What People Love About University Place

b576eb8113b92d3fb53135212fa7f0f6The charm of a small town feels with proximity to all the amenities the city of Tacoma has to offer.  Quiet tree lined streets, familiar neighbors, award-winning schools and lifelong friends are among the many characteristics that draw people to University Place year after year.  It truly is a place where eventually “everybody knows your name!” – Cheers theme song

The incorporated city of UP offers a wide range of outlets for people of all ages and stages in life.  Avid golfers explore the waterside rolling greens of Chambers Bay golf course.  Fitness enthusiasts love the numerous maintained trails within the residential communities or the 3 plus miles courses surrounding the golf course.  Parks and playgrounds are scattered in abundance to entertain and occupy energetic jubilant children.  At various times of the day, you will see what appears to be a retiree out for a brisk stroll.  University Place is truly a town for everyone.

No need to travel light years away to enjoy a meal!!  Local favorites like Lefty’s offers a delicious burger while Cheers West has created an atmosphere where one can enjoy a sporting event while children are occupied with video games, dart boards, and more.  Let us not forget the local icon, the cozy Pine Cone Café.  If you prefer home-cooked meals there is no shortage of options there either.  University Place boasts FOUR major franchise grocers: Safeway, Fred Myers, Trader Joes, and Whole Foods.  There is also the local Harbor Greens that may cater to some unique palates.

The sense of community is evident by the regularly held “Optimists” pancake breakfast, holiday dinners held at University Place Primary School, father/daughter or mother/son dances at Curtis High School, or the ever popular Viking sports events also at Curtis High School.  There’s no lack of entertainment opportunities either.  From outdoor summer concerts at Curran Orchard, Duck Days, or Sunfest University place is a city bustling in a pride all its own.

So take a drive through University Place and see if you fall in love with it the way so many others have.

LaKeshia Love, REALTOR®Blue Photo-resized
310.491.8787 mobile


Beautiful Anderson Island

@Sean Griffin-Anderson Island Photography

Anderson Island is simply unforgettable. A mere 20- minute ferry ride out of Steilacoom over the calm South Sound aboard the faithful Christine Anderson ferry has delivered many a visitor. From the ferry dock, a well-traveled two- lane road winds through the forest to the other side of the Island. Traffic lights? There are none. Just be sure to yield to the car on your right. If you Follow the main road to Oro Bay, you’ll see the silent strength of Mount Rainier rising regally in the distance with boats huddled in a small marina.
The old Johnson Farm is the heart of the Island and is home to the Anderson Island Historical Society, Museum, Island gift shop, and lush community garden. Here is where Islanders and tourists gather for countless seasonal activities. There is the Anderson Island Historical Society (AIHS) Archival Building, proudly built by volunteers and donors. It houses historical items and provides a large area for Historical Society presentations as well as a music venue, art gallery, and a meeting place for community gatherings. Local artists and photographers sell their one-of-a kind creations in the gift shop and at the island festivals and fairs. In the summer, there is a weekly farmer’s market, music venues, the annual fall Apple Squeeze, annual Fourth of July AIHS Salmon Baker and the annual Memorial Weekend Fair, which is the largest fund raiser for the Anderson Island Community Club (AICC).

In the summer, the Old Swimming Hole on the North side of Lake Florence is where children tirelessly dive and tumble into the water from a 10-foot high floating dock. Fishing is fine. Hunting? It is governed by the Pierce County hunting regulations. Most of the parks are managed by the Riviera Homeowner’s Association and are not open to the public – only residents and their guests. There is a marina on the East side of the Island that is owned & maintained by the Riviera, although guests are eligible to launch with a fee.

@Sean Griffin-Anderson Island Photography

Scenic trails to hike include the new Jacob’s Point Trail, Andy’s Marine Park, and the Tom White Trail.  Tiny Eagle Island, just a short kayak ride off the North side of the Island is home to only wildlife and is a secluded spot for a romantic proposal.

The one and only Café in the center of the Island is a nice spot for a coffee date or lunch with a friend.  Don’t miss the Burger Nights, and open mic.  The Island store is where “If you can’t find what you want you must not need it.”

On the shore of serene Lake Josephine sits the Riviera Lakeshore Restaurant. There you might relax on the deck with a glass of wine after a golf tournament and enjoy a tasty menu offering or have a quiet dinner. Avid golfers enjoy intimate tournaments on the lush greens of the Riviera Country Club across the street. Once, sometimes twice a month, the Riviera Lakeshore Restaurant hosts a lively evening of karaoke. Local and visiting musicians and bands play live in the restaurant on occasion.

The volunteer fire department is the only fire department on the island, and is manned by discrete, caring Islanders dedicated to the health and safety of their community. If you see a small flashing green light in the car behind you, it’s a volunteer fire-fighter on the way to a call so be sure to pull over. Each year on Memorial Day weekend, the community hosts a pancake breakfast to raise funds for the fire department.

