We're moving to Spokane sight unseen...Help (South Hill: schools, live)
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Thank you all for all of the help. We are moving in 2 weeks and will be renting a very nice place on South Cedar close to my fiance's work at Deaconess. We had a wonderful 3 day visit and are looking forward to our time in Spokane.
The South Hill is considered one of the more safest and higher income areas. It is just above downtown, has good eateries and shops, as well as close proximity to downtown. I would avoid the Logan neighborhood. Even though it is convenient to downtown, it is next to Gonzaga University so there are many college houses. However, in general the neighborhood is unwelcoming with a lot of crime. If you venture out east of Spokane, you can find some safe, developed neighborhoods. Even if you reach Coeur d'Alene, you are still 30 minutes to the city. Enjoy!
the south hill is no more safer then north spokane....in fact the area just south of the freeway before you get to the top of the hill, like south perry district and all area below around 15th st is a fairly higher crime area..... then the area around fraya/thor and from the freeway up till around 19th isn't so hot either. so the "high income" area for the south is is a rather limited area in fact..... and lots of eateries????? where???? maybe around the hospital a few and then around south regal and 29th a few resturants........but no way near the vast selection in north spokane with all the retail and hugh selection of resturants off of division, for several miles then to include hiway 2 split to wandermere area....then also francis st and wellesley are big commercial areas so the few strip malls and a handful of resturants on the south hill would equal to about a mile length of division st on the north side for retaill and resturants.....south hill probably has one percent of the retail and resturants that the north side has.....and there's a number of higher income neighborhoods on the north side that can surpass anything the south hill has......(soth hill is known for it's old craftsmen and victorian homes which are nice)........the north side has newer high priced homes on much larger lots as well.....so before anyone buys into the myth of the south hill it would be wise to do a thorough drive through the entire north side of spokane.......much nicer area with a much easier drive to get to downtown then the bottle neck comming off the southhill into downtown (which takes you through the most beatup part of downtown). on the north side you don't get bottlenecked into just a couple of streets to get off the hill, that take you through stop and go streets and not so nice neighborhoods....the noth side is wide open and spread out so very quick and easy to get to your desinations) ESPECIALLY IN THE WINTER just my 2cents
I've lived in Spokane Valley all of my 28 years of life. I'm a truly hardcore Valleyite. The Valley itself is almost half the size of Spokane city. With nearly 90,000 residents, the Valley alone is one the top ten largest cities in Washington and is one of the fastest growing regions in the Pacific Northwest. New homes are being built all the time and a lot of the shopping in Spokane is shifting to the Valley because the rent is cheaper and the growing population provides more longevity. We also have cheaper taxes and much cheaper utilites than most of Spokane.
The Valley tends to be known as a retirement community because of the slightly older average age. People drive a little slower and tend to take side roads rather than the freeway. There are a myriad of retirement and apartment communities. It also retains its small town feel and definitely has a rich history of farming and orchards. My mother is nearing 50 years old and she vividly remembers when the Valley was mostly farm land. In fact, Spokane Valley retains its farm town rural road designations. North/South roads are still called "Roads" rather than "Streets". East/West roads are called "Avenues" mainly because most of them link with Spokane. I've lived just about everywhere in the Valley and I know it like the back of my hand.
I lived at the base of Northwood at Pasadena Ridge. It's a REALLY nice area, but Northwood has some VERY steep hills that would put the South Hill to shame. Northwood has some more average homes mixed with very large mansions. My wife says it reminds her of California. The views from Northwood are simply breathtaking and worth an afternoon drive if you get a chance.
My biggest problem with Northwood is nearby Millwood. The town itself is alright. I love how Millwood refuses to be incorporated into Spokane Valley like a rebel clan. :-) They have their own police departmen, city hall, mayor, etc. It's great. It seriously feels like a small town within a larger town. It's literally less than ONE square mile in area with about 2,000 residents. But Millwood has a... you guessed it... paper mill. And it smells really funky like sewer. I have to hold my breath when I'm driving through Millwood it stinks so bad. And probably the worst part is that Argonne gets really tight going through Millwood on the way to Northwood. Traffic gets INSANE and there's no turn lanes. So if one person turns left, you're backed up forever. There is also a slow moving train that likes to run through the town at the most inconvenient times just make traffic problems worse. Millwood's Argonne Rd desperately needs a couple extra lanes and/or a center turn lane.
