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Living in Lacey Washington - EVERYTHING You Need to Know

View from Tolmie State Park in Lacey Washington - Mount Rainier and Puget Sounds.jpg

What is Living in Lacey Washington Like?

Lacey, Washington, located in Thurston County, is home to approximately 54,000 people. The city offers a mix of urban and suburban living, making it an attractive location for those looking to move to the area. Located south of Seattle, Lacey offers good access to outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and boating. The city is near Interstate 5, which runs along the West Coast, providing easy access to other towns and attractions. Lacey embodies the Pacific Northwest lifestyle with its lush greenery, mountain views, and proximity to Puget Sound. Lacey residents and visitors enjoy recreational activities such as kayaking, hiking, and exploring the nearby Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. The Best of Lacey includes a vibrant downtown, modern shopping centers, and residential neighborhoods with stunning views of Mount Rainier.    


One of the main attractions in Lacey is the breathtaking Crystal Lake. This pristine natural wonder captivates visitors with its shimmering turquoise waters and tranquil surroundings. Crystal Lake offers an idyllic escape, whether you're looking to swim, kayak, or bask in the serenity. In addition to the lake itself, the surrounding area features hiking trails that wind through lush forests, allowing nature enthusiasts to explore and appreciate the local flora and fauna. Lacey also boasts several other remarkable parks, such as Woodland Creek Community Park, Rainier Vista Community Park, and Wonderwood Park, where residents and visitors can enjoy a variety of amenities, including playgrounds, sports fields, picnic areas, and scenic walking paths. These natural oases provide endless opportunities to immerse oneself in the beauty of the outdoors.     

There are a variety of employers in and around Lacey, Washington. One of the most prominent is Joint Base Lewis-McChord, a military installation that employs thousands of people. Additionally, the city is home to Saint Martin's University, which provides jobs for faculty and staff. Other major employers include Providence St. Peter Hospital and the Washington State Department of Ecology.         

The cost of living in Lacey, Washington, is slightly higher than the national average but still relatively affordable compared to other cities in the region. Housing costs are the main factor contributing to this higher cost of living, as the demand for housing in the area has increased in recent years due to its proximity to jobs and natural beauty. The average home value in Lacey is around $465,000, making homeownership attainable for many individuals and families living in Lacey, Washington. Various housing options are available, including single-family homes, apartments, and townhouses.          

If you're searching for a small town that offers easy access to larger cities, a delightful downtown area, exceptional schools, and many outdoor activities, Lacey, Washington, might be the ideal place for you! Continue reading to discover more about what it's like to live in Lacey, Washington, including information about its neighborhoods, schools, cost of living, and some pros and cons of living in this charming city. Hopefully, the information will assist you in deciding if living in Lacey, Washington, is the best decision for you.      

The Moving to Lacey Washington Team

Let our team of trusted professionals help you buy or/and sell a home in Lacey, Washington. To connect with a local expert/real estate professional in Lacey, Washington, CLICK HERETo start receiving emails with homes that match your criteria anywhere in Washington, CLICK HERE and sign up for Listing Alert. With a little info on what, where, and how much, you'll get newly listed homes matching your criteria sent to your inbox as they hit the market. This can give you a big leg up in your home search.

The first step in the home-buying process is getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Todd Davidson is an experienced mortgage broker and can help you get the best financing option for your home purchase. Not quite ready yet? Todd can help you put together a plan to get you there. Whether you're thinking a few months or a year or more if you want to buy a home, reach out to Todd and he can help. CLICK HERE to email Todd and set up a call to get the process started or just call him at 971-275-2465. 

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Todd Davidson

Mortgage Broker

What is the Cost of Living in Lacey Washington?

If you're exploring a move to Lacey, Washington, or any place, the cost of living would be a significant factor in your decision-making. I calculated the REAL cost of living in Lacey, Washington, by factoring in today's costs for housing (rent and own), utilities, food, transportation, healthcare, and other necessities to live. To live in Lacey, Washington, and rent, you would need to make $45,000 a year. To live in Lacey, Washington, and buy a home, you would need to make $70,000 a year. Rental amount is based on current low end cost of studio or one bedroom, purchase is based on recent low end sales of a three bedroom and monthly payment with 20% down.

Cost of Living

Living in Lacey Washington Tips/Info/Blog Posts

Helpful Tips for Moving to Oregon and Buying a Home







Top Neighborhoods in Lacey Washington

Lacey, Washington is a city with a diverse range of neighborhoods that offer different living experiences. Here are six notable neighborhoods in Lacey, along with their unique characteristics:

  1. Woodland Square: This neighborhood is located in the heart of Lacey and is close to several parks, including Woodland Creek Community Park and Wonderwood Park. Additionally, Woodland Square boasts a vibrant community center that hosts regular events and activities for residents of all ages. Housing types in this area include single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments.

