Author Topic: Move to Tacoma?  (Read 2771 times)

Radagast

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Move to Tacoma?
« on: October 16, 2022, 02:36:04 PM »
I have a question for Mustachians. Disclosure, for the past few years we have been living in the Reno, NV area. Recently I have been dissatisfied with my job and looking at other choices. Along those lines, my family has been suggesting that we move to the Pacific Northwest, and my wife has wanted somewhere greener. Recently I got a job offer out of Tacoma which seems like a good fit. This is a personal matter, and I will probably accept, but just wanted to see what the crowd here has to say about that. I know there are many area locals on the board, and that lots of people have more experience relocating than I do. Really just wanted to see what comments ya'll might have about the matter.

Pros:
- 10% raise versus cost of living
- More technical career opportunities (but only relevant for another 5 years or so). I have realized most civil engineering projects in Reno are either of the smaller sort, or are designed out of the area. Advancement from my point is entirely through client relationships and not technical advancement, but I am looking for both.
- My wife prefers a wetter/greener environment, and I concur Reno is a little too hot and dry
- My extended family is largely located in the greater PNW (see: area which supports Seahawks in map of football teams), and my parents have been suggesting that it would be nice if we could move there to consolidate the family as they get older
- My parents have a cabin on the Olympic peninsula very close to the national park which we could visit any time, and I have only been to a few times because it has been too far away.
- My wife is Chinese, and the Sound area is the closest point of the lower 48 to China, and as such makes it that much easier to travel and has more - Chinese things and community available.
- I am bored, and moving to Tacoma would solve that.

Cons:
- Current housing situation assumed minimum 5 years ownership, we would be losing money relative to other options available in 2020, plus not a good time to be buying or selling real estate in general.
- No established network and loss of existing network, both personal and professional. Especially for me, my wife would not be at such a disadvantage.
- My wife doesnít like clouds or rain, and I have never even been around them that much, how would we cope? For example my coworker moved to Tacoma and went back to Reno after 7 months because the clouds were too much. Trees are a little claustrophobic to me, how are you supposed to see the forest with all those things around?
- We have a pretty good situation going on with a nice house in a good neighborhood, accessory dwelling unit is great, and lots of children the same age as ours all around
- We are pretty well integrated in the Northern Nevada Chinese and Chinese/American couple communities, and while we would make this up it would take a while and we would be less close to some friends. It would be a loss for these communities because letís be honest they arenít that big in this area.
- Moving with too children under 2 would be a hassle

Map of greater PNW


Map of Radagastís natural habitat range (generally the mountainous regions therein)

shadowmoss

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2022, 04:01:55 PM »
I lived in Lacey, which is just south of Tacoma and js co soldered part of Olympia.  This was 10 years ago and I was a civilian contractor to a Military unit based in Lewis McCord there.  I haven't been back since I left in 2010 but back then it was suggested I look south of the Post rather than north towards Tacoma for housing.  There was some nice housing out by the sound, may be too expensive now.  There will be a high percentage of Military families also looking for housing.

I hope to get back to visit the area again next summer.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2022, 06:20:04 PM »
I think Hawaii is also solidly Seahawk territory?

Went to college in Tacoma. Haven't been there in 20+ years, and am on the fence of recommending it. There are definitely nice areas. The weather was a challenge, and that's saying something, as I grew up in Washington. However, I do know that the weather has also changed quite a bit in the last few years, and trended warmer & sunnier. I'd suggest going there for at least a week, and checking it out. Also, for work, would you plan to commute to Seattle, or worse... Redmond? That is a longgggggg commute. I did the Tacoma to Redmond commute while in college, in the late 90s, and it was brutal back then.

Villanelle

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2022, 07:25:49 PM »
I have a question for Mustachians. Disclosure, for the past few years we have been living in the Reno, NV area. Recently I have been dissatisfied with my job and looking at other choices. Along those lines, my family has been suggesting that we move to the Pacific Northwest, and my wife has wanted somewhere greener. Recently I got a job offer out of Tacoma which seems like a good fit. This is a personal matter, and I will probably accept, but just wanted to see what the crowd here has to say about that. I know there are many area locals on the board, and that lots of people have more experience relocating than I do. Really just wanted to see what comments ya'll might have about the matter.

Pros:
- 10% raise versus cost of living
- More technical career opportunities (but only relevant for another 5 years or so). I have realized most civil engineering projects in Reno are either of the smaller sort, or are designed out of the area. Advancement from my point is entirely through client relationships and not technical advancement, but I am looking for both.
- My wife prefers a wetter/greener environment, and I concur Reno is a little too hot and dry
- My extended family is largely located in the greater PNW (see: area which supports Seahawks in map of football teams), and my parents have been suggesting that it would be nice if we could move there to consolidate the family as they get older
- My parents have a cabin on the Olympic peninsula very close to the national park which we could visit any time, and I have only been to a few times because it has been too far away.
- My wife is Chinese, and the Sound area is the closest point of the lower 48 to China, and as such makes it that much easier to travel and has more - Chinese things and community available.
- I am bored, and moving to Tacoma would solve that.

Cons:
- Current housing situation assumed minimum 5 years ownership, we would be losing money relative to other options available in 2020, plus not a good time to be buying or selling real estate in general.
- No established network and loss of existing network, both personal and professional. Especially for me, my wife would not be at such a disadvantage.
- My wife doesnít like clouds or rain, and I have never even been around them that much, how would we cope? For example my coworker moved to Tacoma and went back to Reno after 7 months because the clouds were too much. Trees are a little claustrophobic to me, how are you supposed to see the forest with all those things around?
- We have a pretty good situation going on with a nice house in a good neighborhood, accessory dwelling unit is great, and lots of children the same age as ours all around
- We are pretty well integrated in the Northern Nevada Chinese and Chinese/American couple communities, and while we would make this up it would take a while and we would be less close to some friends. It would be a loss for these communities because letís be honest they arenít that big in this area.
- Moving with too children under 2 would be a hassle

Map of greater PNW


Map of Radagastís natural habitat range (generally the mountainous regions therein)

What do you mean by the bolded? 

