Reviews & Comments
Spokane, WAIt's not the worst but it's definitely not good.
I've lived in Spokane for over 5 years after moving here from the Vancouver area for a job. I miss Western Washington.
Home buying: When I first moved here, you could buy a decent home in a safe(r) neighborhood for $130k - $180k. Those homes are now going for at least $350k. Outlying areas are even more expensive as people shift to purchase in smaller communities around Spokane. Spokane Valley homes are almost unattainable.
Rent: My one-bedroom, 700sq foot older-than-dirt (and not updated) apartment was $780 when I first signed in 2016. Decent cost for a single bedroom with small increases upon renewal. Currently paying $980. They now charge over $1,400 for my apartment. There are so many baseboard heaters, I can only use 3 walls throughout the entire apartment. There are no renter protections in this city and no limits on how much landlords can raise the rent. And they are raising it a lot. Look up some of the local news stories. Some are raising it 50% - 100% and the city does nothing. Vacancy rate is incredibly low, apartments and condos are non-existent, affordable housing is null - it is a landlord profit paradise.
Crime: I've had my life threatened in this city for protecting myself against a dog attack and calling SCRAPS. Property crime is out of control. Police won't respond to most calls, especially property crime calls. It's always "Call Crime Check." They are severely understaffed.
Homeless: The homeless are building tent cities all across the city and next to the freeway. They have become incredibly aggressive and loud, especially downtown. I avoid that area after 4pm. Panhandling on almost every corner.
Weather: You get 5 seasons. Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, and Smoke. Late Fall and Spring are lovely; Winter gets incredibly cold (negative digits); Summer gets incredibly hot (triple digits); and Smoke season ruins Summer and Early Fall. Can't really open windows or go to the lake when there is hazardous air from all of the wildfires burning nearby. Also, don't live on South Hill in winter - you're asking for a bad time. And buy some decent snow tires. Chains and studded tires are destroying the roadways, and for the rest of the year you're dealing with gigantic car swallowing potholes that the city doesn't have the manpower or interest to repair beyond halfheartedly patching them. The city has not figured out how to manage a full city plow or de-icing, and it may take days for you to be able to safely drive on the roads after a snow storm.
Employment: Wages are stagnant and employers ignore how much it costs to live here, choosing to spout idiocy like, "this is Spokane, not Seattle. It's cheap to live here" with no understanding of what their employees are going through as cost of living skyrockets. Many employers refuse to provide more than minimum wage, which is, thankfully, currently almost $14/hour. Most of the larger employers in Spokane are hospitals and educational institutes. Multiple universities and colleges bring in an influx of thousands of 18 - 22 year old so finding additional part time employment is pretty much non-existent.
Traffic: Traffic has gotten exponentially worse over the last 3 years. The massive increase in population that has descended on Spokane has slowed drive times and clogged roadways. When I first moved here, I was shocked at how little traffic there was but now going North > South is almost impossible during high drive times. What should take 30 minutes will run over 90 if you hit the roads at the wrong time. They've promised a North-south freeway for years but that has never appeared. They need one desperately as many roads are bumper to bumper during rush hour. Car accidents are incredibly common and you cannot trust the cars on the road with you during wintery conditions. Many speed, tailgate, or do not have appropriate tires. Drivers here do not know how to use a roundabout.
Take from this review whatever you want. If I could afford move, I would immediately.