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Living in Kent Washington - EVERYTHING You Need to Know

Kent Washington with Mount Rainier

What is Living in Kent Washington Like?

Kent, Washington, is a vibrant city located in King County, Washington. With a population of approximately 129,000, Kent is the sixth-largest city in Washington State. Known for its rich history, diverse community, and robust economy, Kent offers its residents an excellent quality of life. Kent's location is ideal for outdoor adventurers, as it is just a short drive from numerous recreational opportunities, including hiking, skiing, and camping.

One of the most popular attractions in Kent is The Green River Natural Resources Area. It encompasses a large stretch along the Green River, providing opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and enjoying nature. The area features trails, picnic spots, and beautiful river views. Another popular attraction is the Hydroplane and Race Boat Museum. The museum showcases the history and evolution of hydroplane racing. Visitors can explore various vintage racing boats, exhibits, and memorabilia. It's a unique attraction for boat racing enthusiasts. 

Kent's major industries include aerospace, manufacturing, and distribution, with companies such as Boeing, REI, and Amazon having a significant presence in the city. The city is also home to numerous small businesses and start-ups, contributing to its diverse and thriving economy.

The cost of living in Kent is relatively affordable compared to other cities in the Seattle metropolitan area, with lower housing costs and various affordable housing options available. The city offers excellent schools, a variety of parks and recreational activities, and a rich cultural scene, making it an ideal place for families and individuals looking for a comfortable and fulfilling lifestyle.

With its robust economy, diverse community, and excellent quality of life, Kent, Washington, may be the perfect place for you to call home. Whether you're looking to start a family, start a business, or enjoy a high quality of life, Kent has something for everyone. Read on to learn more about living in Kent, including information on Kent neighborhoods, schools, cost of living in Kent, and pros and cons of living in Kent, to see if moving to and living in Kent, Washington, is the right decision for you!

The Moving to Kent Washington Team

Let our team of trusted professionals help you buy or/and sell a home in Kent, Washington. To connect with a local expert/real estate professional in Kent, 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 Kent Washington?

If you're exploring a move to Kent, 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 Kent, Washington, by factoring in today's costs for housing (rent and own), utilities, food, transportation, healthcare, and other necessities to live. To live in Kent, Washington, and rent, you would need to make $45,000 a year. To live in Kent, Washington, and buy a home, you would need to make $70,000 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 Kent Washington Tips/Info/Blog Posts

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Top Neighborhoods in Kent Washington

Choosing the ideal neighborhood can be one of the biggest hurdles when relocating to Kent, Washington. The city offers a range of communities that boast exceptional schools, stunning parks, and an abundance of attractions. Here are some of the excellent Kent, Washington, neighborhoods to consider:

Meridian Valley

The Meridian Valley neighborhood is an upscale residential community in Kent, Washington, known for its picturesque surroundings and exclusive amenities. The neighborhood is primarily comprised of single-family homes that range in size and style. Residents of the Meridian Valley neighborhood have access to several parks, including the Meridian Glen Park, which features a playground, walking trails, and a picnic area. The Meridian Valley Country Club is a private club that offers golf, tennis, swimming, and dining facilities to its members. Lake Meridian, a popular destination for boating and fishing, is also nearby. The Meridian Valley Plaza, located on the outskirts of the neighborhood, features several restaurants, including the popular Mama Stortini's Restaurant & Bar. The nearby Kent Station shopping center also provides an array of shopping and dining options, as well as a movie theater. Nearby schools include, Meridian Elementary, Mattson Middle School, and Kentwood High School. If living in Kent, Washington, check with the Kent School District to verify which schools your kids will attend.

Lake Meridian, near Kent Washington

Panther Lake

Panther Lake is a peaceful neighborhood located on the east side of Kent. The area is known for its beautiful homes, many of which have lakefront views. The neighborhood has several parks, including Panther Lake Park, which offers opportunities for fishing and hiking. Nearby attractions include the Kent Valley Ice Centre, the ShoWare Center, and the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum. Panther Lake has a variety of restaurants, including Gyro House Mediterranean Grill and Sweet Themes Bakery. The neighborhood also has a Walmart, a Fred Meyer, and several small businesses. Schools in the area are Panther Lake Elementary, Mill Creek Middle School, and Kent-Meridian High School. If living in Kent, Washington, check with the Kent School District to verify which schools your kids will attend.

