It’s hard to get a straight answer from Tacomans about the best neighborhood to live in. This is because everyone defines a “good neighborhood” a bit differently. We’re going to do our best to answer some common neighborhood questions and make suggestions!

What is the most affordable neighborhood in Tacoma?

For some folks, the best neighborhood is the one where they have to spend the least amount of money on housing. Tacoma housing prices and rents have been rising steadily since 2012. Right now based on our most recent median home price numbers our recommendation for neighborhoods in the Tacoma city limits are:

South Tacoma in General-  Median home price $262,000

South Tacoma is located south of highway 16, west of I-5, east of University Place, and north of Lakewood. Most of the homes in South Tacoma are older, with lots of opportunities to find that perfect craftsman or victorian home. South Tacoma Way is the local business district and of course, the Tacoma Mall is in South Tacoma.

The Lincoln District – Median home price $275,000

The Lincoln District has a super convenient location right off of I-5 and across the bridge from Downtown Tacoma, so it’s an excellent spot for folks commuting. Whether you’re biking or driving into Downtown Tacoma, taking the train or driving up to Seattle, or driving to JBLM, Lincoln is super central. There are many historic homes and beautiful tree lined streets.

The East Side – Median home price $269,500

Tacoma’s East Side is convenient for folks working in Downtown Tacoma or to the north or south. Whether you’re hopping on I-5 or taking the bus or the Sounder Train- East Tacoma is well connected by transit. East Tacoma has an abundance of historic homes as well as some impressive steep hills with views of Downtown Tacoma, Commencement Bay, and Mt. Rainier.

Parkland – Median home price $268,500

Parkland has homes from many eras, whether you want historic, mid century, or newer construction- Parkland offers a variety of options. Located just off of highway 5-12 Parkland is home to Pacific Lutheran University and the Garfield Business District.

What are the best neighborhoods in Tacoma with water views?

We wrote a whole blog post just about neighborhoods on the water in Tacoma and the surrounding areas. Specifically for waterfront homes, you should definitely check out:

Browns Point / Northeast Tacoma – Median home price $445,000

Custom homes that take in the views of the mountains and water are plentiful- house hunting in Browns Point you will see tons of variety. Browns point has homes with views of Commencement Bay as well as the Tacoma skyline, Port of Tacoma, Mt. Rainier, and Vashon Island.

Old Town – Median home price $578,500

Old Town’s historic streets and beautiful views of Commencement Bay, Browns Point, and Vashon Island are what make it one of Tacoma’s special neighborhoods. Old Town residents enjoy the local neighborhood restaurants and easy access to Ruston Way’s incredible waterfront.

West Slope – Median home price $527,000

Tacoma’s West Slope neighborhood has incredible views of Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains as well as views of the Narrow’s Bridge. Tacoma’s West Slope neighborhood has some of the most spectacular sunset views you’ll find anywhere.

If your home search is open to the greater Tacoma area consider checking out:

Gig Harbor – Median home price $512, 250

Gig Harbor is a town surrounded by water. Whether you’re in downtown Gig Harbor, the Reid Road area, Wallochet Bay, Kopachuck Ridge, or Point Fosdick- water abounds.

University Place – Median home price $433,000

Like Tacoma’s West Slope University Place offers incredible views over the water of the Olympic Mountains as well as Fox Island.

Steilacoom – Median home price $400,250

One of the oldest towns in Washington State, Steilacoom offers quaint charm and incredible Puget Sound views- you can see Anderson Island, Ketron Island, and the Olympic Mountains from Steilacoom.

What are the best neighborhoods in Tacoma for people commuting to JBLM?

The great thing about Tacoma is within the city there is not a ton of traffice. I-5 (especially passing through downtown) is a bottleneck of traffic these days, and then things tend to get bottled near the base further South on I-5. The best way to make your commute convenient is to be as far south as you can and minimize your time getting to the freeway!

Central Tacoma – Median home price $310,000

Central Tacoma is located in the heart of Tacoma, from there you can access JBLM by freeways or by driving through Fircrest and Lakewood. The drive to the base is about 30 minutes.

South End (east of I-50) – Median home price $265,000

The South End neighborhood describes the neighborhoods east and south of  I-5, between Pacific and 5-12. Depending on where you live in here you can get from the South End to JBLM in about 25 minutes.

South Tacoma (west of I-5) – Median home price $262,000

South Tacoma is located south of highway 16, west of I-5, east of University Place, and north of Lakewood. Depending on where you are in South Tacoma it takes about 20 minutes to get to JBLM.

If you want to be closer to base check out these neighborhoods south of Tacoma:

Steilacoom – Median home price $400,250

Lakewood – Median home price $314,000

Dupont – Median home price $359,900

Determining what Tacoma neighborhood is the right one is usually a balance of budget, commute time, architecture, and good old fashioned vibes. With a city like Tacoma where everyone has an opinion, the best thing you can do is get out there and explore on your own.

When the time comes to buy your house, make sure to use a real estate agent that specializes in the neighborhood you like best. If you’d like an introduction to an awesome local real estate agent, contact Marguerite.