As the largest city in the nation, NYC is the epicenter for culture, cuisine, creativity, style, entertainment, the list goes on. And as the City that Never Sleeps, it’s the perfect muse to live your best life! 

Whether you’re looking for fast-paced opportunities, myriad points of inspiration, or just a complete change of scenery from what you’re used to in the Northwest, moving from Seattle to NYC leads to so many unique possibilities. New York City is waiting with open arms, but before you sign up for moving services, take a look at this informative guide.

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What to Know About Moving from Seattle to NYC

It pays to know what you’re getting into before moving to NYC from Seattle. Below, you’ll find a comparison of several major points between the two cities.

Taxes

Seattle definitely has the upper hand when it comes to income taxation – there is no personal or corporate income tax. The Empire City, by contrast, has one of the highest total top income rates in the US at 12.7%. 

When it comes to sales tax, however, New York City turns the tables slightly. Currently, the total sales tax rate in NYC is 8.875% (4% state + 4.875% local). That’s lower than Seattle’s rate of 10.1%. Yes, you get a better break without having to pay income tax in Washington State, but if you factor in all the unique opportunities and activities in the Big Apple, it’s a worthwhile trade-off. 

Considering buying a house? Property tax rates are super low in NYC! The average county rate comes out to only 0.90%, while Seattle has an average county rate of 0.953%. For example, you’d pay $6,671 per year for a $700,000 home in the Seattle metro area. The Big Apple would cost you less for the same property value at an annual rate of $6,300. 

Economy and Job Growth

Home to the most prominent central business district in the world, located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City continues to be a powerhouse among the biggest economies not only in America but the world. 

Want to hear one of the many mind-blowing facts about the city? Its gross domestic product is about the same size as that of South Korea and Canada! It’s even projected to pass the GDP of Tokyo by 2035. Top industries include financial services, healthcare, retail trade, manufacturing, and educational services. These not only add to the country’s economic strength but also globally.

When it comes to future job growth, Seattle’s got the Big Apple beat. The Emerald City is projected to see a 43.8% boost over the next decade, while NYC might only see 30.7% growth. It’s the same story with unemployment. As of the start of 2020, the Seattle metro area had an unemployment rate of only 3.1%. New York City had an unemployment rate a full point up, at 4.1%.

Housing and Cost of Living

When it comes to living expenses, both New York City and Seattle aren’t exactly cheap. The cost of living index in NYC is 187.2 (compared to the national average of 100). The City of Seattle isn’t too far off at 172.3. So, coming from the Northwest city, you shouldn’t be too shocked by costs.

Now when it comes to housing, you might be surprised (read: shocked). The Big Apple has a median home value of only $652,307 right now. Guess how much in Seattle? The median home value is $767,906. Yes, that’s a difference of over $115,000!

Things to Do

Fun stuff to do in New York City? How about everything! Seriously, as far as cities go, there’s pretty much every conceivable thing to do in the City that Never Sleeps. Foodie? Visit Time Out Market New York, home to several fantastic eateries and bars. Want to escape the urban congestion for a minute? Check out Governors Island, equal parts park + playground + outdoor art space. Art buff? You have to take a tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Seattle is a fun city too, but it can’t compete with the sheer diversity, creativity, and size of NYC. The best part of living in this city is exploring it!

Educational Opportunities

Wondering how Seattle and NYC rank amongst the most educated metro areas? The Emerald City’s got the edge over the City that Never Sleeps: #8 versus #26, respectively. 

As the largest school district in the United States, New York City Public Schools serves more than 1.1 million students with over 1,400 schools. This district is a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities, lending a strong element of enriching diversity

Are you looking for the best colleges & universities in the New York City area? Columbia University, Barnard College, New York University, The Cooper Union for the Advancement Science & Arts, and Stevens Institute of Technology are among the best schools in the world!

Culture, Diversity, and Demographics

If we take a look at the most ethnically diverse cities in America, New York City easily lands in the Top 10 at #6. Seattle does alright at #36, but come on, how is it supposed to compete with the melting pot that is the Big Apple? NYC’s a place with more than 800 languages, after all.

Next, we look at race & ethnicity demographics. New York City is 47.5% White, 22.4% Hispanic & Latino, 17.1% Black, 10.6% Asian, and 2.4% mixed & other. Seattle is 66.7% White, 14.1% Asian, 7.4% Black, 6.2% Hispanic & Latino, and 5.6% mixed & other.

Food

Sure, Seattle offers a nice variety of cuisine – from Pike Place Chowder to Pho to tasty burgers – but New York is in a league of its own. When you think of a melting pot of cuisine, NYC is the place to be!

