The Ultimate Neighborhood Guide to Downtown Tacoma, WA [2022]

The Ultimate Neighborhood Guide to Downtown Tacoma, WA [2022]

The Ultimate Neighborhood Guide to Downtown Tacoma, WA

On the bottom edge of Puget Sound lies Tacoma, Washington, a city of just over 219,000 people. It’s part of the larger South Sound region with a population of about 1 million.  After a period of decline, Tacoma made a comeback in the 1990s with a ton of development and restoration.  Now, young and old alike enjoy all that Tacoma has to offer.  With the waters coming into the middle of the city, the area is picturesque with tons of amazing areas and charm.

Living in Downtown Tacoma

People who live downtown love the views of Mt. Rainier, the Cascade Mountains, Commencement Bay, and the Port of Tacoma, where you can see commerce in action with the loading and unloading of cargo ships.  Downtown Tacoma is one of the most affordable places to live in the area.  Condominiums, lofts, single-family, and vintage homes are integrated within these neighborhoods:

The Foss Waterway

The Thea Foss Waterway area is a popular downtown Tacoma neighborhood that is great to hang out or live in.  There are condominiums for purchase, museums to visit, and a waterfront walkway where you can find restaurants, parks, picnic areas, and kayak or paddleboard rentals.  You can walk there from central downtown and access the waterfront via two bridges and a glass elevator.

The Theater District

Along with the restoration of old buildings are two theaters – the Pantages Theater and The Rialto.  Dating back to 1918, these are venues for music and theater.  A more modern venue was added in 1993 called Theater on the Square.  Lofts with tall ceilings and original bricks have sprung up throughout downtown and are trendy homes.

Pantages Theater In Tacoma, WA

Pacific Avenue

Tacoma’s charm shines through in the Pacific Avenue area.  Renovated brick buildings from the late 1800s and early 1900s are now shops, museums, lofts, restaurants, and more.  Local hangouts include:

Plus, check out Dale Chihuly’s art inside Union Station (now a US District Court).

Other Neighborhoods

Tacoma Downtown has a few more neighborhoods worth mentioning.

  • Stadium District is a historic neighborhood with a grocery store, coffee shop, boutiques, and eateries.  There you’ll also find Wright Park, a 27-acre park with a conservatory, arboretum, hundreds of trees, walking trails, and a pond.  Stadium district is one of several neighborhoods known for revitalizing the neighborhoods to include single-family homes mixed in with mixed-use business districts.
  • St. Helens has stunning views of Commencement Bay
  • Dome District has shopping, restaurants, and the Tacoma Dome, where conventions and concerts occr.
  • McCarver Neighborhood has newer condominiums and townhomes and a maple-lined central street.

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Getting Around

Downtown Tacoma has everything within easy walking distance or via a free Link Light Rail. You’ll still want that car to get to neighboring cities, off to the mountains, north to Seattle, or south to Olympia.

Working in Tacoma

There are plenty of opportunities to work for small and large businesses in the downtown area.  Tacoma is home to lumber company Simpson, and food companies, Roman Meal and Brown and Haley.  Fun fact:  candy giant Mars, Incorporated, started in Tacoma in 1911.  The biggest employers in the area are Joint Base Lewis-McChord (an army base 9 miles south of the city), MultiCare Health System, the State of Washington, and Tacoma Public Schools.

The Downtown Tacoma Partnership will work with you to start your own business if that is your dream.

Working In Tacoma, WA

Schools

The Tacoma Public Schools serve the area with 36 elementary schools, 11 middle schools, and ten high schools.  There are non-traditional high schools, alternative high schools, and charter schools.  Downtown Tacoma is also home to the Tacoma School of the Arts for high school students and numerous private schools.

The University of Washington built a campus that incorporates some of the area’s historic buildings.  Other colleges close by are the University of Puget SoundTacoma Community CollegeCity University of Seattle-Tacoma, and Bates Technical College.

