homes in browne's addition

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Browne’s Addition

…And what makes it such a cool neighborhood!

Browne’s Addition is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Spokane, and it’s easy to see why. The neighborhood has a rich and diverse history, a unique cultural vibe, and the breweries aren’t too bad, either!

Whether you’re a Spokane native or considering moving to the area, here are 7 things you probably didn’t know about Browne’s Addition:


#1 It’s Named After a Man, Not a Color


Although Browne’s Addition is often written as “Brown’s Edition,” this is actually incorrect! The neighborhood is named after its founder, John J. Browne (or J.J. Browne to his friends), who built the neighborhood in addition (get it?!) to the existing Spokane Falls area. When Browne’s Addition was founded, there were less than 55 people living in all of Spokane Falls. Browne and his partner, A.M. Cannon, purchased 120 acres of land, which would become Browne’s Addition and Cannon’s Addition, respectively.


#2 It’s the Oldest Neighborhood in Spokane


Browne purchased the land to found Browne’s Addition in 1878, making it the first official neighborhood in Spokane. Just 10 years later, Brown and Cannon had founded the Spokane Street Railway Company and the first horse-drawn streetcar line ran from Browne’s Addition to Downtown Spokane on April 15th, 1888.  


#3 Part of the Neighborhood was Acquired Through the Homestead Act


By the end of the 1800’s, Browne’s Addition was starting to get a lot of attention from the wealthy community in Spokane. Its close proximity to downtown and its stunning views of the Spokane River made the neighborhood highly desirable to those who could afford it. Eager to grow the neighborhood and capitalize on the local interest in the area, J.J. Browne applied for and was approved for a homestead grant for the remainder of the land that he didn’t already own.

#4 Coeur d’Alene Park Was Built to Attract High-End Home Builders 

coeur d'alene park wa

Coeur d’Alene Park in the winter

In keeping with the theme of growing the neighborhood and attracting the wealthy, Browne and Cannon decided to build a park. Both Browne and Cannon donated land to the park equally. For over 120 years, Coeur d’Alene Park has been a local gathering point for Spokanites. The park is full of enormous trees, lush green grass, and is surrounded by mansions of every variety. Coeur d’Alene Park was hugely instrumental in growing Browne’s Addition into the neighborhood and cultural epicenter it is today.


#5 The Neighborhood Was Once Considered “Low Rent”


Browne’s Addition was originally a high end neighborhood – extremely high end. Mansions of every make and model can be found on nearly every street, even to this day. But after the Great Depression, the type of lodger interested in the Browne’s Addition started to change. The neighborhood’s close proximity to downtown made it appealing to the working class, and it wasn’t long before those large mansions started to be broken up into smaller apartments or rented out on a room-by-room basis. This trend continued on for several decades, until a savvy group of investors came in during the 1980s and fueled an urban revival in the Browne’s Addition. Thirty years later, Browne’s Addition has reclaimed its status as luxurious and hip, and has been officially registered as a Historic District since 1976.


#6 The Real Estate Ranges From Modern Condos to Victorian Mansions


One great carryover from Browne’s Addition’s sordid past is that many of those mansions that were broken up post-Depression have been converted into condos and townhomes. This means that there is a little something for every budget. Condos and townhomes are surprisingly reasonably priced, especially at the edges of the neighborhood. Home buyers can enjoy all the perks of the neighborhood – its walkability, proximity to downtown, museums, restaurants, and breweries – for prices in the $200,000s. Buyers who want to live closer to Coeur d’Alene Park will pay a little more for the real estate. And of course, bungalows, ramblers, and mansions can be purchased for those looking for a single occupancy home. Real estate in this area is coveted, so start your home search early.


#7 It’s Only a 10 Minute Walk to Downtown


We’ve mentioned several times that Browne’s Addition is close to downtown Spokane, but did you know it’s only a 10 minute walk?! This is the perfect neighborhood for young professionals who work downtown, but also for downsizers and empty nesters who don’t want the burden of owning and maintaining a car. If you don’t want to walk to downtown, there are plenty of coffee shops, restaurants, boutiques, bars, and breweries right in Browne’s Addition. And don’t forget, Browne’s Addition first became renowned for its beautiful landscapes and views, so you really aren’t going to find a prettier walk anywhere else!