I lived in Trentwood most of my life. It's nice, but there are small pockets of crime and the trains can be heard for miles. It's slightly industrial and seems cut off from the rest of the Valley (maybe that's a good thing?). Things are much slower in Trentwood and nearby East Farms - even by Valley standards. It retains its farming history and culture more than most areas. Trent Avenue and north Sullivan are the main modes of transport. It's very close to the Spokane Valley Mall and all the shopping on Sullivan. Trent Avenue is also a highway so speeds are higher than most roads - usually 45-50mph. Trent Ave is a great alternative to the freeway to get downtown if the roads are bad or if you hear of an accident on the freeway.
I REALLY enjoyed my time in the Dishman Mica area which is in southwest Spokane Valley. It's quick, convenient, and it's quiet. Two main arterials (Sprague/Appleway and Argonne) give you speedy access to the freeway, shopping, and the north side. It's backed up to some wooded hills with plenty of parks and room to run. Nowhere else in the Valley do you get this kind of convenience and peaceful environment. It's fantastic.
I recently moved to Greenacres which is just a smidge east of Sullivan in East/Central Valley and I absolutely LOVE it. Just like it sounds, it's largely farms and somewhat rural roads. But as the farmers get along in age, they've been slowly selling large plots of land especially in the last 5-10 years that give way to subdivisions. Greenacres is rapidly becoming the new Liberty Lake with lots of affordable new homes and plenty of room to expand.
Things are quickly upgrading in Greenacres as the area prepares for the inevitable influx of new residents. They've recently expanded the freeway to 3 lanes each way and upgraded the Barker street exit to handle future traffic. Instead of traffic lights, they seem to prefer installing traffic circles. At first I thought this was odd, but it's actually nice! Traffic flows smoothy and late at night you can literally fly down Flora Road in seconds. Flora Rd offers all the convenience of Sullivan Rd. but with a tenth of the crazy traffic. This has been the biggest surprise of living in Greenacres. They have recently punched Mission Ave through to Indiana/Sullivan so freeway access is no longer limited to the Barker interchange. My commute to work (near SFCC) went from 21 minutes to 25 minutes when I moved from Dishman to Greenacres. That's not bad!! Sullivan Road is the main shopping hub of the Valley. EVERYTHING is on Sullivan and people from Spokane and Idaho flock to this area for the shopping. The worst part of Greenacres is that I'm VERY dependent upon the freeway for my commute. In Dishman, I had a couple different options. So if there's contruction or accidents, I'm late to work. I also worry that Greenacres will get too big for itself and become a big hustle bustle area. That would really ruin its appeal. The schools are great and everyone always comments on how great of an area Greenacres is. Overall, I'm thrilled to live in Greenacres! I highly recommend it!
Places to avoid in the Valley: Pines Road tends to have lots of traffic and the most pockets of crime - especially around the freeway. Car thefts are rampant in these areas. Pines is mostly residential and there are ZERO grocery stores or major shopping. Pines is in the middle of everything, but close to nothing - if that makes sense. The trains are rare, but they cause traffic problems just like Millwood. Otherwise, traffic is usually fine on Pines until you get close to the freeway. Even though it's near and dear to my heart, I would also probably avoid Trentwood and Millwood. The areas along Trent Ave are notoriosly low income especially near Felts Field. Most people don't classify this as the Valley, but stay away from Thor/Freya. Yuck.
