Relocation Guide: Moving to Tacoma, Washington

June 3, 2024

Moving to Tacoma, Washington: Tacoma is the happy medium for Washingtonians looking for a balance between big cities and rural I-5 stops like Centralia. It is nestled in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, just a stone’s throw away from Seattle. It’s large enough to get lost in crowds—and crowds WILL be present when big-name entertainers pack the Tacoma Dome. But it’s still small enough that you’ll be able to find your quiet spots, and housing prices aren’t as high as they would be close to Seattle.

Things to know before moving to Tacoma, Washington

You have an hour head start on Seattleites flocking to Mt. Rainier to get lost in nature. When you want to get away to a big city, Seattle and Olympia are less than an hour away, and Portland is just a couple of hours away. You’ll be able to avoid the dreaded Tacoma traffic jam on I-5 once you’ve settled in and learned the back roads.

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Housing Market in Tacoma

With 44.6 percent of the population renting, Tacoma residents are approximately split in half between renters and buyers. Those who want to buy can expect to pay around $302,000. (the median home cost). Renters can expect to pay $1,256 per month for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,564 for a two-bedroom apartment. Housing costs, on the other hand, can vary greatly from one neighborhood to the next. Housing costs are rising as a result of redevelopment projects in many neighborhoods, with no end in sight.

Cost of Living moving to Tacoma

Every month, a typical family of two adults and two children will spend nearly $7,000 on living expenses. Housing will set you back $1,145, food will set you back $782, and transportation will set you back $1,186.

That may seem like a lot, but it’s a lot less than living in Seattle, where the same family’s monthly spending will top $8,000. Due to its proximity to Portland, OR, even the comparatively rural Clark County, Washington has living expenses of nearly $7,500.

Job Market and Economy

According to the most recent government statistics, the average wage in Pierce County is $49,531. This is less than the $62,077 statewide average, which is boosted in part by high-paying tech jobs in the Seattle area. The Canadian unemployment rate in 2018 was 5.2 percent, slightly higher than the unemployment rate in the United States. ( Find jobs in Tacoma )

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Universities and schools

Tacoma Public Schools is the city’s primary school district. The district is Washington’s third-largest school district, with 35 elementary schools, nine middle schools, and eight high schools. The district, which has 30,000 students enrolled, is also one of the area’s largest employers, employing over 5,000 educators and administrators.

In terms of higher education, the Puget Sound region has many colleges and universities, including those in Tacoma. Tacoma is home to both the University of Puget Sound and the University of Washington. Evergreen State College has a campus in Tacoma, which is known for its artistic culture and long history of political activism. Tacoma Community College, a junior college, is also located in the city.