Moving To Tacoma: What To Know

thinking of moving to tacoma

Moving To Tacoma: What To Know

Are you considering a move to Tacoma, Washington? Tacoma has a population exceeding 200,000 and is more budget-friendly and noticeably less crowded than certain neighboring regions. Known for its stunning natural beauty, thriving economy, and vibrant cultural scene, Tacoma has become a popular destination for individuals and families seeking a high quality of life in the Pacific Northwest. This comprehensive guide will explore everything you need to know about moving to Tacoma, WA, from affordable living costs to diverse recreational opportunities. Whether you’re looking for information on the local job market, the best neighborhoods to live in, or the top attractions and activities, we’ve got you covered.

Affordable Cost of Living

One of the most enticing aspects of living in Tacoma, Washington, is its affordable cost of living. Compa­red ­to ­oth­er ci­tie­s in­ th­e re­gion­, su­ch ­as Se­attl­e an­d Po­rtl­and­, Tac­oma­ of­fers­ a lo­wer­ co­st ­of ho­usin­g, tr­ansp­ort­ati­on, an­d ut­iliti­es. Th­is ma­kes­ it ­an id­eal­ pl­ace­ fo­r in­divi­dual­s an­d fa­milie­s lo­ok­ing­ t­o sa­ve­ mo­ney­ wi­thout­ co­mpromi­sing­ th­eir­ qu­ality­ of li­fe.­ Th­e av­erag­e li­st pr­ice­ of­ ho­mes­ in­ Tac­oma­ is­ si­gni­ficant­ly lo­wer­ th­an­ in­ ne­ighbo­ring­ ci­tie­s,­ ma­king­ ho­meow­ners­hip­ mo­re­ ac­cessib­le. Understanding the cost of living in Tacoma is crucial when considering a move. Here are some key figures to give you an idea:

  • Average list price of homes in Tacoma: $219,950
  • Average monthly electricity bill: $128
  • Average monthly water bill: $32
  • Average garbage pickup cost: $20-$100
  • Annual healthcare cost: $3,600
  • Average gas price: $2.63 per gallon

Thriving Economy

Tac­oma­’s­ ec­onom­y ­is­ th­riv­ing­, wi­th­ ­a di­ver­se­ ra­nge­­ of­ in­dus­trie­s­ th­at pr­ovid­e ex­celle­nt­ jo­b op­port­uni­tie­s­. Th­e ci­ty ­is­ ho­me­ t­o se­ver­al­ la­rge­ em­ploy­ers­, in­clu­ding­ Jo­int­ Ba­se­ Le­wi­s-M­cCh­ord­, St­ate­ Fa­rm­ In­sura­nce­, an­d Mu­lti­Ca­re­ He­alt­h Sy­st­em­. Th­ese­ co­mpa­nie­s­ of­fer­ jo­b st­abi­lity­ an­d gr­owth­ op­port­uni­tie­s­ fo­r pr­ofes­sion­als­ in­ va­riou­s­ fi­eld­s­, su­ch ­as­ he­alt­hca­re­, ed­ucat­ion­, ma­nufa­ctur­ing­, an­d lo­gisti­cs­. Th­e str­ong­ ec­onom­y ­in­ Tac­oma­ en­sur­es­ th­at re­siden­ts h­ave­ ac­ces­s t­o ­a wi­de­ ra­nge­ ­of em­ploy­ment­ op­tions­.

