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Old 04-28-2006, 01:00 PM
 
5 posts, read 46,269 times
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what do you think of tacoma . what neighborhoods do you recommend for 200k 3bd house . how does it compare to seattle , reno , boise , olympia ?
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Old 04-28-2006, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Tri-Cities
148 posts, read 1,228,732 times
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I think I might have hit on this in another of your threads. Seattle and Tacoma both have their good and bad areas. If I had to live in Seattle it would either be in one of those flats in Belltown around Pike or a victorian in Queen Anne near the water so I could see the ships go. For shopping, Tac is the best. I wouldn't live there, but if I had to move there I'd look in the hills. I don't like anything in or around Reno. It reminds me of a smaller Spokane with gambling and more trashy people. Dry even compared to NorCal, and hotter and dustier; horrible air. The "decent" places to live are all before you hit downtown in the new tract housing, but it's decent for Reno (which means dumpy when compared to everywhere else). Boise is actually pretty nice for a large city; similar to but not quite as nice as Vancouver, WA, which is another place you should look. Olympia is my favorite of the cities you listed. For medium cities, it's tops with Bellingham. IMO, Vancouver is by far the nicest large city in WA (kind of reminds me of a huge Olympia). Olympia is very well rounded, lots of shopping and business, part city, part suburbia, part country, very affordable and very cosmopolitan. So Vancouver and Olympia are my choices, but as you might have picked up in your other post, I enjoy the charm and value of smaller town living near these cities more. To each their own . Good luck.
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Old 05-03-2006, 01:25 AM
 
Location: Maine
22,920 posts, read 28,273,802 times
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If you're moving to Tacoma, I'd recommend either Northeast Tacoma or Brown's Point. Neither are GREAT areas, but at your price range, they are probably the best Tacoma has to offer. I don't think you could find a 3 bdrm in Seattle for under $300k that isn't in a crack neighborhood.

You ought to check out some of the outlying communities like Gig Harbor, Fox Island, Vashon Island, etc. They're much nicer.

But honestly, the Puget Sound sprawl is not that great a place to live. Crime is bad and getting worse. Traffic is some of the worst in the nation. If you're looking for an urban area in the Pacific NW, I'd recommend Portland over Seattle/Tacoma any day of the week.

If you're single or don't have kids, you can probably enjoy it a lot. But the Puget Sound area is not a great place to raise kids unless you can afford to live in the very wealthy neighborhoods. I'm on the lower end of middle class, and I can't freakin' wait to get out of here. We live in Federal Way (just north of Tacoma), and we've had drug deals and prostitution on our streets, guns in the neighborhood, violence, and the police are seemingly powerless to stop it.
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Old 07-11-2006, 08:52 PM
 
10 posts, read 48,454 times
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Get some information on Shelton, Washington... it's a very small community, retirement village..that is where my husband and I are planning on moving.

Seems very safe and cozy.
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Old 07-22-2006, 01:35 PM
 
6 posts, read 37,435 times
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lots of luck finding house for $200,000 in king (seattle) pierce(tacoma) or snohomish(north of king co.) county that isnt a dump.
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Old 07-23-2006, 10:51 AM
 
534 posts, read 3,111,620 times
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Tacoma is nothing like the other cities you listed. It has a personality all it's own (along with the infamous 'aroma of tacoma' which comes from the paper factory right downtown)....

You could live 45-60 minutes away from Tacoma for 200k if you poke around, but this would be either in hickville (which I'm moving to and don't mind - about 1 hour from Tacoma) or areas to the south of Tacoma which are very diverse and have high crime. There used to be a lot of nice affordable areas outside of Tacoma (Orting, Bonney Lake, Auburn) but now those are all 300k minumum.

Olympia you could live 30-45 minutes south (or North) of the city for 200k in some areas. Most of the jobs in the area are in Tacoma though which turns a 30 minute commute into an hour due to traffic.

For 200k Boise would probably be your best bet (you can actually do really great for 200k). I'm not sure how the job market is there but Boise is the only one out of the 4 cities you listed that feels like a real city to me.
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Old 02-19-2007, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Portland
118 posts, read 419,030 times
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Default T-town

Hey Tacoma is like what these guys have said, it has its ups and downs. Be careful what biased Seattlelites say, for they often times rant about how horrible Tacoma is when its nothing of the sort.

Take it from a native, I don't find it that bad. Sure there are bad parts, but what city doesn't have them. If you want a nice place to live, try NE tacoma or North Tacoma. But in your price range...that's a tough one. Those are pricey areas and I don't know if you could get a place for that cheap. It might have to be a fixer upper. Also, try West Tacoma. A little cheaper with some nice places and some not so nice places.

Also the aroma, I've never smelled it, but maybe that's because I grew up there.

