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Living in Bellevue Washington - EVERYTHING You Need to Know

Bellevue Washington with Mt Raineer

What is Living in Bellevue Washington Like?

Bellevue, Washington, sits across Lake Washington from Seattle and is a part of the Seattle metropolitan area. As of 2023, the city's population is approximately 145,000, making it the fifth-largest city in Washington. Known for its stunning natural scenery and abundant recreational opportunities, Bellevue is near Lake Washington and just a short drive from numerous outdoor activities, including hiking, skiing, and camping.

One of the most popular attractions in Bellevue is the Bellevue Botanical Garden, which is a 53-acre garden that features numerous gardens, including a Japanese garden, a native discovery garden, and a sensory garden. Another popular attraction is the Bellevue Arts Museum, which showcases various contemporary art exhibits.

Bellevue's major industry is technology, with numerous technology companies having headquarters or major offices in the city, including Microsoft, T-Mobile, and Expedia. The city is also home to a thriving retail and service industry, with numerous shopping centers, restaurants, and other businesses located throughout the city.

The cost of living in Bellevue is relatively high compared to other cities in the United States, with housing being one of the most significant expenses. However, the city's strong economy and numerous job opportunities make it an attractive place to live for those who can afford it. Despite the high cost of living, Bellevue offers a high quality of life, with excellent schools, abundant parks and outdoor spaces, and a vibrant cultural scene.

With the fantastic scenery, abundant recreation, high-paying jobs, and thriving economy, living in Bellevue, Washington, might be the right choice for you and your family. Read on to learn more about living in Bellevue, including info on Bellevue neighborhoods, schools, cost of living in Bellevue, Washington, and pros and cons of living in Bellevue, to see if moving to and living in Bellevue, Washington, is the right decision for you!

The Moving to Bellevue Washington Team

Let our team of trusted professionals help you buy or/and sell a home in Bellevue, Washington. To connect with a local expert/real estate professional in Bellevue, Washington, CLICK HERETo start receiving emails with homes that match your criteria anywhere in Washington, CLICK HERE and sign up for Listing Alert. With a little info on what, where, and how much, you'll get newly listed homes matching your criteria sent to your inbox as they hit the market. This can give you a big leg up in your home search.

The first step in the home-buying process is getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Todd Davidson is an experienced mortgage broker and can help you get the best financing option for your home purchase. Not quite ready yet? Todd can help you put together a plan to get you there. Whether you're thinking a few months or a year or more if you want to buy a home, reach out to Todd and he can help. CLICK HERE to email Todd and set up a call to get the process started or just call him at 971-275-2465. 

Todd Davidson Headshot.JPG

Todd Davidson

Mortgage Broker

What is the Cost of Living in Bellevue Washington?

If you're exploring a move to Bellevue, Washington, or any place, the cost of living would be a significant factor in your decision-making. I calculated the REAL cost of living in Bellevue, Washington, by factoring in today's costs for housing (rent and own), utilities, food, transportation, healthcare, and other necessities to live. To live in Bellevue, Washington, and rent, you would need to make $50,000 a year. To live in Bellevue, Washington, and buy a home, you would need to make $105,000 a year. Rental amount is based on current low end cost of studio or one bedroom, purchase is based on recent low end sales of a three bedroom and monthly payment with 20% down.

Cost of Living

Living in Bellevue Washington Tips/Info/Blog Posts

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Top Neighborhoods in Bellevue Washington

One of the bigger challenges with moving to Bellevue, Washington, is picking the right neighborhood. The city is home to some incredible communities filled with top-rated schools, gorgeous green spaces, and plenty to see and do. Below are just a handful of the great Bellevue, Washington, neighborhoods you'll get to choose from:

West Bellevue

The West Bellevue neighborhood is known for its luxurious homes and high-end shopping areas, such as Bellevue Square and The Shops at The Bravern. With several parks, including Clyde Hill Park and Meydenbauer Beach Park, and attractions like the Bellevue Arts Museum and the Bellevue Botanical Garden, you'll have plenty to do living in this Bellevue neighborhood. Dining options in the area include Daniel's Broiler and Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar. The schools in this area include Clyde Hill Elementary, Chinook Middle School, and Bellevue High School. If living in Bellevue, Washington, check with the Bellevue School District to verify which schools your kids will attend.