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8 Best Cities To Move To From Seattle: Relocation Guide [2021]READ MORE

Shopping

There are so many things to do in Downtown Tacoma.  Pacific Avenue has unique shops, and restaurants in classic buildings.  Another option is Antiques Row, with several multi-level antique stores.  Find hidden treasures at Lily Pad Antiques, and many more.  Tacoma Mall is on the city’s outskirts for big store shopping experiences – think Macy’s, Nordstrom and JC Penney.

Museum District

Tacoma’s Museum District is comprised of world-class museums, including:

Each of these offers a unique perspective of the area.

Other Landmarks

If you haven’t realized, Tacoma cherishes its old buildings, incorporating them into neighborhoods.  There are 165 individual city landmarks and 1,000 historic properties scattered throughout the metro area.  Some near downtown are:

Fireboat No.1- National Historic Landmark - Tacoma, WA

Outdoors

While some may find the rainy pacific northwest weather an adjustment, there are plenty of sunny days to enjoy the waterfront and the mountains.  Metro Parks Tacoma maintains over 50 parks and open spaces in and around Tacoma.  We mentioned the easy walk to Foss Waterway, plus where 6th Avenue meets the water is a scuba diving area. Downtown’s Frost Park has sidewalk chalk contests.  Those with pups can take them to Rogers Off-Leash Dog Park.

Venture a little further to Port Defiance Park with a 5-mile drive leading to Owen Beach, Fort Nisqually, and Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.  The Cascade Mountains, Mt Rainier, and Mt. St Helens are very close for wilderness seekers.

Moving to Tacoma

Downtown Tacoma retains its charm with many historic buildings, a friendly atmosphere, and a close-knit community.  It is worth checking out if you enjoy an urban atmosphere.  It has culture, education, unique homes, and always new mixed in with the old.

Ron Rougeaux, located in Olympia, Washington is a highly skilled and knowledgeable real estate agent. PNW Homes Group are committed to their key core values of trustworthiness, integrity, and loyalty providing quality service is his highest priority. Whether you are buying, selling, or curious about the market, PNW Homes has the answers. 

A local Tacoma real estate agent is ready to help you find your dream home!

Call Today!

CONTACT US

Posted in Buying a Home

The 8 Best Neighborhoods to Live in Olympia, WA [2021]

The 8 Best Neighborhoods to Live in Olympia, WA [2021]

Best Neighborhoods Olympia

The capital of Washington State is 60 miles south of Seattle on the southern end of Puget Sound. Budd Inlet goes right into the center of the city.  Olympia is a perfect place for those who love the outdoors as well as love the city. The ocean is a little way to the west, and the mountains are a little way to the north and east. Tacoma and Seattle are a short drive.

Olympia has a decent cost of living – definitely more affordable than Seattle and Tacoma. They are very proud of their public transportation system with the Sounder Train and an extensive bus system. Amtrak also has routes to Tacoma and Seattle by train. Many people work for the government, but great jobs are available in technology, distribution, healthcare, and hospitality.

If you love the outdoors (and the rain), you’ll enjoy the many parks, forests, and waterways. Rock climbing, backpacking, and kayaking destinations are right outside your door. Mt. St. Helens, ocean beaches, and Hood Canal are a short drive. Heritage Park is next to the State Capitol, Capitol Lake, and downtown Olympia. The Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is a national natural landmark with 275 migratory bird species, marshes, and an abundance of salmon.

Those who like the performing and visual arts will not be disappointed in the selection of theaters, concerts, and art museums. The Squaxin Island Museum teaches visitors about native tribes in the area. The Wet Science Center is all about water. 

Living in Olympia, WA


Children attend the Olympia School District. There are 11 elementary schools, four middle schools, and three high schools. There are several private schools, as well as good support for homeschooling families. South Puget Sound Community College and Evergreen State College provide associate, bachelor, and master’s degree programs for higher education.

