Fife is in Pierce County so taxes are lower then Kent, Federal Way, Auburn etc. (King County) That is a huge pro when you are a 1st time homebuyer and trying to keep payments low and affordable.
All areas you are looking in are great; neighborhoods vary no matter where you are. Resale is dependant on alot of factors; just remember owning your own home is great no matter where you are, it's YOURS.
Flooding is always an issue near the rivers in Fife as well as Auburn. With Regards to Mt. Rainer, that is one we can not predict.
Would you like some flood plain info for the area near 20th St. E?
Call or email, I would love to assist you.
First, there may be certain sellers who are willing to accept much less than list. You can determine that by determining what they probably owe, whether the property is vacant, and how long it's been on the market. That's true with houses too, but my point is you might be able to pick up a Renton condo at a Fife price.
Second, condos were units are seemingly selling for less may not be a bargain. They may have legal or financial issues, such as say a suit against a developer for faulting siding (common in Snohomish County).
As to Krisy's answer about floods not being possible to predict, that raises an interesting question. I'll assume flood insurance is available for condos, but I'm not sure. Anyway, if you do live in a flood plain, then flood insurance could be an additional cost, either directly or indirectly (if the condo association has flood insurance for the common properties). Also, regardless of damage or cost, if a flood prevents you from getting in or out of your home, that would not be a good situation.