Someone I know is considering moving up to the Seattle area and asked me about my Washington experience. Other friends of mine who are considering Microsoft actually ask me this a lot so I thought I'd write an entry about it.

Here are some general impressions after my summer internship in Redmond and after talking to some Washington people, though keep in mind I've lived in California over 20 years and in Washington only a quarter of a year.

Pros:

  • No state income tax. This is pretty big chunk of change.
  • Much cheaper houses compared to California... like you can actually afford one. Though I suppose this is true of most of the U.S.
  • Gorgeous summers, even by California standards.
  • Very pretty green trees and foliage everywhere compared to California.
  • People seem nicer.
  • If you're a Republican, your vote actually counts for something.

Cons:

  • Weather - it rains nonstop fall, winter, spring... very depressing.
  • Horrible commutes. People mostly complain about having to cross the bridge from Seattle into Redmond during rush hour. May not be an issue for you.
  • Freeway speed limit is 60 instead of 65. Hard to get used to.
  • No In-N-Out.
  • Amazon sales tax.
  • I don't know many people there compared to California.

Anyone with more Washington experience want to comment?

[Edit: Got rid of the green text that looks like a link.]