Updated on April 7th, 2022
The only state named after a US President, Washington is home to just over 7.7 million residents. And it’s no surprise that so many people call this place home due to its unique culture, delicious food, and access to nature. There are many different cities you can choose from in the Evergreen State. So whether you’re looking at homes for sale in Seattle or just browsing apartments for rent in Spokane, you’ll be sure to find a place to call home. If you’re considering moving to the Pacific Northwest, we broke down some pros and cons of living in Washington. Keep reading to see what’s to love and not love about this state.
Pros of living in Washington
1. No state income tax
Washington is one of only 9 states that doesn’t have a state income tax. This means you won’t have to pay taxes on income earned in or from Washington state, giving you the opportunity to pocket a little more money from every paycheck compared to other states.
2. Access to nature
Washington is home to three beautiful national parks – Olympic National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, and North Cascades National Park – and a handful of state parks like Palouse Falls State Park and Deception Pass State Park.
During the summer, you can go boating along one of the many lakes like Lake Union and Lake Washington. Or, venture towards central Washington and spend time on Lake Chelan or the Columbia River. During the winter, you can enjoy skiing or snowboarding at Crystal Mountain Resort, Mt. Baker Ski Area, Stevens Pass Resort, Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort, or Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park.
If you like biking, the Burke-Gilman Trail, Centennial Trail, and Green Lake Trail and among the many that you can enjoy. If you’d rather enjoy the views, you can take one of the many ferries operating around the Puget Sound.
3. A strong sports base
Washington has a strong sports base being home to teams across multiple professional leagues. Local favorites you can root for include the Seattle Seahawks (NFL), Seattle Mariners (MLB), Seattle Sounders (MLS), Seattle Kraken (NHL), Seattle Storm (WNBA), and OL Reign (NWSL). Not to mention, there are many sports legends that have come out of Washington including Sue Bird, Ken Griffey Jr., Gary Payton, and Shawn Kemp. While living in Washington, you may find yourself catching a game at one of the various venues like Climate Pledge Arena, Lumen Field, and T-Mobile Park.
4. Job opportunities
Another pro of living in Washington is the ample job opportunities. Many companies have regional and national offices in Washington including:
- Alaska Airlines
- Expeditors International
5. Food and drink options
It’s no secret that Washington is the coffee capital of the United States, but there are also many other dining options around the state. Be sure to pay a visit to wineries like Chateau Ste. Michelle, Col Solare, Columbia Crest, and Hogue Cellars and breweries such as Stoup Brewery, Fremont Brewery, Reuben’s Brewery, No-Li Brewery, and Iron Goat Brewery. Local favorite restaurants including Musang, Matt’s at the Market, Beecher’s Cheese, Dick’s Burgers, and Ivar’s Seafood are among the many eateries that you should try out.
Cons of living in Washington
1. Higher than average Median Home Sale Price
With a median sale price of $592,100, it’s more expensive to purchase a home in the Evergreen State compared to the rest of the United States which averages at $389,520. In fact, Spokane had the highest bidding war rate with 83.3% of offers written by Redfin agents facing competition in January. Be sure to calculate how much home you can afford before beginning your home search.
Traffic on the west side of the state tends to be worse compared to the east side. During rush hour, SeaTac, Joint Base Lewis Mccord, and surrounding suburb areas of downtown Seattle can be difficult to navigate due to traffic. To help alleviate the situation, Washington is working on expanding the light rail system to service various Seattle suburbs including Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood.
The Evergreen State has a reputation for being cloudy and rainy. However, that’s not all true. Summers on the west side of Washington tend to be fresh and dry while summers on the east side tend to be warmer. While summers can be pleasant, if you’re not a fan of the cold and wet, the several months of winter may not be for you. Beginning in October, winters tend to be rainy and cloudy making this a con for many living in Washington.
4. High sales tax
Washington has a higher sales tax at 6.5% compared to the average state sales tax of 5.09% meaning that you’ll be paying a little more for goods and services.
5. Threat of natural disasters
Washington sees its fair share of natural disasters ranging from wildfires, landslides, earthquakes, and more. The Evergreen State tends to have wildfires during the summer months around Central Washington and the Cascade Range. In addition, Washington’s unique topography makes certain areas prone to landslides. Earthquakes can also occur in Washington as it falls on three major fault lines.