Housing Resource
Category: Home Buyer Education


Western Washington housing market adjusting to new ways of operating

KIRKLAND, Washington (May 6, 2020) – Residential real estate activity around Western Washington reflected expected declines during April with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic taking its toll. A new report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service shows year-over-year (YOY) drops system-wide in new listings, pending sales and closed sales, but prices increased nearly 6.4%.

“With the first full month of post-COVID-19 data in hand, it’s clear the Puget Sound housing market has been hit but not knocked out,” stated Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardener. “The normally active spring market is significantly slower than normal due to COVID-19, but it has not come to a halt,” he observed, adding, “In my opinion, it is responding to the current circumstances exactly as expected.”

Some industry veterans expected more severe declines. “As we look at the numbers for April, typically one of the most active months in regard to new listings, the impact of COVID-19 on the real estate market is now clear, although I personally thought it could have been worse,” remarked Mike Grady, president and COO at Coldwell Banker Bain.

The Northwest MLS report for April shows area-wide inventory fell nearly 21% from a year ago, dropping from 12,955 listings to 10,282. A comparison of the 23 counties in the report shows only four counties with YOY increases (Jefferson at 0.9%, Whatcom at nearly 6%, Douglas at 13.8% and Lewis at 17.7%), while three counties had shrinkages of around 30% or more (King at -29.6%, Clallam at -32.9% and Island at -39.2%).

The volume of new listings added during April was off 34.7% compared to the same month a year ago. Brokers added 7,641 new listings last month, down from both March when 10,291 new listings were added, and April 2019 when brokers added 11,697 new listings.

Despite the slower activity, the months of supply improved only slightly, rising from the March figure of 1.4 months to 1.75 months of inventory at the end of April.

J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, described the market as “virtually sold out everywhere locally in the more affordable and mid-price ranges.” Commenting on the local market, he said, “We are seeing buyer demand coming forward. With historically low interest rates, the local market needs additional listings to meet pent-up demand from the backlog of buyers,” he stated.

“We continue to see a shortage of inventory, along with multiple offers on newly listed homes, and we still have a backlog of buyers who line up (virtually) to view new listings,” reported Frank Wilson, branch managing broker at Kitsap regional manager at John L. Scott Real Estate. “With exceptionally low interest rates, there is no change in sight,” he suggested. -more- page two (NWMLS news release: April activity) May 6, 2020

Gary O’Leyar, designated broker/owner at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Signature Properties, reported seeing “only a slight increase in average market time for some listings,” along with “instances of multiple offers.” Acknowledging it was anyone’s guess as to how the March 25 “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” orders would play out, he suggested the Greater Seattle real estate market “continued to show its fundamental strength in April.”

In comparing April to March in the tri-county area (King, Pierce and Snohomish counties), economist Gardner noted the total number of active listings rose (up 14,8%), but new listings dropped (down 25.5%), which he said suggests sellers may be waiting until the shelter-in-place order is over. In the same area, home prices were essentially flat, which Gardner said, “This tells me that sellers are having realistic expectations about value and buyers, hoping for deep discounts, are not finding them.”

Wilson agreed, reporting, “We have had quite a few buyers who have come into the market thinking this is a good time to make lower offers on houses, but that is just not the case in Kitsap County.” Northwest MLS figures show the median price for homes and condos that sold last month in Kitsap County rose more than 13% from a year ago, from $349,500 to $395,178.

Another broker in Kitsap County, Frank Leach, broker/owner at RE/MAX Platinum Services in Silverdale, attributed part of that area’s 35% drop in pending sales to COVID-19 restrictions affecting showings. Nevertheless, his analysis showed more than half the sales in Kitsap County were over the asking price. “The market continues to be very competitive,” he stated.

Eight other counties, like Kitsap, reported double-digit jumps in median sales prices compared to a year ago, while four counties had declines.

In King County, prices rose 4% from a year ago, from $625,000 to $650,000. Snohomish County prices were up nearly 6% and Pierce County joined Kitsap with a double-digit gain; prices there increased from $355,000 to $397,750 for a 12% gain.

