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How much does immigration cost: rates for living in Seattle

Frontend developer and author of the Telegram channel "Vatnik in America" I decided to share my opinion and calculations regarding the residence of a family of four (two adults and two children) in Seattle.

Фото: Depositphotos

Most IT and about IT professionals who dream or plan to move to America, think about Silicon, which is not surprising. However, often the first serious barrier is the high cost of living in the Valley.

There is a good alternative. This is Seattle, Washington. The place that Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos chose for their Microsoft and Amazon. They are accompanied by: the aviation giant Boeing, mobile operator AT & T, the mermaid Starbucks and a dozen or two other not-so-famous companies and brands, for example, Zillow and Costco.

By the way, the construction of a fresh office skyscraper is in full swing in the center of the city. This is Google, which opens here its large division opposite Amazon headquarters.

Let's start with small.

Cost of living

$ 1700 is the minimum monthly charge for the 2 Bedroom (living room and two bedrooms) and not in the best areas of Seattle. In Balview, Redmond and Kirkland, the price of such an apartment starts at $ 2000.

$ 200 - the average bill for communal. In the summer, the amount drops to $ 75-90.

$ 40 - Internet. This is the price for the speed in 60 Mb / c in the absolute monopolist of the state Comcast aka Xfinity.

$ 900 - food and cabins. In general, the question of food in the United States is quite acute: if you are for a very healthy diet, you will have to fork out, you can’t keep up with $ 900. But junk food is cheap, but there is nothing good in such food, so the budget for food should be increased in the first place.

$ 300 - medical insurance for two adults. The fact is that children up to 19 age in Washington State can be fully insured (Full Covered), while free of charge (or with a minimum monthly fee) under the special program Washington Apple Health for Kids. This is insanely cool state help for migrants with small children in their arms. Details of the program - by link.

$ 1200 - for two children in the most simple kindergarten. There is an option: with low family wages, the state will provide free space in the garden, but then you need to take care of the neighborhood in advance, in some places the free gardens are very steep.

$ 80 - mobile communication for two. Service provider is T-Mobile if you need classic SIM cards. Local AT&T is ungodly expensive in this segment.

$ 115 - local public transport Orca card (it makes the trip a bit cheaper and the payment process easier). The one-way price is $ 2,75, for a total of $ 5,5 per day. Nuance: the municipal system of public transport control gives the so-called "transfer" for two hours at the first touch of the card in the payment terminal when you get on the bus. Therefore, if you first take the child (children) to the garden or school, then everything is in order, the price will not change if you meet these two hours. You can safely leave the bus, take the children, then return to the stop, and the next time you attach the card, the terminal will inform you that you have a transfer and will not take the fare. A thoughtful gesture for people, however.

$ 300-400 - other expenses. To buy clothes on sale, to have a snack on the go, entertainment on weekends and similar things.

With this life format, you can seek help from non-governmental organizations, foundations and churches.

For example, in the Salvation Army and the like. It is important to non-state, because if you go for official help and sit on the neck of taxpayers, in the future you will have serious problems with obtaining loans, for example, for a car, and even more so for an apartment or house.

Фото: Depositphotos

Total: $ 4500-5000 per month after taxes. If you work together with your wife, such a family income is real, that is, the bar is not supernatural. If you are, of course, not cleaners in the shopping center gathered to plow up. However, we are not interested in this level, since specialists that have already taken place are mainly migrating to the state of Washington, so we are moving to an average level.


$ 2200 - rent a normal apartment 2 Bedroom and 2 Baths (living room, two bedrooms and two bathrooms) ranging from 900 ft² (around 82 m²).

$ 250 - the average utility bill will grow, but not very much.

$ 55 - Internet with the speed of 150 Mb / s in the same Comcast.

$ 1500 - food and cabins. Here, without any surprises. Normal food and everyday products - increased costs.

$ 600 - medical insurance for two adults, since you are likely to still get into the state child insurance program.

