Moving from San Diego to Seattle: Movers and Cost

The Golden State and the Evergreen State are almost neck-and-neck when it comes to popularity. Both are well-known for their beautiful landscapes and trendy culture, but there’s a significant split when it comes to price.Simply put: Washington is generally more affordable to live in than Southern California.

San Diego is one of the most expensive US cities. And even though it’s a less expensive option than San Francisco or Los Angeles, it’s still 6% over California’s national average. As a result, people are wondering if Seattle would be a good option as it’s the largest city in Washington.

If you’re a San Diegan thinking of moving to the Seattle area, keep reading to learn about what you should expect in terms of moving, packing, and setting up roots.

But first, check out these links to help whittle down your search for the best options for your long distance move:

  • Best San Diego to Seattle movers: The long-distance moving industry is full of scammy movers, and when all of your belongings are at stake, don’t take chances. These are the long distance movers top movers for San Diego to Seattle
  • How much will your move cost?: This cost calculator will provide an immediate free moving quote of what your move should cost. Just plug in your moving dates, the size of your move, where you’re moving to/from, and let the calculator do the rest.
  • Consider moving containers: Need a more budget-friendly option? With these companies, you load, and they drive! These are the best moving container companies.
  • Best car shippers: Moving your car? Use a company that prioritizes professionalism, cares for your vehicle and is experienced.

How Much Does it Cost to Move from San Diego to Seattle?

Costs will vary depending on the moving company you choose and whether or not you move during peak moving seasons. Overall, it’ll cost you between $1,000 to $7,000 to move from San Diego to Seattle.

Below we have a handy chart detailing the cost range depending on the type of moving resources you use.

Home Size Professional Movers Container Freight Rental Truck
Studio/1 Bedroom $1,680-$3,120 $1,799-$2,273 $1,520-$2,280 $1,056-$1,459
2-3 Bedrooms $2,200-$4,632 $2,286-$3,410 $2,185-$3,180 $1,107-$1,706
4+ Bedrooms $3,885-$7,340 $3,054-$4,265 $2,850-$4,200 $1,386-$2,036

*Pricing above does not include lodging, gas, tolls, and other moving-related expenses.

Need more tips on moving to Seattle? Once you’re done here, check out our master post on Seattle rent prices, neighborhoods, and commutes.

Who are the best San Diego to Seattle movers?

Company Price Vendor Type Quoting options Storage Minimum Move Size
Proud American Van Lines $$ Broker Phone/virtual estimate Yes, free 30 days 1 bedroom
Safeway Moving $$ Carrier/Broker Phone/virtual estimate Yes, free 30 days 1 bedroom
JK Moving Services $$$$ Carrier Phone/virtual estimate Yes 2 bedroom

Why Do Moving Costs Vary So Much?

It’d be nice if moving costs could be narrowed down to the penny, but the fact of the matter is: moving costs will always have some variance based on your budget, home size, and outside factors like holidays.

The Difference Between Inbound v.s. Outbound

A high volume of inbound moves contrasted with low outbound means lower prices for you. That’s because moving companies respond quickly to demand and need to make sure they have a steady influx of customers to stay afloat.

Seattle, in particular, has become a very popular city to relocate to these past few years. If you’re worried about not finding an affordable mover, consider changing your moving date to an off-season.

Why Summer Is Peak Moving Season

Warm weather and long nights make moving a breeze. It’s a small wonder why summer is peak moving season, with June the most popular month to relocate by far.

The colder months, on the other hand, tend to see less activity. They’re even known as the Seattle freeze. That doesn’t mean it’ll automatically be cheaper, though: federal and local holidays can still hike up prices. We’ll take a look at which months you should keep an eye out for below.

Off v.s. Peak Season Moving Expenses

Peak moving season means having an ear to the ground. You need to take into account the season, federal holidays, local holidays, and local school schedules.

High volumes of crowds coming in for vacation or holidays means you’ll have a harder time finding a hotel to stay in when transitioning. All this activity also drives up prices, so even if you find a place, you’ll likely pay a premium.

