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Old 07-29-2008, 03:13 AM
 
Location: Tumwater, wa
12 posts, read 39,034 times
Reputation: 14

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Hello all,
We are a military family currently living in Hawaii getting ready for the move to the fort Lewis Area in about 6 months. I will be stationed at Fort Lewis working at Grey Army Air Field.

My wife and I are both from the east coast, so we are used to having a nice sized lot (at least .20 acres). Living in hawaii where your back yard is about 20x30 Isn't cutting it. With any luck this will be my last move and I can retire. I would like to get a house that either meets ours needs now and for retirement or has potential to grow with my family and still meet our price range of less than 250,000.00. We would prefer a 1800+ SF house, newer construction, with a nice lot/ Back yard. We like camping boating, hunting and fishing, as well as shopping (my wife and girls) We would also like to be close to shopping/restaurants (with in 15-20 min) and close to Fort Lewis (30 min or less prefered)
I have looked all over this forum and gotten a lot of good info.
We have narrowed our ideal area's to live to:
Dupont
Lacey
Yelm/clearwood

The main area that fits what we want is Clearwood in Yelm. It appears that I can get a nice sized house that would fit our budget for less than 250,000.

Does anyone know what the commute time would be to Grey AAF/Fort Lewis? map quest says it takes 52 mins, but there has got to be a back gate???

And also the commute to the closest Target/Cost co/Shopping area?

And is there anything in Yelm, (I think there is a WALMART?)

How are the schools in Yelm, looking on schoolmatters.com Yelm district is slightly lower in test scores than Lacey/Olympia schools??? drive time to schools, etc.

Sorry for all the questions, just really excited about potentially my last move ever and I want to get it right the first time!!!!!!!
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Olympia
961 posts, read 2,570,904 times
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pbrking,

Taking into account what you're looking for in a home for your family and comparing the three communities you've listed, I have to say that Lacey is probably your best bet. All three towns are nice and great places to live, but most homes in Dupont come with postage sized lots and are priced above $250K. The commute from Yelm to Grey Army Airfield will be more than 30 minutes even using the back gate. Clearwood is an additional 15 minute drive from the opposite side of Yelm. Although Clearwood is a lovely gated community with lakes, pool and tennis courts, your nearest shopping opportunity is in Yelm. Yelm has a Walmart, one movie theater and a few supermarkets. The nearest Target, Costco or mall is in Olympia/Lacey. You should be able to find a nice sized home for under $250K in Lacey. Most new construction homes, however, will not come with a .2 acre lot. I'm certain you'll be able to find an affordable home that was built within the past 15 years, with a nice sized yard, with good schools, near all the shopping amenities and within a 15-20 minute commute to Ft. Lewis in Lacey.

Sandy
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Old 08-03-2008, 02:55 AM
 
103 posts, read 480,164 times
Reputation: 110
TheMLSonline.com - "Actives" List - Call 425-467-6577

I think Lacey will make everybody happy in your family.

Yelm is one road with walmart,fast food and very few other places to eat.
Every time I drive through there I wonder what kind of medical care there is after the couple Dr's in town go home at 4:30.Lacey would be the nearest place or Madigan Army Hospital at Fort Lewis.
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Old 08-03-2008, 05:33 PM
 
86 posts, read 300,118 times
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Go to Gig Harbor..
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Old 10-05-2008, 10:57 AM
 
1 posts, read 7,167 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbrking View Post
Hello all,
We are a military family currently living in Hawaii getting ready for the move to the fort Lewis Area in about 6 months. I will be stationed at Fort Lewis working at Grey Army Air Field.

My wife and I are both from the east coast, so we are used to having a nice sized lot (at least .20 acres). Living in hawaii where your back yard is about 20x30 Isn't cutting it. With any luck this will be my last move and I can retire. I would like to get a house that either meets ours needs now and for retirement or has potential to grow with my family and still meet our price range of less than 250,000.00. We would prefer a 1800+ SF house, newer construction, with a nice lot/ Back yard. We like camping boating, hunting and fishing, as well as shopping (my wife and girls) We would also like to be close to shopping/restaurants (with in 15-20 min) and close to Fort Lewis (30 min or less prefered)
I have looked all over this forum and gotten a lot of good info.
We have narrowed our ideal area's to live to:
Dupont
Lacey
Yelm/clearwood

The main area that fits what we want is Clearwood in Yelm. It appears that I can get a nice sized house that would fit our budget for less than 250,000.

Does anyone know what the commute time would be to Grey AAF/Fort Lewis? map quest says it takes 52 mins, but there has got to be a back gate???

And also the commute to the closest Target/Cost co/Shopping area?

And is there anything in Yelm, (I think there is a WALMART?)

How are the schools in Yelm, looking on schoolmatters.com Yelm district is slightly lower in test scores than Lacey/Olympia schools??? drive time to schools, etc.

