Puyallup Washington Real Estate Guide

Welcome to our Puyallup real estate guide. We’ve worked hard to cover a lot of real estate information in this guide. As you know, Puyallup is a wonderful place to live. Having lived in Puyallup for 35 years, I really wouldn’t live anywhere else. There is a mixture of residents who have moved to Puyallup due to military or just enjoy experiencing all four seasons. I have lived downtown in the Valley by the Washington State Fair as well as the South Hill area on Shaw Road. Every year both areas continue to grow and the real estate market continues to appreciate in value. I sold my home just a few years ago and actually made a profit.

In the Puyallup Valley, homes offer the charm of downtown Puyallup with better access to freeways, parks, and schools. Valley living introduces you to a tight-knit downtown community with an old history and an alluring feel. You are only a walk or short drive away from the Fair, the summer Farmers Market, or the Public Library. Almost all the city activities happen downtown. Living in the Valley offers a throwback of ‘old time’ America that will pleasantly surprise you. The average home price in the downtown Puyallup Valley area is $302,500.

The South Hill area is a much busier area. It’s growing at a faster rate than downtown as well. You have access to much more businesses really close to each other. Just about every restaurant you can think of and a variety of big name grocery stores. You’ll also find the South Hill Mall as well for any type of shopping. With that being said, the traffic can be really bad so you’ll need to learn the back roads (like Shaw Road) quickly.

The Puyallup real estate market does move pretty fast – especially the good deals. Not only is it affordable, it’s a great location between Tacoma and Seattle.

Getting Started with Real Estate

When buying or selling a home, it can be quite a nerve racking endeavor. I can personally say that because I’ve purchased several homes in Puyallup. There are a lot of questions about homeownership, benefits, and tax saving options in this article. While researching a real estate property, you’ll need to learn about the local community, schools, and hope your neighbors are not trouble makers. In short, you are making the biggest purchasing decision of your life. Here is some information below to get you started when buying a piece of real estate in the City of Puyallup, Washington.

This guide is over 5,000 words so give yourself some time to read through it. We’ve added a table of contents to help navigate the article as well.

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Use the links below to help navigate this article.

Table of Contents:
Advantages of homeownership
Having a home builds wealth over time
Puyallup real estate market data
Building equity every month
Tax deduction benefits
Making tax deductions on home equity lines
Capital gains exclusion
A mortgage can be considered a savings plan
Renting is more expensive than long term buying
Picking a real estate agent
Best neighborhoods in Puyallup
Some facts about homes in Puyallup
Relocating to Puyallup
First time buyers
Buying real estate tips
Selling your home tips
Commuting
Schools in the area
Conclusion

Advantages to Homeownership in Puyallup

If you’re considering buying a home then you probably know there are a lot of advantages. Homeowners understand that a home builds wealth over time. They also understand that by having a home they can afford it will actually be financially beneficial especially around tax season! Below we are going to discuss those homeowner advantages.

Having a Home Builds Wealth over Time

Having a home has always been considered a point of “arrival” in ones’ professional life. Generations have accepted that having a home is as necessary as breathing or sleeping. We were taught early that homeownership is important. It gives you more freedom and provides more financial stability as we reach our retirement years. Since the real estate instability in recent years, some have stayed away from homeownership but perhaps haven’t the knowledge or resources to understand the “new market” of homeownership that has emerged today. Being able to afford your new home and not over purchasing is something that most should deeply consider. There are plenty of options out there, and with patience, your dream Puyallup home can be obtained with all the needs that you desire.

Puyallup Real Estate Market Data

As you continue to read this article, we’ll cover more data about the real estate market. In Puyallup, however, the median home price is $256,719. The city averages a cost per sq. ft. of $144. The appreciating in real estate averages 3% per year and that continues to increase. It’s not uncommon to find homes for sale with plenty of land attached as well. This was once a farmer’s town. Over the years, as more people come here, land is become harder to find with properties. Crime data is low considering areas like Tacoma. I have personally found no problems nor have I ever felt fearful living in Puyallup. My neighbors have all been friendly and helpful. The city does have photo traffic lights in some areas as well of speeding traffic lights. The Puyallup police department is active as it relates to the busy bar scenes downtown in the Valley as well as the South Hill area. 76% of the local residents are couple homeowners and 27% are single homeowners. The median household income is $64,104 annually. 30% are college educated.

