I didn’t plan to end up in Spokane.
My first experience of Spokane was as a college freshman at Whitworth University. I remember driving north on Division Street and seeing nothing but strip malls and used-car dealerships (still somewhat true— but at least we have a Trader Joe’s now!) My whole life was packed into our family SUV and in that moment, I began my 4-year countdown for when I would leave Spokane. A native from the Seattle area, I immediately noticed that there were no pine trees (I didn’t recognize Ponderosas at that time), snow-capped mountains (I hadn’t visited the Selkirk’s yet), or big city scene (I hadn’t fallen in love with simple(r) living yet) Spokane felt like the furthest thing from “home.”
Fast-forward 8 years, and I couldn’t imagine spending my life and career anywhere other than in the Inland Northwest. My whole family has since moved to Spokane, my husband and I have started businesses in Spokane, and I now make a living by partnering with clients to buy and sell homes in Spokane. My livelihood is based on the fact that I love Spokane and get to partner with people in making this city their home.
With that being said, I saw it fit to share my “Top 10” reasons for loving the Lilac City and choosing to call it home:
Less hurry, more simplicity. For me, “home” is the place where I can relax, unwind, and take a breather. A few things are necessary for me to do this: quiet, natural beauty, and less “hurry.” I have found that Spokane is abundant with all three. Within a 30 minute drive, I can be surrounded by a wide-open landscape, mountains, and quiet. Spokane fosters a space where you can live and thrive while slowing down your pace (it even rewards you for it!) The average commute time for Spokane residents is 22 minutes.
Interconnectedness. Spokane is one of the most networked, interconnected cities that I have ever been apart of. When you are walking downtown, the likelihood that you will run into somebody you know is usually in your favor. (And, this is in the 2nd biggest city in Washington State!) Particularly in the business community, I have been astonished by the level of collaboration, partnership, and creative entrepreneurship. Don’t believe me? Check out StartUp Spokane, Leadership Spokane, and Greater Spokane Incorporated.
People. In addition to running into the people who you do know, even those who start as strangers have a certain spirit to them— I believe that Spokanites are generous, attentive to their community, and intensely loyal to their city. (Just look at the number of non-profits who operate based on the support of individuals in the community!) There is a value of communal-living and the belief that there is always enough to go around.
Landscape. Jagged basalt columns, historic brick buildings, ponderosa pines, alpine mountain lakes, winding rivers, distinct and drastic seasons, local farms with fresh produce, the list goes on. The physical beauty (manmade and not) of Spokane is truly spectacular. Each season brings its own special way to enjoy the landscape—each unique.
Neighborhoods. Another commonly-overlooked novelty of Spokane is the incredible diversity of neighborhoods located around the city. From timeless brick tudors in Audubon Park, to craftsman mansions in Rockwood, cozy bungalows in Manito, industrial lofts in downtown, and charming farmhouses in Mead. There truly is something for everybody! And, the price point allows for easy entry to first-time home buyers, investors, or those in search of a second home.
Cost of Living. With living costs still below the national average and the job market continuing to grow, Spokane proudly boasts of an excellent cost of living. The median home price is $315,000, making the market an excellent place for young professionals, families, investors, and first-time buyers.
Restaurants. Okay, I have a confession: I am a total foodie. I love brunching, lunching, dining, caffeinating (at my fave coffee spots), and sharing a good beer at a local brewery. When it comes to finding the best spots of eat, I’ve got you covered (and so does Spokane!) I am continually impressed with the array of dining options that Spokane has to offer, from home-style barbecue to plant-based pizza, southern soul food straight from New Orleans, boozy brunch spots, exotic sushi rolls, gourmet steak houses, fresh seafood, incredible Thai take-out (I swear I’m not getting paid for this!) And, the list keeps going.
Weekend Getaways. Spokane is located just hours from the Canadian border, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon. There is no lack of “weekend getaway” destinations! Before starting with real estate, my husband and I decided to purchase a camper van and travel around the region during our weekends off. In that time, we discovered some of our all-time favorite getaway spots: Sandpoint, ID; Joseph, OR; Wallace, ID; Flathead Lake, MT; Wenatchee, WA; Nelson, BC. There’s nothing like getting off work on a Friday afternoon, looking at the map, and deciding where you want to go spend the weekend!
Recreation. Skiing, rock-climbing, hiking, trail-running, rafting, road biking, snow-shoeing, mountain biking, backpacking, fishing, bouldering, camping, kayaking, you name it. Regardless of the season, Spokane offers you an opportunity and an outlet to get outside and play! From beginners to experts, there is something for everybody.
And the best part is… Spokane is just getting started. Unlike many cities in the Pacific Northwest where costs of living are exorbitant and industries are “tapped,” I believe that Spokane is still in its “pioneering” stages. This makes it a breeding ground for entrepreneurship, creativity, and a few growing pains. But, this gives you the opportunity to grow with, what I believe to be one of the most underrated cities, as it cultivates an identity and welcomes new people, cultures, and industries. So, what are you waiting for?
Interested in learning more about real estate in Spokane?
Give me a call at (206)-755-6516 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to connecting with you!