Bellevue used to be looked at as a suburb of Seattle, nowadays it is considered an ‘edge city’ with its own commercial and business hub. The one thing it still shares with Seattle is the rain.
If you are considering moving to Bellevue, the various costs listed below will help you make an informed decision on what costs are involved when moving and living in the city that is constantly voted one of the best places to live in the United States.
Quick Bellevue Facts:
- Population: 149,440 (2021).
- Official Language: English (de facto) with over 50 different languages being spoken including, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, African languages and Korean.
- GDP Per Capita: $78,118 USD (2021 estimate – Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue)
- Fishbowl: It is against the law to carry a fishbowl or aquarium on a bus if it contains water, as the sound of the water sloshing around the bowl may disturb the passengers.
- Currency: US Dollar (US$). As of early 2023, £1 = $1.21, €1 = $1.14, $1 CAD = $1.64, $1 AUD = $1.79
1. Moving and Shipping Costs to Bellevue
Below are sample international container shipping rates to then Western United States from various countries around the world.
2. Bellevue City Housing Costs
Property in Bellevue is generally more expensive than in Seattle, but cheaper than in some major cities around the world.
Monthly Rental Prices in Bellevue:
- 1 bedroom flat (apartment) in City Centre: $2,600+
- 1 bedroom flat outside the City Centre: $2,300+
- 3 bedroom flat in City Centre: $4,400+
- 3 bedroom flat outside the City Centre: $3,700+
Bellevue Home Purchase Prices:
- Price per square metre (10.7 square feet) to buy in City Centre: $9,100+
- Price per square metre (10.7 square feet) to buy outside City: $6,400+
Bellevue Housing Cost Comparison:
This is how rents in Bellevue compare with other cities around the globe.
- London is 14.4% less expensive
- New York is 24.7% more expensive
- Los Angeles is 1.8% cheaper
- Toronto is 55% cheaper
- Sydney is 34.1% cheaper
- Paris is 74.7% cheaper
- Dubai is 52.7% cheaper
How to Save on Housing Costs:
- Share a Flat or House: Sharing a house or a flat is a way to save on living expenses. You will probably have to share a bathroom but you will save at the end of the day. A cheaper option is to share a room. Have a look at the following sites to find your perfect room or flatmate: Craigslist, Sublet.com, Trulia and Room Mate Locator.
- Different Areas – Different Prices: Bellevue is an affluent town and the housing prices reflect this. Factoria is the cheapest area and is a densely populated suburb with shopping malls and businesses. Most areas in Bellevue have lovely views and lots of water and wildlife to enjoy. The Eastgate/Cougar Mountain area is very scenic and full of parks and wildlife – including bears. Upmarket lakeside areas such as East Lake Hills and Sammamish and the equestrian area of Bridle Trails are great, if expensive, places to live.
3. Bellevue Food, Grocery and Restaurant Costs
Like Seattle, Bellevue has a good range of restaurants where you can find food from around the world. There are many restaurants that showcase Filipino and Asian cooking.
- Inexpensive Restaurant: $30.00 – $35.00
- Takeout Coffee: $4.80 – $5.00
- Bottle of Coke: $2.10 – $2.50
- 1L of Milk: $0.90 – $1.10
- Loaf of Bread: $2.90 – $3.50
- 12 Eggs: $3.50 – $4.00
- 1kg Chicken: $14.50 – $20.00
- 1kg Beef: $15.00 – $18.00
- 1kg Apples: $5.00 – $7.00
- 1kg White Rice: $4.00 – $4.50
This is how restaurants and food prices compare with other major cities in the world.
- London restaurants are 26.8% cheaper and groceries are 38.9% cheaper than Bellevue.
- New York restaurants are 3.2% more expensive and groceries are 25.8% more expensive than Bellevue.
- Los Angeles restaurants are 9.1% cheaper and groceries are 2.3% more expensive than Bellevue.
- Toronto restaurants are 27.8% cheaper and groceries are 11.1% cheaper than Bellevue.
- Sydney restaurants are 23.7% cheaper and groceries are 3% more expensive than Bellevue.
- Paris restaurants are 40.6% cheaper and groceries are 1.5% cheaper than Bellevue.
- Dubai restaurants are 35% cheaper and groceries are 53.6% cheaper than Bellevue.