$ 2000 - for two children in a good kindergarten. Optionally, for such money, you can already find a nanny at home for your children, but if you plan to stay in the US for a long time, then a kindergarten is better, since there will be English lessons and socialization with children from all over the world.

$ 80 - mobile communication without changes, as unlimited calls and SMS, as well as the lack of roaming throughout the US - this is almost the basis of any tariff plan from decent operators.

$ 240 - car. Here, gasoline: about $ 35 per week for a full tank and insurance about $ 100 per month. Every six months, you can call the insurance and ask for a review of your coverage, if you have everything without incident, then for two years you can reduce the payment to approximately $ 50-60. The question of parking is decided mostly by the IT giants themselves, but if you don’t work for them and drive to work in the very center of Seattle, you will have to pay about $ 7-10 per day.

$ 500 - other expenses. Here you can roam: blueberry farms for fun walks and at the same time collecting local sweet berries. Visiting tourist places like mountains Rainier and the national park around it: insanely fresh mountain air, the beauty of nature, clean lakes, and all the things that accompany such a holiday, such as a tent camp.

Фото: Depositphotos

Total: about $ 7000 per month. This is around $ 150 thousand per year before taxes. If you work together, in positions like a developer and a tech support specialist, then you will be able to lift the amount, even deposit money into a savings account.

Above average

$ 3200 - home. You can, of course, rent an apartment 3 Bedroom with an area of ​​1200 ft² (around 110 m²), but I don’t see any sense when you can already rent a full-fledged house on the market for that kind of money. There is such a moment: $ 3000 per month is such a good monthly mortgage payment, it's a shame to give such a loot just like that, it is better to invest in your home. Therefore, when the family goes into the league “we live above average”, then everyone basically wants to take a house or an apartment as a mortgage, but this is a completely different story.

$ 400 - utility payment will increase due to the area of ​​real estate, without any special surprises.

$ 55 - all the same Internet, with the speed of 150 Mb / s from Comcast. I do not see much point in speeds like 300 Mb / s, 500 Mb / s or 1000 Mb / s for home Internet.

$ 2500 - excellent food, trips to good restaurants with the whole family or together.

$ 1000 - medical insurance for all four family members. If you are already working with FTE (full-time employee) in some Amazon, then most likely you will be covered by the company in the form of benefits (additional “bonuses” to the employment contract), and this item can be deleted.

$ 2500 is a major kindergarten for the youngest child and a good school for the older (I predict it is older) or a first-class nanny who will develop a personalized program for the youngest and will report on how the training is going.

$ 80 - unchanged mobile connection.

$ 900 is a good car loan for five years with a monthly payment of about $ 600, as well as gasoline and insurance.

$ 1200 - additional costs for clothing, the purchase of household appliances and so on. Either the savings in a savings account for later rest somewhere in Hawaii.

Фото: Depositphotos

Total: about $ 12000 per month, $ 200 thousand per year before taxes. If you are already a senior developer, then the wife may not work, since you can earn $ 200 thousand a year by yourself.

There is no “rich” level in the review, as I do not really imagine it. I hope that "bye" can not imagine. But given the big houses on the lake Washington or Sammamish with an initial cost of $ 3 million with personal moorings and boats on them, the amounts are very large.


Life in Seattle is much cheaper than in Silicon Valley. Quality of life is definitely not worse, at least according to those who just moved from the Valley to Seattle or left. Yes, the climate is cooler here, but for many it is rather a plus, because the heat in California is simply not tolerated.

Whatever you choose in the end, you need to objectively give yourself an assessment and understand that immediately on the “above average” stage, units of tough and gifted specialists fly.

Read also on ForumDaily:

11 things that you absolutely cannot save on in the US

Life in America: what can and cannot be saved?

'You don't need to listen to anyone about New York': exposing the myths about life in the USA

How can life in America develop if properly prepared for it

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