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Old 09-21-2010, 12:15 AM
 
17 posts, read 24,021 times
Reputation: 10
Default Possible move from PHX AZ, looking for greener pastures

My husband and I are considering a move from Arizona to the Pacific Northwest. He lived in Tacoma some years back and said it was his favorite of all the places he's lived. I don't want quite that much rain, however.
We visited Medford/Crater Lake about 15 years ago on a camping trip and I remember the area as being very scenic. However I don't know that much about the local economic and demographic data.

I'm looking for suggestions from Oregonians on places that we should consider for possible relocation. The hubby is nearing retirement age, but I have have another 10-15 years of work life left (yes, he robbed the cradle ). I have degrees and experience in both accounting and IT--had a CPA license but let it go inactive when I entered the IT field ten years ago.

We're not big spenders and aren't golfers. We would be interested in a small college town that has decent restaurants, convenient shopping, adequate healthcare (we're both healthy now but this will be a retirement move), and lots of scenic beauty. Don't want a lot of snow. We're really sick of the heat here in AZ, but we can handle summer highs in the 90's with no problem if everything else is cool. I would just like to look out my window and see green instead of brown for a change.

So, any suggestions for a semi-retired couple, childless by choice, physically active, into photography (me) and silversmithing (him), music lovers like us?
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Salem, OR
10,851 posts, read 18,130,249 times
Reputation: 6718
Corvallis.
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Old 09-21-2010, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
2,976 posts, read 4,766,435 times
Reputation: 2875
I would think Ashland would fit the bill if you can afford it. It's a vibrant community that will allow you both to enjoy your interests and it doesn't get nearly as much rain as the Willamette Valley. I don't know much about Medford, but that could be a possibility, as it is beautiful. I would certainly look at jobs first though, as Oregon in general has a very high unemployment rate. It may be difficult to find work in your desired field/location.
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Old 09-21-2010, 02:38 PM
 
Location: the Beaver State
6,477 posts, read 5,948,681 times
Reputation: 3287
IT has been hit VERY hard. The greatest concentration of IT jobs is in the Hillsboro/Beaverton area. If you're relying on that income, get hired before moving.
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:08 PM
 
Location: Oregon/Arizona
88 posts, read 101,440 times
Reputation: 134
Default Smart move that you won't regret

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZannWalker View Post
My husband and I are considering a move from Arizona to the Pacific Northwest. He lived in Tacoma some years back and said it was his favorite of all the places he's lived. I don't want quite that much rain, however.
We visited Medford/Crater Lake about 15 years ago on a camping trip and I remember the area as being very scenic. However I don't know that much about the local economic and demographic data.

I'm looking for suggestions from Oregonians on places that we should consider for possible relocation. The hubby is nearing retirement age, but I have have another 10-15 years of work life left (yes, he robbed the cradle ). I have degrees and experience in both accounting and IT--had a CPA license but let it go inactive when I entered the IT field ten years ago.

We're not big spenders and aren't golfers. We would be interested in a small college town that has decent restaurants, convenient shopping, adequate healthcare (we're both healthy now but this will be a retirement move), and lots of scenic beauty. Don't want a lot of snow. We're really sick of the heat here in AZ, but we can handle summer highs in the 90's with no problem if everything else is cool. I would just like to look out my window and see green instead of brown for a change.

