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Living in Yakima Washington - EVERYTHING You Need to Know

Sunset in Yakima Washington

What is Living in Yakima Washington Like?

Yakima is located in the central region of Washington, roughly halfway between Seattle and Spokane. The city has a population of approximately 97,000 people as of 2023. Situated in the Yakima Valley, which is known for its agricultural industry, particularly in producing apples, hops, and wine grapes, Yakima is close to various outdoor recreational opportunities, including hiking, fishing, and skiing.

One of the top attractions in Yakima is the Yakima Valley Museum, which showcases the history and culture of the region. The museum features exhibits on the Native American tribes that have lived in the area for thousands of years and displays on the early pioneers and settlers who helped develop the region's economy. Another popular attraction is the Yakima Greenway, a scenic walking and biking trail that runs along the Yakima River and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and countryside.

The cost of living in Yakima, Washington, is lower than many other cities in Washington. Housing costs are relatively affordable. The average home value in Yakima, Washington is $335,000 and average monthly rent for an apartment is $975. Other expenses like groceries, utilities, and transportation are also usually lower living in Yakima, Washington, than in other cities in the region.

If you desire more rural living combined with incredible outdoor recreation, cultural attractions, a lower cost of living, and a strong agricultural economy, then living in Yakima, Washington, is for you! Read on to discover more about Yakima, Washington neighborhoods, some tips, info, and pros and cons about living in Yakima, and get answers to FAQs about living in Yakima, Washington, to see if living in Yakima, Washington is the right decision for you! 

The Moving to Yakima Washington Team

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

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Todd Davidson

Mortgage Broker

What is the Cost of Living in Yakima Washington?

If you're exploring a move to Yakima, 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 Yakima, Washington, by factoring in today's costs for housing (rent and own), utilities, food, transportation, healthcare, and other necessities to live. To live in Yakima, Washington, and rent, you would need to make $41,000 a year. To live in Yakima, Washington, and buy a home, you would need to make $56,000 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 Yakima Washington Tips/Info/Blog Posts

Helpful Tips for Moving to Oregon and Buying a Home







Top Neighborhoods in Yakima Washington

When relocating to Yakima, Washington, one of the primary considerations is selecting the ideal neighborhood. Fortunately, the city boasts several outstanding communities featuring excellent schools, stunning parks, and a variety of attractions. If you're considering a move to Yakima, Washington, below is a list of some of the more popular neighborhoods in the city:

West Valley

The West Valley neighborhood in Yakima is a bustling community that offers a mix of residential properties, including single-family homes, townhomes, and apartments. The community is known for its picturesque surroundings, with several parks providing ample outdoor recreation opportunities. Randall Park is popular with many amenities, including playgrounds, picnic areas, and walking trails. Emil Kissel Park features tennis courts, basketball court, a playground, and picnic areas. Residents in the neighborhood have easy access to attractions such as the Yakima Valley Museum and the Yakima Area Arboretum. Living in the West Valley neighborhood, nearby public schools include, West Valley High School, West Valley Jr. High School, and Summitview Elementary. If living in Yakima, Washington, check with the Yakima School District to verify which schools your kids will attend.

Terrace Heights

Terrace Heights is a charming residential neighborhood located in Yakima, Washington. It offers a mix of housing options that include single-family homes, apartments, and townhomes. The neighborhood is known for its well-maintained properties and attractive landscapes, making it an excellent place to call home. Terrace Heights offers a variety of amenities to its residents. The neighborhood is surrounded by natural beauty and provides opportunities for outdoor activities. The nearby Yakima River offers fishing, boating, and floating adventures, while the surrounding hills provide hiking and mountain biking trails. The area is home to schools, churches, medical facilities, restaurants, and local businesses, providing convenient access to everyday needs. Living in the Terrace Heights neighborhood, nearby public schools include, Terrace Heights Elementary, East Valley Central Middle School, and East Valley High School. If living in Yakima, Washington, check with the Yakima School District to verify which schools your kids will attend

