U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Washington
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 05-11-2015, 06:12 PM
 
23 posts, read 32,151 times
Reputation: 16

Advertisements

Greetings!

Due to a potential job change, I was hoping to get some local expertise on what would be a good fit for my family's living arrangements in the Pierce County area.

Here's a little bit about our situation:

1. We're a family of two married adults in our late 20's/early 30's with three pets moving from the suburbs of Toledo, OH. Both of us have lived our entire lives in the Great Lakes region (Indiana/Ohio) and have never even once set foot in Washington state. Needless to say, this would be a new world for us.

2. We currently own our home and would like to eventually purchase in the new area (after taking 6-12 months to make sure the job and fit is "right" by renting an apartment). Recognizing that costs and styles vary from region-to-region, we would still like to have a fairly similar living arrangement to our current condition (~1800 sq.ft. 3BR/2.5BA house built in 2004 w/ 2-car attached garage). We currently have a 1/3 acre lot and honestly wouldn't mind downsizing just so there's less yard to mow.

3. We are both politically progressive and I have previously held elected office and would love to potentially become involved in the local politics of my future region. I would also greatly appreciate being close to the local community colleges (Lakewood/Puyallup for Pierce and/or Tacoma for TCC).

4. Finally, we'd like to live in a safe area (who doesn't?), but we don't plan on having any children (outside of our aforementioned furry, 4-legged variety). Therefore, despite gladly supporting our local schools, we'd trade "amenities" (e.g., decent access to restaurants and parks) for any specific school district.

From this, here's a list of "wants/would likes":

1. A comparable house (again, willing to downsize some, but would like for it to be fairly new and under $180k) in a relatively safe neighborhood with a relatively short commute (15-20 minutes is fine) to the local area community colleges (Pierce in Fort Steilacoom or Puyallup or Tacoma CC).

2. Nothing near the water or across any large bridges.

2. A perspective on which areas to highly consider and/or highly avoid.

3. Any additional information you find pertinent to helping us feel if this is a good "fit" for us as we seek out our next chapter of our lives.

We have looked at Zillow/Realtor and found a few options in Orting, Spanaway, Bonney Lake, and South Hill that have interested us--any thoughts on these areas specifically would also be greatly welcomed!

Thanks in advance!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-11-2015, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Olympia
1,022 posts, read 3,581,807 times
Reputation: 828
Your price point will most likely drive your location choice. There won't likely be many decent and new housing choices for you in the Lakewood area. Further out places like Orting or Roy will allow you to buy more house for the money.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-13-2015, 12:53 AM
 
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
6,123 posts, read 4,327,071 times
Reputation: 3806
You should be able to make more money here - that should allow you to up your budget for buying, to more like $250,000, for instance. With that, you might actually be able to find the kind of place you've described in the areas you've mentioned.

It is worth checking out the school ratings, in that good schools and safe neighborhoods tend to be correlates.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-13-2015, 07:06 AM
mev
 
Location: Olympic Peninsula, Wa
154 posts, read 213,865 times
Reputation: 228
If you are progressive, you wouldn't be happy in Roy.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-13-2015, 04:40 PM
 
23 posts, read 32,151 times
Reputation: 16
I appreciate the responses so far (but more are welcomed--so please don't hesitate!)!

I should probably add a few more notes based on the responses so far:

1. If I am offered the potential job, it will have a contractually-stipulated salary per CBA. I already have a pretty good idea that will mean a combined family income of $50-60k annually. Also, as the salary appears to require legislative approval for any increases, I'm doubtful that there will be many substantive increases in the future. In other words, I'm not expecting it to keep pace with the traditional inflation or CPI rates, by any stretch as it is my understanding that the COLA rate has not been increased since 2008.

2. Our current living arrangement was very similar in terms of income, though we were able to purchase our home at "near" the bottom of the housing crisis for $141k on a 15-year 2.75% mortgage. I'm not expecting to necessarily repeat that, but considering the proceeds from selling our house should also net us a better down payment than what we initially put down on our current house, I would like to keep a 15-year mortgage in the neighborhood of $1,350/month (excluding PMI for any months that might require it). As I figure it, a 3.25% 15-year mortgage for a $200k house with $25k down would be just slightly over that figure (~$1,365/month fluctuating based on final rate, property taxes, etc.).

3. In doing some research on various Realtor sites + Zillow, I have noticed a decent number of houses meeting quite a bit of our criteria in Spanaway, certain areas of Tacoma, and around Frederickson. Can anyone shed some light on any of these areas?

Again, I appreciate all the help as we are planning to tour the area next month and would like to know as much as possible before our trip.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Washington
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top