While I whole-heartedly support people considering moving in order to better their lives, I also think it is more challenging than man people understand.  I've moved a lot.  A lot.  Military kid, military spouse.  If you are an introvert and thus don't need people as much, it is difficult because  you likely don't enjoy putting yourself out there with strangers, but that's the only way not to be isolated.  If you are in extrovert,  you lose your entire social network and have no one to be extroverted with.  Also, small things like figuring out how to navigate the area,  the best grocery store, etc., can add up and be surprisingly frustrating in the collective.  That doesn't mean it isn't worth it, but it's worth noting and considering. 

chasingsnow

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2022, 07:39:58 PM »
Cant speak from an American perspective, but we recently moved from Victoria, BC which is very close to the PNW.

The reasons why we left:
-It was too expensive for us, we would never have been able to afford a place (seems like that wouldn't be a problem in your situation.
-Living and dying by the ferry living on an island (not an issue in Tacoma)
-The cloud and rain were AWFUL, we didn't see the sun for two months from the end of October until December. We didn't think it would effect us very much, but oh man did it ever, for someone who has never felt "SAD" before, it really hit both me and my SO hard.

All this to say, it seems like if you want you can make it work and there may be various benefits, but I wouldn't underestimate how challenging that grey gloomy weather can be. 

seattlecyclone

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2022, 07:52:05 PM »
I live in Seattle. I have only been to Tacoma a handful of times since I moved here over a decade ago, but the city definitely has some good things going for it.

Tacoma has historically been a much cheaper place to live than Seattle. My understanding is the gap has narrowed some in recent years, though who knows what's going to happen in the housing market once everyone gets used to the new interest rates. It's a comparatively good time to be a cash buyer; I wouldn't want to take on a new mortgage these days if I could avoid it.

Climate-wise the dark, cloudy winters can definitely be a challenge for some folks. No way to know until you try, unfortunately. I've read that the PNW is expected to be one of the less-bad places to live in terms of climate change going forward, though with the weeks of wildfire smoke we've had recently it's not exactly looking like this is going to be a paradise.

I'll echo the above advice that long commutes are to be avoided in this area. If your job is in Tacoma, you should live there. If your job is in Seattle, you should live there. Commuting between the two will not be a recipe for happiness.

Telecaster

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2022, 08:47:01 PM »
Tacoma has a reputation for being a bit of a dump.  And there are indeed areas that are dumpy where you don't want to live.  But it is improving, and there are some charming, energetic, parts of town.  Plus there is lots of natural beauty, etc.   So could be a nice, fun place to live.

Re:  Weather.  From roughly end of September to first of July, there are long stretches of cloudy days.  It doesn't bother me personally, and it doesn't get very cold, but some people don't like it.  And the seasons aren't very distinct, which some people don't like.  From the first of July through the end of September-ish,* we have the best weather on the planet.  Clear and sunny almost every day and almost no rain.  Lots of people think this period makes up for the grey winters. 

* 80 F and sunny on October 16h today. 

iluvzbeach

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2022, 09:30:04 PM »
If your wife wants green yet doesn't like clouds & rain, I'm not sure either of you would be happy in the PNW.  We live in the PNW, after living in a much hotter & humid part of the country, and while we love it here most of the time, the winters are very hard.  The daylight hours are very short and it's gloomy and drizzly much of the time.  We have recently started going away for a month every winter just to get into a different environment, with sunlight and warmth, which really helps make winter more bearable.  I can't speak to the Tacoma area specifically.

As far as all the trees, we absolutely love all the trees but I have had friends who really enjoyed moving to areas with fewer trees where they could see a larger swath of land.

Radagast

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2022, 10:11:38 PM »
shadowmoss - to keep the commute easy we would likely stay in the Tacoma area, probably east or west but I am not familiar enough to say for sure. I only have passing knowledge of military housing, it seems like the extra competition makes it not as nice for the money paid but I'm sure it varies (plus I don't really know).

MaybeBabyMustache - We would definitely not commute to Seattle or Redmond - though there are other offices of the same company (or even other co's) I could work in in those areas. But seems like Tacoma would be the best fit, and housing there is much less, and commuting sucks, so seems like a reasonable choice. My map shows Hawaii as 49ers but whatever.

Villanelle - Admittedly moving to a new city is a drastic move to cure supposed boredom (which might not even be a fully accurate description). It has have been something we've talked about over the years but it still feels like a sudden decision. It has the potential for long term benefits, and short term would be exciting, but in the intermediate term (6-60 months) would probably be of little benefit or even a little worse.

chasingsnow - Fortunately the Tacoma situation is different in most respects, except the gloomiest weather corresponding with the shortest days which is the same.

Radagast

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2022, 10:24:16 PM »
seattlecyclone - we wouldn't have enough to pay in cash, probably even after selling both other houses and settling for the lower end of our range. Reno has had the worst smoke season the last three years that I could handle about anything: 2-10 weeks of dense haze and smoke reducing visibility to a mile or less, causing headaches, and all the while it is in the upper 90's. I doubt Seattle is worse, but I am sure it depends on the fire and wind. I have heard lots of reports of Tacoma having its better and worse sides! However I am only aware of having driven through a few times without stopping, and didn't get much from that.

Telecaster - It does look like there are some nice places within a 20-minute drive though (maybe longer with traffic). With two kids and two jobs a fairly long commute of some type is almost inevitable, so we'd choose a nicer area as we'd have to commute anyhow. My wife hasn't been to Seattle in the winter, and I have for only a few days, so hard to guess about the weather.

iluvzbeach - it's odd because I have lived in places much much colder than Seattle, but the dense cold humid air and cloudy skies make it feel folder than the thin air in a high dry place where the sun comes out, even if by the numbers Seattle is 30 degrees warmer. The biggest concern for me is the combination of clouds and trees making it dark and closed in. I think the wife would be happiest in North Carolina but I have no interest!

Radagast

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2022, 10:33:44 PM »
Even after long contemplation, this is a fast moving situation. My wife is on maternity leave and doesn't need to work until late December. The plan is I will put in my two weeks notice tomorrow, and we will find a short term (4-6 weeks) furnished rental and all drive our new minivan over and I will start working there the first or second week of November. From then to mid-December is the darkest, cloudiest, and rainiest time so that will be a good experience. I'll have that time to scope out the new company. My parents frequently spend November in the area anyway, so the whole family will just have Thanksgiving there. The company already said I can work from our home in Reno as long as I need, so after the 4-6 weeks is up we will all drive back to Reno and carry on as before. I'll continue to work remotely, and we'll evaluate the experience. If we like it, we'll find a place in Tacoma, and if not, I'll either continue working for the same company remotely, possibly in another location, or just move on to another job locally. Still seems momentous, but what can you do. This is a good way to mitigate risk, though it is a little expensive.