With 33 neighborhoods on all sides of the inlet, moving to Olympia is all about finding your perfect home. Some have gorgeous views of the water, some have great proximity to downtown, some are great for families, and some are on the outskirts where it’s quiet.  Here are a few highlights to get you started.

Cain Road


Cain Road has 835 newer upscale homes supported by an active homeowner’s association. Home prices vary from $350,000 to $930,000. The majority of the homes were built in the 1950s through the 1990s. Most homes have 3-4 bedrooms.  The average commute time is 10-19 minutes. The median household income is nearly twice that of the rest of Olympia. There are two local parks in the area – Watershed Park and McGrath Woods Park.  Children who attend the Washington Middle School do not have to go far.

Middle School

Castlewood


Castlewood is a larger community with a population of 1266 and a median home price of $325,000. This is a family community with residential homes and amenities. There are several parks in the area, including LBA Park, Margaret McKenny Park, and Chambers Lake Trailhead Park. Johnson Berry Farm is close by for berry picking.  Children attend Margaret McKenny Elementary School and Washington Middle School. 

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East Bay Drive


A narrow neighborhood right on the coastline, East Bay Drive has condominiums, waterfront properties, and gorgeous homes. There are beaches in your backyard, and nearby at Priest Point Park. Take a hike on the rocky beachfront alongside Ellis Cove.  East Bay Drive has a population of 193 and a median home price of $850,000, with homes selling as high as $1.2 million.

Eastside


Eastside is a mix of residential and businesses and is close to downtown for easy commutes. One of the older neighborhoods in the area, its history dates back to the mid-1800s. Homes are modest in size, with a median price of $394,000. The active neighborhood association sponsors community events such as the Annual Summer Picnic.

Indian Creek


A quieter neighborhood with an older population, Indian Creek has 539 residents. This is a great place for retirees and those looking for a safe and secure area.  The median home price is $327,490. There are several parks for walking, including Woodland Trail / Frederick Street Crossing and McGrath Woods Park. There are also several churches in the neighborhood, including Westminster Presbyterian Church and the Church of Living Water.

Nottingham


With a taste of England in the neighborhood and street names, Nottingham is a delightful area. With a population of 203, this small community is one of the most affluent and safest. It’s very close to shopping and restaurants. Schools in the area are Pioneer Elementary, Sunrise Beach School, and Olympia High School.  

South Capitol


Located south of downtown and the state capitol building, this neighborhood is excellent for those who work in the downtown area. The median home price is $577,000, and the homes are older with established trees in their yards.  The city’s oldest school – Lincoln Options Elementary (built in 1922), is in this neighborhood. Tennis courts, picnic areas, and turf ball fields are found at Stevens Field. Young professionals and families make South Capitol their home within walking distance of restaurants, coffee shops, arts events, and a produce market.

Coffee Shops in South Capitol

South Westside  


Many of the more desirable neighborhoods are on the east side of the inlet, but South Westside is an exception.  This is one of the largest neighborhoods in terms of population. Homes here average in price from $420,000 to $530,000. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, shopping centers, and fitness facilities. The Capital Philharmonic is located in South Westside.  It’s dog-friendly and walkable. There are several public and private schools that children can attend. There are plenty of green spaces and access to the inlet at Marathon Park.

Moving to Olympia, WA


For an area with great schools, friendly tree-lined neighborhoods, plenty of outdoor activities, special events, and fresh produce and seafood, you can’t beat Olympia, WA. With views of Mt. Ranier and Puget Sound, there’s city life in the middle of an outdoor mecca. Find the local hangouts and enjoy the best of the pacific northwest.

A local Olympia real estate agent is ready to help you find your dream home!

Call Today!

We live somewhere beautiful – PNW

The saying goes “Where you hang your Hat” is Home. Well I can say I absolutely love living in the PNW, in Washington State. Or more accurately Lacey, WA or Olympia, Wa as everyone just groups us in with Olympia – The Capital of Washington State.