Looking to Buy a Home in Browne’s Addition? 


Real estate in Browne’s Addition is highly sought-after, which is why the Real Estate Agent Spokane Team

spokane realtor

Carrie Meyer, Real Estate Agent Spokane Team

recommends setting up a search early on. Even if you’re just considering the area amongst others, an MLS search can give you an accurate and timely idea of what’s available and for what price. I specialize in helping people relocate to Spokane, and Browne’s Addition is one of the most popular neighborhoods my clients move to.


If you’re looking at moving to Browne’s Addition or anywhere else in Spokane, we’d love to learn a little more about your move and help you find the perfect space. Whether you’re looking to upgrade, relocate, or downsize (or all three!), we can help you find what you’re looking for. Contact me today to set up a custom search and learn more about how you can buy a house while still living out of state.

downsizing in spokane

Three Surprising Benefits of Downsizing After the Kids Move Out

If you’ve been living in your house for awhile and the kids have grown up and moved away, it might be time to think about moving into a more practical house. This type of move is often referred to as ‘downsizing,” but for many, it’s actually more about “right-sizing.” After 15-20 years living in the same house, many people find that their priorities have changed, and something a little different would suit them better.


Downsizing or “rightsizing” can have some surprising perks. Here are the three biggest benefits my clients see after making the move.


#1 A New Home is Easier to Manage


For many people, downsizing isn’t about getting a smaller space, it’s about getting a space that’s easier to care for and get around in. It’s about finding somewhere that you can age in place. This could mean moving from a multi-level home to a single story to eliminate the stress of the stairs, or it could mean moving from a house with a yard to a townhouse with a nice patio instead.


A growing list of impending home repairs is one of the biggest triggers that prompts a move after living in a house for several years. At a certain point, it becomes easier and more cost efficient to move into a newer home that’s unlikely to need any major repairs in the next 5-10 years. A newer home also provides the opportunity to get a layout that makes sense for lifestyle today. What worked 15 years ago might not be the best arrangement now.


Finding a newer home with amenities more aligned with your lifestyle and priorities will alleviate stress and free up time that would have been spent on cumbersome maintenance projects and yard work. Sometimes, easier really is better!


#2 Socializing and Family Time is Easier


Moving closer to kids and grandkids can be an immensely rewarding reason to relocate out of town or out of state. In fact, this is one of the most common reasons that our clients tell us about they are relocating to Spokane.


But grandkids aren’t the only reason downsizers move to improve their social life. We frequently see people who have been living in rural or suburban neighborhoods moving closer to city centers, where they can walk to restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores, and volunteer at the local community gardens. Boomers who associate with the “active grandparent” lifestyle will find plenty to do in the new Kendall Yards district, with shopping, dining, and art in walking distance.


On the other hand, many retirees are looking to buy a peaceful plot of land and settle into retirement. In many cases, this is a “right-sizing” situation – I often help newly retired couples build their dream home on acreage just outside of town. While it might not be smaller, new builds generally come with lower maintenance burdens and cater to your exact specifications. Hello, forever home.


Living in a lower maintenance home, closer to friends, family, food, and activities makes socializing and family time much easier!  


#3 Your Money Can Go a Lot Further


The economic impact of downsizing can be huge, even for people moving in a house of similar square footage. For people moving out of older homes into newer ones, there is often a significant savings in repairs, maintenance, lawn care, and electrical/heating/gas costs. Simply put, the cost of operating your house could be much lower.


Another economic benefit comes from the sale and purchase itself. I typically see that people who have lived in their homes for several years have a significant amount of equity built up. For many, purchasing a new home isn’t contingent upon the sale of their existing home, which means they have more buying power and can sell their existing home on their own terms. And those who do actually downsize into a smaller home may walk away from their new home purchase ahead of the game.


The great thing about reducing costs and lowering the economic burden of the home is that those extra funds can now be used to visit with friends, spoil grandchildren, or simply pad the savings account.


How Do I Buy a New House While Selling This One?


Starting the process of buying a new house while selling your current home can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. To learn more about how to buy while selling, please contact us directly.

Carrie Meyer is a full service realtor who specializes in relocation purchases, investment properties, and new build transactions with acreage. A Spokane transplant herself, Carrie understands the challenges and benefits inherent in moving to a new city.