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Paul Turner: 25 questions to assist your search for your Spokane-area dream home

 (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
(Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

If you are looking to buy a house in the Spokane area this summer, you already have discovered something.

It’s this: Because of 2019 real estate market realities, you might have to look outside your familiar stamping grounds to get exactly what you want.

Your agent can answer almost all your questions. The big stuff, certainly. But there are a few things that might come up that fall outside his or her expertise. So that’s why I’m here to assist you.

See if this Q-and-A helps.

Q: Do they have grocery stores and stuff on the North Side?

A: It’s mostly marijuana shops.

Q: If I move to Idaho, will I have to vote like a Mr. Potatohead?

A: You don’t even need to go that far east to do that.

Q: If that Doors oldie, “People are Strange,” came on the radio as I was driving to an open house in a neighborhood with which I am not familiar, should I regard it as an omen?

A: No. It’s true, of course. People are strange. But to answer your question, no.

Q: If I move to the South Hill, do I have to start disdaining the rest of the Spokane area?

A: Which side of Regal are you talking about?

Q: If you live in Airway Heights, do you have to go to the casino?

A: I believe you are thinking of the prison.

Q: We have no children. Could the Mead area be right for us?

A: Sorry, kids are required there.

Q: Are reactionary bumper stickers and Confederate flags one way to judge a neighborhood?

A: What do you think?

Q: When did the NBA summer league become a thing?

A: Try to stick to real estate questions, please.

Q: If I buy in Cheney, will I be required to care about EWU sports?

A: No, that’s just if you rent.

Q: Do they count your guns before admitting you to Spokane Valley?

A: No, if you are moving there, it’s just assumed you have enough firepower.

Q: Is Peaceful Valley a hippie enclave?

A: It can be, at your house.

Q: Does Vinegar Flats have a distinctive aroma?

A: It depends on who is doing the grilling.

Q: Do they welcome diversity in Millwood?

A: What they welcome is people who don’t have a yard sale every weekend.

Q: How are the schools in Coeur d’Alene?

A: They get blamed for everything, like everywhere.

Q: What’s the barking dogs situation at Indian Trail?

A: They all give voice to the tune of “Jingle Bells,” like in that old Christmas novelty song.

Q: Do the garbage collectors on the South Hill judge you by the wine bottles in your recycling barrel?

A: Oh, yes.

Q: Does Minnehaha have a secret handshake?

A: Who wants to know?

Q: Are you required to operate your home as a B&B in Browne’s Addition?

A: Yes.

Q: Does Audubon-Downriver have noise issues?

A: It depends. What time were you thinking of going to bed?

Q: Is it Green Bluff or Greenbluff?

A: Yes.

Q: Does smoke from wildfires reach Hillyard?

A: Sometimes.

Q: Are you required to have an SUV on the South Hill?

A: Which side of 29th are you talking about?

Q: How do I know if Kendall Yards is right for me?

A: If you have to ask …

Q: Should I look for a residential property also zoned for bail bonds and tattoo parlors?

A: That depends on how you define your active Spokane lifestyle.

Q: Where am I most likely to find the perfect little fairy tale charmer with updated bathrooms and a two-car garage?

A: In your dreams. But you might also try looking in Five Mile.

Getting the word

Got an email over the weekend from a high school classmate who now lives in Seattle. He had sad news.

A mutual school friend had died, the eventual result of a devastating cycling accident back East.

After thinking about our classmate and his family – and looking for details online – my thoughts turned to the gentleman who had relayed this unfortunate news.

I felt such gratitude for him reaching out to me. I’m pretty sure we haven’t seen each other since the 10-year class reunion in 1983. We’ve emailed only a time or two since discovering we both lived in Washington.

Often losing touch with someone doesn’t require any hard feelings on either side. Sometimes it just happens.

Both he and our friend who died achieved positions of some prominence in higher education.

Do you have someone like that in your life? Someone who takes responsibility for passing the word about voices from the past going silent. Someone who has been doing that since long before Facebook, et cetera.

My friend in Seattle has always been someone you could count on to handle these grown-up duties.

When I was in college in Arizona eons ago, he sent me a letter from Vermont informing me that a mutual friend had died of a pernicious blood disease.

It isn’t an urge to spread morbid gossip that impels him to send these messages.

I think it’s called being a good man.

Columnist Paul Turner can be reached at