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Gig Harbor, Washington SperlingViews



"seriously considering relocation"


seriously considering relocation - 9/22/2012
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Denise
Binghamton, NY

We are recnt young-ish retiress, seeking a friendly place to live. We have lived in upstate NY for the past 30 years and are not weather driven. Not a big sunshine fan and do not mind rain at all. We very much did not like Florida and have no desire for sunshine all the time or a pool. The weather in Gig Harbor certainly better than where are currently living, except it doesn't get as much snow ,ice and bone chilling cold. I grew in California and have no desire to live there again. In short, we GET the drawbacks for some but they are not OUR drawbacks.
What we mostly seek are decent hospitals, resources for seniors & possible low stress part time employment. We can go to Seattle for culture,if need be or even Portland. 2 of our 3 kids live in the area,as well.
I may choose to go back to work until I am 62 in a couple of years.I find that folks that say there is no employment are looking for a high paying "good" job. I'd be happy to be a bank teller or a retail clerk, where you don't let your work define you..you punch in ,do the job and go home and forget it when you leave.It appears to me there are jobs like that in Gig Harbor and in Tacoma. Don't mind driving.

Am I wrong?

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Robin

re: seriously considering relocation - 9/22/2012 - 10/8/2012
I live in Gig Harbor and love it. Its a showcase town for WA state! Very serene, beautiful...near the Harbor, near Puget sound, has abundant shopping. I could go on and on. It's downright lovely!


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Takumaru
Gig Harbor, WA

Living in Gig Harbor - 11/12/2014

I'm from California, oops , well sorry for invading Washington but while CA has great weather it falls short in quality of life. Gig Harbor is a nice community that offers a lot. It has beauty, mild climate, low crime, good schools, a beautiful waterfront and on and on. (don't believe the crime reports, those always include Purdy, Gig Harbor isn't Purdy) Yes, the winters are grey and wet. Took me some time getting used to it coming from California. But having spent time in NY & Chicago let me you I've never had to shovel the rain out of my driveway. It just runs right off all by itself. It's pretty much like London weather. Many nice days from April to Oct. Nov to March is yuk. But so is NY and London. I love it here. Every time I go back to CA I remember why I left CA. The only thing they haven't ruined in CA is the weather. If WA had CA weather, then Gig Harbor would have been ruined too. But it hasn't, it's a beautiful community.