West Hill

West Hill is a diverse neighborhood located on the west side of Kent. The area is known for its beautiful homes, many of which have views of the Cascade Mountains. The neighborhood has several parks, including West Fenwick Park and Morrill Meadows Park. Nearby attractions include the Kent Valley Ice Centre, the ShoWare Center, and the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum. West Hill has a variety of restaurants, including Mama Stortini's Restaurant and Bar and Marlaina's Mediterranean Kitchen. The neighborhood also has a Safeway, a Target, and several small businesses. Schools in the area are Martin Sortun Elementary, Mill Creek Middle School, and Kent-Meridian High School. If living in Kent, Washington, check with the Kent School District to verify which schools your kids will attend.

East Hill

East Hill is a diverse neighborhood with a mix of single-family homes, apartments, and townhouses. Many of the homes in the area are newer construction, with modern features and spacious yards. The area is known for its excellent schools, including Kent-Meridian High School, Mill Creek Middle School, and Sunrise Elementary School. The neighborhood also has several parks, including East Hill Park, Morrill Meadows Park, and Petrovitsky Park. Other nearby attractions include Kent Station, Kent Valley Ice Centre, and ShoWare Center. East Hill has a variety of restaurants, including The Habit Burger Grill and Thai Chili. The neighborhood also has a Costco, Fred Meyer, and several small businesses close by. If living in Kent, Washington, check with the Kent School District to verify which schools your kids will attend.

North Cascade Range in Washington

Scenic Hill

Scenic Hill is a picturesque neighborhood located in the heart of Kent. The area is known for its beautiful views of Mount Rainier and the Cascade Mountains, as well as its tree-lined streets and well-maintained homes. The community has several parks, including Scenic Hill Park and Kent Memorial Park. These parks offer opportunities for hiking, picnicking, and enjoying the outdoors. Nearby attractions include the Kent Farmers Market, the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum, and the ShoWare Center. The Scenic Hill neighborhood is located near the Kent Station shopping center, which features a range of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. Schools in the area include Kent Elementary School, Mill Creek Middle School, and Kent-Meridian High School. If living in Kent, Washington, check with the Kent School District to verify which schools your kids will attend.

If moving to Kent, 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 Kent, Washington.

Public Schools in Kent Washington

The Kent School District serves more than 25,000 students and includes 43 schools ranging from preschool to high school. The district boasts a diverse student population, representing more than 120 languages and cultures. gave the Kent School District an overall grade of B for the most recent school year, with high marks for its diversity, academics, and college readiness. Kent School District's graduation rates for the most recent school year were 84%, above the state average.

Some of the top-rated schools in the Kent School District include Kent-Meridian High School, Kentridge High School, Kentwood High School, and Cedar Valley Elementary School. These schools receive high marks for their academic rigor, dedicated teachers, and supportive learning environments.

If you live in Kent, Washington, your kids have access to a top-performing public school system that offers excellent educational opportunities for students of all ages. With its diverse student population, high graduation rates, and commitment to academic excellence, the district is an excellent choice for families seeking quality education in the Kent, Washington, area.

Top Destinations & Attractions in Kent Washington

If you're relocating to Kent, Washington, and wondering what the city has to offer, you'll be pleased to know that there are plenty of exciting activities and attractions to explore. Below is a list of popular destinations and events that you won't want to miss if you're living in Kent, Washington:

Green River Trail: This 19.6-mile trail runs through Kent and offers scenic views of the Green River, as well as opportunities for hiking, biking, and walking.

The Green River, Near Kent Washington

ShoWare Center: This 6,500-seat arena is the premier entertainment venue in Kent, hosting a variety of events, including concerts, sports events, and community gatherings.
Lake Meridian Park: This 132-acre park is popular with outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, hiking, and picnicking in a beautiful natural setting.
Kent Station: This open-air shopping center offers a mix of retail stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues, making it an excellent destination for a day out with family and friends.
Kent Farmers Market: Open from June to September, this farmers market is the place to go for fresh local produce, handmade crafts, and delicious food from local vendors.
Kent International Festival: This annual event celebrates the diverse cultures of Kent with live performances, food vendors, and activities for all ages.
Riverbend Golf Complex: This golf course offers 18 holes of challenging play in a beautiful setting, with a driving range, practice facilities, and a pro shop.
Kent Cornucopia Days: This annual festival in July features a parade, carnival rides, food vendors, live entertainment, and a street fair, attracting visitors from all over the region.

Pros and Cons of Living in Kent Washington

Living in Kent Washington Pros

  1. Affordable Housing: One of the main benefits of living in Kent is the relatively inexpensive cost of housing compared to other cities in the Seattle metropolitan area.

