SPOKANE, Wash. — We’ve seen how COVID-19 has changed almost everything this year, but that doesn’t apply to the housing market. Homes are selling at record prices across Spokane and really across the entire U.S.
One Spokane family was in a bid with about five others for their “dream home”, just to find out they did not get it. That’s a harsh reality many buyers are facing right now.
“This time it was like get the offer in… people are fighting and raising the bid,” Lydia Coski said.
Lydia and her husband offered about $15,000 more than the asking price for their dream home, but they ended up empty handed.
“It’s frustrating to see houses you like, and then, not be able to get what you want,” Coski said.
That’s how most buyers feel right now. The Spokane Association of Realtors said the average sale of a home is about $310,000 right now. That’s up about 7 percent from this time last year.
The Coskis found a new home eventually, but it didn’t come without a little bit of doubt.
“It’s kind of like, did we want that?” Coski said. “I don’t know that’s a lot of money to be putting in, but then you just kind of feel that pressure to move forward, because you don’t know if you’re going to get another chance at something else.”
They now get the chance to be on the other end of this as they prepare to sell their old home. It likely won’t take long since inventory for homes is so low right now.
“We have a whole lot of buyers on the market and not enough sellers or not enough houses on the market,” local Realtor Alyssa Curnutt said.
There are about 700 homes available in Spokane right now, and that’s considered enough inventory for one month.
“A month of inventory is not a lot,” Tom Clark of the Spokane Association of Realtors said. “A balanced market is 3-6 months of inventory.”
So, why are there not many homes available? Part of it is people coming in from heavily populated cities, like Seattle, Portland or parts of California.
“They’re coming in with cash, and seeing what you can get for $400,000, $500,000 here compared to there,” Curnutt said.
Just about every type of home is selling quickly in Spokane right now. If you’re looking to buy one, there’s just one piece of advice: stay patient.
“I always tell (my buyers) that we will find one, and when we find one, you’ll be so thankful that other one didn’t workout,” Curnutt said.
Overall, home sales are down about 7 percent in Spokane this year, but realtors said that goes back to the lack of inventory. Realtors do not expect the market to change anytime soon and it should continue to surge.
Click here to download full PDF: Gardner Report Q4, 2019_Eastern Washington PDF
We are wrapping up our neighborhood spotlight series today! So to send it off, we’re heading up to the South Hill today to learn more about the Lincoln Heights neighborhood.
Most people think of the Lincoln Heights shopping center when thinking about this area of town – because yes, 29th is a huge corridor in Spokane and takes you right through the bustling neighborhood! One of the main landowners when the area was developed in the late 1800s was Charles F. Adams. He was a major stockholder in the Washington Water Power Company, grandson of the sixth U.S. President, and his dad was President Lincoln’s foreign minister to the UK during the Civil War. Another fun fact? Altamont Circle is an area of the neighborhood that was once a horse racing track. The carriage house still stands in its original spot from those days!b
There are two parks in the neighborhood: the popular Lincoln Park and Thornton-Murphy Park (plus en Burr Trail!) Huge Ponderosa Pines line the parks and streets. Homes in the area were primarily built in the early 1900s and are craftsman. However, there are newer split-level and mid-century ranchers, as well.
Lincoln Heights’ Top Spots
The best restaurant in the area goes to the Great Harvest Bread Company. Their sandwiches are SO good, their bread is made from scratch, and their flour is milled fresh every day. The Spokane shop is locally-owned and operated, and they get their wheat from local farms. I recommend the cheesesteak sandwich!
Head to Lincoln Park. This park is 51 acres and a great spot for recreational activities, with a biking path that circles a pond and offers great views of the city.
In this last “best of” spot, I’m going with the best dessert. Best dessert in the area is Nothing Bundt Cakes. The smell when you walk in is heavenly and there are 10 different flavors to choose from: lemon, confetti, red velvet, classic chocolate and more!
Children typically head to Lincoln Heights, Adams or Franklin Elementary Schools. Then they are off to Chase Middle School and Ferris High School. Click the schools above for more information on each.