Sorry for all the questions, just really excited about potentially my last move ever and I want to get it right the first time!!!!!!!
I live in Clearwood and LOVE it!! You don't mention how young your family is re:schools. Your commute to Target/Costco is right at 45minutes. I think your commute to Fort Lewis would be around 35-40. I pass the east gate on my way to Spanaway and it's 45 minutes to get there from my house.

We have a WalMart, Starbucks, KFC/Taco Bell, Mcdonalds, BK, Jack in the Box, Pizza Hut, Dominoes. There are at least three Chinese food restaurants, a few Mexican as well. There is no all American restaurant like a Denny's or Applebees here.

They are planning a big urgent care facility soon, but for now, the closest urgent medical care is Lacey.

Schools....? I haven't been thrilled with the schools. We moved here from Utah, when my now third grader was in second grade. She virtually repeated first grade. She tested almost as high at the beginning of the year as she did at the end, which tells me she learned nothing. So we're just doing extra work with the kids ourselves. If you have kids in elementary school and live in clearwood, the school is a seven minute drive from the back gate of clearwood. Staff is nice, school is careful, but the curriculum is sadly lacking compared to our schools in Utah.

For me, the commute to anywhere is worth our lifestyle here. My kids lead a normal life. We can let them ride their bikes to their friends houses, without fear. Everyone watches out for everyone elses kids. The speed limits are 10 and 20 mph (And yes it is enforced) People are super friendly, we actualy know everyone on our street, and most people with kids on our surrounding streets. Clearwood has so many fun activities throughout the year for the kids and adults, and IMO you don't ever have to leave except to shop.

There are two major downfalls to Clearwood. There is no cell phone service out here, and we lose power a few times a year, mostly in winter when we have storms and trees fall on the lines. Clearwood has all underground power lines, but the lines leading up to us aren't.
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Old 10-14-2008, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Big Island- Hawaii, AK, WA where the whales are!
1,477 posts, read 2,473,451 times
Reputation: 729
I will answer as I too live in Clearwood... Lived in Yelm area for 10 years.
First - I moved to Clearwood in 2005 during the housing boom. Looked for over a year. For the biggest new construction nicest house for price - green belt behind house - lakes - not cookie cutter housing development - trees trees - quiet - no street lights - swimming pool - nice area if you have to be in sub division.....I don't have kids - but local kids safe!
I looked in all the areas mentioned. Boston Harbor was my first choice but price kept me out of the area. I can make it to the back gate of FT Lewis most time in less than 30 minutes. Many miliatary live here.
As far as price - Wow this area right now has more houses for sale - many to choose from - easily get what you want for 200k. I bought mine at the highest time - 4 yr old great construction - 1600 sq ft for 215K today it is probable worth 180K tops now. (Actually did an appraisal and comps in April) many rentals at this point in time too. Too many people bought on arms and no $$ down loans so many foreclosures available - I know someone personally that bought 20 houses in one day.

It is a good place to live if you want not normal sub division.....I couldn't live with every house looking the same 20 ft apart without trails trees greenbelts to breakup.

Cons---
Road sucks to Clearwood. Just repaved and widened so see how this winter goes but when it gets icy - many accidents. People drive way too fast on it yr round - many accidents - snow forget it I worked in Yelm - took over an hour once - had accident in front of me twice. They just cant handle taking care of the road with snow. Only happens couple times a year though... icy. I lived in 6ft of snow regular so I can drive in it not a problem but it is the worst road ever lived on for ice in winter.

Cons
20 minutes to Yelm or anywhere -Yelm is growing lots - includes traffic peak time pain in the ass but better than many cities.
40 minutes to anyfreeway.
no cell service - Stuck to Fairpoint for internet DSL
no cable TV Fairpoint or sat TV
the gate major pain in ass--- gate card no code.... pain to have visitors come in - and out by back gate you have to have card to leave after 7pm
the weaving drive through community - if your in back takes forever to get to main road.
Power - the most I have gone without power is not continuouse but for the winter - 43 days - must have generator to be comfortable.

Good luck in your choosing....
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Old 10-26-2008, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Tumwater, wa
12 posts, read 39,034 times
Reputation: 14
wow thanks guys! We have been looking like crazy. We are seeing houses in clearwwod for under 200K. You can't touch that anywhere else. the power outages concern me a bit though. I am military and I am gone an aweful lot. I don't want to leave my wife and kids by themselves with power problems. My kids are 5 and 3 so the school situation concerns me as well. What is the general demographic of clearwood? is it most families with kids, retirees? I am guessing it mostly familes?
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Old 10-26-2008, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Big Island- Hawaii, AK, WA where the whales are!
1,477 posts, read 2,473,451 times
Reputation: 729
Clearwood is a combination of all... the retiree's are here and watch everything-- no speeding! Lots of families with kids - safe community for them to wander. Alot of military....And people like myself single..... The combination of trails - lakes - horse shoe pits tennis crts greenbelts again and affordable housing is the great thing. The school is only a few miles away. Don't have kids so cant comment... There are Halloween parties thrown for the kids and have fishing derby each spring for kids... Easter Egg Hunt .... so it is geered around families but single people like myself are comfortable here too!

