Tacoma Urbanist

Nov. 27, 2007 at 12:25am

Downtown Tacoma Condo Bargain Time

With all of the doom and gloom about real estate, isn't this the time buyers should be celebrating more affordable housingin downtown Tacoma? The time to buy a condo in Tacoma is when the prices are low not when tons of offers are being made before the home inspection can be even be completed. 

Be a contrarian.  By the time you read in the TNT that the housing market is looking up, it is too late.

There looks to be a number of bargains around.  Forget about the mean and median home prices, all you need to do is to land one good deal in downtown Tacoma and you are in.  Read past the realtor hype and check them out.

Also, consider making substantially lower offers than listed and draw out a few motivated (desperate?) sellers. 

Condo Deal No. 1 : $179,950 : $840/month (w/20 percent down)

Beautiful one bedroom condo next to Wright Park. Spacious corner unit w/ 9 ft ceilings and extra large closets. There is one full bath and a new stackable washer/dryer. Cut out window kitchen that brings in a lot of sunlight. Kitchen is tiled and comes with dishwasher. Bonus room for office/den, etc. Vintage, classic lighting and fixtures combined with the hardwood floors are extremely attractive. A must see!

Comment: Live next to the Wright Park in a historic condo and the new steam plant. :)

Perhaps the most improved part of Tacoma city during the last 5 years.  Improvements to the park underway and more residents moving in.  You are a block away from Corinas Bakery and a coffee shop and 2 blocks from the Grand Cinema.  What more do you want?

Condo Deal 2 : 1930 N Fife St; $199,950 payment $933/month

Rare 2 bedroom townhome condo. N 21st & Fife. Only minutes to old town proctor district or downtown delightful deck shaded by maple canopy in summer. Fireplace to make winter nights more cozy. All appliances included, W/D & dishwasher fairly new.

Comment : A North End condo hovering over a green forest.  Right next to the business center on 21st street and Magoos.  Walk to Proctor and never worry about crime ever again.

Live Unit Downtown : 750 St Helens Ave B (downtown Tacoma condo); Work - for $399k; total payment $1582/month

Exceptional loft in newly rejuvenated downtown Tacoma. Come be in the heart of the exciting art/theater district! Loft is fully remodeled w/5-piece bathroom & new kitchen. All appliances stay! Unique commercial/residential possibilities. Zoned for both! Have office in one half.

Comment: Here’s a chance to set up an office and legally live in the condo in Tacoma at the same time.  I don’t think there is another place downtown where this is possible at such a low price.  Office condos are almost non-existent downtown.  Immediately adjacent to city hall.  Double your money when the Winthrop Hotel is renovated.

Suggested Buy Local Downtown vendors

Realtor/Blogger/condo expert in Tacoma : Jacob Rose

New Downtown Mortgage Broker : Veritas Mortgage (by Tullys on Broadway in the Bostwick Building in downtown Tacoma)

comments [18]  |  posted under downtown, downtown tacoma, housing, Tacoma, tacoma condo, washington


by Jake on 11/27/2007 @ 1:33am
Thanks for the plug !

Here is an affordable ($177k!) 2 bedroom view condo:


The location falls in the City of Tacoma Down Payment Assistance area. Qualified buyers can borrow up to $20k from the city with no payments or interest for 20 years. It is one of the few condos that are affordable that fall into the DPA area.

There are also homes available at Grandview Condos on 21st and I Street starting at $144,950. Thats for a totally remodeled unit with a great view! Also in the DPA area.

by thriceallamerican on 11/27/2007 @ 8:24am
Re: deal #2: Never worry about crime again, maybe. But perhaps start worrying about rats...

by Erik on 11/27/2007 @ 10:26am
Re: deal #2: Never worry about crime again, maybe. But perhaps start worrying about rats...

An off hand comment or did you live there or know something specific?

by thriceallamerican on 11/27/2007 @ 10:56am
No firsthand knowledge, but I've heard tales of the wildlife in Tacoma's various gulches. Rats love to hide in the English ivy.

