What Is The Cost Of Living In Bellevue, Washington?

Kirbee Anderson
by Kirbee Anderson

People and businesses alike flock to Bellevue, Washington, making it a desirable place to live that regularly ranks in the national top 10 lists. Several big companies, including T-Mobile, call Bellevue home. In combination with nearby Seattle, Bellevue residents have plentiful job opportunities to contribute to their standard of living.

The constantly growing population of Bellevue creates demand on the housing market. The median sale price for a single-family home in Bellevue last year was $910,000, and that was actually a 10 percent decrease from the previous year!

Fortunately, median incomes are higher-than-average in the city, with the median individual income being $59,163. On the United States cost of living index with a base of 100, Bellevue’s cost of living index is 196.5, meaning the cost of living there is nearly double that of the average location in the United States.

Much of the high cost of living can be attributed to the city’s desirable location near Seattle with beautiful views of the mountains and water. Two lakes sandwich the city on either side, restricting growth and expansion possibilities in the area and making land a premium cost. The area is heavy-laden with big business headquarters, and as a result, is drawing an increasing number of people to the area each year.

Do You Need to Hire Movers?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Housing Costs in Bellevue, Washington

Homeownership will not be attainable for people with light pockets. On the cost of housing index with the national base being 100, Bellevue sits at 391.6, making it nearly four times more expensive to own a home there than the average home cost in the United States. That is without property taxes or utilities.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the average monthly mortgage payment in 2018 was $3,018 per month. In February 2021, the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue market came in sixth on a list of real estate markets where homes are selling the fastest. The median home cost in Bellevue is a whopping $1,165,300, compared to a statewide median of $504,200.

Rental Costs in Bellevue, Washington

If purchasing a home does not seem attainable, you certainly will not be alone. Only about 55 percent of the housing in Bellevue is owner-occupied. Unfortunately, it can be hard to get ahead and save for a downpayment while also paying rent. The median gross rent is $1,947 per month. Though, the average monthly cost of rent for an apartment in Bellevue is $2,506.

Here are the average prices for several common apartment sizes in Bellevue:

BedroomsMonthly Rent
1 Bedroom$1,809
2 Bedrooms $2,320

While rent in Bellevue usually costs less than owning a home, it still does not come cheap.

Average Bellevue Rent by Neighborhood

NeighborhoodAverage Monthly Rent
Clyde Hill$2,827
Lake Hills$,2185
Northeast Bellevue$2,079

For renters in Bellevue, the most affordable neighborhoods are Northeast Bellevue, Crossroads, and West Lake Sammamish. Whereas, the most expensive Bellevue neighborhoods are Northwest Bellevue, Downtown Bellevue, and Clyde Hill.

Average Rent in Bellevue Compare to Other Cities

Between 2019 and 2020, average rent increased in 39 states across the U.S., and Washington state was among them. In fact, Washington comes in eighth on the list of the states with the highest average rental prices in the country. The state’s average rent is approximately $1,258, which is considerably lower than the average rental price in Bellevue.

To put things in perspective, the following table outlines how the average monthly rent in Bellevue compares to other cities in the state of Washington:

City Average Rent
Seattle, WA$2,169
Bellevue, WA$2,506
Spokane, WA$1,276
Tacoma, WA$1,539
Olympia, WA$1,463
Yakima, WA$828

Utility Rates in Bellevue, Washington

The cost of living index for utilities reports that consumers spend significantly less on utilities in Bellevue than elsewhere in the country. Bellevue’s cost of living index for utilities is at 71 compared to a base of 100 for a nationwide average.

Bellevue’s proximity to the water gives it an oceanic climate, which means it does not experience high highs or low lows in temperature, and this certainly translates to cost savings for residential power bills. Additionally, the monthly average precipitation is just over 2 inches, so residents can avoid running up their water bills for outdoor yard irrigation.

Electricity Rates: The average residential electricity bill in Washington is $88 per month, which is below the national average of $107. In Bellevue, the residential electricity rate is $0.1036 per kWh. Elsewhere in Washington, electricity is significantly less expensive than the state average is $0.0853 KwH.

Taxes in Bellevue, Washington

Taxpayers in Bellevue Washington only pay two main forms of taxes, as there is no personal income tax. While residents dodge having to pay state income taxes, they are subject to some of the highest sales taxes in state.

Sales Taxes in Bellevue, Washington

The base sales tax rate in Washington is 6.5%. However, both cities and counties can impose additional sales taxes on top of this rate. In Bellevue, the additional city and county sales tax rate is 3.5%, which brings the total sales tax to 10.0%.

Property Taxes in Bellevue, Washington

Once you secure that million-dollar property, don’t forget the property taxes. Washington ranks in the middle of the pack of state assessment rates, but given the high property values, it still adds up to a significant chunk of change. Real estate property taxes are calculated on the assessed value of the home, which is usually not the list or sell price, and is actually a percentage of the home’s value. Regardless, the more expensive the home, the higher the property taxes.

The national average property tax rate is 1.07 percent. In Bellevue, the average rate is .930 percent. This translates to an average annual property tax amount of $3,326 per property.