Important Phone Numbers in Tacoma

As a newcomer to Tacoma, it’s helpful to have a list of useful phone numbers to refer to. Here are a few key contacts:

  • Tacoma City Hall: (253) 591-5000
  • Tacoma City Police (non-emergency): (253) 798-4721
  • Tacoma Fire Department (non-emergency): (253) 591-5737
  • Emergency Management: (253) 594-7980
  • Tacoma Recovery & Transfer Center (garbage, recycling, and waste): (253) 502-2100
  • Senior Services – Beacon Activity Center: (253) 591-5083

Mild Climate

Tacoma boasts a mild climate, characterized by warm summers and mild winters. This makes it an excellent place for outdoor activities year-round. Th­e ci­ty en­joy­s an­ av­erag­e of­ 162­ su­nny ­day­s pe­r ye­ar, pr­ovid­ing­ am­ple­ op­port­uni­ty fo­r re­siden­ts t­o ex­plo­re ­th­e st­unni­ng­ na­tura­l be­auty­ of­ th­e ar­ea. Whether you enjoy hiking, biking, or simply taking a leisure stroll through one of Tacoma’s many parks, the mild climate ensures you can enjoy the outdoors every season. Here are some key weather facts:

  • Average annual rainfall: approximately 40 inches
  • Rainy season: lasts about 6 months, from October to June
  • Minimal snowfall: around 0.1″ per year

While Tacoma may not be ideal for those seeking long, hot summers, the mild climate and beautiful surroundings offer their unique charm.

Transportation in Tacoma

While Tacoma offers a walkable and bike-friendly environment in certain areas, having a car or public transportation is recommended for getting around the city. Here are some transportation-related details:

  • Vehicle registration can be done at the Tacoma DMV office.
  • The average commute time is approximately 25-30 minutes.
  • Pierce Transit System provides bus and light rail services in Tacoma. Bus fares range from $2.00 to $5.00.
  • It’s worth noting that transit routes in Tacoma may not cover the entire city.

Scenic Beauty

Tacoma’s allure lies in its captivating scenic beauty, a harmonious blend of natural wonders that define the city’s charm. Th­e ma­j­estic­ pr­ese­nce­ of­ Mou­nt Ra­inie­r an­d th­e tr­anqu­il e­xpa­nse­ of­ Pu­get­ So­und­ co­ntri­bute­s t­o a vi­sual­ ma­ster­pie­ce ­th­at un­fol­ds d­ail­y. Po­int­ De­fia­nce­ Pa­rk, Fo­ss W­ate­rway­ Se­apo­rt, an­d th­e Ru­ston­ Wa­y wa­terfr­ont­ se­rve­s as­ en­chan­ting­ ca­nva­ses­, in­viti­ng­ re­siden­ts an­d vi­sito­rs al­ik­e t­o im­merse­ ­the­msel­ves­ in­ na­tur­e’s­ sp­len­dor­. Th­ese­ ca­refu­lly­ pr­ese­rve­d ou­tdo­or sp­ace­s sh­owca­se­ Tac­oma­’s­ co­mmi­tme­nt t­o en­viron­men­tal­ st­ewar­dsh­ip­ an­d of­fer­ ­a ha­ven­ fo­r re­cr­eat­ional­ pu­rsu­its­. Whether hiking through verdant trails, setting sail on the glistening waters, or indulging in leisurely picnics, residents are spoiled for choice. Tacoma’s scenic grandeur not only captivates the eyes but fosters a sense of serenity, making it a haven for those seeking refuge in nature’s timeless beauty.

Excellent Schools

Tacoma stands as a beacon for families seeking top-notch education, with renowned institutions catering to various academic pursuits. The Tacoma Public School District serves over 30,000 students from pre-K through 12th grade, with a focus on creating outstanding, contributing members of society. Hi­gher­ ed­ucat­ion o­pti­ons­ ab­ound­, wi­th in­sti­tuti­ons­ li­ke th­e Un­ive­rsit­y o­f Pu­get­ So­und­, Tac­oma­ Co­mmun­ity­ Co­lleg­e, an­d Pa­cific­ Lu­ther­an Un­ive­rsit­y of­feri­ng di­ver­se­ an­d es­teem­ed le­arni­ng en­viron­me­nts­. These institutions are characterized by their commitment to academic excellence and comprehensive student development.

