August 23, 2021

The 5 BEST Tacoma Neighborhoods to Buy a Home in 2021

Looking for a new home this year?

Tacoma has a lot to offer home buyers in 2021. It may quickly become even hotter and more trendy as bigger cities like Seattle, Portland and San Francisco become less appealing and less popular.

While not a small city, Washington State home buyers will find Tacoma much more affordable than Seattle. Whereas average home prices in Seattle, WA can be at least $700,000 to $800,000, Zillow reports the average home value in Tacoma, WA is only $384,217. Prices have reportedly tripled since 2012, and rose 14.7% in 2020. Zillow forecasts local home prices to rise another 9.5% in 2021.

Clearly, the sooner you can make your home purchase here the better. So, where will you buy?

Tacoma, Washington

Tacoma sits on Puget Sound. A port city, in Pierce County, about 60 miles northwest of Mount Rainier National Park. While ‘The City of Destiny’ has an official population of just over 200,000, the greater metropolitan area is home to close to 4 million people. 

Tacoma is a famous railroad city, with a strong industrial history. School districts, healthcare and insurance companies make up the largest employers in the area.

The city has seen its population continue to grow since the early 2000s, with a notable amount of suburbanization and great walkability.

These are some of the best suburbs to buy a home in Tacoma, WA in 2021. 

1. North End

North End is considered a great neighborhood for young families. Home buyers will find parks and decent schools, as well as a fair amount of restaurants and nightlife. 

North End sits on Commencement Bay, just south of Point Defiance Park. Zillow says local home prices rose by 13% in 2020, and are likely to rise by almost 10% in 2021.

Home choices here include smaller to mid-sized single family homes, some apartments and spectacular waterfront and mountain view properties. 

Current average home prices are around $515,000.

2. Old Tacoma

Also known as ‘Old Town’, Old Tacoma is steeped in history. Here you’ll find boutique shops along cobblestoned streets. You’ll find historic buildings, a park, and a museum replica of one of the first cabins built in the late 1800s. 

This neighborhood sits just north of Downtown and Central Tacoma, right on the bay. There are few homes available for sale in this area. There are larger homes for sale here, as well as some apartments, and a few vacant lots for building your own custom dream home. Expect to pay over $400,000 for an apartment, to well over $1M for a nice single family home here.

If you want views, history and a short commute to downtown, this is for you.

3. New Tacoma

New Tacoma is a more affordable area to choose to buy a home in. Average home prices here are just under $380,000. 

Housing options here are mostly made up of apartments and condos, some of which offer great views of the bay and port. Take a look at walkable buildings and docking for your own boat.

4. South Tacoma

Although local home prices are just around $330,000, South Tacoma has also been enjoying some of the fastest growing real estate prices around the city. 

Housing options here include small apartments and vacant building lots which may even be found for less than $100,000. Smaller and mid-sized 1-2 story family homes offer reasonably good sized yards for families who need extra space. 

As the name suggests, you’ll find this area just south of downtown Tacoma, and north of Lakewood.

5. West End

This is the western tip of the peninsula, to the west of North End, and touching University Place to the south. 

The West End presents an interesting array of architectural choices, including brand new modern waterfront condos, and single family homes. You’ll even find building lots ranging from under $200,000 to over $1.6M. 

Average homes prices are just over $450,000, but seem to be rising swiftly. You’ll find parks and waterfront hangouts, but still within a short commute to downtown. If you love the outdoors and water views, this is for you. 


As where we live continues to diverge, and many home buyers are searching for more affordable suburbs and neighborhoods with more space, and quieter spaces outside of downtown, and bigger cities, Tacoma is becoming more popular. Here there are all the modern conveniences of a good sized city, but with far more home for the money, and plenty of neighborhoods close to parks, and the waterfront. 

Before you rent or buy a new place, make sure you check out these areas, and you may be amazed at what you can get. 

About the author 

Joe Tafolla

Helping Pacific Northwesterners buy their dream homes for over 15 years. Founder of Tacoma Mortgage Brokers and Seattle's Mortgage Broker and author of Homeownership Simplified: The Truth about ZERO Down.

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