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Old 07-21-2022, 05:36 PM
TD* TD* started this thread
 
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Hello, we may be moving to the area in the winter time for work. I want some suggestions on safe affordable areas to live. The job is based in Olympia, but may have remote work options so we are considering the whole Seattle Tacoma and Olympia areas as possible places to live. We see house prices are quite high compared to Tallahassee where we live now, so will need to rent for a year before buying. Are there really nice areas of these cities or other suburbs we should consider? We like hiking biking water sports, and love the outdoors. I guess price and commute could be another factor.

Anyhow, what’s the vibe and feel of these areas? What is Bellevue like?
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Old 07-21-2022, 05:57 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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With your job based in Olympia, I would suggest considering Lacey, just about 5 miles away. With about 50,000 people it's a small-medium city, but has a lot of amenities such as shopping and restaurants. It's safer than the state average, but avoid the Martin Way corridor where most of the crime occurs. Bellevue is the state's 5th largest city, and while not that big geographically, it attracts a lot of high paid workers and even with some remote workers now, it takes a long time to travel through the city, with gridlock frequently near downtown. They do have some of the best schools, however, if that's important to you. If you did have to report to the office at all, the drive from Bellevue to Olympia is a nightmare on a good day.
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Old 07-21-2022, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
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There's a LOT of difference in those places. There is a little of every vibe to be found in that range.

If your work is in Olympia, cost of either buying or renting will generally go UP the further north you go from there, and down the further South, West, or East you go.

There's hiking, biking, and watersports nearby anywhere.
What is "really nice" to you? Urban? Suburban? Rural?
Townhouse or Condo type living? A nice craftsman in a culdesac? Five acres in the woods?
Do you want to bike or walk to Whole Foods to shop, or drive to Costco and buy a pallet of groceries?
Animals? Scenery? Coffee Shops? Bars?

Instead of us trying to define every neighborhood in all those places, it might be more efficient for you to tell us what kind of vibe or lifestyle you want. - and... your budget.

I would guarantee there are nice places to live within 10 miles of where you will work in Olympia, no matter what your style or budget. There's city (small city, but city) suburban, rural and everything in between. Driving to Bellevue would be a 2 hour trip through the heaviest traffic corridor we have. You would want to have a very a good reason to choose to do that. And you wouldn't want to do that often.

Last edited by Diana Holbrook; 07-21-2022 at 06:08 PM..
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Old 07-21-2022, 08:27 PM
TD* TD* started this thread
 
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I do want at least a half acre of property, single family house. I want to be close to coffee shops/ breweries/ shopping is nice and medical facilities. Basically I don’t want to be far away from amenities, but am willing to live a bit further out to get more land for my money and still be close enough to amenities. I don’t want to be more than 10 minutes to nice shopping.
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Old 07-21-2022, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
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Well if you look in the Olympia area I would recommend Tumwater. Greater Olympia is basically three small cities that all run together. Tumwater, Olympia, and Lacey.

Tumwater has all of the major shopping… Like Costco and Home Depot big drug store, Walmart Albertsons, Fred Meyer. Some of those might be local chains that you’re not familiar with :-).

Tumwater is growing. A couple good restaurants including a couple of my regular spots. I grew up at Black Lake and went to school at Tumwater so I obviously think it’s a pretty good school even though it’s grown a lot since I was there. For hiking or mountain biking you have Capital Forest just miles away and swimming and water skiing at Black Lake.

And perhaps most important in general I think Tumwater city has dealt with the homeless encampment situation better than Olympia or Lacey. There are nice old and new neighborhoods in Tumwater… Black Lake, Delphi, Littlerock for more rural.

It’s a place to start anyway :-) if you’re planning on renting I would stay close to work, you can always branch out once you get here and get familiar.

Last edited by Diana Holbrook; 07-21-2022 at 09:37 PM..
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Old 07-21-2022, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
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Look at the Shelton area:

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2...60931090_zpid/

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/4...60923950_zpid/

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/5...60923195_zpid/
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Old 07-22-2022, 01:06 PM
TD* TD* started this thread
 
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Cool, good to know. I think Tacoma seems like a good area.

Big enough to have what I need without being crazy like Seattle.

Prices are high though!
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Old 07-22-2022, 11:48 PM
 
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
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Tacoma to Olympia commute looks good on paper, but can be tough in reality. A 30-minute commute with flowing traffic can easily become an hour or more without, depending on time of day and traffic generated by Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Shelton -> Olympia is a 30-minute drive that shouldn't vary much. Shelton has a Walmart Supercenter. Railroad Tap Station, High Steel Beer Co., and Town Pub & Deli. Non-chain restaurants and cafes. Primary and emergency care.

Close to Olympic National Park, Hood Canal. Hour and a half drive to Westport, Ocean Shores, and the Pacific beaches for fishing, crabbing, clam digging, beach combing, surfing, kite flying, roasted hot dogs/marshmellows, etc. More house and land for the money.

Everything else in Olympia: Specialty care and major hospitals. Costco, Trader Joe's, Home Depot, Big Lots, Dick's Sporting Goods. Capitol (Movie) Theatre (landmark) and multiplexes.

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/4...60931697_zpid/ (1.02 acres)

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2...60931569_zpid/ (0.83 acres)

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1...14844464_zpid/ (5 acres)
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Old 07-25-2022, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
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If the job is in Olympia, you do not want to live in Seattle, the traffic will kill you.

As CrazyDonkey says, even the traffic between Olympia and Tacoma can vary tremendously. 20 minutes one day, close to an hour the next day. Some of this has to do with the commuting demand from JBLM, some of it has to do with the fact that I-5 is the only north-south interstate on this side of the mountains, and secondary routes are not adequate to take even a small fraction of the traffic. One collision can shut the highway down for quite some time.
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Old 07-25-2022, 04:04 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TD* View Post
I do want at least a half acre of property, single family house. I want to be close to coffee shops/ breweries/ shopping is nice and medical facilities. Basically I don’t want to be far away from amenities, but am willing to live a bit further out to get more land for my money and still be close enough to amenities. I don’t want to be more than 10 minutes to nice shopping.
Define "nice shopping". Someone mentioned big box stores. Other people's idea of "nice shopping" is Saks 5th Avenue and Nieman Marcus. Some people's idea of "nice shopping" is streets lined with locally-owned shops with local artisan work of various sorts, homey coffee shops/bakeries, a food co-op, a mom/pop hardware store, etc.

Also define "10 minutes to...". You mention walking. No more than 10 minutes by foot to nice shopping, or 10 minutes by car?

That's quite a wish list. And you say the RE prices you're seeing in Tacoma are high? You want a half acre within 10 minutes of "nice shopping" at a bargain price (for western WA in a major job center)?


OP, ..... reality check!
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