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!

Ranked: The Best Private Elementary Schools in Seattle [2021]

Ranked: The Best Private Elementary Schools in Seattle [2021]

Best Private Elementary Schools

Parents want the best education for their children.  Public schools provide the basics and some stand way above the rest, but to ensure that your children are learning certain values in a smaller, individualized setting, many parents choose to send their children to a private school.  These can be religious-based or non-sectarian. 

The Seattle area has 96 private elementary schools serving over 20,000 students.  Nearly half of these have religious affiliations, but many do not.  Some are just for younger students, and some cover up to 12th grade.  Some also incorporate after-care programs to accommodate your work schedule.  Tuition costs vary, but the average yearly rate is $18,945.  The number of students ranges from just a few dozen to several hundred.  Here are some of the best private schools in the Seattle area:

The Bush School

One of the oldest and largest private schools is The Bush School.  Founded by Helen Taylor Bush in 1924, this non-sectarian school has 660 students in grades Preschool-12th.  The average class size is around 15 students, and they are from all different backgrounds.  The school stresses independent and creative thinking, intercultural fluency, and citizenship with excellent academics, arts, and sports.  There is also an off-site campus where students can participate in wilderness activities.  The Bush School is selective about the students it selects, and tuition ranges from $27,500 for lower grades to $35,255 for high school. 

View All Homes For Sale Near The Bush School >>>

Epiphany School

Epiphany School is an independent, non-parochial school for pre-kindergarten to 5th-grade students.  Offering a well-rounded education that includes excellent academics, value, and character-based learning in a caring, inclusive environment.  This school encourages parental participation.  There are 236 students and tuition runs $26,705 per year.  Founded in 1958, this is an established school with a great reputation.  The average teacher-to-student ratio is 7:1, which is about half the national average, so all students will get the attention they need.  There are several extracurricular activities including LEGO engineering, gymnastics, and yoga.

View All Homes For Sale Near Epiphany School >>>

Hamlin Robinson School

If your student is struggling with dyslexia or other language-based learning differences, the Hamlin Robinson School will provide your student with individualized instruction in a multi-sensory approach.  The teachers build positive self-esteem and encouragement for students who are discouraged about their challenges.  There are 324 students in grades 1-8 and the average class size is 15.  Tuition ranges from $25,854 to $28,280 depending on the grade.  There are plenty of sports and extra-curricular activities to round out your student’s learning experience.  With a nurturing, diverse environment, teachers are well-versed in the latest techniques to encourage your student to thrive.

View All Homes For Sale Near Hamlin Robinson School >>>

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Bright Water Waldorf School

The Waldorf education originated in Germany in 1919.  Since then, Waldorf schools and their philosophy have spread across the world.  The Bright Water Waldorf School opened in 1998 to bring this prestigious educational experience to Seattle.  Serving 184 students through grade 8, students are exposed to a rich curriculum, innovative teaching methods, individual attention, and a caring community.  There is a rich academic experience as well as sports opportunities.  Your student will build confidence and receive an outstanding education for $7,900 to $18,375 tuition for the school year.  Around 60% of students who apply for admission are accepted.

View All Homes For Sale Near Bright Water Waldorf School >>>

Holy Rosary School

Around 40% of private schools in Seattle are run by the Catholic Church.  Holy Rosary School ranks in the top 20% of private schools in the entire state of Washington.  Serving pre-kindergarten to 8th grade, the 482 students enjoy a faith-based education centered on Bible teachings.  Faith and prayer are integrated into the curriculum and lifestyle.  In addition, Holy Rosary School integrates elements of STEM to give students a technology education that will prepare them for the future.  Band, chess club, LEGO Robotics, and Youth Choir round out the student’s experience.

View All Homes For Sale Near Holy Rosary School >>>

Dartmoor School

For those students who want individualized attention, Dartmoor school provides one-on-one instruction.  Whether your student struggles with a learning challenge or is ahead of the curve, Dartmoor can help.   Founded in 1990, Dartmoor has helped thousands of students excel.  They serve grades 1-12 and tuition varies.  This type of school environment is perfect for athletes and performers as the schedule is flexible and unique to each student.