Power outages are a pain -- but many houses are wired for generator -- when I bought mine the sellers even left the generator. Very easy to go out to garage flip the breaker start generator and power in all downstairs - although none up stairs. Many places are propane heat (although then you need power to have the forced heat to work ) and many would stoves too. Just make sure the house is wired for generator... you just get used to it. In most cases power out less than a day. I personally have helped new neighbor when husband out of town so..... they also have "worked" on the lines so well see how this winter goes.

If you don't mind not having safeway just around the corner..... which is kinda a pain (wishing right now I didn't have to drive 15 minutes to go to store)- I personally wouldn't move to a square block of cookie cutter McMansions with speeding traffic so it suits my taste. Good Luck
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:36 PM
 
2 posts, read 10,231 times
Reputation: 15
I have lived in Clearwood since 2005 and work at Grey Airfield on Ft Lewis. Puget Power has done many upgrades in the past 2 years and the power issues aren't much of an issue anymore. We lost power once this past year and it was a scheduled outage. I was deployed and also concerned about my wife being able to get the generator cranked up but she had no trouble. She's a small woman too, 4' 11" and 95 lbs. Ha ha. There is cell coverage in spots but not real reliable. The community voted to install a tower but they haven't done it yet. My commute time to the airfield is 35 min from my door to the airfield. The lakes are all stocked with trout and provide great fishing. My daughter and I love fishing the lakes. It also makes for a great scenic view year round and very quiet. The community pool is great for the kids and my wife. They used it nearly every day in the summer and it's heated. If you want to brave the cool water, they have swimming docks at the lake in several locations. Bald Hill road from Yelm to Clearwood is two lane and has a few turns in it but the traffic moves good. Some drivers aren't used to ice / snow driving but until this year I haven't seen an accumulation enough to barely cover the road. As for the housing market, many houses have been foreclosed but beware that buying a foreclosure can take significantly longer than the standard home. Some agents won't even show foreclosures and short sales because they have to invest such a large amount of time and many times the bank turnes the offer down after 60 days of waiting. You can definitely find some bargains here right now. The gate does use a card system but you can purchase as many cards as you wish and hand them out or you can place a card at the Clearwood store and your friends can just use it to enter then turn it back in. During the week M-F the Roy gate is open and you can get to post much faster using that gate. Other times you have to continue thru Roy on 507 and use East Gate Rd. (it adds about 7-10 min) You won't have any traffic problems between Ft Lewis and Clearwood during the week because you don't go thru Yelm. There is a short cut off road between McKenna and four corners that completely bypasses Yelm. All the roads have been repaved and widened in that area. Please post anymore questions. Fairpoint provides DSL internet, digital cable tv, and phone service. The DSL is plenty fast for me and we've had no issues so we're happy with it. Another nice thing is that the water bill is included in our low monthly community fee. The fee works out to be about $52 per month. Not bad for a heated pool with jacuzzi, lakes, trails, community maintenance, and more. Most neighborhood communities are charging about $100-$120 according to several friends of ours in Dupont and Puyallup. Please let me know if you want more detailed info.

Last edited by 58djoker; 01-01-2009 at 10:41 PM.. Reason: add info
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Old 01-04-2009, 01:44 AM
 
1 posts, read 6,822 times
Reputation: 10
58djoker, thank you for so much information. Can you tell me some more specific information such as how much of a deposit it takes for Fairpoint to get everything turned on? We are moving there soon and Im trying to get as much info as possible. Are there any jobs locally that are available now? Tell me the much dreaded answer, is it cloudy all the time? I was reading some of the regulations, do you really have to get a permit to have a garden or even plant something? Is the community fee the same as the HOA dues? Can you tell me about how much electricity runs there for say a 1000 square foot house. I heard there is no air conditioners, wow!! What about mosquitos? It sounds like a real community of people that watch out for each other. Someone I know lives there now and she says she loves it, I would like to know, if you know, how many people were given citations and had to go before the board in one year? How many houses would you say are in this community and is there any kind of medical help closer than Lacy? Do you know of any rental property there that would be available for around $800-$1000 per month and I am specifically looking for a house that allows pets and a fenced yard. I know this is alot to ask, you just seem to be very in tune to whats going on around there. You may email me directly at CarriFrederick at gmail dot com. I am currently a civilian working in the law enforcement field. Im excited about the move but apprehensive as well. Im sure you understand Im moving from Arkansas thats a looooooonnng way. I love to garden too I heard that its a perfect place for that.
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