Looking for a good ol' time? Parkland is the quintessential college town, having been founded and built around the Pacific Lutheran Academy in 1890.
Parkland earned its name from the rolling prairies spotted with Gary oak trees, babbling brooks and small lakes. The tranquil settings make this a popular Tacoma suburb, especially for those who want to soak up the Washington countryside. If you’re looking to play in an urban jungle, though, Parkland probably is not for you.
Renting in Parkland
Before entering the Parkland rental game, you need to be prepared to play.This town is suburbia at its finest, with homes of all sizes and large lawns dotting the landscape. You won’t find complexes or high-rise apartments in Parkland. The good news? You can bring the family and there is plenty of room for everyone. You might not want to tell your mother-in-law that though. Closer to the Tacoma border, you may find a handful of condo rentals.
Bring Your Checkbook
Parkland rentals track a bit higher than Washington in general. Finding a three or four bedroom house is not unheard of in this area, but be prepared to pay. Parkland home rentals range a bit lower than some of the bigger cities (ahem, New York and San Francisco, ahem), but for three to five bedrooms you're still going to pay a bit more than the norm.
A House is a House, is a House, Of Course
Renting is not the norm in Parkland. As a result, finding a house for rent is going to take some work, and a good bit of time. If you are looking to make the move to Parkland, be prepared to spend 3 or 4 months on your home search. Working with a broker, especially one specializing in rental properties, is your best bet for getting a jump start. A good broker will let you know when a rental home first becomes available.
Like it? Scoop it Up!
Another challenge of renting in a market of homeowners is the slim pickings could go quickly. If you tour a house you really like, you will want to make an offer quickly. Though there are not a ton of sharks in the water in Parkland, the lack of rentals leaves everyone fighting over the same homes.
Give Yourself a Makeover
No, Parkland landlords probably do not care what you look like. Showing up in three-day old pajamas is probably not your best look, but a rental application makeover is in order. Put your best foot forward by having all the necessary documents in order: credit history, rental history and proof of income. If your credit is less than perfect, beef up the application with references.
Living in Parkland
Bring Your Rain Gear
Like most of the Pacific Northwest, Parkland gets its fair share of rainy weather. While carrying an umbrella around will quickly peg you as an outsider, there are certain times of year where you definitely want your galoshes. You will definitely be jumping in puddles in the autumn, with November being the rainiest month most years. You only have to open your eyes to see the payoff of all that rain. Parkland is surrounded by the lush greenery.
You are definitely going to need a car to get around town. The lush surroundings and tranquil suburban setting comes with a price, it’s not a very walkable town. Sure, there are plenty of places to take a lovely nature walk, but you’ll want wheels to go pick up the groceries. For those of you who prefer public transit, Pierce Transit offers buses that do run to the Tacoma Mall and downtown Tacoma.
Cup of Joe
Starbucks began in Seattle and the Pacific-Northwest is still one of the best places in America for grabbing a really good cup of coffee. There are plenty of coffee houses scattered through Parkland and even more in nearby Tacoma. Pacific Avenue, near the Pacific Lutheran University campus, is one of the best places in town to discover your favorite new coffeehouse.
Give Into the Dramatics
Living in a college town certainly has its advantages and access to low-cost arts and theater performances is one of them. Pacific Lutheran University maintains an art gallery on campus and the University theater puts on several performances throughout the year. Get a little culture and support the local talent. Hint: the theater usually makes for a fun date night activity.
Parkland Likes to Eat
Another benefit of college town life is there are always places to eat. College kids notoriously love to nosh and are not always so skilled in the kitchen. As a result, there are plenty of restaurants, especially around campus. If youre looking for five-star dining, you are out of luck. Most places around Parkland have a distinctly casual vibe. Jeans and T-shirts, approved!