View All Homes For Sale Near Dartmoor School >>>

Seattle Christian School

Founded in 1946, Seattle Christian School is designed for those students and families desiring a strong faith-based educational experience.  With 512 students in grades Kindergarten through 12, this school is small enough for individualized attention yet large enough to offer advanced academics and all major sports. Tuition is $11,500 per year with discounts available for those in financial need.  Students are well-prepared educationally and spiritually for life. 

View All Homes For Sale Near Seattle Christian Schools >>>

Academy Schools

For another small school option, Academy Schools offers classes of between one and ten students.  Teachers play the role of facilitators or coaches to nurture the students out of their comfort zone into their full potential.  They believe that every child is gifted and prove this with 100% of their students going on to college.  Founded in 1995, this non-sectarian organization is home to 48 students.  Yearly tuition ranges from $9,750 to $21,250 depending on grade.  Extracurricular activities include Cooking, Robotics, Arts, and Music.

View All Homes For Sale Near Academy Schools >>>

Bertschi School

246 students in Preschool through 5th grade attend the Bertschi School.  Founded in 1975, their philosophy is to educate children to become compassionate, confident, and creative learners.  Tuition is $30,789 per year.  The student-to-teacher ratio is 9:1. There is a collaboration between teachers, parents, and students to establish a conducive and tolerant learning environment.  Their campus is committed to sustainability and living with nature.  In addition to stellar academics, students can study art, technology, dance, and music.

View All Homes For Sale Near Bertschi School >>>

So Many Choices!

Seattle is a mecca for school choice, and these are a few of the best private elementary schools in the area.  From Amish to Christian to non-sectarian, you will be able to find the one that fits with your family values.  Whether your child is gifted or needs special attention, there are alternatives.  While cost may be a factor for some, many schools have financial aid programs.  Visit the school and talk to the administration to explore what the school has to offer.  The possibilities are abundant, and you are sure to find the perfect fit for you and your child. 

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 Seattle real estate agent is ready to help you find your dream home!

Call Today!

Crazy Weather / Crazy Real Estate – PNW-

The heat is suppose to reach 108 degrees today here in Olympia, Washington the Capital of Washington State. Just plain crazy and it should be a record breaker! Please Stay safe and if you need a cooling station, I will post locations on the bottom of this blog.

Yesterday and today I have an open house, and I am glad the home is definitely cool and the tenants have the air conditioning blasting. Even in the heat yesterday I had die hard buyers coming though and viewing the home, along with investors as the home is a great rental property. And of course you have myself making sure not matter what real estate continues on selling. This market in real estate compared with the heat right now is just plain crazy!

We still have more buyers moving up to the PNW and looking for all kinds of homes from investments, their primary home, and especially waterfront. (Waterfront in the PNW is like gold here). If you are looking to buy in this insane market you need an experienced real estate broker that can lead you in the right direction. I see a lot of agents just plain selling any home to anyone, and to me it doesn’t make sense.

Look at my website and profile http://www.pnwhomesgroup.com and if you are considering multiple agents, do your research online. I keep hearing from clients that they feel so lucky to have had me handle their real estate deals and find them the right home. That doesn’t happen by fluke, I have spent years perfecting my trade and multiple years of research in real estate in Washington state. If you have questions in anything regarding real estate in Washington State, in any city from Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, Centralia, Elma, Shelton, Tacoma, up to Seattle, Bellingham, Bainbridge Island, Port Townsend, to Grays Harbor, and on the Eastern side of Washington all the way to Spokane. I have sold and bought in the cities and so many more for clients. Especially in Primary Homes, Investments, Commerical Properties, and Vacant/Timber Land.

Please make sure you use the best to help you in Real Estate and I can confidently say I will help you the best way possible amazing customer service to take care of every detail and to actually close the deal.

Call me (360) 338-8355 today to help you list or buy a property in Washington.

Now please stay safe and cool, and if you can go jump in a lake/river/of the ocean for a refreshing dip to cool off. I will be right there with you in the water today. And please find the cooling stations below.

The Olympia Emergency Cooling Center will be open from 12-6 p.m. starting Sat. to Mon., June 26-28. It’s located at the northwest corner of State Ave. and Capitol at 201 Capitol Way N.