I have live a lot of places, and loved all of them, but my heart will always bring me back home to the PNW. Sometimes its hard to describe, and understand. For the locals it is a no brainer, fresh air, fresh water, mountains, trees and desert all in one state. We have Canada to the north and Oregon to the South and the Pacific Ocean to the West. You can’t beat how this is the furtherest north you can go in the continuous 49, expect for Alaska.

When you look around, and especially in Olympia, it is like a time warp. Yes its the capital of the state, but when I walk into the county court house for real estate permits. It is like traveling back into time, a simpler time, the smells, the sights all reflect an era that is long and gone, except for in Olympia, WA. When you walk down the streets and go into the shops and restaurants. It is a friendly warm welcome, as if you have always been a local. I would even say you get more room to make this city your own, as the constraints of a big city or new age era is so structured and ridged with protocols, where here you have the luxury of more freedom.

Some will see a different side, but if you know what to look for, this place is as good as it gets in my mind. I am so happy we decided to make this our home, not only for our children. Where they can have a glimpse of the world I grew up in, it helps them understand that there is more then just being a robot with standardized structure. Here you can you, see the old with the new. A launch port for exploring the world outside the United States. Plus Washington state in its self is almost a replica of the entire US, in a complete small scale minus the east coast atmosphere and south.

If you are looking for a place to call your own in the PNW – Call me – 360.338.8355

*** I will make sure to tell you the history, the legends, the facts and everything you should and need to know when buying out here in the PNW. And if you do make the change, welcome to the last wild west country in the United States!

PNW HOMES GROUP WEBSITE

 

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Investing in homes in Olympia, WA

Olympia, WA has always been a sleepy town and a great place to raise a family. What has finally started turning the corner is the home investors are finally really coming out of the wood works and noticing that there is more and more people moving to Olympia. With this flipping homes has become more and more of a popular item. The catch is the home prices have risen so much that finding a home for a great price to flip is harder and harder.

I am very lucky to have the opportunity to flip three more homes on waterfront on Long Lake, in Lacey, WA. The homes all home plenty of land, there are two waterfront lots, and the third home lot, can be subdivided in two 4 lots.

Stay tuned as I take you through the entire process of how I flip the homes.

Here is some starter pics.

Also please check out my website at PNW Homes Group Website if you are looking to sell or buy a home.

And please find my Youtube channel link if you want to watch my videos Captain Ron’s Real Estate Tips

 

 

Early Snow Day in Olympia

It’s official. The warm weather has made it’s exit, and has left the door wide open for winter to make its entrance.

One thing you can count on in the Pacific Northwest is the diverse weather we have. One day can be sunny and warm and the next can be pouring down rain. And no two years are the same. Why, just yesterday morning, we were surprised with a rain/snow mix that turned into just under an inch of snow, tying for the record of earliest snow fall in Olympia (the earliest being Nov. 3, 1973, when 1.4 inches fell).

If you like a variety of weather in the seasons, Olympia may be the perfect place for you.

New Mobile App for Android users in the Real Estate Market.

Realtor has come out with a new app for Android users to help with their home search. Here are the key points below.

  • Draw your search area directly on the map
  • Browse through big and beautiful home photos
  • Customize listings with your search criteria including square footage, price, hardwood floors, and much more
  • Save and share all your favorite listings with family and friends
  • Stay updated on the status of listings including new & pending listings, price-reduced homes for sale, and foreclosures
  • Receive price reduction notifications for your favorite homes and new listing recommendations based on your search criteria
  • NEW! Check out Sign Snap, instantly see listing details and photos by simply snapping a picture of a For Sale sign!
  • Compatible with Chromecast to stream home photos on your TV

This would be a great way to search for homes. Please find the link below to download and check out the realtor app for all your home search needs.

