East is east and West is west, as the saying goes. Statistics show that many families and individuals are choosing to move to the Pacific Northwest and the trend is expected to continue.
What draws people to this place of majestic mountains, green forests, spectacular seacoasts and a unique type of lifestyle that the East Coast seems to lack? Here are some ideas --
The Landscape of the Pacific Northwest
The East Coast and the inland States are older and thickly settled and severely overbuilt. Many cities date back to the 1600’s with historic structures and a highly developed series of infrastructures and roads. Travel between cities is through a series of complex freeways and secondary roads and from space it all appears to be a huge ocean of light when viewed at night. The mountain ranges are North America’s oldest and are of moderate height. The cold Atlantic is the chief source of weather patterns and sunny days are less than other regions.
The West Coast and Pacific Northwest are comparatively recently settled and most cities have more open space for building. The environment dictates the building and mountains, forests and rivers form barriers and boundaries, giving a more open space type of living style. Easterners who travel west of the Continental Divide are often intimidated by the openness of the landscape and have to adjust mentally. Those who move here are seeking space, space to grow, relax and enjoy a landscape with so many opportunities to do things that the Eastern United States does not have to offer.
The Economy of the Pacific Northwest
There are two main drivers in the region’s economy: Seattle and Portland. Both share the capability to energize the surrounding economies and provide profitable employment to those in nearby cities. High tech is a driving force in Seattle with Google, Amazon, Intel, and Boeing having a major influence. All these companies spur business opportunities to industries and businesses that support the companies and provide services to employees. The energy of high tech and other industries also make business for building trades as growth provides income to those seeking homes, the corporations enlarge their campus areas and profitable businesses and clients enjoy increased profits and growth.
Another reason why the economy is expanding so quickly is the access to the Pacific Rim trade routes. Shipping and air transport to the Far East is quicker and less expansive here than the East Coast and Gulf areas. Companies can ship goods, travel for negotiations and trade talks to the rapidly expanding Indo-Asian region where India, China and Japan are growing industrially. Many technology professionals are fleeing Silicon Valley’s astronomical housing costs and California’s high taxes, not to mention new restrictions on water use.
Homes and housing of the Pacific Northwest
Realistically the Seattle area leads the Nation in housing costs and prices; this is a high growth area and entry into the market starts at $600,000. But homes in the nearby cities which are accessible to the city via I-5 are in the $220 k range. The building here is at a high volume here and construction is at peak. Apartment, condo and other housing forms are in the building stages. Not everyone wants to live in a major metro area and the nearby cities in Western Washington provide a more relaxed lifestyle that many associate with the Northwest. The Portland area is booming as well. Homes here are newer, comparatively than Eastern US homes and newcomers are often surprised as to what is considered “old”.
A New Attitude: The change will do you good
The Western States have always shown a different attitude towards life than “Easterners”. A less tense, relaxed and slower pace seems to be a shared characteristic. Many who move here desire exactly that change of attitude. Combined with the natural beauty of the Northwest’s seacoasts, dramatic mountain views and rainforests, many of those who come here as tourists and visitors eventually return as residents. The Pacific Northwest is a place where dreamers become doers
Living the dream in the Pacific Northwest
2018 shows much economic potential for many. A surging economy, raises and bonuses and opportunities are positive signs of growth. If you have dreamed of buying a home this is the time to make that dream come true. Having a plan, doing your homework and working with a professional realtor in a proactive way will open up that front door to a new home. Contact a realtor today.