Yakima Terrace

The Yakima Terrace neighborhood is known for its excellent schools, various housing options, and abundant parks and natural areas. This neighborhood has a peaceful and friendly atmosphere, making it a perfect place for families, professionals, and retirees. The single-family homes and townhomes in Yakima Terrace offer a range of architectural styles and price points, making it easy for residents to find a home that meets their specific needs and budget. Some of the homes in Yakima Terrace have spacious yards and mature trees, which provide a tranquil setting for outdoor activities and relaxation. Randall Park and Yakima Sportsman State Park are two of the area's top parks, offering a wide range of outdoor activities for residents of all ages. Randall Park has a large playground, picnic areas, and a walking trail, while Yakima Sportsman State Park is an excellent spot for fishing, boating, and hiking. Both parks are well-maintained and provide a beautiful natural setting for residents to enjoy. For dining options, residents can head to the nearby El Porton, which serves authentic Mexican cuisine. The area also has several grocery stores and shopping centers, making it easy for residents to find everything they need close to home. Living in the Yakima Terrace neighborhood, nearby public schools include, Ridgeview Elementary Schoo, Franklin Middle School, and Eisenhower High School. If living in Yakima, Washington, check with the Yakima School District to verify which schools your kids will attend.

East Yakima

East Yakima is a charming residential neighborhood in Yakima known for its tree-lined streets and quiet, family-friendly atmosphere. With single-family homes and apartments, the neighborhood is close to several parks and green spaces, including Kiwanis Park and Chesterley Park. These parks offer a variety of recreational activities, such as playgrounds, sports fields, and walking trails, making them perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and families with young children. Foodies will love the diverse dining options in East Yakima, including popular local restaurants like Miner's Drive-In and Cowiche Canyon Kitchen + Icehouse. Living in the East Yakima neighborhood, nearby public schools include, Garfield Elementary School, Franklin Middle School, and Davis High School. If living in Yakima, Washington, check with the Yakima School District to verify which schools your kids will attend.

Nob Hill

Nob Hill is a charming and desirable neighborhood located in Yakima, Washington. The homes in the area range from classic brick homes to modern townhouses. The community comprises a mix of single-family homes and townhouses, which offer various home styles and sizes to fit different preferences and budgets. In addition to the beautiful homes, Nob Hill has several parks where residents can enjoy outdoor activities and recreation. Franklin Park and Emil Kissel Park are two of the most popular parks in the area, offering playgrounds, sports fields, and walking trails. These parks are great places for families to spend time together and for individuals to enjoy fresh air and exercise. Residents of Nob Hill have access to a diverse range of dining options, with many popular restaurants in the area. The Cowiche Canyon Kitchen + Icehouse is a local favorite for its locally-sourced and seasonal menu. The Second Street Grill is another excellent choice, offering classic American fare in a cozy atmosphere. Schools in the area include Yakima Elementary School, Wilson Middle School, A.C. Davis High School, and Eisenhower High School. If living in Yakima, Washington, check with the Yakima School District to verify which schools your kids will attend.

If moving to Yakima, 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 Yakima, Washington.

Public Schools in Yakima Washington

Public schools in Yakima, Washington, are operated by the Yakima School District, which serves approximately 16,000 students across 28 schools. The district is the largest in Central Washington and offers diverse educational programs, including preschool, elementary, middle, and high schools.

For school year 2022-23 ranked the Yakima School District #210 out of the 252 school districts in Washington it ranked, giving the district an overall grade of C. However, individual schools within the district receive varying grades based on factors such as academics, teachers, diversity, and student life. For example, Davis High School has an A- rating, while Franklin Middle School has a B- rating.

The Yakima School District has a graduation rate of 83% for the most recent school year, which is slightly lower than the statewide average of 85%. In recent years the district has made progress, with an increase in graduation rates of 7 percentage points over the past five years.

