I would suggest you go online now to learn about the "where", then start watching Craigslist or Seattle PI rental listings for pricing and availability. I know that when I rented out my house on Craigslist last spring, I listed it in April for a June 1st rental, had 23 couples/families come thru, received 19 applications in that first week alone, and my renters moved in over Memorial Day weekend. Good luck! You'll love it here! :o)
206 245 8320
"When it's not raining" good answer, lol. Rentals are tight, but it will really depend on what you are looking for. Whatever is on the market now will be long gone by then. Are you planning a trip out early to seek out areas? I would encourage that so you can know where you hope to be and can check with apartment managers about leases coming due when you want to arrive.
If you are looking to rent a home, a local agent can send you listings. I would encourage that to start early so you can gain market knowledge. That way you'll know a fair deal when you see it.
Where will you be working and how do you want to commute to work? What do you like to do after work?
And welcome to Seattle. Coming out in May would be best as most tenants usually only have to give 20 days notice that they are vacating to their landlords. So, coming in the beginning to the middle of the month prior to your move in date will give you the best chance of seeing what will be available for June 1st. Rental rates are increasing and in Capitol Hill and Wallingford, which are very desirable neighborhoods, you will find competition for rental units so you just want to make sure you are ready to pull the trigger when you find the right place!
It sounds like even though match hasn't happened that you might be coming in for a residency/fellowship/faculty position at UW and I thought I would mention that we do work with a lot of residents and faculty doctors who are relocating to our area. In turn, we have created a program to help with their specific needs. You can find out more about our Urban Rounds Program at this link: http://www.urbanmarco.com/index.php?page=Urban+Rounds. It is directed mostly towards those buying, as that is our focus as real estate agents, but we do help with rentals as well as we know not everyone relocating is ready to buy. If you would like to hear more about the rental services we offer, please let us know.
Congrats on the move,
It sounds like you know your neighborhoods so if you contact me through my website (not Trulia) I will send you a flier that I have of rental websites that I recommend. Craig's List is not my favorite.