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8 Things to Know Before Moving to Lacey, WA

Written by Adam Berns

Ever thought of leaving it all behind and moving to a tranquil Northwest town? Lacey, Washington is a great place to call home. Nearly twenty percent of Lacey is dedicated to parks and other natural areas, contributing to the city’s famed verdant landscape. After failing to get a postal code in 1890 due to the existence of another town with the same name on the Columbia River, the region was renamed Lacey from its original name, Woodland. 

The city of Lacey was formally established in 1966 after being formed in the 1950s from a number of smaller villages in the region. Great schools, minimal crime, and a steady economy have made modern-day Lacey a desirable area to call home.

Let’s check out eight things to know before moving to Lacey, WA.

1. Lacey is in a stunning natural environment 

The Puget Sound is a popular tourist destination for good reason: the water is serene, and the scenery, which includes deciduous trees and mountain peaks, is breathtaking. Smack dab in the middle of the breathtaking Pacific Northwest sits the city of Lacey, Washington, which is situated within easy driving distance of some of the state’s most breathtaking vistas. 

No matter your interest—history, wildlife, or something else entirely—Lacey will satisfy your curiosity and leave you wanting more. For that reason, the city is able to entice and retain a large population. 

2. The cost of living is 12% higher than the national average

Lacey has a cost of living index of 12, which is 12% more than the national average.

A family of four—two adults and two children—would require an annual income of around $87,477 to maintain their current standard of living in Lacey, as determined by the Family Budget Calculator developed by the Economic Policy Institute.

Lacey property listings have a median price of $510,000 and a typical price per square foot of $288. About 43% of Lacey inhabitants are tenants while 57% own a home. 

3. A high property crime rate

When compared to the national average, the crime rate in Lacey, WA is lower for both violent and property crimes. With a violent crime rate of 17.6 compared to 22.7 nationally, Lacey has a significantly lower crime rate. 

However, while the national average for property crime is 35.4, the rate in Lacey is notably higher, at 48.1. This indicates that residents should take extra care to keep their belongings safe.

4. Live in neighborhoods like Beachcrest, McAllister Park, or Cantergrove

Lacey is home to many lovely neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm, low crime rate, and peaceful, tree-lined blocks. Houses in the northeast tend to be more expensive, whereas those in the northwest tend to be more reasonably priced. Some of the nicest neighborhoods in Lacey are these.

Beachcrest is a lovely north Lacey community that stretches along the Nisqually River. Large houses in this part of town range in price from $380,000 to $580,000 and have stunning views of the water.

One of the most desirable areas in Lacey, McAllister Park features a huge community park surrounded by beautiful old oak trees and an average house price of $670,000.

Located in Long Lake, Cantergrove at Long Lake is a community of one hundred newly built homes by prestigious builder Century Communities. Prices begin at $450,000 and residents have easy access to the park’s lake and pier.

5. Winters are cold and wet, while summers are mild

Lacey experiences cold, rainy winters and brief, mild summers, as described by the Koppen climatic classification. While most days see temperatures between 34 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, extremes of 23 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and 91 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer are not unheard of. 

With an annual average of 49 inches of rain and 6 inches of snow, Lacey does receive a considerable lot of precipitation. If you’re planning on relocating to Lacey, make sure to bring an umbrella and galoshes.

6. Have fun at Hawks Prairie, Cirque Climbing, or Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge 

Lacey may be best known as a residential suburb, but that doesn’t mean it’s devoid of exciting attractions.

At Hawks Prairie, you can find more than just two of the Northwest’s most distinctive golf courses; you can also enjoy the practice facilities, restaurants, and more.

Indoor rock climbing at its finest, Cirque Climbing boasts 3,500 square feet of bouldering courses, 11,000 square feet of roped climbing, and a schedule full of workshops and activities.

On its 762 acres, the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is a perfect spot for birdwatching, and visitors can enjoy the preserve’s trails and educational center.

7. Work in the healthcare and social aid, public administration, or retail sector

A number of sectors, including healthcare and social aid, public administration, retail, and construction, contribute to Lacey’s robust economy. The majority of Lacey’s employees work in sales, management, or administrative support roles. Thurston County is the biggest employer in Lacey, and most of the residents work for the government.

Thurston and Pierce Counties’ top non-government employers include Lucky Eagle, Nisqually Red Wind Casino, Walmart, Safeway, and Providence St. Peter Hospital.

8. North Thurston Public Schools is a highly awarded school district

Lacey has excellent schools. They are part of the North Thurston Public Schools, which have received many awards for their quality. In Lacey, there are three main high schools: Timberland, Ridge River, and North Thurston High School.

Timberland is considered the best high school in Lacey. It ranks 106th in the state and has a high graduation rate of 93%. Lacey also has 13 elementary schools. One of the top ones is Horizons Elementary, which is ranked 142nd in the state.

Saint Martin’s University, a private college, is also in Lacey. Additionally, there are some really good private schools in the area, such as Cornerstone Christian School, Northwest Christian Academy, and Northwest Christian High School.

In Conclusion

Considering a move to Lacey, WA, entails embracing its serene natural surroundings, albeit with a higher cost of living.  Lacey provides recreational opportunities, a diverse economy, and a highly acclaimed school system. 

While the city offers beautiful landscapes and a lower violent crime rate compared to the national average, residents should be mindful of a higher property crime rate.

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