System-wide, prices were up about 6.4%, rising from the year-ago figure of $424,950 to last month’s figure of $452,030. Year-to-date prices are up nearly 9.3% compared to twelve months ago. “With peripheral areas still showing price increases higher than the Seattle area core, April’s figures highlight the trend of migration to outer suburban areas, along freeway corridors,” suggested James Young, director at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research (WCRER). He also believes the figures illustrate “a continued preference for lower density areas given the likely persistence of distancing measures in the future. The virus has refocused many potential buyers, especially for those owning highdensity properties in Seattle and elsewhere, on more space and less density. It makes social distancing easier!”

Young expects the trend of households moving to outer counties will likely accelerate in the coming weeks. “Older households in Seattle and other urban centers will be attracted to lower density areas because it is easier to maintain social distance while possibly gaining more space at a lower price point. As long as older householders in urban areas are able to sell, other counties will continue to see increased prices,” he stated.

Changes in lending practices could influence activity according to some market watchers, including Young. “The biggest factors in mortgage markets are first-time buyers, who may not qualify under new criteria, and jumbo markets,” he remarked.

Broker Dean Rebhuhn, owner at Village Homes and Properties, also commented on shifts in financing. “When the pandemic struck, fear came to play with sales under contract. Buyers became concerned, banks became concerned, appraisers became concerned,” according to Rebhuhn. Some buyers terminated their transactions, in some cases even forfeiting deposits. Nationwide lenders tightened their polices, he noted adding, “Jumbo loans became much harder to obtain, as did home equity loans and refinances.”  

Rebhuhn said noticeable changes occurred in mid-April. “New lenders saw opportunities in the marketplace and filled the space left by the national lenders. Sellers and buyers became more active,” he reported, adding, “It is amazing how resilient the real estate market has become in the face of the new normal.”

Other representatives from Northwest MLS echoed comments by Rebhuhn.

“Buyers are relying more and more on technology and tools to allow for virtual open houses and viewings. Social distancing, face masks, showings by appointment only and only two people in a home at a time with one of them being the broker are the new norm,” stated Wilson. Like WCRER’s Young, he said he could imagine homeowners wanting to change their living conditions to accommodate for more room or more outdoor space. “This could well cause a shift in what buyers are looking for in the future.”

Leach also reported, “Buyers in Kitsap County are very active on the internet and are checking out properties the minute they go on the market,” with corresponding surges in activity at title companies and by lenders. “Virtual tours are getting a lot of attention.” He said homebuilders “are ready to go full steam ahead.”

Grady also observed upticks in activity and optimism. In tracking their company numbers since March 29, he said they’ve averaged about a 10% increase in production (new listings, new transactions, and closed sales) in each subsequent week. He expects activity will continue to increase throughout May and June, which he says, “speaks to a market that is slowly adjusting to new ways of operating.”

“Optimism is rising,” Grady reported. “We have seen a drastic increase in views of virtual tours.” He also believes consumers are gaining confidence around safety measures for touring homes and as brokers become more adept at hosting live stream open houses. “Buyers are utilizing virtual technology, electronic signatures, and remote online notary processes for closing. All in all, we’re getting through this together,” he proclaimed, adding, “We are truly fortunate to live in a region that has navigated this crisis as adeptly as possible.”

Northwest Multiple Listing Service is a not-for-profit, member-owned organization that facilitates cooperation among its member real estate firms. With more than 2,300 member firm offices and 30,000 brokers across Washington state, NWMLS (www.nwmls.com) is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. While based in Kirkland, Washington, its service area spans 23 counties and it operates 20 local service centers.

For more news, visit nwmls.com and select “News & Information,” (includes latest press release, statistics and Northwest REporter), plus the NWMLS Media Kit.



