a VirtualTourist member from Delray Beach
We are moving to the Tacoma area this summer and I was just wondering if anyone could give me some advice on areas/apartments to stay away from and such.
Hi! We are also moving to Tacoma and researched the area pretty thoroughly. We ended up buying a house in North Tacoma a few blocks north of University of Puget Sound. There is a very cool historic neighborhood there called Proctor. The Stadium and Old Town areas are also very nice. University Place and Fircrest have excellent schools and and are really nice too, although we found them to be a little to suburban feeling for our tastes. If you're looking for a funky, eclectic neighborhood in transition (in the right direction), the Hilltop area has great views and values, but is still pretty rough around the edges in spots. Brown's Point is across Commencement Bay from downtown and is supposed to have a much less urban, more waterfront get-away kind of a feel, but is still close enough to downtown. We never actually got to visit there, so I don't know first hand. I've heard that the east side is rough and to be avoided as are parts of south Tacoma. However, again, I have no first hand experience. I hope this helps! Good Luck!
I'd echo the reply from the first guy. Just stay north and west and you'll be fine. The south and Lakewood can be hit or miss. Plus you have a lot of military around the area as well. Another option is Gig Harbor, across the new bridge. There is a toll now that they are completing it but traffic should be better.
As far as apartments go, when I moved to Tacoma we rented at the Chambers Creek Apartments (close to our realtor's office!) until we found what we wanted to buy. You didn't say how long you intend to rent, but for only a few months almost anywhere would be okay.
Ditto purchase North or West. I sold my first home in University Place and moved south to Lakewood, and most of Lakewood is just fine, and some great deals available if you look.
It depends upon where you work and how long a commute you'll accept. Downtown has some good places to buy (condos and such) but you might not appreciate that type of lifestyle. Brown's Point is great living, but is closer to Federal Way than to Tacoma. Much of the area east of I-5 is questionable. Some good areas, but ... Trust your realtor on that.
Commute traffic can be rough. Look to live near your work. Or buy for value that'll appreciate. There is some great scenery SE towards Mt Rainier, but the commute is a killer. Ditto in Kitsap county - great scenery but a horrid commute.