When we think of Washington, we think of the humidity, the rain, and the green. We may also think about the many Indian-influenced names that surround the culture of Washington state such as Tacoma, Issaquah, and Chelan. Though these sound nice sounding, they are not all cut out to be. Today we focus on the city of Pullman, Washington.
Pullman, Washington is in the farthest most southeast of the state of Washington and, for the most part, does not fully reflect the “nice sounding” aspect of what was said earlier. Here we will explain why this is so and why someone should not consider Pullman, Washington when moving.
1. Small Community
If you move from a high or a medium size populated area, there’s bad news. Pullman, Washington is a lot smaller than you think. Yes, some people may like the smallness of this kind of level but for someone who is used to being surrounded by a large family of people, then getting used to the small, tight-knit, community may be difficult.
Sure, someone can get used to it like with other things, but the interaction with the same people over and over gets a bit repetitive and boring. I’m not saying that having close connections with people is a bad thing, I’m just saying that some people would rather talk to a multiplicity of people to feel like they are part of something larger. Or they could simply want more people to talk to on average.
Another idea of why people would not like this small community is the lack of ideas and other diversities. Diversities in culture (which we will address later) and ideas are certainly present in larger communities as it provides more people to express their passion and love in various ways. The community is large enough that everyone is not uniform in style in which could provide that interest in getting involved in the community. In the end, do not live in Pullman, Washington if small crowds aren’t your thing.
2. A lot of Hills to Climb
Finally, escaping the university town-related segments, Pullman, Washington has hills and a lot of them. If you are not much of a walker, perhaps avoid Pullman as it sits on four major hills such as Military Hill, hills north of the Palouse River and West from North Grand Avenues Pioneer Hill, south of main street and downtown, and east of the southern part of the grand avenue (Source). If you are a student, you will be walking along these hills mostly since most students do not have their own vehicles during their time spent at school. Get ready to be conditioned to hills whether you like it or not.
3. Extreme Temperatures
For the temperatures in Pullman, Washington, we can surprisingly compare it to the likes of states such as Arizona, southern Utah, and southern California. For all of these states compared, Pullman, Washington gets extremely hot during the peak of summers, and only for Arizona and Utah, cold during the winter times. Both instances can make it unbearable to properly function well. For the states of Arizona and Utah, Pullman, Washington is dry and the lack of humidity year-round is a big turn-off for many.
4. Depressing and Not-Enough Depressing Weather
Building off of the previous segment, let’s explain the weather for a moment. Generally, we would that Washington state is depressing regarding its overcast and constant rainfall, along with the average coolness of the temperature. Unlike Washington state’s stereotyped weather, Pullman, Washington receives more than what Washington state is assumed to have.
For example, large snowfalls during the winter are the norm, and preparation to work around it is a must. And we are talking about actual snow that falls and stays, unlike other areas of Washington state where the snow falls and immediately looks like a week-old snow, full of slush.
As for heat, heat waves are common, and it is no surprise that wildfires can erupt from such situations. From personal experience living in Idaho right now, I have experienced SMOG (severe air pollution) that has come from either Oregon or Washington. We may see these two states as less likely to produce such, but the further east you go, the similarities from the eastern side of Oregon and Washington to other naturally hot and dry states are massive.
5. High Sales Tax
In the state of Washington, there is no income state tax, which may be a good thing for most people, however, there is a high sales tax that is a must. This means all other goods purchased are inflicted with a heavy tax on them. Right now, Washington is still one of the states with the highest sales tax that exceeds the average rate of 9% (Source).
You might get lucky with nearby states such as Oregon and Idaho and their potential benefits of a low sales tax rate. I know Oregon itself has no sales tax so you could take a trip down to Oregon for large purchases to avoid the hefty fee that Washington offers.
6. University Town
Now on to the fun topic that will certainly be a hit or miss for some. Pullman, Washington is the home to Washington State University. And if we know anything about university towns, they can be too wild at times and become a burden for those trying to enjoy the small town and quiet feel.
This may not happen as much as you would imagine, but if they do during events such as football games and the holidays, then it can reach up to the level of rowdiness and chaos. For the football events, this will perhaps be the largest known gathering that will produce such effects on behavior and attitude among its students and the community from all the hype and other social purposes.
Avoid this city in Washington if you are either older, do not like big events such as football games, or simply do not want to be disturbed by anything like the bustling crowd and the noises that comes with it.
7. Washington State University Vs University of Washington
In relation to the university, there is a constant battle over which school is better. Surprisingly, University of Washington students or alumni do reside in Pullman, Washington, and will continue to contend that their school is better. The constant back-and-forth between arguments about this subject can get annoying to hear day in and day out.
It is certainly a school’s pride to be on top and will whatever they can to prove it, such as those football games, other sporting events, club events, etc. In the end, it doesn’t matter and that’s the worst part. No one will agree and being a part of this “situation” will deter anyone who simply does not care.
8. Post-Graduate Boredom
Now, focusing on the students themselves. Once they have their fill with college life and enjoyed every minute, what is there to do after graduation? Honestly, not much. Even if you decide to work for the school, it isn’t the same as when they were students themselves.