Child Care Costs in Bellevue, Washington

With all the businesses and professionals in Bellevue, it is not surprising that child care is problematic in both cost and availability.

On the cost of living index, childcare is 171.1, making it nearly 75 percent more expensive there than the average cost in the United States. Parents can expect the following average rates in Bellevue:

Type of CareAverage Annual Cost
Infant at a Daycare Center$18,470
Infant with Home Care$16, 010
Toddler at a Daycare Center$14,020
Toddler with Home Care$12,090

Food & Grocery Costs in Bellevue, Washington

The cost index for food and groceries in Bellevue is more expensive than the nationwide average, at 111.7. This means that these expenses are nearly 12% more expensive than the rest of the country.

Here is a list of some grocery items and prices in Bellevue; use this as a starting place to determine whether your grocery bills will be more or less expensive in Bellevue than where you currently live.

Food ItemAverage Price
Gallon of milk$3.11
Loaf of Bread – Wheat (1 lb.)$1.39
Rice – White – 1 pound$0.82
Eggs – 1 dozen$1.43
Cheese (1 lb.)$5.59
Boneless chicken breast$3.47
Tomatoes – 1 lb.$1.97
Beer – Domestic (6 pack)$7.30
Bananas (1 lb.)$0.78
Apples (1 lb.)$1.88

Entertainment & Recreation Costs in Bellevue, Washington

Residents of Bellevue will have no shortage of recreation and entertainment options. One of the best perks of living in the city is all of the outdoor access that you can enjoy. Because Bellevue itself is flanked by water on two sides, several of its parks have access to the water for swimming and paddling – for free!

You can have the best of both worlds and either take in Bellevue’s cultural activities or travel to nearby Seattle for more entertainment. With all the fantastic options, the high housing prices make sense; who wouldn’t want to live there?

Here are some ideas for activity costs to help you plan an entertainment budget.

ActivityPrice Range
Bellevue Arts Museum$8 – child; $15 – adult
Mercer Slough Nature ParkFree Admission
Bellevue Botanical GardensFree Admission
Newcastle Beach ParkFree Admission
Stand-up Paddle Board Rental $65+

Just south of Bellevue is the Cougar Mountain Regional Wildlife Park. It has 35 miles of trailheads and excellent views. Admission is free.

Also nearby are Olympic National Park and the Cascade Mountains. People who are stuck in the city due to work requirements can easily escape to the outdoors and enjoy a break from the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan area.

Education Costs in Bellevue, Washington

Bellevue residents have a smorgasbord of options regarding education, and nearby Seattle and Kirkland offer several more options as well.

Private School

Bellevue has at least 44 private schools, ranging from kindergarten through high school. One-third of the private schools are religiously affiliated. The average annual elementary school tuition is $14,685.


Bellevue College offers two-year and four-year degree programs. It was originally founded in 1966 as a community college, and it stays true to those roots in continuing to offer 2-year programming for students who intend to transfer to a 4-year college. Its annual in-state tuition is $3,866.

Eastern Washington University has a presence on the Bellevue College campus and partners with the college to provide the 4-year degree offerings. EWU courses are charged at a per-credit basis that ranges from $322 to $376 per credit hour.

The median annual tuition at a public four-year university in the United States is $10,270

Technical College

Neighboring Kirkland, WA offers the Lake Washington Technical Institute for students seeking trade degrees.

Income & Economy in Bellevue, Washington

The per-person income for people living in Bellevue is $66,192. The household median income is $120,456. About 6.7 percent of Bellevue residents live at or below federal poverty guidelines. 68.7 percent of the workforce has a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The four main industries in Bellevue are information technology, retail, tourism, and business services. People who live in Bellevue are not only limited to Bellevue proper offerings for work and can also look to nearby Seattle, Kirkland, and Tacoma. Expedia Group, Postmates, T-Mobile, and Eddie Bauer all call Bellevue home.

Six Fortune 500 companies are based in Seattle. Top companies are Alaska Airlines, Amazon, Starbucks, and Nordstrom.

The surrounding area is laden with additional big business bases, including Costco in Issaquah, Washington, and the Seattle Seahawks in Renton. It really is an area with remarkable growth and opportunity if you are interested in any of these industries.

Do You Need to Hire Movers?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Should You Move to Bellevue, Washington?

If you can afford it, Bellevue, Washington is a fabulous place to live. The access to the outdoors is magnificent, and coupled with access to the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area, residents really can have the best of both worlds.

Bellevue routinely ranks in top-10 lists highlighting the best places to live in the United States. If work is calling you to Seattle, definitely consider Bellevue as an option. As expensive as it is, it is still cheaper than living in Seattle.

Related Articles

Kirbee Anderson
Kirbee Anderson

Kirbee is a licensed attorney and real estate broker, but DIY projects of all kinds call to her. Kirbee loves being at home with her husband, daughter, and dog and investing her time and energy into projects to make their home a unique and comfortable place for all of them. Her favorite projects include gardening, building new items, and creating solutions to manage clutter.

More by Kirbee Anderson