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Tell me about Tacoma

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
We're in the market for our first house, and would love to find something near Seattle.... BUT, I just glanced through the Tacoma listings and saw that we can get so much more house for our money down there!

I'm trying to figure out if the commute would be worth the savings in our mortgage payment (DP works downtown Seattle, I'm at home)... and I know nothing about Tacoma.

Tell me everything I need to know about Tacoma ladies!

TIA!
post #2 of 31
Thread Starter 
No MDC mamas in Tacoma??

We will be seriously looking at properties in the next couple days, and hopefully putting an offer on a house by the end of the week... so I would really love to get some opinions on Tacoma. Two of the houses that we're looking at are in the area of 54th/K St. and 25th/S. Sheridan if that helps.
post #3 of 31
I lived in Tacoma, briefly and came running back up to Seattle. It's not an area I would feel comfortable moving to with the kids.

My DH works in downtown and we moved to the Snoqualmie valley because it was cheaper than anything else, he commutes in.
post #4 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MonAmiBella View Post
I lived in Tacoma, briefly and came running back up to Seattle. It's not an area I would feel comfortable moving to with the kids.

My DH works in downtown and we moved to the Snoqualmie valley because it was cheaper than anything else, he commutes in.
Really? Why not? The neighborhoods that we drove around seemed really nice and kid-friendly. Was it a specific part of Tacoma that you didn't like?

I would really love to know more.
post #5 of 31
We used to live in Seattle, and moved to Tacoma when we both ended up working down here, and we like it a lot.

We live in North Tacoma, and I am very comfortable having two kids here. If anything, I prefer it over Seattle - there is much more of a small town feel, we have neighbors who are home much more, and I feel like everyone is just a bit into everyone else's business - enough that I feel safe, but not enough that I feel "watched" iykwim. For instance, the first time our nanny was out front with dd1 and she started having a screaming mimi about something, our neighbor across the street walked over to make sure everything was ok. Our nanny didn't appreciate that, but I sure liked knowing our neighbors would respond to my kids' screams!

That said, you do have to be a bit fussy about your neighborhoods. I wouldn't live hilltop adjacent, like some of our friends do - we paid more for a smaller house just to be in this particular neighborhood - but even the "bad" neighborhoods are improving rapidly as folks from Seattle and other higher COLA areas move in and fix stuff up. This neighborhood is not crime free by any means, but I think we have had one or two burglaries in the last five years. Mostly, we get car prowls and kids stealing stuff from our yard. The flamingos were the first to go. Sniff.

As for the commute, my dh is job hunting right now and has said he would feel perfectly comfy taking a job in Seattle. You can park at the Dome and take Sounder into downtown pretty easily. If your dh works in one of the outlying areas, though, it would be tougher.

Oh, I just noticed in your post the addresses that you are looking at. Ok, 54th/K I wouldn't mind living in - it is a predominately working class sort of neighborhood, and has always looked tidy and quiet and safe to me. 25th/Sheridan I would consider hilltop adjacent - see my earlier comments. As I said, though, we have a lot of friends in that area, and they are perfectly happy there. Just my .02 - and probably worth about that.
post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much Dena- that is great information to have.

Is "hilltop" a specific neighborhood in Tacoma?
post #7 of 31
yes, hilltop is a specific neighborhood in Tacoma, I know at one time, years ago people were buying in and trying to clean it up.....you could get an ENORMOUS house for a small amount of money...the idea was of course that if enough decent folks did, the neighborhood would turn around. I don't live in Tacoma anymore so I'm not sure how it's worked out.

I lived in Tacoma w/ kids, miss it, and would do it again....will do it again, soon as the market turns around and we can sell our house
post #8 of 31
I live in Tacoma and have since I was 8, except for a few years where I lost my mind and moved to Dallas.


I can answer most any specfic questions...
post #9 of 31
The problem with Tacoma is that most of it is not nice at all- pretty white trashy, esp. Hilltop (known for drugs, crime, etc.) and Parkland, and various other areas. The Proctor District is very nice though. Like pp said, you just have to be very careful where you move. Commuting into downtown Seattle is not a problem, as long as he takes the train up. Driving is a nightmare. Actually I would look at Sumner (where we live) and downtown Puyallup too, since there's a train station right here too. Both are very family friendly, easy to go on long walks, safe, etc. You can PM me if you have any other questions. Hope this helps!
post #10 of 31
I lived in Tacoma for years and really enjoyed. Nearly all my life I have lived near Tacoma in Gig Harbor and then in Lakewood. It is affordable, lots to do, and has a small town feeling for such a large area. Yes, there are some "bad" areas, but you can spot them just by driving near them. Most of tacoma isn't bad. I worked in Seattle and lived in Tacoma. It isnt a bad commute. I drove sometimes but most of the time, I took the express bus. It was fast and easy. Tacoma has great art museums and is really turning into a better place to live then in the past. It is trying to clean up its image. It is safe for kids and I never had any issues. I have more issues here in Spokane now (with theft, vandalism, etc) then in Tacoma where everyone thought was bad (no issues at all). Best of all, it is an affordable city that is close to everything. For kids you have the museum, zoo, lots of great parks, chuck e cheese, mall, parks and rec activities, and so much more. I would gladly move back to Tacoma if I had the chance.
post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLC View Post
yes, hilltop is a specific neighborhood in Tacoma, I know at one time, years ago people were buying in and trying to clean it up.....you could get an ENORMOUS house for a small amount of money...the idea was of course that if enough decent folks did, the neighborhood would turn around. I don't live in Tacoma anymore so I'm not sure how it's worked out.

