What Is the Real Cost of Living in Kingston, WA?

What Is the Real Cost of Living in Kingston, WA?

The lovely Puget Sound is funneled in by the Pacific Ocean and feeds all the creeks and rivers that flow through the far northwest coast of Washington state. It is a fascinating landscape where dozens of cities, including Seattle and Tacoma, sit on the water. In this geography, cities are separated by bays and passages that require ferry crossings or bridges. Kingston perches at the edge of a small peninsula that juts into the sound just north of and across from Seattle. Kingston’s location makes it difficult to access and exclusive, a contrast that reflects the actual cost of living in Kingston real estate.

The city of Kingston is sweet, quaint, and has an old-world feel to it offset by grand, stately homes. Even the smaller homes have a character that is quintessentially Pacific Northwest. You’re far from the city, so you will have to take a ferry to get anywhere off the sound, and the housing here is a bit more expensive than in other locations around the state. At the same time, you have the luxury of living in a highly sought-after, remote community set in beautiful surroundings with high-ranked schools and a fun downtown to explore at your leisure. The perks far outweigh the drawbacks when deciding to buy a home in Kingston.

Cost of living in Kingston, WA

Transportation adds extra expenses

While most major metropolitan cities are surrounded by smaller towns that are less expensive, Seattle takes this normality to the extreme. Generally, the farther away from the big city you get, the less expensive the housing will be and the less hustle and bustle you can expect. Consequently, homeowners who work in the city must balance convenience against a bigger home.

In the case of Kingston, the commute to the nearest major city (Seattle) is via ferry and takes an hour. You can skip the ferry and drive south, but the trip doubles to two hours. For those who work in Seattle, that is quite a commute, one that requires driving your car onto a ferry and hoping the schedules are consistent and reliable. Even if you don’t work in Seattle, it can feel like a pain to make that long trip just to get into the big city when you could live in one of the cities closer to Seattle and not across the water.

Thus, Kingston's highest unexpected living costs are the need to own a reliable, comfortable vehicle to commute for hours, pay for ferry fees, and spend extra money on gas. Considering how high the prices of cars and the cost per gallon of gas is right now, those expenses are significant.

Housing costs

In relative terms, housing is expensive in Kingston. The unincorporated community has seen highs that have made it one of the nation’s hottest real estate markets, particularly during the recent pandemic, when people fled large, overcrowded cities and sought refuge in smaller towns. Though the market has leveled out since then, the median home price remains high, with many larger homes selling above $1 million. As of July 2023, the houses listed for sale in Kingston are more expensive on average than the national median home price.

Still, Kingston is easily one of the nation’s most beautiful places to live. Both surrounded and filled with nature, from green spaces and trees to large bodies of water, you cannot help but feel like you are living in a gentler, more relaxed time. There are no rundown or empty neighborhoods, nor will you find highly industrialized or crowded areas. The community has maintained its beauty from the charming downtown, along the suburban streets, and out to its borders. You’ll also find gorgeous walking and hiking trails in Kingston that encourage you to breathe in nature and breathe out stress. While you will pay more for a home in Kingston, you certainly get what you pay for.

Industry is minimal

While the median household income in Kingston is well above the national median, jobs based in Kingston do not typically come with high incomes. No tech industry, university system, or major medical or pharmaceutical organization is housed in Kitsap County, so many of Kingston’s residents work on the other side of the Sound. Unless you work for yourself or remotely, you will probably be commuting to work every day to maintain a high household income. At the same time, all the nearest public schools have good reviews from locals, and the private schools are much appreciated.

Miscellaneous costs

Kingston is considered part of the Bremerton metro area, which ranks in the top 10% most expensive in the U.S. The overall cost of living in Kingston comes in at about 23% higher than the national average. However, outside transportation and housing, your expenses as a Kingston resident are reasonable. Groceries are slightly more expensive due to Kingston’s remoteness, while energy and utility bills fall about 44% below the national average (a monthly savings of about $50). Compared with Seattle averages, mortgage and rent in Kingston are a bargain — about $600 and $700 cheaper, respectively.

The Catherine Arlen Team is your Kingston realtors

The Catherine Arlen Team is an expert in real estate in Kitsap County, and they have helped many clients buy and sell homes in Kingston. Longtime Kingston residents, they have the knowledge and the experience to help clients find the homes of their dreams at the right price point. Contact The Catherine Arlen Team today to find your next home in Kingston.

*Header photo courtesy of Savannah Moran

Work With Us

Our goal is to make one of life’s biggest transitions as smooth as possible. After your purchase or sale is complete, we are happy to help with anything that may arise. We love what we do, and we thoroughly enjoy connecting with such wonderful people.

Follow Us on Instagram