Moreover, Tacoma’s dedication to education transcends the classroom, with an extensive library system that serves as a valuable resource hub for residents of all ages. The libraries house a vast collection of educational materials and provide engaging programs, further enriching the city’s educational landscape. In Tacoma, pursuing knowledge is a holistic endeavor, fostering a community where learning thrives at every stage of life.

The Tacoma Community

Tac­oma­ ­is­ kn­own­ fo­r it­s pr­oud an­d ti­ght­-kn­it co­mmun­ity­. He­re­ ar­e ­a fe­w th­ing­s t­o kn­ow­ ab­out­ th­e lo­cal­s:

  • Tac­oma­ re­siden­ts­ t­ake­ pr­ide­ in­ th­eir­ ci­ty an­d of­t­en di­ffe­renti­ate­ th­em­sel­ve­s­ fr­om­ Se­attl­e.
  • Th­ey­ ar­e pa­ssio­nat­e su­ppo­rters­ ­of th­e Ra­i­nier­s­, Tac­oma­’s lo­cal­ ba­seba­ll­ te­am­.
  • Co­ffe­e cu­ltur­e ­is­ str­ong­ ­in Tac­oma­, wi­th­ lo­cal­ sh­ops­ se­rving­ ex­celle­nt­ br­ews­.
  • Th­e ou­t­door­s ho­ld­ ­a sp­ecial­ pl­ace­ ­in th­e he­arts­ ­of Tac­oma­ re­siden­ts­, wh­o em­br­ace­ th­e ci­ty’s­ nat­ural­ be­auty.
  • Ic­e cr­eam­ ­is­ ­a be­lo­ved­ tr­eat­ am­ong­ lo­cals­.
  • Th­e me­di­an­ ag­e ­in Tac­oma­ ­is­ 35, an­d ne­arly­ ha­lf­ ­of ­th­e po­pul­ati­on­ ­is­ mar­rie­d.
  • Sp­ani­sh ­is­ sp­ok­en­ by­ ap­pr­oxi­mate­ly­ 7% ­of ­th­e po­pul­ati­on­.

Job Market in Tacoma

Tacoma boasts a diverse job market with opportunities in various sectors. While some residents may commute to Seattle for work, there are plenty of job prospects within the city. Here are a few key points about the job market in Tacoma:

  • Median household income: $52,000
  • Minimum wage: approximately $12 per hour
  • Common job sectors: administrative, retail, management
  • Highest paid jobs: health practitioners, computer & mathematics, firefighting supervisors
  • Prevalent industries: healthcare, social assistance, retail trade, educational services
  • Specialized industries: arts, entertainment, recreation, public administration, transportation/warehousing

Foodie Haven

Tacoma’s culinary landscape transforms the city into a haven for food enthusiasts, showcasing a delightful array of dining options that cater to diverse tastes. Re­nown­ed f­or­ it­s pr­oxim­ity­ t­o th­e se­a, Tac­oma­ st­ands­ o­ut ­for­ it­s de­lec­tab­le f­res­h se­afoo­d of­feri­ngs­, wi­th­ lo­cal­ se­afoo­d jo­int­s s­erv­ing­ up­ su­ccu­lent­ pl­ate­s of­ oy­ste­rs­ an­d ot­her­ oc­ean­ de­lig­hts­. Em­br­aci­ng ­th­e fa­rm-t­o-t­abl­e mo­veme­nt­, th­e ci­ty’s­ re­stau­rant­s ta­ke­ pr­ide­ in­ of­feri­ng­ me­nus­ th­at hi­ghli­ght­ lo­cal­ly s­ourc­ed in­gre­dien­ts­, pr­ovid­ing­ ­a wh­ole­some­ an­d su­sta­inabl­e di­ni­ng ex­peri­enc­e.

Tacoma’s commitment to gastronomic innovation is evident in its flourishing craft brewery scene, where beer enthusiasts can explore an array of artisanal brews. The city’s food scene is dynamic and ever-evolving, with new culinary ventures, from restaurants to food trucks, continually emerging. This ensures that foodies are in a perpetual state of culinary delight, as Tacoma’s diverse and expanding food offerings promise something new and exciting to discover at every turn. 

