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Old 01-14-2017, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Shelton, WA
320 posts, read 250,581 times
Reputation: 407

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We are looking to retire this summer..
We have new grandbabies this year so we want to be closer to them.. ( both will be in WA this year).
My husband can work couple days a week at his former company and they have one in Olympia and Tacoma..
So I have been looking around Oly/Lacey/Tumwater/Yelm areas online..
But somehow I started looking at Gig Harbor and i'm falling in love with all the photos and videos I have seen of it.. Reminds me a bit of when I live at the coast in San Diego years ago..

So in my search of Gig Harbor online , also found some nice homes on Zillow in Port Orchard, Bremerton, Belfair, Allyn....

So my questions are how is life living on the Puget Sound?
It looks like there is a great sense of community there..
I am noticing it is about 5 degrees warmer than Olympia area..
Being so close to all the water, has there ever been major flooding?
We would love to get a boat and Kayaks too.. How safe is the water in terms of sharks and whales?
Are there any nearby lakes you could water ski on?

We will be there in a week and half to check it out.. I wanted to see it in the winter so I have an idea of what it would be like then.. We will be back out in the summer to buy..
We went to Oregon last summer for week and looked all around and loved it.. Considered NI, but too much snow.. Then we found out our grandkids are going to WA so want to check out that area..
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Old 01-14-2017, 11:17 PM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
16,154 posts, read 7,089,742 times
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You won't see flooding on the Sound itself - just tides - but of course rivers can and do flood on occasion. You should have no trouble finding out whether a particular house is on a flood plain or not.

Orcas are common in the Sound. But they are used to boats and people, I've never heard of one doing anything to harm a person. Dunno about sharks. There are plenty of lakes, both large and small. Lake Cushman is a summer resort in the area - Lake Cushman Resort info, Hoodsport, RV Camping, Boating Fishing- Lake Cushman Resort - and there are others.

Most people who live here just love it. But you are wise to visit during the winter before you make your move. Winters are dark here, because we are so far north. From about Thanksgiving through February, sunrise is around 7:30 am and sunset at 5:00 pm, and some people find these short days very hard to take.

When you say community, what does that mean for you?
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Old 01-15-2017, 12:11 AM
 
Location: Shelton, WA
320 posts, read 250,581 times
Reputation: 407
thanks Jacqueg

It sounds wonderful.♥
By Community, we are looking for a town that everyone pretty much knows everyone.. A friendly place.. a place that we can get involved with.. To have a sense of belonging.. We are coming from So CA and we really don't have much of that here.. We want a town that has community events, to get to know everyone.. Would also like to find a nice non denominational Church around there too.. Would love to be able to do some volunteer work too .
Hope that makes sense ..
We are excited to come out in the next couple weeks and see it.. ♥
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Old 01-15-2017, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
16,154 posts, read 7,089,742 times
Reputation: 9154
Quote:
Originally Posted by therese marie View Post
thanks Jacqueg

It sounds wonderful.♥
By Community, we are looking for a town that everyone pretty much knows everyone.. A friendly place.. a place that we can get involved with.. To have a sense of belonging.. We are coming from So CA and we really don't have much of that here.. We want a town that has community events, to get to know everyone.. Would also like to find a nice non denominational Church around there too.. Would love to be able to do some volunteer work too .
Hope that makes sense ..
We are excited to come out in the next couple weeks and see it.. ♥
The reason why I asked is that some people complain that Seattleites aren't friendly. And it's true that we don't shower people we've just met with invitations. But since you're from SoCal, I don't think you'll find it much different here - seems to me that it's mostly folks from the south and midwest who have this reaction.

Finding a church or other organization to get active in is the best way to make friends.

Do you mind saying whether you are socially liberal or conservative? The Puget Sound area is very interesting in that respect. Seattle is one of the bluest cities in the nation, while Bremerton, within sight distance across the water, is noticeably more conservative, because of the military presence. Either way, you will be able to find what you need, just be aware.

Be sure to take a look at Poulsbo while you're exploring the area. Some of the other places you mentioned are more like wide spots in the road, but Poulsbo is a real town.
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Old 01-15-2017, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
3,827 posts, read 2,047,976 times
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We don't think of sharks or dangerous sea creatures, living in WA... but I think that's because no one swims in the Sound. We do have Orcas, and once in awhile, reports of a Great White being caught. Neither are a threat to boaters, usually....

Living very close to Puget Sound does moderate the temperatures. Puget Sound is 58 degrees, all the time, summer and winter. So it does tend to cool in summer and warm in winter.

Not that it never snows on the beach, it does... but if it's iffy... it will rain at the beach when snow is falling just a half mile up the hill.