  2. Job Opportunities: Kent has several large employers, including Amazon, Boeing, and REI. Additionally, Kent has a thriving manufacturing industry, with many small to medium-sized businesses operating in the area.

  3. Education: Kent is served by the Kent School District, which has several highly-rated public schools. The district also offers a range of programs and services to support students with diverse learning needs.

  4. Recreation: Kent has a variety of parks and outdoor recreational activities, including Lake Meridian Park, Clark Lake Park, and the Green River Trail. The city also hosts several community events and festivals, such as the Kent Cornucopia Days and the Kent Farmers Market.

  5. Transportation: Kent has excellent transportation infrastructure, with easy access to major highways and freeways, as well as public transportation options, such as Sounder commuter rail, King County Metro, and Metro Transit.

  6. Diversity: Kent is a diverse community, with residents from many ethnic and cultural backgrounds. This diversity is reflected in the city's food, festivals, and events, making it a vibrant place to live.

Living in Kent Washington Cons

  1. Traffic: Kent is located in a busy area between Seattle and Tacoma, which can lead to traffic congestion during peak commuting hours.

  2. Weather: While the summers are pleasant in Kent, the winters can be wet and gloomy, with frequent rain and cloudy skies.

  3. Limited entertainment options: While Kent has plenty of parks and outdoor recreation opportunities, some residents may want more options for entertainment and cultural events, as you'd find in a larger city like Seattle.

  4. High cost of living: Compared to the Seattle Metro Area, the cost of living in Kent, Washington, is lower, but in comparison nationally, the cost of living in Kent, Washington, is higher than the average, with housing costs being the main culprit.

  5. Crime: While Kent is generally a safe city, some areas may experience higher crime levels than others, so it's important to research neighborhoods carefully before moving.

FAQs About Living in Kent Washington

What is Kent known for?

Kent, Washington, is most known for its annual Cornucopia Days Festival, which takes place every July and celebrates the community's agricultural heritage. The festival attracts visitors from all over the state and features various events and activities such as a parade, carnival rides, live music, and a street fair. The festival also includes a cornucopia of food options, including local produce and seafood. The festival is a beloved tradition in Kent and has become an iconic symbol of the city and the surrounding region.

What cities are nearby Kent, Washington?

Seattle sits about 20 miles north of Kent, but what other cities are close by? Here are a handful of other cities all located within a 20 mile radius of Kent, Washington: Auburn, Renton, Federal Way, Des Moines, Tukwila, SeaTac, Covington, Maple Valley, Burien, Mercer Island, Newcastle, Issaquah, Bonney Lake, Enumclaw, and Medina.

What is the weather like in Kent?

Living in Kent, Washington, you can expect cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers. During the winter months, the average high temperatures range from 44°F to 50°F, and the average low temperatures range from 34°F to 38°F. Snowfall is relatively rare in Kent, but the city occasionally sees a light dusting of snow during winter. Summers in Kent are warm and dry, with average high temperatures ranging from 74°F to 80°F, with occasional hot spells in the high 80s and 90s. The city experiences little to no rainfall during the summer months. Kent, Washington, receives around 40 inches of rain annually.


Does Kent Washington have good public schools?

Living in Kent, Washington, you'll find the school district is pretty good. For the 2022-23 school year, gave the Kent School District an overall grade of B and ranked it as the 72nd best school district in the state, giving it high marks for diversity, health and safety, and extracurricular activities. However, the district did receive lower marks for academics, with an average grade of C. Graduation rates are slightly above the state average.

Who are some large employers in Kent Washington?

If living in Kent, Washington, some of the top employers are: Kent School District, which employs over 4,000 people, REI Co-op, with over 1,000 employees, Alaska Airlines, with over 1,000 employees, The Boeing Company, which has a large presence in the area and employs thousands of people, and Sysco Seattle, which employs over 500 people. Other notable employers in Kent include the city government, Kentwood Springs, and Kent Multicare Clinic. 

Is Kent Washington safe?

If living in Kent, Washington, you will find it to be a relatively safe city. According to crime statistics, Kent's property and violent crime rates are slightly higher than the state and national averages, but still considered lower compared to other cities of its size. Kent's police department is also active in community outreach and works closely with residents to maintain a safe environment.

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

You've come to the right spot if you're looking to move to Kent 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 Kent 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 Kent, Washington, is like as well as help with your mortgage if you decide to purchase a home. 

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