New residents continue to make their way to this maritime city
By Rachel Kelly and Jillian Chandler
More and more people are being drawn to Gig Harbor from all over the country. The beauty of this place, the people who make up the community, and the abundance of wildlife, nature and year-round events makes Gig Harbor an attractive destination. Over the years, that rare combination of a fantastic quality of life, coupled with affordability, has made the decision even easier when individuals or families are looking to relocate. But with the unpredictability 2020 brought with it, which has continued into 2021, there is an imbalance of supply and demand when it comes to available—and affordable—real estate.
“The current Gig Harbor real estate market is extremely competitive. The number of homes on the market is low, buyer demand is high, and prices are escalating. We expect that the inventory shortage will continue, and it will be a ‘seller’s market’ for the foreseeable future,” says Joe Sanchez, Broker at Joe Sanchez & Associates of Coldwell Banker Bain.
From apartment and condominium living to single family homes on large, forested lots, to those jaw-dropping waterfront homes, Gig Harbor has just what you’re looking for. A variety of retirement and assisted living facilities with the best in amenities round out the housing scene.
Buyers are relocating from just about everywhere, and the housing supply is low. Once a home goes on the market, there are usually several offers within the week at or above the asking price. This comes at a time when interest rates are at a record low.
The pandemic altered the way we do work, and many companies found that remote employees are happier and more productive. That change in perspective has made a huge impact in the real estate market. Even as we return to normality, the shift to working from home is expected to continue. This has resulted in a mass exodus from places like California, Texas and Seattle. People are simply looking for a higher quality of life, bigger homes and more land with a more reasonable price tag. We’ve known all along, but the world is finding out our secret: It’s incredible to live here.
For those moving into the area, Realtors report the natural beauty of the area and the relaxed lifestyle of a smaller town continues to be the largest draw to Gig Harbor. The slower pace of life with easy access to big-city amenities is truly unique.
If you own a home and you’re looking to move, now is the time to do it. Interest rates are at an all-time low, which means that most homeowners are finding that they can afford to go where they please. However, because there’s a shortage of available homes, make sure you have a contingency plan. It may take a while and a dedicated, in-the-know Realtor to find what you’re looking for.
“Our needs went from walkability and commute times to sprawl space and outdoor amenities,” says Jennifer Hawkins of Key2See Team with Hawkins-Poe Real Estate Services. The value of home, family and the outdoors has been elevated in our minds. We rest, exercise, work, vent and create at home. It’s important that home is a good place to be; that outside is a beautiful place to explore.
There’s the charm of downtown shops and restaurants; walkability; awe-inspiring water views and secret beach spots. It is a safe place to raise a family, with wonderful neighborhoods and schools, and ideal for those looking to live out the rest of their days in serenity.
“Residents fall in love with the area and genuinely enjoy living here,” affirms Sanchez.
And then there’s the deep sense of community that Gig Harbor is known for. As Lynn MacGougan, Managing Broker with Coldwell Banker Bain, shares, “There are events and activities taking place year-round that bring people of all ages together. It helps folks get to know one another and builds that small-town feel. Surrounded by water in all directions, the Gig Harbor area has great parks, quality restaurants and superb boating. With Seattle and Tacoma nearby, big-city amenities and events are easy to access. It all adds up to an extraordinary quality of life.”
Even with the recent growth, Gig Harbor has maintained its small-town charm. For those still in search of a home to call their own here, you won’t want to wait long! As Gig Harbor continues to grow, the prices of homes will follow.
Gig Harbor’s population has nearly doubled in the past 10 years, and development has expanded rapidly. “What’s consistent throughout Gig Harbor is a commitment to quality of life, and smart, well-planned development, whether that be the addition of new parks, summer events, habitat preservation, celebrating our working waterfront heritage or building new elementary schools and upgrading transportation infrastructure,” says City Communications Director Laura Pettitt.
As you make your way across the Narrows Bridge and approach Gig Harbor, the view never grows old. Those who live here are blessed to call Gig Harbor home. To be able to own just a small piece of this maritime city along the water is something not to be taken for granted. For those looking to buy, it may be a more difficult process than they had hoped for, but in the end, there’s no place like home. And what better place to call home than Gig Harbor.