Radagast

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2022, 10:42:54 PM »
Side note: nominally the new company should be a 25% raise. However starting in January my existing company will up 401k match to 20%, put an additional 3% of base salary in 401k, and start a new low deductible HDHP with $2400 annually directly into a Fidelity HSA account. I'm sure people on this website can understand why that would eat into the 25% salary advantage! Good news: new company would offer 5 extra days of PTO though.

Radagast

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2022, 12:14:16 AM »
We are getting to know our neighbors, and they seem pretty nice and have a child in between our two. We are friends with a Chinese/American couple a couple blocks away who have a son a month younger than ours, and they are just about old enough to play. My wife's classmate will rent our ADU starting next week. Like I said, our current situation is pretty good.

GilesMM

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2022, 06:55:17 AM »
There is no perfect place.  Many people make a wreck of their lives chasing dreams to satisfy a spouse who is ultimately never satisfied.  Your green-loving, cloud-hating wife will need to endure one of the cloudiest, rainiest locations in the country.  Your move will be from one of the cheapest places to a top 10 cost metro area - expect a 50% rise in COL.   Think carefully!    If she can endure five more years maybe you can widen your choice of places to live beyond those required for work.

Morning Glory

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2022, 08:15:58 AM »
There is no perfect place.  Many people make a wreck of their lives chasing dreams to satisfy a spouse who is ultimately never satisfied.  Your green-loving, cloud-hating wife will need to endure one of the cloudiest, rainiest locations in the country.  Your move will be from one of the cheapest places to a top 10 cost metro area - expect a 50% rise in COL.   Think carefully!    If she can endure five more years maybe you can widen your choice of places to live beyond those required for work.

Haha. I ruled out the pnw because of seasonal depression and expense, and most of the rest of the west because of wildfire smoke and water issues. Worst case is they try it and move on.

sonofsven

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2022, 08:19:32 AM »
I'm from the area, but moved to Oregon a long time ago so I don't have any real current insight on Tacoma, except that it's on the east side of Puget Sound and crowded. I-5 is essentially a parking lot from Olympia to Everett during commute times. But I live pretty rural so that's my bias: crowds, traffic, aargh!
But traditionally Tacoma was looked down on by Seattle and it's burbs as a low class blue collar kind of place, also it's waterfront was for a long time a real working waterfront with a strong smelling pulp/paper mill which earned the epithet "The Tacoma Aroma". I definitely would not let it's past reputation deter me from moving there. It's ideally suited for boating and mountain activities,  Mt Rainer is very close and the southern end of the Olympic National Park is not far, either. That's right, you have a family cabin, if it's at Lake Cushman you're pretty close.
As for the weather, I've seen it my entire life, folks moving out because they can't handle the dreary-ness. I'm on the coast where the weather is even worse, but I'm used to it, and I actually like the rain. You don't get the green without the rain.
So maybe don't buy right away until you're sure you can make it through the dark season. And start saving those cc miles so you can go to Hawaii in the winter as needed ;-)

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2022, 11:36:46 AM »
Lots of people think this period makes up for the grey winters. 

* 80 F and sunny on October 16h today.

This fall was been wonderful. Indeed, the summers here are sensational. That being said, the winters are rough. I've lived in Seattle for 30 years and I still don't know quite where I stand. In a way, the climate here is extreme, not in terms of temperature, but in terms of how much gloom there is in the winter, combined with incredible summers.

HPstache

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2022, 11:50:25 AM »
Tacoma would be bottom 5 for towns/cities I would move to in western WA. 

seattlecyclone

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2022, 11:54:20 AM »
Lots of people think this period makes up for the grey winters. 

* 80 F and sunny on October 16h today.

This fall was been wonderful. Indeed, the summers here are sensational. That being said, the winters are rough. I've lived in Seattle for 30 years and I still don't know quite where I stand. In a way, the climate here is extreme, not in terms of temperature, but in terms of how much gloom there is in the winter, combined with incredible summers.

Yeah a big part of this is the latitude. We have 16 hours of sunlight in mid-summer and only 8Ĺ hours in mid-winter. Compared to 15/9Ĺ in Reno you'll probably notice the difference. Fun fact: most Canadians live south of Tacoma.

FINate

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2022, 11:55:20 AM »
I have a brother in Tacoma. Keep north of about 6th Ave and it's pretty nice, but pricier. Downtown is okay, kinda meh. Point Defiance is great, lovely beaches, trails, zoo and other amenities. The climate is indeed very dreary. Most days have a little rain/drizzle, and a lot of overcast. Little sun or blue skies outside of summer. If you aren't sure how you'll handle the gloom then I also suggest renting instead of buying until you experience it for yourself. If you can't hack it but still want to live in the PNW then head east of the Cascade Range, though more sun means less green and more brown.

Radagast

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2022, 10:40:00 PM »
There is no perfect place.  Many people make a wreck of their lives chasing dreams to satisfy a spouse who is ultimately never satisfied.  Your green-loving, cloud-hating wife will need to endure one of the cloudiest, rainiest locations in the country.  Your move will be from one of the cheapest places to a top 10 cost metro area - expect a 50% rise in COL.   Think carefully!    If she can endure five more years maybe you can widen your choice of places to live beyond those required for work.
This is only partly because of my spouse, there are are basically three factors: I want a new job of a type not available locally, my wife wants a greener place, my parents suggest moving to the Seattle area. It is the center of the three Venn circles. Things will admittedly be easier in a few years either way.

We've looked around and house pricing in the Tacoma / south end of the Sound are similar to and generally less than Reno, and I expect everything else to be similar. As verification, https://www.bestplaces.net/compare-cities/tacoma_wa/reno_nv/costofliving indicates Tacoma is a little cheaper, driven largely by housing. It says Tacoma is weighted by more expensive transportation, but gas is cheaper there and we have a fancy PHEV, so I think the Tacoma area will be all around a little less expensive. I doubt Reno has ever been one of the cheapest places, maybe in 2011 or the early 1990s?