Bonus Tips for Cheaper Food, Restaurants and Groceries:
- Know Your Supermarkets: Bellevue has a number of independently-owned grocery stores and ethnic stores as well as the usual supermarket chains. There are excellent farmers’ markets and shops which sell health and organic foods. Popular supermarkets are Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, QFC and Uwajimaya.
- Find Cheap Eats: With a little bit of effort, you can find places which offer excellent food at affordable prices. Have a look at Yelp, Trip Advisor, Trip Advisor (Chinese) and Seattlemag.
4. Bellevue Alcohol Costs
Bellevue has a range of bars, cocktail bars and clubs. Many of them are sophisticated and aimed at high earners.
- Pint (0.6L) domestic beer at a restaurant/pub: $9.00 – $10.00
- Bottle of imported beer at a restaurant/pub: $7.00 – $9.00
- Pint (0.6L) domestic beer at a supermarket: $2.10 – $2.50
- Bottle of imported beer at a supermarket: $3.30 – $4.00
- Mid-range bottle of wine at a supermarket: $15.00 – $18.00
How To Drink For Less in Bellevue:
- Keep an eye on the local papers and websites for specials, especially during holiday periods.
- Have a look at the following sites to see which suits your palate and pocket – Four Square, Yelp, Bellevue Downtown and Bellevue.com.
5. Bellevue Transportation Fares
Bellevue has an excellent public transportation system consisting of light rail, buses, monorail, streetcar, Sounder trains, ferries and water taxis.
Here are some example ticket costs.
- Adult single – $2.90
- One-day ticket – $7.00
- Monthly season ticket, unlimited – $90.00
How To Save Money on Public Transport:
- Buy an ORCA card for various discounts
- Buy a bike. Depending on where you live and work, cycling around the city is certainly an option. Bellevue, like Seattle, also has a bike-sharing scheme.
- Walk. If you live relatively close to where you work, you can walk to work, to the shops or to local restaurants.
6. Cost of Internet in Bellevue
Internet prices in the States are expensive compared with many other countries in the world. Here are some sample broadband internet prices from early 2023 for unlimited downloads, based on a 12-month contract:
7. Cost of Clothing, Personal Items, Gym and Leisure
It rains in Bellevue on over 150 days a year, so an umbrella and waterproof coat or jacket are necessities. The hottest month is July, with an average high of 18°C and the coldest month is January, with an average high of 5°C. December is the wettest month, with an average of 150 mm of rain falling.
Here are some clothing prices, together with other useful prices.
- Pair of Jeans: $50 – $60
- Summer Dress: $30 – $50
- Running Shoes (Trainers): $90 – $100
- Business Shoes: $110 – $120
- Short Doctor’s Visit (15 mins): $110
- Deodorant: $3.50
- Shampoo: $4.75
- Toilet Paper (4 rolls): $4.00
- Gym Membership: $30 – $100 per month
- Movie (cinema) Ticket: $12 – $15
Source: Numbeo and Expatistan
8. Cost of Owning a Car and Driving a Car in Bellevue
Everyone in the US drives on the right. People do drive to work in Bellevue, but many prefer to avoid rush hour or use the excellent public transport system.
If you’re moving to Bellevue from within the US, you’ll be able to keep your license but need to update your address to your new one.
You can drive on a foreign license for up to 12 months as a tourist but after that, you will need to get an American license. If you are working or studying in the US, you can drive on your foreign license for 30 days. If you want to exchange your foreign driver’s license you have to follow the process here.
Here are some other sample costs of owning and operating a car in Bellevue:
- Volkswagen Golf: $22,000
- 1 litre (¼ gallon) of Gas (petrol): $1.21
- Other Fees (if any): The average cost of state and local taxes, license, title and registration fees is $665 per annum
Source: Expatistan, AAA Study
Ways To Save Money on Driving in Bellevue:
- Car sharing or pooling is one way to save money. Try Car Pool World, Craigslist and rideshareonline.
- Taxis can sometimes be a cheaper option, especially if you are going to have to park all day. Try Uber or Lyft.
9. Taxes in Bellevue
No matter where you live in the State, you will pay federal tax. To learn more about the different taxes in the States go to Immihelp and USA taxes.
Sales Tax in Bellevue is 9.6% and is added to most goods and services. Generally, the price you see on an item does not include sales tax.
