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Yelm, WA F.A.Q.

Q: Why has Yelm just become so popular in recent years?

A: Yelm has always been separated from I-5 by Ft Lewis and the Nisqually River. In recent years, because of growth and expansion, Yelm has come onto the radar. People have figured out that while Yelm is a little off the beaten path…that is not a bad thing. There are two options to get to Yelm from Post, either south of post thru the Nisqually Valley via Reservation road, or via the Roy Gate. Both take about 20 minutes, depending on traffic.

Q: Is Yelm really a farm town?

A: Yelm’s economy is agriculture, and the military.

Q: I have heard that Yelm is the fastest growing town in the State of Washington, is that true and what does that mean if I want to buy a house?

A: A couple of years ago it was announced that Yelm was the fastest growing town in the state, and I believe it.   I believe (and I think that history supports this) that buying in a growing market is a good thing.   Population is growing, jobs are being created and space is becoming more limited.

Q: Do you sell many houses in Yelm?

A: Yelm is in the top three of most popular communities that I work in. Lacey, Spanaway/Graham, and Yelm compete with each other, one month it is Lacey, next month Yelm etc. I do sell lots of homes in Yelm area, I also list many homes in Yelm.

Q: How far is it to JBLM?

A: It is about a 20 minute drive, depending on traffic and time of day. Lots of people take the Roy gate to PT, and come thru Nisqually to get home. It also depends on what part of town you live in…or if you live outside of Yelm in the country.

Q: I have heard about the Mounts Road gate, the Roy gate, and the east Gate, but I can’t find any of them on a map. Do you have an accurate map, and what is the best gate to use for Yelm?

A: Best gate depends on the time of day, and what part of Yelm you live in. Take a look at our map that we created here: JBLM Gate Locations

Q: Why are prices cheaper in Yelm? Is there a problem?

A: As mentioned earlier, Yelm is an up and coming small town. Prices are slightly behind Lacey and Spanaway…but that is rapidly changing. Just the opposite of a problem, as a homeowner, you want to be ahead of growth.

Q: It looks like most of the homes for sale in Yelm are new construction…how come no older homes?

A: There are older homes available in Yelm…just not that many. Yelm was a town of just about a thousand people until not too long ago. There are lots of older farmhouses in the surrounding country side…but be careful of what you get into. Some people have visions of the old farmhouse renovation project…I have seen lots of money pits!

Q: Is there shopping and stuff to do in Yelm?

A: Yelm has made the bigtime, Walmart came to town in 2010! There is a fair amount of other shopping in Yelm, and still a lot of smaller, family owned businesses. Hopefully they will be able to survive and grow. The City of Olympia is doing really well at reviving small businesses, hopefully Yelm can follow the pattern. Other larger stores include Safeway, RiteAid and Sunbirds.

Q: How far is it to get to Tacoma or Seattle from Yelm?

A: Tacoma is anywhere from 20 min…up to 45+ to the north end. Seattle is a solid hour, and Seatac Airport is 45 minutes if traffic isn’t bad. Best route is probably to cross post, or hit I-5 via Nisqually.

Q: Is it still possible to buy farmland or a small farmstead in the Yelm area?

A: Absolutely, I would guess that 1/3 of the homes that I sell in the Yelm and Roy areas are small farms and acreages. A home on 5-10 acres in well within the reach of a mid-career NCO or Company Grade officer.

Q: Is Clearwood really that far…it doesn’t look that bad on a map?

A: Clearwood is really that far. I take lots of folks out there…because home prices are so low…but they take it off the list because of the drive. Clearwood is a beautiful lake community. Great facilities, no crime, but a bummer if you commute.

Q: Can I keep animals, such as horses or chickens, in Yelm?

A: Yes, you can keep chickens about anywhere. For horses, you will have to be outside of the city limits…or in a home that is “grandfathered” for keeping livestock.

Q: Are there employment opportunities in Yelm or will my spouse need to commute to find a job?

A: There are employment opportunities in the Yelm community. I will say that most are probably retail or service industry…or agriculture. A large percentage commute 15 minutes to Lacey/Olympia, or to the north.
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