Home buyers in Western Washington “hit the ground running” in January KIRKLAND, Washington (February 6, 2020) – “All indicators point to a vigorous spring market,” suggested broker Dean Rebhuhn when reviewing just-released statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The report covering 23 counties shows pending sales outgained new listings, record-low inventory that’s down 33% from a year ago, and double-digit price increases.

Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate (the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S.), noted home buyers did not take very much time off during the holidays. “They hit the ground running as soon as the new year kicked off.” (Windermere has 140 offices in the NWMLS market area.)

Rebhuhn, the owner of Village Homes and Properties in Woodinville, said new jobs, low interest rates, and lifestyle changes continue to drive the market. “Hot spot markets are experiencing multiple offers,” he reported.

Northwest MLS brokers added 6,517 new listings during January, a year-over-year decline of more than 8%. Pending sales (mutually accepted offers) topped new listing activity by 871 units. Brokers reported 7,388 pending sales last month, a 2.3% decline from the same month a year ago.

“So now we have a three month trend where we’re seeing pending transactions exceeding new listings added in all major counties in the Puget Sound region,” observed Mike Grady, president and COO of Coldwell Banker Bain. “Inventory continues to decline slowly to barely more than a month’s on hand. Our brokers are reporting it ‘feels like 2017,’ with multiple offers returning and review dates (where sellers identify a date to review all offers) being added to the mix because of the number of offers they are receiving,” he added.

At the end of January, the MLS database totaled only 7,791 active listings of single family homes and condos, well-below the year-ago figure of 11,687 (down 33.3%). A check of records dating to 2005 shows the selection is at a new low level, shrinking below the previous low of 7,921 reported for February 2018. In fact, for the 15 year span from 2005-2019 (180 months), inventory has dipped below 10,000 listings during only eight of those months.

Measured by months of supply (the ratio of active listings to closed sales), there was 1.54 months of inventory system-wide at the end of January. The selection was even more meager around Puget Sound, ranging from 1.1 months in Pierce County to about 1.3 months in King County.

“The fever in the real estate market is over the lack of inventory and competition from high buyer demand, not the flu,” said NWMLS board member John Deely, principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain. Looking at the report for single family homes in King County (excluding condos), he noted the number of active listings is down nearly 44% from a year ago, while closed sales rose more than 7.1%.

See the rest of the article here


Rental: Yelm, WA
3 Bed, 2 bath, 2 car garage
Pet rent $35 mo (dogs only)
$1595 deposit
RENT: $1695 mo*

Home for Sale: Yelm
Listed with CENTURY 21 NW Realty
3 Bed, 2 bath, 2 car garage
Listed at: $299,000
MORTGAGE: $1580 mo*

*Information gathered January 2020. Rental & Listed Home retrieved from Zillow. Estimated mortgage based on a VA Loan with $0 down, 3.341% interest, 30 yr term. All values are estimates and include estimated property taxes and insurance . Your results may vary based on your qualifications


Great article on the current housing market in the JBLM area from our friends over at The Olympian.

Summer sales of single-family homes in Thurston County ended with a bang in August as sales nearly matched last year’s red-hot results and the median price climbed almost 10 percent over August 2018.

That’s great news if you’re selling a single-family home. But the Northwest Multiple Listing Service data, released Monday, also showed that if you’re a buyer in this market, August was likely just another frustrating month.

The inventory data for August was stark. The total number of single-family homes for sale was 30 percent lower than last August, and new listings coming to market still can’t keep pace with last year’s new listings, the data show.

All of this means that months of inventory in the county last month stood at one month, which translates into a market that heavily favors sellers. A healthy balance between buyers and sellers is thought to have inventory in the range of four to six months.

Frank Wilson, a managing broker with John L. Scott Real Estate, said buyers need to get their ducks in row.

“Meet with a lender for pre-approval (on a mortgage) before looking for homes, be clear as to what you can live with or without in your next home, and, if at all possible, use cash or a conventional loan,” Wilson said in a statement.

That’s one of the harsh realities of being a first-time buyer in this market: who can come up with that kind of cash?

