Seriously considering a move to Spokane


 Dylan Shumaker
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Star Rating 3/17/2011
I've never been to Spokane, and, I must admit, I'm bit conflicted with all of the differing opinions I have read. I grew up in Rockford, IL - a city of almost 200K that is consistently rated one of the worst places in the country to live, by any poll (education, economy, crime, etc). I grew up with harsh winters, months of snow, ice and bitter cold, so winter doesn't scare me. I do believe, after doing some research, that Spokane winters are actually milder than those in the Midwest, anyways.

Spokane seems to have affordable housing. Many people have said that Spokane doesn't really have a ghetto, but certainly there are probably nicer areas. My children are grown - it is just me and my cat - so I will not be buying anything fancy or too costly. I want an older home (pre 1930's), and Spokane seems to have these in abundance. I love outdoor activities: hiking, biking, fishing, canoeing, etc., and Spokane seems to be a great place to do this too. I am a nurse by profession, so finding a job should be possible.

My questions are these? Does Spokane have a lot of natural beauty? Are there lots of hiking/cycling paths in and around Spokane? What is a good, older neighborhood to live in? Does Spokane have a decent downtown (charm, restaurants, live music, etc)? How are the property taxes? How are the people (very general question, I know, but are they nice?)?

A lot of people have said some very bad things about Spokane. And, frankly, a lot of people have said some very good things. But I am getting older. I don't need excitement, but I do long for natural beauty and (maybe) a sense of community. Any and all opinions are appreciated.
 

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 Lori Morgan
I too am planning a move to Spokane. Just happened upon your post. It's been about 20 years since I've been there....living in Oklahoma...hate it..divorced so heading back to the mountains, hiking etc. I will be driving w/2 dog's! If you want, let me know if you made it!! Thanks, Lori
 

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 Misty Hamrick
Hi Dylan, randomly came across your post while searching for places to take my dogs hiking and signed up with a membership just so I could comment. I absolutely love Spokane. I was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ but have lived other places including Utah, Tennessee, and Oklahoma. By far I feel the most at home in Spokane. My partner and I picked Spokane because Eastern Washington University had both of our majors and the cost of living and tuition was much cheaper than other places we were looking at. I had never been here before the big move but as soon as I got here I knew that I had made the right decision. It's beautiful here. Don't get me wrong, there are some rough parts that could use some cleaning up but if you look past all that you see the true beauty of the city. The downtown is active and thriving with local stores and restaurants, and yes a lot of live local music. First Fridays are popular for viewing local artists work if that interests you. I could spend hours just reading a book at the downtown park, the river cuts through the middle and the falls are an absolutely beautiful sight in the spring. As far as the housing market, I've seen a lot of places for sale. My partner and I were definitely not in the market to buy a house but kind of fell into it anyway. We got into a very cute 4 bed 2 bath that was built in 1897. I couldn't believe how old it was but that's probably why I ended up loving it so much. Recreation is probably the easiest thing to find here. The centennial trail runs along the river and is great for biking or just walking. The Columbia River is a short hour and a half drive and is well worth it. There are plenty of camping/fishing opportunities in all directions. I hope this comment helps your decision. Everything I've heard from people that grew up here is that sometimes people leave Spokane but in the end they always end up coming back. Well I hope my long winded reply helps your decision. My advice...just do it. Make that jump and I'm sure you won't regret it. Regardless, good luck!
 

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