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Trixie
Gig Harbor, WA

For anyone considering Gig Harbor. The good and ba - 12/22/2012

Having lived in Gig Harbor for almost 10 years, after leaving the coast of California, I'm happy to share my impressions and experience, for those hoping to get more info on Gig Harbor, as they decide to relocate. First. When you read reviews from towns you're considering, know that there will always be a few reviews that are just plain negative. People often have a long list of complaints about where they live/d for various reasons. Don't dismiss everything they say, but don't accept it all, either. Look for common complaints. I say this because we ignored the numerous comments abou the horrible and depressing weather in the Puget Sound area, and thought the people were just being negative. We were wrong. But more on that below: The Good. Clean. Gig Harbor is really clean. The landscaping is gorgeous, the streets are regularly swept. Much of the retail is new, so there aren't any decaying areas. Very little graffiti or blight. Polite. the people here are polite, and generally friendly on a surface level. Gig Harbor is lovely, with the backdrop of the harbor, and the bridge, and so much green! It's relatively safe. Though, the crime stats are higher than you'd realize, because there is no consistent crime-reporting here. The newspaper is only once a week and does not publish more than 1 crime story a week, if that (though there is crime here.) Schools are generally well-run with good graduation rates. There is a new Boys/girls club in town, that, unlike the idea you have that it's for kids in urban areas, this one is full of well-heeled kids of middle class to upper class backgrounds. It's not a diversionary type club, it's more of inexpensive after school care for the suburbs. There is a beautiful new park, called Sehmel Park, in the area. It's got a playground, ballfields, and gorgeous open space. Unreal how gorgeous that park is! The other parks are lacking.. though. The homes are beautiful, and not exactly inexpensive, but definitely not as expensive as some other areas you're considering leaving. There is a great YMCA that is fairly new. But.... The bad: Yes, you can get a beautiful home cheaper here, than in most of the areas people flee. But you need to consider this. It is not an exaggeration to say that the weather is horrific. You may say to yourself, "Oh, I'm tired of sun, I loooove the rain!!" in that cute naive way that people do when they have no clue about the weather up in Washington. It's not the rain. It's really not. It's the (literally) 9 months of heavy gray drizzling cloud cover. The dark gray/rain usually moves in around late September, and stays until July 5th. This is not a lie. It rarely rains hard here, that's why no one uses umbrellas. We get 40" of rain, but it arrives drip by drip over a period of 9 months. Right now, in December, my lawn is filled with at least types of mushrooms. There is nothing you can do to get rid of them, just hope they go away soon and it doesn't poison your dog. There are hundreds of them, so you can't get them all out. There is a green/black slime on the porch, the windowsills, and anything left outside. There is moss growing in my sunroof of the car. There is simply not enough sun. I think it's like 80-90 days of a truly sunny day up here. So please, consider this carefully when you say "I love rain, I'll be fine!" It's not the same. You have to be good with dark gray and damp for months and months. We have just gone through a period of 9 weeks with not one sunny day (Oct/December.) And when the sun comes out, because of the angle here, you don't get the vitamin D, so plan to take a supplement the rest of your life, as there are health dangers from lack of it. Most folks here tell me that the secret is to plan a vacation to a very sunny place at least twice a year during the wet times, so most of them have a timeshare in Hawaii or Arizona. This is also a great way to store up Vitamin D. I focused so much on the weather because it's a major force here. It's a constant topic of discussion on the radio and tv, and in stores. Other than the weather. It's really hard to make friends here. The "Seattle Freeze" is real. People are very polite, and that's so pleasant as you go about your day. But I think it's a function of being stuck inside 3/4 of the year, that you don't really see new people a lot outside of work or church. We laugh with the neighbors in early september that we'll see them next summer, as none of us are out working in the yards again until it gets more moderate. So you'll need to plan on working hard to meet people through church or clubs, because you can't really form the easy and warm friendships you may be used to in the Midwest, South, or in California. Crime. Yeah, the crime in the nearby areas is bad: Tacoma. you really have to be on guard when you shop, as there are many parking lot attacks at the malls where you'll be shopping in tacoma. Gig Harbor has a little bit of retail, but Tacoma is the closest retail center, and where you'll be going for arts and culture etc. Gig Harbor does not have a vibrant arts scene, unless you're 70 and watercolor. that's okay, because this is a place that is suited for that demographic. There is no live music to speak of. Town closes down at 6 pm and on Sunday. It's wonderful for young churchy families and seniors. And it's very cliquish with the churches here. The first thing they ask.. is "have you found a church?" Again, that could be a great thing if you're the church type. No dog park. Period. But sadly people here seem to think that it's okay to have their dogs off leash in every park or street. It's annoying and dangerous. But the weather is usually so awful that your poor dogs spend the majority of time indoors anyway. I'm so tired of drying off my dog's feet 20 times a day, lol. Not a great place to be a dog if your dog enjoys lying in the sun. It's a bit homogenous, which some people find appealing. The demographic seems to be very white, moderately to very affluent, lots of big SUVs, and thin women in pony tails and running clothes, carrying expensive purses, as they ferry their kids to dance lessons. But unlike places in Orange County Calif or Upstate New York, it's more relaxed in general. Bottom line. Cute town, great for postcards. Weather is horrid. People are polite, but you'll need to work if you want to build friends through joining a church or pilates class. Fairly safe. Very clean. If the demographics fit what you're looking for (great place for retirees!! if you don't have arthritis that would be made worse by the extreme damp most of the year,) then check it out. Consider renting for a year first, because you commit. Oh, and if you're thinking of moving here. Come to visit at least 4 times, throughout the year. Do not come here in July and say "oh, it's gorgeous!!" You need to visit in the summer (which is spectacular,) then in Late October (there is not really a fall here,) Probably March, and then in May. So you get a real feeling for the true weather.