Meydenbauer Beach Park in Bellevue Washington
Downtown Bellevue Washington Park

Downtown Bellevue

If you want to live in the center of it all, the Downtown Bellevue neighborhood would be a good choice. The neighborhood is a bustling urban center with high-rise buildings, condominiums, and townhouses. With several parks, such as Downtown Park, Bellevue Downtown Park, and Meydenbauer Beach Park, and attractions, such as the Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue Square, and Lincoln Square, there are plenty of things to see and do in this highly walkable neighborhood. The neighborhood has many dining options, including John Howie Steak, Wild Ginger, and Din Tai Fung, to name a few. The schools in this area include Clyde Hill Elementary, Chinook Middle School, and Bellevue High School. If living in Bellevue, Washington, check with the Bellevue School District to verify which schools your kids will attend.

Birdie Trails

Large homes on spacious lots and miles of equestrian trails make the Birdie Trails neighborhood a popular choice for those looking to move to Bellevue, Washington. With several parks, such as Bridle Trails State Park, which has over 28 miles of equestrian and hiking trails, and attractions like the Bellevue Botanical Garden and the Kelsey Creek Farm, there's plenty to keep you busy in this Bellevue, Washington, neighborhood. Dining options in this area include The Stone House, Bento Box, and Casa D's. The schools in this area include Cherry Crest Elementary, Odle Middle School, and Sammamish High School. If living in Bellevue, Washington, check with the Bellevue School District to verify which schools your kids will attend.

Lake Hills

This Bellevue neighborhood is known for its quiet residential streets and proximity to Lake Hills Greenbelt Park. Homes in Lake Hills were built primarily in the 1950s and 1960s, and many of them have been updated and remodeled over the years. Though the neighborhood is primarily made up of single-family homes, there are some apartments and condos in the area. With its lush forested trails, wetlands, and wildlife, Lake Hills Greenbelt Park is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, bird watchers, and nature lovers. Other parks around the neighborhood are Lake Hills Community Park and Phantom Lake Park. The schools in this area include Phantom Lake Elementary, Tillicum Middle School, and Sammamish High School. If living in Bellevue, Washington, check with the Bellevue School District to verify which schools your kids will attend.


With a suburban feel and close proximity to the Lake Washington waterfront, the Newport neighborhood in Bellevue, Washington, is a popular choice. The neighborhood is a primarily residential area with a mix of single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments. The homes in the area vary in style and age, from mid-century modern to newer construction. There are many parks and other attractions in the area, such as Newport Hills Park, Coal Creek Natural Area, Newport Hills Swim and Tennis Club, and the Newport Hills Shopping Center. The Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar, Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria, and Belle Pastry are restaurants that are located close by. The schools in this area include Newport Heights Elementary, Tyee Middle School, and Newport High School. If living in Bellevue, Washington, check with the Bellevue School District to verify which schools your kids will attend.

If moving to Bellevue, Washington, and you'd like to buy a home in one of these fabulous neighborhoods, CLICK HERE to sign up for LISTING ALERT to be the first to know when a home matching your criteria gets listed for sale in Bellevue, Washington.

Public Schools in Bellevue Washington

Living in Bellevue, Washington, your kids will attend one of the best public school districts in the country. The Bellevue School District serves over 20,000 students across 29 schools, ranging from elementary to high school.


According to, the Bellevue School District is ranked as the #2 Best School District in Washington state for 2023, with an overall grade of A+. This ranking is based on factors such as academics, teachers, diversity, college readiness, and more. 


