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Old 08-20-2020, 04:31 PM
 
245 posts, read 451,367 times
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I have been approached about possibly relocating to WA, I have a family with 2 kids in High School and one in Middle School, I like the idea of possibly living on or near a lake, even mountain views would be nice. We are NOT City people, but we do like convenience to shopping like Costco and such. Schools are important. I looked online and it appears Realtor.com has a lot more listings then Zillow for some reason. University Place or Gig Harbor seem like what I am looking for or even Olympia, but honestly it is hard to tell. The good news is I do not have to commute to Seattle. My Budget would be $600-900K. I know that is a big range, I could probably go a little higher but it would have to be perfect. A lot of what I am seeing is either pending sale or lots that are too large, we like privacy, but not 5 plus acres of privacy. The kids play Ice Hockey, Golf, Dance, Cheer Leading, etc. And they love to take walks through the woods and such. I currently live on a nice golf coarse and we love it. I am not sure if anything like that is available, but a neighborhood on a Golf Course would be nice too. Our last 3 homes were all New Construction, we would like somewhere that the kids would be able to have other kids in the area. We are not against a resale, but for whatever reason New Construction seems to always be what we prefer.

I have noticed just about everything new construction says "Pending" is the market really that hot that all of these are selling prior to them being built?

I am concerned about the current market I am assuming Seattle is similar to NY, in NY right now the Suburbs housing is going through the roof, everyone is moving out of NY. I would not want to be in a situation where I buy high due to this.

One more quick point I have visited Seattle and I would prefer to stay away from areas with the Homeless problem.

Any thoughts would be appreciated, in the mean time I will continue to research.

Thank you so much!!!!

Last edited by Homer12; 08-20-2020 at 05:33 PM..
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Old 08-21-2020, 07:46 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
33,082 posts, read 60,089,538 times
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Yes, the housing market is nuts. The small house across the street from us went on the market last Thursday for $729k, 3/2 2,300 sf. They had a bidding war and it sold in 4 days for $20k over asking. There just isn't much inventory available. New homes here are $1.3 million and up and they are selling like hotcakes.



I am not familiar with the schools but have a friend in Gig Harbor, and that would be my choice, because of the proximity to the water and views. Otherwise I wouldn't rule out Lacey. They have just about everything you could possibly need in the way of shopping and restaurants.
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Old 08-21-2020, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Western Washington
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Olympia/Lacey/Tumwater is not as expensive as the Seattle area, you should be able to find something nice for your budget. I would not want to do a Gig Harbor to Lacey commute however, as you will struggle with JBLM traffic daily.

Consider areas north and west of Olympia, such as Steamboat Island or Boston Harbor. There are many waterfront or water view properties in the area because of the islands and Puget Sound coast.
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Old 08-21-2020, 09:42 AM
 
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Thank you so much!!!

I keep seeing JBLM, I’ll have to look into that, I’m assuming a military base or something?
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Old 08-21-2020, 10:19 AM
 
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I just looked it up, I am a veteran so being around the base doesn't bother me, but I do understand the traffic/driving through it concern. At first I thought driving away from Seattle would be against traffic and would result in an easy commute, I appreciate the input I will certainly not consider this.
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Old 08-21-2020, 11:31 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
33,082 posts, read 60,089,538 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homer12 View Post
I just looked it up, I am a veteran so being around the base doesn't bother me, but I do understand the traffic/driving through it concern. At first I thought driving away from Seattle would be against traffic and would result in an easy commute, I appreciate the input I will certainly not consider this.
Whenever we drive south to Portland or to CA we always run into a traffic jam, any time of the day or day of the week about South Tacoma to a bit past Dupont. (Then we always stop for breakfast at our favorite dive, the Farmboy Restaurant on Maytown Rd. just south of Olympia)
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Old 08-21-2020, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homer12 View Post
I just looked it up, I am a veteran so being around the base doesn't bother me, but I do understand the traffic/driving through it concern. At first I thought driving away from Seattle would be against traffic and would result in an easy commute, I appreciate the input I will certainly not consider this.
Yes, a huge military base. With your housing interests, it would be unlikely for you to live near the base in any case, as you aren't going to find that type of housing proximate to JBLM. There is some noise from the planes and helicopters, but on a regional level, nothing too concerning.