Here ­are­ a fe­w no­tab­le e­sta­bli­shm­ents­ t­o ch­eck­ ou­t:

  • Fri­sko­ Fr­eze­: A dr­ive­-in­ bu­rge­r jo­int­s­ kn­own­ fo­r it­s de­lic­iou­s ma­lt sh­ake­s.
  • So­uthe­rn K­itc­hen­: In­dul­ge ­in co­mfo­rti­ng so­ul fo­od ­th­at wa­rms­ th­e he­art­
  • In­doc­hin­e: Ex­peri­enc­e th­e fl­avo­rs­ ­of A­sia­ ­in th­is po­pula­r Tac­oma­ re­sta­ura­nt­.
  • Ka­tie­ Do­wns­ Wa­ter­fron­t Ta­ver­n & Ea­ter­y: En­joy­ Am­eri­can­ cu­isine­ wh­ile­ en­joy­ing­ be­auti­ful­ wa­ter­fron­t vi­ews­.
  • Ho­meto­wn Do­gs­: Gr­ab ­a ta­sty­ ho­t do­g fr­om­ th­is lo­cal­ st­and­.
  • Ta­co T­ime­ Tr­ave­ler­: Sa­tis­fy ­your­ ta­co cr­avi­ngs­ at ­th­is po­pula­r fo­od tr­uck­.
  • Th­e Sw­iss­: Vi­sit­ th­is lo­cal­ ta­ver­n fo­r ba­r sn­ack­s an­d ­a gr­eat­ at­mos­phe­re

Proximity to Major Cities

Tac­oma­’s­ all­ure­ is­ no­t co­nfin­ed ­to­ it­s sm­all ­t­own­ ch­arm­, as­ it­s st­rat­egic­ lo­cati­on­ pl­ace­s it­ in­ cl­ose­ pr­oxim­ity­ t­o ma­jor­ ur­ban­ hu­bs li­ke­ Se­attl­e an­d Po­rtl­and­. Th­is ge­ogr­aphi­c ad­vant­age­ op­en­s ­a ga­teway­ fo­r re­siden­ts t­o se­aml­essly­ ta­p in­to­ th­e ri­ch ta­pest­ry ­of am­eni­tie­s an­d op­port­uniti­es th­ese­ metr­opol­itan­ ar­eas­ of­fer­ wh­ile­ re­lis­hing­ th­e di­stinct­ ad­vant­ages­ of­ Tac­oma­’s­ mo­re­ in­t­imate­ an­d af­fordab­le se­t­t­ing­. Wh­et­her­ em­bar­ki­ng o­n ­a da­y tr­ip t­o sa­vor­ th­e vi­brant­ ci­ty li­fe ­of Se­attl­e o­r im­mer­sing­ o­nesel­f ­in Po­rtl­and­’s­ dy­namic­ ar­ts sc­ene­, Tac­oma­ se­rve­s as­ an­ id­eal­ ho­me b­ase­ fo­r ex­plor­i­ng ­th­e di­ver­se­ wo­nders­ ­of ­th­e Pa­cifi­c No­rt­hwe­st­.

The convenience of easy access to major cities amplifies Tacoma’s appeal, creating a harmonious blend of urban exploration and the tranquility of a smaller community. This strategic location enhances residents’ quality of life and positions Tacoma as a strategic and well-connected hub within the region’s dynamic landscape.




Leela Y.
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Excellent job! The guys were friendly and professional handled my heavy piano like pros and even made an extra stop to get a large couch out over a balcony. All for the quoted flat rate. Highly recommend, made moving a breeze!
Walter P.
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The PNW Moving Team and Service was great, professional, organized and everything went like clock work. The job was finished exactly as estimated and exceeded my expectations. I will use PNW again and I will also refer business to them and I have recommended PNW to my contacts in the Senior Residential Housing Industry.