Housing Resource
Category: JBLM Area FAQ

Minutes to Cross Base Freeway/JBLM. Like new Lennar 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 1836 Sq. Ft. home in Brink Ranch. Spacious kitchen with center island overlooking living area, Chocolate Cabinets/Dallas White Granite counters. Stainless Steel appliances with gas range & large pantry. Attractive wood laminate throughout main level! Oversized secluded Master suite with 5 Piece bath. Back yard landscaped and Fenced! Central AC, Tankless hot water heater, 2″ wood blinds, large two car garage. MLS#1624926. $379,900


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



Balance “finally returning” to housing market
as buyers welcome more choices, moderating prices

KIRKLAND, Washington (October 4, 2018) – Housing inventory continued to improve during September
while the pace of sales slowed in many counties served by Northwest Multiple Listing Service. “Balance is
finally returning to the market, and with it, slowing home price growth,” stated OB Jacobi, president of
Windermere Real Estate.

A new report from Northwest MLS shows double-digit increases in inventory in several of the 23 counties it
serves, led by a 78 percent year-over-year gain in King County. Despite improving selection in the central
Puget Sound region, a dozen counties reported drops in the number of active listings compared to last year.
System-wide, the month ended with 2.56 months of supply of single family homes and condos, well below
the 4-to-6 months analysts use as an indicator of a balanced market between sellers and buyers. The current
level is the highest since February 2015 when member-brokers reported 3.56 months of inventory. In King
County, supply exceeded two months for the first time since January 2015.

Condo inventory remains sparse, with only 0.34 months of supply area wide, despite improving inventory (up
nearly 70 percent from a year ago). The shortage is expected to ease as construction progresses on several
recently-announced high-rise projects.

Brokers added 10,458 new listings of single family homes and condos to the MLS database during
September, slightly more than the year-ago figure of 10,120. At month end, buyers could choose from 19,526
listings, a 22.9 percent improvement from twelve months ago when selection totaled 15,888 listings.
Commenting on the wider selection, Mike Grady said buyers “are at long last now seeing properties that stay
on the market longer.” Listings that are priced appropriately, “and not based on the feverish market we saw
just a few months ago are still selling quickly, and home prices are still showing 8 percent appreciation year over-year – more than double the rate of inflation,” added Grady, the president and COO of Coldwell Banker

With improving inventory, some brokers suggest the market may be showing signs of pausing, if not
softening. A market shift may be under way, but they believe activity will stay strong.
J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, encouraged would-be buyers to “put extra
focus on October,” which he described as the last great month for new listings until March 2019. “Over the
winter, new monthly resale listings will lower by approximately 50 percent compared to summer months.” He
also noted interest rates, currently in the upper 4 percent, are projected to rise in the coming months.
“This is a more traditional yearly market cycle taking the place of the unusually overheated real estate market
of the past several years,” said John Deely, principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain.

“Given there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight related to the region’s job growth, with employees moving
here and not enough units being built to accommodate them, we believe this market normalization will
continue,” stated Grady. (For every six new jobs created in the Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue region, there was
only one single-family permit issued, according to data from the National Association of REALTORS®.)
Northwest MLS director Robert Wasser reported the recent re-balancing of the market “has led to fewer
listings with offer review dates and pre-inspections,” which he said is a positive for buyers hoping to retain
their contingencies. His analysis of MLS statistics indicated the median marketing time in King County has
risen to 14 days. Also, prices for closed sales are at 100 percent of their list price for a third straight month.
“In the South Sound the market has shifted into neutral and is idling at the moment,” commented Dick
Beeson, principal managing broker at RE/MAX Professionals in Gig Harbor. Noting inventory has improved
in both Pierce and Thurston counties “but nowhere near what King County has experienced,” Beeson said
buyers can see more homes available for sale for the first time in three years. “Buyers are taking deep breaths
as they survey this new territory.”