So, any suggestions for a semi-retired couple, childless by choice, physically active, into photography (me) and silversmithing (him), music lovers like us?
Beyond escaping heat you will also be coming to one of the last parts of the country that is "live and let live". Not to be offensive to anyone living in either state, the following is just my opinion by comparisons having lived in both AZ and OR.
*Oregon has an above average population with college degrees and do their best to fund public education with a significant number of high school graduates. Arizona (because of its large retiree base) ranked just above Mississippi in teacher starting salaries, 45th in number of high school graduates, and 3rd in largest average class size.
*You won't see people wearing guns in public in Oregon, especially in restaurants and bars, and there is about 80% less gun violence in Oregon.
*Crime is a non-factor in Western Oregon compared to Phoenix. Compare Portland crime stats with Phoenix or even Scottsdale. You wil be shocked by the numbers.
*Racial slurs are not part of everyday conversation in Oregon.(JMO)
*If in the Willamette Valley, you are closer in drive time to beautiful wild, surf as opposed to Rocky Point,MX.
*Green vs Brown (which you already know)
*Driving distances to the Mts and sking in Oregon is a few minutes shorter than AZ.
*You can be conservative or liberal in Oregon and there are towns that cater/tolerate each but I have yet find a place that really cares what your politics are vs the person you are.
*Oregon has no boycotts, no "show me your papers laws" current or pending, no stigma of bigotry.
*Although economically challenged, Oregon is not 2nd in number of households in poverty in the US as AZ is. BUT-you should still have some sort of work lined up BEFORE you move to Oregon.
*Oregon real estate did not fall as much as Arizona and should bounce back quicker.
*The climate in the Williamette Valley is grey, wetter, and cooler than Maricopa County. But look at the average monthly temps of both areas...
*More to do outdoors to stay active "12" months of the year in Oregon vs 5 to 6 months in AZ.
*More outdoor parks and music venues in the Willamette Valley than in all of AZ.

OK- enough of the overkill. I'm glad I moved from Phoenix and so will you, once you do. Others will have opinions here, but they will always be respectful. In fact compare the posts here with the posts on Arizona's board. Much more mellow, non aggressive, and up front here--also JMO
Good Luck.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:56 PM
 
Location: Oregon
123 posts, read 110,167 times
Reputation: 165
After accepting a job In Phoenix, I had to drive there from the north. While near Flagstaff I tuned into a local talk radio to catch the attitude. I know why you aren't welcome in beautiful Flagstaff, that is, if you are coming from Phoenix, they referred to you collectively as the land of the rising scum. Apparently, the denizens of rural Arizona were very afraid of the urban liberals seeking an escape after becoming fatigued with their licentious lifestyles and habits for littering scenic highways with empty cans of their favorite alcohol beverage.

I completed my tour of Arizona and am sad to report that I never met any nice Mormons or even a stray Mennonite whose ladies adorn themselves with quaint bonnets and the men with charming beards.

My suggestion is to stay with the big city life if that's what you know. Any Oregon big town will have some green for you. I kinda liked Eugene but then, big cities are not for me.
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:42 PM
 
1 posts, read 816 times
Reputation: 10
Have you been through the Welches area?? Beautiful area! Very scenic. If you would love to ski your about 20 minutes to Mt. Hood area. Your about 1 hour from Portland. And the largest town is Sandy which is about 15 minutes away. Small town living but when you want to go to the big cities, your just a small car drive away. Really worth a look if you haven't been through this area before.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
6,739 posts, read 7,398,556 times
Reputation: 2842
The following small college towns may meet your needs: McMinnville (Linfield), Newberg (George Fox), and Forrest Grove (Pacific University). Were I in your shoes I would set up camp (so to speak) in Newberg and start seeking employment in all three of these communities. Your Newberg place could be something very basic, not something to make your home. Applicants with a local address and phone # (could be a cell phone) get more interest than out of staters.

If not a huge challenge see if you can reinstate your CPA. That may help your marketability
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
6,739 posts, read 7,398,556 times
Reputation: 2842
Zann: The following small college towns may meet your needs: McMinnville (Linfield), Newberg (George Fox), and Forrest Grove (Pacific University). Were I in your shoes I would set up camp (so to speak) in Newberg and start seeking employment in all three of these communities. Your Newberg place could be something very basic, not something to make your home. Applicants with a local address and phone # (could be a cell phone) get more interest than out of staters.

If not a huge challenge see if you can reinstate your CPA. That may help your marketability
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
3,569 posts, read 4,132,614 times
Reputation: 3774
How are you at process control? Network administrators are a dime a dozen, but an IT tech who can run a factory is in pretty high demand.
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