You might find that 'small town feel' in many of the Peninsula communities. Gig Harbor... the pictures that you're seeing are the old town.... it's grown, and if you go up by the highway, all the major bix box stores are there... Costco, Home Depot, etc. Allyn is still a small town.... Belfair... Port Orchard, also. Yet not far back to Gig Harbor or Bremerton for big box shopping needs.
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Old 01-15-2017, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Shelton, WA
320 posts, read 250,581 times
Reputation: 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacqueg View Post
The reason why I asked is that some people complain that Seattleites aren't friendly. And it's true that we don't shower people we've just met with invitations. But since you're from SoCal, I don't think you'll find it much different here - seems to me that it's mostly folks from the south and midwest who have this reaction.

Finding a church or other organization to get active in is the best way to make friends.

Do you mind saying whether you are socially liberal or conservative? The Puget Sound area is very interesting in that respect. Seattle is one of the bluest cities in the nation, while Bremerton, within sight distance across the water, is noticeably more conservative, because of the military presence. Either way, you will be able to find what you need, just be aware.

Be sure to take a look at Poulsbo while you're exploring the area. Some of the other places you mentioned are more like wide spots in the road, but Poulsbo is a real town.
My husband is a Democrat and I was raised Republican but we find we are a mix of both..( liberal and conservative).
I hear so many great things about Poulsbo and for sure going to check it out.. ♥
thank you again
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Old 01-15-2017, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Shelton, WA
320 posts, read 250,581 times
Reputation: 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Holbrook View Post
We don't think of sharks or dangerous sea creatures, living in WA... but I think that's because no one swims in the Sound. We do have Orcas, and once in awhile, reports of a Great White being caught. Neither are a threat to boaters, usually....

Living very close to Puget Sound does moderate the temperatures. Puget Sound is 58 degrees, all the time, summer and winter. So it does tend to cool in summer and warm in winter.

Not that it never snows on the beach, it does... but if it's iffy... it will rain at the beach when snow is falling just a half mile up the hill.

You might find that 'small town feel' in many of the Peninsula communities. Gig Harbor... the pictures that you're seeing are the old town.... it's grown, and if you go up by the highway, all the major bix box stores are there... Costco, Home Depot, etc. Allyn is still a small town.... Belfair... Port Orchard, also. Yet not far back to Gig Harbor or Bremerton for big box shopping needs.
Thanks Diana
We are looking for a small town feel just have to be at least 30 minutes from a Target ha ha..
I know for sure we wanted to find a spot that has lots of trees and close to water, either the sound or a lake..
I am so excited to check out all these little towns...thank you
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Old 01-15-2017, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
3,827 posts, read 2,047,976 times
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I know the Peninsula well, we have a beach house that used to belong to our grandparents in the Gig Harbor area.

One thing to note, there is a $6 toll now on the Narrows bridge when traveling from Gig Harbor to Tacoma. The toll is not charged the other direction. It's not too bad if almost everything you need is on the Gig Harbor side, and you only have to go to Tacoma occasionally. It's a lot if you needed to commute across regularly.

We often go the back way home through Allyn and Belfair, to avoid the tolls on 16. Let me know if you have more questions about any of those little towns.
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Old 01-15-2017, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
6,151 posts, read 4,361,630 times
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If your husband only has to go to Tacoma a couple times a week, look at the Key Peninsula, which will give you a much more of a "community" feel than Gig Harbor:

Lakeway: Lakebay WA Single Family Homes For Sale - 32 Homes | Zillow

Vaughn Bay: Vaughn WA Single Family Homes For Sale - 6 Homes | Zillow

Longbranch: Longbranch WA Single Family Homes For Sale - 4 Homes | Zillow
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Old 01-15-2017, 02:33 PM
 
735 posts, read 548,906 times
Reputation: 1009
Try not to buy in summer, I know it's when the market is the best, but at least try to live through a fall/winter to get a sense of things like our wind storms, flooding and home issues. This year the storms were particular bad, trees might be nice to look at, but don't buy a home that may be smashed by a falling tree.

I love the Puget Sound, as a diver the waters are amazing and I have dove all around the world. There really are no threats from animals in the Sound, but people who underestimate the power of the water do die every year. Respect the ocean, respect the cold temperature, understand your limits and plan for contingencies and you will probably be fine.

All the areas you're talking about are great, you really should move here, rent and explore them. Where are the grankids located, if it's not too far from them I would throw Silverdale into consideration for the retirement home, though don't think I would want to commute to Tacoma from there, let alone Olympia.

Let me add the one negative I found living the area, it seemed like it was a lot of driving and lots of fast, twisty two lane roads which I wasn't the biggest fan of and this was when I was young, sharp and people weren't addicted to their cell phones. If I was going to retire in the area I would budget for a car that had driver assist features, we're all getting older, our reaction times are getting slower and more and more people have to use their cell phones no matter the situation, might as well have a second set of electrical eyes helping you out.

The summers are magical out there, the glistening water, the green trees, the never ending daylight and perfect temperatures, just remember that magic when you're hunkering down during the not so perfect fall and winter or better yet, budget for trips to warmer dryer areas.
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