Beeson thinks the “new normal” at two-plus months of inventory is “healthy and long anticipated.” He also
believes the steep curve of ever-increasing prices and scarcity of properties has crested.
Ken Anderson, another Realtor in South Puget Sound, noted the bigger selection for buyers is good timing
with interest rates on the rise. “We are finding buyers eager to get into homes this fall to take advantage of the
still incredibly low borrowing rates.” Sellers need to be mindful of softening sales, he suggested, adding
“they’ll have to keep a sharp eye on this trend and have a pricing strategy to match.”

Anderson, the president/owner and designated broker at Coldwell Banker Evergreen in Olympia, said sales
remain robust, describing last month as the “second best September on record for closed sales.” Even though
pending sales “softened a bit” he said they remain high by historical standards and says “we remain solidly in
a seller’s market” but are trending toward balance. “This is welcomed as prices here have risen much faster
than our market’s long-term trend line.”

Pending sales (mutually accepted offers) were down nearly 14 percent area-wide, with about half the counties
in the MLS report showing double-digit declines. Members notched 8,913 pending sales last month, a
slippage of 1,435 sales when compared to the same month a year ago.
Closed sales also reflected slower activity. Members reported 7,630 completed transactions during September,
down 18.6 percent from the year-ago volume of 9,371. Through nine months, this year’s closings are down
4.4 percent compared to 2017.

Prices across the 23 counties in the Northwest MLS report are up about 5 percent from a year ago, with ten
counties reporting double-digit gains. The median price for last month’s completed sales of single family
homes and condos system-wide was $400,000, up from the year-ago median price of $381,000. Last month’s
price was down $15,000 (-3.6 percent) from August and $25,000 (-5.9 percent) from the year’s peak (so far),
which occurred in June when the median price was $425,000.

For the four-county Puget Sound region, the median price for September’s completed transactions was
$455,000, up about 5.8 percent from a year ago. Despite slower sales, Northwest MLS spokespeople remain upbeat.
“The housing market close to the job centers has gone from a historic extreme-frenzy market in the spring
down a few levels of hotness to a strong level of pending sales activity for new listings,” said Scott.

“Rising interest rates and slowing home prices are affecting the psychology of the region’s housing market,
and causing some to speculate that we’re heading towards another housing crash, but that’s definitely not the
case,” commented Jacobi. Noting it’s been more than 15 years since this area experienced a “normal” market,
Jacobi suggested “people have just forgotten what it looks like. As long as the local economy remains strong,
there’s little cause for concern about the shift we’re experiencing.” He believes “there’s little cause for concern about the shift we’re experiencing,” so long as the local economy remains strong.

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.


Tumwater Falls Park is so gorgeous and only about 30 mins from #JBLM! The kids had a blast exploring and the mist from the falls was nice on such a hot day! #JBLMareathingstodo #TumwaterFalls #TumwaterFallsPark #waterfalls #summerfun


Are you looking for an amazing camping experience or weekend getaway that’s not too far from the JBLM area? You HAVE to check out Fort Worden in Port Townsend, I promise you won’t regret a trip here! I visited often as a kid and have now started taking my kids there are well and they had so much fun! Check out the pictures from previous trips and a little bit of history…

Fort Worden was an active US Army base from 1902 to 1953. It was purchased by the State of Washington in 1957 to house a juvenile detention facility. In 1971, use was transferred to the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and Fort Worden State Park was opened in 1973.

The extensive system of large, abandoned bunkers are available for exploration. The state park includes the Puget Sound Coast Artillery Museum, a balloon hangar that was used for airships, three 3-inch anti-aircraft gun emplacements, and several restored quarters on Officers’ Row. The Point Wilson Lighthouse is also located here.

The Commanding Officer’s Quarters have been restored to reflect the early 20th century Victorian period, and are open in the summer for tours. You can also rent houses along Officer’s Row!

Advanced camping reservations can be made through the Washington State Parks reservation system or by calling 888-Camp-Out (888-226-7688).

Looking for things to do around JBLM? Make sure to follow JBLM Relocation Sponsor on Facebook!


Q Aside from the obvious (close to post), what is the appeal of living in DuPont?

A Easy access to the freeway is the appeal to DuPont aside from it being so close to JBLM.

Q Are there employment opportunities for military spouses in Dupont?