Clouds TBD.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2022, 10:44:21 PM by Radagast »

Radagast

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2022, 10:49:55 PM »
I'm from the area, but moved to Oregon a long time ago so I don't have any real current insight on Tacoma, except that it's on the east side of Puget Sound and crowded. I-5 is essentially a parking lot from Olympia to Everett during commute times. But I live pretty rural so that's my bias: crowds, traffic, aargh!
But traditionally Tacoma was looked down on by Seattle and it's burbs as a low class blue collar kind of place, also it's waterfront was for a long time a real working waterfront with a strong smelling pulp/paper mill which earned the epithet "The Tacoma Aroma". I definitely would not let it's past reputation deter me from moving there. It's ideally suited for boating and mountain activities,  Mt Rainer is very close and the southern end of the Olympic National Park is not far, either. That's right, you have a family cabin, if it's at Lake Cushman you're pretty close.
As for the weather, I've seen it my entire life, folks moving out because they can't handle the dreary-ness. I'm on the coast where the weather is even worse, but I'm used to it, and I actually like the rain. You don't get the green without the rain.
So maybe don't buy right away until you're sure you can make it through the dark season. And start saving those cc miles so you can go to Hawaii in the winter as needed ;-)
I like rain, it's kind of cozy feeling. If I need to leave I wait by the door until it stops. It's clouds I don't like, if it is cloudy it might as well rain. Rain is a waste, it might as well snow. Just snow already or be sunny, really.

Radagast

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2022, 10:53:41 PM »
Lots of people think this period makes up for the grey winters. 

* 80 F and sunny on October 16h today.

This fall was been wonderful. Indeed, the summers here are sensational. That being said, the winters are rough. I've lived in Seattle for 30 years and I still don't know quite where I stand. In a way, the climate here is extreme, not in terms of temperature, but in terms of how much gloom there is in the winter, combined with incredible summers.

Yeah a big part of this is the latitude. We have 16 hours of sunlight in mid-summer and only 8Ĺ hours in mid-winter. Compared to 15/9Ĺ in Reno you'll probably notice the difference. Fun fact: most Canadians live south of Tacoma.
It's not just the rain and clouds, its the longer darkness, and the trees obscuring more of the sky, in combination that I am worried about. I have no reason to expect I am affected by SAD and have never had even the slightest symptom, my wife also thinks she will not have trouble, but it's hard to know without trying. That and losing the social circle are the two big concerns. Otherwise it all seems great.

Radagast

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2022, 11:02:45 PM »
What ended up happening was I made a counter offer along the lines of "pay $3,000 in reimbursed expenses for us to spend 4 weeks at your Tacoma office and live in an AirBnB to see if we like it, good chance for you to check me out too before I work remotely for a couple months" which they agreed to. Things like that are why I post here. Even though nobody said so, when I read my writing I was like "facepunch! you are traveling test the waters at their company on your own dime???" so I promptly made the counter.

The 4-week trial will be centered in the rainiest and darkest period so will be a good first impression of the worst, though of course the bigger issue isn't how dark and rainy it gets but rather how long it lasts. Anyway that will give us a good chance to check it out, and change our minds if needed.

I made a math error in the 401k, it will be a 15% raise over what I would get next year and 25% above now. Plus 5 more days off.

I haven't accepted yet, but probably will.

Radagast

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2022, 11:29:24 PM »
I have a brother in Tacoma. Keep north of about 6th Ave and it's pretty nice, but pricier. Downtown is okay, kinda meh. Point Defiance is great, lovely beaches, trails, zoo and other amenities. The climate is indeed very dreary. Most days have a little rain/drizzle, and a lot of overcast. Little sun or blue skies outside of summer. If you aren't sure how you'll handle the gloom then I also suggest renting instead of buying until you experience it for yourself. If you can't hack it but still want to live in the PNW then head east of the Cascade Range, though more sun means less green and more brown.
Admittedly I have only ever driven past, but the west side by what is labeled "University Place", the east side near Federal Way, or the north side as you say seem to have potential. If I am getting this right my wife can work as a traveler for a year and make twice as much money, but only if we don't but a house or something, so we'd likely rent for quite a while first.

FINate

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #25 on: October 19, 2022, 09:23:05 AM »
I have a brother in Tacoma. Keep north of about 6th Ave and it's pretty nice, but pricier. Downtown is okay, kinda meh. Point Defiance is great, lovely beaches, trails, zoo and other amenities. The climate is indeed very dreary. Most days have a little rain/drizzle, and a lot of overcast. Little sun or blue skies outside of summer. If you aren't sure how you'll handle the gloom then I also suggest renting instead of buying until you experience it for yourself. If you can't hack it but still want to live in the PNW then head east of the Cascade Range, though more sun means less green and more brown.
Admittedly I have only ever driven past, but the west side by what is labeled "University Place", the east side near Federal Way, or the north side as you say seem to have potential. If I am getting this right my wife can work as a traveler for a year and make twice as much money, but only if we don't but a house or something, so we'd likely rent for quite a while first.

To be clear, University Place and Federal Way are separate cities. I have no personal experience with either so no opinion, but what I have heard is that the closer one gets to Lakewood, the rougher it gets. I have no idea if this is accurate or fair, it's just what I've heard from my brother.

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #26 on: October 19, 2022, 01:59:48 PM »
I have a brother in Tacoma. Keep north of about 6th Ave and it's pretty nice, but pricier. Downtown is okay, kinda meh. Point Defiance is great, lovely beaches, trails, zoo and other amenities. The climate is indeed very dreary. Most days have a little rain/drizzle, and a lot of overcast. Little sun or blue skies outside of summer. If you aren't sure how you'll handle the gloom then I also suggest renting instead of buying until you experience it for yourself. If you can't hack it but still want to live in the PNW then head east of the Cascade Range, though more sun means less green and more brown.
Admittedly I have only ever driven past, but the west side by what is labeled "University Place", the east side near Federal Way, or the north side as you say seem to have potential. If I am getting this right my wife can work as a traveler for a year and make twice as much money, but only if we don't but a house or something, so we'd likely rent for quite a while first.

