top of page
  • Phil Wells

Moving To Spokane - Top 10 FAQs

I speak with tons of people from all over the US who are looking at moving to Spokane and I hear the same questions come up over and over so I thought it’d be a good idea make a video on the 10 things I get asked most frequently.


What’s the weather like?


We get all 4 seasons here with hot summers and cold winters. Spokane is located between 2 mountain ranges so gets less than half the amount of rain that Seattle gets and significantly less than Portland. So while we get beautiful warm, dry summers make sure your sprinkler system is working well or you’re going to be looking at a lot of brown grass and dried up plants.


With an average of 44 inches of snow every year and much more than that on the mountains, Spokane is a great place to be if you like winter sports but you are going to have to get used to shoveling your driveway and scraping snow off your car.


You will also have to think about what kind of tires you want to use. If you live on a bus route or on a busy street that gets plowed and salted then you will be fine running all seasons all year round. If you live slightly more remote or your work takes you all over then I highly recommend getting snow tires switched out for snow season.


Do I need AWD?


The first thing you’ll notice when you come here is that there are a ton of Subarus. In fact I have never seen so many Subarus in my life but there’s a really good reason for that - they’re rugged, little AWD vehicles with good ground clearance, which on the roads in Spokane has it’s advantages. We have our fair share of pot holes and poorly maintained roads as well as unpaved roads in slightly more remote areas too.


The AWD also helps out a lot in the snow although it’s not essential. I drove a front wheel drive sedan on all season tires last winter and got around Spokane just fine. My next car will probably be AWD but like I said it’s not essential.


Is it easy to meet people?


It’s extremely easy to meet people with similar interests to you in Spokane, that’s because there’s so much to do here and the people are generally outgoing and friendly. If you like hiking, trying different restaurants, dancing, running, cycling - I can guarantee you there is a club or group here that you can join to meet like minded people. Even if you just walk your dog at the same spot every day you’re likely to meet people.


So if you have a job offer here and are concerned that you will be on your own in the city, just remember that as long as you put yourself out there then Spokane is the kind of place where you can meet great people quickly.


Is it cheap to live here?


The short answer to this is, yes, it’s cheap to live here. Median home prices are right about where they are nationally at around $300K, there’s no income tax, gas costs $2.50 a gallon. It’s a great place move to if you have equity in a property in an expensive market or if you’re currently priced out of an expensive market or if you just want to improve your standard of living in a cheaper part of the US.


What kinds of properties are available in Spokane?


Spokane caters to a wide range of lifestyles and has houses to suit almost anyone. You can live in the in the woods, on the lake, by the river, in a downtown condo, in new construction or in a 100 year old craftsmen. You can live a rural life style, semi-rural, suburban or urban. You can live on a small lot with no maintenance or on several acres. Whatever you’re looking for you can find it here in and around Spokane.


There are also a ton of vacant lots with homes ready to be built coming on the market all the time so if you want something custom, you can get it here in Spokane.


Is it easy to get around the city?


Geographically Spokane is pretty compact and it’s easy to get around here. Some days I am up showing properties in Nine Mile falls in the morning and by the afternoon I’m over in Newman Lake and while that’s a reasonable distance it’s nothing like crossing a city like LA during the day.


Once you get to I90 it’s usually smooth sailing. And because of that interstate just remember that it’s easier to go East West than it is to go North South.


So if you’ll be working in downtown and you’re debating Spokane vs Spokane Valley or you’re wondering whether Liberty Lake is too far then you’re really only talking about a 10,20 or 30 minute differences in terms of a commute, not hours.


Also the public transport bus routes can take you pretty much anywhere and a ticket is reasonably priced at $60 a month for an adult.


Where’s the best place to live?


That depends entirely on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a lively community with bars, restaurants and farmers markets within walking distance then you might like Brownes Addition, Kendall yards or Downtown.


If you want a private community on a lake with your own boat slip then you might want to look at Liberty Lake, Newman Lake or even Medical Lake.


If you want new construction then you might want to look at Spokane Valley, Latah Valley, Airway heights or North of Spokane like Deer Park or Country Homes. If you want older homes then we have tons of turn of the century craftsman style homes all over the place.


If you’re looking for something specific then get in touch with me and I can help you find it.


Is Spokane Safe?


I hear this question a lot, everyone has heard someone scoff at Spokane and call it Spo-compton or they might have personally had a negative experience in Downtown and think the entire area should be avoided.


There are some incredible communities here in Spokane where you can feel confident raising a family or walking your dog after dark. There are also places you should avoid. That’s why it’s so important you connect with a local agent like myself who can not only guide you through the home buying process, and the unique challenges of a relocating, but who also knows the area.


Is there anything around Spokane?


We are right next door to beautiful Coeur d’Alene. So if you’re looking for a day out on the lake the Coeur d-Alene lake is only 35 minutes from downtown Spokane.


There are also 100s of other lakes nearby


There are 5 ski resorts within 90 minutes of downtown Spokane


There are dozens of wineries and wine tasting rooms within the Spokane Metro.


There are literally hundred of nature destinations nearby with endless outdoor activities.


And if you absolutely have to leave Spokane then you can get to most places on the West Coast from the Spokane airport pretty quickly. Seattle is also only a 4-5 hour drive.


How do you pronounce Spokane?


I’ve heard Spokany, Spo’kane’, Spock-ain,


It’s Spokane as in beer can. The way you can remember this is that Spokane has close to 30 breweries so that one should be an easy one to remember.


Final thoughts


Those are the questions I get most frequently by email, phone or text. If you still have questions please reach out to me and I’ll do my best to answer them.

bottom of page