What Is The Cost of Living In Coeur D'Alene, Idaho?
Are you interested in living in a lake town with mountains nearby? Do you enjoy gambling and prefer cooler climates to warm beaches? If so, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, may be the perfect hometown for you. Unlike many other lake and alpine towns, the cost of living in Coeur d’Alene is actually close to the national average and more attainable for people with modest or average incomes, although the median income is quite low there.
While lower utility and transportation costs keep the cost of living down, home prices do clock in at $323,000, about $100,000 above the national average. These prices, inflated by vacation homes and cabins, can make living in Coeur d’Alene challenging for those who earn the city’s median income, which is $28,735. The overall cost of living index for Coeur d’Alene is 106.2 on a scale where the national base for average cost of living is 100.
People originally flocked to Coeur d’Alene to participate in the booming timber industry, and it still draws people today with its picturesque lakeside location perfect for watersports, its trails and other access to the great outdoors, and its proximity to Spokane, Washington.
The Cost of Homeownership in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Homeownership has become a significant challenge in Coeur d’Alene, and is one of the hottest markets in the nation with homes on the market for a median of only 6 days. Inventory is low in the area, and the problem is compounded by more people moving to the northern Idaho area. On the cost of housing index with the national base being 100, Coeur d’Alene sits at 139.8.
While that is only 40 percent more than the national average, it is a really significant amount due to the low median individual and household incomes. The price of homes in Coeur d’Alene increased 34.8 percent in the last 12 months; the wages did not.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the average monthly mortgage payment in 2018 was $1,221 per month, but that figure is likely to escalate quite a lot when new numbers are released. The household median income in Coeur d’Alene is $51,073 while the individual median income is $28,735.
Rental Costs in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
The lack of homes in Coeur d’Alene has translated to a high rental rate. In fact, approximately 40 percent of all homes are rentals. The median gross rent is $982, while the average rent is $1,276 per month. Here is the average price to rent based on several common apartment sizes:
Notably, the average monthly rate for 2-bedroom units increased 30 percent from the same time last year. Though, you can expect the cost of rent to vary depending on a number of factors, including the size, location, and quality of the apartment. The following table outlines how the average rent in Coeur d’Alene compares to other neighboring cities:
|City||Average Monthly Rent|
Utility Rates in Coeur d’Alene
The cost of living index for utilities reports that consumers spend significantly less on utilities in Coeur d’Alene than elsewhere in the country. Coeur d’Alene’s cost of living index for utilities is at 80.1 compared to a base of 100 for a nationwide average.
The lower cost comes about due to a number of factors. Coeur d’Alene’s proximity to the Columbia River Valley qualifies it for hydroelectric power at a lesser rate than other areas of the country, or even southern Idaho, pay. Precipitation in combination with mild summers is normally sufficient to sustain yards, so many people do not irrigate.
Electricity Rates: The average residential electricity bill in Idaho is $88 per month, which is below the national average of $107. In Coeur d’Alene, the residential electricity rate is $0.862 per KwH. Elsewhere in Idaho, electricity is slightly more expensive and the state average is $0.0867 KwH. The national average is $0.1188.
Taxes in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Taxpayers in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho pay three main forms of state and local taxes: a state income tax, local property taxes, and state and local sales taxes. The state’s progressive income tax system has a top rate of just 6.925%, while both the sales and property tax rates are relatively low.
Sales Tax in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
At 6%, the sales tax in Idaho is relatively low. In most cases, this is the rate you will be charged throughout the entire state. However, there are 14 resort cities and three auditorium districts that charge an additional local sales tax. These are typically referred to as “local option taxes,” as the cities that have them can determine which purchases are subject to the tax and at what rate.
For example, these cities commonly charge an extra tax on restaurant and food, lodging, and alcohol purchases. Fortunately, Coeur d’Alene residents are not subject to any of these local option taxes. However, you can expect to pay a higher sales tax if you travel to any of these 14 resort cities and three auditorium districts.
Property Taxes in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
As home values rise, so do property taxes. Real estate property taxes are calculated on the assessed value of the home, which is usually not the list or sell price, and is actually a percentage of the home’s value. Regardless, the more valuable the home, the more expensive the property taxes.
In cities like Coeur d’Alene where property values steeply rise, residents can face housing uncertainty as they suddenly become unable to afford their homes due to the increase in taxes when incomes do not match the same growth pattern.
Fortunately, Coeur d’Alene’s property tax rate is lower than the national average of 1.07 percent. In Coeur d’Alene, the average effective property tax rate is .920 percent. This translates to an average annual property tax amount of $2,300 per property.
Income Taxes in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Idaho has a progressive state income tax system, which means your rate depends on how much you make. There are seven total income tax brackets in Idaho, with marginal rates starting at 1.125% and reaching 6.925% for the state’s earners in the top bracket.