Puyallup Real Estate Appreciation Data

Building Equity Every Month

Equity in your home is basically the amount of money you can sell your home minus the money you still owe on payments. As each month passes, you make a mortgage payment which in essence reduces the amount that you owe on the house. As the reduction continues, your equity grows. With the new Qualified Mortgage rules that have been implemented in recent past, you are more than ever protected from sketchy mortgage loans. On top of that, you will see a pattern of low payments in the beginning of your payments and small increases in payments as years go by; lowest on the first year and highest on the last. So, your equity grows as the years go by.

Tax Deduction Benefits of Real Estate Ownership

There are so many tax deductions with owning real estate. Below you’ll find some of the most popular tax benefits.

– Mortgage Deductions: Tax codes allow homeowners to deduct the mortgage interest from their tax requirements. Since the interest rates on mortgage payments can be quite high in the beginning of homeownership this deduction can be very helpful and a huge relief.

– Closing Cost Deductions: Within your first year of buying a home, you are able to claim origination fees on your loan, regardless if they are by you or the seller. These savings can be quite high as origination fees are about one percent or more.

– Property Tax. There are real estate property taxes that cover a primary residence and vacation home which are completely deductible for income tax purposes.

Making Tax Deductions on Home Equity Lines

On top of your mortgage interest, deducting the interest you pay on a home equity loan or any other line of credit is possible. That being, you are able to shift your credit card debts to your home equity loan, pay a lower interest rate rather than be obligated to pay extortionate credit interest rates. Why not lower your separate interest rates collectively? Having equity in your home is a huge advantage.

Capital Gains Exclusion

Should your new home be a primary residence for more than two years you can qualify for the Capital Gains Exclusion. Meaning, when you sell, you can keep profits up to $250,000 if you are single, $500,000 if you are married, and not owe any capital gains taxes. This might sound ridiculous that your house could be worth more, after the recent dips in house pricing. However, should you have a house purchased prior to 2003, more than likely it has increased in value and this tax benefit is most welcome and helpful.

A Mortgage Can be Considered a Savings Plan

Each payment you make on your home each month, you reduce the principle and increase your equity. Literally, you are being forced to save which is a very good thing. Saving money without a home can really be a challenge for most people. It’s easy to spend money and not save anything. Having real estate forces you to save and build equity. You’ll thank yourself later when it’s time to retire and you don’t have a mortgage payment anymore.

Renting is More Expensive than Long Term Buying

Ok, so this is always the question – Renting or Buying? In the beginning you will find that it is in fact cheaper to rent. However, over time as the interest portion of your mortgage payment decreases, the interest will be lower than the rent you would have been paying. Also, another way to look at it is the payments, though in the beginning maybe high, are going to directly buy your home and not just pay for your rent. The payments go to your home not to a landlord or someone or someplace else.

Picking a Real Estate Agent

For anyone looking to buy a home, the market is super hot right now! The real estate market is starting to heat up and get competitive and if you are looking to buy or sell, the right agent can make a difference between you finding your dream home or missing out. Building a good relationship with an agent is a key component to the buying and selling process. But what is the best way to go about building that relationship and that trust? How do you find the right agent for you and your needs? There are certain steps you can take in order to find the perfect agent to help you on this real estate journey.

The first step when hiring an agent is getting feedback and recommendations from previous clients or from friends and family. This can really help boost the trust between you and an agent. The best way to find these clients is to ask the agent to provide a list of homes that they have sold and listed in the past year with contact information for the buyers and sellers. Ask the permission of the agent to contact past clients and ask the agent if there is anyone that he or she thinks would give a positive review or a negative review. Get the agent’s reasons for why they worked well with certain clients and not well with others. When speaking with previous clients, ask them what they liked about the agent and what they didn’t. Make sure to find out what the listing price was of the home they purchased and what the sale price was after the transaction was completed. From the list of homes that have been sold and listed, you can determine the overall success rate of the agent as well.

Another crucial preliminary step when looking for an agent is to make sure to find one who understands where you are in life. A couple with a baby on the way has different needs than a single individual. For example, with a couple that has a baby on the way, it makes sense to work with an agent that maybe has children and understands what to look for when it comes to a new home and a neighborhood. Understanding a purchase timeline helps as well. Your agent should know when you’re moving to the area. Certain aspects of home can make it difficult with a newborn and the new parents won’t understand that until they have an agent that can point out potential issues. Certain layouts are designed to be more family friendly. The needs and wants for an individual can vary but working with an agent that was once in the same position will help highlight what would be the best investment choice for your money.

