Loving Life in the South Sound
With a style of home to meet any taste and budget, and communities that are well protected by some of the best law enforcement officials and first responders in the country, settling down in greater Federal Way is a wise choice. Fewer than 25 miles south of downtown Seattle and a little over 10 miles north of Tacoma, Federal Way’s prime location means big-city amenities are accessible but without the price tag.
In comparison to metropolitan areas like Seattle, housing here remains affordable. Homebuyers will find townhomes or condominiums in styles to suit all or single-family homes in quiet neighborhoods, where trees line the streets. Highly ranked school districts are attractive to families and home seekers as well.
In a robust market, two prime factors boosting the affordability of both residential and commercial properties are low rates for water and sewer utilities and excellent fire and police protection services.
“We’re among the lowest for all of the south Puget Sound area for water and sewer rates,” says John Bowman, general manager of the Lakehaven Water and Sewer District. “For water, it helps that we have access to a surface water supply and our own groundwater supply sources. For wastewater, we treat it locally and have a very short delivery point for recycling it.”
Progressive leadership has served to establish and maintain low rates as well, says Bowman.
“Our local board of commissioners has done an excellent job at long-term planning, and that has provided the resources we’ve needed to sustain growth in our area,” he says. “If you get the planning done early, opportunities present themselves and you can capitalize on those.”
Alongside affordable water and sewer utilities, businesses and residents enjoy some of the best fire protection services in Washington.
“Fire districts are ranked from one to 10, with one being the best,” says Dr. Al Church, fire chief of South King Fire & Rescue. “In Washington state, no districts have earned a ranking of one, and only four have earned a class two ranking. We’re one of them.”
The rankings are awarded by the Washington Survey & Rating Bureau and fire departments must adhere to strict standards to receive a class two designation.
“What it means is that we have excellent response times, excellent fire prevention, and training that meets national standards, as well as having good equipment and apparatus,” Church says.
For consumers and businesses, this translates to having lower insurance rates, keeping residential and commercial properties more affordable, and making Federal Way a highly attractive destination for homebuyers and business owners. n By Cathy Cuthbertson