= = = Seattle: Together with abusive companies and bad city management, Seattle is a miserable place.
Houses in Seattle are expensive: Seattle bumps Boston as the most expensive U.S. housing market that's not in California. [geekwire.com]
Rent is expensive: Seattle rent is 5th most expensive in U.S. [curbed.com] = = =
Your points 2 and 3 and difficult to reconcile with point 1, at least from a microeconomic point of view. And all techies are good free market purists, right?
I've been in Seattle for the last 20+ years. I don't find it miserable and neither do my friends. Housing has exploded in the last couple of years and rents are increasing but remember that WA has no income tax and gets taxes through property taxes which is included in rent, so when comparing, you need to compare WA rents to other places rent plus stat income tax. People are having to move out of Cap Hill and central Seattle and many are buying houses. Two years ago I was looking at $200k houses five miles away from downtown that hit all my bullet points, half a year ago when I finally got serious, that had become ten miles for $350k and a high chance of getting out bid anyway. Traffic is horrible, mostly because of geography since Seattle is a penninsula with lots of hills and the main highway goes through the middle of town, was built in the 60's, and has no room to be expanded. Most of the people I've known that have worked for Microsoft have liked working there, but the past constant re-orgs make that difficult and some groups do suck. Amazon also sucks but you have to understand that both the company and the workers with a clue are gaming the system by having unexperienced employees work to death for 18 months when they leave with their padded resume for a better job.
Not to say that parts of Seattle are no longer there as the population has doubled since the .com boom. The small venue new music aspect of Seattle was killed in the late 90's. Cheap dive bars are hard to find in Seattle proper if any still exist. Things are too expensive for a good art culture which has been moving out to places like Georgetown since the .com boom also, and now they are being forced out of there. Not sure where it will be moving next. Tacoma is cheap (houses were a quarter of what they are in Settle 30 miles away) but the commute is an hour and half one way and apparently art and culture are controlled by entrenched locals who drive off new people. Olympia seems to be the new place to go.