When to Look
You may be anxious to find Seattle summer intern housing as soon as you accept your offer, but hold tight. Most corporate housing companies and apartment complexes don’t know their availability until 20-45 days before a vacancy. Current tenants are only required to give 20 days notice in most buildings, so unless a corporate housing company already has available units, they will not be able to confirm pricing and availability until about a month from your move-in date.
While it seems like that is leaving it until too late, one month out is the perfect time to find an apartment. Once you begin your search, commit to being available to respond quickly to options. Apartments rent quickly in Seattle, particularly during the summer months. Don’t let your intern housing options get sniped because you aren’t paying attention!
Where to Live
Location is a huge factor in your Seattle housing decision, but for someone unfamiliar with the area, it can be a challenge.
Before you start looking, decide how important it is to be close to your office. Some people prefer the convenience of being just around the corner. Others like to experience different neighborhoods by living in one part of the city and working in another.
You also need to consider your transit options. Will you have a car? We don’t recommend bringing one during your internship, for many reasons! Parking will cost about $150/month in Seattle, and parking near your office will likely cost $15/day. That’s a lot of cash to drop just to get yourself to and from work. Take advantage of ride sharing and delivery options, and you won’t find yourself ever needing a car.
Type of Building
Seattle has a huge number of newly constructed high-rise apartment buildings in the most desirable neighborhoods for interns – Capitol Hill, Belltown, and South Lake Union. These buildings feature eco-friendly amenities, efficient use of space, and lots of community spaces. You’ll often find lounges, theaters, rooftop decks, dog runs and dog grooming stations, and fully equipped gyms at these properties. Some even have bowling alleys and convenience stores in the same buildings.
The trade off to all these conveniences is price.
The other great option is a renovated unit in an older building. The floor plans of the older units may not be quite as efficient as new construction, but you get the same high-end finishes for a fraction of the price. Older buildings tend to have fewer common spaces, though most have some outdoor space to enjoy. You might be looking at a courtyard instead of a sprawling rooftop deck, and you would likely be sharing laundry with others on your floor instead of having your own private washer and dryer.
Another factor to consider is air conditioning. Newer buildings tend to have air conditioning, but almost no older buildings do. Seattle weather is changing, and it can be helpful, though certainly not necessary, to have air conditioning. If you choose a building without AC, ask your corporate housing team for a few fans to keep the air moving.
Seattle offers a ton of great options for summer interns needing a place to stay. South Lake Union is the most convenient to Amazon. It is close to Capitol Hill, with nightlife and restaurants, and downtown, with tourist attractions and shopping.
Capitol Hill is a sprawling neighborhood. The southern part is known for young people, alternative culture, restaurants and bars, and nightlife. It’s also going to be a little noisier and you will want to stay aware of your surroundings.
Belltown offers ultimate walkability and convenience – for a price. It is close to tourist attractions, the waterfront, the businesses of downtown, and is adjacent to South Lake Union. Rents are sky-high here, as are the apartment buildings, but you get a serious “wow” factor.
Fremont and Wallingford are close to Google, with great shopping/restaurant districts. Fremont calls itself “the center of the universe” for good reason. It is easy to get just about everywhere and offers a funky, creative vibe for residents.
University District is great for medical interns and those looking to save a few bucks and avoid the pricey downtown neighborhoods. Rents here can be more reasonable, and you are more likely to find renovated older buildings than new construction. Parking is cheaper, and you’re still just a few minutes from the downtown action, though traffic on I-5 should definitely be considered.
Do your research before you start looking for Seattle summer intern housing. Location, amenities, size, and length of your stay will impact the price you pay. If you are choosing a fully furnished, short term rental, ask what is included in the price.
Are utilities and internet included, or are those billed separately? Is there a furniture rental fee? Is rental insurance included, and if not, is it required by the company or the apartment complex? Are there deposits for the unit, and are they refundable or non-refundable?
Also check to make sure you know what your company is offering. Many companies offer interns housing at reduced prices, or offer a housing stipend for those who choose to find their own place to live. The stipend is meant to offset some of the costs of living in Seattle, but it is not meant to cover all your expenses. Factor this in when you are determining your overall budget.
Keep in mind how much you currently pay for your living expenses. When you add in utilities, internet and cable, parking, rental insurance, and the price of furniture, you likely spend an additional $500/month on top of rent. Renting a furnished apartment will be the same, though it is rolled into the final cost. Just something to remember if the prices seem higher than you expected.
Who to Live With
Do you want to live alone or with roommates? If you already know other interns coming into the area, it might be more fun to share the experience with friends. Or, you might be looking to make new friends and share costs by being paired up with a roommate. Some corporate housing companies can provide roommate matching services. Others require you to know your roommate before finding you housing.
When you evaluate a roommate, consider the following:
- Are you morning or night people? Living with someone on the same general schedule makes it easier to plan activities and avoid disrupting each other
- Are you generally messy or a clean freak?
- Are you active or more chill? Finding someone with a similar energy level is important
- How do you each plan to spend your free time? Someone who prefers to party after work might find it hard to live with someone who is only there to focus on work
- How much private space do you each need? Are you ok sharing a bathroom?
- If you get an apartment with a master bedroom and a smaller bedroom, who will sleep where, and how will you split costs fairly?
How to Evaluate Seattle Summer Intern Housing Companies
Once you’ve found some possible neighborhoods, decided a general budget, and weighed your priorities, it’s time to start the hunt. When you look at a corporate housing company, consider the following criteria.
- What kind of reviews do they have, and who are they from? Check sites like Google and Yelp
- What is included in their offer, and what costs would be extra?
- How easy are they to communicate with? Will they be there if you have a problem?
- What kind of units can they offer, and do they meet your needs?
Seattle is an amazing place to live anytime of the year, but especially during summer. Do your homework so you have realistic expectations when you start your house hunt. Be persistent but flexible. Come into the city with an open mind, and you will have a wonderful internship experience!