Cost Of Living In Olympia, WA (Taxes, Housing & More)

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by Upgraded Home Team

As the capital city of Washington state, Olympia is located about 60 miles from Seattle and at the southern end of the Puget Sound. Because of its proximity to beaches and mountains, Olympia is a city where outdoor activities are plentiful. But Olympia has much more than a beautiful landscape and access to outdoor adventures.

Olympia is an art and culture city, with many museums, art galleries, historic buildings, and a vibrant downtown with restaurants and nightlife. In fact, Olympia’s downtown area is home to more than 450 independently-owned businesses. Because the climate is temperate most of the year, farmer’s markets, parks, playgrounds, and outdoor concerts are typically always an option.

Olympia’s cost of living is about 10% higher than the national average. The median home cost in Olympia, Washington is $368,200. However, this does not cover other living costs, such as child care, utilities, groceries, and taxes. We will help you determine all of the small expenses contributing to how much you spend on life in Olympia.

The minimum wage in Washington is $12.00 an hour, while the livable wage is $19.57 an hour. Many people will have a range of pay bases that will help them to afford living in Olympia. The cost of living in Olympia is less than living in Seattle or New York City, but costs do add up. Here’s a breakdown of exactly what you might spend to live on a monthly basis in Olympia, Washington.

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The Cost to Own a Home in Olympia, Washington

Owning a home in Olympia is comparatively less than in other areas of the country. Most homes in Washington cost around $397,900 while living in Olympia costs approximately $368,200. The average price of a home in the US is $284,600, so Olympia is approximately 25% higher than the national average.

There are some expensive homes in Olympia where the price goes up to $1.3 million. But this is for custom-built homes in gated communities on several acres of property. There are affordable homes in Olympia and something to fit your budget. If you don’t think you can afford it, try renting!

Rental Costs in Olympia, Washington

When you move to Olympia you will notice there are a few homes to rent. In fact, 5.1% of houses and apartments in Olympia are available to rent. The average cost to rent an apartment in Olympia is $1,509 per month. Though, prices vary based on location, square footage, and quality.

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

Style of HomePrice Per Month
1 Bedroom$1,000
2 Bedroom$1,335
3 Bedroom$1,500
4 Bedroom$2,000

Average Rent in Olympia Compared 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 marginally lower than the average rental price in Olympia.

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

CityAverage Rent
Seattle, WA$2,197
Bellevue, WA$2,506
Spokane, WA$1,276
Tacoma, WA$1,576
Olympia, WA$1,509
Yakima, WA$828

Cost of Utilities in Olympia, Washington

In every single state you move to, you will have to pay utilities. If you are renting a home or apartment, sometimes utility fees are rolled into monthly rental payments, but you will have to check your rental contract to be sure. For a small apartment that’s about 915 square feet, you can expect to pay $159.50 a month for the basic utilities. What do utilities include?

  • Electricity
  • Cooling
  • Heating
  • Water
  • Garbage

There may be certain places that do not include garbage, and you will have to find your way to dispose of your trash. Some places will cover this cost, but you must provide your garbage cans that still need to meet community requirements.

Taxes in Olympia, Washington

Taxpayers in Olympia only pay two main forms of taxes, as there is no personal income tax in Washington State. While residents dodge having to pay state income taxes, they are subject to some of the highest sales taxes in state and higher property taxes than the national average.

Sales Taxes in Olympia, 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 Olympia, the additional city and county sales tax rate is 2.90%, which brings the total sales tax to 9.40%.

This tax applies to nearly all tangible goods sold in the state, in addition to some services like cleaning, lawn maintenance, construction, tattoos, fitness memberships, recreational activities, catering, and more. Though, there are a number of exemptions, such as food and food ingredients, newspapers, and prescription medications.

Property Taxes in Olympia, Washington

If you are planning on becoming a homeowner in your next destination, be sure to find out the price of property taxes for owning a home. This will give you a true idea what you will pay each year for your new dream home.

Although the average effective property rate in Washington State is 0.93%, it is 1.08% in Thurston County. While this is only slightly higher than the national average of 1.07%, homeowners in Olympia can expect to pay around $2,160 in annual property taxes on a home worth $200,000.

If you are unsure what you’ll pay in property tax for your potential home, you can calculate your property tax amount online with a property tax calculator.

