Posted by: The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

31 responses to “Poll: If commute were not an issue, which county would you prefer to live in?”

  1. Buford

    Why not add Chelan, Kittitas, Grant and Douglas? I know your focus is Puget Sound area, but depending on where you work, it might be quicker to head east.

    In fact Grant Co is part of the NWMLS.
    Many people in Ellensburg work in Seattle.

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  2. ray pepper

    I think which City would you like to live in if commute was not an issue?

    Answer, hands down…Gig Harbor!

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  3. Ira Sacharoff

    I voted Island County because parts of Whidbey are just lovely, such as Langley, Double Bluff Beach, Coupeville, etc, but Skagit was a close second. The area around Bow and Bayview has a certain magic about it, with water and mountains pretty close together, so there’s bountiful agriculture and seafood, and an artisan cheesemaker up there.

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  4. WestSideBilly

    How hypothetical is this? I.E. is this a no-traffic-slowdowns scenario or a Star Trek teleporter scenario?

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  5. sallybuttons

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 3 – Hey Ira, it’s like this re Magic Skagit: very beautiful but thoroughly dumb. More mind in Skagit would be good and have observed a general white-is-right ignorance (G. Beck day?) so prevalent amongst area elites who may not have good spelling skills but have figured out patriotism. It has actually been sorta sad to encounter certain facts: the smug 4th generation drunk, the pathetic mancrazy + kids with no possible source of income…ever, the obsolete chauvinist/racist with a mean spirit and maybe even a confederate flag, the armed guy who’s gonna hunt no matter if it is yer land, another kid heading into the military “jus becuz”. Higher education institutions offer much value to community.
    Good cheese is dang near everywhere, no?
    This is too truthful to post…it’s often best to focus on splendid natural beauty.

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  6. sallybuttons

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 3 – military ick = N. Whidbey

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  7. sallybuttons

    I have pondered long enough and vote Whatcom.

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  8. Baughman

    Snohomish county – Mukilteo (Harbour Pointe). Heaven on earth!

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  9. Willy Nilly

    My wife and I both work at home, and we can live anywhere in WA that is within our price range. We have no kids, my wife isn’t social, and people don’t like me too much. For the last 18 months I have scoured many areas, and we will most likely end up in King County, on the east side. This is mostly due to the convenience factor. There are many stunning locations, but access to quality restaurants, racial diversity, quality services, the airport, and a few acres are our lifestyle requirements. We may actually buy something this year, if someone wants to get reasonable with pricing.

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  10. wreckingbull

    After four decades in Seattle, I moved to one of the aforementioned rural counties to get away from people like ‘sallybuttons’. My neighbors are some of the hardest working and kindest people I have ever met. They hail from all over the political spectrum. Anyway, when I see posts like that, it only reaffirms my decision.

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  11. Scotsman

    Man, this is a hard choice. As others have pointed out, hazards lurk in almost every location:

    Skagit = land of bubba
    Whatcom = mindless environmentalism
    Kitsap = military industrial yuckiness
    Pierce = Tacoma
    Snohomish = crack capital of the west
    King = Bellevue and/or McDermott
    Pierce/Thurston = Where? What?

    So, that leaves Island, home of the happy California equity buyer, but it has to be, because. . . “I am a rock, I am an Island.” Mostly, I can tie my boat up to my own dock and sail away from the madness when needed. And it rains less. And I love madronas, but you can’t find a live one south of Cattle Point.

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  12. Ira Sacharoff

    RE: Scotsman @ 13
    Ha! See? Every once in a while Scotsman and I agree on something!
    If it started happening too frequently we’d have reason to worry:)

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  13. One Eyed Man

    RE: Willy Nilly @ 11

    I can empathize Willy Nilly. But I’m pretty sure you’re doing better than me. I used to think my wife wasn’t very social but now I’ve decided that she just doesn’t like to be seen with me in public.;-)

    I’d probably have to say Island too, but it isn’t that clear cut as some of the things I want can be found at a better price in other counties. In 2003, my wife and I bought a house on an acre in Maple Valley. At the time we had given up on finding something for a new permanent residence and had started looking at weekend/retirement places in the mid to lower price range for salt water waterfront just about anywhere from Gig Harbor to Whatcom County. The county was less important to us than the piece of property and the house although we probably prefer areas north of Seattle. We wanted something less expensive and a little more secluded than most of the waterfront in the urban and suburban areas. I used to kayak alot and would like a buoy for the boat so I preferred something with nice water access and a little sheltered.

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  14. Sara

    Vashon all the way :)

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  15. Dan

    I work for myself, and I choose to live in Seattle’s Capitol Hill – two blocks from my office. Yeah, the bums and low-level crime are annoying, but I can walk almost anywhere I want to go. I can’t imagine living in the boonies – what would I do every night? Rural folk may be the salt of the Earth, but I don’t think we’d share too many interests. And I grew up in the country, so I’m speaking from experience.

    It’s not just jobs that keeps people in Seattle, it’s desirability. Jeff Bezos could have started Amazon in Island county, but he couldn’t have recruited top talent. Like-minded people tend to cluster, which is why Seattle draws thousands of young people every year.

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  16. corncob

    RE: Dan @ 17 – Believe it or not, but most people don’t do anything every night. Maybe you are young and single, in which case you live in a perfect area, but the (majority?) of people go home, cook dinner, watch some tv or work on a hobby and then go to bed. Living in-city adds nothing to that equation except expense, traffic and crime.

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  17. Scotsman

    RE: corncob @ 18

    Yup, I think that is definately a single/no kids/ under 30 verses married/kids/older split. I love doing things in the city, but truth be told it doesn’t happen nearly as often as one might think while the reality of being able to go outside and relax with nature and maybe a couple of friends happens pretty often.