The district's high schools have an impressive graduation rate of 96%, well above the national average. One of the district's unique features is its focus on international education, with a strong emphasis on language learning and cultural understanding. The district offers a wide range of language programs, including Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, French, and Spanish, among others. This commitment to global education prepares students for success in an increasingly interconnected world.

Families move to Bellevue, Washington, just for the school district. If you are luck enough to be in this district your kids will get an amazing education!

Top Destinations & Attractions in Bellevue Washington

Moving to Bellevue, Washington, and wondering what there is to do? Quite a bit! Below is a list of some of the more popular destinations, attractions, and events you'll want to put on the to-do list if you live in Bellevue, Washington:

Bellevue Downtown Park: The Bellevue Downtown Park is a beautiful oasis in the city's heart. The park features a large pond, a waterfall, a children's playground, and plenty of green space for picnics and relaxation.

Bellevue Downtown Park in Bellevue Washington

Bellevue Arts Museum: The Bellevue Arts Museum is a must-visit for art lovers. The museum features a range of contemporary art exhibitions, focusing on Pacific Northwest artists.

Bellevue Collection: The Bellevue Collection is a premier shopping and dining destination with over 200 stores, restaurants, and entertainment options. It's the perfect place to spend a day or an evening out.

Meydenbauer Center: The Meydenbauer Center is a state-of-the-art convention center that hosts various events throughout the year, including conferences, trade shows, and performances. Check out Meydenbauer Bay and Meydenbauer Beach Park too!

Bellevue Botanical Garden: The Bellevue Botanical Garden is a 53-acre garden featuring a variety of plants, flowers, and trees. It's a beautiful place to go for a walk or a picnic.

Kelsey Creek Farm Park: Kelsey Creek Farm Park is a working farm open to the public. Visitors can see farm animals, take a pony ride, or go hayride.

Bellevue Zip Tour: The Bellevue Zip Tour is a thrilling adventure that takes visitors on a zipline tour of the city. The tour offers breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding area.

Mercer Slough Nature Park: Mercer Slough Nature Park is a 320-acre wetland that's home to a variety of wildlife, including beavers, otters, and bald eagles. Visitors can go for a hike or a canoe ride to explore the park.

Eastside Symphony: The Eastside Symphony is a community orchestra that performs annually. Their concerts are a great way to experience live classical music in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Lake Washington: Lake Washington is a beautiful lake perfect for boating, fishing, and swimming. Several parks and beaches along the lake offer great views and recreational opportunities.

Lake Washington

Pros and Cons of Living in Bellevue Washington

Living in Bellevue Washington Pros

  1. High Quality of Life: Bellevue consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in the United States. The city has a high quality of life, excellent schools, low crime rates, and a diverse and welcoming community.

  2. Strong Economy: Bellevue has a strong and diverse economy, with a thriving tech industry and a growing retail and hospitality sector. The city is home to several Fortune 500 companies and has a low unemployment rate.

  3. Natural Beauty: Bellevue is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, with Lake Washington to the west and the Cascade Mountains to the east. The city has several parks and green spaces, including Mercer Slough Nature Park and Bellevue Botanical Garden.

  4. Cultural Scene: Bellevue has a vibrant and diverse cultural scene, with various museums, galleries, and performing arts venues. The city is home to the Bellevue Arts Museum, Meydenbauer Center, and the Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra, among others.

  5. Outdoor Recreation: Besides its natural beauty, Bellevue offers a range of outdoor recreation opportunities, including hiking, skiing, boating, and fishing. The city also has several golf courses, tennis courts, and parks.

  6. Convenient Location: Bellevue is just 10 miles east of Seattle, making it an easy commute for those working there. The city is also close to several major highways, making it easy to get around the region.

  7. Excellent Schools: The Bellevue School District consistently ranks among the top school districts in the state, with high graduation rates and strong academic programs.

Living in Bellevue Washington Cons

  1. High Cost of Living: Bellevue is an affluent city, and the cost of living is higher than the national average. Housing costs, in particular, can be quite expensive.