Whether you own or rent your home, you will be subject to property tax based on the area in which you live and the size of the property you live in. Learn more about property tax in Bellevue at Property Tax.
Finally, if you decide to buy a flat or house in Bellevue you’ll have to pay real estate transfer tax.
10. Flight Costs from Bellevue
If you do make the move to Bellevue, here’s approximately how much it will cost to fly to other major world cities based on lowest, one-way fares from Skyscanner as of early 2023:
- London: $470
- New York: $115
- Los Angeles: $80
- Toronto: $150
- Vancouver: $120
- Dubai: $870
- Sydney: $690
- Melbourne: $750
- Cape Town: $770
- Hong Kong: $660
Other Tips on Moving to Bellevue:
The costs and pricing above should give you a good idea of the cost of living in Bellevue but perhaps the following extra tips will make your move go smoothly.
11. Moving to Bellevue Alone
Moving anywhere can be a lonely experience, but moving to a new city can be especially daunting. Here are a few tips about settling in Bellevue.
- Meetups: There are many Meetup groups to choose from. You will definitely find something to join which will help you to settle in. There’s a lot to choose from – young professionals, ‘beers with engineers’, hiking and outdoorsy groups, sports, high tech and lots more.
- Attend Local Events: There’s always something going on in Bellevue. Have a look at Trip Advisor, Visit Bellevue, Planetware, Seattle events, Timeout, The Stranger, and Wikido.
12. Moving to Bellevue with a Family
Bellevue is a great city to bring up a family. There’s the great outdoors and many cultural and fun events for all to enjoy.
- New Parents (or parents to be): There are free and paid antenatal classes and courses. Have a look at NW Hospital and Parent Trust.
- Live in a Family-friendly Area: Bellevue is an expensive town to live in but the water, mountains and wildlife make it worth the price. Most of the areas out of the centre of the town are excellent for family living. Areas such as Eastgate, Cougar Mountain, East Lake Hills, Sammamish and Bridle Trails are perfect for families.
- Find Things To Do With The Kids: Bellevue is a fun place for kids to live. Have a look at the following sites to be inspired – Visit Bellevue, Yelp, Visit Seattle, Free Things, Delicious Baby and Flashpacker Family.
13. Moving to Bellevue for Work
People move to Bellevue for a variety of reasons: a job, family or perhaps a change of scene. While it is possible to move without a job, it makes sense to ensure there are jobs in your field before you make the move. The employment rate is much lower than the national average, sitting at 3.1% (December 2016). Health and education are the biggest employment fields in Bellevue. Tech companies, such as Microsoft, also have a big presence in the region.
Here are a few things to consider when moving for work:
- Salary: Salaries vary enormously depending on which industry you are in. The costs we outlined above should give you a rough idea. You can check salary ranges on sites such as Glassdoor and Payscale.
- How to Find Work: If you want to have a job lined up before you move to Bellevue, but aren’t sure where to begin, the following sites are good places to start: Monster, Indeed, Snagajob and Craigslist. You may also want to Google recruiters in your industry, as they can often help land you some initial interviews as well.
14. Moving to Bellevue from Australia
There’s a sizeable group of Australians living in Bellevue. If you are thinking of moving to Bellevue to join them, here are a few things to consider.
- Size Comparison: If you compare the population size of Bellevue with a city in Australia, then the closest would be Darwin.
- Join Expat Groups: There are a number of expat groups enabling you to meet fellow Aussies. Try Internations and Meetup.
15. Moving to Bellevue from Canada
Seattle and Bellevue have a large group of Canadians living in the city. If you’re considering making the move from Canada here are a few things to consider.
- Size: If you compare the size of the population of Bellevue with the size of a city in Canada, the closest would be Guelph, Ontario.
- Expat Groups: Meeting up with fellow Canadians helps the moving process. Link up through sites such as Internations and Facebook.
16. Moving to Bellevue from the United Kingdom
Bellevue attracts a lot of people from the UK, not only because it’s a great place to live but because the Brits don’t notice the rain.
- Size: If you compare the size of the population of Bellevue with a city in the UK, the closest in size would be Newbury.
- Expat Groups: If you want to get together with others from the UK who are living and working in Seattle, then go to Meetup and Internations.
Hopefully, the tips and costs above are helpful. If want to get started pricing out how much it will cost you to move to Bellevue you can start by comparing moving quotes here.