A background check into the agent can provide key details regarding their credentials. Look up licensing with the state board to see the license of the agent and if there are any disciplinary actions against that agent. Also looking into the credentials of the real estate agent is a good idea to see if they specialize in specific areas of real estate. Look for certain acronyms like CRS (Certified Residential Specialist), ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative) and SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist). The CRS credential means an agent has completed additional education in residential real estate, ABR means that the agent has completed training in representing buyers in a transaction and SRES means that they have completed training that is aimed at helping buyers and sellers in the 50 and over age range. There is also a distinction between a relator who refers to themselves as a “Realtor” versus a “realtor”. If they use the term “Realtor” then that means they are member of the National Association of Realtors. Members are required to uphold certain code of ethics and standards when it comes to selling and listing homes.

There are a few crucial questions that you should be asking a potential real estate agent when trying to find one that will be the best fit for you. Two of those key questions is finding out what geographical areas and the types of properties that the agent handles. Certain neighborhoods have certain idiosyncrasies that are important for an agent to know when helping their client to navigate buying or listing a home in that area. For example, certain older cities have homes with historical value and the city might restrict certain additions or updates to that home. Moving out of a city and into the suburbs or vice versus can present their own challenges. People looking to start families have different needs and wants when it comes to a neighborhood and finding an agent that has that particular type of expertise can help you find the home of your dreams.

Another important question to ask the agent is how long they have been in business. In the real estate business, experience is everything. More experienced agents not only understand the ins and outs of the market but they have also had the time to build a valuable network within the real estate community that you could benefit from when buying or selling a home. Some agents are only part time and some are full time. The part time agents usually sell or list properties for friends and family whereas the full time agent have created a business and a career out of buying and selling homes. Make sure to check and see if they are part time or full time and decide which works better for you. Most people find that a full time agent is more motivated and has better connections that a part time agent.

When looking for a real estate agent, it is important to be as thorough as possible with your research. A home is one of the most important investments that an individual can make and the agent is the main facilitator in that transaction. There are plenty of real estate agents operating in the Puyallup area so get recommendations and ask questions to find the person that will best fit your needs.

Best Neighborhoods in Puyallup

Here are some of the most desirable Puyallup home neighborhoods below. There are a lot of great neighborhoods and I really can’t keep track of them all. New developments and communities are popping up all the time.

Rodesco is a highly coveted and family friendly neighborhood in Puyallup. There are spacious homes on large lots that feed into great schools. The average listing price of a home is $509,814. Homes located on Rodesco’s ridge have views that overlook the Orting Valley and Mt. Rainer. Rodesco is a tight knight community that promotes safety and living well.

Crystal Ridge is not far from the coveted area of Rodesco, making it another very desirable place to live with many of the same draws. Crystal Ridge is a fresh, clean, and well maintained neighborhood. It is family friendly, and offers mid ranged priced homes starting at $200,000 to luxury homes upwards of $900,000. Crystal Ridge is close to great schools, shopping, and restaurants. Additionally, its location allows easy access to both downtown and South Hill Puyallup.

Sunrise is a large development located on South Hill. It is a safe and extremely family friendly community that can offer something for all looking to find a home in Puyallup. There are many homes for sale in this area that are a steal. The development is surrounded by a stretch of paved sidewalk that is enjoyed by bikers, runners, and strollers. This area is probably growing at the highest rate. Parks are situated throughout the development and a community club house is available for use. Sunrise offers a range of homes that will suite a first time buyer budget to a dream home with a beautiful view of the valley and mountain. It is extremely close to the new Sunrise Village, which offers restaurants, yoga, local coffee shops, and other stores. Listing prices in this large community range from $180,000-$800,000. The negative is that it is pretty far from downtown Puyallup.

North Hill real estate offers spacious homes on large lots. North Hill is a great location to gain privacy, yet still have easy access to the freeway. Residing in North Hill will give you the benefit of enjoying both the amenities of downtown Puyallup and Federal way. North Hill is a quiet and beautiful area that allows the best of both worlds. If you work in Seattle and want a faster commute then this is the place to be.

Manorwood is a development located in South Hill that offers a safe, family friendly, and community feel to those who live there. Homes are in walking distance to local elementary and junior high schools as well as community parks. Manorwood is an older development in the community, and has withstood the test of time, as it is still a very desirable location for families to settle down. Home prices range from the upper $200,000’s-$600,000’s.
If I was to purchase a home today I would live in one of these areas below.