To be clear, University Place and Federal Way are separate cities. I have no personal experience with either so no opinion, but what I have heard is that the closer one gets to Lakewood, the rougher it gets. I have no idea if this is accurate or fair, it's just what I've heard from my brother.
Got it, I guess I could have been more specific that the job was in Tacoma and I'd be within short commuting range. While I knew Federal Way was separate, it didn't occur to me that this would be construed as such. I actually think there is a bigger misunderstanding here, in that I am from frontier/urban America. I basically don't "get" ruralism or its urban descendants. By area the US is basically evenly divided into two areas: urban/rural and urban/frontier https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/tool-kits-resources/info-2020/what-is-a-frontier-community.html. https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/topics/frontier I am very much from the urban/frontier part (which is the area too dry or too cold to support intensive agriculture), and within my geographical framework it wouldn't make sense to distinguish "University Place" and "Federal Way" from Tacoma because people within my framework automatically defer to the largest population center within 30 minutes drive. Or so I guess. Most people who have lived in the area seemed to construe my post as literally Tacoma, which I would never even have thought of.

I will be admired by the locals. "Why do you say that you are from Federal Way, when in reality that is just an unimportant sub-polity of Tacoma? BTW how do you like my new umbrella?"

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #27 on: October 19, 2022, 02:20:38 PM »
Got it, I guess I could have been more specific that the job was in Tacoma and I'd be within short commuting range. While I knew Federal Way was separate, it didn't occur to me that this would be construed as such. I actually think there is a bigger misunderstanding here, in that I am from frontier/urban America. I basically don't "get" ruralism or its urban descendants. By area the US is basically evenly divided into two areas: urban/rural and urban/frontier https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/tool-kits-resources/info-2020/what-is-a-frontier-community.html. https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/topics/frontier I am very much from the urban/frontier part (which is the area too dry or too cold to support intensive agriculture), and within my geographical framework it wouldn't make sense to distinguish "University Place" and "Federal Way" from Tacoma because people within my framework automatically defer to the largest population center within 30 minutes drive. Or so I guess. Most people who have lived in the area seemed to construe my post as literally Tacoma, which I would never even have thought of.

I will be admired by the locals. "Why do you say that you are from Federal Way, when in reality that is just an unimportant sub-polity of Tacoma? BTW how do you like my new umbrella?"

I wouldn't bother with such pedantry in casual conversation, but for the purposes of relocation it actually matters: city budgets, policing, services, etc. You'll be very popular with your umbrella :)

ETA: The population of Federal Way is ~100,000, so around half the size of Tacoma. Not exactly a "unimportant sub-polity of Tacoma." Locals should know regional place names so there should be no problem saying you live in Federal Way, but they'll likely be confused if you say you live in Tacoma then proceed to give directions to your house in Federal Way. Finally, you'll probably get along better with your neighbors if you don't immediately insult the importance of their city.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2022, 02:44:22 PM by FINate »

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #28 on: October 19, 2022, 09:10:06 PM »
Got it, I guess I could have been more specific that the job was in Tacoma and I'd be within short commuting range. While I knew Federal Way was separate, it didn't occur to me that this would be construed as such. I actually think there is a bigger misunderstanding here, in that I am from frontier/urban America. I basically don't "get" ruralism or its urban descendants. By area the US is basically evenly divided into two areas: urban/rural and urban/frontier https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/tool-kits-resources/info-2020/what-is-a-frontier-community.html. https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/topics/frontier I am very much from the urban/frontier part (which is the area too dry or too cold to support intensive agriculture), and within my geographical framework it wouldn't make sense to distinguish "University Place" and "Federal Way" from Tacoma because people within my framework automatically defer to the largest population center within 30 minutes drive. Or so I guess. Most people who have lived in the area seemed to construe my post as literally Tacoma, which I would never even have thought of.

I will be admired by the locals. "Why do you say that you are from Federal Way, when in reality that is just an unimportant sub-polity of Tacoma? BTW how do you like my new umbrella?"

I wouldn't bother with such pedantry in casual conversation, but for the purposes of relocation it actually matters: city budgets, policing, services, etc. You'll be very popular with your umbrella :)

ETA: The population of Federal Way is ~100,000, so around half the size of Tacoma. Not exactly a "unimportant sub-polity of Tacoma." Locals should know regional place names so there should be no problem saying you live in Federal Way, but they'll likely be confused if you say you live in Tacoma then proceed to give directions to your house in Federal Way. Finally, you'll probably get along better with your neighbors if you don't immediately insult the importance of their city.
Yup I am joking. But by contrast, if I asked about moving to Las Vegas, nobody would ever say "Las Vegas would be in my bottom 5 of towns or cities in southern Nevada." That would be hilarious and absurd. By saying "Las Vegas", one would automatically invoke Henderson and North Las Vegas and Paradise and Summerlin and more, and locals would agree that they were all basically just a part of Vegas. Similarly, Sparks would automatically be construed as part of Reno by all locals, and included in "where to live" considerations, and nobody would even think to be insulted. I just think it is interesting that nobody construed "Tacoma" to possibly include University Place, Federal Way, Puyallup, or others, even though there is no obvious differentiator and as an example the Tacoma water system is the primary, secondary, or tertiary source for all these communities. https://www.mytpu.org/wp-content/uploads/service-area-map.pdf The fact that I could insult a Federal Way person by implying they are from Tacoma is funny and not something I would have even thought of. Which is basically my whole point.

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2022, 09:30:13 AM »
Yup I am joking. But by contrast, if I asked about moving to Las Vegas, nobody would ever say "Las Vegas would be in my bottom 5 of towns or cities in southern Nevada." That would be hilarious and absurd. By saying "Las Vegas", one would automatically invoke Henderson and North Las Vegas and Paradise and Summerlin and more, and locals would agree that they were all basically just a part of Vegas. Similarly, Sparks would automatically be construed as part of Reno by all locals, and included in "where to live" considerations, and nobody would even think to be insulted. I just think it is interesting that nobody construed "Tacoma" to possibly include University Place, Federal Way, Puyallup, or others, even though there is no obvious differentiator and as an example the Tacoma water system is the primary, secondary, or tertiary source for all these communities. https://www.mytpu.org/wp-content/uploads/service-area-map.pdf The fact that I could insult a Federal Way person by implying they are from Tacoma is funny and not something I would have even thought of. Which is basically my whole point.

Agree to disagree.

