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.


  1. 1
    mike says:

    I googled “Best Metro areas to be abandoned as an infant” and surprisingly Seattle was still at the top of the list.

  2. 2

    I Got the Best Years Out of Seattle

    When Lynwood was mostly woods, my backyard was 2500 acres of forrest and tuition at the University of Washington was $135/quarter….and C+ averages got you accepted too.

    So I’d vote yes.

    Today, most of the trees are gone and Lynnwood looks like a “makeshift” Detroit area type city with asphalt and cement replacing most of the trees. What’s the U of W tuition now? $7000/quarter, if you get straight As you might get accepted.

  3. 3
    David B. says:

    No, because I’d do a number of things differently and probably end up in a smaller metro area in the Pacific NW, assumed I’m somehow constrained to choose a metro area at all. But all in all, the Seattle area isn’t that bad a place to have ended up. I could have done worse. A *lot* worse.

  4. 4
    Matt the Engineer says:

    I can’t imagine voting “no” to this unless there was no way for me to move. You don’t need to “start your life over” to move to a new city. You can do it tomorrow.

  5. 5
    James Bond says:

    By Matt the Engineer @ 4:

    I can’t imagine voting “no” to this unless there was no way for me to move. You don’t need to “start your life over” to move to a new city. You can do it tomorrow.

    I’m with Matt. In my career already I’ve had opportunities across the US and even to Eastern Asia. I can’t imagine being “stuck” such that you had to start completely over in order to relocate. Certainly there are limitations to where I could choose to move to based on my career path, but it’s not like Seattle Metro is the only locale producing (_________) in the whole world, there are other areas that surely do.

  6. 6
    Drone says:

    By Matt the Engineer @ 4:

    I can’t imagine voting “no” to this unless there was no way for me to move. You don’t need to “start your life over” to move to a new city. You can do it tomorrow.

    Employment challenges are sometimes tricky, but are ultimately surmountable. Family challenges can be more difficult, especially involving a spouse and his/her local family network. So where does one draw the distinction between “no way for me to move” vs “no way for me to practically move without a divorce.”? ;)

    Having said that, there are many many worse places than Seattle. Maybe if global warming continues, we’ll even get more sun.

  7. 7
    goblue72 says:

    If I could do it over again, I would never have left the Bay Area. Broader set of job opportunities, far superior weather, better mass transit, better food, more diverse, more cosmopolitan, and people with actual social skills.

  8. 8
    David B. says:

    RE: Matt the Engineer @ 4 – Path dependency, i.e. past decisions costing a significant amount of time, effort, and money to change, to the point that it is now less costly (in money, time, and emotional terms) to not change.

  9. 9
    No Name Guy says:

    “Would you choose to live in the Seattle area if you could start life over & end up in any metro area of your choosing?”

    Yep. But I still wouldn’t LIVE in Seattle, or for that matter King County. The lunatics are running the asylums there.

  10. 10
    Erik says:

    RE: goblue72 @ 7
    Yeah, we suck over here in seattle. I could probably take most people in a fight though in the Bay Area. Seems like a lot of wimps over there.

  11. 11
    Julie says:

    I think it depends on what you mean by ‘start life over’. If I had to start over, as an older and jobless person, then the answer would be no. I love Seattle and have learned to love its unique qualities, but the one quality that is difficult to overcome are the social skills here. It is very difficult to make friends here or to network here. I feel bad for saying that because I find people here to be genuine, responsive, good-hearted and civil, but there is something missing here in the way that people interact. And it’s not something that you can just get over quickly, it takes practice. I think the weather has something to do with it. Unlike other big cities I’ve lived in, the character of the city is more reserved, wary, competitive and related to that, a bit territorial. So no, to start my life over, I would choose a city where I feel that was more open where I could build a support system (organically, not through structures such as groups or places of work and authentically, meaning not as a response or a reaction to a need) quickly.

