image of the space needle and surrounding city in Seattle Washington.

15 Reasons Not to Move to Seattle

Reasons Not to Move to Seattle Washington

Seattle, the largest city in Washington state, has drawn individuals from diverse backgrounds, enticed by its thriving tech sector, lively cultural scene, and scenic beauty. Nevertheless, Seattle may not align with everyone’s preferences. 

In this article, we explore 15 reasons not to move to Seattle, beginning with the least compelling and progressing to the most significant concerns.

Want to know if Seattle is a good place to live for young adults? Read this article.

15. Lack of Sunlight

Seattle has gained notoriety for its overcast skies and prolonged rainy weather, spanning several months. This persistent lack of sunlight can potentially trigger Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a form of depression associated with specific times of the year, often during the winter.

If you find joy in sunny weather, the enduring gloom could weigh on your mood. It’s crucial to reflect on how the climate may affect your mental well-being before deciding to relocate.

14. High Cost of Living

Residing in Seattle comes with a substantial financial burden. The housing market is competitive, driving home prices above the national average. Also, everyday essentials like groceries, transportation, and utilities have higher costs in comparison to many other cities. This high cost of living may discourage individuals, particularly those seeking to economize or adhere to a budget.

13. Traffic and Transportation Woes

Seattle has a reputation for its crowded roadways and lengthy commute times. Despite ongoing improvements, the public transportation system lags behind that of many other major cities.

If you prefer to avoid spending substantial portions of your day in traffic, Seattle may not align with your transportation preferences. It’s prudent to assess the state of the transportation infrastructure and the potential stress of daily commuting before making a relocation decision.

12. Education System

Seattle boasts numerous esteemed educational institutions; however, its public school system grapples with issues like overcrowding and disparities in quality among districts. For parents, diligent research into the schools within your prospective area is imperative, as the educational landscape can exhibit significant variations.

Furthermore, the competition for enrollment in reputable schools can amplify the difficulty and cost of securing a residence in a coveted school district.

11. Rising Crime Rates

Seattle has seen a notable increase in its crime rate, from property crimes and violent incidents. While it may not top the list as the most dangerous city in the country, this swift uptick in crime is a matter of concern for all, particularly those who are thinking of moving with their families.

This has also happened in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It’s a wise step to assess and scrutinize the crime statistics in specific neighborhoods to ensure the safety and peace of mind of your loved ones.

10. Limited Parking Spaces

Owning a car in Seattle requires preparation for the scarcity of available parking spaces. The city’s streets are frequently narrow, making the quest for a parking spot a challenging endeavor, particularly in densely populated districts. Additionally, parking fees can prove quite burdensome, further contributing to daily inconveniences.

Exploring alternative transportation options or selecting a neighborhood with improved parking facilities might be prudent considerations.

9. Competitive Job Market

Despite hosting numerous prominent companies and a thriving tech sector, Seattle has a fiercely competitive job market. Securing employment can prove challenging unless you possess a robust skill set and relevant experience in your field.

Furthermore, the lofty salaries prevalent in the tech industry have elevated wage expectations, posing difficulties for other sectors in attracting talent. To ensure financial stability, it is prudent to secure a job before moving here.

8. Earthquake Risk

Seattle rests within a seismically active region, rendering it susceptible to earthquakes. Although stringent building codes are enforced to mitigate risks, the potential for a significant seismic event remains a constant concern.

When contemplating a move to Seattle, it’s imperative to prepare for the possibility of earthquakes, and you must familiarize yourself with the requisite safety protocols.

7. Homelessness Crisis

Seattle struggles with a substantial homelessness crisis, characterized by a considerable portion of the population residing on the streets or in temporary shelters. This predicament not only mirrors the socio-economic inequalities within the city but also introduces safety and hygiene challenges in specific areas.

It’s a multifaceted issue that Seattle has been contending with for an extended period, and it’s a factor worth pondering when selecting your neighborhood.

6. Changing Neighborhood Dynamics

Gentrification stands out as a prominent concern in Seattle, with numerous historically diverse neighborhoods experiencing swift transformations. This phenomenon has resulted in the displacement of longstanding communities and a shift in the city’s cultural fabric.

If you prioritize stability and an established neighborhood, Seattle’s current trends may pose challenges in finding such areas.

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5. Environmental Concerns

Seattle has confronted environmental issues, notably a decline in air quality stemming from heightened pollution and regional forest fires. If you have respiratory concerns or harbor apprehensions about residing in an area with potential air quality issues, it’s a matter deserving serious consideration before proceeding with your move.

4. Over-development

Seattle’s rapid development has reduced green spaces and increased high-rise buildings. This rapid development can impact your daily life by creating more crowded streets and fewer opportunities for enjoying parks and recreational areas.

If you appreciate open spaces and a less congested living environment, these factors are essential to weigh when contemplating a move to Seattle.

3. Political Climate

Seattle’s political climate is marked by notable polarization, with significant divides among various ideological groups. This polarization occasionally results in tense situations and protests.

If you lean toward a more harmonious and less politically charged environment, it’s a factor worth pondering before contemplating moving here. If you have strong political values and beliefs, this could be one of the most important reasons not to move to Seattle.

2. High Taxes

Seattle has one of the nation’s highest sales taxes and high property and business taxes. For those looking to start businesses or buy homes, this high tax burden can be discouraging. It’s crucial to account for the financial effect of the tax structure when deliberating on your decision to relocate.

1. Housing Affordability Crisis

Seattle lacks affordable housing, which is at the top of our list of the reasons not to move to Seattle. Recent increases in the cost of housing have made home-ownership out of reach for many middle-class city dwellers.

The rental market fares no better, with rents on a consistent incline, compelling many individuals to allocate a significant portion of their income toward housing. This crisis emerges as the most paramount issue for prospective movers, as it directly impacts your capacity to secure stable and affordable housing, which forms the cornerstone for establishing a quality life in a new city.


In summary, Seattle presents a wealth of opportunities and attractions, but it also presents challenges that may pose difficulties for many individuals. It’s imperative to meticulously assess all these factors and engage in comprehensive research before committing to a move to Seattle. By conscientiously contemplating the 15 reasons stated in this article, you can make a well-informed decision aligned with your distinct needs and preferences.

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