Moving to Spokane

Moving to Spokane

Spokane Relocation Guide

Here’s all you need to know about moving to Spokane. If you’re still considering relocating to Spokane and feel undecided, then check this post out: 12 Reasons to Relocate to Spokane.

 

1) The white trash era is (mostly) over

Spokane has long held the reputation of being a grey, downtrodden community surrounded by  Aryan Nation brotherhoods and backwoods hillbillies. Good news is we’ve scoured much of the Aryan nonsense out of the region. As far as hillbillies go, we’re still surrounded by them but they’re actually a lot of fun. Just ignore their conversations about government, con-trails, and vaccinations, as well as their YouTube citations for every crazy point they make, and you’ll do just fine. In the end, they just want to hunt, fish, live life, and be left alone.

Once you come out of the hills and into the city there is definitely a different vibe. Although we’re still something north of 80% white, the city is changing for the diverse and dynamic. Because of large scale economic development projects, such as the University District near downtown, not to mention downtown itself, smart, creative migrants of all backgrounds are moving into Spokane.

Most of those smart, creative migrants are from large coastal cities. The phrase we have for people that move to Spokane from Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles is “Tech Refugees.” As I write, we are in the middle of being discovered. In 10 years, Spokane will be a very different place from many perspectives, not the least of which being increased diversity.

From a financial perspective, Spokane is peering up a trend line of significant growth. Buy low, sell high. Spokane is still on the low side. Now’s the time to buy.

 

2) Choose the right city in the metro to live in

If you’re into cities that have real downtowns and a degree of historic value, than there are only two to choose from in metro Spokane, and the other is Ceour d’Alene, Idaho.

Moving to Spokane
The two best cities in the metro are only 30 miles a part. Everything in between is garden variety suburbia.

 

Downtown Spokane April 2016
Spokane serves an unusually large economic region. As a result, its downtown is the most dynamic urban environment for miles around.

 

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
The sandy beaches and cool blue waters of Ceour d’Alene, Idaho, are only a 40 minute drive from downtown Spokane. Ceour d’Alene is resort town living at its best — water fun in the summer and skiing in the winter. 

 

3) The basics: A broad view of Spokane neighborhoods and general price points

Spokane Neighborhood Map
Although it doesn’t capture the smaller neighborhoods, this map provides an overall sense of Spokane’s neighborhoods and the costs to live in them. Click on it for a larger view.

 

4) The details: Spokane’s best neighborhoods ranked and rated with pictures and maps

Below are the best neighborhoods in Spokane. If you’re moving to Spokane, we have all sorts of great neighborhoods that will fit your lifestyle. If you’re interested, SpokanePlanner ranks all Spokane neighborhoods, from top to bottom, on the Ranking All Spokane Neighborhoods page. For Spokane’s best neighborhoods, many are so small you won’t find them on the map above. Others encompass parts of broader level neighborhood geographies, like The South Hill. They are all, however, very distinct places and create the soul of Spokane, as follows:

17) Vinegar Flats
16) Comstock Neighborhood
15) High Drive
14) Garland
13) Corbin Park
12) Lower South Hill
11) Indian Canyon
10) Medical District
9) University District
8) Lincoln Park / Altamont
7) Audubon / Downriver
6) Peaceful Valley
5) South Perry
4) West Central / Kendall Yards
3) Downtown
2) The South Hill
1) Browne’s Addition

 

5) Up and coming neighborhoods where great homes are still affordable and investment opportunities abound

The map below illustrates the five neighborhoods in Spokane that are on the up-swing. Among them, the safest (and most kid-friendly) are Garland, the U-District, and West Central. Emerson/Garfield is a tweener but it’s also the neighborhood with the largest stock of historic homes. Want a big Victorian for around around $180k? Emerson/Garfield has plenty to choose from.

Finally, Chief Gary is the most rugged neighborhood on this list and, therefore, less family friendly. However, recent beautification improvements to the nearest commercial corridor, Sprague Avenue, as well as a couple large scale private sector commercial projects within the neighborhood have turned the market in what was traditionally a rough part of town. If you’re without children, moving to Spokane, and can weather a few years of neighborhood transition from bad to good, Chief Gary neighborhood is absurdly affordable (around $125k per home), which means your return on investment has great potential.

Spokane's Best Investment Neighborhoods
The five neighborhoods above represent the next phase of Spokane’s transition into a 21st century city.

 

6) Best shopping and pub districts

Moving to Spokane
Spokane’s food scene punches above its weight class. On par with far larger markets, our menu will satisfy any palate.

 

Perry Street Spokane
Perry Street is one of Spokane’s hippest destinations.

 

7) Moving to Spokane: How to fit in with the locals

  • Get a Whammy burger at Dick’s Drive In.
  • Become an expert in all things tartar sauce and decide who serves the best stuff.
  • Figure out which locally brewed IPA you like best.
  • Learn to speak Zags basketball.
  • Participate in our marquee annual events (at least once): Bloomsday and Hoopfest.
  • Participate in our cool artsy/hipster events (at least once): Terrain and Bazaar.
Dicks Hamburgers Sign, Spokane
Dick’s Hamburgers is a Spokane institution. If you really want to fit in with the locals, dip both your burger and fries into tartar sauce as you eat them on the hood of your car in Dick’s parking lot.

 

8) Walk Tubb’s Hill

Coeur d’Alene is Spokane’s little sister, and the best way to get to know her is to walk Tubb’s Hill, which is a conserved natural area right in the middle of downtown. The loop around Tubb’s Hill is generally traversable for all ages. At about 2.5 miles long, the trail provides a bounty of discoveries with sandy beaches, an array of bio diversity, and abundant wildlife. As result, Tubb’s Hill is among the best urban natural areas in the nation.

If you’re feeling particularity energetic, clime to the top for an amazing view of Ceour d’Alene.

Moving to Spokane
Whoever chose to preserve Tubb’s Hill in the formative years of Coeur d’Alene should have a statue in his or her honor on top of it.

 

Moving to Spokane
One can wade into Lake Ceour d’Alene from pretty much anywhere on Tubb’s Hill. If you want to find your own private beach and relax for the day, it’s best to get there early. The waters of Spokane’s regional lakes, including Ceour d’Alene, are warm enough to swim in from about mid-June through mid-September.

 

9) Chill at The Snake Pit in high summer

Good, God! The Snake Pit is the hippest, most atrocious, fantastic, insulting, magical, real, raw, natural, honest, authentic, absurdly ignorant place in all the inland northwest. Mother of mercy, there is a bridge just up the road that traverses the Coeur d’Alene River. Upon that bridge, at least during the summer months, the who’s who of north Idaho white trash take it upon themselves to jump off it, all of perhaps 50 feet, into said Cd’A River. The phenomenon is like watching a herd of wildebeests navigate the upper reaches of the Nile – random, natural, raw, and some will die, yet such is the natural order of things. In the end, all us bourgeois elite can do is observe in majestic wonder.

Here’s a map to The Snake Pit from downtown Spokane. You get bonus points if you jump of that bridge with ’em!

The Snake Pit, North Idaho
The Snake Pit is Idaho’s oldest operating bar.

 

Snake Pit Bridge Coeur d'Alene River
It might look tranquil now but during high summer this bridge over the Coeur d’Alene River plays host to a daily rumpus.


Looking to buy or sell real estate in metro Spokane? Contact Spokane’s best real estate agent.