A There are actually lots of employment opportunities in the service industries. There are also a couple of large corporate facilities in DuPont. State Farm, Intel and Amazon are the largest businesses in DuPont. Of course there are also lots of jobs just down the freeway (both North & South), or across it on JBLM.

Q Is everyone who lives in DuPont in the Army?

A Just a guess, but I think the military population of DuPont is 60-70%.

Q Is there a back gate into North Fort from DuPont? Is it usually open?

A There are multiple gates in DuPont. If you have been to Ft Lewis before, you won’t recognize north fort, a lot has changed. Here is a list of the gates:

  • DuPont Gate: Open from 0500 to 2100 7 days a week. The DuPont Gate is located just south of the Fort Lewis Main Gate and visitors center just off I-5 exit 119.
  • Integrity Gate: Open from 0500 – 1900 Monday through Friday and closed on all weekends and federal holidays. Located off of DuPont-Steilacoom Road and Wharf Rd just off I-5 exit 119.
  • 41st Division Gate: Open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Located just off of I-5 exit 120, this gate allows military personnel to access the North side of JBLM.
  • See all gate locations

Q Are there lots of homes for rent in DuPont?   How is the rental market?

A There seem to be a very large number of homes for rent in DuPont. I believe that during the most aggressive growth of DuPont (2003-2007), prices spiked beyond reason. Some folks, who borrowed too much, can’t sell and have been forced to rent. A market condition that will correct itself over time.

Q What does the average home cost in DuPont? Do you think it’s better to rent or buy in DuPont?

A The average home price in DuPont is around $294,000 and the average rent is a little more than $1700 per month. This means, that if you are in the position to buy – you are WAY better off! With a home cost of $294,000 the average monthly mortgage using a VA loan with $0 down is about $1600 per month (this includes property taxes, homeowners insurance and an approx HOA fee of $100/mo). This is an estimate using an example of someone with good credit, an interest rate of 3.461% and a 30-year loan). If you need a mortgage lender, I can help with that! Take a look at current DuPont WA homes for sale.

Q Is there shopping in DuPont? I was told that I would have to go to the Commissary, Lakewood or Lacey for any grocery stores, large stores or malls.

A There is no grocery store in DuPont but there are a lot close buy. In Hawks Prairie (north Lacey) there is Costco, Safeway and Winco. Shopping is a short drive from DuPont, but there are no major shopping facilities in DuPont. The closest are actually the commissary and PX.

Q Does the Freeway make DuPont noisy?

A I have never really noticed the freeway noise in the residential neighborhoods, most are set back behind a hill mass, or behind the Ft Lewis Golf Course.

Q Are more new homes going to be built in DuPont?

A There is still some new home construction going on in DuPont, but there are not a lot of home sites left.

Q Is there access to the salt water in DuPont? Water front homes?

A There is no waterfront in DuPont, but there is right up the road in Steilacoom….which has some beautiful old homes.

Q Are there golf course in DuPont?

A Yes indeed…The Home Course and Eagles Pride Golf Course. The Eagles Pride course is also home to a Samuel Adams Brewhouse.


Q: How far is the drive from JBLM to downtown Lacey?

A: Downtown would be exit 114, about 15 minutes from the main gate. Hawks Prairie, exit 109 or 111, is faster, because there is less traffic prior to hitting Lacey.

Q: Is the drive to Olympia further than the drive to Lacey?

A: Downtown Olympia is a few minutes further, the boundary’s between Olympia and Lacey are really blurry, with some parts of Olympia showing up on the north side of Lacey in Hawks Prairie.

Q: Is there a back way to Lacey and Olympia other than taking the freeway (I-5)?

A: You can cut thru Dupont, and then jump from exit to exit from Dupont to Mounts Road…and then thru Nisqually.  I have taken this route if I-5 is jammed. This is really the only option, because there are only two bridges across the Nisqually River. You can also take the Mounts Road gate and go through Nisqually but it is only open limited hours.

Q: What is the population of Lacey?

A: During the 2016 Census, the population was determined to be approx. 47, 600.

Q: What are the main employment opportunities in the Lacey and Thurston County area?