  2. Horizon Pointe: Horizon Pointe is a newer neighborhood located on the east side of Lacey. It is close to several parks, including Long Lake Park and Rainier Vista Community Park. In addition to its scenic surroundings, Horizon Pointe features a state-of-the-art fitness center exclusively for residents, complete with modern equipment and fitness classes. Housing types in this area include single-family homes and townhouses.

  3. Hawks Prairie: Hawks Prairie is located on the north side of Lacey and is close to several parks, including the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge and the Woodard Bay Natural Resources Conservation Area. Residents of Hawks Prairie enjoy access to an impressive community clubhouse with amenities such as a swimming pool, tennis courts, and a playground for children. Housing types in this area include single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments.

  4. Meridian Campus: Meridian Campus is located on the west side of Lacey and is close to several parks, including the Chehalis Western Trail and the LBA Park. Apart from its natural beauty, Meridian Campus offers a championship golf course, perfect for golf enthusiasts to enjoy a round or two. Housing types in this area include single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments.

  5. Jubilee: Jubilee is a 55+ community located on the south side of Lacey. It is close to several parks, including the Woodland Creek Community Park and the Chehalis Western Trail. In addition to its picturesque surroundings, Jubilee features a stunning clubhouse that includes a fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, a library, and various social spaces for residents to connect and engage with one another. Housing types in this area include single-family homes and townhouses.

  6. Tanglewilde: Tanglewilde is located on the east side of Lacey and is close to several parks, including the Woodland Creek Community Park and the Wonderwood Park. Residents of Tanglewilde have access to a private community lake, where they can enjoy fishing, paddleboarding, and other water activities. Housing types in this area include single-family homes and townhouses.

If moving to Lacey, Washington, and you'd like to buy a home in one of these fabulous neighborhoods, CLICK HERE to sign up for LISTING ALERT to be the first to know when a home matching your criteria gets listed for sale in Lacey, Washington.

View from Above Lacey with Mount Rainier.

20 Pros and Cons of Living in Lacey Washington

Living in Lacey Washington Pros

  1. Natural Beauty: Lacey is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, with abundant lakes, rivers, and forests. The area offers numerous outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, fishing, boating, and wildlife viewing.

  2. Mild Climate: Lacey enjoys a relatively mild climate throughout the year, with pleasant summers and mild winters. The moderate weather allows for a wide range of outdoor activities and comfortable living conditions.

  3. Proximity to Puget Sound: Lacey is located near Puget Sound, providing easy access to beautiful beaches, waterfront parks, and opportunities for water-based activities like kayaking, paddle boarding, and sailing.

  4. Vibrant Community: Lacey fosters a strong sense of community and offers various events and activities that unite residents, including festivals, farmer's markets, and community gatherings. The friendly and welcoming atmosphere creates a tight-knit community feel.

  5. Affordable Housing: Lacey offers more affordable housing options than neighboring areas like Seattle, making it attractive for individuals and families looking for more budget-friendly living arrangements.

  6. Family-Friendly Environment: Lacey is known for its family-friendly environment, with excellent schools, safe neighborhoods, and a variety of parks and recreational facilities suitable for children of all ages.

  7. Strong Job Market: Lacey benefits from a thriving job market, with a mix of local businesses and proximity to larger employment hubs like Olympia and Tacoma. The area offers a range of employment opportunities across various industries.

  8. Quality Healthcare: Lacey is home to several reputable medical facilities, ensuring residents can access quality healthcare services. This includes hospitals, clinics, and specialized healthcare providers.

  9. Education Opportunities: Lacey is served by the North Thurston Public Schools, which are well-regarded for their commitment to education excellence. The district offers a variety of programs and resources to support student success.

  10. Parks and Recreation: Lacey boasts numerous well-maintained parks, trails, and recreational facilities. Residents can enjoy picnicking, sports, biking, and nature walks. The area also features golf courses and community centers with various amenities.

Living in Lacey Washington Cons

  1. High Cost of Living: Despite being more affordable than some neighboring areas, Lacey still experiences a higher cost of living than national averages, particularly in housing and transportation.

  2. Commute to Larger Cities: If you work in a larger city like Seattle or Tacoma, commuting from Lacey can be time-consuming and subject to traffic congestion, especially during peak hours.

  3. Lack of Cultural Amenities: Lacey may have fewer cultural amenities than larger cities, such as a limited number of museums, art galleries, or performing arts venues.

  4. Limited Nightlife: Lacey is not known for its vibrant nightlife scene, with fewer options for entertainment and social activities during evenings and weekends.

  5. Traffic Congestion: Although Lacey may have less traffic congestion, commuting to and from larger cities can be challenging, particularly during rush hours.

