15 Things You Should Know Before Living in Kent

kent washington

Much like how Clark Kent steps into a phone booth and emerges as Superman, the city of Kent in Washington state is rapidly transforming into one of the premier cities in the Pacific Northwest. The growing city has a population now over 125,000, a strong manufacturing sector, great parks, and a growing number of cultural activities. Kent is on the rise, but is it somewhere you want to live? Here are 15 things to consider before buying a home in Kent...

1. Kent once saved Europe's beer supply

kent hop farm

During the 1880s hops farmers in Kent saved Europe's beer production after an aphid invasion wrecked the continent's own hops crop. The city supplied Europe with so much hops they went right ahead and named the town for Kent County in England, a major hops producing region at the time. Kent's hops boom was followed by a hops bust in 1891 when the area's crop was decimated by its own aphid invasion.

2. The good old days

There was a time when Kent was lampooned by the local sketch comedy show Almost Live (see the video above). While many residents still drive pickups and enjoy a cold beer at the end of the day (Kent is part of America), the reputation of being a hillbilly outpost doesn't really fit. Also, neighboring Seattle had to stop making fun of Kent after the city stole Seattle's hockey team.

3. Home of the Seattle Thunderbirds

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Kent is known by some as "Fist City," since it's home to the area's only professional hockey team. The Seattle Thunderbirds play in the ShoWare Center in Kent. This Western Hockey League team has been a training ground for dozens of future NHL players, including current San Jose Sharks player Patrick Marleau.

4. Kent has a pro football team

kent mist football

Kent is home to some of the most passionate Seattle Seahawks fans, but the city still finds room in its heart for one other football team. Kent is home to the Seattle Mist, an all-women's indoor football team that plays in the Legends Football League. Ticket are much cheaper and easier to come by than Seahawks games.

5. Buying a home in Kent

kent washington home for sale

The average sale price for a home in Kent is around $260,000, which is considerably cheaper than nearby Seattle or Bellevue.

6. Nicknames

kent nicknames

Kent is a fine name for a city, but that hasn't stopped it from taking on a variety of nicknames, including Titusville, Gateway to Auburn, Lettuce Capital of the World, Hopsville, Fist City, Beef Jerky Capital of America.

7. Oh Boy! Oberto

richard sherman oberto

Oberto started as a small salami and sausage shop, but has turned into a major meat snack brand with an extensive jerky portfolio. Headquartered in Kent, the company sponsors some pretty awesome hydroplane race teams, supports the local Seattle Seahawks, and has a number of job openings for those looking to break into the jerky biz.

8. The Fung brothers

Fung Brothers Kent Washington

What's the funniest rap/comedy duo to come out of Kent? The Fung Brothers. Who coined the term "Linsanity" during the height of NBA player Jeremy Lin's popularity? The Fung Brothers. Who moved away to California after getting a little taste success? Well, The Fung Brothers. Still, Kent's proud of two local boys who made good.

9. Commute

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The average commute for Kent residents 29.5 minutes, a total of 4.4 more minutes per trip than Seattle residents endure. Over the course of the year this adds up to nearly 40 hours, practically an additional work week. Perhaps all this extra time in traffic is why Kent residents are more up to date on sports talk radio topics, as well as Katy Perry lyrics.

10. Boeing

airplane-movie-pic

Boeing is the number one employer in Kent. It's also the number two employer (Boeing Systems Integration). In addition to all the usual airplane related work, the Kent plant built the Apollo Moon Buggie back in 1970. The only downside of the city's dependence on Boeing is it will be world of financial pain if people suddenly start traveling by jetpack instead of airplane.

11. Outdoors

bigfoot washington state

Due to its location, Kent is at the doorstep of plenty of outdoor recreation—57 miles from the nearest ski resort and 45 miles to Mt. Rainier National Park. Proximity to the outdoors comes in handy for REI, a Kent-based company that creates great clothing and gear to enjoy the outdoors. The company started as cooperative for climbing buddies to share gear, but now is a global company.

12. Locally-sourced celebs

celebs from Kent Washington

Kent isn't the birthplace of many celebrities, but it does produce a lot of really funny people, including SportsCenter anchor Kenny Mayne and comedian/pitbull advocate Rebecca Corry. Actress Josie Bissett ( Melrose Place ), WNBA guard Courtney Vandersloot, and NFL kicker Jeff Jaeger also grew up in Kent.

rebecca corry

13. Fertile ground

Kent agriculture

Kent was once renowned for its farms, but all that flat land also appealed to people looking for a place to put warehouses near major freeways. Still, if society suddenly returns to being the agrarian society as Thomas Jefferson envisioned, Kent will make a fine place to start planting. The whole city is sitting on fantastic farm land.

