Marikay Mace – From Sunny Spokane to Seattle and Back Again
Marikay Mace is always up for an adventure.
The 68-year-old livewire grew up in southern Idaho, raised her children in Spokane, and moved to Seattle as a single empty-nester.
“I wanted something different. On a visit to my son, who was living outside of Seattle, I decided to move. I wanted change and I found it!”
Marikay had worked as a teacher in Spokane for 17 years, and taught another ten years in Snohomish. “Moving to the Seattle area was new and exciting for me,” says Marikay. “I made friends and settled in.” She built a house and had every intention of living the rest of her life on the ‘westside.’ When she retired from teaching, she took acting classes and worked part-time as a Weight Watchers’ leader. The acting classes paid off and she began to get jobs modeling and doing commercials. “I loved it!”
After ten more years, life was slowing down a bit. “I wasn’t working as much, and my grandson was growing up. What 16-year-old boy wants to hang out with Grandma?”
She wanted the chance to spend more time with her young granddaughter in Spokane. Plus, she admits, “With more spare time, I realized that the Northwest gloom had become too overwhelming.” Not to mention trying to get around in Seattle area traffic. “After 20 years, I decided to move back to Spokane.”
Marikay relocated in 2012 and hasn’t looked back since. “It was the right decision,” she says with certainty. “For one thing, the cost of living is lower in Spokane and I got a great deal on my condo, which is almost as large as my house back in Seattle. The savings leave me with more money to travel.”
Her realtor, Marianne Bornhoft of Windermere Real Estate, confirms the values in the Spokane area. “Marikay bought at a good time. Values have risen since last year and should continue to rise. It won’t be the huge increases—the leaps and bounds we saw before the bust—but it will be a steady increase that will continue every year. Retirees,” she notes, “seem to be flocking to the area. They like the four-season climate; we have so many great walkable neighborhoods, shopping, first-class educational and cultural opportunities, and high quality medical care. And the park system, which was designed by the world famous Olmstead brothers, is a big plus.” She notices that some folks are buying now, before retirement, to take advantage of still-low housing prices. “They buy and then rent out their house until they do retire,” says Bornhoft. “We welcome retirees here,” she adds. “They bring in a wealth of knowledge and experience, and they give back to the community through volunteer work and by increasing the tax base.”
Marikay opted to buy in the small community of Liberty Lake, halfway between Spokane and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. “It’s really the best of both worlds,” she says. “Just about everything I need or want is within walking distance—grocery stores, a popular farmers market, city services,