Child Care Costs in Olympia, Washington

Caring for children can be expensive. For working parents, child care is a necessity. Child care is a part of daily life that many people don’t talk about or think about because it just has to be done. But it can be a considerable expense.

In Olympia, the average cost of full-time daycare per week is $418. Prices will vary depending on the age of the child. You can expect to pay approximately $1,672 per month per child for care in Olympia. If you are looking at a private daycare that may also teach your children or prep them for school, you will end up paying much more. It all depends on what you want and what you are looking for.

Food & Grocery Costs in Olympia, Washington

Something we sometimes overlook when moving to a new area is the cost of food. Grocery shopping is something most of us do weekly, and sometimes monthly. The bigger your family is, the most you will pay for food.

Here is a list of some grocery items and prices in Olympia; this can be a good starting place to figure out what you eat and how much you’ll spend a week or a month.

Food ItemCost
1 Gallon of Milk$2.48
1 Loaf of White Bread$2.71
1 Carton of Eggs$2.39
Local Cheese$6.25
1 Pound of Chicken$4.16
1 Pound of Onion$1.19
1 Head of Lettuce$1.77
1 Bottle of Mid-Range Wine$10.00
0.5 Liters of Domestic Beer$2.98

Entertainment & Miscellaneous Costs in Olympia, Washington

After moving, you will want to start going to do fun activities that Olympia offers, and most of them will cost money. What is there to do, and how much does it cost? The truth is there are many different things to do, a wide variety of things to do. You will need to set yourself a budget and stick with it. Here is a list of activities that can help you determine that budget:

Activity Price Range
Restaurants (2 people/mid-range)$60.00
Fitness Club (one adult, monthly fee)$36.12
Movies (1 adult ticket)$12.00

Depending on where and when you go, activities fees will vary. There can always be extra expenses with activities, depending on the time of day, day of the week, number of people attending, etc.

Education Costs in Olympia, Washington

Educating kids is expensive, even more so if you’re interested in sending them to private school. There are so many costs that add up every year we want to make sure you are as prepared as possible.

On average, Olympia schools have 20 kids per class and spend about $11,785 per student. However, that does not mean you have to pay that amount; it means that’s what it costs the school. Here are some other things to keep in mind when looking at education costs in Olympia.

Private School

There are fifteen top private schools in Olympia, Washington. The average private school tuition in Olympia is $10,711 for elementary school per year. Prices of private schools in Olympia may be slightly higher or lower.

Universities and Colleges

There are several colleges and universities in Olympia: The Evergreen State College, South Puget Sound Community College, St. Martin’s University, and Pacific Lutheran University. The Evergreen State College is an excellent option for many locals. If you are thinking of attending a university, this may be a budget-friendly option compared to other states.

If you become a Washington resident who attends Evergreen State College, you will spend around $7,005 per year for tuition alone. However, this does not cover costs or room and board, or any textbook fees.

Related Questions

How much do you need to live comfortably in Olympia?

On average, to live comfortably in Olympia, you will need to make at least $52,191a year. This means you would need to make $4,349 a month to live on your own in Olympia. The bigger your family is, the more you will need to make.

Is Olympia a good place to live?

Olympia-friendly, scenic city with a small-town feel. There are lots of things to see and do. Olympia is a great city to enjoy all the activities the Pacific Northwest has to offer: local seafood, farmer’s markets, boating, fishing, mountains, parks, trails, and great local food and nightlife.There is a strong sense of community in Olympia and it’s a great place to raise children. Olympia has access to beaches and mountains and appeals to people who love the outdoors located on the coast. It’s ideal for both young professionals and growing families.

Is Olympia, WA a safe place to live?

Statistically speaking, Olympia is safer than only 7% of the cities in the United States. However, just like any other major city, Olympia has its good and bad areas. Crime rates in Olympia have fluctuated over the years and while they are currently higher than the national average, many consider the southwest part of the city to be the safest.

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Should I Move to Olympia, Washington?

If you like a cooler climate, don’t mind rain and love the outdoors, then Olympia is a great choice to live. It may be cheaper than other areas of Washington to live, compared to major cities like Seattle. However, depending on the size of the house you choose and the size of your family, it may also be expensive, so you’ll want to keep that in mind when choosing where to live.

Olympia is a thriving area with lots to see and do. Olympia is an enjoyable area to visit with nightlife and activities if you are a single person. It’s also a great place to raise a family.

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