The Lincoln Heights neighborhood is a fun area to explore. If you’d like more information about the neighborhood or if you’re interested in buying a home there, let me know. I’d love to help you out!
Emerson-Garfield is one of the original neighborhoods in Spokane. Most of the homes were built in the early 1900s, but the neighborhood wasn’t officially established as a neighborhood until 1976. The neighborhood gets its name from a combination of the first two elementary schools there. The Corbin Park Historic District made its way onto the Spokane and the National Historic Registers in the 1990s. You probably are well-aware that North Monroe Street got a massive makeover last year. It’s a major transportation corridor, boasting awesome shops from antique shops to restaurants and everything in between.
Best restaurant goes to Ruins. It’s a casual spot featuring awesome cocktails and a rotating menu of creative, local grown food with a new theme each week. The food is always so good and it’s always fun to try something new each time you go in!
This one goes to Corbin Park. This park is a great spot for a picnic lunch and then the kids can run around and play! Plus, did you know it was once a 40-acre oval race track? Horses, bikes and people all ventured to the park to get their race on from 1887 to 1899. Then the park was purchased by a wealthy developer, who decided to make it a residential area, and the homes around the park were built starting in 1913.
Best Coffee Shop
And finally, best coffee shop? Vessel Coffee Roasters. Their coffee is all roasted in-house and is super smooth. They have a very simple menu, but everything is done exceptionally well.
As far as schools in the area go, kids typically head to Garfield or Audubon elementary schools, then head to Glover Middle School and North Central High School. Click the links in the previous sentence for more information on those schools.
This is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Spokane, but there are many more areas to dive deeper into! Catch the next Welcome Mat to find out which neighborhood is next. To see previous neighborhoods featured in the Neighborhood Spotlight, click here.
West Central is the most booming neighborhood in all of Spokane – all thanks to the newer Kendall Yards development. This development is revitalizing the neighborhood: giving it a new life, new visitors and new retail spots and restaurants.
West Central is just north of the Spokane River, meaning it’s minutes from downtown Spokane and offers gorgeous views of the city and water. The Kendall Yards development has been a long time coming: the land was purchased about 20 years ago but the first shops went in about seven years ago. With the huge investment that Kendall Yards is, property values in West Central are going up and the area is growing extremely fast.
In the late 1800s it was an area only reached by a ferry. People who came over noticed the amazing views and by 1909, it was Spokane’s newest and hottest suburb. On the far west side of West Central was an amusement park that was very Coney Island-like. It was first called Ingersoll’s and then was renamed Natatorium Park when an Olympic-sized pool was built – and filled with river water – and they wanted a new, “fancy” name for it. The Looff Carousel (which is now at Riverfront Park) was a staple of the park. There were also various rides, rollercoasters, and a baseball park. Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio even played there! However, once TV came around and more people stayed inside, the park lost its luster and closed in 1968.
Best restaurant goes to The Wandering Table. The food here is SO GOOD and I highly recommend getting the chef’s pick. The chef knows what he’s doing: Adam Hegsted is a James Beard Award Finalist and has won many awards for his cooking. You won’t leave disppointed!
Best activity goes to the Kendall Yards Night Market. It’s every Wednesday evening from May to September. There’s live music, lots of food trucks and dozens of vendors lining the streets, selling their locally made goods.
Finally, best coffee goes to Indaba. It’s on the west side of Kendall Yards. The coffee is phenomenal and smooth, but the kicker? It shares its space with a donut shop! Hello Sugar features amazing, uniquely flavored donuts that won’t disappoint.
As far as schools go, students in the area typically head to Holmes Elementary, then on to Glover Middle School and North Central High School. For more information on any of these schools, click on the links above.
I have featured dozens of Spokane neighborhoods in the Neighborhood Spotlight series. To see others that have been featured, click here.
We are smack in the middle of highlighting different neighborhoods in and around Spokane. Today were jumping into the gorgeous and historic neighborhood of Manito and Cannon Hill.