In Lacey, the Virgil S. Clarkson Senior Center at  6757 Pacific Avenue SE, Lacey WA  98503 will be open Saturday, June 26 –  Monday, June 28 from Noon – 6 p.m.

These cooling centers will be available for individuals needing shelter during the hottest parts of these days.

Stay safe – and the Best from the Rougeaux’s

Mask for Real Estate

Never in a million years would I have guessed I would have ever been driving around to go show homes with my main essential item being a mask!
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Covid mask

-Choose Wisely-

Here is the real advice you will want to hear when you are moving to a new home, and it should be your first question. – Where to move to? – and I will always say Choose Wisely!

Ron Rougeaux

What I mean by that is do your research on the area you want to live first and foremost. And start with the city you like or are moving to. Then narrow down the search from there. I find to many people search by homes that catch their eye and then research where the home is located. And eventually they buy the home and not the location. Remember location is everything! I repeat Location will and alway be everything! Sure the home maybe amazing, just that perfect style you have been looking for and truly connect with. But if the location not good with regards to stores/amenities, school district is not up to standards for your kids, or even HOA/CCR’s and even bad neighbors. Nothing is worse then buying the home you have always envisioned, and then wanting to move because one or all issues arise as you start to live and adjust to your new home.

Here is how I start.

First 1.  I research the city I am moving to – Easy or Not depending on what is making you more. If you are from the city already, easy you now know more of the city and location on where you would like to live. (move to step 2). If you are moving from another state for work or service, then picking your city will require more focus on what that city has to offer for you and your family. If you are single, there is definitely cities I would stay away from if you could help it, as they maybe more sleepy family cities that do not offer the lifestyle required or would be appreciated by a single person.  If you are a family moving to the city, please look into the school district, parents are finally starting to pay more attention. But here is some more information, you need to really find someone who has their eye to the ground on the schools/boards and what is going on behind the scenes. Even through a lot of websites you google say one thing. Go find either a local real estate agent, school teacher, even go talk to the school first and find out what is really going on behind the scenes. I can not stress this enough if you are worried about your kids future at a certain school.

Step 2. – Drive the City if possible – If not possible please use Google Maps. And I mean to both items either driving or google maps spend time in this area. One of the most crucial areas for a solid foundation for starting to actually pick a neighborhood/location in the city you would like to live. And if you really want to do it right, do both driving and google maps. So with driving I like to do at least 2 – 3 drives and sometimes even spend at least 1 night in the city to see different locations in the morning, noon, evening. Trust me a day showing could be quite different from an morning or evening showing. For Example – (When you go look at a house at 2pm during the weekend, and it is quite, nice, even charmingly romantic. Now you go back to that same house on a Monday morning 8am and you see the school buses pile up, parents and traffic running around to school and work, and the road your home is on now turns into a major highway. And Friday at 5:30pm and you notice traffic jams, as everyone uses the road your home is on as a short cut though town, and now it takes your an extra 20mins to get home and forget about even turning in and out of your home). Now this example is true, not all are this bad, and Yes I have even seen worse. — As a Real Estate Broker Ron Rougeaux– I know what roads to avoid and when to avoid, I know what is going or try to know as much is possible within the city with new construction, developments, and upcoming projects that could affect the home you like. I have saved a lot of buyers from purchasing in an area that would be harmful for the lifestyle they are looking for, or even worse re-sale where they lose money and can not afford to move out of a bad situation. Trust me please drive and take you time looking at certain areas you are considering buying, have lunch near the location, walk the streets and stores. Then when you get home google map where you drove and see what you missed, maybe you might see a cool store to check out next time or that the huge mushroom farm may not smell so good when the wind blows a certain direction. If you don’t have time or can’t drive the area you are looking at. Second best is use google maps and drive the locations that way, not as good, but still will definitely help out.