If you would also like a more personalized search, please don’t hesitate to call/text (360) 338-8355 or email (ron@vandorm.com).

http://www.realtor.com/mobile/android/

Tour of the Old Weyerhaeuser Corporate Building for Sale/Lease

A little nostalgia came to me when I was touring the old Weyerhaeuser corporate building this last week. It all came to me when I jumped up after my nice lunch which was included in the tour. I was in the first tour put on by the listing broker of the building. The tour was handled in small groups of 6-10 people and as we made our way up to the 5th floor the executive floor, I was excited to explore and look around. But instead of walking all around the tour guide/listing broker just walked to the middle of the floor and explained where things were laid out. And as we went to the third floor and we stand around in the center again really not touring the building but more being told what was in that area, I couldn’t help but to  slowly walk away and actually go look in the different rooms and areas. I wasn’t alone, as one of the other guys I met earlier in the lineup for lunch followed me to the rooms. He made the comment ” I really want to actually see the building, and was so excited for this opportunity”, I completely agreed with him. As we rounded the corner and started walking back to the tour group, they left and literally disappeared.

As we stood in the middle of the third floor, this is where my nostalgia kicks in. It was like I was back in high school when I used to walk around school while everyone else was in class I would be exploring the school. So my new found friend Jeff and I look at each other and knew exactly what to do, have our own tour of the building. Of course we walked to the back areas, explored and then we go through a few doors and more doors. Then one key door I was about to tell Jeff to hold the door, but I let it go and didn’t say anything out loud. As we head through the second door to the cargo bay, well you probably guessed it we were locked out. I couldn’t help but laugh, yep just like high school, but with high end clothes on and in a 50 million dollar plus building, and yes Im working, well sort of. I was not to concerned, as there is always a way out. After still laughing and letting Jeff explore to find a way out, which he did in a few 3-4 minutes later, and after having stopped to take a selfie. We headed out through the loading ramp back up to the main entrance. We look at each other and know exactly what to do and that was to continue on our private tour of the building. We explore every floor in and out, every door and notice every detail from the full wood door handles, to the engine room with ear plugs and old blue print plans of the building. At the end I had a huge grin on my face, I had 2 plus hours of exploring this amazing building, bringing back old good memories of not a worry in the world, just exploring and admiring beautiful architecture and being right in my element. Please find the pictures below I took of the epic adventure.

p.s. If you would like to buy the building for about $150 a sqft, comes to about $54 million with 40 acres  or  lease at least 100,000 square feet basically one floor for $17 a square foot, please contact me to be your broker to represent you. Ron Rougeaux (360) 338-8355.

 

Time to List your home

sunrise

The market is starting off again this year fast and strong. Actually it really has not slowed down since last year.

Folks are moving to the PNW in drones looking for that fresh water/air/trees/mountains and just a change of life. Most are acquiring new jobs in the area and businesses are hiring like crazy up and down the Puget sound area.

Most people selling are looking to down grade and up grade. Some have to big of a house and the kids are gone, and looking to find that perfect retirement home. Others are just moving up and need a bigger home for the kids and the best school locations. No matter what your reason is for selling, if you are just moving for constant sun even, let me help you sell your home.

When you go to sell your home, you want someone who will take care of the pictures – actually hiring a professional and even someone with a drone to get an ariel view, advertising – All advertising online/social media and newspaper/flyers. And if the home is vacant even home staging if required and holding “open house” on the weekends – to bring more foot traffic in the home ( if you are comfortable with an open house, some homes don’t require an open house). Pricing the home right – there is nothing worse then pricing the home to high and just having it sit on the market and then keep lowering the price, and maybe not even selling.

So before you go to list your home for sale, please contact me and I will run through the entire process and make sure you are taken care of properly and I get your home sold more importantly for a great price.

Have a great Tuesday,

Ron Rougeaux

Van Dorm Realty

(360) 338-8355