If not Greenacres, I would recommend Dishman Mica or South Valley (8th Ave and beyond). I would also live in Liberty Lake if it weren't for the longer commute and lack of quick shopping access. Whew! I hope this helps! :-)
If I didn't live in the Valley or Liberty Lake, I would definitely live on the South Hill. The South Hill is arguably the most beautiful neighborhood in the Spokane region. The old Craftsman/Victorian houses are easily worth an afternoon drive as are some of the views of Spokane. The park system is alive on the South Hill! There are many, many greeneries! Manito Park (and most of Spokane's parks) was designed by the Olmstead Brothers. Not the ones that designed NYC's famous Central Park, but their sons. :-) The tree lined boulevards and the classic homes are breathtaking. I've heard more than one reference to San Fransisco.
Like most Spokane communites including the Valley, the South Hill is very well self-contained and you don't need to travel far to get what you need. Other than perhaps your commute, there's little need to venture outside the South Hill. The South Hill is in many ways Spokane's equivalent to Seattle's Bellevue. For the most part it's expensive and very affluent. It's a fabulous place to live and I know that people love being there.
I have a couple big problems with the South Hill. My worst complaint is that it's on a GIANT, STEEP HILL. It's a struggle to maintain a decent speed in the summer let alone in icy conditions. The Thor/Freya hill has made national news from car accidents on slick conditions and YouTube videos of people sliding around. This winter season, that same hill hosted a 19 car pileup. Yes, nineteen... I used to work at a hotel in the Valley and people had to stay the night one winter because the cops shut down all major roads up the hill. No thanks.
Also... I don't know how to say this without offending some people but I just... don't like South Hill people. Of course there are many many exceptions but it seems the South Hill is full of rich, pompous people who look down upon everyone else. There are many other rich neighborhoods in Spokane that don't have this problem. For some reason, South Hill residents just think they are better than everyone else. I say this because this may rub some people wrong and you may not fit into the South Hill culture.
Thirdly... keep and eye out. Just like every other neighborhood, the South Hill is full of crime ridden areas. However, the lower South Hill is one of the worst areas in Spokane. I'm no expert but anything lower than 16th Ave is strictly verbotten. Of course, stay away from the freeway. The South Hill is a measure of extremes. It's mostly nice, but the bad parts are really bad. Be careful!
Lastly, I love to look at the older homes but they aren't my style. Some of the homes are meticulously restored but there are plenty of "flipped" homes that you should watch out for! Your house will fall apart in a few short years.
Don't get me wrong, I highly recommend the South Hill but you better be careful and do your homework!!
I agree with joejoe509. Just returned to Phoenix from a 3 day fact finding/apartment lock in visit to Spokane. I looked at a lot of home and apartment rentals in most of the areas and decided to live in Spokane Valley.
I talked to a lot of residents in South Hill, North Spokane and other locations. Basically I came away with some results identical to joejoe509's findings in regards to South Hill. Rents were really high for some old Craftsman type homes that needed beaucoup improvements. Some nice apartment complexes there; most were rather run down and lacked sufficient parking.
Decided to rent in Spokane Valley. It offers all the shopping and other amenities found elsewhere with the exception of parks. Met a couple of real nice ladies and I'm looking forward to the move!
I would suggest renting something first. I bought first and I was disappointed and had to move again. Mostly it was about where I liked to shop and the low score for the school.
There are a few places (mostly larger complexes) that you can rent short term (3 months) to get your berrings and see what areas you are gravitating towards and see what areas you feel comfortable with. Shorter term rentals are available as well as furnished options.
District 81 is the South Hill. I can't complain about the South Hill or my resale value will contine to suffer. A lot of people like that area. There are newer houses as well as the old world charm and trees.
I agree with JoeJoe509. The South Hill snobs rubbed me the wrong way. The Valley is a safer bet.
The apartments are pretty concentrated by Fourth and Sullivan and there are issues with that. So I wouldn't commit to anything too long term.
I also call Spookylou "Funkane". It is an double entendre. To whit: "Spokane is sort of funky." or, in truth, "Spokane has the funk about it."
Everyone in this town is on the make.
Moderator cut: see note
Last edited by David Aguilar; 04-04-2012 at 06:15 PM..
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