The Anderson Island school is in a category all its own.  It’s like a step back in time 40 years with caring staff, only 2 small multi-grade classrooms, a cozy library, and a lunchroom with only 5 lunch tables. A vibrant booster club provides extra activities for the school children.  The flow of donations to the school from generous islanders is ongoing, from new shoes to exotic fruits and vegetables for the children to try.  Summer camps are run by Island volunteers. The original Anderson Island historic school house is now converted into a public gym is where teens meet for summer boot camp.

Housing prices on Anderson Island, including luxury waterfront and view homes, are surprisingly affordable. More than half the homes are vacation homes. There are approximately 1,000 residents year-round, increasing to 4,000 residents during the summer months.

If you go to Anderson Island, you may leave rested or you might leave restless.   Getting there is easy— but leaving is hard:  Once you are there you may not want to leave.  You might even want to move there.

Lori McPhail Photo.jpgLorena McPhail, Managing Broker, CRS

Tacoma’s Wright Park

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION … is important as realtors will tell you. You can remodel or restore a house but you cannot easily change its location! So what neighborhood amenities are important to you when buying a home? Stores, schools, view, waterfront? What about a park?

I was fortunate to live near Tacoma’s Wright Park for awhile and regularly walked my dog around the circumference of the park (a 1.8-mile trail). Wright Park is over 100 years old and some of the 600 trees were planted in 1895. It is an awesome place of natural beauty. Right now the summer canopy of leaves and the pond cools the park. Make time to slowly walk a path and look UP at the trees. In our busy lives, this park is a calm oasis of natural beauty.

Within the 27 acre park are picnic tables, paths, a playground/spray ground, basketball court, and the history W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory.

Inside the plant filled conservatory, you can pick up a pamphlet entitled “Champion Tree Tour”. It lists the names and description of 20 Champion Trees in the park and a map showing their location. A Champion Tree is the biggest tree of their species and has historic significance in Washington state. You will notice most trees in the park have interpretive signage attached.

Fortunately, in our area, there are many parks for us to enjoy. Hope you will make time to have a peaceful picnic, a run or a walk and look at the beauty of the natural environment that has been preserved in our city parks for us to enjoy.

Wright Park is located at 501 South “I” Street, Tacoma
For more information: MetroParksTacoma.org/Arboretum

CaptureCarol Goforth, REALTOR®


Walkable Neighborhoods

walking-dog-1243310_960_720What was it in America that we lived in before World War II but then abandoned post-war for an auto-driven lifestyle and are now, increasingly and rather quietly (Shhhh) returning to in growing numbers?

We could call it a pedestrian-oriented infrastructure or we could speak English and simply say WALKABLE NEIGHBORHOODS!

It’s not a new concept by any means. It’s just something we all but abandoned in favor of Eisenhower’s federal highway system in the ‘50’s and the practice of commuting to and from work, school, shopping, you name it. Well, just how much fun has that become lately, that sitting in traffic?  No wonder there’s a growing trend toward moving back.  No wonder people want to buy in walkable communities.

C-1 PhotoTake a look around.  Increasingly there’s a demand for Tacoma’s Proctor District (Highly walkable).  The Lincoln District, look at what’s happening in that ethnic oasis!  All the new development happening on the waterfront down in the Ruston area – Walkability!  And just take a stroll down Bridgeport Way in University Place, home of the new Town Center with a Whole Foods on the North end of it and Trader Joe’s toward it’s south end.  People don’t just want to walk. They want to walk someplace interesting. How else can you account for the popularity of University Place’s miles and miles of trails in and around the Chamber’s Bay complex with its parks, world class golf course, the Playground by the Sound and a view to die for! Even with its challenging hills, Chambers Bay is mighty walkable.

Perhaps they raised their families with a quarter acre of fescue out back, Rhodys and Begonias out front. Now the need for all that dirt to maintain doesn’t seem so driving when it’s driving they have to do just to get to their source for fertilizer, mulch and Moss Out!  Increasingly, REALTORS are hearing, Give me a place where I can live affordably. I don’t need five bedrooms and a three-car but I would like to be able to walk to shopping, the library, a movie, a meal…heck, a choice of meals!

REALTORS across America are working to improve and increase such changes through Smart Growth initiatives.  You’ll find REALTORS working with state legislators, county council members and city staff, working to help homebuyers reconnect with that sense of touchable, interesting, walkable communities. How do we recapture them?  It’s in how we decide to develop and build.  REALTORS are right in the middle of that.  Not necessarily real estate licensees, real estate brokers, real estate agents but REALTORS are. Yes, there is a very real difference.  Ask any Coldwell Banker Bain Associate.  Why? Because we’re involved in our communities and their futures for our families and yours.  Wonderfully walkable and desirable communities come about through the efforts of many and right in the middle of those efforts are the REALTORS and oh, by the way, here at Coldwell Banker Bain, we are all REALTORS.

Give us a call at Coldwell Banker Bain (Tacoma 253-752-7777 or Puyallup 253-841-9100). We’ll be happy to help you find your next home in exactly the kind of community that works for you!

