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Old 12-15-2013, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Turlock, CA
239 posts, read 527,050 times
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We are considering all of our options for moving in (hopefully) 1-2 years. In looking to where we could move to, my husband could get a transfer to Eugene. There are no other locations in Oregon, so that is the only area we could go to. We hadn't really considered Oregon before, so I am trying to find out all that I can about it.

We have a 3-year old son (in Preschool now, will be in Kindergarten in 1 1/2 years) and will not be having any more kids. Work for me is not an issue now, as I hope to find something part-time after he is in Kindergarten.

We are looking for someplace that is family-friendly, safe, les expensive and cooler than here. My husband works late hours sometimes and would feel better knowing that we would be safe without him there. Are there any areas we should avoid? We will be renting first, so an apartment would be easiest to get from out-of-state.

We have lived in the same area our whole lives and are ready to make a move as soon as we can. It's just a little scary and I want to know everything that I possibly can before we do, since it will probably be the last move we ever make. We hope to make a trip up there next year.

What do we need to know about Oregon in general and the Eugene area specifically?
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:54 PM
 
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Eugene/Springfield is a metro of about 350k, 150k of that in Eugene.

Compared to Turlock I think you'll find [rental] housing to be slightly more expensive if you want an actual house. Prices in Eugene have more than doubled in Eugene since 2000, and didn't really ever pop. There are several 'real' forces pushing costs up, so it's not all bubble.

1) Compared to coastal Cali, Eugene is 'cheap.' Californians (and to a lesser extent Coloradans) gobbled up properties over the decade not realizing/caring that local pay is generally much lower as well. It may pay better than Turlock, however.
2) It's attractive to retirees - lots of amenities like arts, music and restaurants; good climate; good access to health care
3) Students - since 2000 the UO has grown by about 9,000.

So there is lots of demand, and new developments haven't really kept up, especially south of the river. Still, you might prefer north Eugene anyway.

The climate will be milder. Air quality won't be a lot better though - Eugene is in the Willamette Valley, which has some similarities to the Central Valley. It's the grass seed capital of the world, and field burning, wood stoves, and exhaust are significant pollutants especially when it hasn't rained and/or you get an inversion.

You could look at the springfield half of the metro, where prices are a bit cheaper still. Schools aren't quite as good though. Safety is going to be more neighborhood dependent in either Eug or Spr. Still, most of the crime in both places will be property crime (bike theft, e.g.) for petty cash/drug money, not gangs exchanging fire.

You might also look at Salem - no major university and fewer amenities, but west & parts of south are nice and family friendly, and will be more exciting than the Modesto environs.

Medford or even KFalls might be worth a consideration as well based on your criteria, and if you're going to want to travel back to Cali on a regular basis for friends/family both save you 2-3 hours on the drive.
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Turlock, CA
239 posts, read 527,050 times
Reputation: 227
My husband works odd hours, sometimes late at night. I'd like to keep him at the smallest commute possible, since he can get very tired with those hours. There have been times when we lived 30 minutes from his work, and he almost fell asleep on the way home. I don't want to have to worry about him late at night.

House rental prices aren't a concern, since we plan on renting an apartment before we buy. It should be easier to get an apartment from out of state than an actual house.

I'm glad the climate is milder. That's what we're looking for. The things we seem most allergic to are almonds (both blossoms and harvesting) and crepe myrtle trees, both of which are everywhere here. We are used to an agriculture community. How often do inversions happen?

Turlock is a university town, although not as large as Eugene would most likely be. Most students that attend here live at home, so not a lot of dorms around.

What are the areas to avoid living in? I'm in the process of getting a good map of the area, so I can mark off areas to stay away from. Are Eugene schools better than Springfield?

Thanks for all the help!
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:40 PM
 
23 posts, read 34,297 times
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Generally, it's east good/west bad, and south good/north bad. Anything west of highway 99 is pretty scummy (Barger, Bethel-Danebo, Royal Ave, Roosevelt). I wouldn't recommend Whiteaker either, which is north of downtown; it's mostly hipsters and tweakers (plus it's the highest crime area in town).

Anything north of 105 and east of Delta highway is good, but generally overpriced. Same with the south hills. I'd actually recommend Santa Clara. It's cheaper, and pretty safe. South of West 11th and west of Chambers is okay too.
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Old 12-17-2013, 02:38 PM
 
4,060 posts, read 4,470,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobaltking View Post
Anything north of 105 and east of Delta highway is good, but generally overpriced. Same with the south hills. I'd actually recommend Santa Clara. It's cheaper, and pretty safe. South of West 11th and west of Chambers is okay too.
Agree to not rent in the Whit if you aren't a local who knows the area block-by-block.

North of 105 and east of Delta is a lot of turf. Proximate to DH is certainly expensive, but it might be worth looking at Gilham or Harlow. Cal Young maybe - might also be too pricey.