Although the bottom rate is low, Idaho’s top marginal rate is considered high on average. Unfortunately, since single filers only have to make over $11,760 a year and those married, filing jointly must make more than $23,520 to fall in the top bracket, most Coeur d’Alene residents will pay the maximum income tax rate.
Child Care Costs in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Coeur d’Alene benefits from the unicorn of cost of living calculations: less-than-average childcare rates. While child care oases exist across the country, driving up rates as demand outstrips supply, Coeur d’Alene’s child care index is only 86.1 on a scale where the national average is 100. This is a huge factor in the city’s lower cost of living index despite the high housing prices.
|Type of Care||Average Annual Cost|
|Infant at Home Care||$8,320|
|Infant at Day Care||$8,790|
|Toddler in Home Care||$6,840|
|Toddler in Day Care||$7,590|
Food & Grocery Expenses in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Food costs are in line with the U.S. average, with a 101.7 on the cost of living index.
Here is a list of some grocery items and prices in Coeur d’Alene; use this as a starting place to determine whether your grocery bills will be more or less expensive in Coeur d’Alene than where you currently live.
|Milk – 1 gallon||$2.48|
|Loaf of Bread – White – 1 pound||$2.67|
|Rice – White – 1 pound||$2.17|
|Eggs – 1 dozen||$2.04|
|Cheese – 1 lb||$4.11|
|Chicken Fillets – 1 lb||$5.00|
|Tomatoes – 1 lb||$1.66|
|Wine – 1 bottle – mid-range||$10.00|
Costs of Entertainment & Recreation in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Residents of Coeur d’Alene have many entertainment and recreation options, thanks to its natural surroundings and proximity to Spokane, Washington. There are also several family-type activities available.
The biggest attraction in Coeur d’Alene is the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel. In addition to gambling, it offers a spa and several dining options.
Here are some ideas for activity costs to help you plan an entertainment budget.
|CDA Summer Theatre||Price Varies – $25 – $75|
|Triple Play Family Fun Park||$10 – $45, depending on package selected|
|Silverwood Theme Park||$23 – $42|
|City Park and Centennial Trail||Free Admission|
|Stand-up Paddle Board Rental||$65+|
There are many recreation options on Coeur d’Alene Lake. Seaplane flights, cruises, and watersports are all popular lake activities. The waterfront offers a boardwalk, and a nearby nature area provides many miles of trails. The general location in the mountains draws people for all outdoor recreation opportunities, including camping, hiking, rafting, and fishing.
Education Costs in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Coeur d’Alene offers several educational opportunities for students, both in Coeur d’Alene and in the Spokane Metro Area.
Coeur d’Alene has only 3 private schools for Kindergarten through high school students. The average annual elementary school tuition is $8,323.
North Idaho College offers two-year degrees as well as dual-credit programs for high school students and technical programs like dental hygiene and automotive technology. Its annual in-state tuition is $4,960.
University of Idaho Coeur d’Alene is a four-year university that offers both undergraduate and master’s level degree programs. In-state tuition is $8,304 per year and out-of-state tuition is $12,456.
The median annual tuition at a public four-year university in the United States is $10,270
What do most people earn in Coeur d’Alene?
The per-person income for people living in Coeur d’Alene is $28,735. The household median income is $51,073. About 14.8 percent of Coeur d’Alene residents live at or below federal poverty guidelines. 27.3 percent of the workforce has a bachelor’s degree or higher.
How far away is Spokane? What is the travel time?
The distance between the two cities is 33 miles, and it only takes about 35 minutes to cover that distance. Shuttles run between Coeur d’Alene and the airport in Spokane
What are the main industries in Coeur d’Alene?
Tourism, healthcare, and government services comprise the largest employers in Coeur d’Alene. The lack of large, private industry in the area contributes to the lower median incomes.
Is Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Right for You?
Coeur d’Alene is currently seeing an influx of people who can now work from anywhere who want to enjoy a more small-town lifestyle with many outdoor opportunities and other amenities. It is particularly appealing for people in the Spokane Metro Area who want to snap up the undeveloped land to build custom homes and take advantage of the natural beauty of the area.
The low median income in the area has created housing challenges for locals who want to purchase homes in Coeur d’Alene, and anyone considering moving to the area needs to be aware of the quickly increasing home values and the exceptionally low inventory. Expect a competitive offer process with houses going significantly above the list price.
If you can get and afford a home in the area, and the low utility costs and many recreation options can provide a great lifestyle and living experience.
Kirbee is a licensed attorney and real estate broker, but DIY projects of all kinds call to her. Kirbee loves being at home with her husband, daughter, and dog and investing her time and energy into projects to make their home a unique and comfortable place for all of them. Her favorite projects include gardening, building new items, and creating solutions to manage clutter.
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