A: The largest single employer in the Lacey/Olympia area is the Military/JBLM, followed by the state government. There are also numerous large corporations relocating distribution centers to Lacey (Target, Home Depot, and several others have huge facilities here). Lacey is a rapidly growing community, with lots of opportunity, and lots to do.

Q: What about shopping in Lacey? Is there a Mall?

A: There is the South Sound Center in “downtown” Lacey, hosting lots of businesses, and several very large stores (Sears, Kohls, Target, etc), There is also the Capital Mall, about 10 minutes away on the west side of Olympia, that is even larger.

Q: Are there any good biking or walking trails in the Lacey Wa area?

A: We have a thing in the west called “Rails to Trails”. There are many old rail lines that have been converted to trails. Most are paved, and the Chehalis Trail is over 30 miles long, and ends up at an old abandoned timber mill on the banks of Puget Sound.

Q: Is there access to salt water, could I find a home that is on salt water?

A: There is Salt Water access in the Lacey area. Water Frontage, and especially salt water frontage, is very expensive. Also, much of the water front was built a long time ago, so if you find a really good deal on an older water front home, it is probably because it has been neglected…Permits for repairs, when next to the water, also get expensive, and complicated.

Q: My wife wants to finish her Bachelors when we get back to the states, are there any graduate schools in Lacey Wa or the surrounding cities?

A: St Martins University in Lacey is a nationally recognized engineering school (I believe that they also have some less demanding curriculum). There is also the Evergreen State College in Olympia, a popular school of the sciences, environment, ecology and archaeology. University of Washington also has a satellite campus in Tacoma.

Q: What kinds of recreational activities are available in Lacey?

A: There are numerous biking and walking trails, water front parks and even scuba diving on a couple of wrecks off of Tolmie Park. The lake behind the Lacey Community center is stocked with Trout, and there are fishing contests for kids (and parents) on a fairly regular basis. Some consider Cabelas to be a recreational event and there is the Hands On Children’s Museum in Olympia, right down the hill next to the port and marina.


SOLD: Click here to search other JBLM area homes for sale

Built in 2013, this beautifully kept 2383 sq ft home is located on a cul de sac with private playground. This home offers 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and a den/office with French doors on main floor. The kitchen features multi height cabinets, detailed crown molding, granite counters, tile backsplash, stainless appliances and oversized walk in pantry. Master is large with room for a sitting area and includes an attached 5 piece master bath with granite counters, under mount sinks and walk in closet. Secondary bedrooms are nicely sized with one featuring a walk in closet. Laundry room is located upstairs and has custom cabinetry for storage. Fully fenced backyard is private with no homes looking directly down. 1 year home warranty provided.

For more information contact
Phil Sharp | 360.970.9977
phil@philsharphomes.com | www.PhilSharpHomes.com

Click here to search other JBLM area homes for sale



Another Mission Accomplished and another happy homeowner! Looking for a home in the JBLM area? Let me help you find the perfect one!


Summary of The JBLM Area Real Estate Market Fall 2016 JBLM-real-estate-market

2016 has so far been an exceptional year for real estate in Western Washington. From both perspectives, buyer and seller, it has been a good year. Buyers are still enjoying exceptional prices, and low interest rates. Sellers are enjoying a brisk market, low inventory, and in some cases multiple offers.

The current housing inventory in Thurston County south of JBLM is approximately 1 month. A balanced market is considered to have 4-6 months of inventory. Based on supply and demand, you can see that we are in a sellers market. The result of the low inventory and strong demand this year has been an increase in prices.

The inventory situation, coupled with the improving economy, has been good for home prices. We have seen values going up by 1.5% per month in some parts of the market. Generally, the lower priced homes have appreciated the most. Across Thurston County, overall real estate values have increased 11% in the past year.
As fall approaches, the real estate market tends to slow to a stop (around Christmas) and then take off with a bang in January.

As of late September, the market slowed some before kids went back to school, then picked up again. Based on the number of folks I am communicating with, it looks like it will be a busy fall and winter.
As I mentioned above, the market is in need of listings (and so am I). If you are considering selling your home, I can promise you more exposure, both local and global, than any other brokerage. Most agents put your home on the MLS and put up a sign…that’s what we do before we start.