Financial Project (Seattle people only please)?
So, I'm doing this financial project for my economics class.
I'm planning to live in Seattle in the future.
I was wondering how much does utilities(electric, gas, water, etc) usually cost in Seattle for just one person. Also, what type of company do you guys use for your tv cable?
Thank you for your help.
- Anonymous9 years agoFavorite Answer
I have a large studio apartment in downtown Seattle. (We have radiant heat and actually water is included in the rent so I don't have a gas bill or a water bill to refer to).
Electricity is inexpensive here, thanks to all the hydro-electric dams that were built around 50 to 60 years in the Pacific Northwest. Honestly, my electric bill is only like $40 every two months. (And for the possible doubters, yes, I have all kinds of electric and electronic gadgets that are on most of the time. The only thing my apt. doesn't have is its own washer and dryer; the laundry room is just down the hall and I don't get billed for that usage. My fridge and stove are full-size).
Cable TV sucks in Seattle. The city is conveniently (for the providers) divided into zones. These are essentially virtual monopolies. For example, here in downtown, there is only one cable tv provider, a company called Broadstripe (formerly Millenium cable). Where is their headquarters? Across the country in Maryland haha :-) Anyways, since they are the only provider, they are free to raise their rates at will - and that is exactly what they have done and continue to do. Five years ago when I moved here, it was $40 per month for expanded basic. I recently reviewed my bills and over time they had slowly crept it up to $75 per month. Same channels, same programming, no new channels - at twice the price. I 'cut the cord' and decided to just go with the digital converter box routine. Far fewer channels - but it's FREE. I just rent DVDs now and I'm looking into figuring out possibilities for tv on the internet. Anyways, several of my neighbors have also said 'screw it' to the cable company and disconnected.
It's the same in the outlying areas of Seattle. In those areas, again there is only ONE option. Mostly the Comcast company. These virtual monopolies are stupid. There is no competition - the company can raise their rates at will. It's a 'take it or leave it' scenario. (I frankly am somewhat amazed that these virtual monopolies are allowed to continue. There HAVE been numerous city council meetings in various cities about this, but nothing is ever done about it to return the cable tv industry back into a competitive free market). [As an aside, yes, there is the satellite dish option available here, but those are pretty spendy services as well. It doesn't seem like too many people are really all that happy going that route.]
Other items: Food is pretty expensive here, including groceries. There's a lot of 'sin taxes' here on alcohol and tobacco. (A pack of Marlboros is like $9 now - luckily I don't smoke anymore haha ;-). Gas taxes keep going up to finance 'road improvements' and light-rail projects - none of which projects ever seem to actually get accomplished. The state and city governments seem perfectly happy to just spend all that money on 'consultants' salaries and for fancy watercolor architect drawings/renditions. (We're talking millions of dollars here for pretty little pictures).
A plus factor for downtown Seattle is that the city did do a good job years ago installing underground fiber optic cables, so high-speed internet is actually OK price-wise. Or at least it is for me. I signed up for a two-year contract when I moved here, which stated that if I fulfilled that 2-year commitment, my internet rate would be 'locked in'. I did so, and so I'm locked in at $32 per month for that, which is reasonable. However, I believe that to sign up for internet service now with the same company is like $50 or $60 a month.
Crime (both violent and non-violent) isn't too bad. There IS a lot of illegal drug activity here in downtown, but that kind of 'comes with the territory' in major urban metro areas. We have very good medical resources and pretty good social services.
- 3 years ago
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