Places I would like to live Puyallup

Some Facts about Homes in Puyallup

The graph below is put together with the help of the United States Census Bureau (2013). As you can see the population and homeownership in Puyallup only continues to rise in the area. People continue to learn more about this charming city and are relocating here to live.

Facts & Graph about homes in Puyallup

Puyallup Ethnicity and Population Data
Puyallup Ethnicity and Population Data

Relocating to Puyallup, Washington

The City of Puyallup, as noted in the graph above, only continues to rise each year with new residents. People from all over the country come to live in Puyallup due to its central location. It’s located between Tacoma and Seattle Washington which are two of the most popular cities in Washington State. Many people relocate here due to its entertainment and its location is very popular. The military base is located in Tacoma so many residents are relocated due to military requirements as well. The real estate is more affordable as compared in the surround areas. The town is growing at a very fast rate. Just about anything you need or want is located, in most cases, only a few blocks away. When it comes to shopping, entertainment, automotive repair, physicians, and others there are so many choices available plus they all are very close to everyone in the area. Very little driving is required. You’ll never be bored with everything to do in Puyallup. If you do, there is always Tacoma or Seattle.

First Time Buyers

Buying real estate for the first time can be an intimidating process. There are several steps you can take to prepare yourself to make home-buying an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

First, you should know what you want in a home purchase. How many bedrooms and bathrooms? What are you willing to sacrifice in a home and what are you not? It is helpful to set some expectations, but be aware you probably won’t get everything on your wish list. Have a game plan, but be flexible! Write these must have items down so when your agent runs a real estate listing report, it can be more specific to what you want exactly.

Second, get pre-approved for a loan right away. It is never fun to find a dream home only to learn it is outside of your budget. Be realistic about your finances and think about other costly occurrences like house fix ups and unforeseen expenses.

Third, research and find an experienced and qualified real estate agent. Each realtor has their own style, so make sure you find one that matches your personality and needs. Talk to others who have worked with them before and look at their reviews online. A great realtor makes for a better home buying experience. Plus, if you find one you like, you can use them again and recommend them to friends. Everybody wins. Different agents have different jobs. Listing agents assist in valuing and properly pricing your home, suggesting repairs and improvements, marketing your home, negotiations, and finalizing contracts. A buyers’ agent helps you find a property, help you make an offer and negotiate, and follow up with contract details. Real estate agents often specialize in different agent roles, but can server in either roles, or sometimes both under dual agency.

Lastly, take care of your new home! This might seem like a simple idea, but it is important one to remember. Regularly maintain your home and keep it in good shape. Be a proud homeowner. Someday you might want to make a return on your investment.

Buying Real Estate Tips

1. Don’t buy based on emotion. Although it is natural to picture what your life will be like in your new home, it is important to stay level-headed through the searching and buying process. Make sure to follow economical decisions and not fall in love with a kitchen ignoring other problems in a home.

2. Research the neighborhood. Maybe even go on a walk through it to see what it’s like. Is the area primarily old or young residents? Are people friendly or is there no one in sight? These are good questions to inquire about! I have found the people here to be extremely friendly and helpful.

3. Think long term and re-sale value. A house is an investment, thinking about re-sale value is important in a home purchase. You don’t want to get short changed in the end. The re-sale value in Puyallup is very strong.

4. See beyond the staging. Staging helps you view the property as a home and not just a house. Good staging can be deceiving too. Try to picture your own belongings in the home.

5. Know the Pros and Cons of buying a new versus old home. Old homes have a lot of charm, but often come with upkeep and repairs. There are a lot of older homes in Puyallup for sure and they generally have a fair amount of land with it. New homes tend to be pricier, but have fewer fixes. It is important to know how to navigate both situations. Which would you prefer?

Additional home buying tips graph

Selling Your Home Tips

1. Price your Puyallup home to sell. You may think your home is invaluable, but people come in with budgets. Don’t make your property stale by overpricing. You can be aggressive, but don’t be unreasonable.

2. Small upgrades are most likely necessary to sell fast. You may love your bright purple bathroom, but you need a home people can envision living in. Neutrals are the safe way to go when updating your home. The kitchen is also a selling point that needs to be inviting and attractive. People are extremely visual and you only have one chance to make a good first impression.

3. Clear the clutter. Your house needs to be in showing conditions at all times. This might take a little more effort on your part to vacuum and sweep more often, but it will be worth it when the right buyer comes through the door. If you have children, make sure their toys and rooms are clean. Buyers want to see themselves in your space forever and they certainly don’t want clutter.