Those leaving King and Snohomish counties — two counties where median prices are greater than $490,000 — continue to push median prices higher in other communities along the I-5 corridor, including here, said James Young, director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington.

Young said first-time buyers are leaving King and Snohomish counties, and existing homeowners are cashing out and moving on, he said.

A closer look at the single-family home data for Thurston County in August compared to August 2018:

▪ Sales fell 2.7 percent to 568 units last month from 584 units in August 2018.

▪ Median price rose almost 9.6 percent to $348,500 from $318,100.

▪ Pending sales fell 4.9 percent to 602 units from 633 units.

A closer look at the condo data:

▪ Sales fell to 13 units last month from 19 units in August 2018.

▪ Median price rose to $230,000 from $185,000.

▪ Pending sales fell to 11 units from 14 units.Source: Northwest MLS.


KIRKLAND, Washington (June 6, 2019) – The housing market in western Washington may not be as hot as it was last spring, but it is heating up, suggested one industry leader in commenting on the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Matt Deasy, president of Windermere Real Estate/East, Inc. said his analysis of single family home sales in King County reveals 7 out of 10 properties that sold during May had 15 or fewer days on the market. He also noted more than half the listings (55 percent) in the county sold for at or above list price, the highest ratio since July 2018.

Northwest MLS figures show last month’s 12,006 pending sales across its 23 county service area nearly matched the year-ago total of 12,168 mutually accepted offers. Nine counties notched increases.

Two other indicators of activity – the volume of new listings, and the number of closed sales – both showed slight gains from a year ago. MLS member brokers added 14,689 new listings to inventory during May, up 165 units from twelve months ago. Year-over-year (YOY) closed sales rose about 1.6 percent (from 9,011 in May 2018 to last month’s total of 9,153).

Several representatives of Northwest Multiple Listing Service commented on increasing activity:

  • “The housing market definitely got busier in May with brokers reporting an uptick in showings, open house traffic, and offers.”- OB Jacobi, Windermere Real Estate Co.
  • “We are swinging into our summer market at a little faster clip than last year, and have a few more houses for buyers to choose from.”- Frank Wilson, John L. Scott, Inc.
  • “The spring real estate market remains very good for both buyers and sellers.”- Dean Rebhuhn, Village Homes and Properties.
  • “Buyers rejoiced at lower interest rates in May.”- J. Lennox Scott, John L. Scott, Inc.

In addition to favorable financing, Scott said, “Increased inventory and continued job growth built on April’s momentum, translating to strong results in May.” While inventory has increased in many areas, Scott noted there are still severe shortages of listings in some price ranges.

Inventory improved 24.5 percent from a year ago, with brokers adding 14,689 new listings to outpace the 12,006 pending sales. The MLS report for May shows 16,133 active listings at month end, up from the year-ago total of 12,956. King County recorded the largest gain in total inventory, at more than 62 percent, but supply remained below 2 months in that and several other counties.

System-wide there was 1.76 months of supply at the end of May, well below the 4-to-6 months that experts say indicate a balanced market. “While our inventory has grown a little, we’re still well within the definition of a seller’s market,” said Frank Wilson, a broker in Kitsap County where there is only 1.46 months of supply.

An analysis of NWMLS inventory at the end of May underscores Scott’s point. It shows only 13.8 percent of the listings of single family homes in King County have asking prices under $600,000. That compares to 25.6 percent in Snohomish County, 31.2 percent in Pierce County and 35.3 percent in Kitsap County.

Comparing May’s prices by housing types and geographic areas shows wide variation. Prices for single family homes (up 5.2 percent) outperformed condos (up nearly 1.4 percent). System-wide, sales of single family homes and condos that closed during May increased nearly 4.8 percent YOY, and rose more than 3.5 percent from April. A county-by-county comparison shows price changes ranged from a year-over-year drop of more than 20 percent (in Okanogan County) to a jump of more than 52 percent (in Pacific County).

Single family homes:

Home prices for single family homes (excluding condominiums) are up 5.2 percent system-wide, rising from the year ago figure of $429,500 to last month’s figure of $451,800.

