Housing Talk @ Joint Base Lewis McChord….

By Shari Crumbaker and Angie Sherman – Local SargesList JBLM Real Estate Experts

Houses are moving at the world’s largest joint base area! The population in the Joint Base Lewis McChord area has exploded and we expect another influx of military in 2011. The last several months of stats show that the local housing market is beginning to stabilize and we hope that the pendulum is on the upswing. Some reports show consumer confidence is starting to pick up as well, which is a great sign.

Although rental a home still remains a popular choice for the military, there is now more of a risk involved. In our current market, many of the rentals are actually homes that are in a short sale or foreclosure process. Many would-be renters now consider buying in order to bring more stability and avoid the potential of having to move again on short notice.

All in all, it is a great time to buy! Owning a home is affordable for many: low sales prices + low interest rates + zero down VA mortgages or 3.5% down FHA programs  =  great financial opportunities for home ownership!!

About JBLM
With a large base, beautiful natural surroundings, and many military-friendly communities, military members and families love it here. We see many people buying homes and planning on retiring here (renting out the home when they PCS, with plans to return). ACS and MWR departments at JBLM are still doing home buying / selling seminars locally to help educate buyers.

What are the real estate prices like at JBLM?

Well, you’re going to pay for convenience. DuPont is quite charming with its craftsman style homes, beautifully maintained common areas, friendly atmosphere, lots of trails, and quaint small town culture. It is the closest to the base/post, so housing prices are higher. Many military families prefer the low maintenance quality found in newer construction homes which are available in DuPont, as well as Spanaway and Lacey.

JBLM buyers tend to purchase homes in DuPont 98327 (10 min from base), Steilacoom 98388 (15 min), Lakewood 98498 (15 min), Lacey 98503 (20 min), Spanaway 98387 (20 min), Tacoma – multiple zip codes (20 min), University Place 98464 (20 min), Yelm 98597 (30 min) and Olympia 98501 (30 min).

Here is a quick snapshot of 2 of two communities:

DuPont – established, safer and close to base
• Average 3 bed, 2 ba, 1800-2200 sf home averages $280,000
• 23% of total active listings are short sales

Spanaway – get more house for your money
• Average 3 bed, 2 ba, 1800-2200 sf home averages $199,000
• 29% of total active listings are short sales

A new trend we are seeing is the shift toward smaller homes — under 2,000 sf. Several years ago, home sizes in the mid-2000s were marketed with ‚Äúmore house, less money!‚Äù The motto should have been ‚Äúmore house, more money!‚Äù More space really meant higher utilities and more to clean, furnish, manage and repair.

How do I search for homes in the JBLM area?
If you’re interested in browsing homes for sale in the JBLM area, search listings here:

Search JBLM homes for sale!

Use search critera:

Pierce County and Thurston County

DuPont 98327 (10 min from base)
Steilacoom 98388 (15 min)
Lakewood 98498 (15 min)
Lacey 98503 (20 min)
University Place 98464 (20 min)
Spanaway 98387 (20 min)
Tacoma as well – multiple zip codes (20 min)
Yelm 98597 (30 min)
Olympia 98501 (30 min)

Shari Crumbaker and Angie Sherman, RE/MAX Professionals, are a dynamic team serving the greater Joint Base Lewis McChord, WA area. They have worked in the JBLM real estate market since 1987 and in DuPont, WA since 1996. This high energy team helps many military members and families with the highest level of expertise, experience and service. Whether you are local, across the nation, or halfway around the world, Shari and Angie can help answer any questions you have regarding places to stay, places to live, schools, neighborhoods, etc. Check out their website and client reviews at ShariAndAngie.com or call them at 253-759-4800.


  1. We recently moved to the area and chose to live in the Lacey area. With our home still for sale at our previous assignment, we were not interested in buying at all. I think one area that is of significant importance when buying for families is schools and it is very difficult to make such an important decision within the few days of paid househunting time given for a PCS.

%d bloggers like this: