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  1. #1
    Dream it, Do it.
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    Where to Live? Kirkland or Issaquah

    We've moved to the Seattle area and are now renting in Klahanie in Issaquah while we consider neighborhoods for buying a house. Good neiborhoods for kids and good schools are key considerations. We're considering Kirkland due to its proximity to the city. Any thoughts on living in Kirkland? Compared to Issaquah?

  2. #2
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    I've live in both locales. Each has its own pluses and minuses. Kirkland is actually a pretty big place. The schools are good, or at least have consistently been among the tops in the state. Housing costs seems to be about even. I personally liked Kirkland better than Issaquah. Besides mountain biking, what other interests do you and your family have? The Kirkland waterfront community is pretty vibrant.
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  3. #3
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    Probably a higher chance of needing that firearm in Kirkland. Couldn't help myself...

    Both have a lot of good qualities but if being closer to the woods is high on your list, Issaquah, hands down.

  4. #4
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    Traffic sucks, live close to work.
    There's a big difference between ripping and skidding. Those who skid don't know how to ride.

  5. #5
    Dream it, Do it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo View Post
    Probably a higher chance of needing that firearm in Kirkland. Couldn't help myself...

    Both have a lot of good qualities but if being closer to the woods is high on your list, Issaquah, hands down.
    LOL! That nonsense about needing a gun in the woods sounded to me.

    Yeah, we live 3 miles away from Duthie Hill right now and my wife is excited that going on a bike ride with my boys would be a good way to get them out of her hair for an hour or two. Benefit of Kirkland would only be proximity to Seattle.

  6. #6
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    Just moved to Issaquah after living in Lake Forest Park for years. Not Kirkland, but relatively close. I much prefer Issaquah. Close to good riding at Tiger and Grand Ridge, you can ride to both out your door, and closer to Crystal, so makes getting up for skiing easy.

    I'd rather ride at St. Eds than Duthie. St. Eds is a good option for kids that is close to Kirkland, so there is some riding down that way.

    Getting in to the city can be easier from Issaquah than Kirkland, depending on time of day and where in the city you want to go. Straight shot down 90. Night life is more low key in Issaquah, but still a lot of good restaurants and bars.

  7. #7
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    While on paper the distance from Issaquah to Seattle is much farther it is often quicker to get to Seattle from Issaquah than Kirkland (the joys of 405 north of downtown Bellevue). With the tolling its probably faster to get into Seattle from Kirkland.
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  8. #8
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    Go for Issaquah: better trails, easier commute. We moved to the Seattle area about 4 years ago and ended up on Mercer Island, pricey but great schools and close to everything: 10 minutes to downtown and 15 minutes to Grand Ridge

  9. #9
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    Both are great. Issaquah is close to more mountain biking and other outdoor activties, but Kirkland downtown and waterfront have a lot to offer. My vote is for Issaquah, from a strickly mountain bike point of view. My family would probably disagree.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    LOL! That nonsense about needing a gun in the woods sounded to me.

    Yeah, we live 3 miles away from Duthie Hill right now and my wife is excited that going on a bike ride with my boys would be a good way to get them out of her hair for an hour or two. Benefit of Kirkland would only be proximity to Seattle.
    Finn Hill is part of Kirkland so you could potentially have two areas to ride in close proximity; St Edwards and Big Finn Hill. Also, with its proximity to Lake City Way, you have an alternative commute into Seattle.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_schuldt View Post
    Traffic sucks, live close to work.
    Amen to that. How much is your time worth? Will you be able to spend more time with your family from either location? Kirkland is about 15-20 minutes from a lot of different trails. Where do you work and would moving to either place allow bicycle commuting?

  12. #12
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    If you work in the city you might consider Bainbridge Island. Rural yet close. Lots of bike commuters and excellent schools and quality of life for a family can't be beat.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rod2625 View Post
    If you work in the city you might consider Bainbridge Island. Rural yet close. Lots of bike commuters and excellent schools and quality of life for a family can't be beat.
    If it weren't for the utter lack of riding on Bainbridge, it would be a great place to live.