Step 3. – Pick your Neighborhood/Location – Once you pick a location of neighborhood let your real estate agent set you up on  home search so you can receive email alerts right away once a home pops up in that area. Likely hood is there will be a lot of people interested in the same area you are, and the key is to be at the home and view it as soon as possible. (Also you want to time to again – revert back to step 2 now, on more focused area just around that home). – What I mean is even if you like the home and it is in your key location/neighborhood. Now you need to research what is on the sides and in front/behind the home. Is it a corner lot, or in front of a street where headlights go through your windows. Does one or all the homes around it look run down or multiple cars in the driveway. Basically look for Red Flags, that will be a problem once you are actually living in the home. Now just remember nothing is ever going to be perfect, but also you don’t want to buy a home where you just can’t stand living there, no matter how nice the home is.

Step 3X. – Extra Bonus Step – Go knock on the neighbors door in the evening of the home you are looking at purchasing. Yes I know this could be a little nerve racking, but wouldn’t you like to know who you could be possible living next door to if you buy the home. And I guarantee you they will tell you all the information you would ever want to know about the current owners trying to sell the home and all the drama. This could be huge and very insightful.

Step 4. – Win the home – If the home matches and fits all your criteria then make the offer and win that home. Use an agent that knows the area. Has the sales to back them up. And please make sure that agent has at least a minimum of a few years under their belt. Trust me I have been doing this for a while, and I can guarantee you need someone that does 40+ sales a year and runs into all kinds of situations, because this is the backing and advice you need to succeed. And Bonus if that real estate agent has rental properties, and has flipped homes. Trust me boundary lines, to permit uses, to everything you can’t imagine I have ran into, and yet their is still more out there even for myself to learn.

Next Blog – Learn how to actually win a Home with Multiple offers. Trust me if you find the perfect home and location. Chances are you are going to have a battle to win it. And you always want a seasoned fighter on your side – I love to Fight – And even More I love to Win! — I can Win for you!– Ron Rougeaux

 

 

Stop and Look Around

I will say it is very easy somedays to just completely get engulfed in work, or life and completely stop to look around. I know it is a little cliché to say, but I have to remember to look around. I will admit it is very easy somedays for me to forget that we live in/on the puget sound. If you don’t actually see the water or work by it, you forget how beautiful it is.

Today I have clients downtown and I stopped into one of my favorite places, Budd Bay Cafe and they have one of the best calm chowders, and of course a great view of the water and boats.

Just a quick update, if you are running around like crazy and working all the time, don’t forget to take it all in or it will just fly by.

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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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Wind and No power – Home quality of Life

When the wind is blowing and of course in Washington State the trees are abundant, which equals branches falling on power lines everywhere. Which means disrupted or no power for hours to maybe a day or two for you and your home.

When looking at buying or building a home. A major question should be is the house wired for a generator?

Yes you can be like be, I have a generator from Cabela’s. And the generator works great. Here are the issues though. I am running my extension cords from the side of the home where I have my generator behind the fence. Then the cords go through the garage door in to the house and I plug in the key essentials, Fridge, phone and any items we would like to have the luxury of usage. It definitely works and is a nice way to get a little bit of power. Plus we have the wood burning fireplace for some heat. But every time the power goes out, I always say, “I wish my house was wired for a generator”.

Then all I would have to do is start the generator on the outside of my home. It is wired in to the house and I have the selected items I want on the generator running. No extension cords, no trying to figure out which items I can use. It is all setup and running. Now I will admit it is kinda of fun, running the extension cords and really feel like I am trying to survive a zombie apocalypse, but after the few times, yay I’m good. And the next house I buy or build, will be wired for a generator.

Beautiful 9.8 Acres Country Side right in Olympia Town

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Amazing piece of land that is a 5 minute drive to all amenities, it doesn’t get any better with country living and convenience of stores/amenities.  Beautiful large 9.8 acres with a fresh water flowing creek at the very back of the property, perfect for horses, hay and farming, with a beautiful 4 BR, 2.5 BA home with RV parking & hookups, life happens here. The home overlooks the land and barn along with 2 car detached garage and shop, plenty of room to expand and breath. Yes, Horse lover’s paradise. Don’t miss this country living right in by town with a view of Mount Rainier and elk, coyotes, rabbits, and all walks of nature that roam in the field.

To View more pictures, please click the link below

Contact Ron – 6401 Fir Tree