I lived in Tacoma w/ kids, miss it, and would do it again....will do it again, soon as the market turns around and we can sell our house
Hilltop in Tacoma is like the Central District in Seattle. Well, approximately. Or maybe Rainier Valley. Anywho, yeah, the gentrification of the hilltop is still going on, and there are still great bargains to be had, and it is certainly not as bad as it was years ago, but the gangs still go there, and the crime rate is still higher there than elsewhere in the City.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyFinch View Post
The problem with Tacoma is that most of it is not nice at all- pretty white trashy, esp. Hilltop (known for drugs, crime, etc.) and Parkland, and various other areas. The Proctor District is very nice though. Like pp said, you just have to be very careful where you move. Commuting into downtown Seattle is not a problem, as long as he takes the train up. Driving is a nightmare. Actually I would look at Sumner (where we live) and downtown Puyallup too, since there's a train station right here too. Both are very family friendly, easy to go on long walks, safe, etc. You can PM me if you have any other questions. Hope this helps!
I don't know that most of Tacoma is white trashy. I think a lot of it is very blue collar, and there are a lot of military folks due to the proximity to Ft. Lewis, and the majority of those folks are not necessarily NFL-minded, but they are also not necessarily white trash.

I agree that Sumner is very nice though. And I hear the schools are excellent. Just too small a town for me, and especially for my Seattle-raised dh.

If you haven't driven around the North End yet, though, I would highly recommend it (of course I would, I live here...) There are a lot of houses for sale in my neighborhood, and you might be able to get some deals right now. Not as inexpensive as the neighborhoods you are looking at, but I do think it is a very safe, friendly, little liberal enclave. If you like that sort of thing. I am happy to answer more specific questions about addresses near me in a pm, if you want.
post #12 of 31
Hmmm... I'd get a lesser house in Seattle. Tacoma has some cool houses, but not that great of an area imo...
post #13 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doula Dani View Post
Hmmm... I'd get a lesser house in Seattle. Tacoma has some cool houses, but not that great of an area imo...
Oh come on, you gotta give me more than that...

The whole city sucks, or is there a particular area that you're not fond of? And why??

Trust me- we would love to get something in Seattle, but there just isn't anything in our price range. We have looked and looked and looked. The only houses we can afford in King County are MAJOR fixer-uppers. We are up for some minor repairs/renovations, but not anything where we have to hire contractors and get permits and stuff.

To update my earlier post- we looked at a few houses today. Most are off the list, except the one on Sheridan. It really looked like a decent neighborhood to me- nice park right next to it, new construction across the street, nice clean and cared for properties.
post #14 of 31
And Sumner is not good if you fear living in a valley in the shadow of a sleeping volcano....lol

That bugs some people...
post #15 of 31
And the Hill is not nearly as bad as it was... but I grew up here in the 90s when it was baaaad... when it was categorized with L.A. and Oakland.
post #16 of 31
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I was checking out crime rates, and it looks like almost all crimes are down from 10 years ago in all areas of Tacoma.
post #17 of 31
My BFF had a house 57th st, Sheridan was a cross street. She lived there for quite a while, never had any problems, had nice neighbors, etc.

Ya know, Tacoma gets drug through the dirt all of the time and it's usually by folks who haven't spent a whole lot of time there....and that stinks. Tacoma has loads to offer, museums, diversity, cool little stores, decent transportaion, the T dome, Tall Ships festival, First Night, one of the best little zoos in America (and a great aquarium to boot). Cheney Stadium (home of the $5 ticket).....so much for families to do!

And sure, the North End is probably the best area in Tacoma to live but there are lots of other good areas too.
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by changingseasons View Post
Really? Why not? The neighborhoods that we drove around seemed really nice and kid-friendly. Was it a specific part of Tacoma that you didn't like?

I would really love to know more.
I lived in Lakewood, right off of Stillicoom Blvd. In the two months I lived there my car was broken into, someone tried to get into our apartment, and someone was shot out behind the building. The night of the shooting was the night I moved back up to Bothell.

My ex grew up in Tacoma though and had a lot of problems growing up. We had a lot of friends in the area and I was never really comfortable in any of them.
post #19 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLC View Post
My BFF had a house 57th st, Sheridan was a cross street. She lived there for quite a while, never had any problems, had nice neighbors, etc.
Awesome! I really like the house on Sheridan, so it's good to hear that.
post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLC View Post
My BFF had a house 57th st, Sheridan was a cross street. She lived there for quite a while, never had any problems, had nice neighbors, etc.

Ya know, Tacoma gets drug through the dirt all of the time and it's usually by folks who haven't spent a whole lot of time there....and that stinks. Tacoma has loads to offer, museums, diversity, cool little stores, decent transportaion, the T dome, Tall Ships festival, First Night, one of the best little zoos in America (and a great aquarium to boot). Cheney Stadium (home of the $5 ticket).....so much for families to do!

And sure, the North End is probably the best area in Tacoma to live but there are lots of other good areas too.
Yup, pretty much...
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