We're moving to Spokane sight unseen...Help (Seattle, South Hill: real estate, apartment complexes)
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Me, my fiance and my 7 year old daughter are moving to Spokane, WA in 2 months. We have never been there and won't get a chance to visit before we move. My fiance is in the medical field and her boss is expanding his business. It is a great opportunity, but I obviously know nothing about the area. We will be getting an apartment to start for the first year or two.
I need Help. I need to know what area's to be looking in the heaviest. A safe neighborhood with good schools is the only priority. Anything within 30-40 minutes of downtown will do. Names of apartments that don't show up on rent.com are helpful. Neighborhoods to avoid due to higher crime would help. Any info to help us decide WHERE we should look the haeviest and where we should not bother.
All help is appreciated. Thank you.
Paul, no need to fear coming to Spokane. It's a lovely midsize city without the crime rate of a larger one. Downtown doesn't close up after hours. It's vibrant and lively, even in the middle of winter! I do consider it a safe city as well, since I let my 17 year old go shopping and ice skating downtown during the evening hours.
In some areas, a 30-40 minute commute would put you way out in the country, especially to the south and west of town. Do you know which area your wife will be working in? Every region surrounding Spokane, whether north, south, east or west has plenty to offer in the way of housing. Good schools dot the region as well. North of town is the Mead school district, west has the Cheney school district, then there's East Valley, Central Valley and all of the schools in close proximity to downtown. Lewis and Clark is an excellent high school, as well as Ferris.
The south hill is one of the more desirable areas to live, probably the most affluent live in the area, which is just south of downtown. Good apartment complexes are all over the area as well, especially on the backside of the hill.
It's a beautiful region, much slower pace than the larger cities, has four distinct, yet pleasant seasons, and leans more to a conservative environment. An arid environment, but winters can be a little long and cold, but we don't let the cold or snow keep us from staying active for several months.
Spokane is just a little over a four hour drive to Seattle, which makes for a nice weekend get-a-way.
She wil primarily be woking out of Decanus Hospital downtown Spokane. We currently live in Greensboro, NC, but we were both born and raised in Buffalo, NY. We will probaly attempt to be close to the downtown area in an apartment for the first year. That will give us a chance to learn the entire area for ourselves. After that, we could go in any direction.
why rent an apartment when for the same money you can rent a nice home. usually apartments are less money then houses, but not anymore due to the slow housing market.. so you can get into a home with no more money deposits and not more money for utilites. i rented an apartment on the south hill when i first moved here and lived through a winter there and it wasn't fun drived those steep hills in the snow and ice!!!! so i decided to get out of the south hill area and i found a home to rent on the north hill and love this area much much more. and my utilites are LESS then in the apartment!!
so check out property management companies here on line and look at what they have to offer. there's lots of homes being rented by the owners who just put out a for rent sign....but if you need it as soon as you come then check out property management: like windermere or other real estate companies who are also doing property management.
the north side of town is lots lots easier to get around then the south hill and rentals are a little less here becasue the south hill just has a better draw for outsiders, but it's also very difficult to drive around during ice and snow because of the steepness of the hills. and you have to drive much further to get to shopping and activites. just my 2 cents.
and the mead school district is supose to be the best in the area!!
A little more candid view of Spokane for you. I lived in Spokane for seven years. I went to college in Spokane from 2003 to 2005 at Whitworth University (then Whitworth College). After I graduated with a degree in business management, I struggled and tried to make a decent living outside of healthcare in Spokane. I finally gave up and left in 2010 to head back east where there was much greater opportunity for me career wise. I currently reside in Rochester, MN which oddly enough is a healthcare focused city, but also offers other opportunities in support of the huge healthcare industry here.
You are going to find Spokane to be full of people who predominatly work in lower wage retail and restaurant positions. Those that do make a decent living either work in healthcare or government positions. Spokane has an economy similar to that of an island. It is isolated and there are very few opportunities to advance due to it being such a small economy. Apartments are very cheap and so are rental homes but low monthly rents are a reflection of low monthly incomes of the locals.
I still have to travel back to Spokane regularly as my son lives with my ex-wife there. I cherish the fact that I am able to get him out of Spokane and expose him to different parts of the country. My hope for him is that when he graduates high school in 13 years he leaves Spokane and never looks back.
I wish you luck, and I know there are going to be many on here that are going to tell you how great Spokane is, but I wanted to give you a view from someone who did not enjoy living there.
Agreed, BackinHenderson. This place has no activities, as some people say, and nothing to offer job-wise. It's definitely one extreme or the other in so many ways. I've been here 15 months and am trying desperately to get out.
Thank you all for the advice and information. As for the last two posters, as my post stated.... Getting a job is not an issue. I am moving here because my fiance has a GREAT job and there is no questions pertaining to the job market. I also didn't ask about activities. I am not a boring person, so I won't be bored. I was asking about what neighborhoods and school districts to look at for my daughter.
As it turns out, we are getting flown out in two weeks to scout the area. I will use this information wisely. Thank you.
I guess every city has it's good and bad points, but as for me the good points of Spokane far outweigh the bad points compared to the city this family moved away from, Jacksonville, FL.
I'm not too sure on the lack of activities this region has to offer, but I have found plenty to do year round. There's the symphony, broadway shows, ice skating and mountain sports in the winter months. Then there's plenty of hiking, water sports, Hoopfest, the Bloomsday race, beautiful parks to enjoy during the summer months. Plus, we are just a few hours drive from Glacier National Park, Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons are less than a day away, and of course you have Seattle and the whole west coast to explore within a few hours drive. I couldn't find anything in the east, and I have lived from Pennsylvania to Florida, that compares to what this region has to offer.
We all experience life differently, and we make the best or the worst of the situation/location we find ourselves in. If you want to be happy or miserable in a place, you can make it be whatever you want. I find Spokane and the region that surrounds it to be a pleasure to experience.
I would suggest living on the South Hill behind the hospitals or further south of the hospitals. The other places I would suggest would be the Valley, Liberty Lake, or the Mead area. You are going to find that a drive that would typically take you 15 mins in North Carolina will take you 30 mins in Spokane because 1.) They only have a, as in one, free way. Most of the streets are 30 mph and Spokane sprawls 9 miles north of I-90 and around 3 or 4 miles south to the 57th and regal area. 2.) the Spokies are pokies when it comes to driving. Stay calm and remember it could be much worse when you find yourself with three Spokies running three wide on the one and only interstate all pacing along side each other doing 10 miles under the speed limit. You will probably see this on your first visit there.
Downtown has some nice condos but from someone who worked downtown, I would not live there. Lots of fringe townies and schizo homeless run rampant at all hours of the day. Downtown Spokane is nice to visit and nice to work in, just not so nice to live in.
When I lived in Spokane I lived in a neighborhood called Northwood that was on top of the Argonne hill in the valley. It was kind of out of the way from the rest of Spokane, gave you a nice view of the Valley, and you could jet down Upriver Dr. to downtown instead of having to crawl down to I-90, and then continue to crawl towards downtown on I-90.
As far as school districts go, you can't go wrong as long as you stay out of 81.
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