Commuting in the area

One of the most important decisions when purchasing a piece of real estate is your commute. How long is it going to take you to get to work in the morning?

Puyallup is connected very well and a great location for commuting. It is located 10 miles southeast of Tacoma, just a short drive or bus ride away. For individuals that work between Puyallup and Seattle the Sounder Train is an excellent way to commute. It’s clean and really reliable. Seattle traffic can be dreadful. You don’t want to be driving back home to Puyallup from Seattle. It’s a mess and it will take you hours. The traffic isn’t that bad driving to Seattle in the morning but you certainly will face some. Taking the Sounder train from Puyallup is a great alternative to sitting in the daily grind of traffic. The Sounder travels between Lakewood and Seattle, making stops in South Tacoma, Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner, Auburn, Kent, and Tukwila. You can buy a ticket for a day trip, or buy an Orca pass for ease if you use the train frequently to commute. Taking the Sounder will take a lot of time off your commute (compared to driving). Think of all the ways you can use that extra time to decorate your new home! 95% of the Puyallup residents here commute by car while 3% commute by public transportation.

The Pierce Transit system is another option to plan your commute. The Transit offers the bus, vanpool, and Para-transit. The bus has many daily routes that can take you around the South Puget Sound area at an affordable rate. The vanpool is a great way to save money and be environmentally friendly. The vanpool provides vans for groups ranging from 5-15 people for their commute within Pierce County. You can join a vanpool that already exists or start your own! The Para-transit is a shuttle service for people who are unable to ride Pierce Transit because of a disability.

So whether you are community up to Seattle, staying in Pierce County, or somewhere in between, there is a service available to get you where you need to be!

Schools in the Area

If you have children who will be enrolled in public education then you should know about the local School District. The Puyallup School District is the eighth largest district in the state of Washington. Serving a population of approximately 122,806 residents, the district is a very active part of the community. Located six miles east of Tacoma and 30 miles south of Seattle, schools are located in a suburb of nearby larger cities. In short, if you by a home anywhere in Puyallup a public school will be very close to you. The school buses pickup every couple blocks but you should investigate this while looking for a home.

The district has 21 elementary schools, seven junior high schools, three comprehensive senior high schools, and an alternative school, all of which serve more than 22,250 students. The district is one of the oldest created in the state in 1854.

The Puyallup school district takes pride in its strong arts programs, athletics, and academics. Advanced Placement courses are offered at a number of high schools, and allow high school students the opportunity to earn college credit in high school. Schools offer programs and services to students’ at all different academic and social levels. There are ample opportunities to excel and resources available for extra support.

Puyallup schools have a great reputation, and many families chose to settle down in the area because of them. Puyallup schools are a great place to foster a comprehensive and well rounded education.

A few anticipated yearly district events include:

• Annual District Elementary Track Meet
• 9th Grade Dance
• Daffodil Parade
• High School Musicals
• District wide honor band and choir
• High School Sporting Events
• Commencement
• Junior High District Wide Track Meet
• King of the Hill Football Game

In addition, I went through the Puyallup School District and have no complaints. It was a great experience for me personally growing up. It was always easy to jump on the bus in the morning from my house.

Conclusion

Puyallup is a great place to live. If you are single, a young couple, a family, looking to retire, or somewhere in-between, the Puyallup community has something to offer you. With that being said, the city is very popular when it comes to finding real estate to own. In short, the home search process can be very competitive. The Pacific Northwest is a special place to reside and more and more are figuring this out. It’s surrounded by lush greenery, Olympic Mountains, and Mt. Rainer, the beauty in this part of the country is amazing and it is no surprise that people are looking to settle down in the region. Puyallup is a safe, convenient, and affordable location to do just that. It is near events and amenities that big city life offers, at a fraction of the price. Puyallup is a great place to buy real estate. Considering all the things we discussed in this article, you can feel confident in your homes resell value. Even if you need a few months before buying, houses, condos, and apartments are on the market for rent at reasonable prices. With great schools, accessibility to larger cities, easy commuting, affordability, and a safe environment, real estate in Puyallup is most certainly worth investigating.

Local Links:
www.cityofpuyallup.org
www.puyallup.k12.wa.us/pages/Puyallup_School_District
www.soundtransit.org/Rider-Guide/Puyallup-Station
www.zillow.com/puyallup-wa/
www.trulia.com/WA/Puyallup/

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