  6. Limited Public Transportation: While available, Lacey's public transportation system may not be as extensive or convenient as in larger metropolitan areas.

  7. Limited Diversity: Lacey lacks diversity compared to larger cities, resulting in less exposure to various cultures and perspectives.

  8. Seasonal Weather: The Pacific Northwest is known for its rainy and overcast weather, which can be a drawback for individuals who prefer more sunshine and warmer climates.

  9. Limited Shopping Options: Lacey has fewer shopping options than larger cities, resulting in residents needing to travel outside the area for particular retail needs or preferences.

  10. Limited Dining Scene: While Lacey offers some dining options, the variety and diversity of culinary experiences may be more limited compared to larger cities.

View from Tolmie State Park of Mount Rainier and Puget Sound

FAQs About Living in Lacey Washington

What is Lacey known for?

Lacey, Washington, is known for its beautiful parks and natural scenery. The city has several parks, including Woodland Creek Community Park and Long Lake Park, which offer hiking trails, picnic areas, and playgrounds. Lacey is also near the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, a popular spot for birdwatching and nature walks. The city's commitment to preserving its natural beauty has helped it become a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.      

What cities are nearby Lacey?

Lacey, Washington, is situated in Thurston County, part of the Puget Sound region in the northwestern part of the state. The city is approximately 60 miles south of Seattle and 20 miles north of the state capital, Olympia. Lacey is near several other cities in the area, including Tacoma, about 25 miles to the north, and Centralia, about 30 miles to the south. The city is also within easy driving distance of other popular destinations in the region, such as Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Forest, and the Pacific Ocean. Lacey's central location in Thurston County makes it an ideal starting point for exploring the surrounding natural beauty and nearby cities.     

What is the weather like in Lacey?

Living in Lacey, Washington, you can expect mild weather throughout the year. In the winter months, the average high temperatures range from 45°F to 50°F, and the average low temperatures range from 32°F to 35°F. The city occasionally experiences light snowfall during the winter, with an average of 7 inches of snowfall annually. Summers in Lacey are mild, with average high temperatures ranging from 70°F to 75°F and occasional hot spells in the 80s and 90s. The city receives around 33 inches of rain yearly, with most precipitation occurring in the fall and winter months.      


Does Lacey Washington have good public schools?

Students in Lacey, Washington, attend public school in the North Thurston Public Schools district, which serves the city of Lacey and some surrounding areas. For the 2022-23 school year, ranks the North Thurston Public Schools district #32 out of 293 school districts in Washington, giving it an overall A- grade. The district is committed to providing a well-rounded education, including arts and athletics, and offers a variety of programs for students with different interests and needs. The district has a diverse student body and strong partnerships with local organizations and businesses. Families living in Lacey, Washington, can feel confident that their children have access to quality education.  

Is Lacey Washington safe?

Living in Lacey, Washington, you'll find it a pretty safe place. Property crime rates in Lacey are lower than the national average, and violent crime rates are significantly lower than the national average. states Lacey has a crime rate lower than 68% of all US cities. Lacey, Washington, residents should feel relatively safe in their daily lives.      

What is there to do living in Lacey, Washington?

Living in Lacey, Washington, you will always have things to do. The city is surrounded by natural beauty, including the Nisqually River and the Olympic Mountains, offering ample hiking, biking, and fishing opportunities. Lacey boasts several parks, including Woodland Creek Community Park and Long Lake Park, which feature playgrounds, picnic areas, and scenic walking trails. The city hosts several annual events, including the Lacey Spring Fun Fair, which attracts visitors from around the region, and the Lacey In Tune Summer Concert Series, offering live music and entertainment. If you're looking for a day trip, Lacey is near attractions like the Olympia Farmers Market and the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. Whether you enjoy outdoor activities or cultural experiences, there is always something to do in Lacey, Washington.        

Who are large employers in Lacey, Washington?

With a diverse range of employers, residents of Lacey can find opportunities in healthcare, education, government, and more. If living in Lacey, Washington, some of the top employers include the Providence St. Peter Hospital, which employs over 2,500 workers, the North Thurston Public Schools, which employs over 1,500 people, and the State of Washington, which employs over 1,000 people. Other notable employers in Lacey include the City of Lacey, the Thurston County government, and various retail and hospitality companies.    

I want to relocate to Lacey.  How do I make it happen?

You've come to the right spot if you're looking to move to Lacey, Washington.  There’s a lot of information on this website to help including some helpful links below. If you want to ask questions, try our Facebook Group > Moving to Washington  where we have broad group of locals to answer any question you might have. If you’re looking to buy a home in the Lacey area, getting pre-approved for a mortgage should be your first step. For Mortgage Info, reach out to me. I would love to tell you more about what living in Lacey, Washington, is like as well as help with your mortgage if you decide to purchase a home.

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