There are many positive aspects of public education in Yakima. For example, the district offers a variety of specialized programs, such as dual language immersion, gifted and talented, and career and technical education. These programs provide students unique opportunities to develop skills and pursue their interests.


If you are considering a move to Yakima, Washington, know the Yakima School District faces some challenges but also provides a wide range of educational opportunities for students. With a commitment to innovation and equity, the Yakima School District strives to ensure all students have access to high-quality public education. If moving to the area, research the schools to find the best fit for your child's needs and interests.

Top Destinations & Attractions in Yakima Washington

If you're planning to move to Yakima, Washington, there are plenty of things to see and do in the area. Take a look at some of the top destinations, attractions, and events that you won't want to miss out on while living in Yakima, Washington:

Central Washington Balloon Roundup: Central Washington Balloon Roundup is an annual event that takes place over a weekend in late summer or early fall and attracts thousands of visitors from the surrounding area and beyond. One of the festival's highlights is the Night Glow event, which takes place after dark. During this spectacle, the balloons are inflated but do not take off, creating a colorful and glowing display as the flames from the burners light up the balloons from within. In addition to the balloon launches, the festival also features a variety of other activities and attractions.

Central Washington Balloon Festival in Yakima Washington

Yakima Valley Museum - Explore the history and culture of the Yakima Valley through exhibits, artifacts, and educational programs.

Yakima Valley Wine Country - Visit one of the many wineries and vineyards in the region to taste local wines and take in the beautiful scenery.

Yakima Farmers Market - Shop for fresh produce, crafts, and other goods from local vendors at this popular market, open on weekends from May through October.

Yakima Greenway - Take a walk, run, or bike ride along the Yakima River on this scenic trail stretching over 10 miles.

Capitol Theatre - Catch a live performance, concert, or movie at this historic theater, entertaining audiences since 1920.

Yakima Sportsman State Park - Go fishing, swimming, boating, or camping at this popular park, which offers a variety of recreational activities.

Central Washington State Fair - Experience the excitement of carnival rides, live music, and fair food at this annual event, held every September.

Apple Tree Golf Course - Tee off at this scenic golf course, which features stunning views of the surrounding orchards and mountains.

Cowiche Canyon Trail - Hike or bike along this picturesque trail, which winds through a scenic canyon and offers stunning views of the valley below.

Yakima Arboretum in Yakima Washington

Yakima Arboretum - Enjoy a peaceful stroll through the gardens and natural areas of this 46-acre park, which features over 2,000 plant species.

Pros and Cons of Living in Yakima Washington

Living in Yakima Washington Pros

  1. Affordable cost of living: Yakima has a relatively low cost of living compared to other cities in Washington, making it an affordable place to live.

  2. Great weather: Yakima enjoys over 300 days of sunshine a year, making it an excellent place for outdoor activities and a perfect climate for growing crops.

  3. Beautiful scenery: Yakima is located in the Yakima Valley, which is surrounded by stunning mountains, vineyards, orchards, and rivers. This area provides a beautiful and peaceful environment for residents to enjoy.

  4. Outdoor activities: Yakima offers plenty of outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, fishing, skiing, and more, thanks to its beautiful natural surroundings.

  5. Strong economy: Yakima has a diverse economy, with major industries such as agriculture, healthcare, and manufacturing, providing residents with job opportunities and economic stability.

  6. Cultural diversity: Yakima has a rich cultural diversity, with a significant Hispanic population and various cultural events and festivals throughout the year.

  7. World-class hops production: Yakima is known as the hop capital of the world, with over 75% of the hops grown in the United States being produced in the Yakima Valley. This makes it a great place for beer enthusiasts and those interested in the beer brewing industry.

  8. UFO sightings: Yakima has a reputation for being a hotspot for UFO sightings. The area has had numerous reported sightings over the years, making it a fascinating place for those interested in extraterrestrial life and the paranormal.