I think it depends. I have friends that lived in Puyallup for a time and they never considered it Tacoma. It has it's own history and identity. The folks I know in Gig Harbor would be quite perplexed if someone described it as basically Tacoma. My parents live in Eagle, ID which is a suburb of Boise, but they (and other folks I know that live there) never describe it as Boise. Same for Meridian, Star, etc. True, it's all part of the larger  metro, but these cities are distinct in their own ways even if the boarders have blended together with urban sprawl. The same can be said for most Bay Area cities... I don't know anyone who lives in Mountain View or Sunnyvale or Cupertino that would say they live in San Jose.

As for people taking offense, my point is not that calling Puyallup or Federal Way basically Tacoma (or part of the Tacoma metro), it's more the attitude of calling these places an "unimportant sub-polity of Tacoma." So someone who grew up there or otherwise has some civic pride in their city, this is insulting.

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2022, 09:50:19 AM »
Yup I am joking. But by contrast, if I asked about moving to Las Vegas, nobody would ever say "Las Vegas would be in my bottom 5 of towns or cities in southern Nevada." That would be hilarious and absurd. By saying "Las Vegas", one would automatically invoke Henderson and North Las Vegas and Paradise and Summerlin and more, and locals would agree that they were all basically just a part of Vegas. Similarly, Sparks would automatically be construed as part of Reno by all locals, and included in "where to live" considerations, and nobody would even think to be insulted. I just think it is interesting that nobody construed "Tacoma" to possibly include University Place, Federal Way, Puyallup, or others, even though there is no obvious differentiator and as an example the Tacoma water system is the primary, secondary, or tertiary source for all these communities. https://www.mytpu.org/wp-content/uploads/service-area-map.pdf The fact that I could insult a Federal Way person by implying they are from Tacoma is funny and not something I would have even thought of. Which is basically my whole point.

Agree to disagree.

I think it depends. I have friends that lived in Puyallup for a time and they never considered it Tacoma. It has it's own history and identity. The folks I know in Gig Harbor would be quite perplexed if someone described it as basically Tacoma. My parents live in Eagle, ID which is a suburb of Boise, but they (and other folks I know that live there) never describe it as Boise. Same for Meridian, Star, etc. True, it's all part of the larger  metro, but these cities are distinct in their own ways even if the boarders have blended together with urban sprawl. The same can be said for most Bay Area cities... I don't know anyone who lives in Mountain View or Sunnyvale or Cupertino that would say they live in San Jose.

As for people taking offense, my point is not that calling Puyallup or Federal Way basically Tacoma (or part of the Tacoma metro), it's more the attitude of calling these places an "unimportant sub-polity of Tacoma." So someone who grew up there or otherwise has some civic pride in their city, this is insulting.
Depends on the place. I've heard a lot of people from various places in the top half of Illinois claim to be from Chicago. I guess they think it makes them sound cool.

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2022, 09:52:19 AM »
For me it depends on who I'm talking to.  I live in either 'Phoenix Metro Area', or East Valley, or the actual town where I live depending on if I think the person I'm talking to would know the distinction.  If I'm talking about the seasonal weather to someone from a different area of the country it is Phoenix Metro.  If it is someone from Arizona I would probably say East Valley.  Someone from the Valley area I'd identify the town as they would know where I mean.  Here, the towns are basically just knowing what the dividing street between them is, no separation as I drive from one to another.  Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, all are a general area where the actual boundaries only matter to folks actually living there.

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2022, 01:30:15 PM »
Most people who have lived in the area seemed to construe my post as literally Tacoma, which I would never even have thought of.

I will be admired by the locals. "Why do you say that you are from Federal Way, when in reality that is just an unimportant sub-polity of Tacoma? BTW how do you like my new umbrella?"

Ok, this is hilarious. I'm assuming that you will not be literally referring to someone's hometown in conversation as an "unimportant sub-polity" of anything. Also that you are aware of the following about umbrellas in the PNW: they get left behind a lot. It was raining when you came in, sat down, and put your dripping umbrella under your theater seat; but now that you're leaving it's bright-cloudy and the forgotten umbrella will join its cohort in the lost and found. Nice new umbrella, by the way!

I'm originally from an unimportant sub-polity of Tacoma myself, and think maybe the specificity in people's comments is in context of looking for a place to live. Traveling in other areas of the country I was likely to say I was from the Seattle area, because who had heard of Tacoma? But if I know someone will be working in Tacoma and wants to live in a friendly neighborhood and not spend all their time commuting I'll be more specific.

So, my two cents: University Place has some nice neighborhoods and isn't too far from downtown Tacoma, it seems like a nice place to raise kids. Ditto North Tacoma. I have a soft spot for Steilacoom, it's a cute little town, but you may not want to drive that far. Lakewood is super uneven - they have some beautiful houses and neighborhoods and some really dumpy ones, and because there are a lot of little lakes sometimes those houses and neighborhoods are right next to each other. Gig Harbor is beautiful, but an everyday commute across the Narrows would be a killer. The former pulp mills and smelter that once gave Tacoma its distinctive aroma are long gone.

Cloudy but not rainy does get old - it's noticeably darker there than in other areas of the country, well into spring. If you end up relocating there longer term you might want to budget a family trip to somewhere sunny in November or January. DH and I recently made a long-planned move east of the Cascades, partly in search of clearer brighter skies.

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #33 on: October 23, 2022, 08:39:47 AM »
I think you'll like Tacoma.  We ended up in Olympia due to lower COL, better public schools, and access to a training program we needed, but Tacoma is prettier, more diverse, has more to do, and quicker access to SeaTac and Seattle.  As others have said, some locals seem to dump on Tacoma, but I think this is undeserved.  I would personally rather live in Tacoma than Seattle. 

If you are having kids, definitely research schools before you buy, and consider renting for awhile to get to know neighborhoods.  It's smart that you're doing your trial run in the heart of winter.  Summers are glorious, winters have their own charm but are long and get old.  Most people I know make it a point to block 1-2 weeks in winter to go to Hawaii.  It took us a couple of years before we did that also, and it made all the difference.

When moving to PNW in general, recommend buying a decent rain shell, rain pants, and waterproof boots.

If you haven't used it already, data forums is a great source of information for planning a move: https://www.city-data.com/forum/

Radagast

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #34 on: October 23, 2022, 09:44:19 AM »
As for people taking offense, my point is not that calling Puyallup or Federal Way basically Tacoma (or part of the Tacoma metro), it's more the attitude of calling these places an "unimportant sub-polity of Tacoma." So someone who grew up there or otherwise has some civic pride in their city, this is insulting.