King County prices for single family homes show a 3.6 percent decline from a year ago, but are at the highest level since June when the median price was $715,000. Snohomish nearly matched last June’s figure of $510,000, the highest for the year. A review of figures for the past five years shows both Kitsap and Pierce counties reached new highs (at $385,000 and $370,000, respectively) for last month’s median prices for sales of single family homes.

Three other counties (in addition to King) reported year-over-year drops in median prices on single family homes, led by Okanogan County where selling prices plunged more than 20 percent. Also reporting declines were San Juan County (-0.51 percent) and Snohomish County (-0.01 percent).


Condo prices also rose, but at a smaller rate, as inventory continued to build (up nearly 65 percent).  Area-wide prices increased about 1.4 percent from a year ago. Pierce County prices surged 18 percent, while condo prices in King County were mostly flat (up 0.7 percent). Only six counties reported year-over-year price declines.

Prices overall (single family homes and condominiums):

Prices overall, including single family homes and condos are up $20,000 (nearly 4.8 percent) from a year ago, increasing from $420,000 to $440,000. In King County, the median sales price was $645,000, down less than a percent (-0.77) from a year ago. Snohomish County also reported a fractional drop, declining from $478,615 to $476,025 (down 0.54 percent).

“Home prices in the Seattle metro area are still lower than they were a year ago, but only marginally,” remarked Jacobi, but added, “Thanks to the pretty significant drop in interest rates last month, we can expect to see home prices trending higher through the end of the year, but at a far more moderate pace than the last several years.”

Rebhuhn agreed, crediting lower interest rates, lower median prices, and new jobs as driving factors in South King County, Pierce County and Tacoma. “We look for a very active summer market,” he remarked.

James Young, director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington, also attributed strong activity along the I-5 corridor and outer urban centers to low interest rates. Also noteworthy, he suggested, was Douglas County where YOY prices surged more than 24 percent.  “Cowlitz, Thurston, and Lewis counties continue to outperform,” he added.

Young said interest rates could drop further as 10-year yields continue to fall. “Given the search for value among those sellers trading down along with first-time buyers in all urban areas across the state, prices should continue to rise throughout the peak season,” he stated.

“The data for May extends the same phenomenon we’ve been part of for nearly five years,” said Mike Grady, president and COO of Coldwell Banker Bain. “Recall that just one year ago the headlines were asking, ‘Has the hot market ended?’ as inventory increased from 3-to-5 days to 1.8 months between May and August. Now, one year later, while we see many more listings are available, accepted offers are keeping pace and inventory remains relatively stable at 1.7-to-2 months.”

“A balanced market should have about a 6-month supply,” explained WCRER’s Young, noting the national month’s supply figure is at about 4 months. “Except for a few small counties, every county in the NWMLS area has a month’s supply of 4 or less. Except for Skagit County, with 2.2 months of supply, every county along the I-5 corridor has less than 2 months.”

Wilson, the Kitsap regional manager and branch managing broker at John L. Scott Real Estate in Poulsbo, emphasized “the numbers are all relative, relative to a ‘normal’ market which we are not in.” Noting the current inventory of 644 homes and condos is higher than last year when there were 519 active listings at this time, “it is half of what might be considered a balanced market here in Kitsap County.”

What people read about the Puget Sound market “is not reflective of our micro market” Wilson continued, noting one “huge difference” is the amount of vacant land that is available. “We have seen a bump in vacant land listings,” he reported, adding, “For those looking to build a home, there are a lot of opportunities in this area, though be prepared for a lengthy process to get a home plan approved and built here in Kitsap.”

“We’re in the midst of the four best months in the year for buyer activity,” Scott emphasized. “I recommend sellers ensure their home’s appearance, marketing strategy and broker associate relationship are all in tip-top shape,” he added.

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership of around 2,200 member offices includes more than 29,000 real estate professionals. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 23 counties in the state.


