cheapest places to live in washington

Should I Move to Spokane, WA? 9 Pros and Cons to Consider

Situated in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Spokane offers a special blend of urban excitement and natural beauty. Living in Spokane means enjoying the vibrant arts scene, exploring the stunning Riverfront Park, and taking advantage of the nearby outdoor adventures like hiking and skiing. The city is known for its friendly neighborhoods and a strong sense of community, making it a welcoming place for newcomers. So, if you’ve been asking yourself, “Should I move to Spokane, WA?” you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of life in Spokane to help you decide if it’s the perfect spot for your next adventure. Let’s go.

Spokane at a Glance

Walk Score: 49 | Bike Score: 52 | Transit Score: 36

Median Sale Price: $372,000 | Average Rent for 1-Bedroom Apartment: $1,380

Spokane neighborhoods | Houses for rent in Spokane | Apartments for rent in Spokane | Homes for sale in Spokane

Pro: Access to outdoor recreation

Spokane, offers unparalleled access to outdoor recreation. The city is surrounded by numerous parks, rivers, and mountains, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts. Riverside State Park, just a short drive from downtown, provides opportunities for hiking, biking, and kayaking. Additionally, Mount Spokane offers excellent skiing and snowboarding options during the winter months, making it a year-round destination for outdoor activities.

Con: Limited public transportation

With a Transit Score of 36, one of the downsides of living in Spokane is the limited public transportation options. The city’s bus system, while functional, does not cover all areas comprehensively, making it challenging for residents without a car to navigate the city efficiently. This can be particularly inconvenient for those who rely on public transit for their daily commute or errands.

Pro: Relatively affordable cost of living

Spokane boasts a relatively affordable cost of living compared to other cities in the Pacific Northwest like Seattle. Additionally, average housing prices are more reasonable, sitting at about $60,000 less than the national average. Finally, everyday expenses such as groceries and utilities are generally lower in this city. This affordability makes Spokane an attractive option for anyone looking to stretch their dollars further.

Con: Harsh winter weather

Spokane experiences harsh winter weather, which can be a significant drawback for some residents. The city often sees heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures, making travel and outdoor activities challenging during the winter months. Residents need to be prepared for snow removal and the potential for icy roads, which can be a hassle for those unaccustomed to such conditions.

Pro: Thriving arts and culture scene

Spokane has a thriving arts and culture scene that sets it apart from other cities. The city is home to the Spokane Symphony, numerous art galleries, and the historic Fox Theater, which hosts a variety of performances and events. Additionally, the annual Spokane International Film Festival attracts filmmakers and movie enthusiasts from around the world, adding to the city’s cultural richness.

Con: Air quality issues

Spokane occasionally faces air quality issues, particularly during wildfire season. Smoke from nearby wildfires can drift into the city, leading to poor air quality and health concerns for locals. This can be especially problematic for individuals with respiratory conditions, who may need to take extra precautions during these periods.

Pro: Strong sense of community

Spokane is known for its strong sense of community and friendly residents. The city hosts numerous community events, such as the annual Bloomsday Run and Hoopfest, which bring people together and foster a sense of belonging. This tight-knit community atmosphere makes it easy for newcomers to feel welcome and quickly integrate into local life.

Con: Limited nightlife options

For those who enjoy a bustling nightlife, Spokane may feel somewhat limited. While the city has a selection of bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues, it lacks the variety and late-night options found in larger metropolitan areas. Residents seeking a more dynamic nightlife scene may need to travel to nearby cities like Seattle or Portland for a broader range of activities.

Pro: Excellent educational institutions

Spokane is home to several excellent educational institutions, including Gonzaga University and Whitworth University. These schools offer a range of undergraduate and graduate programs, attracting people from across the country. The presence of these institutions also contributes to the city’s dynamic academic and cultural environment.


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