I am also a transplant. My husband and I moved here a few years ago from the East Valley in Arizona. We chose North Idaho because we were looking for an area with seasons and a a slower paced life. We visited the area one summer and like most people, we fell in love with the charm this little town has. I remember feeling as though we were back on the Mayberry days or a Hallmark movie. As we drove around the different areas, we saw kids playing in the street, people bicycling and the people couldn't be friendlier. My husband and I were looking for a place we can slow down and enjoy life a little more. We had visited and researched a lot of places in the United States but when we came to Coeur d'Alene, we knew this was the ideal place for us. That short trip was all we needed to pack up our lives and businesses to start out new adventure.
I would love to be your resource if you're looking to make that move to the Inland Northwest. I understand how stressful and scary it is to start over. We did not know a soul when we got here. We had no help or resources for anyone. Navigating housing was one of the more difficult and stressful obstacles. With inventory for rentals and homes to purchase was so low, we didn't have a lot to choose from. We rented a property sight unseen. From our experience, I don't recommend that.
North Idaho is not known as a food scene. I guess you can say we were spoiled and had access to nearly every cuisine you can imagine. Don't get me wrong, there are some great places here but in general, there's not a lot to choose from.
If you like shopping, there isn't a lot to choose from here. Yes, Spokane has malls and Nordstrom's but there aren't any in the Coeur d'Alene area. You'll find boutiques downtown and sprinkled throughout the area but there aren't many options especially if you're looking for something specific. There are the common big box stores like Target, Costco, TJMaxx and Best Buy.
This town shuts down early even restaurants. Other than summer time, this town shuts down around 8pm. If you're looking for night life, you'll need to go downtown.
One reason we moved here was due to the weather. Call us crazy but we wanted seasons. The weather here is very unique. For example, the other day I was wearing sandals and enjoying the warm sunshine. The following day 5" of snow blanketed the ground in the early morning than back to blue skies in the afternoon. The joke is that if you don't like the weather, just wait 15 minutes and it'll change. This Easter we had snow. I've heard of snow in the beginning of July before. Just always be prepared.
There are no professional sporting events or teams here. If you love that, you'll need to travel outside the area. The same goes for concerts.
One thing that I had taken for granted was high speed internet and cell service. Even if you are in town or close to town, you may be surprised that high speed internet is not available or not the speed you're used to. Cell service can be random as well. I have found that Verizon cell service is preferred. We had Sprint when we arrived and it was horrible. We currently have Spectrum high internet and it's great in town. Other internet options are InterMax, HughesNet, Viasat, AirPipe and Ptera but outside of town or on the other side of the lake. I do think in time it will improve but for now if you absolutely need internet, triple check your options before renting or purchasing a home.
What we fell in love most with when visiting is the small town quant feeling. It portrays the sense of what life was when we grew up. Kids playing outside, everyone's friendly and there's a large sense of community. Mom and Pop stores thrive and succeed is important to us. Crime is very low in comparison and we felt we could escape the city "rat race". If you love outdoor activities, you'll never be bored here. With numerus lakes activities, hiking, biking and camping are just a few things to do.
If you have any questions about the area or would like to chat about the logistics of making the move to North Idaho, please call me. I am happy to chat with you. You can reach me at 208-758-9000.