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Old 09-07-2006, 06:39 PM
 
19 posts, read 145,281 times
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I have read a couple of posts here about Tacoma but I was hoping someone could elaborate on the Pros and Cons of the Tacoma Area. I'm looking for cost of living, good areas to live in or very close to Tacoma, good elementary school district, weather, traffic, the whole nine yards. I currently live on the Oregon Coast so I know how the weather can be. I just would appreciate any insight on the Tacoma or Pierce county area because that is where I would be working. Thanks for any help
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Old 09-08-2006, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Maine
22,915 posts, read 28,256,756 times
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Pros:
Much more affordable than Seattle.

Nice zoo.

Nice waterfront area.

You really don't have much of the high-minded, snooty attitudes that you sometimes run into in Seattle.


Cons:
You have to be very careful about where you live. Tacoma is having serious problems with gangs these days.

Crime is getting worse.

The "Tacoma aroma." (It's from the port and the pulp mills.)

Traffic, while not nearly as bad as Seattle, is still really, really bad. Rush hour is a nightmare.


Weather:
Not all that different from Seattle. Snow is rare, though when it does happen, it does tend to shut down the city, simply because no one is prepared for it. It's pretty gray and drizzly from about October to June. Not constant raining. More like constant drizzle. July through September is actually really, really dry. So much so that you find yourself praying for rain to relieve the heat and get all the smog out of the air.

Very few homes in the Tacoma area have air conditioning. You don't really need it until July and August, then you REALLY need it. July and August are just miserable.

Really cold temperatures are very rare though. Lots of people don't even own a heavy coat. If the heater in your car is good, you can get away with wearing a jacket even in December and January.


Conclusion:
Were it me and I was working in Tacoma, I'd probably try to live in some of the outlying areas like Gig Harbor, Fox Island, etc.
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Old 09-09-2006, 12:05 AM
 
534 posts, read 3,110,927 times
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agreed. You probably don't want to live *in* Tacoma. Just the other day a 20 something male was gunned down outside of a montessori school.

Anywhere north of Tacoma off 16 is fairly conservative and safe.
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:37 AM
 
19 posts, read 145,281 times
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Thanks for the replies. Right now I have a choice of working in Tacoma or Dallas Texas. What a hard decision to make. Both have their pros and cons. I didn't know crime was so bad in Tacoma. I heard the Gig Harbor area is very expensive to live in. More food for thought I guess...
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Old 09-13-2006, 08:39 PM
 
692 posts, read 3,141,616 times
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The only way to beat the problem of commuting for most is to Retire early. Thats what I did and am I glad I could. When I look around the whole Seattle/Tacoma area it's gone NUTS.
Lived in Seattle for 64 years and never ever thought I would get out but I have.
The population Boom is hitting Washingtons west side very hard nowdays as Jobs, Crime, weather in hot and humid areas....etc. etc. are forcing many to look for a better place to live.
If your from the Oregon Coast then it's probably going to be a more difficult life style for you at either location.
If I had to chose only from those two locations I would choose Tacoma.
You don't mind the weather, so commuting and crime and schools should be your major challenge. You will probably have the same in Texas.

It would be a good Idea to find a rental and give it 6/12 months while you get it all figured out instead of rushing into a home ownership that could come back to haunt you if you make a mistake. Home prices are high here and if you wait a year, you may find you just saved yourself some money as the realestate markets start to come down. Once that starts there will also be more inventory of homes to choose from.
Take it from someone that has lived thru three cycles of bust and boom.
The second cylce found me buying a nice 3 bedroom home right in Bellevue for ( Believe it or not) $13,000. It was a nice clean house in a good area and was a Bank repo. WOW. I won't ever forget that deal.
Also a late breaking note......First case of West Nile Virus just reported today in Tacoma.

Wish you well on your difficult decision,

Silverfox
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Old 09-13-2006, 10:09 PM
 
18 posts, read 114,170 times
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Good advice, Silverfox!
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Old 09-17-2006, 10:19 PM
 
24 posts, read 195,400 times
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good grief! all this talk about gangs and such has me wanting to cancel my plans to visit there to look for a place to rent. If one were to look for and hopefully find a home to rent on Fox Island or Gig Harbor or Bainbridge; how do you commute to ther areas? Is there a bridge? Or do you have to take the ferry? Is anything being done in regards to the gang situation? Before I found this board all the things I've read about Seattle and vicinty were about how great it was to live there.
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Old 09-18-2006, 09:32 AM
 
534 posts, read 3,110,927 times
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Seattle is a great place to live. It's relatively safe, the only thing that might surprise you is the cost of things (gas, food, housing, etc). When I first moved to the area from Georgia, that was what blew me away the most.