Manito Park isn’t just the main area of the neighborhood – it’s the center of the whole South Hill. When residents of the South Hill are asked where they live, the response is typically “west” or “east” of Manito. A little history of the neighborhood:
Manito was originally called Montrose Park. In 1888, the plan was to make it a residential area and a streetcar line was built along Grand Boulevard, but that was as far as it got for several years, as the original developer lost all his money in the depression of 1893.
Many of the homes here were built in the early 1900s. Mature trees line the streets and the homes are each so unique. They all have features that you just can’t recreate anymore! There are plenty of shops and restaurants nearby, and it’s a short 5 minute drive downtown.
This one goes to The Scoop. It isn’t your typical “restaurant” but it is amazing and the BEST ice cream in
town! They have a rotating menu that makes their ice cream in-shop using liquid nitrogen. They have unique flavors, such as: white chocolate lavender, cookie butter cookie dough and thai iced tea. I had to go visit again this week – just to make sure my recommendation was still as amazing as it was last month. Strictly for research, of course…
How could I choose anything except for Manito Park here!? The beautiful gardens, the duck pond and several walking trails…it’s a great place to spend a beautiful spring or summer day. Fun fact: at one time, the park was a zoo. There were monkeys and penguins, bears and various large cats. And you could hand feed all of the animals. Yeah…even the bears. The Great Depression was the demise of the zoo.
This one goes to Rockwood Bakery. It’s just across the street from Manito Park and this spot never disappoints. They have great coffee, but even better quiche.
As far as schools in the area go, there are several elementary schools: Wilson, Hutton, Roosevelt, and Jefferson. Students typically go on to Sacajawea Middle School and then Lewis and Clark High School.
Follow the links of each school above to find more information about those schools.
This is one of the most historic neighborhoods in all of Spokane, but there are many more areas to highlight! Catch the next The Welcome Mat to find out which neighborhood is next.
Mortgage rates are dropping, but what is the cause? Windermere’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, dives into that question and also what we can expect mortgage rates to do the rest of 2019 and into 2020.
We’re in the middle of the Neighborhood Spotlight series – showing off different neighborhoods around Spokane. So the next up in this feature is Indian Trail.
This neighborhood has grown a lot over the last few years, with several new apartment complexes and duplexes going in. It’s about a 20 minute drive northwest of downtown Spokane. If you’re looking for mature trees and plenty of nature, you better check out the Indian Trail neighborhood.
This one goes to JJ’s Tap and Smokehouse. Barbecue is their main fare and the brisket is amazing!
The best activity is a little north of the neighborhood at Indian Painted Rocks. This gorgeous area is just off of Rutter Parkway. It’s an amazing place to hike, right along the Little Spokane River. Be prepared to see some wildlife too! Birds, deer, bald eagles and more are known to be out and about. The highlight of this area, though, is a rock near the entrance that has the remnants of a Native American painting on it. It’s believe that members of the Spokane tribe created the paintings back in 1750, and they are protected by steel bars now.
Coffee Shop Pizza
I typically do “best coffee shop” in this spot, but there are no local spots in Indian Trail! I mean, Starbucks never fails but that seems like a cop out. So instead I’ll give best pizza! Adelo’s is awesome. Their calzones are super good and they have a really fun, family-friendly trivia night on Friday evenings.
Depending on where your house is in Indian Trail, students either typically head to Indian Trail or Woodridge Elementary schools, then on to Salk Middle School and either Shadle Park or North Central High School. Click the schools here to find out more about each.
There are a whole lot of awesome neighborhoods in Spokane left to explore! Next time we will head over to the South Hill.
A little more than a year ago, I did a Neighborhood Spotlight series showcasing several neighborhoods in and around Spokane. It was so popular that I decided to do it again! Over the next few weeks, we’ll dive in to Indian Trail, Millwood, Shadle, a couple South Hill neighborhoods and more! This week, we’re diving in to the Garland District.
Garland is about a 10 minute drive from downtown Spokane and is easy to identify thanks to anchor spots like the Garland Theater. The main street is an eclectic, hip area dotted with fun shops and restaurants, including: an art studio, a guitar shop, a thrift store, a coffee shop and a couple pubs.
