What Is The Cost Of Living In Spokane, Washington?

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante

Washington state has as much character and charm as the pacific northwest can offer. Spokane is a city in Washington that offers nightlife, gorgeous greenery, and a melting pot of cultures. With all that the city has to offer, what exactly is the cost of living in Spokane, Washington, and can you afford it?

Spokane’s cost of living is 8% less than the national average and 22% less than Washington state’s. It offers affordable housing with a median home value of $335,100. There is no state income tax in Washington state, and Spokane residents only spend $2,515 per year on property taxes. Single residents can spend $300 or less per month on groceries, and the excellent public school system saves money for Spokane parents.

Washington is a tax-friendly state, even for retirees, and Spokane is no different. Follow along as we explore the cost of living in Spokane, Washington.

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Cost Of Living In Spokane, Washington: Housing Costs

Housing costs are low in Spokane, Washington, and that’s why 51.1% of residents own their homes. The median home value in Spokane is $335,100, and the majority of homes have a value between 150,000 and $299,999. Spokane residents spend an average of $1,433 per month in homeownership costs, and most of that comes from mortgage payments.

Less than $500 of monthly ownership costs in Spokane come from bills, repairs, and maintenance. Builder-owners in Spokane are in luck as the average cost to build per square foot is $151.51 for construction and materials.

Of course, that price can largely increase by choosing premium materials, such as marble and hardwood. It also will go up just like everywhere else when supply shortages occur.

LocationMedian Home ValueHomeownership Rate
Salt Lake City$523,40044.3%
United States$291,70056.2%

Over the last five years, the median home value in Spokane, WA has gone up significantly, and that’s good news for homeowners. If you are in the market for a house in Spokane, you’ll pay more than five years ago, but it’s a worthy investment. Assuming the trend continues, you’ll be able to sell at the asking price and for a profit.

Cost Of Property Taxes In Spokane, WA

Property taxes are a necessary evil and cost for homeowners in Spokane, Washington, but rates are low in the county. Spokane County only imposes a 1.01% property tax rate on the assessed value of your home, and that’s slightly higher than the state average. On average, Spokane residents spend $2,515 each year in property tax payments.

Senior citizens in Spokane County are eligible for property tax exemptions if they earn less than $40,000 a year. Spokane residents that have a disability can also qualify for property tax exemptions if they provide documented proof of the condition. If you’re 62 or older, contact the County Assessor and see if you are eligible for an exemption on your property taxes.

Cost Of Living In Spokane, Washington: Rent Prices

Spokane may be one of the most dangerous places to live in Washington, but it’s also among the cheapest. The average cost of rent in Spokane is $913 per month, and that’s below cities like Seattle and Olympia. A one-bedroom apartment can cost you as little as $650 per month in Spokane, or as much as $1,500.

LocationAverage Rent
Salt Lake City$985

Even two-bedroom apartments are affordable in Spokane, and they generally start at $850-$1,000 per month. Floor plans and the number of bathrooms and bedrooms ultimately decide how much your Spokane apartment will cost.

Once you get into three-bedroom apartment territory, rent costs can soar to $1,300 per month. On average, for a 4-bedroom apartment, you would pay about $1,584 per month.

The most expensive neighborhood to rent an apartment in Spokane is Browne’s Addition. Other neighborhoods, such as West Central Spokane, Riverside, and Peaceful Valley are also above the $1,300 range. Generally, the cheapest apartments you can find in Spokane are in North Hill where you can pay $650-$800 per month.

Spokane NeighborhoodsAverage Rent
North Hill$650-$800
Peaceful Valley$1,345

Average Utility Bill Costs In Spokane, WA

Basic utilities, such as water, trash, and electricity cost an average of $140-$155 per month in Spokane. Luckily for Spokane residents, utility bills are 24% below the national average in the city, and that’s especially true for renters. Utilities can soar to the $400-$500 range for homeowners with multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, and plumbing fixtures in Spokane.

Beyond basic utilities, other expenses, such as internet and cable bills are a factor in the cost of living in Spokane. Internet bills generally run Spokane residents $60-$70, but it varies based on your provider. Cable plans run between $25 and $70 or more in Spokane, Washington, and can be paired with the internet as well.

Cost Of Living In Spokane, Washington: Taxes

Believe it or not, there are no state income taxes in Washington state, and that applies to Spokane residents. Spokane is a great city to retire in because there are no taxes imposed on Social Security payments or pensions either. Only six other states can make such a claim, but there are other taxes Spokane residents have to deal with.

TaxesRate & Cost
State Income Tax0%
Sales Tax8.9%
Gasoline Tax$0.49 Per Gallon
Property Tax1.15%

Spokane is neither a high-tax or low-tax city, but the sales tax rate is high at 8.9%. This city makes up for that with the 1.15% property tax rate which can save you a fortune as a homeowner. One tax that may not seem high but adds up fast is the $0.49 per gallon gasoline tax.

