In it’s heyday, Tacoma was a pretty popular place. That was its past. Now fast forward to 2007. The bottom is falling out of the housing market, due to high crime and dilapidated dwellings. How can this be happening to a once rich and prosperous piece of Washington state?
Since my arrival, I’ve looked at several pieces of property all throughout Washington state. Tacoma, Lakewood, Olympia, Lacey, Spanaway, and Tumwater, to name a few. I was originally looking for a place to rent but came up short. There are “laws” prohibiting the renting of certain apartments and dwellings to dog owners of certain breeds, my dog just have to be a mix of two breeds which disqualifies me all the way around. So, with this in mind, I decided to buy. I started looking for a mortgage lender or banker and that was the easy part. What came next was a total nightmare.
There are several homes for sale and all reasonably priced. Some are overpriced, and those are the ones that I stay away from. Some are functionally obsolescent, you know 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom; 4 bedrooms and 1 bathroom with no garage or 1 car garage. (And yes this is a big no-no) but what can you do. There are some that are lower priced but when you see what’s in the neighborhood, you can understand why it is priced so low. High crime and cultural saturation in specific neighborhoods make it almost impossible to buy or rent. I found that most people are moving towards the outer regions of Tacoma near Lacey and Olympia. These places, although they are older in some parts, are updating themselves by building new shopping centers, and new communities.
The one thing that I found impossible is that the old homes that are for sale, are still for sale. The new homes are selling fast and they are as expensive as the homes in California. I found one new community that is advertised as “farm” and has cows in the front of it. I laughed. The new housing developments are insane while the older homes are sitting idle, overpriced for rental and for sale. I would like to know what happened? Did the housing bubble burst or what? If it did, the bubble that has Tacoma sitting on it is lopsided, canted, tilted, and uneven. It hasn’t burst; it’s deflated and moved into another bubble. One that has no “real” vision. Sell the old homes first and clean up the area, please.
With the influx of military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with their bonuses and hazardous duty pay, the new housing market is skyrocketing but the older, dilapidated homes remain untouched. There are homes that are beautiful, surrounding wilderness and wildlife, lake front and beach front. However, these homes are often overpriced due to their functions and may not be fair market value. The crime rate, that has risen since 1999 in these neighborhoods, offset the true worth and value of these homes. I hope that this change in the future because those of us that are not in the military, do not have bonuses or hazardous duty pay wish to obtain a piece of the American Dream. Then, and only then, with the bubble bursting, can we truly overcome the housing crunch and return to some type of normalcy.