Ok, this is hilarious. I'm assuming that you will not be literally referring to someone's hometown in conversation as an "unimportant sub-polity" of anything. Also that you are aware of the following about umbrellas in the PNW: they get left behind a lot. It was raining when you came in, sat down, and put your dripping umbrella under your theater seat; but now that you're leaving it's bright-cloudy and the forgotten umbrella will join its cohort in the lost and found. Nice new umbrella, by the way!
To be clear, this isn't something I would say, or even think. It was an attempt at self deprecating humor about my lack of understanding of the weather culture and geography culture of a place I am thinking about moving to soon.

Radagast

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #35 on: October 23, 2022, 09:50:20 AM »
Yup I am joking. But by contrast, if I asked about moving to Las Vegas, nobody would ever say "Las Vegas would be in my bottom 5 of towns or cities in southern Nevada." That would be hilarious and absurd. By saying "Las Vegas", one would automatically invoke Henderson and North Las Vegas and Paradise and Summerlin and more, and locals would agree that they were all basically just a part of Vegas. Similarly, Sparks would automatically be construed as part of Reno by all locals, and included in "where to live" considerations, and nobody would even think to be insulted. I just think it is interesting that nobody construed "Tacoma" to possibly include University Place, Federal Way, Puyallup, or others, even though there is no obvious differentiator and as an example the Tacoma water system is the primary, secondary, or tertiary source for all these communities. https://www.mytpu.org/wp-content/uploads/service-area-map.pdf The fact that I could insult a Federal Way person by implying they are from Tacoma is funny and not something I would have even thought of. Which is basically my whole point.

Agree to disagree.

I think it depends. I have friends that lived in Puyallup for a time and they never considered it Tacoma. It has it's own history and identity. The folks I know in Gig Harbor would be quite perplexed if someone described it as basically Tacoma. My parents live in Eagle, ID which is a suburb of Boise, but they (and other folks I know that live there) never describe it as Boise. Same for Meridian, Star, etc. True, it's all part of the larger  metro, but these cities are distinct in their own ways even if the boarders have blended together with urban sprawl. The same can be said for most Bay Area cities... I don't know anyone who lives in Mountain View or Sunnyvale or Cupertino that would say they live in San Jose.
I'm not sure if we disagree though. I agree with everything you say, and would note that they all fit into my frontier/urban versus rural/urban hypothesis. All these cities except Boise are rural/urban and would thus identify as themselves. Boise is mostly a frontier town. Eagle is half of each, you say "Eagle, suburb of Boise". I had a coworker who retired there and said "Eagle, right outside of Boise" even though I knew where it was, have relatives living there, and the conversation was not even occurring very far away relatively speaking. But Meridian people would never include Boise in their identity.

Radagast

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #36 on: October 23, 2022, 09:56:18 AM »
I think you'll like Tacoma.  We ended up in Olympia due to lower COL, better public schools, and access to a training program we needed, but Tacoma is prettier, more diverse, has more to do, and quicker access to SeaTac and Seattle.  As others have said, some locals seem to dump on Tacoma, but I think this is undeserved.  I would personally rather live in Tacoma than Seattle. 

If you are having kids, definitely research schools before you buy, and consider renting for awhile to get to know neighborhoods.  It's smart that you're doing your trial run in the heart of winter.  Summers are glorious, winters have their own charm but are long and get old.  Most people I know make it a point to block 1-2 weeks in winter to go to Hawaii.  It took us a couple of years before we did that also, and it made all the difference.

When moving to PNW in general, recommend buying a decent rain shell, rain pants, and waterproof boots.

If you haven't used it already, data forums is a great source of information for planning a move: https://www.city-data.com/forum/
Good tips. I did not know of that forum.

sonofsven

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #37 on: October 23, 2022, 10:03:20 AM »
Most people who have lived in the area seemed to construe my post as literally Tacoma, which I would never even have thought of.

I will be admired by the locals. "Why do you say that you are from Federal Way, when in reality that is just an unimportant sub-polity of Tacoma? BTW how do you like my new umbrella?"

Ok, this is hilarious. I'm assuming that you will not be literally referring to someone's hometown in conversation as an "unimportant sub-polity" of anything. Also that you are aware of the following about umbrellas in the PNW: they get left behind a lot. It was raining when you came in, sat down, and put your dripping umbrella under your theater seat; but now that you're leaving it's bright-cloudy and the forgotten umbrella will join its cohort in the lost and found. Nice new umbrella, by the way!

I'm originally from an unimportant sub-polity of Tacoma myself, and think maybe the specificity in people's comments is in context of looking for a place to live. Traveling in other areas of the country I was likely to say I was from the Seattle area, because who had heard of Tacoma? But if I know someone will be working in Tacoma and wants to live in a friendly neighborhood and not spend all their time commuting I'll be more specific.

So, my two cents: University Place has some nice neighborhoods and isn't too far from downtown Tacoma, it seems like a nice place to raise kids. Ditto North Tacoma. I have a soft spot for Steilacoom, it's a cute little town, but you may not want to drive that far. Lakewood is super uneven - they have some beautiful houses and neighborhoods and some really dumpy ones, and because there are a lot of little lakes sometimes those houses and neighborhoods are right next to each other. Gig Harbor is beautiful, but an everyday commute across the Narrows would be a killer. The former pulp mills and smelter that once gave Tacoma its distinctive aroma are long gone.

Cloudy but not rainy does get old - it's noticeably darker there than in other areas of the country, well into spring. If you end up relocating there longer term you might want to budget a family trip to somewhere sunny in November or January. DH and I recently made a long-planned move east of the Cascades, partly in search of clearer brighter skies.

Careful, the future ghost of Neko Case will haunt you forever...https://youtu.be/9AXVBtBJjLw

Radagast

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #38 on: October 23, 2022, 10:55:54 AM »
I made an approximate map of locations within a 15 minute drive of my workplace in Saturday Night Traffic. My wife would probably work about 5-10 minutes west, so locations will be shifted a few minutes west, in other words we would consider all of University Place. These are approximate, I didn't totally refine the boundary, it seemed like sometimes Google would vary a bit for the same location (traffic?), and in any case if we found the perfect house 2 minutes outside we wouldn't let that stop us.

