Renter's Guide to Tacoma
A vibrant new home awaits in Tacoma, Washington!
It's a creative community where artists and writers, as well as entrepreneurs and small business owners, flock in search of a charming city away from the sometimes overwhelming urban lifestyle of nearby Seattle.
At 62 square-miles, Tacoma is a little more than one-third the size of Seattle, which is 30 miles away, and Portland, which is 145 miles away.
The weather in Tacoma is pleasant and mild, with highs in the summer reaching into the upper 70s. Winters are cooler, with average lows in the upper 30s and highs in the upper 40s. The city receives around 37 inches of rainfall annually, but snowfall is very rare.
Tacoma, WA Demographics
- Total Population203,481
Female 100,662Male 102,819
- Median Age36
Cost of Living in Tacoma , WA
There's a reason Tacoma came in at #41 on Livability.com’s Best Places to Live.
For starters, the cost of living here is considerably lower than in Seattle, whether it's apartments or groceries.
Dinner for two at a mid-range restaurant in Tacoma costs around $50-$70, while a domestic beer to go with your meal will be about $3.
Basic utility services for a 915 square-foot apartment here costs an average of $155/month, which is actually a little bit higher than in Seattle, where the same utilities average $140/month.
Bus service in Tacoma is provided by Pierce Transit, with monthly passes being sold for $72. Uber and Lyft are available in Tacoma, as is Zipcar – a ride sharing program for those who just need to rent a car for a few hours. If you need a taxi, you'll have a few different options for that as well.
Because of the infrastructure Tacoma has put in place, the city was awarded a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly status by the League of American Bicyclists.
Average Rent in Tacoma, WA
- Tacoma, WA Average Rental Price, July 2018$1,216/mo
- 1 Bedroom$1,098
- 2 Bedrooms$1,286
Tacoma, WA Apartment Rent Ranges
- > $2,0002%
Tacoma, WA Rent Trends
|All rentals||Studio||1 Bed||2 Beds||3 Beds|
|Jul / 2018||$1,216||$1,022||$1,098||$1,286|
|Sept / 2017||$1,200||$1,032||$1,079||$1,272|
|May / 2017||$1,174||$993||$1,064||$1,236|
|Jan / 2017||$1,131||$960||$1,032||$1,189|
|Sept / 2016||$1,113||$936||$1,003||$1,175|
|May / 2016||$1,067||$921||$953||$1,132|
|Jan / 2016||$1,018||$896||$920||$1,072|
|Sept / 2015||$991||$881||$898||$1,038|
|May / 2015||$972||$843||$877||$1,019|
|Jan / 2015||$920||$826||$828||$969|
Average rent is projected to grow by 5% in 2018 compared to 2017.
Please note that projected rent growth is calculated at city level.
Average rent values on this page are aggregated from data from the following zip codes: 984029840398404984059840698407984089840998416984189842198422984249843398443984449844598446984479846598466
Living in Tacoma , WA
Situated along the south end of Puget Sound and in the shadow of Mt. Rainier, Tacoma offers clean air, beautiful scenery, and a vibrant atmosphere.
There are plenty of interesting things to do here, from an abundance of outdoor activities, like hiking, biking, and kayaking, to the city's museums, casinos, and theaters. You really will never run out of things to keep you busy in Tacoma.
You’re also only a half-hour away from Seattle, which is home to its own professional baseball and football teams.
Tacoma does have its downsides though. While beautiful, it can be frequently gloomy with cloudy, cool weather and mist. Winters are fairly chilly too. Also, the traffic around Seattle is considered some of the worst in the country.
But you can’t beat the outdoor lifestyle and mostly comfortable weather year-round. The snow-capped mountains, the tree-filled parks, and the events in nearby Seattle make Tacoma a great place to call home.
Things to do in Tacoma
Outdoor lovers will love hiking parts of Mt. Rainier or Mt. Baker, both of which offer breathtaking views, plenty of greenery, and even waterfalls. Whether you’re a camper or just looking to get a little fresh air and exercise, being close to either of these mountains is invigorating.
Or you can head to the beautiful Point Defiance Park in Tacoma. The park is 760-acres and features a zoo, aquarium, and a history museum, as well as beaches, hiking and biking trails, playgrounds, and picnic areas.
There's a lot to discover in downtown Tacoma. Stroll along Museum Row, shop at the many unique stores, dine at a nice restaurant, or snack on a cupcake or donut at a local bakery. There's also a movie theater and live shows to check out.
The city also hosts a Daffodil Festival every April, which is a great way to welcome spring. In fact, it’s one of the nation's top 10 floral festivals. The Holiday Torchlight Parade & Tree Lighting in Tacoma takes place in November, kicking off the holiday season – and giving children a chance to see Santa ride in on his sleigh.
Though the Seahawks and Mariners are definitely big draws, you don’t have to travel to Seattle to see some high-quality sports. The Tacoma Rainiers are the local AAA baseball team affiliated with the Mariners, and the Seattle Sounders is a Tacoma soccer team that frequently makes it to the playoffs.
But if you do make the journey to Seattle, you won't be disappointed. There's plenty of fun to be had exploring Pike’s Market, the Museum of Flight, the Space Needle, and the Seattle Underground Tour.
Employment and Economy
Tacoma's unemployment rate is slightly higher than Seattle and the state of Washington as a whole.
Technology and agriculture are the city's major industries, with MultiCare Health Systems being the largest private employer. Microsoft, Boeing, Starbucks, Nordstrom’s, and Amazon are just a few of the companies that have headquarters or main offices located in the Seattle-Tacoma area.
Tacoma, WA Households
- Total Number of Households79,026
Family 45,179Non-family 33,847
Children 22,943No Children 56,083
- Average People Per Household2.51
- Median Household Income$52,042
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$1,126
Education in Tacoma
There are many colleges and universities located in Tacoma, including Tacoma Community College, which offers dozens of Associate programs; the University of Puget Sound, which was listed as one of the Colleges That Change Lives; and the University of Washington Tacoma.
The city is also part of the Tacoma Public Schools district, which includes dozens of elementary, middle, and high schools – public, private, and magnet.
Tacoma, WA Education Statistics
- No High School4%
- Some High School37%
- Some College27%
- Associate Degree8%
- Bachelor Degree16%
- Graduate Degree8%
Tips for Renting in Tacoma
There's so much to love about the Tacoma. And the city is very good about making tenants and landlords aware of their rights. The program ensures both landlords and tenants have access to the tools needed to sustain safe and healthy communities.
A landlord has 24 hours to make repairs if the issue involves the use of hot or cold water, heat or electricity, or poses a significant hazard. 72 hours is the repair time for appliances, and all other work should be completed within 10 days of notice.
Washington State doesn't have rent control, so a landlord can raise the rent as they see fit at the end of the lease period – but they have to inform you of the increase at least 30 days prior to it going into effect.
When you rent in Tacoma, make sure to read the lease thoroughly so you know what’s expected of you and your landlord.
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