One of the most challenging parts of buying a home when you’re moving off post is researching neighborhoods. It’s one thing if you grew up somewhere, but for many who have recently PCSed to JBLM it can be difficult to get a feel for what neighborhood is right for them to live in. Hiring a Realtor who is a local expert is a good start, but in the end you need to be able to do your own research on a community to find out if it’s right for you!
Here at Joint Base Living, we’ve compiled a list of resources to help make the process of researching a neighborhoods schools, crime, and other information faster and easier for you.
Trulia Heat Map- The Trulia Heat map is a really great tool that helps you visually track how much crime is happening in a particular neighborhood anywhere in the country, down to the block the house is on. This is incredibly valuable for people new to a city or town, because as we know sometimes high crime areas are located mere blocks away from low crime areas.
Tacoma Police Neighborhood Crime Data- Another way to research crime is to go right to the source. The city of Tacoma publishes it’s crime data on it’s website for your researching pleasure.
Of course, crime is not the only factor in choosing a great neighborhood. To research walkability check out the neighborhoods WalkScore here. If you’re interested in checking out the area schools, Washington State publishes a report card for each school in each school district. You can see that report card here.
With all the tools available, there’s really no substitute for having a Realtor on your side who is experienced working in neighborhoods around JBLM. If you’re looking for a Realtor to help you find a great house off post, contact us!