Many people continue to have fun but at that point, one might be married and focused on their family more than on the personal enjoyment they used to have. Also, there are not many jobs in Pullman that would warrant anyone to stay beyond their college graduation. It is better to find a better post-graduation life outside of Pullman as it provides newer opportunities when one receives their respective degrees of their chosen major.
9. Lack of Greenery
As mentioned earlier, Pullman, Washington is not the definition of Washington state’s weather conditions. Ironically, Washington is named the Evergreen state and though about 80% of the state is green, not everything is. You are in the right place if you want that Washington feel.
In fact, you may be receiving a desert and desolate feel. The Lack of green and trees is one of the major factors that will not be appealing to many. Pullman, Washington can be seen as a type of rural environment that has open fields and a more brown than green color palette.
10. Young Population
Still staying with the university aspect of Pullman, Washington, the majority of its population are between the ages of 18-25. The young and reckless are a common label for them by the older folks in the area. As I said earlier, avoid Pullman if you are a bit older.
The chances that some want to remain involved in the university’s events and its young population are low, especially if you do not have any kids yourself who attend the university at the moment and those without kids or are far out of the house living their own lives somewhere else. Other than football games, I see no other reason why anyone would want to continue to involve themselves in the young people’s lives and lifestyles.
11. Lacking Cultural Diversity
When finally addressing cultural diversity, well, there is barely any. Because of the naturally small community and population (about 32,000 in 2020), there are not many people to build from if we are wanting to create more diversity in cultural factors (Source).
This is about 2,000 people less than what Rexburg, Idaho has now. And seeing this from an Idahoan perspective, it is true. There are no significant cultural differences between students and the community so far. Looking for cultural diversity is barely present in Pullman, Washington.
12. Inconvenient Driving
As we said, there is not much to do in Pullman, Washington. If you want to find something to do, you must travel to find a hint of entertainment. Even grocery shopping requires one to travel a bit for the necessities. Finally, gas prices are continuing to rise as it is close to $6 for now and will be rising further in the future. Having this in mind it may be the best place to live as it requires you to travel some considerable distance for necessities and a sliver of entertainment. Unless you’re made of money, do not live in Pullman, Washington.
From the baseline cost of housing and this home appreciation, we can safely say that homes are costing more than ever and seems to only increase. Your wallet is not worth the price of housing, especially in a smaller-than-usual community.
13. Too Many Pumpkins
From another personal experience visiting Pullman during the Halloween season, there were surprisingly a lot of pumpkin-based activities in Pullman, Washington. As a person who does not like pumpkins all that much, it was stale seeing pumpkins every minute of my day and eventually hated seeing the pumpkins and orange. I suppose pumpkins are a norm in Pullman, Washington during the autumn season and Halloween.
14. Cost of Housing
What can I say about housing in Pullman, Washington other than that it is expensive for the average outsider? The cost of housing in Washington state will be high and even though Pullman is a small town, is not immune to these high costs.
For an individual who wants to purchase a home in Pullman, Washington, the median home cost is about $368,800 for a 10-year commitment, and adding on to this, home appreciation in Pullman in the past 10 years has increased 100.7%, and increased the overall home appreciation in Pullman, Washington at 8.1% (Source). For a yearly estimate, the median cost of housing is about $31,400-$33,100 (Source).
From the baseline cost of housing and this home appreciation, we can safely say that homes are costing more than ever and seems to only increase. Your wallet is not worth the price for housing, especially in a smaller-than-usual community.
15. Not Much of a Romantic Getaway
First off, why would you even consider Pullman, Washington a romantic getaway? From all of the things addressed, Pullman, Washington would not even be the last thing on my mind. If we are thinking about a getaway regarding traveling to another state or country, Pullman isn’t it. If we are talking about college students having date nights within Pullman, I think that is fine. Again, a lack of entertainment and exploration will detract anyone if they are seeking such busyness.
16. Not Enough Entertainment
Though Pullman, Washington is a university town, it is shocking to know that it does not have anything. Not that many restaurants to enjoy, theatres to go to, or even grocery stores. The university itself can only provide so much that a lot of it is not accessible to non-students.
I may be able to compare this idea to my place of residence right now, which is Rexburg, Idaho. I currently attend Brigham Young University-Idaho and though I’m a student here and have access to activities and events, there is not much outside of this. And again, since I am an enrolled individual, I have access to things that those non-students cannot enjoy themselves or are very limited in their access to while students have full access.
Unless you are an accepted student at Washington State University, you will not have a long-lasting fun time in Pullman, Washington. And even if you are a student, start being creative once you exhaust all forms of activity and access to prevent from being too bored.
To end, Pullman, Washington does have a considerable amount of people living under the federal poverty line. About 45% are living under these conditions back in 2016 and, at the time, part of Whitman County had the highest poverty rate in the state (Source).
In recent news, the percentage has decreased a bit. In 2021, it has resulted in 35.9% of those living under poverty conditions (Source). Since Pullman, Washington is a smaller town, the pay will be lower for the average employee, but this does not help with the nature of the high cost of living. Struggling to make ends meet may be challenging for those working within the town. If you plan to move to Pullman, Washington, you better find a job outside the city.
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