Hope this helps!
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Old 02-22-2007, 01:33 AM
 
Location: Olympia, Wa
11 posts, read 66,368 times
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I am biased, born and raised in Olympia and I love it! I get the best of al the worlds. More affordable housing, 4 peninsula's out to Puget sound, just over an hour to Crystal mt and a few others and great culture. Depending on what kind of job you're looking for there's quite a variety of companies here along with all the state jobs. Great place to live, I did spend some time in Chicago, loved it too, but I was happy to get back here, really nothing compares. Hope you make the move. Tacoma has made huge strides too, i spent my early 20's there had a blast. lOVED the North end of Tacoma, Ruston Way has a great waterfront and park. It can be a pretty hip town, and I found people there more friendly in comparison to my time in Seattle. Although seattle has a lot of great things, however a lot more money for housing, like triple for what you get in Olympia. Good Luck!

=)
sodwyer
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Old 03-06-2007, 04:07 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,403 times
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Default Briefly visited Tacoma & Oly in fall 2006

I spent just a few day in Tacoma, Olympia and Gig Harbor last fall so this is very random feedback for you. I have never been to the other cities mentioned.

Olympia felt SO SMALL to me as to be depressing, because their little walkable downtown does not even have nice architecture. However, there were lots of flyers for local plays and a great free band at the farmer's market in October or November. The view from the downtown area harbor on Budd Inlet was MESMERIZING. The pictures on the website don't do it justice.

Downtown Oly also has a few very nice art galliers and those random chick stores that have all kinds of clothes and jewelry that look unique.

It became obvious to me that the jobs in Olympia are not generally in the downtown area, but hidden elsewhere, perhaps even more so in the suburban city of Lacey just east. Partly this could be due to so few buildings in Oly being tall, so they are harder to locate to us newcomers. There were quite a few state offices I found in my drives immediately around, but not in, the downtown area.

I consider lack of tall buildings a plus. I took the free DASH shuttle from the capital to downtown...but there just isn't much to go to downtown. I did not use the buses much but from the maps they appear to get to cities like Lacey and Tumwater which is probably where many of the jobs are (perhaps in corporate office parks?).

The residential neighborhoods of Oly were very dense with trees, I particularly liked the west side of Oly but everywhere looked nice to me even though my family said I should not live on the east side. The east side looked really nice to me to...I just felt like there really was no 'bad' area of Oly...from the couple of days I spent ambling around by foot, car and bus.

So if SAFE is high on your list I think this city is a clear winner. Naturally you know both cities get a lot of grey days in a row. However, when I lived in Seattle for 3 years I can tell you that only the new people carry umbrellas, it's usually a sprinkle rather than a real rain.

One negative I felt in Oly was that the Evergreen students were always staring at me, looking me up and down. Maybe because I went to college in Seattle and understand issues about feminism and dress and impact and such I overinterpreted this but I felt they were judgemental looks, because I was dressed in more middle class clothes than the very muted grays and browns and simple dress of nearly all the students out that day (I took the bus to campus and walked around there). Which isn't a big deal...but I guess since locals also seemed to look at me like 'hmmm, I've never seen her.' it was just too small town and negative for me. However, the adults working in the shops did not give me a negative vibe at all, I want to be clear on that.

Despite the fact that if their clothes are having less impact on the environment I would actually agree with their judgement...I just didn't like the feeling...

Now in Tacoma people SMILED at me now and then...not as friendly as say Santa Cruz CA but stilll. NO ONE smiled at me in Oly.

In fact, the 2 days I spent in Tacoma I was actually taken to be a local and invited to join a quilting group!

The view from the park, Point Defiance, is BREATHTAKING...much better than the Oly view...as it's a 180 degree view...with green trees in the distance...

I FELT that Tacoma had a lot more jobs and the newspapers seemed to say the same...but if you look at stats the income levels in Oly and Tacoma are similar ($2,000 per year on average for Tacoma but their houses are slightly more expensive).

My family wouldn't live in Tacoma because they have kids and say it has too many problems with gangs and drugs. Definately the southside of Tacoma looked depressingly low income. The North side of Tacoma looked like a little piece of urban heave to me, with countless views of water since the north side is on a hill.

Tacoma is tricky for housing because the neighbhorhoods vary so...I like that mixed part though as why shouldn't there be houses of all prices mixed throughout a city.

I lived in Capitol Hill and it's nice and all but so very expensive. I am not a fan of Seattle itself...too big city for me without the gorgeous architecture of much of Chicago.

Gig Harbor: the most horrendous traffic going over that bridge at traditional commute hours. I LOVE Gig Harbor, it is quaint. But the traffic makes it unliveable if you are not retired or working non-traditional hours.

Oly seems to have a lot of nice natural areas to get to in 15 minutes! I like that...where Tacoma just seems like suburbia...

Still, Tacoma has SO MANY more cafes and intersting restaurants (see Proctor) that I think it would be more fun...
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Old 03-07-2007, 07:55 AM
 
46 posts, read 380,001 times
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Avoid living in gig harbor unless you like toll bridges and sitting in traffic for hours.

You aren't going to get a decent sized house in a good neighborhood for $200K.

The only palatable part of Tacoma is the north end...the proctor district, NORTH Yakima ave, and Old town. Those are a nice places with nice people. There is a strip of nice houses with water views on the west side of Tacoma.. but it surrounded by strip malls and apartments.

The rest of Tacoma is pretty much a gutter. Crime ridden, lacking in culture and filled with hood rats.
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