Poll: I like the Seattle area because of the:

Please vote in this poll using the sidebar.

I like the Seattle area because of the: (choose all that apply)

  • climate / geography (33%, 140 Votes)
  • jobs / economy (19%, 79 Votes)
  • political atmosphere (11%, 45 Votes)
  • entertainment options (8%, 35 Votes)
  • people (10%, 41 Votes)
  • I don't really like Seattle, I'm just stuck here. (19%, 79 Votes)

Total Voters: 242


This poll will be active and displayed on the sidebar through 08.16.2008.

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

About 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. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.

30 comments:

  1. 1
    patient says:

    This was an easy and difficult question due to the weird mix of climate and geography. I love Seattle due to the closeness to the mountains. I’m a skier and spent several years “bumming” in the Alps in my younger years. On the other hand I also lived and worked several years in a mediterranian climate which makes me loath Seattle’s lack of sunshine and it’s dreariness. So geography tops the list and climate is on the bottom…but the skiing still made me choose climate/geography.

  2. 2
    TJ_98370 says:

    I like the Seattle area because of the affordable housing!

    I’m sorry. I just couldn’t resist. I’m bad. I’m bad.

  3. 3
    Wisen Heimer says:

    There should be another option: because my family has lived here forever, this is where I grew up, and most of my friends and family are nearby.

  4. 4
    Wisen Heimer says:

    P. S., from a person who was born in Alaska, and has lived in the Seattle area off and on since 1956, may I please ask of TV news anchors and weathermen, and fellow citizens, to not equate cloudy skies and rain with “gloominess.” It’s not gloomy to me. It makes a warm home all that more enjoyable and appreciated, with “in-door” things to do: such as books or magazines or newspapers to read, or heart-warming food dishes to prepare, or computer projects to complete. Or even a walk in the rain can be pleasant, stopping for a cup of coffee or hot chocolate.

  5. 5
    Mike2 says:

    The climate is depressing while the geography is spectacular. 55 and rainy in August? Yuck. The rest of the week was pretty nice. Even so, I had to head down to Freddys to get an extra hooded sweatshirt – in AUGUST!

    BTW, on my trip I drove up through Bothell and all I can say is WOW. What a mess. Abandoned new construction sitting half finished, complete neighborhoods laid out with streets and utilities with no construction activity at all. Subdivisions with dozens of half built homes just sitting amid a dozen more new empty homes – and very few workers on site. Rows of foundations with rusted rebar sticking up.

    Desloate is the word that came to mind. Who in their right mind is going to buy those single homes sitting in fields of overgrown grass lining empty streets?

  6. 6
    TJ_98370 says:

    I agree with Wisen Heimer – The PNW is not like anyplace else IMO and it is my home. I grew up here and everything that is important to me is located right here.

  7. 7
    mikal says:

    Mike 2, somebody will in a few years and will make money. The only question is the number of years. There are some areas of this country platted like that that will NEVER get built. That won’t happen here and it isn’t because of our pink ponies.

  8. 8
    TJ_98370 says:

    Mike2 – I saw something very similar with respect to half finished “dormant” developments in Pullman WA when I was there a few weeks ago. However, I suspect that what I saw in Pullman is probably at a much smaller scale than what you describe is happening in Bothell, just to population density differences. From what I can gather, these type of “dormant” developments have not been uncommon in SoCal and parts of Arizona for a while now. A portend for the PNW?

  9. 9
    TJ_98370 says:

    US housing slump creating ‘ghost towns’
    ..
    Welcome to the new “ghost towns” – brand new, immaculately tended communities with not a tumbleweed in sight……
    .
    Obviously staying on topic is not something I do well. I think I will go watch “60 Minutes” now…….

  10. 10
    jon says:

    It makes sense to put climate an geography together because the reason we have the climate we do is because of the geography, and the reason the geography is so beautiful is because of the climate.

    Compared to where I am from, Massachusetts, the winters are much milder here and the summers much more pleasant. The summer starts sooner there, but I see the temp and weather are actually better today here today, and soon it will start to get chilly there. I have to admit the rain does get relentless here in Nov/Dec.

