help with a move
February 8, 2010 9:14 AM   Subscribe

Pullman Washington question- need some help, relocating

My wife just got a new job in Pullman and we will be moving there in June. I am in the Software development/applications building/website maintenance/IT Support field and will more likely be having to find a new job.

I am guessing for anything like this, I will have to commute to spokane, which I'm not to excited about.

Please give me your experiences in pullman. Should we live in Pullman? What about moscow?

We are both very active in the outdoors, mostly climbing and skiing.

If I do have to commute, what about other towns/cities in between the two, specifically rosalia or colfax.

Is there anything else I should know about the area?
posted by TheBones to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Either Pullman or Moscow is good for living in a small community. Pullman is more centered on the university, and Moscow has a bigger community with more houses. Moscow is more "hippie," which is pretty unusual for Idaho. Moscow has a slightly bigger downtown.

Look at taxes. Washington has no state income tax, but if you live in Idaho, you might have to think about that. (I don't know.)

There are some great hikes around the area. Kamiak Butte is the #1 spot, in my opinion. It's the best one that you can do close by.

Colfax is the county seat, but it is not much to write home about. Pullman, having the University, has lots more of everything.

You can either commute up to Spokane for work, or you can go south to Lewiston or Clarkston. However, do look at both Washington State University and the University of Idaho for jobs, if you haven't already. They are as big of employers as you are likely to find in the quad city area. (The what? Yes, despite the distance, Pullman/Moscow and Lewiston/Clarkston are the "quad city area.") Look at Lewis and Clark State College, too. It's in Lewiston; don't confuse it with the university of the same name in Portland.
posted by Knowyournuts at 9:29 AM on February 8, 2010

Lived in Pullman as a grad student until 2006, and I agree with Knowyournuts' assessment of the Pullman/Moscow area. Clarkston has the closest Costco, and Pullman/Moscow have large groceries (I'd recommend Winco in Moscow) and other retailers.

Colfax is a small town, but it could be a better home base if you are commuting to Spokane and your wife is going to Pullman (though you'd both need cars as there isn't much in the way of public transit between the population centers). There is a hike/bike trail between Moscow and Pullman, so a bike commute between the two is feasible.

I don't know what sort of climate you're used to, but Pullman gets some snow. Combined with the hilly roads into Lewiston/Clarkston or Spokane, you may want some good snow tires.

Schweitzer Engineering is another large employer in the area.

Enjoy the annual Lentil Festival in August.
posted by audi alteram partem at 9:43 AM on February 8, 2010

Many, many people who work in Pullman choose to live in Moscow. Moscow has charming historic neighborhoods, a nice downtown, a large food co-op, a fantastic farmer's market on Saturdays May-Nov and a smaller market on Tuesdays, a thriving arts scene, etc. Pullman is more of the "jock" town and Moscow is more of the "hippie" town.

If you have to commute to Spokane, I think you'll be happier living in one of the university towns rather than one of the farming towns in between, unless you are specifically looking for a more rural experience.

I have to run, am actually headed to Spokane right now, but feel free to PM me if I can be of help.
posted by HotToddy at 9:49 AM on February 8, 2010

Schweitzer Engineering is much bigger than people realize. Second largest employer in Pullman.
posted by chuke at 10:01 AM on February 8, 2010

Good tip on Schweitzer Engeineering, audi alteram partem. And I'd forgotten about the Chipman Trail - yes, one can now bike safely between Pullman and Moscow!

TheBones, are you going to rent or buy a place to live? If you rent (maybe before deciding where to settle): My experience with Pullman is that many of the rental companies expect to be renting to students and aren't, ah, customer-friendly. However, there is a new housing development up by Sunnyside Park, and they have some townhouses. I know someone who rented one of those. The farther away from the university you get, the fewer students you'll have in the rentals. Generally speaking, there are four "hills" to live on in Pullman, and that's how you describe your location. They are College Hill, Sunnyside Hill, Pioneer Hill, and Military Hill. If you want to know anything specific about renting or where to live or who to deal with, let us know.
posted by Knowyournuts at 10:02 AM on February 8, 2010

Response by poster: We will be renting. We also have 3 dogs and a cat. My wife is doing her veterinary residency there. We would really like/need to have a fenced in back yard for the dogs. Moscow sounds like a good choice. How far away is it? Someone above said it was bikeable?
posted by TheBones at 10:12 AM on February 8, 2010

It's just about 10 miles, and a trail has been built so you don't have to ride on the road itself.
posted by Knowyournuts at 10:27 AM on February 8, 2010

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