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 bigots are (mostly) gone
I have to be careful not to get cross-ways with the federal Fair Housing Act. Ironically, my fear is criticizing bigoted, uneducated, and willfully ignorant individuals might actually be a violation of the Act. Thus, I’ll let the previous sentence speak for itself.
Spokane has long held the reputation of being a grey, downtrodden community surrounded by Aryan Nation brotherhoods and backwoods, uhm… rustics. That’s the word.
Good news is we’ve scoured much of the Aryan nonsense out of the region. As far as rustics 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, play with their guns, get drunk, 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 Spokane 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. 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, then there are only two to choose from in metro Spokane, and the other is Ceour d’Alene, Idaho. (For a complete ranking of the metro’s cities, check out Metro Spokane Places to Live.)
3) The basics: A broad view of Spokane neighborhoods and general price points
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:
#20 Vinegar Flats
#17 Corbin Park
#16 Lower South Hill
#13 Medical District
#12 North Bank
#11 High Drive
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.
6) Best shopping and pub districts
7) Moving to Spokane: How to fit in with the locals
- Get a Whammy burger at Dick’s Drive In and dip it in tartar sauce while you eat.
- 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.
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.
If you’re looking for a broader scope of metro Spokane places to live, then peep these regional city rankings:
#27 Huetter, Idaho
#26 Athol, Idaho
#25 Worley, Idaho
#20 Hauser, Idaho
#16 Hayden, Idaho
#11 Rathdrum, Idaho