If you’re researching trying to find a good neighborhood in Tacoma for you, you’re in the right place. Tacoma real estate agents Marguerite Martin and Anne Jones have been taking people on tours of Tacoma (in real life and on video!) for over 10 years. They’ve toured neighborhoods from North Tacoma to the Eastside, Downtown Tacoma, explored Things to do in Tacoma When it Rains, Showed off the beauty of Tacoma in the Fall, and even drove over the Narrows Bridge to explore Gig Harbor!
Video: How to Choose Good Neighborhoods in Tacoma for You!
In this video, Tacoma locals Marguerite and Anne talk about their process for helping friends and clients choose what neighborhood is right for them. Covering topics from safety, to home style, schools, and filmed on location in Point Ruston, Old Town, Thea Foss in Downtown Tacoma, South Tacoma, and South Tacoma Way– this video is an ideal resource for people researching Tacoma Neighborhoods.
Marguerite Martin is the creator of MovetoTacoma.com, a Neighborhood Guide, Blog, and Podcast about people who live in Tacoma, Washington. Anne Jones is the owner of Windermere Abode in Tacoma’s Old Town Neighborhood. Marguerite and Anne have both been honored as Fair Housing Champions by the National Association of Realtors.
What Should I Be Looking at when choosing a place to live in Tacoma?
The things to consider as you’re choosing a neighborhood in Tacoma (and across Pierce County) are proximity to amenities, commute, budget, lifestyle preferences, and the type of home you want to live in. Marguerite talks about how if you have a particular type of home (such as a Historic Craftsman or New Construction) just adding your budget and commute to that criteria is going to narrow your neighborhoods down pretty significantly.
What is the Pierce County Real Estate Housing Market like right now?
Homes in Tacoma and Pierce County are quite a bit more affordable than homes in Seattle and King County to the north. The housing market in Pierce County has a median home price around $500,000 in the county and slightly lower in Tacoma at about $450,000. 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.”
How does the type of home you want affect what Tacoma neighborhood you choose?
Whether you want a historic home or new construction greatly influences the neighborhood you end up in when you find a house in Tacoma. Tacoma mainly consists of historic neighborhoods. Lots of Tudors, Craftsmen, Foursquares, Victorians, etc! There is very little new construction built in Tacoma these days. While areas like Sumner, Gig Harbor, and Point Ruston have planned new construction communities- in Tacoma newer homes are pretty much limited to condos in Point Ruston, or neighborhoods in Northeast Tacoma.
Why is it unhelpful when searching to ask your agent for a “safe” neighborhood?
Saying you want to live in a safe neighborhood is unhelpful because safety is subjective and can mean different things to different people. Realtors are also cautious about providing demographic information due to housing laws. In Tacoma and across the country it was historically real estate agents on and home lenders that work acting to segregate neighborhoods by race within cities. The legacy of those racist actions continues today. Marguerite and Anne share stories in the video above about how different people often mean very different things when they say they want “safety.” Real estate agents CAN direct you to resources like city and county crime information and local police departments so you can assess actual data about crime alongside your other requirements.
Remember, the value of a Tacoma realtor is not solely in determining whether a neighborhood is safe or not. It’s to help you get insight and information about the community. Their role is to advocate for you, protect your interests in the purchase process, provide information on property values, and meet your needs in a comprehensive manner.
Why does it matter that you work with a local agent when you are searching for a Tacoma neighborhood?
Choosing a local agent when buying a house in Tacoma is crucial for several reasons. First, an experienced local will have more extensive knowledge of the Tacoma real estate market. They are familiar with the neighborhoods, pricing trends, and market conditions specific to the area. This expertise allows them to provide valuable insights and guidance tailored to your needs.
Additionally, a local agent is going to have connections and relationships within the Tacoma community. This helps you in your neighborhood and school research- you’re basing your information on what people who live in neighborhoods and go to the schools actually experience. A local agent understands the local regulations, zoning laws, and any specific considerations related to buying a home in Tacoma. They can navigate through any potential hurdles or challenges that may arise, protecting your interests and guiding you through the process with confidence.
Most importantly, a local agent is readily available for property showings, inspections, and other essential activities during the home buying process. Someone who lives in the community you’re searching in can quickly respond to your inquiries and accommodate your schedule. These things are just much harder for agents driving an hour to Tacoma from Bellevue or Seattle. Learn more about questions to ask when choosing a Tacoma real estate agent here.
What about researching schools in the Tacoma area?
If you’re planning to research schools, we have a lot of links to resources in our blog post, “How to Find the Best Tacoma School for You.” In addition to checking out the Washington State Report Card. The WSRC has a profile for every school in the state. Report cards show how students at the neighborhood school or district performed on our state tests. It also shows the number of students enrolled in a school, and more.
In addition we have interviews on the Move To Tacoma Podcast with people in the education community. There are episodes with the Superintendent of Tacoma Public Schools, Teachers, University Place School Board Members, and more.
More information for researching your Move to Tacoma:
Things I Wish I Knew (Before I Moved to Tacoma)
Everything You Need to Know About Moving to Pierce County
How to Buy Vacant Land in Pierce County
Best Cities for Buying a Home on Land in Pierce County
The Most Expensive Neighborhoods in Tacoma
Most Affordable Neighborhoods in Tacoma
How to Buy a House in Tacoma Right Now
Wondering how Move to Tacoma can help you as you explore neighborhoods?
Step 1: Explore the Clickable Neighborhood Map of Tacoma
Our clickable neighborhood map of Tacoma’s neighborhoods is our pride and joy. Click through to find images and videos of each neighborhood. The Neighborhood guides on the map also include median home price information, blog posts about the neighborhoods, podcast episodes about the neighborhoods, and candid quotes from local neighbors.
Step 2: Listen to the Move to Tacoma Podcast
The best way to learn about Tacoma is to hear from the people who live here. On the Move to Tacoma Podcast Marguerite interviews Tacomans who’ve been here generations and Tacomans who just got here. From business and technology leaders to politicians and activists and everyone in between. The Move to Tacoma Podcast will give you insight into why people move here and how they find meaning and happiness in Tacoma.
Step 3: Read the Blog Posts on MovetoTacoma.com
On the Move to Tacoma Blog we have been writing about things to do in Tacoma, where to eat in Tacoma, hot button community topics, neighborhoods and more since 2015. There are hundreds of posts to help you find what you love in the City of Destiny. From posts about where to eat and drink to interviews with locals- the blog is a great place to keep up one what’s happening in Tacoma and Pierce County.
Step 4: Get a Realtor Referral from a Local Realtor
Marguerite Martin is a different kind of Tacoma real estate agent. Reach out to find out answers to questions you have about neighborhoods in Tacoma and Pierce County. When the time is right to start looking, Marguerite can connect you with a local real estate agent who specializes in the neighborhoods you love most. You can see reviews from past clients who’ve worked with Marguerite on Yelp and on Google.