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Thread: Fort Lewis Area Questions

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    #1

    Question Fort Lewis Area Questions

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    We are originally from South East (Georgia) and have never lived up north. So, I have lots of questions.

    1. What is the best area(s) to live, that is closest to post?

    2. Is the majority of the heating there gas heat? I have seen a lot of talk about gas bills.

    3. Is there a "rain season" or does it just rain a lot, overall?

    I want to make sure that I budget properly for a home off-post, so that our BAH will cover all of our expenses. Otherwise, I would rather live on post.
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    1. There is a lot of great places, a lot of people will recomend Lacey, which is a nice area, not a far drive. DB and I have a house in Lakewood, which does have some bad areas, but also some fancy million dollar homes on the lakes, so you just have to look around. Steilicoom(sp?) is a very nice area too, very quiet and good for kids, my in-laws live there and have small kids, they love it.
    2. The heating just depends on the place you get and how old it is. I had gas in my last house and electric here in this one. You just have to get used to layering, putting on a sweatshirt, more blankets on the bed and making sure the house is sealed well so you don't have to run the heaters too often. I was used to hot Arizona so it took a while to get used to this but I'm comfortable now. Last month my electric, including heating was $80 for two months, water was $30 for two months, garbage was $60 for two months too, plus the sewer bill. I budget for $200 a month right now, in the winter I'd expect the electric to double.
    3. You can expect rain most of the time, but for the month of July we've been lucky. At Seatac their report says yesterday was the first day it rained since July 2nd. It's just such a beautiful area though, so green and awesome views of the mountains and the sound the rain doesn't get to me too much. It's rare to have consistent nice sunny days after mid Sept until mid June. But when we do have them it's the best day ever! haha
    There's a lot to do, places to go see, indoors and out. The ocean beaches are just about 2 hours away, Seattle is bout an hour from Lewis, and there's so much more. Just depends on what your interested in.
    Good luck with Everything
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    You said "every two months" for your bills. Do you get billed every two months?

    Something else I didn't know.. LOL
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    1. What is the best area(s) to live, that is closest to post?
    There are good and bad parts of Tacoma. I've heard and seen great things about Lacey and Dupont. We live on post and it really works out for us. Especially with gas being so pricey.

    2. Is the majority of the heating there gas heat? I really can't answer this one. We live on post in older housing, so we never see bills.

    3. Is there a "rain season" or does it just rain a lot, overall? I've only been here since January, but so far it rained throughout mid June or so, then it got really really dry for a few weeks, and now its starting to rain again.


    I like it here. It's really pretty, Seattle is great, and post isn't all that bad.
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    Yeah, most of the utility companies bill every other month. Don't know why. I've only been using these companies for 3 months now. The only one that seems high to me is the garbage, $60 for two months with just normal size bins. It is nice to get the bill though and not have to pay it til late the next month, you get like 45 days to pay it or something.
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    #6
    My DH is stationed at McChord AFB which is right next to Ft. Lewis and we live off base in University Place. I've never lived on base at either place, but I have lived in Washington most of my life. So....

    1. What is the best area(s) to live, that is closest to post?

    Lacey is a nice area which is about 20 minutes south of Ft. Lewis. Closer to base is Lakewood which has some nice areas, University Place is really nice (I'm a bit biased ) Tacoma has some nice areas like the north end, but then you are getting farther from base. Parkland and Spanaway have some nice neighborhoods as well. Do you have kids? That might help in making the decision. I was very nervous about putting my daughter in the Tacoma School District, but luckily there's a school on base. I feel much safer having her there. Lacey has a better school district. I wouldn't suggest living too close to the base. Tillicum is not a very safe or clean area.

    2. Is the majority of the heating there gas heat? I have seen a lot of talk about gas bills.

    Utilities will depend on where you are and what kind of housing you are in. If you get an apartment, utilities are usually included, but houses will vary between gas and electric. Electric does seem to be the cheaper option.

    3. Is there a "rain season" or does it just rain a lot, overall?

    Okay, I have to giggle here I'm sorry. We don't have a "rain season". I wish we did sometimes, but unfortunately that's not the case. They don't call it liquid sunshine for nothing. You need to be prepared for rain the majority of the year. This year is the first in many when we didn't get rain for the 4th of July. It pretty much rains from beginning of September till at least June with lots of scattered rainy days during the summer. The up side is this state is one of the most beautiful to live in. It's lush and green year round. If you don't like too much rain, you might not like it here. I know lots of people that can't stand the weather, but you have to just expect it and learn to live with it. If I hadn't played in the rain while growing up, I might not have ever played outside.

    My DH and I have lived off base for the last year together in a two bedroom apartment with our daughter. We love it here. It's quiet and safe as far as I can tell. The rent and utilities are affordable and we have more than enough with our BAH to cover it and then some. If there are specific areas that you have questions about, just let me know. I've lived everywhere from Olympia to Tacoma to Bremerton and in between. Good luck with your search!
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    We live in Olympia (well...really Lacey....its a little bubble of Olympia in the middle of lacey)
    Just moved here in February....so far, it rains a lot! It's been pretty dry lately, but today it sprinkled off and on. It's not too bad though.
    Our heat for the house is a pellet stove and electric heaters. I'll mainly stick to the heaters, because I'm a little afraid of the pellet stove. LOL
    Our rent is 1200 for a 3 bedroom house, but we're in a pretty hoity toity neighborhood with it's own beach access....you can def. find less, especially if you're willing to live in an apartment.
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    #8
    Yes, we do have children. We are looking for a 4-bedroom house, which is why I am considering living off post. On post, we would only qualify for a 3 bedroom.

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