport, work, shops, cinemas, churches and type of accommodation are all factors to consider before choosing a place to live. It's best to consult someone knowledgeable about the area that you may be interested in. It is not difficult to find housing, as long as you are willing to pay for it and move quickly to ensure a rental contract is secured. Where you live determines what school district you will be in.Â Be especially careful to know your school district before signing a rental contract.
There are several attractive communities around Seattle where you will be able to find more value for your money. However, count on a busy commute if your employment is in Seattle.
What are the most popular neighborhoods in your city for expats?
Greater Seattle has grown significantly through a series of annexations of smaller neighboring communities. The city of Seattle and its neighboring communitiesâ€”like Kirkland, Bellevue, Redlands, Ravenna, South Park, Columbia City, Ballard, Georgetown Pinehurst, Maple Leaf, Lake City, View Ridge, Northgate and Everettâ€”should be researched along with the expat communities close to downtown of Queen Anne, Madison Park, Madrona and Mercer Island.
Do expats tend to buy or rent their homes?
Most expats rent and typically must sign a 12-month lease. Short-term leases (3 to 6 months) are harder to find and sometimes more costly, but they are available. Most rental apartments and homes are unfurnished.
Typically, will I be required to pay additional money up front (such as a deposit) before moving into leased housing? If so, how much is common?
Typically, one month’s rent and a security deposit equal to one month’s rent are requested up front. The costs vary depending on the amount of monthly rent required. If the rent is $2,000 a month, the property manager may require first month's rent of $2,000, plus an additional security deposit of up to $2,000. Washington law limits the security deposit to no more than two months' rent for an unfurnished apartment and three months' rent for a furnished apartment.
Are utilities generally included in the price of rent, or are they extra?
The rent for townhouses, condos and homes typically does not include utilities. Rent for apartments, however, sometimes includes water and waste management, but not other utilities. Ask your landlord for more details.
Are there special security concerns I should be aware of in regards to my home or choice of neighborhood?
As in most large cities, some areas are more desirable than others. We advise that you check with friends, colleagues, area real estate professionals or Crown staff when deciding on a neighborhood.
I’m not sure if I should bring my appliances. What is the electric current, Hz and plug shape in your city?
The electric current in the United States is 110 volts. The electrical Hertz (Hz) is 60.
Note: It is not recommended that you bring appliances from overseas. Although there are converters available, the appliance will probably not function properly.
Below are examples of the types of plugs that are used in the U.S.:
Type A - Flat blade attachment plug
Type B - Flat blades with round grounding pin
Do you have any other accommodation information that might help me?
The Greater Seattle area runs from Tacoma in the south to Everett in the north. While commuting to the city from these areas might create problems, many families find excellent housing and school opportunities throughout Greater Seattle. Most of the below communities are better equipped to accommodate families with children, as they offer yards, larger parks, better outdoor facilities and more:
- Federal Way
- Snohomish County
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.