    I'm not sure why the OP is saying Kirkland OR Issy, as opposed to splitting the difference in moving to Bellevue, but hey, that's just me. :-)

  14. #14
    Man without bike
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    I say Issaquah, but get off the plateau.

  15. #15
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    To get an idea of Bainbridge Island I would invite you to join 6000 fellow bikers for the Chilly Hilly ride the end of the month. Sure it is all a road ride but would give you a sense of the island and what the commute into Seattle would be like.

  16. #16
    I got the velcros
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    Bainbridge = daily ferry commuting to and from the metro area. That novelty of doing that gets old real fast. The upside is being easy to escape to the Oly Pen wilderness and anywhere West. No ferry lines on holiday weekends, sweet!

    I don't know much about Kirkland, nor do I need to, but I read somewhere that Issaquah has the highest concentration of younger kids in the state, or at least in the greater Everett/Seattle/Bellevue area. Would be a great place for your kids to make friends and do stuff outdoors, I'm sure. But Kirkland is probably good for your kids too.
    Issaquah takes it hands down for spontaneous hiking/biking/skiing/camping access.

    405 is a steaming pile from the 522 interchange down to the 167 interchange, and they're constantly doing stuff to it. 90 gets messy in the peak hours too the closer you get to Bellevue and Seattle, as you probably know.

    If your commute is a factor in your decision: look at the WSDOT traffic sites or Google Maps during the time when you'd be commuting from wherever to wherever, just to get sort of an idea of what you're up against if you were to move.

  17. #17
    Just roll it......
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    Even this discussion about how bad traffic is in certain areas gets my blood pressure up!

    My commute is way easier these days.

    Seriously good advice on this thread from those that know.

  18. #18
    That Waters Guy
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    Sorry EB, shut your eyes:

    Oh and to throw a wild card in the start of bridge tolling has really whacked traffic patterns: I-90 is now a big mess, 405 is much worse than it was, but 520 is expensive but free flowing.

    Who knows how that will all shake out over time, but it's become abundantly clear to me that taking the I-90 express lanes for commuter rail would be an insane.

  19. #19
    not your average bear
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    Kirkland yes vote

    Depends on your long term living stats. I feel the I-90 corridor will have more commute options (HOV, Bus, rail, bike) than the 520 bridge. That means Issaquah. But, I live in Kirkland and can't think of any reason to move. It is a nicer place than Issaquah and the schools are near the best. Don't bother with St. Eds but Kirkland is central to northern riding areas, eastern and down south--just about perfect.
    Traveling to riding areas is just a few times a week, the commute is 5 times a week. Make it balance out.

  20. #20
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    I lived in Kirkland for a few years (married but no kids) before moving up to BHam. I was in a condo right along the water, so my experience might different than folks up on the hills. Also I worked in Bellevue so my commute was usually no more than 15- 20min (the key to happiness IMO) and I was only a fair weather road/bikepath rider at the time.

    Some of my general impressions,
    The good: Very walkable/bikeable town, plenty of great food and coffee. An almost beach town vibe with the waterfront parks. A little bit of decent nightlife/live music and art. Enjoyed being near Bellevue and Seattle without most of the urban hassles.

    The bad: Traffic and noise on weekends (especially in the sunny summertime) got very old. This is where the beach town vibe would turn ugly since Kirkland is a VERY popular place to be on nice days. There is also a bit of the rich, transplanted California, keeping up with the Jonses attitude going on but that being said, if I had to move back to the big city (*shudder*) Kirkland would still be at the top of my list.

  21. #21
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    Kirkland has no soul. Issy is where it's at on the Eastside. Good road rides, mountain bike rides, and hiking within minutes of wherever you live. Still has a small town vibe, beautiful backdrop of Tiger Mountain, easy access to I-90, and 40 minutes away from the Pass if you are into skiing.

    Having said that, don't move here.
    "What do I know of You who spoke me into motion? Where have I even stood but along the shore of Your ocean?"

  22. #22
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    Rode at Duthie last week

    I've just realized that I'm 1.5 miles from Duthie and rode there next weekend. It is nice to ride out my front door.

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