Traffic between Olympia and Seattle is almost always bogged down somewhere. As you get further from Seattle, I-5 reduces capacity by shedding lanes, almost to the point that it looks planned to back up. JBLM is merely one choke point, Tacoma is another. Yes, there is a bit of a benefit to having a counter-commute, but you should think of it as slightly less terrible, not actually traffic free.

Olympia/Lacey/Tumwater are smaller cities, with fewer amenities than Tacoma or Seattle, but also less costly. It is the classic decision of what type of environment do you want to live in, what do you want to pay, and how much tolerance do you have for commuting?
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Old 08-21-2020, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
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The downside to commuting from Gig Harbor, in addition to the distance and traffic, is bridge tolls. The current toll is $5 with the auto pay chip thing in your car, $6 cash in person. The bridge toll is OK once in awhile for tourists, but I don't think you want it every day.

There's no real reason to go that far, if you're working in Lacey, and would like to live a bit out of town, there are lots of really nice options in Olympia, Lacey or Tumwater you should be able to find something with a nice home and a bit of land. There are a few golf communities in the area.

There is a LOT of new construction happening right now, but it is also going fast. Places are going in days, over list. It's not easy to get in and be successful unless you're willing and able to act fast.

I think Tumwater schools are the best, but that's where I went! Olympia also tests well, I think.

If you are working in Lacey, you might also want to consider looking out toward Yelm. There's some issues with Yelm, it's a quirky town and there are issues with traffic, there's only a couple ways in and out and they're almost always under construction to widen and deal with the growth in the area.

Unfortunately there is a homeless issue in Olympia right now, and it is visible, in that most of the homeless tents are alongside the freeway. There are a few other locations too. The problem is real, but mostly contained to a relatively small avoidable area. I think it's much better in Tumwater and Lacey than in Olympia... because they have more effective city governments at dealing with it. I don't know yet what the long term plan will look like for this issue. Probably more involved than can be answered here.
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Old 08-23-2020, 10:04 PM
 
Location: WA
3,832 posts, read 4,840,959 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homer12 View Post
I just looked it up, I am a veteran so being around the base doesn't bother me, but I do understand the traffic/driving through it concern. At first I thought driving away from Seattle would be against traffic and would result in an easy commute, I appreciate the input I will certainly not consider this.
Yes it is a huge base. Some years ago they combined Fort Lewis which is a major Army Base with McChord Air Force Base into a single unit. I'm not sure why, probably to reduce duplication of civilian management and personnel. Anyway it is problematic in terms of traffic for two reasons:

1. Because it is massive it generates enormous traffic on it's own right.

2. It occupies a massive swath of land to the south and east of I-5 at a point where the Puget Sound shoreline is not far west which produces a severe bottleneck effect for north/south travel through that section of the sound. There are really no alternative routes other than surface streets through Lakewood and Steilacoom to the west, or going WAY around the base on highway 507 to the east. The rest of the Puget Sound region has multiple north-south arterial highways except for that one spot next JBLM so you can be driving on I-5 between Portland and say Vancouver Canada and often find that one spot to have the worst traffic of the entire route. Save yourself some grief and avoid any commutes that will take you through there on a daily basis.

If you are going to be working in Lacy, there are plenty of nice areas to live in the greater Olympia area that will suit you rather than commuting down from the Tacoma area. Especially if you aren't looking for something urban. In terms of schools, Tumwater, Olympia, and North Thurston (Lacy) school districts are the most highly rated in Thurston County. You should surely be able to find a place to your liking within those three districts. In terms of high schools which I assume is your priority, the top 8 rated high schools in Thurston county are from those three school districts: Moderator cut: link removed, competitor site

Last edited by Yac; 08-26-2020 at 01:19 AM..
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Old 08-23-2020, 10:28 PM
 
5,515 posts, read 5,075,207 times
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There are at least 3 golf courses in area including south and I think southeast of Lacey. I forget the names.

There are a number of modest to small lakes in area in addition to Puget Sound adjacent properties so you will have options for waterfront.

I wouldn't pick University Place over Thurston County unless you thought you'd go into Tacoma a lot. Gig Harbor... I don't know that it is worth the commute hassle but could be for some. Maybe for the downtown and community feel. In Thurston County there is lots more shoreline though it is mostly low key. It depends on the style you are after.

Last edited by NW Crow; 08-23-2020 at 11:13 PM..
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