But we're skipping the primary question - where exactly would your husband be working? At night, just about anywhere in the city is going to be less than a 30 min trip from anywhere else, but proximity still matters and we can probably give a better suggestion on where to live if we know where he'd be commuting to.

You don't have to name the employer - a general nbrhd/area would do.
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Old 12-17-2013, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Turlock, CA
239 posts, read 527,050 times
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He would be working at the Valley River Center. It looks like the local mall?

About Whiteaker, I was looking into places to stay while we're up there, and would prefer a local house over a motel/hotel. I think it would give us more of a feel of daily life, as opposed to a vacation that could be anywhere. There were a couple listed in that area. Should we avoid staying there, even if only for a week?

What is the DH acronym for?
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Old 12-17-2013, 06:14 PM
 
21,812 posts, read 27,879,652 times
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Delta Highway.

I wish haggardhouseelf would chime in; she could answer your questions about schools better than anyone here. You'd find some good information by doing a search on her username.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:17 PM
 
281 posts, read 588,924 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bler144 View Post
You could look at the springfield half of the metro, where prices are a bit cheaper still. Schools aren't quite as good though.
I agree with most of what you said, but this is simply not true. I have lived in both towns and worked for both school districts and schools in Springfield are much better than Eugene. Looking at graduation rates and state test scores alone, Springfield continues to rise while Eugene declines, and the curriculum at all levels is much more rigorous. Unfortunately, people tend to equate student socioeconomic status with school performance.
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:00 AM
 
4,060 posts, read 4,470,712 times
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Originally Posted by Sizzle-Chest View Post
I agree with most of what you said, but this is simply not true. I have lived in both towns and worked for both school districts and schools in Springfield are much better than Eugene. Looking at graduation rates and state test scores alone, Springfield continues to rise while Eugene declines, and the curriculum at all levels is much more rigorous. Unfortunately, people tend to equate student socioeconomic status with school performance.
To a point I agree - a record of 'doing more with less' is one big reason Kitzhaber tapped Nancy Golden to step up from Springfield superintendent to head various statewide initiatives. And those trends seem accurate, though I don't think that's the same as suggesting they're now ahead of SEHS/Sheldon or will be.

And sure, to some extent top Eugene schools are just processing through students who already have significant advantages. Still, one could make the same observation about Harvard College.

Parental resources do matter (particularly given the caps on state/local funding) for funding extracurricular opportunities, events, etc. etc. and school reputation does matter somewhat if you're amongst the crowd considering highly selective colleges down the road.
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:31 AM
 
4,060 posts, read 4,470,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oakread2 View Post
He would be working at the Valley River Center. It looks like the local mall?

About Whiteaker, I was looking into places to stay while we're up there, and would prefer a local house over a motel/hotel. I think it would give us more of a feel of daily life, as opposed to a vacation that could be anywhere. There were a couple listed in that area. Should we avoid staying there, even if only for a week?
Valley River is one of two local malls (Gateway being the other - perhaps most importantly Gateway has the $1.50 movie theaters), but there is also an office park back in there. It's nestled into a bend in the river, which somewhat limits car access. However, outside of rush hour and Christmas shopping season it's relatively central and accessible from almost anywhere in town other than perhaps the SW hills.

There are a number of condo/apt complexes in along Goodpasture north of the mall that I'd say are at least worth an eyeball if you decided to make the move.

Coincidentally, it's also accessible by bike/foot across the footbridge at Maury Jacobs Park, so if one wanted to eschew car commuting, you could actually live in the Whit or near-in west Eugene and still have a fairly nice commute. Whether I'd do that at night in the winter...it depends. But most of the year and in daylight, it's nice.

As for staying there a week, it's probably fine though which block really matters. The blocks right around Sladden Park will tend be ok (https://plus.google.com/105112040334...ut?gl=us&hl=en) if you don't mind the train. Then again, if you mind the train pretty much all of the Whit is problematic.

Something immediately around Sam Bond's/Tiny Tavern (Blair and 4th) is potentially going to be a bit seedier.

The 'downtown' Whit is sort of like Eugene's Castro - it's like all the stereotypes of the city condensed into one place. If you only go to restaurants in that neighborhood you'll start to wonder if everyone is vegetarian or vegan.

But that said, if you like to walk (or can rent bikes - that you store in the house so they don't get stolen), you can walk to quite a lot from the Whit. Walk along the river path to Maury Jacobs and walk across to check out Valley River. Walk into the Market District to get coffee at Allan Bros. or a somewhat overpriced dinner at Steelhead Brewery. Take the short walk up Skinner's Butte for a view of the city. Do it in spring and you can walk to Owens Rose Garden.

Edit: Perhaps I should also mention it's walkable to Sweet Life for dessert or coffee.
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