14. Kid-friendly

kent shirt

Unlike neighboring cities like Seattle that have few children, Kent has the fifth largest child population of the 20 largest cities in the state. The city has a large number of parks and ballfields, as well as area businesses that cater to kids and families.

15. There are lots of homes for sale in Kent

kent-expensive-homes-for-sale Kent-least-expensive-homes-for-sale kent-condos

Kent Real Estate & Homes for Sale

Kent Real Estate & Homes for Sale

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16 Photos
20219 106th Ave SE
$224,900
House
4 beds
1.75 baths
1,900 sqft
9,600 lot sqft
0 days on site
11 Photos
24304 135th Ave SE
$795,000 + $63 HOA /mo.
House
3 beds
2.5 baths
2,910 sqft
~1/2 acre
0 days on site
0 Photos
21628 105th Place SE
$285,000
House
3 beds
1.5 baths
1,430 sqft
10,686 lot sqft
0 days on site
0 Photos
22328 117th Ave SE
$219,900
House
2 beds
2 baths
1,070 sqft
8,400 lot sqft
0 days on site
23 Photos
4624 S 257th St
$275,000
House
4 beds
2.5 baths
2,250 sqft
12,000 lot sqft
0 days on site
8 Photos
28914 121st (LOT 299) Wy E
$318,000
$13,500 Price drop Sep, 29
House
3 beds
2.5 baths
1,833 sqft
3,900 lot sqft
0 days on site
1 Photo
10833 SE 232nd St
$175,000
House
0 beds
0 baths
1,090 sqft
7,350 lot sqft
1 days on site
21 Photos
13035 SE 209th
$419,999
House
4 beds
2.5 baths
2,653 sqft
4,510 lot sqft
0 days on site
11 Photos
115 E Morton St
$129,950
House
1 beds
0.75 baths
730 sqft
2,400 lot sqft
0 days on site
20 Photos
Open House
24703 35th Ave S
$219,950
Open House

Sat Oct 4th 1pm-3pm

House
3 beds
1 baths
2,120 sqft
9,954 lot sqft
1 days on site
3 Photos
10132 SE 243rd St
$424,950
House
4 beds
2.5 baths
2,978 sqft
9,069 lot sqft
1 days on site
3 Photos
15400 SE 279th St
$423,500
House
3 beds
2.75 baths
2,655 sqft
6,796 lot sqft
2 days on site
17 Photos
11940 SE 260th Place
$269,950
House
3 beds
2.5 baths
1,520 sqft
6,298 lot sqft
1 days on site
16 Photos
26210 46th Ave S
$275,000
House
4 beds
2.5 baths
1,980 sqft
7,036 lot sqft
4 days on site
14 Photos
24217 116 Place SE
$437,998
House
5 beds
2.5 baths
2,930 sqft
5,973 lot sqft
1 days on site
8 Photos
28919 122nd Ave SE
$419,000 + $55 HOA /mo.
House
4 beds
2.5 baths
2,560 sqft
4,055 lot sqft
4 days on site
19 Photos
420 Van De Vanter Ave
$170,000
House
2 beds
1 baths
800 sqft
7,150 lot sqft
3 days on site
8 Photos
12515 SE 201st Place
$280,000
House
3 beds
2.5 baths
1,700 sqft
8,247 lot sqft
2 days on site
18 Photos
23501 112th Ave SE Unit H104
$159,900 + $161 HOA /mo.
Townhouse
2 beds
2.5 baths
1,416 sqft
- lot sqft
1 days on site
25 Photos
4511 Hampton Ct
$299,900
House
3 beds
2.25 baths
2,303 sqft
7,488 lot sqft
1 days on site
10 Photos
13917 SE 239th St
$389,000
House
4 beds
2.5 baths
2,678 sqft
6,012 lot sqft
1 days on site
15 Photos
Open House
27128 106th Ave SE
$338,800
Open House

Sat Sep 27th 1pm-3pm

House
4 beds
2.5 baths
1,979 sqft
3,600 lot sqft
1 days on site
18 Photos
Open House
21319 122nd Place SE
$307,950
Open House

Sun Sep 28th 1pm-4pm

House
5 beds
1.75 baths
2,270 sqft
7,416 lot sqft
1 days on site
16 Photos
11502 SE 221st Place
$254,900 + $251 HOA /mo.
Townhouse
3 beds
2.5 baths
1,770 sqft
6,187 lot sqft
0 days on site
9 Photos
815 Maplewood Ave
$239,950
House
4 beds
2 baths
1,940 sqft
9,000 lot sqft
0 days on site