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Denise
Binghamton, NY

seriously considering relocation - 9/22/2012

We are recnt young-ish retiress, seeking a friendly place to live. We have lived in upstate NY for the past 30 years and are not weather driven. Not a big sunshine fan and do not mind rain at all. We very much did not like Florida and have no desire for sunshine all the time or a pool. The weather in Gig Harbor certainly better than where are currently living, except it doesn't get as much snow ,ice and bone chilling cold. I grew in California and have no desire to live there again. In short, we GET the drawbacks for some but they are not OUR drawbacks. What we mostly seek are decent hospitals, resources for seniors & possible low stress part time employment. We can go to Seattle for culture,if need be or even Portland. 2 of our 3 kids live in the area,as well. I may choose to go back to work until I am 62 in a couple of years.I find that folks that say there is no employment are looking for a high paying "good" job. I'd be happy to be a bank teller or a retail clerk, where you don't let your work define you..you punch in ,do the job and go home and forget it when you leave.It appears to me there are jobs like that in Gig Harbor and in Tacoma. Don't mind driving. Am I wrong?

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ReneMarie
New Port Richey, FL

Are you kidding me? - 6/6/2011

Gig Harbor is the only decent area in Pierce County but that's not saying much because it's still W. WA. I lived there 38 years. You see the sun 2, maybe 3 months of the year. I am not kidding. Here and there the sun breaks through in the Spring and rare Fall/Winter. Seattle has the highest heroin use and suicide rate in the country. Seven out of the ten cloudiest cities in the nation are in W. WA. Look up the stats. If you like a thick dark gray cloud deck most of the year, you'll love it there. I lived in Gig Harbor for 4 years. Raised on the Eastside in Woodinville/husband in Bothell. We left in '05 and have never looked back other than having to deal when we fly up to visit. We decided after arriving back to the sunshine this last Christmas visit, we will only fly up June-Aug from now on. You are 50/50 for the 4th on enjoying fireworks so even summertime you still can get rain and clouds. Oh and no AC. You try to enjoy the sun when it's there but you cant because you are sweltering in your home until sunset around 9:30 when you can finally open up your house to put the fans inside the windows to air it out. Speaking of that, very long summer days and the winter solstice is 4:20 in the afternoon. Ugly very yellow grass on the freeways in summer. Gray mold over everything the rest of the year, looks very dirty. Cant see the beautiful mts most of the time so the beauty is short lived. Parents cant wait to retire in 3 years. I have to use my mom's sunlamp when I visit. Standard of living is low due to high housing cost versus income even though the income is higher than national average. Very poor quality construction unless you can afford to build custom. We are green year round and we actually have real flooring, doors, and siding. We have 2200 sq. ft versus 1500 there, half acre with pool versus 1/3 acre there and paid much less, live better. I could go on and on but hubby just came home from work. Gonna enjoy our almost daily T'storm to keep it green. I'm hearing the thunder now. After it passes in an hour or two gonna go swimming. Enjoy the darkness and cold rain. Not trying to sound smart but it just blows me away when people say how wonderful it is up there. Long overdue for Rainer to blow and seismologists are expecting a major earthquake as well. No thanks. People either love it or hate it there. If at all possible live there a full year before deciding so you don't waste money.