You may wind up spending up to $321 per year in gasoline taxes at the pump in Spokane, Washington. Other taxes, such as liquor tax, can get high in Spokane as well to the tune of 20.5%. Some of the higher taxes, like liquor and sales, are made up for by the lack of state income tax for Spokane residents.

Food Prices In Spokane, WA

Single residents can get by on $300 per month or less on groceries in Spokane, Washington. Eating out at restaurants can seriously increase your monthly food expenses, and restaurant meals cost $12-$15 per person. Some of Spokane’s nicer restaurants can cost you $70 for dinner and drinks for two people.

FoodAverage Cost
Meal At Restaurant$12-$15.00
Dinner For 2 With Drinks$60-$70.00
Gallon of Milk$3.00
Dozen Eggs$2.20
Pound of Chicken$4.60
Pound of Beef$5.40

Monthly grocery expenses can rise to $400-$550 for family households, and it increases with each child. Essentials, like a gallon of milk and one dozen eggs, are inexpensive and cost $3.00 and $2.20, respectively. Meat can get pricey in Spokane, however, with basic meats like beef costing $5.40 per pound.

Cost Of Living In Spokane, Washington: Education Costs

Spokane is home to many great public schools, and they can save parents thousands of dollars per year. There are also many amazing private schools in Spokane, and the average private tuition is just over $11,000 per year. Private elementary schools are a great option, and the average tuition is $10,517 per year.

The high school has higher private tuition and generally costs an average of $13,054 per year. Luckily, you can find private education for under $2,000 per year in Spokane, Washington, but it’s usually much higher. Full-time daycare can cost Spokane parents $7,000-$10,000 per year depending on the provider.

There are several colleges in Spokane that are well-regarded and have a great reputation. Gonzaga University, for example, costs $34,000 per year, on average, and boasts an 84% graduation rate. Spokane Falls Community College, however, is the best budget option, and it costs only $3,634 per year for residents.

Driving Costs In Spokane, WA

Right now, you can fill up your tank for $3.51 per gallon in Spokane, Washington. Gas prices are somewhat high in Spokane, and it can cost you $2,300 per year. The average driver uses 656 gallons of gasoline per year, and that’s important to know when gasoline taxes are so high in Spokane.

Car insurance premiums in Spokane are fair, but they can go up drastically with poor driving history. There are premiums available for between $860 and $1,300 or more for Spokane drivers. Spokane is home to many drivers, and the average commute time is 22 minutes, so you’ll spend a small fortune on gas.

Costs Of Living In Spokane, Washington: Public Transportation

Bus travel is the most common form of public transportation in Spokane, and it’s quite affordable. A single two-hour bus pass costs $1 for children and $2 for adults in Spokane. Daily bus passes cost $4, but you can save money with a $17 weekly pass.

Minors between the ages of 6 and 18 benefit from the summer youth pass for $40. Spokane also offers monthly passes for disabled residents that cost only $60 and includes unlimited rides. Because Spokane is not a huge public transportation city, you cannot find monthly passes beyond that.

Public TransitAverage Cost
2 Hour Bus Pass$1.00 (Children) $2.00 (Adults)
Day Bus Pass$4.00
Weekly Bus Pass$17.00
Summer Youth Pass$40.00

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What Did We Learn?

Spokane is an affordable city that offers cheap and safe housing. The median home value is $224,800, and the average monthly rent is only $913. You can build a home in Spokane for as little as $151 per square foot, and houses appreciate quickly.

Single residents in Spokane can spend $300 or less on groceries each month. There is no state income tax in Spokane, and sales and property taxes are low. The average homeowner in Spokane only spends $2,404 in property tax payments each year, a small price to pay for no income tax.

Pay attention to your gas mileage as you can spend up to $1,567 per year on gas due to the average 22-minute commute. Otherwise, you can take advantage of Spokane’s convenient and extensive public transportation and bus routes. Spokane is beautiful, unique, and cultured, and it’s an affordable place to live.

Related Questions

How much do you need to make to live comfortably in Spokane, WA?

To live comfortably in Spokane, a good salary would be about $50,000. A Spokane resident makes about $24,511 a year, while the median household income is $42,814.Based on these numbers, even though the cost of living is lower in Spokane, you still need to seek out a higher-paying job to live there comfortably. The current unemployment rate is 6.6%. The majority of jobs are held in the healthcare and social assistance industries, followed by the retail trade.

Is Spokane cheaper than Seattle?

Yes, Spokane is almost 86.7% more affordable than Seattle. It’s true, median incomes are higher in Seattle, with single residents averaging $44,167 and households averaging $67,365. However, the average cost of living in Seattle is about 70% higher than the national average, with housing costs that more than triple the US average.The median home price in Seattle is $851,400, more than double Spokane’s median home price. Plus, the majority of homes in Seattle have a value of $500,000 to $999,999. Seattle homeowners paid an average of $5,700 in property taxes.Renting a studio apartment in Seattle averages $1,572 a month and a 4-bedroom costs roughly $3,086 per month.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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