From settling for a longer commute to moving out of state, the local housing market has led some readers to make dramatic lifestyle changes.

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In a recent My Take column, Seattle writer Wilson Diehl detailed her persistent search for an affordable home to buy in Seattle. We asked readers to share their own insights on how the tight housing market has affected their ways of life. Here is a selection of the responses we received.


Happy in Tacoma

I grew up in Seattle and retired from the military, obviously not a rich man. I really wanted to live in Seattle back in 2013, but housing was way too expensive for me. Instead, I looked at homes in Tacoma and have never been happier. I live in a great school district, I’m four blocks away from the Sixth Avenue business district, I live in a 1910 Craftsman house and I have never been happier. I love Tacoma. Seattle, you’ve gotten too big for everyone

Michael Sauer, Tacoma


Making sacrifices to buy

I moved to a new neighborhood within Seattle, going from a 15-minute bus commute to a 60-minute bus commute one-way. Fortunately, I was able to buy a condo, but I have had to really adjust my lifestyle (eating in much more often, turning on my heat infrequently, busing nearly everywhere) as nearly 60 percent of my income is going to housing-related costs. But building equity was more important to me and rental rates would have outstripped the cost of mortgage and homeowners’ association dues.

Geni Venable, Seattle


Goodbye, Seattle

My wife and I are renting a condo on Alki Beach and just sold a house on Camano Island. Home prices, traffic and street disrepair are all affecting our decision to move to Tucson, Ariz.

We purchased a three-bedroom, two-bath, newly remodeled and fully furnished condo with a garage, pool and fitness center from a Canadian couple not wanting to own property in the U.S. It’s a hot market in Tucson with properties, but prices are wonderful. We paid $159,000 for a condo that’s easily worth $250,000.

Goodbye, Seattle.

Ken Johnson, Seattle


Stuck with a long commute

I love Seattle and want to live here. It has been my goal for some time. However, the jobs may be up here, but the homes are not. I will never be able to afford to live here. And so I will continue to live in Tacoma and endure the horrible commute to get to my place of work.

Janna Ost, Tacoma


Expanding search area

We had to eliminate Seattle and even Shoreline from our list of possibles in buying a home. We ended up closing on a home in Lynnwood in February.

The idea of buying a house only popped into our heads in November after we noticed the prices going up everywhere. We looked at maybe 100 houses online, then toured four. We made an offer on the fourth. One other party bid on it. We were $11,000 below asking price with 5 percent down but still closed in 38 days. It was really easy for us — a very different story than most here, I would imagine.

Robb Zerr, Lynnwood