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Old 04-10-2007, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
562 posts, read 1,971,610 times
Reputation: 209

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Sorry to bug this forum again with my indecision... This is my first big move on my own (I'm 22) and I want to do it right. I was sure I was moving to the Seattle, WA area but I am second-guessing that decision. I know I'm looking for something in Oregon or Washington, I just need to nail it down. My girlfriend and I are getting a place together so we will be splitting the rent. I currently work in a call center. That is my line of work right now until I can get into college so I would like some nice schools in the area for when I'm ready. My girlfriend makes pretty good money working as a dog bather (on commission).

Bellevue, WA sounded pretty close to what I was looking for but there are a few things steering me away from the Seattle, WA area. First of all the traffic is out of control, the prices are expensive (though cheaper than where I am now), and the entire area is not terribly earthquake safe I hear (all while it is sitting on a fault).

Here are the desires I have for the city I want to move to:

Requirements:

Decent job market (currently making $16/hr. in a call center in California). Would like a decent amount of jobs with reasonable pay. Not much snow / freezing weather. Don't mind it being reasonably cold (I prefer rain with occasional sunshine). Decent, clean, nice town with low crime. Low rental prices, good community college within a reasonable distance. Green with tons of trees, etc. I do want to live in a reasonably sized city. I don't want to live in Portland or anything that size (I don't think) but it needs to have all the modern amenities a technologically oriented person is looking for. Need plenty of areas/parks to walk my two small dogs.

Prefer:

I would like a large city only an hour or two away from me for things like museums, etc. Nice restaurants and culture. I'm not into the bar scene. Good public transportation (I have a car and will probably use it, but my girlfriend currently does not). Do not want to live in a town that is mostly "hicks" or something of the sort. I'm a democrat, but I don't mind living with republicans, I just don't prefer "country-folk" if you know what I mean. It can be difficult for me to find friends in places like that since I'm heavily into technology, nothing personal against them. I don't mind traffic but it can't be out of control (like L.A./Seattle).

I've heard the Pacific Northwest has drug issues, as anywhere does, but I heard it is particularly bad. I'm not sure how true this is but I would like to avoid drug/crime ridden areas. I would like to pay at or under roughly $800/month for rent. We want a decent place in a decent area. I've seen decent places as low as $700/month in Oregon, around Seattle prices seem much higher around the $900/month range. I prefer to live in a place where everyone speaks English, I have nothing against other races I just don't want everyone speaking Spanish like where I am at in Southern California. I'm not even sure if that is a problem up north but I know there is a lot of agriculture up there.

I've gotten an amazing amount of information about Seattle from this forum but I ruled Oregon and other parts of Washington out too early and now I would like to discover more about them. I'm open to all suggestions but lately I've been researching the Portland area, and places in Washington further from Seattle (like Olympia) due to lower pricing, etc. Sorry this post is so long-winded and that I'm so indecisive but I'm saving and my move will be coming in not too long but I don't want to make an expensive mistake! I've tried to make this post as complete as possible. I hope I didn't forget anything and once again thank you for your help!

P.S. A lot of the regulars from the Washington/Oregon forums that can be very helpful don't post in the General U.S. forum so I'm cross-posting this. I hope you don't mind I think you can get many more varied responses like that. Thank you!
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Old 04-10-2007, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
29,038 posts, read 45,093,287 times
Reputation: 20425
Have you considered Eugene, Oregon? I lived there for a few years while attending U of O, and it's a great place... just big enough to be called a "city", but not really a CITY like SF, LA or Seattle. It's only 1.5-2 hours from Portland (another one you should consider), but also a short drive from mountains and rural countryside. The weather is basically just rain, rain, rain in the winter - like most of the northwest - but rarely snows, and summers are fairly mild. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous, since the McKenzie & Willamette rivers run through town... and you're also surrounded by mountains, as it's in the valley. Lane Community College is right there, which is a pretty good school, and then you could (if you wanted) transfer to U of O or one of the other nearby 4-year colleges. As far as I know, the cost of renting is still pretty cheap there, but you'll have to check for sure - try craigslist or the Register-Guard newspaper's site. I lived there back in 1995-97, and paid only $250/month for a room in a COOL 4-bedroom house... then I got my own place, for just $575/mo, which was considered expensive at the time.

As for the drug issue, well I won't say that's not a problem in Eugene! Mostly it's just pot, which (in my opinion, since I partake often ) isn't a big deal... though meth is also common up there, as it probably is through much of the Pacific Northwest. But if you stick to the nicer parts of town, I don't think it'll be a huge issue. The "good parts", at least when I lived there, included the South (anything in the higher numbered streets - i.e. 30th), Southwest, campus area, Goodpasture Rd., and Ferry St. Bridge. Less desirable parts were around River Rd., East/downtown (6th ave), Santa Clara, and thereabouts. I suggest you go up there for a visit sometime, and definitely try to hit the Saturday Market - I miss those!!
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Old 04-10-2007, 11:57 AM
 
32 posts, read 169,423 times
Reputation: 30
Wow what part of California are you from?

I am thinking about a move the El segundo or Santa Maria location.
Do you know of them and what do you know if so?
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Old 04-10-2007, 12:17 PM
 
5,598 posts, read 17,388,730 times
Reputation: 4737
*argh!* Shadow! You've evidently crossed posted in so many places that I responded to this same question and the whole thread was deleted so you never got to see that post.

