After you live in Sandpoint for a while, you discover that when people meet, one of the most popular questions to ask is "how did you end up in Sandpoint?" When we moved here, apart from a few natives, we quickly discovered that most people we met moved here from somewhere else. So wondering how people actually found this tiny corner of Idaho isn’t unreasonable.
One thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of people we’ve met moved here after an exhaustive search. Sure, some people apply for and get a job in Sandpoint, but many people we’ve met basically found Sandpoint first, decided they wanted to live here, and then figured out how to make it happen.
We actually fall into that second category. In our case, we started our business with the idea that we’d move out of the city once it was established. My research began before the Internet was commonplace, so I wrote for information from 17 Chambers of Commerce in Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. In my letter I asked for information on weather, real estate costs, recreation, economy, and the business climate.
After we got all the nice big packages of stuff, we started narrowing down the list. We ruled out a lot of places with outrageously expensive real estate. Then for a few years we planned our vacations to visit places on the "short list." We stayed for a week in Sandpoint and the rest is history. Once we decided Sandpoint was where we wanted to move, again, we did research, set goals, and made it happen.
I’ve often thought that perhaps one reason Sandpoint is such a nifty place to live is because so many people have made a choice to live here. Lots of people feel like they "have" to live in a city for work or other reasons. But people don’t have to live in Sandpoint; they want to.