Not disparaging important green spaces, of course, just something one might want to be aware of before choosing to buy in such a location. (Also: an argument for removal of non-native English ivy in said green spaces.)

by Jake on 11/27/2007 @ 11:03am
Is there any history of land slides in the gulches?

by KevinFreitas on 11/27/2007 @ 12:30pm
<dawning geology degree hat>

Most of the hillsides around the gulches are pretty sturdy. The gravel and clays that underlay don't tend to slide unless vegetation is stripped away and/or is extremely saturated. Likewise, the slope inside most of the gulches is gradual enough that it won't tend to slide. The areas I'd be concerned with are those along the steeper, more exposed slopes there along Schuster Pkwy.

</dawning geology degree hat>

by intacoma on 11/27/2007 @ 1:22pm
like 10 years ago Ferdinand down to the waterfront gave out after some heavy rains, lots of clay! Anyone else remember that? Was pretty crazy

by Erik on 11/27/2007 @ 1:46pm
I used to own a house within a couple of blocks of the gulch and there were alot of squirrels in the area. Very cute until they get inside your roof. We had to have a trap set ON the roof.

by NineInchNachos on 11/27/2007 @ 7:31pm
summary: wright park area kicks ass.

a co worker just bought one of those wright park condos. It's pretty nice. Reminds us allot of our old parkside apartment which overlooked the park in a similar fashion but more over towards the onion domed church. The best thing was fast access to stadium video and kings books. Walking to stadium thriftway is a great perk too.

Anyhow, my co -worker buddy gets to walk to work now just like I used to.

by Erik on 11/28/2007 @ 12:22pm
Wright Park is pretty much the apex of everthing thing in the area. Big open space.

It is a good reflection of the health and condition of the area.

by KevinFreitas on 11/28/2007 @ 1:02pm
Too bad those steam plant stacks will soon loom over the park.

by izenmania on 11/29/2007 @ 11:00am
I live about a block and a half from deal 1, and I enjoy the neighborhood a lot. I suspect it will only get better (and possibly pricier) come spring when the park renovations are complete. I really doubt that the steam plant is going to detract that much from the overall experience.

Too bad I'm not planning on staying in the region... I could practically afford one of those!

by Jake on 11/29/2007 @ 11:29am
Here are some deals I posted over on Exit133:

Above UWT:

$131,950 1bd 1bth 545 sqft – Fully remodeled

$144,950 1bd 1bth 540 sqft – Fully Remodeled w/ View

$169,995 2bd 1bth 1,090 sqft – Tax exemeption until 2014

$177,000 2 bd 1 bth 725 sqft – View

ALL of the above units fall into the city Down Payment Assistance area. Up to $20k loan with no payments or interest for 20 years.


$159,950 Studio – Remodeled classic brick building

$139,950 1bd 1bth 466 sqft – Fully Remodeled

by Erik on 11/29/2007 @ 12:56pm
Nice job Jake.

You are the king Hilltop Realtor. I don't know anyone else who is covering the Hill so thoroughly.

by KevinFreitas on 11/29/2007 @ 3:47pm
I know, seriously, where's your blog? ;)

The area around Wright Park is truly wonderful and I'm sure MultiCare's new smokestacks won't offend as much as I'd like to sensationalize. Sometimes I miss our former rental off 6th and Sheridan mostly because of the tight locale. Don't miss those narrow streets tho.

by Erik on 11/29/2007 @ 9:51pm
The area around Wright Park is truly wonderful and I'm sure MultiCare's new smokestacks won't offend as much as I'd like to sensationalize.

Its a good thing Tacoma residents got MultiCare to build a better design. Take a look at the construction zone by the Park. We are now just getting an idea of what is going to be there.

The steam plant is going to be huge, has its own crane and it going to be right next to the sidewalk.

by Erik on 11/29/2007 @ 11:55pm
You are the king Hilltop Realtor. I don't know anyone else who is covering the Hill so thoroughly. I know, seriously, where's your blog? ;)

Kevin's right Jake. You need a blog. Get one from Feed Tacoma. Now you just need a name for it

1) "Re-building the Hill"
2) "The Hilltop Broker"
3) "Agent on the Hill"
4) "Realtor Grit"

Ok. You get the picture.

by ensie on 11/30/2007 @ 4:56pm
Jake! Jake! Jake! Jake! Jake! (That's my blog chant, in case you can't tell)