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Gig Harbor, Washington, is a city of about 10,000 people. It’s located south of Seattle and west of Tacoma. Like much of the Pacific Northwest, it’s rainy, but it’s also temperate and not prone to extreme weather fluctuations.

washington state map showing Gig Harbor

Key Takeaways

Pros:

  • Pretty part of the country
  • A decent standard of living
  • Friendly community

Cons:

  • High prices and local taxes
  • Not much nightlife
  • More suited to families than singles

Weather

Pros:
One of the nicest things about the weather in this region is that the window between the coldest winter temps and the highest summer temps is quite small.

Winter temps can drop into the 40s; summer highs can be in the 80s, but it’s seldom that you will suffer an extreme or dangerous temperature in either direction.

Gig Harbor is green, thanks to the rainfall.

Cons:
It rains a bunch in this region, particularly in December. If you’ve been dreaming of a white Christmas, you’re not going to get one here. December is the wettest month.

It can also be gray and miserable when it isn’t raining in the wintertime.

boats in the water at Gig Harbor

Job Market

Pros:
Thanks to the proximity to Seattle, Gig Harbor can be a terrific spot to find tech jobs. It’s also a nice spot to settle if you want remote work or if you are happy to cobble together several gigs as a freelancer.

Cons:
While you will have the chance to make decent money in Gig Harbor, you may need to pick up extra gigs to make enough to cover your rent.

Like many water-bound communities, Gig Harbor suffers from inflationary pressures related to having limited space to build.

Aerial view of Gig Harbor
Aerial view of Gig Harbor

Cost of Housing

Pros:
For a city of 10,000 people, Gig Harbor has a lot of options for those looking to rent or buy. There are many small one-bedroom spots for singles or couples just settling into the city.

You can rent a 2 or 3-bedroom for your growing family in a nice neighborhood as well.

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Cons:
While the rental market has some flex in it, Gig Harbor is a bedroom community for Tacoma and Seattle.

It’s entirely possible that you may struggle to cover your rent with your Gig Harbor job while someone working remotely at a firm in Seattle is thrilled with the price drop.

houses overlooking boats at Gig Harbor

Cost of Living

Pros:
There are benefits to being a bedroom community. While consumables such as groceries are a bit higher than the national average, you can put in a little planning and travel to a larger city to cover your major grocery needs. Of course, this will require a vehicle and gasoline.

Cons:
Utilities are taxed in Washington. Even if you don’t use it often, you will need to pay taxes on your heat, AC, and water. If you do go to Seattle or Tacoma to buy your weekly food needs, you will pay a higher sales tax there than in Gig Harbor.

utility bill

Taxes

Pros:
There is no state income tax in Washington. If you have a home in Gig Harbor, you will need to pay a utility tax.
Cons:
Sales tax in the state of Washington can be quite high. That being said, the Gig Harbor sales tax is lower than in Tacoma or Seattle.

Transportation

Pros:
There are many people who thrive in the Pacific Northwest with just a bicycle and some decent rain gear. You can enjoy getting in your exercise on your commute. There are buses in Gig Harbor as well.

Cons:
Travel in this region will not be cheap. There are several park-and-ride facilities and a bus service that can get you from city to city.

However, a vehicle in this part of the world is constantly exposed to moisture. Corrosion is a concern that you will have to consider with every vehicle you buy.

Access to Education

Pros:
Gig Harbor offers terrific public schools to families in the region. There are also several colleges in the region and a technical school in Tacoma.

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If you’re looking to retrain to increase your earning potential, you can quickly improve your skills and boost your earning ability from Gig Harbor.

Cons:
If you want to go to a 4-year college, even state schools in the region will be pricey. However, there is a community college in Seattle that offers several different locations and may work to make it possible for you to go to school within your budget.

community college sign

Family Fun

Pros:
There are multiple ways to get out and enjoy the region with your children. There are several parks, both in Gig Harbor and in Tacoma, that will provide a spot to play and enjoy a picnic.

Tacoma provides a children’s museum and there’s a Harbor History Museum for children who are a bit older.

Cons:
Like many areas that cater to tourists, the fees for many of these attractions can be high. Thanks to the higher cost of living, covering the cost of these adventures can be a challenge.

However, you will have the time to find the gems that delight your family as you settle into the region.

Fun for Singles

Pros:
In the summer months, Gig Harbor has a lot to offer. There’s a concert series in the dry months of June and July. You can cruise the harbor in a ferry that caters to grown-ups and a classic car show in the summer.

Cons:
It must be said that Gig Harbor does not exactly have a hopping bar scene. While there are brew pubs and great beer all over the region, you may struggle to meet other singles or book a private table at a romantic restaurant.

You may have some time on the weekends to spend in the great outdoors or work on a skill you’ve always wanted to develop.

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