As you begin looking for a home to purchase, you will start to come across houses that have a homeowner’s association.  This is an association made up of the people who own homes in the area, created to help maintain certain standards in the community.  They set rules and regulations for all kinds of things, from the color you can paint your house to the time you need to turn down the stereo in your backyard.

You will need to decide whether or not you want to live in a neighborhood with an existing homeowner’s association or whether you would rather avoid them.  This is, of course, a personal choice, but you should know what homeowner’s associations are all about before you make the call.

Why A Homeowner’s Association?

If you have ever had neighbors who were incredibly loud, let their house get run-down, behaved inappropriately, or any of the long list of things that can make life unpleasant and bring down the value of your home, you know why a homeowner’s association can be helpful.  With rules for conduct among neighbors clearly set out, you can be confident that your home’s value won’t be brought down by a pile of old appliances in the neighbor’s yard.

You can also avoid nasty confrontations with your neighbors by simply taking grievances before the homeowner’s association board and letting them handle any rule violations.

Homeowner’s associations also often take care of shared areas in the neighborhood, keeping them available for the use of the families in the association.  This many include a park or a pool.

The Cost Of An Association

Every homeowner’s association collects dues monthly or yearly from the people who live in the neighborhood.  This money goes toward running the association and taking care of the shared spaces.  You will be informed of this amount before you buy, and should factor it into your monthly budget.

There is another cost to belonging to a homeowner’s association, and that is a little bit of your freedom.  When you live in an association area, you will have to abide by the rules as well, even if you think they are silly.  You do, however, have the option of petitioning the homeowner’s association to change any rule you don’t agree with.  But if you lose, you will have to live with it.

There are both good and bad sides to having a homeowner’s association.  For those who prefer living in a more controlled environment, they are a great choice.  For those who want to be free to do as they want on their property, the constraints might not be appreciated.


Buying a home can be both exciting and stressful but, for those with past credit problems, the process may also seem intimidating.  The good news is that many lenders have adapted to the idea that many hopeful homeowners simply need a second chance, which means that past credit problems no longer have to define your future.

Credit Blemishes

When life unexpectedly takes a turn for the worst, it’s not always possible to come out without a few bumps and bruises.  Every day, people are faced with late or missed credit card payments, mortgage foreclosures, bankruptcy proceedings, auto repossessions and even civil judgments that will affect their credit reports for years to come.  Whether it’s from a job loss, injury or just a simple case of temporary hardship, credit blemishes are often a part of life.  The good news is that they no longer have to prevent you from becoming a homeowner.

Give Yourself A Little Credit

After experiencing a credit problem, most lenders will want to see an attempt to rebuild your credit through a steady payment history with a new account.  This can be accomplished by applying for a credit card and maintaining a responsible use of the account.  If you aren’t approved for an unsecured card, you can always apply for a secured credit card.  Either will rebuild your credit over time and will help to show lenders that your past credit problems are just that – in the past.

Clean Up Your Credit Report

Before applying for a home loan, make sure that you check your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies.  Every 12 months, consumers can request a free copy of their credit report from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.  If anything is incorrect or found to be inaccurate, filing a dispute with the credit reporting agency can help to get the information corrected before speaking with a lender.

When you apply for a home loan, the lender will access your credit report for the purpose of determining your creditworthiness.  In an effort to ensure that you have the best possible chance at being approved for the loan at the best possible interest rates, making sure that your credit report is accurate is a must.

Save Up For A Down Payment

Some homebuyers often qualify for a mortgage with down payments as low as five percent (three percent for FHA loans), but those with past credit problems may be required to shell out up to 35 percent or more for a down payment on their new home.  A buyer who pays a larger down payment obviously has more vested interest in the home and may, thereby, be less likely to default on a loan.  If you have past credit problems, check with your lender about specific down payment requirements and start saving!

Creative Financing Options

If you’ve exhausted all of your conventional efforts and are still turning up empty, don’t give up just yet.  Alternative financing is an option that many homebuyers use to purchase a home.  Your REALTOR® can provide you with details regarding any lease purchase and/or owner financing properties, which may require no credit check, no bank qualifying, a low down payment and competitive interest rate options.


