First time homebuyers in Tacoma often struggle with where to begin as they buy their first home. Today MovetoTacoma.com creator Marguerite Martin interviews Keryn, a 30 something who bought her first house in Tacoma. She shares about what the process was like and how the home she ended up buying was different than she planned.
First time Buyer in Tacoma, Washington
When you’re a first time buyer in Tacoma there’s a lot to learn as you begin the process of buying your first house. Marguerite interviews Keryn about what she learned when she bought her first house in Tacoma.
How do you know you’re ready to buy a house?
In the video Keryn talks about how she had been renting the same house for a while. After the owner died the family decided to sell the house, and when she looked around rents were quite a bit higher than what she was paying. Even though she felt nervous about buying, she realized it was time to take the leap so that she could stabilize her housing costs.
Marguerite emphasizes that the right time to buy is when you have a few main items lined up. First, you are in a stable career and can depend on your income being consistent. Second, you plan to buy the home and stay there for at least five years. An additional consideration that you might have is if you are in a relationship. Depending on how committed your relationship is you may choose to buy a house on your own or together with your partner. Your Tacoma real estate agent can help you evaluate different scenarios and arrangements. When in doubt, discuss your options and the implications with an attorney.
How much do homes cost in Tacoma right now?
Right now the median price for a home in Tacoma is right around $450,000. For Pierce County it’s more like $500,000. This varies quite a bit by city and neighborhood with some neighborhoods in Tacoma having a median price closer to $1,000,000 and others being under $400,000. To learn more about the Tacoma Real Estate market is responding to recent events like interest rate increases check out “Tacoma Real Estate Market 2023.”
In Seattle the median home price is closer to $800,000. That said, for people who earn closer to the median household income for the area Tacoma is no longer considered affordable. Check out our article, “Tacoma isn’t affordable anymore. Here’s why.”
What are the most affordable neighborhoods in Tacoma and Pierce County for first time homebuyers?
The most affordable neighborhoods in Tacoma in 2023 are Downtown Tacoma, Hillside/UWT, McKinley Hill, the Lincoln District, & South Tacoma. Aside from the most affordable neighborhoods in Tacoma the most affordable neighborhoods in Pierce County are Ashford/Elbe, Carbonado, Wilkeson, Lakebay, and South Prairie.
How do I find a real estate agent that specializes in first time homebuyers in Tacoma?
Buying a house is especially brutal for a first time homebuyer in Tacoma right now. Not only is it important to make sure you’re working with a Tacoma buyers agent, you also need an agent who has represented buyers in the neighborhood you’re looking in. You need an agent who knows what the house is really worth and ways you might be able to negotiate to win.
“I often vet real estate agents outside of Tacoma for friends and past clients who are moving elsewhere in the country,” says MovetoTacoma.com creator Marguerite Martin. “In this situation I can’t just look for all their past sales in the MLS. Looking at Yelp and Google my Business reviews are a great way to begin looking into a real estate agent in the area. That said, while reviews can give you insight into an agents skill, values, and personality- it doesn’t replace an interview.”
If theres an agent who seems good from their reviews call and ask them “How many buyers have you helped win multiple offers in this neighborhood in the past two years? Do you have any reviews from them?” For more advice about choosing an agent check out Marguerite’s article,“Interviewing the best real estate agents in Tacoma.”
Additional resources for a First time homebuyer in Tacoma:
Marguerite Martin is the creator of MoveToTacoma.com. Marguerite is a real estate agent in Tacoma, WA . As a real estate “Matchmaker,” she specializes in connecting real estate clients to the perfect agent in Tacoma and across the country. Learn more at Meet Your Guide.