Letís get the political nonsense out of the way: Idaho is a red state, and Washington is a blue state. And even though Eastern Washington is decidedly more purple than anything, rivalry, rivalry, rivalry, America is the best and canít we all just get along?
OK, great, now onto the topic at hand ó living close to the Idaho-Washington state line provides many advantages for people who like living on one side but need to commute on Interstate 90 the other way. Living real close to the state line isnít especially easy given the limited options, but letís put that aside for now.
When it comes to living expenses, hereís a general idea of how things change just by bouncing from Post Falls over to Newman Lake:
• Advantages Idaho: Lower sales tax, generally lower property taxes, cheaper gas by about 20-30 cents, all the touristy things those people from Spokane keep intruding on, #Freedom.
• Advantages Washington: No sales tax on food, no income tax, some other legal stuff if you know what I mean and only if youíre into that sort of thing.
Those who live close enough to the border can play the Sales Tax Shuffle ó you can get groceries in Washington and gas and everything else over in Idaho (though you should look at the math to see if youíre burning more fuel than saving by driving across the border). Thereís a Walmart just over the state line in Idaho, and the Post Falls Cabelaís understandably has a parking lot the size of a small theme park. As for a full slate of groceries in Washington, youíve got to head five minutes over to Safeway or Yokeís in Liberty Lake, or another five minutes for multiple options in Spokane Valley.
Given the activity of the current market, looking at both sides of the state line might be necessary ó that means looking at Post Falls, Newman Lake and Liberty Lake.
On the Idaho side, the nearest neighborhood with current availability is Woodbridge Park, an area weíve covered a couple of times in the now-storied history of Neighborhood of the Week. Its entrance is located a mile or so east of the Walmart along Seltice Way, and contains a collection of 2000s-era homes, as well as a beautiful park area along the entrance.
There were three active listings in Woodbridge this week ó the lowest priced being a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home with almost 1,800 square feet on a 1/3-acre lot for $247,000. The highest priced was a four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home with just over 2,100 square feet listed at $259,900.
Even closer to the state line, across from the Walmart are the Pointe Apartments, a well-kept complex at 5791 W. Expo Parkway. Prices start around $730 for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment up to around $850 for a three-bedroom version. At press time, there was a two-bedroom unit coming available soon, subject to approval and security deposit.
On the Washington side, there are several neighborhoods that run from the state line exit of Interstate 90 along the Spokane River heading west into the Newman Lake city limits. These are mostly homes built in the 1970s, though some of the available homes had some attractive remodeling.
Technically Newman Lake listings, the homes ranged from $199,900 for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom, almost 2,000 square feet-size rancher to $269,900 for a six-bedroom, three-bathroom home with more than 2,700 square feet. The deeper you get into Newman Lake and Liberty Lake, or if you travel north to the actual Newman Lake, expect newer homes and prices to rise.
Regardless of which side you choose, the state line area shouldnít be dismissed as merely a commuter-friendly area. It boasts the same gorgeous views of Inland Northwest mountains as most everywhere else, and thereís some excellent views of the currently-very-high Spokane River, as well as riverside access to the Centennial Trail.
Contact a local real estate agent for more information on this area and for the latest on the market. If youíre looking for a definitive answer on which state is better, here it is: Idaho rules and Washington drools (we are an Idaho newspaper, after all).
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Let us know about standout neighborhoods and developments that we may feature in an upcoming Neighborhood of the Week. Contact Tyler Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Real Estate Agents, take advantage of Neighborhood of the Week by sending in your suggestions for featured areas, including sites outside the normal confines of Coeur díAlene, Post Falls and Hayden.