I remember listening to a young Microsoft Intern about what had been recommended to him about living arrangments. To summarize what he said: “Redmond is the best place to live, because the rush hour traffic to Seattle is terrible!“
Every Microsoft employee has a strong opinion about the best location to live. It's one that I had been analyzing recently, and pre-empted my move from the Redmond suburbs over to Alki Beach in West Seattle. Here's my opinion on the Pro's and Con's of the two living arrangments- and yes, I am a 24 year old single male which influences my answers!
Pros of Redmond/East Side:
- Short commute to work
- More free time spent at home (important if you have a family)
- Condensed Intern population in the summer
- Possibility of going home for lunch
- Closer to the Microsoft sports fields
- More flexible work hours
- Marymoor Park in Redmond
- PRO Club in Bellevue
Cons of Redmond/East Side:
- Limited Night life (though Kirkland has a small selection)
- Minimal live music
- Non-short commute times if you live in the Eastside perimeter
- Long commute to Seattle
- Poor public transportation on Friday and Saturday nights ($25 cab fare from Downtown Seattle to Redmond)
- Fewer college age people
Pros of Seattle:
- All the amenities of a great city!
- Better nightlife, live music, etc.
- Professional sports teams, etc.
- University of Washington's campus
- Better access to non-Microsoft activity partners (check here)
- Single bus routes connecting Downtown, Capital Hill, Greenlake to Microsoft Campus
- Vanpool and Carpool options available for commuting in those H. O. V. lanes!
- Great hang out areas, like Greenlake, Alki, Belltown, etc.
Cons of Seattle:
- Traffic is a crapshoot, and often severe, especially across the 520 bridge
- Less flexible work hours (7:30-9:30AM, 4:30-6:45PM travel times will leave you stuck in traffic)
- Longer commute
- Less likely to hang out with East-Side friends
- PRO Club Seattle is inferior to the Redmond location
As a young person who likes to take advantage of the great offerings in Seattle, I've decided that it's the place for me. If you're not going to do “city“ activities several times a week, then you'll probably be happier on the East Side. But, for me, I'm going to happily be commuting to Seattle tonight!
PS: I'm sure I missed several important points, and I've omitted some prominent exceptions to all these rules. Feel strongly about something said here? Leave a comment!