Living in Yakima Washington Cons

  1. High crime rates: Yakima has a higher crime rate than the national average, particularly in property crimes such as burglary and theft. It's important to research the specific neighborhoods before deciding where to live.

  2. Limited job opportunities in specific fields: While Yakima has a diverse economy, some industries, such as technology and finance, may have fewer job opportunities. It's crucial to research job availability before moving to the area.

  3. Limited entertainment options: Yakima is a smaller city with limited entertainment options than larger cities. However, plenty of outdoor activities and cultural events still exist to enjoy.

  4. Hot summers and cold winters: While Yakima enjoys plenty of sunshine throughout the year, summers can be very hot, with temperatures reaching into the 90s and sometimes above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Winters can be cold, with temperatures dropping below freezing.

  5. Air quality: Yakima can experience poor air quality during the wildfire season, typically during summer.

  6. Limited healthcare options: While Yakima does have healthcare facilities, some residents may need to travel to larger cities such as Seattle for more specialized medical care.

  7. Seasonal allergies: Yakima is located in a region with a high concentration of agriculture, which can cause seasonal allergies for some residents.

Picture of Yakima Valley at Night

FAQs About Living in Yakima Washington

What is Yakima known for?

Yakima, Washington, is known as the hop capital of the world. Over 75% of the hops grown in the United States are produced in the Yakima Valley, making it a major supplier to the beer brewing industry. The region's unique climate and soil make it an ideal place for growing hops, a key ingredient in beer production. As a result, Yakima has become a hub for the beer industry, attracting beer enthusiasts and brewers worldwide.

What cities are nearby Yakima, Washington?

Yakima, Washington, is located in the central part of the state and is surrounded by several other cities and towns. To the west of Yakima is the city of Ellensburg, which is home to Central Washington University and is a popular spot for outdoor recreation. To the east of Yakima is the town of Selah, which offers a small-town feel and is known for its agricultural industry. To the south of Yakima is the city of Toppenish, home to the Yakama Nation Cultural Center and Museum, showcasing the history and culture of the Yakama people. North of Yakima is the city of Naches, which offers outdoor activities such as hiking and fishing in the nearby mountains. The state's largest town Seattle is 142 miles to the west, and Portland, Oregon, is 185 miles to the southwest. Additionally, Yakima is conveniently located near major transportation routes, including Interstate 82 and US Route 97, making accessing nearby cities and attractions easy.

What is the weather like in Yakima?

Living in Yakima, Washington, you can expect hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. The city experiences four distinct seasons, with temperatures and precipitation varying throughout the year. During the winter months, the average high temperatures range from 38°F to 47°F, and the average low temperatures range from 22°F to 31°F. The city occasionally experiences snowfall in the winter, and it can accumulate heavily at times. Summers are hot and dry, with average temperatures ranging from 86°F to 94°F and very little rainfall. Living in Yakima, Washington, you can expect to get around 8 inches of precipitation annually, most of which occurs in the form of snow during winter.


Does Yakima Washington have good public schools?

They are okay. For 2022-23 grades the Yakima School District a C, raking it #210 out of the 252 districts it ranked. Graduation rates for the most recent school year were 83%, slightly lower than the state average. Some schools rank better than others in the district. It's important to research the school district if you're looking to move to Yakima, Washington, and have school-aged kids.

Is Yakima Washington safe?

Living in Yakima, Washington, you'll find it somewhat safe. Property crime rates in Yakima are slightly lower than the national average, and violent crime rates are significantly lower than the national average. states Yakima has a crime rate lower than 47% of all US cities. If someone living in Yakima, Washington, takes normal precautions they should feel reasonably safe.

Who are some large employers in Yakima Washington?

If living in Yakima, Washington, the top employers include Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, Yakima School District, Yakima County, Tree Top, and Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic. These employers offer a variety of jobs and employment opportunities in healthcare, education, government, agriculture, and more.

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

You've come to the right spot if you're looking to move to Yakima 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 Yakima 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 Yakima is like as well as help with your mortgage.

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