Are you looking for a waterfront or water view property in Tacoma, Gig Harbor, or Pierce County in general? You’re not alone. Views and access to the water are one of the most exciting parts of living in the Pacific Northwest. That said, waterfront properties are complex and it’s important to go into buying them with your eyes wide open. We interviewed a local expert Jenny on what you can expect when buying a waterfront or water view home in the area.

Check out the video about buying waterfront homes here:

What are the neighborhoods that have the most waterfront and waterview properties?

In the Tacoma area Northeast Tacoma, Old Town, Stadium, North Tacoma, Point Ruston, the West Slope, and University Place have the most homes with water views in the area. While there are occassionally waterfront homes (in communities like Salmon Beach or on Marine View Drive in Northeast Tacoma) the majority of salt waterfront homes are in Gig Harbor neighborhoods and beyond. Neighborhoods such as Downtown Gig Harbor, Fox Island, Wollochet Bay, Kopachuck Ridge/Horsehead Bay, and out into Key Peninsula. 

What is the difference between waterfront and water view properties in Tacoma?

There are a lot of different ways to enjoy the water from your home. Waterfront homes are right on the water (in most cases in Pierce County this is the Puget Sound or a lake). Water view homes mean the property might be up and back from the property directly in front of the water but it has a view of the water. In both cases, the right to use the water (riparian rights) are a separate thing. That’s why buying waterfront property is something that requires more education and research on the part of the buyer and the real estate agent than the average home purchase. Waterfront tends to be more expensive and complex.

How much does it cost to find a water view property in Tacoma?

The cost of a water view property varies greatly in Tacoma. The biggest factors are the quality of the view, the size and condition of the home. Of course that’s in addition to the location of the home. That said the price range for water view properties in Tacoma usually starts around $1,000,000 and goes up from there. If you’re open to a fixer upper you could potentially find a water view property under $1,000,000.

What about waterfront properties in and around Tacoma?

There are unique opportunities to buy waterfront properties for less than $2,000,000 in Pierce County. This includes fixer uppers and properties with permitting clarifications needed. It could also mean traveling further out into Key Peninsula. Check out our post about the neighborhoods beyond Gig Harbor to learn more.

What are some of the smaller, hidden waterfront neighborhoods of Tacoma?

Tacoma is home to some VERY unique little waterfront neighborhoods. These hidden Tacoma neighborhoods are ideal for people who are attracted to the natural beauty and waterfront access that the Pacific Northwest offers. Many people know about neighborhoods like Point Ruston or Tacoma’s Old Town neighborhood. We have outlined dozens of Tacoma Waterfront Neighborhoods in our Tacoma Neighborhood Guide. Dive deep into a few of Tacoma’s lesser known waterfront neighborhoods in this blog post, “5 Hidden Waterfront Neighborhoods in Tacoma” or watch the video here:

Why do I need a Tacoma real estate agent that specializes in waterfront properties?

When we’re talking about waterfront, being on the water, and the geological conditions that are present for these properties it requires different considerations. Real estate agents that specialize in waterfront and water view properties understand the different risks and opportunities that come with these properties. They will know how to help you vet the property and how to have experts inspect and very information for you so that there are no surprises with the property. From water rights, to hillsides, to dock maintenance and ownership- local expertise is a huge advantage when you’re buying a waterfront property. For more info on how to choose the best real estate agent in Tacoma for you check out our article here.

Additional resources for buying Waterfront Property:

The Most Expensive Neighborhoods in Tacoma

Pierce County Shoreline Plan

Pierce Conservation District – Shore Friendly Pierce

Should I move to Gig Harbor or Tacoma?

Are you looking for a real estate agent who specializes in waterfront homes in Tacoma or Gig Harbor? Marguerite Martin, Founder of is a real estate agent in Tacoma, WA . As a real estate “Matchmaker,” Marguerite connects clients to the perfect agent in Tacoma and across the country. Learn more at Meet Your Guide.

Picture of Tacoma Realtor Marguerite Martin with text that reads "Ready to move to tacoma?" Contact Marguerite Marguerite has been a real estate agent in Tacoma for more than 18 years. She can introduce you to the best agents in town, at no cost to you!