Find a local lender and get pre-approved.
This is step one, no question, says Patrick Kendrick of Audubon Real Estate. "Knowing where you stand financially as well as finding out what price you are comfortable with is key," Kendrick says. "No one likes to be house poor. There is more to life than paying a mortgage."
Know what you want, as well as what you can live without.
Certain deal breakers cannot be compromised on, Kendrick says, "but going in with some flexibility helps keep you positive and adaptive." Inventory is very low and the market shows it could be that way for a while: "Do your best not to rule anything out."
Connect with an agent who understands you.
You want a savvy, experienced, professional advisor on your side as you hunt. Kendrick says that finding a person interested in working with people, not just properties, will help make the process fun and enjoyable.
Vintage vs. newer construction: It's up to you.
Spokane has several neighborhoods that have undergone dramatic revitalizations, and they often have a combination of new construction, remodeled homes or historic fixer-uppers. "Having an agent who understands the working components of a home is definitely a benefit," Kendrick says. "Keeping an honest, logical mindset as to how much work you actually want to do can be a huge benefit down the road."
Know why you're buying.
Know going in if you're looking for a quality place to spend time with friends and family, or if you're looking for something with some appreciation potential that you might sell quickly. "There are endless strategies in the world of real estate," Kendrick says. "Do some research and find out what is most important to you."
Appreciating Spokane Real Estate
(Zip Code, Current median price, % increase in past year)
99201 - $137,600 - 9%
99202 - $140,200 - 6.5%
99203 - $239,900 - 8.6%
99204 - $203,800 - 11.2%
99205 - $146,600 - 6.9%
99206 - $204,000 - 10.4%
99207 - $121,100 - 10.9%
99208 - $226,000 - 6.7%
99212 - $170,400 - 9.2%
99217 - $170,900 - 7.0%
99223 - $257,600 - 10%
99224 - $282,800 - 7.2%
Average 2017 rents by Spokane neighborhood
$890 Hillyard, Moran Prairie, Southgate
$875 Latah Valley
$856 Lincoln Heights
$808 Chief Garry Park
$761 Browne's Addition, Peaceful Valley, West Central
$745 Balboa/South Indian Trail, Five Mile Prairie