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Bill
Gig Harbor, WA

Gig Harbor - 4/25/2010

Great community,

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Val Savino
Gig Harbor, WA

Gig Harbor Is a Great Place to Live - 8/23/2009

I have lived here for 3 years and have found the community to a great place to live. There are many new amenities such as a new Costco, YMCA, Target,Hospital and Medical Center. We have a the new Uptown Shopping Center which has Galaxy Theaters, Coldwater Creek, Ann Taylor Loft, Chico's, Justice for Girls, Panera, and Fondi Restaurants. There are also other smaller restaurants, coffee shops, and speciality stores. A new Boys and Girls Club with a Senior Center is set to open this fall. The downtown historic district has turn-of-the century homes, a museum, shops, parks and waterfront restaurants. It is a great place to take a walk or meet with friends. The schools are well supported by the community with Booster Clubs for sports and a scholarship fundraiser each fall called Winterfest. We have an extension of the Tacoma Community College that provides a place for high school students to participate in the State's Running Start program, as well as many continuing education and community recreation programs. There are numerous festivals in the summer including the Maritime Festival and Blessing of the Fleet as well as many Art and Music Festivals and a Farmers Market. If you are looking for a real community feel with a small town atmosphere, yet close to all the services of a large city, this is the place for you.

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Brenna
Gig Harbor, WA

A Great Place to Live - 1/22/2008

Gig Harbor is a scenic community situated in the Puget Sound region of Washington state. With backdrops of Mt. Rainier, the Olympic Mountains and the Cascade Mountains, tall evergreen trees, plus an abundance of charming bays and waterways, there are many "postcard" images to be seen, as well as recreatinal opportunities. What I love about Gig Harbor is the small town feel. People are very friendly here and smile and make eye contact when you are walking down the street. It is a place where I feel safe walking my dog along the lighted waterfront in the dark. People take pride in this community and it is evident in the property values. We have great schools here, as well as many recreational opportunities for families and singles alike. There is a thriving arts & theater community and our annual art festival is always well attended. There are a number of restaurants to choose from, but for even more variety, the city of Tacoma is only a 15 minute drive, and Seattel is about 45 minutes. Gig Harbor is growing and our elected officials strive to manage the growth and retain the small town charm that draw so many people here. It has been our policy to avoid "big box" stores and opt for architectural design that is more aesthetically pleasing and blended with nature. There is a lot going on here, from a new hospital scheduled to be finished in 2009, to a new boys and girls club and huge recreational facility. We have a high number of parks per capita and it is evident that our community values these parks as we acquire even more land for parks. I have lived in several different cities, including overseas in Australia, but I am content to call Gig Harbor home. It is a special place that I think is a treasure.

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Janet
Bakersfield, CA

climate - 5/28/2007

Is this rainfall data correct? 56 inches per year? I was told it was 37 by a real estate agent. We live in CA, so have no idea. Thanks.

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Dee

Delightful Fishing Village - 4/25/2007

We moved to Gig Harbor from New Mexico, to retire. It is delightful here by the water. There are gorgeous state parks, some on the nearby rural and lovely Key Peninsula. Gig Harbor has a somewhat wealthy population, so finding low cost housing may be a bit difficult, but worth the search. Gig Harbor is close to city amenities in Tacoma, and Seattle, and is on the Kitsap Peninsula which has many charming features. We love it here, but of course people have different things they are looking for.

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kathleen
Gig Harbor, WA

affordable living possibly near military bases / a - 6/26/2006

looking for affordable safe culturally oriented areas To me Washington State is absolutely great state, and I love the climate however at present I work and live in Dubai, UAE - way to expensive here and entirely tooooooo HOT. traffic is horrible - takes you for ever to get anywhere, to me not worth it to live here frustration levels are not compensated by your income... Would like to look into Mexico and Central America for living also.

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John
Gig Harbor, WA

Cute fishing village? - 4/28/2006

Once the hub for the South Puget Sound fishing fleet, Gig Harbor is now the home of numerous marinas and pleasure craft. Navigatable and sailable areas have been encrached upon by piers that scretch out into the inner harbor. The harbor has become over crowded and the shoreline which used to be dotted with quaint cabins is now lined with multi-million dollar homes, somewhat spoiling the mystic qualities of this peaceful harbor.

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Tom
Gig Harbor, WA

Where are the cultured people in WA? - 4/15/2006

We have lived in Gig Harbor WA for 3 years now, and the lack of state universities in the Tacoma area makes for a very uncultured and uneducated population. The people here are rude and all dress in gray or brown. We lived in Raleigh NC before this and the caliber of people was much better. I can't wait to move away from here.

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