Bellevue, Washington, is a suburb of Seattle that has many advantages over living in the city. Bellevue has nearly 500,000 residents spread across a wide area with plenty of shopping and restaurants to keep people occupied and happy.
If you’re thinking about joining the ranks of this fabulous suburb, here are 10 things you need to know about living in Bellevue, Washington:
1. Bellevue is Expensive to Live in
Bellevue is one of the most expensive cities to live in Washington State, even more so than Seattle. The median income of this affluent neighborhood is high, at over $98,000, but that doesn’t stop Bellevue from being exceptionally expensive to live in with only about half of its residents paying less than $3,200 for rent per month while the rest pay upwards of $6,500 for rent each month!
2. Bellevue has an Award-Winning School District
Bellevue has an award winning school district, home to some of the best schools in America such as Interlake High School, which Newsweek ranked No. 2 in Washington State and No. 593 nationally! Bellevue’s high schools like Interlake also offer a large variety of courses other than just math, English, or sciences, but even languages like Mandarin Chinese.
The city is also home to Bellevue College, which is also Bellevue’s only public community college, and Bellevue University, which offers residents the chance to get a bachelor’s degree without leaving Bellevue itself!
3. The Public Transit is Reliable
Bellevue has a bus system called the Rapid Ride that provides public transportation across Bellevue from its eastern edge to the western side with stops along Highway 520, Bellevue Way NE and NE 4th Street as well as many other popular streets throughout the area. The Rapid Ride is one of Washington State’s best transit systems as it’s incredibly reliable and efficient. There is also SoundTransit’s Link Light Rail that Bellevue is connected to via the Bellevue Downtown and Bellevue South stations.
4. Bellevue has a Very Diverse Population
Bellevue is a diverse neighborhood that prides itself in welcoming people of all kinds. Bellevue embraces this diversity and welcomes anyone to the area, be it for housing or just visiting. Bellevue has a very diverse population and strives to be as inclusive as possible.
The Asian population has grown by almost 50% since 2000 to make up about 20 percent of Bellevue’s total population, making Asians the largest ethnic group, followed very closely by Causcasian at 17 percent, while other races make up just over 30 percent including African-Americans, Hispanics, and others.
5. It’s Not a Great City for Cyclists
While Bellevue does have a bike trail system called the Bridle Trails, which goes around Lake Sammamish through the city providing plenty of space for some friendly suburban cycling, the area does not have bike lanes on its main roads making Bellevue a bad city for bicycles. The suburb’s location in the middle of three separate counties also means the area doesn’t fall under any county’s jurisdiction, which means no one is responsible for the non-existent bike infrastructure problems.
6. Bellevue has Some Great Parks
Bellevue has around 10,000 acres of park space with over eighty parks including two dog parks and over sixty playgrounds! There are many great spots to go walking or jogging throughout the city from Downtown Bellevue Park to Lakeview Park where you will find the world famous Fountain Of Rings, which is best enjoyed at night when there are no crowds! The city is also home to more than seventy miles of trails for locals to explore and take in all of nature’s beauty!
7. Bellevue has its Own Downtown
Bellevue may not have its own downtown like Seattle, but it does have its own shopping district called Lincoln Square Shopping Center that is, in fact, one of America’s oldest shopping malls having opened up back in 1961! Lincoln Square Shopping Center serves as the heart of Bellevue at this point.
Another popular shopping venue in Bellevue is Factoria Mall. The mall was originally built in 1970 but it underwent major renovations in the late 1990s and early 2000s to make it into Bellevue’s premier shopping destination. Today, this fantastic shopping center houses over 100 stores, including some of Bellevue’s best restaurants and bars as well as its only movie theater!
8. There are Many Housing Developments
Bellevue has hundreds of housing developments, but only eleven have over 500 units from places like Newport Heights, which has 800 condos and apartments, The Crossroads at Bellevue with its 1,600 loft style apartments, and Bellevues’s biggest housing development, The Encore, that has 2,600 residential units!
Bellevue doesn’t have skyscrapers such as those found in Downtown Seattle, but the suburb does strive to compete with its own skyline with dozens of high rise apartment buildings including Bel Air (510 feet), Lincoln Tower (362 feet), and Bellevue Towers (300 feet), which all compete with Bellevue’s biggest highrise, The Bravern, a luxury high-rise apartment building.
9. You Can Live in the City and Enjoy the Benefits of Living in a Suburb
Bellevue is unique in that it is both a city and a suburb at the same time! While being officially classified as an incorporated city in Washington State, it also shares many characteristics with many suburbs like having no zoning laws and also having a mix of commercial, retail and residential areas.
Bellevue also has its own city hall, police department and fire department and is home to over 4,500 businesses, which employs roughly 100,000 workers! The city’s large business district is located on 106th Avenue Northeast and NE 8th Street, which are both major thoroughfares in Bellevue where the main shopping mall is located.
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10. It’s Connected with Seattle to the South
It’s easy to commute to the neighboring city of Seattle as Bellevue’s east side is connected with the major city and Eastside via Interstate 90, which runs along the city’s southern border. But Interstate 405 is the major Downtown area street which connects I-90 with Interstate 5, whose northern terminus lies in Tukwila near SeaTac Airport.
Bellevue has a lot to offer. From great shopping districts, friendly locals and amazing neighborhoods, to excellent public transportation and plenty of parks and recreation – there is something for everyone in this Northwest Washington city!
Ron Rougeaux, located in Olympia, Washington is a highly skilled and knowledgeable real estate agent. PNW Homes Group are committed to their key core values of trustworthiness, integrity, and loyalty providing quality service is his highest priority. Whether you are buying, selling, or curious about the market, PNW Homes has the answers.