Moving into the Seattle area but not sure whether you actually want to live in Seattle? You’re not alone! The Port Orchard vs. Seattle debate is one I hear often, and it’s not made any easier since they’re so close and in such a beautiful area of the country.
So, when Seattle has all the excitement of a world-famous city, why do so many people choose to live in Port Orchard? In short, Kitsap County is an amazing place to live – the local economy is strong, and Kitsap Naval Base, the country’s third-largest, employs 25,000 civilians alone. Seattle is just across Puget Sound and, together with all the smaller cities in the area, employment opportunities are almost limitless. It’s no wonder that so many people want to come here to live, work and play!
So, if you can imagine yourself living in Seattle or Port Orchard, how do you choose? For most people, the choice is decided by where, offers them the lowest cost of living and higher quality of life. To help you decide, we’ll guide you through the cost of living in both areas. Ready?
How much does it cost to buy a home in Port Orchard or Seattle?
As you’ll know if you’ve lived in or been interested in this area of the country for some time, Port Orchard is an incredibly popular place to live! Port Orchard and the surrounding area has a median asking price of $345,000. The median house price for the whole of the US is $230,000, so that’s a reflection of how popular the area has become and how fast it’s growing.
So, how much does it cost to live in Seattle? To put the Port Orchard figures into perspective, in Seattle that same house would be in the region of twice that – around $690,000, three times the national average. So, if you’re comparing if you’ll get more for your money per square foot in Port Orchard or Seattle, it’s going to be Port Orchard.
How much does it cost to rent in Port Orchard or Seattle?
Renting in these areas is an incredibly popular option, likely due to the relatively high house prices. The current average rent price for an 830sqft apartment in Port Orchard is $1,389. You are looking at $1,800 – $2,400 per month for a three- or four-bedroom.
In Seattle, things are significantly more expensive. You’re looking at an average rent price of $2,169 for a 700sqft apartment, and $2,000 – $5,000 per month for a three- or four-bedroom home, depending on how close you are to the action.
How much will the utilities cost in Port Orchard or Seattle?
Obviously, this will vary significantly depending on your family size, the home you choose, and your usage. In Seattle, a basic utility bill for a 915sqft apartment will cost you about $152 a month (including everything but your phone and internet). In Port Orchard, the same will cost you slightly less, about $130.
Transport: How much does it cost to live in Port Orchard?
Unsurprisingly, a lot of people commute to the bigger cities like Seattle and Tacoma. To get to Seattle you have a couple of options. You can take the ferry from either Port Orchard or Bremerton – for a round trip that will cost you $24.40 for a car and driver per day. Or you can do what my husband does and drive down Highway 16 and use the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Now, this is a toll bridge and if you have a “Good to Go!” account costs $5 per trip, and you only pay for the eastward bound journey – so is the much better option if you need your car!
Quite a number of people go as foot passengers on the ferries, or take their bike. That’s definitely the cheap and most healthy choice.
Fuel prices in Port Orchard, at the moment, are usually between $3.20 and $3.30 per gallon although I managed to get some from Costco recently at only $2.20. So usually it’s a little more expensive than the U.S. average.
Transport: How much does it cost to live in Seattle?
If you’re going to live and work in Seattle, you’ll likely have the benefit of not needing to drive to work. If you’re right in the city, walking is the cheapest option, followed by cycling, and things aren’t too far apart. There are also plenty of buses and Link Light Rail to help you get around. Of course, since Seattle’s a pretty unique place, you may have to catch a ferry to get where you need to go. Bus fairs start at $2.75.
How does the cost of living compare for groceries?
We have some wonderful restaurants here in the Port Orchard area and typically a meal in a decent place costs somewhere around $20 – $25 per person, including drinks, and we have some great breweries in the Pacific Northwest, too.
The average monthly spending for a Seattle resident is just under $400 for food and groceries. Port Orchard will cost you about the same as it will anywhere else in the US, depending on your tastes – so about $345.
How does Port Orchard compare to Seattle?
If you choose where you live by cost alone, Washington isn’t the state for you – however, if you’re looking to be a part of the beautiful and exciting way of life here in the Pacific Northwest, both Port Orchard and Seattle are good choices.
If you’re wondering whether Port Orchard or Seattle offers the lower cost of living, it has to be Port Orchard! The housing costs alone will likely make the decision for you, especially if you’re looking to buy. Port Orchard also has the benefit of being a beautiful, relaxed place to live, blessed with the surrounding country, its diverse flora and fauna and the opportunities to go boating, fishing, camping, and hiking. Plus, if you fancy a night in the city, there’s absolutely nothing to stop you.
If you are thinking about moving to this wonderful area or your job is relocating you here, please give me a call or send me a text or email. I love the locality, know every inch of it and am passionate about helping families and investors find their dream property.