As you embark on the search for your next home, take the opportunity to consider the Inland Northwest. This beautiful, sprawling landscape includes gently rolling hills, expansive farmlands, and peaceful grasslands. The region is bordered on nearly every side by soaring mountain ranges and picturesque rivers, making the Inland Northwest a haven for anyone who loves the outdoors and enjoys having a little space to themselves.
But is the Inland Northwest the right area for your new home? As you prepare to upgrade, consider these important FAQs about the area:
What does the Inland Northwest have to offer?
This area is unlike any other in the country, with a laid-back, outdoorsy vibe that’s balanced by a lust for creativity, adventure, and innovation. The climate is relatively mild: a bit dry on the Washington side, but more humid in Idaho. Add to that a rich cultural backdrop, and the Inland Northwest feels to many like the PNW’s best-kept secret.
The region offers a little of everything when it comes to recreation—skiing in the winter; mountain biking, camping, and hiking in the summer; and everything in between. It’s also home to a thriving craft brew scene (with more than 40 breweries) and ever-expanding dining options. Spokane in particular has become a hotspot for creative gastropubs, authentic ethnic eateries, and more.
Meanwhile, the region is proud of its Native American heritage. Residents are always working to foster a greater appreciation for Native American art and writing. The new One Heart Native Arts and Film Festival, held in Spokane, is seen as the start of a broader Native American arts scene that has the potential to flourish throughout the region.
How is the economy faring?
The region, which includes the Spokane, Wash., and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, metro areas, enjoys a relatively diverse economic base and a steadily growing economy. The job market outperformed expectations in 2016 and is poised to continue to grow throughout the region. Professional-level jobs are leading the charge, but employment opportunities in the leisure and hospitality sector have also picked up.
Healthcare is another industry that has seen significant growth, particularly in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene. Multicare Health System, Providence Health Group, and Kootenai Health are all embarking on multimillion-dollar expansions throughout the Inland Northwest, which is projected to lead to a hiring frenzy. Meanwhile, Washington State University and the University of Washington have both put a renewed focus on their medical schools, making both universities a destination for future healthcare professionals.
Financial services is another large industry in the region, especially in Spokane. And finally, the tech industry is starting to gradually pick up steam, with several startups and incubators setting up shop in the area.
How is the local housing market?
In the more urban areas, the market for pre-built homes is red hot, which has led many buyers into multiple bidding wars before they ultimately pay over asking price. Throughout the region, home sales jumped nearly 20 percent from 2014 to 2015, and then slowed a bit in 2016 because of low inventory.
In Spokane, the median home-sales price rose 8.7 percent in 2016, demonstrating how much of a seller’s market the city has become. The good news is that most pre-built homes in the area are still selling for below $200,000—but that may not be the case for long.
In such a hot housing market, how can I ensure I find the home I want?
Much like the rest of the Northwest, the inland area is growing gradually, and homes are moving quickly. When shopping for a pre-built home, it can be challenging to find one that ticks all the boxes, such as location, price, features, and style. This is especially true in and around Spokane and Coeur d’Alene, where some houses are attracting multiple offers in just a few days.
For many homebuyers in the Inland Northwest, a custom home is the perfect solution. You can select your ideal piece of land, whether it’s in a suburb or well away from any neighbors, or build on property that you already own. Then, you can choose from a variety of customizable floorplans or create your own entirely unique plan to fit your needs, whether you want a second master suite, a larger gourmet kitchen, or extra living space. A custom home even means you get to choose your own high-quality finishes and special features to create the home that suits your family’s lifestyle and taste.
Partnering with a custom homebuilder gives you the chance to build the home of your dreams, without the stress of competing in the Inland Northwest’s fast-moving pre-built home market. It’s the best way to ensure you find the home that will fit your family best, both now and in the years to come.
Interested in learning more about the custom homebuilding process? Explore Adair Homes’ Path to Homeownership guide.