Living in Yakima
Yakima is located in South Central Washington, 145 miles southeast of Seattle and 190 miles northeast of Portland, Oregon.
Visitors are enticed by the geographical change to a more sunny climate relative to the rest of Washington state when entering this beautiful town. Yakima has four distinct seasons and averages 300 days of sunshine per year. For a small city, Yakima has all that you would expect from a larger metropolitan area with its own orchestra, theaters, museum, art scene, and large scale annual festivals.
The Yakima Valley is known for its production of forest products, manufacturing aircraft parts and supplies, and machinery used in food product packaging. The main industry is agriculture that flourishes through producing and processing tree fruit, hops, mint, vegetables, livestock, dairy, and wine.
Yakima is situated in Yakima Valley, which is noted for being one of the best apple-producing areas in the world and for producing three-quarters of the nation’s hops. It also is known as one of Washington’s viticultural areas and features some of the region’s most delightful wines, as it sits at the same latitude as the great wine-producing regions of France.
Yakima has been the cultural, business, educational, health services, and governmental focal point of the Central Washington region since it was founded more than 125 years ago. Originally built along the new Northern Pacific Railway company line, Yakima has grown from its agricultural roots to become a vibrant, diverse metropolitan city. With a rich history and a bright future, Yakima is the Heart of Central Washington.
Yakima City was incorporated in 1883, but about a year later, a dispute between land owners and the Northern Pacific Railway Company led the railroad to establish a new town about 4 miles north of the original site. More than 100 buildings were moved by having horses pull them along atop rolling logs. The new town was called North Yakima and was officially incorporated in 1886. The Washington State Legislature officially renamed the city “Yakima” in 1918.
The Yakima Valley is often described as a semi-arid desert. Yakima regularly boasts about its 300 days of sunshine each year and 4 distinct seasons. Daytime temperatures in the spring are usually in the 60s and 70s, and some rain is likely to fall. Summers are dry with temperatures ranging from the mid 80s to mid 90s during the day, although the thermometer can reach above 100 degrees a few times each year. The fall comes with highs between 50 and 60 degrees, but it can cool off into the 30s and 40s at night. Winter temperatures are usually in the 20s and 30s and snow is pretty common. Overall, Yakima’s climate is mild and mostly dry, with the area averaging only about 8 inches of precipitation each year.
Yakima is the largest city in Yakima County with a population of about 92,000. That makes it the 9th largest city in Washington State. Most of the people who founded Yakima were of European decent, although significant numbers of African-Americans and Asian-Americans homesteaded here as well. Today, the Yakima community enjoys a rich mixture of people from many cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
The Yakima Valley offers extensive housing options. Residents can find horse ranches, historic homes, downtown condos, resort communities, and wide ranging neighborhoods to fulfill their unique needs and aspirations.
Yakima County is fortunate to have a relatively stable residential real estate market. Because of the region’s agricultural economy, area residents and real estate investors have experienced slower growth in real estate values. Bucking recessionary pressures, Zillow ranked Yakima County 5th in the nation for home appreciation between 2007-2011. More recently Business Insider, an online publications for financial, media, technical, and related news, picked Yakima as one of their top 15 housing markets in the country over the next five years.