I'll be relocating to the Joint Base Lewis McChord area by April of 2020. I'm looking for any input on good areas to live near JBLM. I would like a decently low crime area that would minimize my commute time to and from base. My fiance is considering a college in Puyallup so easy access to that is ideal as well. I know that Lakewood is right by the base but it has a higher crime rate than my fiance and I are comfortable with. Any input on where to consider living, investor friendly agents, or any other pertinent information would be greatly appreciated.
On another note, if there are any friendly meetups in the area, I would love to join once I'm there. Also if you're an active duty investor, I'd love to here about your experiences in the area.
I can't wait to get out there!
A preemptive welcome to Washington and a heartfelt thank you for your military service to our country! My wife and I own multiple rentals around JBLM and know the market well. I’d be happy to chat with you!
12/11/2019 Blair - thanks for the post ...definitely take up Aaron N offer ( above post)....would this home be a rental or a primary home ?
if you do not need financing for the acquisition - great ....on the other hand , if you will need financing , I would recommend getting pre approved to make sure the ducks are lined up correctly ...if moving in April , I would suggest getting this started anytime between now and the beginning of March .....if you plan to use a VA loan ...get your VA certificate of eligibility and keep it handy ..thanks
Welcome! Lots to look at down there.
You are welcome
Puyallup is a great nearby location (my first choice). I lived there for 30 years.
We have lived in Puyallup for nearly 14 years. The main reason we moved here was it's location to Olympia/Tacoma/Seattle, yet still having a high quality of life for our family. Like most areas around here, Puyallup has grown quite a bit. There are some good neighborhoods in Puyallup and South Hill. Most importantly, there are quite a few "back roads" to get to JBLM. Hit me up when you're in the area and I'll buy you a coffee or beer. Thanks for your service!
@Curt McClements , Thanks for the input. I've heard wonderful things about Puyallup and am considering. Right now my main area of interest as a place to to live in then turn into a long term rental is the Lincoln International District of East Tacoma. Traffic to JBLM seems reasonable from there. My wife will be going to school in Puyallup so that also isn't too far. I'll continue my research. Thanks for the input!
@Rory Pitts , Thank you for your input. South Hill is also on my list of places I'm looking at. Back roads seem like they'll be key. I-5 looks like a nightmare! Will drop a line when in the area.
@Blair Nye , you bet! The Lincoln International District is the next up and coming area of Tacoma. There are still some reasonably priced places in that area that could become a long term rental. Not only JBLM, but college students at UW-Tacoma, Pacific Lutheran University, University of Puget Sound, and Seattle/Bellevue commuters could be possible tenants. Basically, Seattle is pricing people out and down to Tacoma. :-)
yup - I 5 is a nightmare almost every day
@Blair Nye we lived in Tacoma for 4 years and loved it - Lincoln International District would be a good choice without putting you as far away from JBLM as great Tacoma neighborhoods like North End, Proctor, Hilltop, or Old Town would. Construction on I-5 around Tacoma has been going on for a decade, and traffic around JBLM and Tacoma in general is rough - definitely check commute times for all the short-list neighborhoods during rush hour.
Thanks for your service and good luck with the move!
@Blair Nye An early welcome to the area,we up here about a year and a half ago. We live in South Hill close to Graham (which is growing) I work in Auburn my next door neighbor is stationed at JBLM and he says the drive isn't bad at all. If your fiance was Pierce College she wouldn't be that far either.
@Kenny C. Thank you for the input. South Hill is also a area I considered. I currently have a duplex under contract in the Lincoln International District of Tacoma. My wife and I are excited to house hack it and make improvements while living there. After a year or two we will move on to another house hack. The area we chose is a little further from base and Pierce College, but the traffic is still reasonable and it's close to a few amenities in Tacoma that we're excited about.
I see that you have a company called Courts Realty. What do you do?
@Blair Nye , how did the transaction go with the duplex? I myself am most likely moving to JBLM in SEP21 (nothing is 100% until you have orders in hand).
I would love to find a small multifamily to house hack in the JBLM area. How did you go about finding yours? Any lessons learned?
@Justus Albertson The transaction went smoothly. I used an investor friendly agent that I’ll be happy to connect you with if you want. We found a property pretty quickly.
When looking at properties, pay close attention to the foundation. Especially on older homes. A lot of the homes here were built before there was a standard code for building houses and have sketchy foundations. A home inspector will only tell you so much. If the home inspector says something concerning, reach out to a good good local foundation expert that can tell you more if you see something concerning. You might have to pay him $80 or so to come out, but it’ll be worth it. If that comes up in your search, reach out to me again.
Since you’ve bought a property before, you understand the basics. The biggest thing for me here is looking at foundations.
@Blair Nye Thank you so much, good contacts are always welcome! Thanks!
I would have never thought to look at the foundations that critically. I guess all that moisture/rain does a doozy huh?
If you are still at JBLM in a year I would love to snag a beer with you my friend.
@Justus Albertson No problem, man! And yeah the soil here can be tenuious. Not all the foundations are rough, but the older homes warrant paying extra attention to.
I'll be happy to buy you a beer upon your arrival. Happy hunting!