If you want the best rates, keep these popular events in mind before scheduling your move:

Seattle, WA Annual Events

  • Bumbershoot – Labor Day weekend
  • Seafair – from June to August
  • Emerald City Comic Con – late August

San Diego, CA Annual Events

  • Comic Con – late July
  • San Diego Bay Wine And Food Festival – early November
  • Artwalk (multiple areas throughout the city – spring and fall

Additional Personal Expenses

Do you have a home office filled with expensive computer equipment? How about a boat that needs an entirely different transportation method? Your additional personal expenses should be factored in as early as possible to avoid any surprises.

Various Travel Expenses

Everyday travel expenses include lodging and food. Consider airfare if you don’t feel like driving. If you would rather go by car, look up hotel availability (and be mindful of peak activity like vacation season and holidays).

Boat Transportation

The size of the boat and length of the move will determine how expensive this part is. Smaller fishing boats can cost under $1,000, while larger boats like yachts can cost several thousand.

We’ve compiled a simple list on boat transportation to get you started on the costs.

Personal Property Insurance

This can be a tricky part, particularly if you don’t have experience with insuring your belongings. When requesting your quote from a moving company, make sure to ask about their personal property insurance services.

Most moving companies offer some degree of protection, though how much depends on their policy. Expensive equipment you should consider insuring include:

  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • New Home computers
  • Cameras
  • Antiques

Why Are People Moving From San Diego to Seattle?

We’ve looked at why people have been leaving the Bay Area for greener pastures. San Diego, in particular, has been put in stark contrast to Seattle for several years.

People are moving out of San Diego because:

Extremely High Cost of Living

The average renting price in San Diego hovers at $2,500, which is nothing to say of its astronomically high mortgage average.

Competitive Job Market

The pandemic has only sped up what was becoming a highly volatile job market. There’s a significant lack of options for most people, particularly those without degrees, and it’s not expected to get better anytime soon.

Pollution Levels

San Diego’s air quality is legendarily poor thanks to high volumes of traffic. Those that live with asthma, bronchitis, and seasonal allergies have even more reason to move.

People are moving to Seattle because:

Relatively Lower Cost of Living

Make no bones about it: Seattle is not cheap. Compared to San Diego, however, its slightly lower rent prices and lower state income tax rate will feel like a big relief.

More Varied Weather

Washington State is famous for its beautiful four seasons. For those weary of endless hot summers, the varied and more temperate climate is a perfect transition.

Clean Air

With so many well-tended forests and protected national parks, Washington is literally a breath of fresh air. The Evergreen State is well-known for its crisp and clean air, though seasonal allergy sufferers will still have to be mindful of pollen.

Entertainment And Culture

If you’re a fan of coffee (Shout out to the original Starbucks), craft beer, and music, Seattle is your one-stop shop.

The transition from San Diego to the Seattle metropolitan area is an apt one when you take into account size, as the population isn’t drastically different (from around one million to 700,000).

What Are Some of the Best Places To Move to in the Destination?

Take into account your budget, your family size (or lack thereof), and what would make your stay most enjoyable. For some it’s walkability, if they don’t have a car or are trying to pay off car debt. For others, it’s an easy proximity to the downtown scene.

Below are a handful of Seattle neighborhoods ranked by affordability, walkability, and how suitable they are for families with children:

Most Affordable

  • Riverview
  • South Park
  • Bryant

Most Walkable

  • Kirkland
  • Capitol Hill
  • First Hill

Best Places to Raise a Family

  • Kenmore
  • Redmond
  • Mount Baker

Hiring a professional moving service is the best option when transitioning into a new area of your life. This is true whether you’re moving solo or have a few spare hands to help you out.

Professional movers are familiar with packing, moving, and even helping you schedule lodging and additional expenses like food and gas. If you’re not sure which moving company you can trust, check out our list on today’s best interstate movers. You can also start budgeting costs now with our Moving List Calculator.

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