The Seattle area of Washington State is a beautiful place to live, and if you are thinking of moving here, you should have Poulsbo high on your list. The city is built right on Liberty Bay in Kitsap County just to the northwest of Bainbridge Island and across Puget Sound from Seattle.
It’s a really beautiful city and has a small town, friendly feel. Lots of families live here, young professionals and retirees, the schools are good, it’s just a great place to have a home. But you’re going to want to know whether or not it’s expensive to live here compared to other cities in this part of the world. Here’s your guide to the Poulsbo cost of living.
Property Prices in Poulsbo, Washington
This is the bottom line, the elephant in the room: what does it cost to buy a house in Poulsbo? Compared to the national average, property prices in Poulsbo are quite expensive. The average cost of a home in the US is $230,000, and property prices in Poulsbo average $436,000.
However, to put that in perspective, in Seattle itself, the average cost of a house is just under $700,000, so property prices in Poulsbo are actually pretty affordable for the area.
House prices are higher than in other parts of the US because the economy is so buoyant, and it’s such a popular area to live in. The Kitsap naval base in nearby Bremerton provides work for 25,000 civilians, Seattle is an easy commute and has some major employers, Amazon and Microsoft among them. Add the facts that the area is stunning, and the fact that there’s so much to do here, and you can understand why property is not cheap!
How Much Does it Cost to Rent in Poulsbo, Washington?
Rental property is at a premium in Poulsbo, so, unfortunately, it is not the cheap option. In fact, recently the prices for renting have gone a little crazy and renting can be more expensive than buying. As a guide, a three-bedroom condo goes at about $2,000 a month, and a four-bedroom home is more like $2,300. There are some cheaper areas in other neighborhoods and some that are way more expensive.
Cost of Living in Poulsbo: Utilities
For water, sewer and garbage, you are looking at around $130 a month, another $130 for electricity, and internet access will add another $60. This pretty much in the ballpark of utilities everywhere else in the country.
Cost of Living in Poulsbo: Transport
Poulsbo is ideally located if you work at the naval base, as Bremerton is just a 25-minute drive away. If you want to get to Seattle or Tacoma, then you have a couple of choices.
Driving down Highway 16 will take you via the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to Tacoma, then Seattle is just up I-5. The bridge operates a toll system, and you need to have a “Good to Go!” account. It will cost you $5 a day, and you only pay for the eastbound journey.
My husband and I lived in Poulsbo for 10 years, and my husband traveled to work in Seattle using the short ferry ride from Bainbridge Island. It is free going to Seattle, but the return journey costs around $14.00 for a car though this does vary with the time of year. If you are interested in cycling, then riding your bike to the ferry makes sense as it’s both green and healthy.
Gas prices in Poulsbo are usually about $3.25 a gallon, give or take. I filled up at Costco the other day and paid just $2.40, but that’s partly the effect of COVID-19 and is not the norm! You can always contact me to find out the current price.
Poulsbo Cost of Living: Food
With water everywhere, we have wonderful seafood and great local produce of all kinds! The choice of restaurants is truly excellent, and a meal for two at any of the most popular ones set you back $25 to $30 per person, including drinks. Talking of drinks, we have some pretty good local breweries you’ll want to try too!
Of course, we all need groceries, and you will find the prices are about the same as the rest of the country. Remember that for non-food items, the sticker price is not what you will pay. Washington has a sales tax of 9%, and you need to factor that in when you are in a store. On the other hand, unlike in some states, we have no income tax (a major plus).
Poulsbo Cost of Living: Healthcare
Our healthcare costs in this part of the world are in line with the rest of the US. So, if you work for an employer who doesn’t provide health insurance or work for yourself (like a real estate agent!), are under 40 and a non-smoker, you’ll probably pay in the region of $300 a month. That will have a deductible of about $6,000, so it’s a good thing to factor into your move if you’ve not had to account for that previously. People who have lived here for years will think that’s astronomical, but realistically, it’s pretty average for the country.
What else is there to know?
Poulsbo is a lovely place to live, and the cost of living in Poulsbo is on par with the area, and even a little better if you’re looking to buy. There are also many other great places in Kitsap County and this part of Washington, so it’s well worth exploring the different cities and neighborhoods before you make a decision.
I love the area and have lived in numerous different areas here, so if you’re looking for guidance from a realtor who really knows and loves the area, I’m the realtor for you. I don’t just know where the best places are to live, I know all about the realistic cost of living, too, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
Please call, email, or text me if you are planning on or just thinking about moving to this wonderful part of the country.