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Today my home would cost me, according to the latest appraisal, $113 a square foot. It has an 18,000 sf lot (granted, unusual for its location) and is 3 miles from downtown.

These condos are not affordable and not targeted at regular folks - they are targeted at upper-middle to upper-class childless couples. Can you imagine the typical Spokane family of 4 (or 5 it seems these days...) living in 826 sf?


I don't know where your head has been lately but $160,000 for a home is very middle class if not lower middle class in Spokane. I live in a glorified ghetto and I paid $123,000. I'm in the process of looking for my next house and $200,000 gets you a "decent" house in a "decent" neighborhood. Upper middle class homes run in the $350,000 to $450,000 range.

Yes a house is bigger than a downtown condo but that's not the point. You can't walk to Riverfront park from your house in 5 minutes. You don't have 30 resturants within a 10 block radius from your house. It's a different deal.


"These condos are not affordable and not targeted at regular folks - they are targeted at upper-middle to upper-class childless couples."

LukeB - That may be who is buying these, but who's to say a family couldn't live in one of the 1,200 to 1,500 sqf units? You seem to value highly the 18,000 sqf lot you own. So do a large number of people moving here. Developing downtown is not a cheap thing, so to expect that the cost of buying down there would be affordable is a bit off.

The fact is that thousands of families have decided to move to downtown Vancouver, BC, and live in units not much bigger than 1,200 sqf. The tradeoff-as MK agrees-is more public amenities, less dependence on a car(hopefully), and access to entertainment/dining.

Perhaps downtown Spokane is beyond the point for 'affordable' or 'attainable' housing. We're putting our money on North Monroe, Garland, or West Broadway.


hmm, I dunno last I heard my old apartment building (the Kempis -- which is technically in the Canon Hill neighborhood but is a 10 minute walk to downtown) which was recently purchased and turned into --tada!-- condos, had units starting at 118K.

I'm just guessing here, but that would be for a unit the size of my old apartment which was ~472sf


$160,000 is middle-class for Spokane? According to Wikipedia, the median family income for Spokane is $41,316. Today's rate for a 30 year mortgage on WellsFargo.com is %6.125, which makes for a $972.18 a month payment - that's just principal and interest. That represents just over 28% of the median-income family's net income per month. While a bank might lend you this amount of money, a morgtage with a P&I anything over 25% of your net income will be difficult to budget.

When I bought my home I made sure that the mortgage's P&I was between 25% and 30% of my gross monthly income. Unfortunately most people borrow too much money for too long of a period of time - and in the case of these condos it's for a very, very small space.

Don't get the impression that I don't think these condos should be built - I wish all new housing were multi-family dwellings instead of single-family units. The problem I have is their cost vs. their size and the fact that so many people are calling them "affordable" for regular Spokanites with families. They simply aren't.


And of course, in my above comment I totally reversed the usage of "net" and "gross". Sorry about that ...

Jerry Jones

Lets see. If I invest my $160k in a couple of insured CDs at 6%, I'd earn over $10k/year. Plus If I were to buy a condo I've have to pay at least $2k for taxes & insurance. Total $12k/year. I think I could rent a very nice apartment/condo for approx. $1k/month in Spokane. You can currently rent an apartment in downtown Spokane for less than $500/month. I've worked in downtown Spokane for over 22 year and there's nothing exciting about it. I certainly wouldn't consider living there.


Hey Jerry,

If you've $160k just sitting around, the last thing you'll be concerned with is cheap condos downtown.

As for the second part of your post...don't be a hater.

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