I think I am missing something about area traffic, because Gig Harbor is easily within 20 minutes per the map but I have heard 35 or so. It seems that local rush hour doubles commute times, whereas in Reno it is more like +50% (except during rain, snow, or an accident on the way to Tesla). Which is why I constrained to 15 minutes.

Attached.

Dreamer40

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #39 on: October 23, 2022, 01:03:46 PM »
The winter rain and darkness takes getting used to, but everyone finds their own way to handle it. Some people book regular travel to a sunnier climate so they can look forward to it, some people buy rain gear and embrace it, I have a sunlight lamp that shines on me next to my coffee maker every morning. Every winter is also different. Some arenít really that rainy. Or there is at least a little sun nearly every day mixed in to the rain. Last year, the rain started early and continued late. It was brutal. If you buy a house, I recommend planting honeyberry (haskap) bushes. You need at least two varieties with similar bloom times for pollination. I have 5Ö They produce super delicious little berries very early in the season, even when itís still rainy. So maybe youíre depressed as hell, but you have ripe amazing fruit growing in your yard before many trees have even fully leafed out. Helps me feel like summer is coming! Absolutely delicious in pancakes. They look kind of like blueberries but have more acid like a raspberry. Low maintenance bushes.

fuzzy math

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #40 on: October 23, 2022, 05:04:43 PM »
I would recommend University Place too. South tacoma, east tacoma are all rougher. Someone else said stay north of 6th ave and I tend to agree if you want to be in Tacoma proper.

Gig Harbor is over a toll bridge. I think its $5 if you have a toll pass.

Federal way is not a nice commute into Tacoma (think 15- 20 minutes of parking lot speed traffic) at rush hour. Fife is a dump. Northeast tacoma is only accessible by the same freeway that makes Federal way horrible, or by scary windy hilly roads. Puyallup is a bad commute too...


six-car-habit

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #41 on: October 23, 2022, 11:29:33 PM »
 If you are going to be working weekends / flex hours , 4x10's, etc -  {you made your map for saturday night commute} - you should look into the communities west of the narrows bridge. At least take a weekend drive out as far as Port Orchard and Back [ Ollalla, Burley, Key Peninsula] in that month, while scouting places for a longer term stay. 

Radagast

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #42 on: October 23, 2022, 11:47:41 PM »
Thanks! We got a short term rental fairly close to downtown, we will see the situation when we get there. I have opinions that North-East or North or West will work best, but hard to say from here. I used Saturday Night Traffic because I need to commute and work during rush hour :( Admittedly paying a 5 dollar toll (each person each way!?) would make the Gig Harbor area seem dumb, but my biggest concern is time, and then money is easy to spreadsheet away. Any way we will see.

Probably a dumb spur of the moment purchase, but I ordered Lems Waterproof Boulder Boots since I don't have anything between ordinary shoes and snow boots. They'll fit in lots of places and hopefully last a long time regardless. AFAIK good enough for office shoes.

Telecaster

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #43 on: October 24, 2022, 12:01:14 AM »
I think I am missing something about area traffic, because Gig Harbor is easily within 20 minutes per the map but I have heard 35 or so. It seems that local rush hour doubles commute times, whereas in Reno it is more like +50% (except during rain, snow, or an accident on the way to Tesla). Which is why I constrained to 15 minutes..

Gig Harbor proper is a delightful northwest town on the water.  The rest of Gig Harbor is a sprawling strip mall hell similar to most of Greater Tacoma.   Unless you want to live in the charming city core, I'd most likely just live on the Tacoma side of the bridge. 

seattlecyclone

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #44 on: October 24, 2022, 12:15:47 AM »
Admittedly paying a 5 dollar toll (each person each way!?) would make the Gig Harbor area seem dumb...

The Tacoma Narrows Bridge is tolled only one direction, and the toll is per vehicle not per person.

PlanetDee

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #45 on: October 24, 2022, 07:26:45 AM »
Yay! I hope you join us here. I grew up in WA and currently live across the bridge on the Peninsula, about an hour from Tacoma. The bridge toll actually was recently lowered to $4.50 with a pass, so thatís exciting. Just like any other metro areas the Tacoma, Olympia, Seattle I-5 corridor is essentially all one large city. There is often heavy traffic and little way to tell that youíve crossed into some other city.

Tacoma is a really fun city - thereís a lot to do and itís smaller so youíre not dealing with the intensity of a major city. I agree with what some people have said - if youíre looking for fewer people, less density, and more space, go West across the bridge, past Gig Harbor.

Let me know if you have any questions, would be happy to chat more with you!

SmartyCat

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #46 on: October 24, 2022, 04:52:08 PM »
Traveling in other areas of the country I was likely to say I was from the Seattle area, because who had heard of Tacoma?


Careful, the future ghost of Neko Case will haunt you forever...https://youtu.be/9AXVBtBJjLw

Had I but known Neko Case would do such a charming song about Tacoma someday. . .  :)

Posthumane

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Re: Move to Tacoma?
« Reply #47 on: October 24, 2022, 05:31:43 PM »
While I can't comment on Tacoma specifically, or even PNW US, I did make a move from the Canadian Prairie (SE Alberta) to southern Vancouver Island a couple of years ago. I had some of the same concerns as you regarding the weather since I had spent a good chunk of my life in the land of big sky and wasn't sure how I'd be able to adjust to several months of cloudy, rainy weather. I did experience quite a bit of seasonal depression and was worried that it could be worse here, but to my surprise I found that it isn't. On the prairies there were basically two seasons - hot, dry summers, and cold, dead, windy winters. The spring and fall seasons lasted about a week, and around October when all the leaves were gone and all the grassland was brown and dead looking I would get pretty down, until about late Jan or early Feb when the days were getting noticeably longer. Although there are many days here without sunshine in November and December, I haven't found the cloudy and rainy weather to be all that detrimental. There is time almost every day to get out between the rain showers and enjoy the crisp, fragrant air which seems to make up for it. As far as feeling closed in and lacking longer views, I have found getting out to the coast helps. Looking out across the water at an island is not much different than looking out across a bare field at a distant hill.

As far as the name of the actual town where you live goes, I think it depends who you're talking to. If I'm speaking with someone that lives on Vancouver Island I'll use the name of my small town, but if I'm talking to someone anywhere else in Canada (or US) I'll just say I live in Victoria.


 

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