Where is the next up and coming neighborhood or city?
Where is the hidden “affordable” treasure that in time will be the next hot area to live?
As a Real Estate Agent covering the Puget Sound, I get these questions a lot from clients. Common sense would say, look to areas that are in transition. About 5 years ago there were neighborhoods in Seattle that fit that description - Ballard, Phinney Ridge etc. Today that is no longer the case and Seattle is pretty much transitioned out and you have to pay a hefty premium to live in the city limits. Seattle is now one of the most desirable cities in the US to live. A beautiful city with plenty of job opportunities. The bad news is, for many, (especially young adults) the ability to buy a home in the Seattle real estate market and the Eastside has become out of reach.
So where is the soon to become HOT area to live? Where do you I go if my life style requires “city living” at an affordable price in the Puget Sound area? Recently trendsetters, developers and real estate professionals (people in the know) were asked for their predictions of the country's next hotspots; neighborhoods that are affordable now, but poised to become the next hot areas. Tacoma, WA ranked #2 in the country.
Tacoma! I can hear the moans already. Tacoma? Isn’t it the “wanna be Seattle”? Yes, perhaps that is the view of some. But before you rule out Tacoma real estate here’s some things you may want to consider - a personal story.
My daughter left Seattle, kicking and screaming, after months of unsuccessfully trying to become a homeowner. There was just too little inventory in the Seattle real estate market, multiple offers were the norm and prices were skyrocketing. Finally she took my advice and turned her search to Tacoma. She was renting a 320 Sq Ft, $750 a month basement studio in Queen Anne. Amenities included nowhere to park, no washer/dryer, no dishwasher and a stove that was a safety hazard. Never mind the ants who constantly visit when you live almost underground.
She is now the owner of a 970 Sq Ft. 2/bed, 1bath condo with a small Sound view; 2 parking spaces; full size washer/dryer; 24 hour security in a beautiful condo development in North Tacoma. Added bonus, she now sleeps on a queen size bed instead of a futon and has room for overnight guests. Metropolitan Market is 5 minutes away and Whole Foods has just opened up, 10 minutes away, about three months ago. She purchased her condo for $157,000. A comparable condo in a trendy neighborhood in Seattle would have been $400-500,000.
It only took a couple of months before I heard the words every parent wants to hear - “you were right” - “I love my condo, and I am really enjoying living in Tacoma." There were some buts (like the commute) but all in all a happy ending.
Let’s take a look at what Tacoma has to offer those of you beaten and battered from trying to become homeowners in Seattle.
Tacoma is architecturally a beautiful city that has successfully blended the OLD with the NEW. From beautiful old traditional craftsman to new modern water view condos, and still affordable. This 3 bed craftsman home in a sought after area of Tacoma sold for $499k. In Seattle this would have been $700k+.
Downtown Tacoma waterfront living.
Tacoma is known for its revitalization of historic buildings and many have been revamped into modern store fronts.
It has a thriving museum district. Museum of Glass (Chihuly), Tacoma Art Museum, Children’s Museum and recent addition the American Car Museum.
The waterfront is beautiful. Home to multiple breweries (Pacific Brewing, Wingman, Harmon) .
Great restaurants like Dirty Oscar’s Annex (my favorite - Doyle’s Pub) with new ones opening all the time.
Lets talk commute from Tacoma to Seattle. It can be a bear at times, but then so is trying to get from Queen Anne to Capitol Hill at rush hour (it takes over an hour, so best to be avoided)
Downtown Tacoma to downtown Seattle by car on a good day (no traffic accidents ) would take approximately 40-45 minutes. There are other options; bus and rail. The bus ride is 50 minutes and the Sounder train takes 59 minutes.
So has this gotten you considering buying a home in Tacoma? No? That’s okay.
Whether it’s Tacoma, Seattle or another city, let me help you find your new home in the Puget Sound area.