Showcasing perhaps the most incredible selection of food from all over the globe, New Yorkers are never at a shortage of new, exciting, and tasty eats. Have you heard of the famous Cronut? It’s from here! For a classic deli experience, Kat’s Delicatessen has been going strong since 1888. You’ll find the quintessential NYC breakfast at Barney Greengrass – the Novia Scotia lox & scrambled eggs are amazing – while the soup dumplings at Joe’s Shanghai are to die for!

Of course, we’ve only skimmed the surface. To live in New York City is to discover the most delicious and inventive food continually. Simply put, this city is a foodie’s dream come true.

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Best Neighborhoods in NYC

Here are some of the top neighborhoods to explore as you look for a place to put down roots in the Big Apple.

Manhattan – East Village 

If you’re looking for the epicenter of culture & finance, you’ll find precisely that in Manhattan! Comprised of nearly 1.7 million residents and 23 square miles, this fabled borough is the most densely populous part of the city. East Village offers a Bohemian feel idea for students, artists, and myriad creatives. Delve into more details about Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood here.

Manhattan – Upper West Side

If you’re looking for that quintessential upscale vibe in Manhattan, the Upper West Side is unparalleled. Offering beautiful brownstones, condos, luxury high-rises, and tree-lined streets, the neighborhood is also close to Riverside Park and Central Park. Referred to as UWS, it’s also home to influential artists and culture makers. Learn more about Manhattan’s UWS neighborhood here.

Brooklyn – Carroll Gardens

Southwest of Downtown Brooklyn, Carrol Gardens, is home to several of the most gorgeous streets in the borough. It also has a 19th-century charm, with its tree-lined streets and Italian flavor, which has led residents to call this place nearly “picture perfect.” Find out more details here.

Brooklyn – Downtown

With one of the best business districts in NYC, Downtown Brooklyn is home to many young professionals and students. Along with the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Historical Society, and greenspaces, you’ll find a host of bars, clubs, shopping, dining, and much more, all within walking distance. Another bonus? Many subway lines cater to the downtown area. Discover more here.

Queens – Astoria

Are you looking to work in Manhattan? Astoria is a top choice for professionals and students alike. Offering a subway ride to Manhattan in about 20 minutes, this neighborhood has a strong social scene as well as an assortment of condos, co-ops, and apartments. Take a more in-depth look here.

Queens – Sunnyside

In search of quiet suburban living? Located west of Woodside and east of Long Island City, Sunnyside provides an escape from the hustle & bustle of everyday city life. But it’s also within a few minutes of Manhattan, so you’re not too far from the action! With approximately 35,000 apartments and condos, Sunnyside offers plenty of great rental options. Learn more about this suburbia here.

Bronx – Kingsbridge

Kingsbridge is the king of high diversity and low rental prices, hands down. Situated in the Bronx, this neighborhood is a popular pick for people from all around the world. And as part of a business improvement district, there is plenty of shopping and dining. Find out more here.

Bronx – Riverdale

Found in the northwestern corner of the borough, Riverdale is just north of Manhattan. Home to mansions (as well as affordable rentals) and stellar public and private schools, Riverdale is a big draw for families. There’s also plenty of homes of famous figures and historical landmarks. These include John F. Kennedy’s childhood home and the former residence of Mark Twain. Get more info here.

Staten Island – Great Kills

In the market for a great blend of urban & suburban? Situated on the South Shore, Great Kills is ideal for both ambitious professionals and families. Many residents are homeowners, and there’s a long list of green spaces, restaurants, and shopping options. Find out more about Great Kills here.

Staten Island – Huguenot

Offering safety and a family-friendly vibe, Huguenot is a more close-knit neighborhood ideal for growing families. In fact, it’s one of the safest spots in New York City. If you’re looking to get away from the congestion & noise of Manhattan, Huguenot should definitely be on your list. Discover more details about this Staten Island neighborhood here.


Cost of Moving from Seattle to NYC

On average, it costs about $3500-$5500 to move from Seattle to NYC. Though this might sound expensive, consider that you are hauling your stuff about 2,852 miles across the country. The total cost of your move will depend on several variables, including your origin and destination zip codes, the time of year you’re moving, the size of your household, and which services you require. The best way to get an accurate estimate is by scheduling an in-home or virtual (no contact) walkthrough with a licensed and insured interstate mover. Get free moving quotes from the best Seattle to NYC movers now!

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Devin Barroga

Ever been bitten by the wanderlust bug? It's a powerful force, one which has captivated Devin for his entire life.... Read More