I'll try to sum up what I said threre.

I can't quite remember all the places we've talked about so far since you've posted so many threads in the past few months (not a bad thing) but for that reason it's difficult to remember what you've crossed off your list and what places you haven't.

IMHO, you're not going to find that perfect "utopia." You're going to have to compromise on something so you'll have to prioritize the things that are most important to you.

I know we've discussed Bellingham but I can't remember why you crossed it off your list. It seems to fit most of your criteria. I'd choose it over Olympia if I were in your shoes.

Thanks, more later.

--'rocco
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Old 04-10-2007, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
562 posts, read 1,971,610 times
Reputation: 209
gizmo980: Thanks for your comments!

Zapporah: I live in Ventura County, Southern California. About 30 minutes from Santa Barbara.

scirocco22: You are always helpful and I appreciate you putting up with me this long! Sorry about your post being deleted, I just know that everyone from the Oregon/Washington forums don't read General U.S. so I thought it would be the best ideas, apparently the moderators did not agree! That's fine though.

Bellingham was off my list because I wanted to be closer to Seattle, but that is no longer a priority. I would love to live near Seattle and could probably afford it, but I'm looking for less traffic and a higher quality of life. I remember Bellingham was at the top of my list before I thought I wanted to be near Seattle. Now I am definitely going to take a close look at it again. Thank you for reminding me! I remember it looked wonderful.
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Old 04-10-2007, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
562 posts, read 1,971,610 times
Reputation: 209
I checked out some different websites about Eugene, OR and it looks amazing. My only concern is that people (who may be biased) say it has a poor job market. They also say it is filled to the brim with drugs, crime, and hippies. Is that true? I also checked Rent.com and it had very few places, and they were a bit pricey. They were reasonable if nice, but I don't know how nice they were since I was shocked at how few listings there are.

I ran into some of the same comments about Bellingham, WA. Are they perhaps talking about big money jobs for college graduates? I don't have to worry about that yet... So many mixed opinions, it makes it hard to make a decision!

EDIT: I've seen a few people mention Corvallis, and it has a really low crime-rate. Does anyone have any impressions of that city?
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Old 04-10-2007, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Oregon Coast
1,848 posts, read 6,254,579 times
Reputation: 1383
Corvallis is smaller than Eugene. It has a lot of college educated people there so maybe it's not a good place to find a job for you. I don't know of any call centers there. They do have some call centers in Eugene.

You should know that you will not get paid as much per hour as you do in California. There is a call center in Coos Bay and I believe people get paid about $8.oo per hour when starting out.
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Old 04-10-2007, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
562 posts, read 1,971,610 times
Reputation: 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterlily View Post
Corvallis is smaller than Eugene. It has a lot of college educated people there so maybe it's not a good place to find a job for you. I don't know of any call centers there. They do have some call centers in Eugene.

You should know that you will not get paid as much per hour as you do in California. There is a call center in Coos Bay and I believe people get paid about $8.oo per hour when starting out.
Maybe I might be better off in Seattle then? I found a job for $16.00/hr. (same as I'm making here) and the cost of living was MUCH lower than where I live (even if considered high to most people). I stated at $11.00/hr. in my first call center in Southern California.
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
29,038 posts, read 45,093,287 times
Reputation: 20425
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowXOR View Post
I checked out some different websites about Eugene, OR and it looks amazing. My only concern is that people (who may be biased) say it has a poor job market. They also say it is filled to the brim with drugs, crime, and hippies. Is that true? I also checked Rent.com and it had very few places, and they were a bit pricey. They were reasonable if nice, but I don't know how nice they were since I was shocked at how few listings there are.
I'm not really sure about the job market in Eugene, since I was there so long ago (and a student at the time)... but I'm sure it's better than smaller towns in Oregon, like Corvallis for example - though obviously not as good as Portland. And yes, there are tons of hippies there, which is actually something I liked about it. But if you're not into that whole scene, it could be a bit much for you... there are plenty of non-hippies, however, so I'm sure you'd find your "niche" somewhere. As for rentals, I suggest you check craigslist instead, which will have more lower-priced listings. Rent.com tends to only show the expensive & large communities, so that's why it seemed high. Here's a direct link to them: http://eugene.craigslist.org/

Like Scirocco said, there's no "utopia" anywhere (at least not that I know of!), so you'll have to make compromises on something... overall, Eugene is a terrific little city, and so are a few others along the I-5 corridor. I'd also suggest Salem, Corvallis, Portland, Vancouver (WA), Bellingham, and maybe somewhere around Everett, WA. It's all beautiful country up there, and I'm sure something will be to your liking.
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
562 posts, read 1,971,610 times
Reputation: 209
You nailed all the places I'm considering gizmo980. Basically I think I need to narrow it down first...between around Seattle (further away than I originally planned) or around Portland. It's difficult because I think I match the Seattle lifestyle better...but I'm terrified of the possible quake there, and it's cheaper in Oregon! I'm going to have to research crime rates and more to narrow my search down...this is so difficult. It was easy picking the states now I have to pick a city and move! Most of the time I am excited to move and other times I'm scared!

They both sound amazing...I just want to be sure and pick the better one. If I don't like where I live in a certain area I can always move to another area, but I don't want to have to move from Seattle to Oregon or vice versa because I want to reach the one year required to go to college in the state cheaply!
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