Moving to Seattle from Hawaii is a big change! Like any move, when you relocate to the mainland you’ll need to find a moving company capable of shipping your household goods and furniture without a hassle. However, we know you’ll want tips that go beyond packing and moving. Before you move, here are some current facts about what life in Seattle, Washington is like, and how it will be different from what you’re used to in Hawaii.

1. Cost of Living

Overall, the cost of living in Seattle is lower than in most big cities in Hawaii. It’s 12% cheaper to live in Seattle than Honolulu, for example. One of the biggest factors is the cost of utilities, which are up to 43% less in Seattle than Hawaii. Depending on where you live in Hawaii, housing may be cheaper when you locate to Seattle. According to Zillow, the median home value in Hawaii is $589,300, and in Honolulu specifically, the median home value is $662,300. Seattle’s median home value is $604,300. A comparison of the median household incomes shows Washington’s is a bit higher, at $62,187, versus $56,263 in Hawaii.

2. Commute

Your driving distance to work may not change much when you move to Seattle. According to U.S. News & World Report, Honolulu’s average commute is 28.2 minutes, while Seattle’s is 29 minutes. In both cities, about 80% of people drive and a little less than 10% take public transit. The average highway top speed in Hawaii is 58 miles per hour, slower than Washington’s 63.

3. Schools

Moving to Seattle from Hawaii should be a positive move in terms of your kids’ education. In U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools rankings, Washington is ranked at 19 while Hawaii comes in at 36. In Seattle, schools score higher on college readiness, earning a 7 out of 10 compared to Honolulu’s 5.4. The Seattle area hosts 12 colleges and universities, too.

4. Weather

Not surprisingly, weather is probably where Hawaii and Seattle differ the most. Hawaii is famous for experiencing balmy weather all year, with an average daytime temperature of 78 degrees in winter and 85 degrees in summer. Seattle is considerably cooler at 42 degrees in the winter and 64.2 degrees in the summer. Hawaii also gets about 100 more days of sunshine than Seattle. Make sure you’re packing those warm clothes!

Seattle, a city known for its rain, averages about 37 inches and 147 days of rain each year. Hawaii’s rainfall differs immensely – Honolulu only gets about 17 inches a year, while Hilo can get as much as 130.

5. Other factors that differ between Hawaii and Seattle

  • Sales tax – Washington’s state sales tax is 6.5%, but in Seattle you’ll pay 9.6%. Both of these are much higher than Hawaii’s 4% state tax.
  • Gun laws – Hawaii has stricter gun laws than Washington state.
  • Online shopping – On the mainland, you can get next-day delivery from Amazon, or even the same day with Amazon Prime. This is especially true in Seattle, Amazon’s corporate home.
  • Odd laws – All states have their weird laws! In Hawaii, twins aren’t allowed to work at the same company. In Washington, if you see Bigfoot or Sasquatch, it’s against the law to harass them.

Need a moving company that will take care of your personal belongings, household goods, and furniture during a move to or from Hawaii? Royal Hawaiian Movers has you covered. Get a quote today with our online form. For more tips on relocating, sign up for our newsletter below.

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