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  18. BillE

    I can’t stand the city. Aside from driving through on I-5 a few months ago, I haven’t been to Seattle in years. I voted for Skagit and would be happy in east Skagit County or parts of east Snohomish County, ideally in a location and on enough land where I could shoot on my own property. You know, with all the creepy rednecks around I’d need to fire a few rounds now and then to let them know I’m armed.
    As for what I’d do every night? I’d sleep and be well rested for all the stuff I could do during the day.

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  19. One Eyed Man

    RE: BillE @ 20

    Watch the bigotry BillE, some of my best friends are creepy rednecks! And some of ‘em are creepy liberals too. ;-)

    I’m not the bigest gun advocate, but I’ve got a couple of great guns from my dad that are now as much folk art as they are great hunting guns. My wife likes the outdoors and loves to fish but she’s as liberal as they come and I never thought she would ever consent to even touch a gun. One of our friends who lives on some acreage in King Co got his wife a semi-auto 20 gauge for Christmas and got her to go trap shooting. They talked my wife into going and 3 weeks ago my wife bought herself a Benelli 20 ga semi-auto without any pushing from me.

    She doesn’t want to kill anything so I doubt I’ll ever get her in a duck blind or even out walking a field with the dogs, but last Saturday afternoon she busted a dozen clay birds before we went to dinner in Issaquah with our friends.

    On the way home she asked why we couldn’t just shoot clays on our friends 17 acres and I had to explain it was probably a little too close in and didn’t have the right topography to be safe, and although I hadn’t checked the county code, it probably wasn’t legal either.

    So next time your out in the woods, you better just fire a shot once in a while to let the liberals know you’re there. They might not be experienced enough to be shooting into a hill.

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  20. Ira Sacharoff

    One Eyed Man said “One of our friends who lives on some acreage in King Co got his wife a semi-auto 20 gauge for Christmas and got her to go trap shooting. They talked my wife into going and 3 weeks ago my wife bought herself a Benelli 20 ga semi-auto without any pushing from me.

    She doesn’t want to kill anything …”

    Not even her husband?

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  21. sallybuttons

    RE: The Tim @ 10 – Surely the Burlington-Edison School debacle would offer insight to another Skagit situation you are unfamiliar with…

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  22. One Eyed Man

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 22

    I did notice on the Amazon bill that she ordered Claudine Longet’s biography. Do you think it’s true that the husband is always the last to know?

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  23. The_Dude_Abides

    Thank you so much for this thread.
    These are my favorites…when the locals give us newbies the real skinny.

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  24. Scotsman

    Plenty of shooting in the Preston/Fall City area, but it’s all pistols and rifles, which is too bad because I would love to be able to do some trap shooting, as would the wife and kids. But as One eye notes the topography really isn’t right around here for safety.

    It’s pretty entertaining when a visitor steps out of their car to the sound of .223 rapid fire two houses down on one side, or the .54 black powder boom on the other side. At first even I found it a bit disconcerting, as it is so far out of the norm, but the folks doing the shooting are more responsible and concerned about safety than most would assume given the slant against weapons in the Seattle area. Still it’s fun to explain to the uninitiated “oh, that’s just Kelly blowing off some steam with his 9mm, then watch their faces. ;-)

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  25. WestSideBilly

    Wait – it’s safe to shoot a rifle or pistol but not a shotgun? That’s not right. Shotgun shot travels at most 1000 feet, although a slug can go a mile if pointed at the right angle. Middle caliber rifle/pistol rounds can travel several miles at similar angles. Clay shooting would be more than safe as long as you had about 1/4-1/2 mile down range.

    As for the original question, I think I’m still a King County person. Most of my driving is unrelated to work and moving north or south increases that.

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  26. Scotsman

    RE: WestSideBilly @ 27

    We’re in a valley, river down the middle, homes up against the hills on the sides. Almost everyone has a nice bank/hill behind their house and neighbors across the front yard. There just isn’t enough open space behind the houses for skeet, but most can find a good 50-100 yards through the trees for target shooting, into a substantial hill.

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  27. BillE

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 21

    I thought it would be more acceptable here to condition local rednecks with gunfire than to shoot racoons, which I’d be more likely to do.
    Your wife’s experience seems pretty normal. It seems most non-gun people enjoy shooting once they try it. I’ve known several people who made it to adulthood without a gun but purchased one shortly after burning some ammo for the first time.

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  28. Jaye

    “I work for myself, and I choose to live in Seattle’s Capitol Hill – two blocks from my office. Yeah, the bums and low-level crime are annoying, but I can walk almost anywhere I want to go. I can’t imagine living in the boonies – what would I do every night?”

    We live in Belltown for the same reasons – and we’re definitely not young and single – we’re old married people. It’s really convenient to be able to walk everywhere – I can’t imagine voluntarily moving back to somewhere you can’t.

    We used to keep our boat up in Anacortes, which is lovely. Spent pretty much every weekend up there. The I-5 parts of Skagit county aren’t my thing, but there are some very nice spots, and parts of it are gorgeous.

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  29. WestSideBilly

    By Scotsman @ 28:

    RE: WestSideBilly @ 27

    We’re in a valley, river down the middle, homes up against the hills on the sides. Almost everyone has a nice bank/hill behind their house and neighbors across the front yard. There just isn’t enough open space behind the houses for skeet, but most can find a good 50-100 yards through the trees for target shooting, into a substantial hill.

    Ah, that makes sense. I’m still a flatlander at heart, the bulk of shooting was shotguns. Although I had access to a nice sand pit back in the day, which was good for retaining ammo and sound. Except the 50 cal, you could hear that a long way away no matter what.

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