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South Hill - a popular neighborhood with JBLM families

Low interest rates and a tight rental market make buying more appealing

The South Hill Mall is a major shopping center that’s surrounded by a diverse selection of dining options and easy access to Hwy. 512. File photo

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The South Hill community is located above the south side of the Puyallup River Valley in Pierce County. It has become increasingly popular with military families stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) because of its proximity to the base and a good school system.

Steve Gilpartick, Community Sales Manager for Lungren Homes in the Cottage Glen community of South Hill, agrees the area is seeing an influx of military families. "Since opening this summer, nine of the first 12 buyers in Cottage Glen were military families. They have been drawn to the South Hill area of Puyallup for a variety of reasons. Not only is it a reasonable commute to JBLM, but the community is only a mile from Highway 512 and less than four miles from the Puyallup Sounder Rail Station, making it very convenient for spouses to commute to the robust employment centers of Tacoma and Seattle and everywhere in between," he said.

"Family activities abound in Cottage Glen, with the Heritage Recreation Center right across the street (soccer and baseball) and right next door is an aquatic center, jogging track, and four tennis courts," continued Gilpartick. "Regal Cinemas is one and a quarter miles away, the South Hill Mall is just one and a half miles north, and the Mel Korum Family YMCA is only one and three quarters miles east. It just doesn't get much better than this, as far as location goes."

South Hill's school district also draws military families. "Heritage Recreation Park's ball fields separate Zeiger Elementary School and Rogers High School, right across the street from Cottage Glen. Zeiger Elementary provides pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. Ballou Junior High is located one mile to the southeast for grades six through nine. Rogers High School is home to a strong academic and athletic program and offers several elective classes such as art, music, drama, debate, business and marketing, leadership, teaching careers, and medical science. In addition, unique career pathway programs include JROTC, botany, construction and drafting, and welding," said Gilpartick.

Commuting, with the ongoing construction around JBLM and I-5 is challenging. With a South Hill location, the main gate is easily accessed via Highway 512 and I-5 with about a 15-mile drive. "Many of our military residents also appreciate being able to drive the back-arterial roads to JBLM which is about the same distance, and often free of some of the congestion that can slow traffic on I-5," he said. 

With interest rates at an historic low, it is a great time to buy a home. Many mortgage payments are hundreds of dollars less than renting the same size home. If you use a VA Loan, your out-of-pocket expenses are decreased. With the rental market so tight, those that are hesitant to buy because they are worried about selling their home when they move should know they will be able to rent their home probably for more than their mortgage payments. 

For more information on the Cottage Glen neighborhood, visit:

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