  11. 11
    Bella says:

    I concur with “this is home” I’ve lived here pretty much all my life, and while I don’t have a lot of family and friends come and go, this is just my place. Just like I’ve been in Ballard/Greenwood long enough that it is my ‘hood and I have no desire to live in any other part of town.
    I will disagree with some of the comments about the weather though. The weather here is beautiful. I lived in California for a couple of years and the incessant, blazing, burning sun was far more depressing than Seattle’s soft, gentle clouds. California was dusty and gross, it’s fresh and clean here.
    Clouds and rain are infinitely better than snow, too.
    But hey, if you don’t like the weather, you probably should seek out somewhere that suits you better for the sake of your mental health.

  12. 12
    Mama says:

    Tim, have you considered a poll on how many of the folks reading your blog are “locals” vs “transplants” — i.e. folks who grew up here vs people who moved here for jobs? I’m curious because I hear a lot of “no place like Seattle” talk mostly from folks who’ve been here most of their lives…but I have no way to scientifically measure the effect.
    I like a little bit of everything about Seattle…it has the right mix of good things. But I don’t think it’s “super, extra special”. It’s pretty nice and it is home for now…maybe longer?

  13. 13
    b says:

    Mama –

    I would agree, and I think that is true for pretty much anywhere. I have lived in several places around the country and most of the people who were really extreme in the belief that somewhere was the greatest place in the world were also the people who grew up there and never really live anywhere else.

  14. 14
    LRR says:

    I burn easily so I like the climate. I’m also another Puget Sound native. I don’t really like the rain but it doesn’t bother me much either. There’s a unique feeling that makes me smile a bit when I’m doing something out in the rain and I know a lot of people would have ran for the car already.

  15. 15
    Harley Lever says:

    Total Pink Pony Here!

    I love Seattle for all of the above with the exception of the last one… who is stuck anywhere? Especially if you are a renter? You are only stuck if you lack the fortitude to take a risk, the savvy to get yourself out of a situation, or are unwilling to compromise your lifestyle. With exception of health-related circumstances, legal limitations, and/or incarceration, I find it hard to believe anyone is truly “Stuck” anywhere.

  16. 16
    Markor says:

    As they say on Mythbusters, “well thar’s your problem”. House prices would fall faster if all those who are “just stuck here” left. I jest.

    I’ve lived in a few other states, including CA. Seattle’s near-perfect to me. If only we got more rain… (seriously) While visiting Switzerland I thought “why did I leave Seattle?” It was so similar. For me it’s the first four options.

  17. 17
    3rd Generation says:

    I like it because of the sensitive and compassionate bloggers like this one.

    Don’t want to hurt babies feeeelings now do we?

    Welcome to the New Depression. Enjoy.

  18. 18
    Mike2 says:

    mikal, I agree someone will buy these places, but they won’t likely make money on them for a long, long time. One of the completely abandoned sites with half built homes still had a “from the $500’s” sign out front.

    As for the un-built neighborhoods – these may very well sit for a decade or more before they’re finished. We’ve seen it happen before in this area.

  19. 19
    Maenad says:

    DISCLAIMER: I admit I have lived here all my life (nearly 60 years).

    Those who have only been here a couple of decades or less like to talk about the depressing sameness or gloominess of the many consecutive overcast days. But only if you are not paying attention can you mistake all overcast days here as the same. Every one is different. Each day feels different. Each day smells different. Each day surprises me, especially when I actually, ya know, go outdoors.

    I suspect that if I moved to, say, a desert I would feel the same way as relative newcomers feel about overcast days here. Those who live in the desert see its endless variety and beauty. To me, it’s all brown, dried up, oppressively hot, and too flat. I wonder how long it would take me to begin to notice the “real” desert.

  20. 20
    boomertoo says:

    I stay here for our friends and because we don’t want to disrupt our kids’ school “career”. I love the geography of the area when I can see it (on a clear day in late summer!), but otherwise find the weather that contributes to it generally depressing.

    My wife and I plan to exit Seattle the day after our youngest graduates from high school for somewhere with sun and a beach you can actually dip your toe in!

  21. 21
    MarkM says:

    Right now it’s a combination of family ties and job that keep me in Seattle. I’m a longtime Seattle resident (went to high school here) but not a native.

    Since I’m working, the weather doesn’t have that major of an impact but I definitely don’t plan to retire in Seattle. I don’t want to be shut-in by cold/dark weather for that big a chunk of the year so I do plan to migrate south to warmer venues when I retire.

  22. 22
    JM says:

    #19, well put.

    Often, people who complain about the weather here haven’t lived anywhere else besides California.