The neighborhood was establish back in 1910, when the street railway system was built. It really grew over the next 40 years, when Ferguson’s Cafe, the Milk Bottle and Garland Theater opened up. All three of which are eligible to be on the Historic Register. A fire destroyed Fergusons and badly damaged the Milk Bottle back in 2011, causing more than a million dollars in damage. Firefighters said it was “human started” but didn’t come out and say arson was the cause.
Garland’s Top Spots
This one is a tie. How do you pick between the Milk Bottle and Ferguson’s?! I say, get some lunch at Fergusons and then head next door for a milkshake. The food at Fergusons your typical diner-fare. This spot opened in the 30’s and has been featured in several movies: most famously Vision Quest and Benny and Joon. The Milk Bottle opened shortly thereafter, with its sister location just off I-90 downtown.
My top activity is to grab dinner or a drink at Bon Bon and then heading to the Garland Theater to catch a movie. They are in the same building, making it easy!
Top Coffee Shop
And finally, top coffee shop goes to the Rocket Bakery. There are so many of these in town, but they are SO GOOD. They serve up great coffee with tasty baked goods to go along with it. Hint: get the pink cookie. They’re known for it…for good reason!
The schools that students in the area usually attend are: Willard Elementary, Glover Middle School, North Central and Shadle High Schools. You can click each school to find out the statistics on those schools.
In the next video, we will head a bit farther north to discover more about the Indian Trail neighborhood. To see past neighborhoods in this series, click here.
So your offer has been accepted, you have gone through the inspection, and the appraisal came in at-value. You’re just a signing away from homeownership. Oh, and something your real estate agent calls a “final walkthrough.” Let’s dive into what a final walk-through is, when it’s done and the most common issues that crop up during them.
First of all, the final walk-through takes place a few days before your signing. Think of it as your final chance to point out any issues before closing: because good luck getting a seller to do something after the fact.
Here are the most common issues and what to look for during your final walk:
Make sure the house is clean
This is typically a condition in offers. It says: seller shall clean the interiors of any structure and remove all trash, debris and rubbish. So if you’re selling, sweep and vacuum! If you’re buying, make sure you’re being realistic and don’t expect a spotless home. That’s usually your job once you move in. sometimes sellers will leave old paint cans to be helpful, but if you want them gone, now’s the time to say so.
Make sure agreed-upon repairs are made
Next, check to be sure any agreed-upon repairs were done. Sometimes the seller just forgot to do them…or hoped you would forget! As an agent I always ask for receipts for work that needed to be done by a professional about a week before closing. If it’s caught at the final walkthrough, it’s likely going to cause a delay in you getting house keys. If it’s a simple repair that the homeowner could do themselves—like replacing a faucet or adding carbon monoxide detectors- ask for a photo of the work to prevent any surprises.
Make sure items are still there
Make sure the seller hasn’t removed anything they agreed to leave…and that there aren’t any secret swaps for lesser quality items. If it happens, it’s typically with the washer, dryer, or refrigerator. Sellers: always read the contract or ask your agent before removing personal property. Buyers: check it all out at the walkthrough!
Make sure there’s no damage
The last issue is damage from moving, so check the walls for massive knicks from moving a huge dresser or 15 holes from where a mounted TV used to hang. Sellers, you can take the TV and mount if it wasn’t in the contract, but you have to patch the wall and paint. Don’t leave it looking like a shooting range target.
Most walk-throughs have no problems at all, and if they do, they’re easily fixed. If you do find a problem, typically closing will be delayed until the issues are fixed. The other option is for the seller to give the buyer a concession. For instance, if the seller agreed to remove a bunch of firewood from the yard and it wasn’t done, they could give the buyer $150 toward closing costs to get it done. Both parties would have to agree on the amount and that this is an acceptable remedy.
A final walkthrough isn’t an inspection and it isn’t the time to start asking for things. The purpose is to make sure the house is in the same condition as when you first saw it, that any repairs you agreed upon have been made and that it’s cleaned up.