    Like I said, I feel badly criticizing Seattle, because I have learned to love it, so maybe it just takes a certain type of personality to get to that point, in which case, why should Seattle change? There are some truly great and unique things that I love. The natural beauty we have here is truly abundant (not like the Bay Area, where the bridge is its only center). We have great food and neighborhoods with character. We have thoughtful patrons (you might argue against this, but there are many places where there is no philanthropy by its wealthiest) and it is always exciting to see what will happen next – i.e. our future is in process… whereas others are confined by its already established nature and boundaries.

    Someone mentioned that the Bay Area seems to have more diversity. I think Seattle has it too, but it’s muted and we just don’t have enough relative to our strengths. We are known predominantly as a tech center, a smart city. Maybe with the SuperBowl win, we will be considered a little more well-rounded.

  12. 12
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: Julie @ 11 – I think it has more to do with people moving here, then trying to slam the door behind them lest their quality of life get affected by other immigrants. A bit of self-loathing if you will.

    I don’t see that cold bitchiness very often in those that grew up here.

  13. 13
    Julie says:

    RE: wreckingbull

    I haven’t encountered transplants (i.e., people who have moved here) like that. Most of the transplants I’ve seen have worked really hard to connect opportunities between Seattle and the cities they came from. I think the ingratitude of both transplants and people who have grown up here is valid. I’ve heard complaints from people who live here about how transplants are driving up their property taxes (although later on in the same conversation, they admit they are happy that their home values are going up) and they don’t really see or value what these transplants have brought to Seattle. Likewise, I’ve heard complaints from transplants about Seattle (weather, dating scene, public transportation, etc.) The self-loathing is present among Seattle-ites, too – when’s the last time you haven’t read a self-critical article about the Seattle-freeze? Maybe it’s just growing pains from both sides. At least, we’re not comparing ourselves to Portland anymore.

  14. 14
    Cutienoua says:

    I find it surprising so many people voted No
    Last time I checked you are free to move around if you don’t like it!

  15. 15
    goblue72 says:

    RE: Julie @ 11 – I got news for you – the Bay Area has a tremendous amount of natural beauty. Beyond the city of SF – which is by far more attractive than Seattle as far as the actual built environment – there’s West Marin (the Marin Headlands, Point Reyes, Tomales Bay, Muir Woods, etc.) which is loaded with world famous natural beauty. Sonoma/Napa Valleys. There’s the coastline along the Peninsula down to Half Moon Bay and Monterey (where the world famous Pebble Beach is located). Etc, etc.

    The Bay Area Metropolitan Region also does have more diversity. (23% Asian, 23% Latino, 6.5% African American). Its just a numerical fact. By contrast, the Seattle Metro region is 11.5% Asian, 9% Latino and 5.5% African American. Seattle metro is the most diverse area in the PNW, but in the context of the PNW being a very white part of the country. (Portland is famous for being the whitest large city in the country, for example.) Its not a criticism – its just what it is. So, if you are from the PNW area, which is quite white – then the Seattle area can seem quite diverse. If you come from more diverse parts of the country, the Seattle area can feel very white. (Before moving to Seattle, I lived for 17 years in more diverse parts of the country so living here feels less diverse to me.)

    By contrast, California is a majority-minority state (that is, minorities make up the majority of the population) – and the Bay Area is highly reflective of that. Which is not to say that the Seattle area doesn’t have diversity (it does) – its just that a lot of other areas in the country are more diverse (SF Bay Area, LA, San Diego, NYC, Chicago, DC, Boston, Dallas, San Antonio, Miami, etc.)

    And for final contrast, the U.S. as a whole is 16.5% Latino, 12.5% African American and 5% Asian. Overall, the Seattle area is about as “White” as the rest of the U.S., with our racial minority population having a slightly different mix (more Asian, less Latino, less African-American). Put another way, our metro region isn’t any more diverse than the U.S. average.

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