  2. Traffic Congestion: Like many cities in the region, traffic congestion can be a problem in Bellevue, especially during rush hour. Commutes can be long and frustrating, particularly if you are traveling to or from Seattle.

  3. Limited Public Transportation: While the city does have a public transit system, it can be limited in some areas. Getting around the city and region can be challenging if you don't have a car.

  4. Lack of Diversity: While Bellevue is a welcoming and diverse community, some people may find that the city lacks diversity compared to other cities in the region.

  5. Limited Nightlife: While there are several restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues in Bellevue, the city's nightlife scene is more limited than some nearby cities, like Seattle.

  6. Weather: The Pacific Northwest is known for its rainy weather, and Bellevue is no exception. If you're not a fan of rain or cloudy weather, the climate may be a downside.

FAQs About Living in Bellevue Washington

What is Bellevue known for?

Bellevue, Washington, is most know for its thriving tech industry. Bellevue is home to many major technology companies, including Microsoft (headquarters in Redmond, next town over), T-Mobile, and Expedia. The city has become a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, attracting talented professionals worldwide. In addition to its tech industry, Bellevue is known for its beautiful natural surroundings, strong economy, and excellent quality of life.

What cities and attractions are close to Bellevue, Washington?

Bellevue, Washington, is located in King County, part of the Puget Sound region in the western part of the state. The city is approximately 10 miles east of Seattle and 145 miles north of Portland, Oregon. Bellevue is close to several other cities in the area, including Redmond, about 6 miles to the northeast, and Renton, about 10 miles to the south. The city is also within easy driving distance of other popular destinations in the region, such as Lake Washington, Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, and the Snoqualmie Falls. Bellevue's central location in King County makes it an excellent starting point for exploring the surrounding natural beauty and nearby cities.

What is the weather like in Bellevue?

Living in Bellevue, Washington, you can expect mild weather throughout the year. In the winter months, the average high temperatures range from 43°F to 48°F, and the average low temperatures range from 32°F to 36°F. The city occasionally experiences light snowfall during the winter, with an average of 7 inches of snowfall annually. Summers in Bellevue are warm, with average high temperatures ranging from 72°F to 77°F and occasional hot spells in the 80s. The city receives around 37 inches of rain yearly, with most precipitation occurring in the fall and winter months.


Does Bellevue Washington have good public schools?

Students in Bellevue, Washington, attend public school in the Bellevue School District, which serves the city of Bellevue and some surrounding areas. For school year 2022-23, ranks the Bellevue School District #2 out of the 252 school districts in Washington they ranked, giving it an overall A+ rating. The district is committed to providing a well-rounded education, including arts and athletics, and offers a variety of programs for students with different interests and needs. The district has a diverse student body and strong partnerships with local organizations and businesses. Families living in Bellevue, Washington, can feel confident that their children will have access to a top-notch education in the public school system.

Who are some large employers in Bellevue Washington?

If living in Bellevue, Washington, some top employers are: Microsoft Corporation, with over 57,000 employees in the Puget Sound region, Bellevue School District, with over 3,000 employees, City of Bellevue, with over 1,000 employees, Expedia Group, with over 4,000 employees, and Puget Sound Energy, with over 1,800 employees.

Is Bellevue Washington safe?

Living in Bellevue, Washington, you'll find it extremely safe. Property crime rates in Bellevue are lower than the national average, and violent crime rates are significantly lower than the national average. states Bellevue has a crime rate lower than 77% of all US cities. Living in Bellevue, Washington, you should feel extremely safe.

I want to relocate to Bellevue.  How do I make it happen?

You've come to the right spot if you're looking to move to Bellevue Washington.  There’s a lot of information on this website to help including some helpful links below. If you want to ask questions, try our Facebook Group > Moving to Washington  where we have broad group of locals to answer any question you might have. If you’re looking to buy a home in the Bellevue area, getting pre-approved for a mortgage should be your first step. For Mortgage Info, reach out to me. I would love to tell you more about what living in Bellevue is like as well as help with your mortgage if you decide to purchase a home.

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