Yelm Washington was recognized several years ago as the fastest growing small town in the State, with location, location, and location being the reason.  Yelm is separated from I-5 by JBLM but can be accessed from post within 20-30 minutes.  It is also a pleasant commute (compared to the freeway) from either Lacey or Spanaway, and areas to the north.

Location means that living in Yelm, the commute to cities north and south is about the same and driving I-5 can be avoided.   The popularity isn’t just military.  Locals commuting from up north like living in communities with rural and military populations.  Crime is almost non-existent, the schools are good, and people are friendly.

Location for people living in Yelm means about 20 minutes to downtown Olympia, 30 minutes to downtown Tacoma (security), and an hour to downtown Seattle.  If you are not into the cities, Yelm is the home to a 6-plex cinema, an old-fashioned theater with a stage, Safeway, Walmart, and others…so you don’t need to travel if you don’t want to.

And lastly, location for people living in Yelm means living in what is essentially a small farm town that is growing.  The locals are mostly involved in the agriculture business, retired military, Boeing and State Govt employees…etc.  The community is very welcoming to military folks, people smile and say hello.  They do party on main street sometimes….

If you would like more information on the JBLM and Yelm WA areas, you can request a relocation packet, or email us with questions thru the contact page.  If you are ready to start looking, we have a real person who does that too…

~ Phil


Rental: Hawks Prairie Located in North Lacey
4 Bed, 2.5 bath, 2 car garage
No cats allowed
$2000 deposit
RENT: $2350 mo*

Home for Sale: Hawks Prairie Located in North Lacey
Listed with Phil Sharp Homes
4 Bed, 2.5 bath, 2 car garage
Listed at: $379,900
MORTGAGE: $2200 mo*

*Information gathered March 2019. Rental retrieved from Zillow. 
Estimated mortgage based on a VA Loan with $0 down, 4% interest, 30 yr term. All values are estimates and include estimated property taxes and insurance . Your results may vary based on your qualifications


Real estate is a hot topic in Lacey, Washington right now.  The city is literally “bursting at the seams” with rapid development pushing the boundaries of the anticipated urban growth areas.  Thurston County is the most popular destination for Military home owners, and Is also becoming “close” for people commuting to cities north. The Lacey housing market reflects this expansion, and the upside potential is very good if you are a home-owner.

The population and economy in Lacey, as with the rest of Western WA, is one of the fastest growing in the country.  Many things have come together to create this condition….Good, solid and long term things.  The Military of course has had a huge impact, but is not number one.




#1 is the State Government, with the Capital in
Olympia, and office sprawl in Lacey and
#2 is the Lacey Industrial Park.  Providing
shipping and distribution via the port of
Tacoma, for Washington, Oregon, Idaho
and others.
#3 is the Military, with JBLM being the home
to about 45k active duty, plus dependents.

As you learn more about the JBLM area, you will see that Lacey sits astride I-5 just south of post. The commute is 20-30 min to just about anywhere on post, and there are alternative (Back) roads if I-5 is jammed.   When I PCS’d to JBLM, I chose Lacey at the urging of friends.  We had teenagers at the time, and Tacoma was not an option.   Our Kids and Grandkids still live in Lacey.

If you look at your home as an investment, you couldn’t pick a better place to be…right in the path of growth.   Areas to the north of post are much more “mature”, densely developed, and are typical big city/suburbs.  The traffic you hear about is considerably worse north and west of post, as is crime.

The primary region of growth, and the place with the most upside potential in real estate, is south and east of post.   Lacey, and the Olympia area in general, are the fastest growing communities in the State, and Lacey is a really nice place to live.  I mentioned earlier that Thurston County is the location more and more for military folks moving here, Lacey is the most popular city,  followed by Yelm, and the rural areas east and south of post.

If you would like more information, a relocation packet, or if we can start looking for your home….please let me know.

~ Phil


Check out this article on the latest housing market info…