Pat Maddock's PhotoArticle by Pat Maddock, REALTOR®
253-229-8889 (cell)

Puyallup: A Special Place to Live

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Puyallup is a special place to live. For starters, Puyallup is full of rich history – from the iconic Washington State Fair (formerly the Puyallup Fair as most native citizens of Puyallup will call it) to the beautiful Meeker Mansion, which was built in 1890 by the first mayor of Puyallup, Ezra Meeker. The streets of downtown are filled with shops nestled in historic buildings that have stood the test of time – you will find anything from antique shops to restaurants to banks and everything in between.

But Puyallup is not just full of history it also features dozens of parks. Pioneer Park, which is located in the heart of downtown, stands as one of the best spots to visit in Puyallup. During the months of April to October, the park host tons of local vendors who are selling anything from fresh farm eggs to local produce to the prettiest flower arrangement that you ever did see. In the summer time, Pioneer Park and Bradley Lake Park feature live performance by local bands and family movie nights. Puyallup also opened their very first splash park in 2015 which has been a hit with all the local kiddos!

Puyallup would not be complete without its fair. The first fair was opened in October of 1900 and displayed local livestock along with the cities produce. Only a few hundred people attended that first fair but it has grown over the years and now attracts over 1.3 million people throughout the area. The tradition of livestock and produce lives on but the fair has added dozens of rides, games, restaurants, and more entertainment than one could imagine. One item that you are sure to enjoy is the “fair scone” – it is mouthwatering and oh so yummy! Be sure you do not miss out on grabbing a dozen during open season!

But what makes Puyallup really special are the people. This is a community that cares – from its school district to our local business owners. Just a few short months ago, one local restaurant was set to close its doors and had made the announcement via Facebook. Well, word got out and other local restaurants rallied around this business owner to help them stay open. This is the heart of the people here. The people look out for one another for Puyallup is truly a special place to live.

“I love Puyallup because it’s a great place for families, a place where families stay over generations and take their part in some really extraordinary traditions. We take our traditions seriously–the Fair, the Daffodil Festival, our agricultural heritage. Another thing we take seriously is education. Puyallup is an education community–we have long prided ourselves in our great schools, and that’s a tradition worth continuing.” Hans Zieger, Washington State Senator serving the 25th District.

t: 253-312-7586
e: karajess@cbbain.com

The Revitalizing of Lincoln District

Tacoma’s promise to revitalize the community of Lincoln, known formally as the Lincoln International District, is great news to homeowners and renters alike. The South End community is set to be the next happening spot, and Coldwell Banker Bain Tacoma can take you there.

The average median sold price in the district for $211,807, up 2.6% from the month of January, while the average days on market for the immediate area are 32 days.

“23% of the recently closed homes in Lincoln sold at or above the listing price. It’s a great time to be looking at the Lincoln International District,” said Cory Armstrong, a Broker with Coldwell Banker Bain of University Place.

The revitalization, which includes several new features and improvements along the 38th Street corridor, is set to not only improve accessibility to local businesses but also inflate the values of homes in the area.C-1 Lincoln District Photo

Lincoln is an older neighborhood, the average age of houses in the community is 65 years old, making it a perfect place for the first-time homebuyer to buy a house to improve. With the median age of its residents being 37, the Lincoln community is a laid-back, professional district with quiet nights and eventful days.

Interested in finding out more about the Lincoln International District or on getting a free market report on the area?  Give us a call! At Coldwell Banker Bain in Tacoma, we are always happy to help and excited to share our expansive knowledge with you.

Cory Armstrong PhotoCory Armstrong
t: 423-946-2717
e: coryarmstrong@cbbain.com

Proctor: Where History and Tradition Find a Home

proctor-clockWell-maintained century-old houses shaded by tall, even older trees (come with a tire swing attached) mark the historic Proctor neighborhood, a place that just feels like home.

Named after John G. Proctor (1854-1925), a community leader who, as an architect, designed many of the homes here, the neighborhood today is the very essence of an urban village, boasting charming storefronts and local small businesses, a convenient, walkable retail core and restaurants that satisfy just about every palate. The University of Puget Sound keeps intellectual pursuits high and ensures a steady stream of cultural events. Other year-round events, including history walks, the Junior Daffodil Parade, cooking classes, art classes and more, mean there’s something for every member of the family in Proctor. Including your furry family member, who’s apt to find a doggie treat or water bowl set outside many a District business.

Unique to Proctor is the Blue Mouse Theater, one of the oldest in Washington, and the Chalet Bowl, where a game of 10 pins still provide hours of fun for young and old alike.

More than anything, though, it’s the residents themselves who make Proctor one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Tacoma. People who live here honor it, celebrate it and support the efforts to keep it’s rich character alive and well.  “It’s just one of the many reasons I choose to join Coldwell Banker Bain | Proctor,” Hollie Johnson noted.

hollie-johnson-photoShe also remarked that “After meeting so many welcoming members of the Proctor Business District Association, I knew I was going to be at home working here. These small, local, and family-owned businesses come together regularly to support each other serve their community and I am excited to participate in the cause!”

Visit Hollie Johnson on her webpage: HollieJohnson.com