The area people are talking about on here is mostly the I5 corridor from South Seattle down through Tacoma and beyond (Lakewood). While it's not all bad in all areas along here, you will find metro Seattle's worst areas along this route.

If you're coming from Alabamba you'll probably feel more comfortable in Bonney Lake/Enumclaw/Orting/Puyallup than most Seattle areas, but all of these areas are mainly commuter areas to Tacoma and Seattle based jobs. If you're more of a country person, Olympia/Lacey and points south of there are much more attractive.

Fox Island or Bainbridge - ferry routes. Gig Harbor is mainly by car (not even sure if they have a ferry) over the bridge to Tacoma.
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Old 09-18-2006, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Maine
22,915 posts, read 28,256,756 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southerngirl_for_now View Post
If one were to look for and hopefully find a home to rent on Fox Island or Gig Harbor or Bainbridge; how do you commute to ther areas? Is there a bridge? Or do you have to take the ferry?
There is a bridge connecting Gig Harbor to Tacoma. It's called the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. They're actually undergoing a major renovation right now, which will help to speed the flow of traffic. Of course, it's probably going to cause a lot of folks to want to move out there, which is going to cause real estate prices to rise. I used to know a guy who lived on Fox Island and commuted to Federal Way. He drove, so yes, there is a bridge.

You can drive from Bainbridge Island, but if you're headed into Seattle, most folks take the ferry. I know a guy who takes the ferry from Bainbridge to Seattle, then drives to work in Renton. He drives home after work, so you can do both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by southerngirl_for_now View Post
Is anything being done in regards to the gang situation?
Not really, no. In fact, in some areas it's getting worse. Where I live in Federal Way, their gang unit used to be one officer. But even she was let go due to budget cuts. Now they have bupkiss. The only thing "being done" about it is to deal with it on a crime-by-crime basis.

If you are very careful where you live, and if you don't have kids in school, you should be able to get away from the worst of it. Of course, the nicer neighborhoods are also pricier.
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Old 09-18-2006, 01:39 PM
 
46 posts, read 371,865 times
Reputation: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by southerngirl_for_now View Post
good grief! all this talk about gangs and such has me wanting to cancel my plans to visit there to look for a place to rent. If one were to look for and hopefully find a home to rent on Fox Island or Gig Harbor or Bainbridge; how do you commute to ther areas? Is there a bridge? Or do you have to take the ferry? Is anything being done in regards to the gang situation? Before I found this board all the things I've read about Seattle and vicinty were about how great it was to live there.
I'd love to see some links backing up the assertions that Tacoma's gang problem is worsening. Most of Tacoma, north of 16 and west of I-5 seems like one large gentrification project, some of the neighborhoods are quite nice. As you leave the city proper it can get redneck pretty fast, military influence, and more and more pawn shops. Although it's just a start, Tacoma has had light rail up and running for a few years now. In many ways, Tacoma is to Seattle what Oakland is to San Francisco. Fox Island and Gig Harbor would be good alternatives if you are more suburban minded, the Narrows bridge is a real nightmare right now, but it will get better once the 2nd bridge is built however it will have a toll. Bainbridge is out of the question, to commute from there to Tacoma. Driving it would take about 90 minutes, or 30 minute ferry to downtown Seattle, then 45 minutes drive to Tacoma, no way. Plus Bainbridge is one of the most expensive areas of the region, more so than most of Seattle. Port Orchard is a possibility though, it's about 45 minutes from downtown Tacoma and is one of the cheapest areas of the region. It's basically just up the road from Gig Harbor, and has connecting ferry service into downtown Seattle, leftover from the original ferry fleet of a century ago. If you like the country, anywhere between Gig Harbor and Port Orchard are also options, as is Lakebay and the peninsula it's on, all of which have lots of daily commuters to Tacoma.
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