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Blue

Living in Spokane

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Blue    0

Hi everyone... as someone currently living in Southern California (not a SoCal native, just been here four years -- long enough to see house prices go from crazy to completely absurd), I've been searching for a more economical, nice place to live... and one of the places I've been thinking about is Spokane. I've been to the city a few times, but generally only for a day or two, so I have a few questions if nobody minds...

1) People -- what are the people like in Spokane -- they have always seemed very friendly to me. I'm a nearly 30-year-old single male... will I find other people in a similar situation as me -- in other words, late 20s/early 30s people, particularly at least some single people? As far as my personality type.. I'm a big sports fan, enjoy going out to restaurants/bars (not really clubs though), pretty casual, not into trends or anything like that.

2) Jobs -- What is the job market like? My background is in journalism/public relations/media/marketing fields... is there much for jobs in those fields? Also, how "formal" are the workplaces? Are they still suit and tie, or are they more casual?

3) Climate -- I know Spokane is beautiful in summer, and the only time I've been there in winter, it was 60s and sunny -- but I know that is not normal winter weather! I have mainly lived in cold northern climates, so cold doesn't bother me.. but how dreary are the winters? Is there quite a bit of sun, or is it cloudy and dreary much of the time like Minneapolis or Seattle?

4) Housing -- what is the housing market like? Can you still get a condo or townhome in the $250,000 or under range (there isn't a chance in SoCal)... is there quite a bit of new construction? What areas do you recommend? I would prefer new housing, as since I have a lot of allergies, it tends to create less issues.

Thanks for your help! :)

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Sundodger    1

I will try my best to answer your questions. I am not a Spokane resident but I family there & pass through it quite a bit.

1) People -- what are the people like in Spokane -- they have always seemed very friendly to me. I'm a nearly 30-year-old single male... will I find other people in a similar situation as me -- in other words, late 20s/early 30s people, particularly at least some single people? As far as my personality type.. I'm a big sports fan, enjoy going out to restaurants/bars (not really clubs though), pretty casual, not into trends or anything like that.

There is approx. 550,000 people in the area, there is something of everything. Spokane is a sports oriented city. They have the largest (in participation) road race in the country, Bloomsday, the largest street 3 on 3 tournament, Hoopsfest, & they love their Zags. Spokane also hosts NCAA tournament first round games & have hosted many mid level championships such as college volleyball finals & next year's figure skating finals. They also have a popular major juinior hockey team & a minor league baseball team. Also if you like Pac-10 sports, Washington St. is an hour & a half drive south & the University of Idaho is just 10 miles east of that.

Spokane's downtown is nice & has a good variety of restaurants & bars.

2) Jobs -- What is the job market like? My background is in journalism/public relations/media/marketing fields... is there much for jobs in those fields? Also, how "formal" are the workplaces? Are they still suit and tie, or are they more casual?

The job market is always up & down there though it finally seems going in the right direction. As for those fields, I have no idea. You might want to check a job website to get a feel if there is a demand in those areas. Spokane seems pretty casual but I never have worked there.

3) Climate -- I know Spokane is beautiful in summer, and the only time I've been there in winter, it was 60s and sunny -- but I know that is not normal winter weather! I have mainly lived in cold northern climates, so cold doesn't bother me.. but how dreary are the winters? Is there quite a bit of sun, or is it cloudy and dreary much of the time like Minneapolis or Seattle?

The winters aren't like Seattle. It snows & gets cold but it also can get warm at surprising times. Due to the mountains to the west, Spokane doesn't get the clouds & rain like Seattle. You might want to research this more on a weather site on approx. amount of sunny days in the winter.

4) Housing -- what is the housing market like? Can you still get a condo or townhome in the $250,000 or under range (there isn't a chance in SoCal)... is there quite a bit of new construction? What areas do you recommend? I would prefer new housing, as since I have a lot of allergies, it tends to create less issues.

Spokane is a bargain, too bad you are looking for a new home. $250,000 can go along ways & I am sure it could get you into a newer townhome or even a home. If you are really interested, I can refer you to someone in Spokane that can assist you.

As for different areas, it all depends what you like. The more trendy & pricey areas are South Hill, Liberty Lake, Kootenai County, ID, & the far north end. The best values in my opinion are on the near north end close to the sweet future developments on the SW part. Some parts of Spokane are still kind of rough but the place is totally on the way up.

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SoCal is nothing like Spokane, FYI. In SoCal (i've been there plenty) you have people from all walks of life and all races... etc. That's not so in Spokane. It's 90% white, 3% black, 3% Asian, and 3% Native with the remaining 1% considered all else. In comparison to SoCal, it's not really racially diverse. The Spokane area still combats with racism and it's a sad site. Just this summer, Native American got beat up and put in the hospital, because he wasn't white. that usually doesn't happen though, and people are rather eager to learn about other races.

The housing prices are dramatically lower, by at least 40%. You can find a beautiful family home for lower than $200,000 in good condition. Schools are incredibly well there. Depending on what style you like, you can find dense style "creative class appealing" condos for around $250,000 to $500,000 (depending on quality.) Renting is also a good option. There's a neighborhood about 5 minutes from Downtown called Brownes Addition and 2 bedroom apartments go for around $500 per month. Housing is extremely nice and affordable.

As for weather, some magazine rated Spokane as having North America's best summers (I can't mention hich one). Winters get snow, but never too much. Usually about 5 to 10 inches fall and lasts a few days. it usually falls around Christmas, give or take a few weeks.

Traffic is never as bad as SoCal and never will be. Plans are in way to build a light rail line about 20miles long serving the Eastern Spokane Valley. I-90 (which is the main freeway east-west) has just got some lanes added. Northern Spokane (which is where most of suburban sprawl has occured) has no freeway yet, but they are building one that is expected to open by 2010. Spokane Transit Authority provides rather shady service.

The Ice Skating Championships for 2007 are coming to Spokane. they're building 2 new skyscrapers in Downtown.

Lets see...

www.spokanechamber.org

www.spokanecity.org

www.realtor.com/spokane

www.spokaneedc.org

www.visitspokane.com

These may help.

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