  23. 23
    WestSideBilly says:

    Not sure that’s entirely true, JM. Being a midwest transplant, I get a lot of “doesn’t it rain all the time?” or “I could never live there” when I tell old friends I moved to Seattle. And even though it is overcast a lot here, the weather rarely impacts what you can and can not do like it does in the midwest. The midwest (and most of the northern 2/3 of the country east of the Cascades) gets 5 months of winter where it’s generally crappy out and often too cold to do much of anything outdoors, 3 months of spring where heavy rain is a daily occurence, a month that’s “just right”, two months of high heat and humidity (plus daily thunderstorms), another month of “just right”, and then back to the generally crappy winter. It’s amazing how many times I raced thunderstorms home while boating, had golf rounds canceled after 3 holes, etc. But Seattle weather “sucks” because of clouds? Wah.

    As for the poll, my circumstances are a partially “all of the above” answer (obviously except for being stuck here). I like the temperate climate, like the mountains and water, figure I have a better chance of having a decent job here than most other places, already had many good friends before I moved here, and I’m satisfied with the entertainment options (basically, they’re better than anywhere else I lived before). The political climate I’m somewhat indifferent to; I think a lot of what goes on here is pretty silly but at least it’s silly with good intentions. The politics and people here are much less racist, homophobic, or generally xenophobic though.

    As far as being “stuck” here, that’s a load of crap. So many people live somewhere they don’t like, but make no effort to remedy that other than whine how much they hate it. I understand (and commend) making a sacrifice for your children’s “career” as MarkM put it, but that doesn’t in and of itself mean you’re stuck.

  24. 24
    uptown says:

    Abandoned new construction sitting half finished, complete neighborhoods laid out with streets and utilities with no construction activity at all.

    Reminds me of the Chicago suburbs I grew up in. Every boom/bust cycle left a few of these, though further out from Chicago each time.

    As for the weather – microclimates make a big difference here. In other words, the weather can vary greatly depending on where you live. I can watch the clouds build up over the Eastside while it’s sunny here in my part of Seattle.

  25. 25
    MisterBubble says:

    You rain defenders are mind-bogglingly weird. The weather here sucks, by any objective standard.

    The comment that really cracks me up, however, is the one about the /rest/ of the country having “only a month” of “just right” weather. What do you think we have here? Summer lasts from late August until mid-September. Then, it’s monsoon season. That, kids, is what you call a month of “just right” weather.

    Blecch.

  26. 26
    cheapseats says:

    I am a recent transplant here, I have pretty much lived in every part of the country. I personally like the climate in Seattle. It is definitely better than the oppressive heat and humidity in DC and the southeast. I do miss having four distinct seasons, but I find it a fair trade so far.

    When I lived in Denver there was little rain, water (for lawns/car washing) was frequently rationed during the droughts and a dusty haze engulfed the city in the summer, but skiing was great. You find the good or bad wherever you are.

  27. 27
    WestSideBilly says:

    What objective standard are you using? There are several that put Seattle among the “best”. Just depends on what objective measure you want to use, which is of course subjective.

    Personally, I give the Sound about 5 months of “pretty good” and the rest as “fair”. As opposed to 2 of “just right” and 10 of complaining and waiting for those 2 months to come around.

    Sure, coastal California beats that by a wide margin… but most of the rest of the country deals with long stretches that are very cold, very hot, very humid, very rainy (monsoon season? Never been in a monsoon I’m guessing), very dry, severe storms, etc. Throw in droughts, tornadoes, hurricanes, and blizzards into the equation, too… Seattle comes out OK.

  28. 28
    mikal says:

    Having spent a good part of my life in Minnesota I love the weather here in comparison. Do you people realize that for 4 and sometimes 5 months the people there race to there cars, turn them on and then race back to the house to stay warm while the car warms up. If you have wet hair it will freeze on your head. It may suck here compared to California, but I will take the winters here any day.

  29. 29
    mikal says:

    Sorry their cars. I’m on my third beer. Dad is right. Opening it is definately the best sound of the day.

  30. 30
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    I love both the mountains and the climate here. I moved here from Texas almost 8 years ago and have never had a place feel as much like home. I prefer cloudy days to sunny ones, and love the sound of rain on the roof. Summer even here is too hot for my taste at times, and when it’s rainy I grab my hiking gear and head to the mountains. Cloudy and cool days ARE Washington to me. I love them. By the end of winter I amgetting a littl e tired of them, but I prefrer months of cloudy and cool to weeks of sunny and hot.

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