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Do your homework. The cost of living is high and the wages are not keeping pace. If you have a source of income from outside Central Oregon you may be fine. If you are dependent on a local job providing enough money for you and your family to live... not likely to happen. Wages aren't increasing to match costs. I moved here more than twenty years ago and it was a great place to raise my kids, but costs are so high now, I am really considering moving somewhere less expensive. And as a point of reference, I make more than $60,000 per year with great benefits and my husband makes about the same amount. We're paying California prices, but my siblings who still live in California are making more than twice as much as we are. Health care is outstanding, for those who can afford it. Recreation opportunities are wonderful, but the job pressure is so extreme, it's tough to get time off for anything. Sixty hour work weeks are not unusual. Paradise, at a price.
Thanks for all the great info. Yes, our family loves the outdoors! We all ski, hike, fish and ride our bikes. My husband is an avid cyclist -both mountain bikes and road bikes - and loves to rock climb. As my children get older, they get into more and more outdoor activities. So the "outdoor" aspect appeals to us, but we do have a fair amount of that where we live. So, we'd be moving to get to a better middle and high school environment (our elementary is excellent, but middle and high school are sketchy), and just a more relaxed way of life. We are both self-employed and can move our jobs anywhere, so employment isn't an issue. And we live in one of the most expensive counties in the country now, so I can't imagine having "sticker shock"! I'm more concerned with finding community - very important to me - , a good school system, and a great quality of life.
We're considering a move to Bend and have done a lot of research about the town, schools, etc, but would like to hear some real opinions from some other people who have moved there recently. We are a couple in our early forties with two grade-school age kids. Are the people friendly? Do neighbors know each other? Are parents involved in the schools? Do your teenagers / older kids feel like there's enough to do? Do you feel isolated in the winter? And what is the real story about the winter weather - I've found so much contradictory info - how much does it really snow? BTW, we're considering the NW side of town. Any info is greatly appreciated!
Would you be willing to share any of your research about the town, schools, etc. We're also a family in our forties with two grade-school age kids thinking of moving to Bend.
You may not experience sticker shock, but you might be buying in at the top of the real estate bubble (i.e. your home might be worth less 5 years from now than it was when you paid for it in 2007). Bend led the nation...that's right, NUMBER 1 nationwide...in real estate inflation last year, beating out all cities in California, New York and Hawaii with a whopping 37 percent increase. Here is the news blurb that Waterlilly posted on another thread:
Bend leads nation in rising home prices; Oregon fourth-highest
Saturday, September 9, 2006 12:27 PM PDT
SALEM (AP) - The Bend area led the nation for the rate of housing price increases last year while Oregon had the fourth-fastest rate of increase among the states, according to federal figures.
Statewide, home prices rose about 19.5 percent for the fiscal year that ended June 30, according to the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.
Prices rose faster only in Arizona, Florida and Idaho
Bend led the nation's 275 metropolitan statistical areas, with home prices rising nearly 37 percent. The Portland-Vancouver area was 23rd at 20.3 percent, Eugene-Springfield was 34th at 17.7 percent, Salem was 44th at 16.8 percent and Medford was 57th at 15.65 percent.
Hi, Kiwi - yes, I'd be happy to share info with you. I'm fortunate that some good friends of ours just moved up there from our town, so I'll be plying them for info. They're mid-forties with a 10 and 13 year old. My own kids are almost 7 and 9.
I checked out the schools on greatschools.net and many rate very high. My only concern is overcrowding. They have a bond on the ballot in NOvember to get one (or more?) new schools built and it sounds as if they really need it to pass. The classes are getting bigger and bigger. I like the sound of Cascade Middle and Summit High school - there were several great elementary schools to choose from.
I know real estate has skyrocketed but we live in Marin County - you can't get much more inflated that this! Just looking on realtor.com gives me hope that we wouldn't have too much sticker shock.
So far our friends have given us lots of positive feedback. Tons of outdoor activities and friendly people. I'm waiting to hear back on the winter weather! I've heard mixed reports.
"I've asked the question for years now about the industry that is supposed to support the population growth. Where is it? The construction market? HA! Isnt that a little like the classic married with children episode when peggy started selling make-up.... to herself for the comission checks. Eventually the market will dry up when everyone realizes that there are not jobs here to support thier standard of living, hence the point Jake brought up about the upper level jobs that pay s**t.
I'm a renter here in Bend, and I've been one since I've moved here. I'm a renter because I cant afford a house on top of car payments, internet, co-lo fees, insurance, food, entertainment...etc. I suppose that if I gave some fun up to own my own home, I would be able, but thats the last thing I want to do. If only I could get my delorean up to 88mph I would go back to the 80's and buy as much land as possible here in Bend when it was dirt cheap and take advantage of the crazy price increases around here today(I mean last year). I think Jake posted somthing about this a couple of years back about in the 80's when downtown looked like a slum.
Some of the largest employers in central oregon dont even pay their employees enough for them to be able to afford to purchase a home in bend. The businesses should NOT have to pay more based on property value, but I just used that as an example of the skewed market here. After reading the article about Juniper Ridge that Jake linked to, I have to laugh. It sounds like more of the same thing that people have been trying to do here for years now, eveyone seems to want to make Bend into somthing more like where they transplanted from."
We're also from the Bay Area (south bay), so housing prices may not be a shock. We did a lot of research on Ashland in southern Oregon, and now we're comparing it to Bend. Have you considered Ashland? Feel free to reply via "private message" to chat off-line. I'll send you my email address.
Anyone out there care to compare and contrast the two - Bend vs. Ashland - when it comes to politics (is Bend liberal like Ashland?), schools (is Ashland a lot better?), weather (does Ashland get the winter fog like Medford? I know Bend is colder than Ashland), outdoor recreation (does Bend have more to offer?), etc.
I live outside of Bend, Bend address, Sisters school district. I have lived in Central Oregon for 11 years and have observed in change allot.
Winters, if you drive allot, you will probably need a new windshield every couple of years due to the cinders on the roadway during cold weather. Granted the department of transportation is using less 'rock' on the roadway and transitioning to mag chloride - now we have to deal with dramatically increased oxidation on the bottom of automobiles. Learn a brake pedal is not your friend when it is slick - almost all vehicle crashes are SUV's, not cars.
Because of the inflated property market, none of the people I know could afford to buy the house they currently own in the current real estate market. Of working folks, many leave the area after retirement due to the high valuation of their home because of inability to pay the large property tax bills. I am an example of this, I moved here with the intent of staying and plan on selling my place and moving somewhere more affordable when I retire in 7 years.
It is my experience (and no insult to anyone intended) that people move here and want it to be the same as where they came from. This was originally a mill/logging area, my father and grandfather both were in the logging industry (just not in Central Oregon). I have been personally been criticised for being a hunter education instructor (every single time by folks who recently moved here from out of state). Teaching folks to be evil gun wielding critter murderers and all!
If you are coming from a place with 70 mph speed limits prepare yourself to drive allot slower. Two weeks ago I made a trip to Southern California, granted no one was driving anywhere near the posted speed on I5, but, even I felt like I could get out and walk when I slowed down to Oregons posted speed when crossing the border. The speeds I observed folks driving down south will get a reminder note from the nice traffic officer every time here!
Don't get me wrong, I love living in Central Oregon. Right now I just do not know how I am going to be able to afford it once I retire. Good luck in you research and your upcoming move, be safe!
Well all i really want to know is how much dose bend snow? and about how long till the first possible place to go skiing/snow boarding.
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