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Renter's Guide to Lakewood
Lakewood, Washington is a relatively new (est. 1996) city that is the second largest in Pierce County and the 18th largest in the state. Known primarily for its lakes and outdoor recreation, Lakewood is just 11 miles from Tacoma, 41 miles from Seattle, and 21.5 miles from Olympia. It’s regularly named one of the best cities for young people (median age is 36.6 years).
Lakewood weather is similar to many cities in the Pacific Northwest, with lots of rain. Lakewood averages 39 inches of rain per year (Slightly more than the U.S. average of 37 inches) and it has about 146 days of precipitation. The average temperature in July is 76°F and the low in January is 37°F.
Lakewood, WA Demographics
- Total Population59,102
Female 29,532Male 29,570
- Median Age36
Cost of Living in Lakewood, WA
Locally, Lakewood is serviced by Pierce Transit, which includes vanpool, paratransit, and bus lines; the one-way bus fare is $2. If you work out of the region, driving is your best option and the average commute time is 25 minutes, one minute quicker than the national average.
The cost of eating out in Lakewood is about $50 for a 3-course dinner for two, however, there are plenty of low-cost options (Pizza Hut is a Lakewood favorite). Lakewood residents pay approximately $135 per month for utilities, about 20% less than the national average.
Average Rent in Lakewood, WA
- Lakewood, WA Average Rental Price, January 2020 $1,207 /mo
Lakewood, WA Apartment Rent Ranges
- > $2,0001%
Lakewood, WA Rent Trends
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Living in Lakewood, WA
If you love the outdoors and lush greenery, Lakewood has a lot going for it as there are a lot of trees, open space and recreational opportunities in the area. There is also a wide variety of places to eat, shop, or find something entertaining to do. The downsides to Lakewood is the urban sprawl; there is no real downtown area and there are quite a few bad or seedy areas with high crime. If you are from the Northwest, you already know about the rainy/gloomy weather for much of the year.
Lakewood is predominantly white (almost 54%) with about 17% Hispanic and 10% black. There is also a strong Vietnamese and Korean community.
Things to do in Lakewood
As the name implies, Lakewood has both lakes and woods. There are five lakes that provide fishing, rowing, and water skiing opportunities, and 11 parks that have a total of over 540 acres. At many of them there is hiking, swimming and children’s playgrounds along with rentable covered shelters for 25-100 people. This includes the popular Fort Steilecoom Park, the largest one, which also has 2 off-leash areas for dogs.
For those that feel the need for speed, Grand Prix Raceway is one of the fastest indoor kart racing tracks in the nation. It’s fast and furious fun for anyone over 18 (although minors over 5 feet tall can drive with a signed waiver from their parents). Of course, for the more mellow date nights, AMC Lakewood is a popular first-run movie theater with 12 screens and arena-style seating.
Popular annual events in Lakewood include Truck & Tractor Day (October), Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony (December), and SummerFest (July), featuring food, music, movies, and other live events. This area of the Pacific Northwest is known for its wide array of cultural diversions, with Seattle being considered #1 in the entire U.S.
Employment and Economy
There is a higher level of unemployment in Lakewood as compared to the rest of the state and about 20% of its residents live in poverty. The major employer is the military as there are a number of bases in the area. There are no major corporations residing within the boundaries of Lakewood. The most common jobs here are in sales, office, or administration work.
Lakewood, WA Households
- Total Number of Households24,129
Family 14,198Non-family 9,931
Children 6,738No Children 17,391
- Average People Per Household2.4
- Median Household Income$47,636
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$970
Education in Lakewood
There are a few community colleges in the area including Clover Park Technical College and Pierce College, which receive average marks for educational facilities. Lakewood could be considered a suburb of Seattle, so many fine schools including University of Washington and Washington State University are within commuting distance.
Lakewood, WA Education Statistics
- No High School3%
- Some High School35%
- Some College32%
- Associate Degree10%
- Bachelor Degree12%
- Graduate Degree6%
Tips for Renting in Lakewood
Lakewood tenants have the Community Safety Resource Team (CSRT) looking after them which has its own hotline. There is also the Landlord Liaison Project which helps those who are homeless or have a spotty record find housing. Rent control is illegal in Washington state and a landlord may raise the rent any amount as long as they give 30 days’ notice.
If you are looking to rent a house or apartment in Lakewood, it’s always a good idea to put your best foot forward. Arrive on time to any appointment, be professionally dressed, and have the rental agreement filled out beforehand, if possible. There are plenty of great affordable places to rent here, especially for young people who want to be near (but can’t afford) Seattle. And, of course, the best place to look for them is right here on RentCafe.com!
RENTCafé is your one-stop shop for finding a great new apartment in Lakewood, WA. Easily search through a wide selection of apartments for rent in Lakewood, WA, and view detailed information about available rentals including floor plans, pricing, photos, amenities, interactive maps, and thorough property descriptions. Property owners and managers are one click away, so feel free to contact them and find out all you need to know about the apartment you’re interested in. Browse Lakewood, WA apartments with rents starting from $803 and submit your rental application today!