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Old 09-04-2011, 10:44 PM
3 posts, read 13,270 times
Reputation: 10


Hi! I'm thinking of moving to Oregon and I need a little help finding the right place for me. I'm from a small town and I've found I don't necessarily enjoy living in a large city, so I'm looking for a smaller town or city somewhere between Eugene and Portland.

It doesn't necessarily have to have a lot to do since I'm used to driving half an hour just to get to the nearest movie theater, but I'd like the basics: a couple places to eat, a grocery store, etc. A friendly, open-minded community would be nice too.

I'd obviously prefer that the town/city had affordable housing. A fairly easy commute to both Portland and Eugene would be appreciated too. Again, an hour to an hour and a half commute is not a problem.

So does anyone have any suggestions for where I should consider? I'm planning my move for around 6 months to a year from now and I'm moving from SW Florida, if you were curious.
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:59 AM
Location: oregon
874 posts, read 1,983,319 times
Reputation: 597
My first thought is check out Silverton it is 13 miles east of Salem has easy access to I-5 and about an hour south of Portland..
Get a road map and look at the I-5 corridor and the smaller towns between Portland and Eugene there are a lot of them and all nice.
Good luck with your search.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:17 AM
Location: Salem, OR
12,373 posts, read 25,191,075 times
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While I know that you think that kind of commute doesn't bother you now, I think you will find that you hate it once you move here and acclimate to the pace of Oregon. I would also suggest Silverton, or maybe McMinnville, but they aren't on the highway and would add time to your commute. Silverton has better highway access than McMinnville does.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:32 AM
Location: the Beaver State
6,472 posts, read 8,942,300 times
Reputation: 3427
I think the real question is "Do you need a job?" and if so, "What?"

Small towns in Oregon are notorious for high unemployment rates even in good times.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:24 PM
3 posts, read 13,270 times
Reputation: 10
I recognize that I shouldn't expect to get a job in the same town I live in and I'm prepared to commute. I'm going to be graduating with a degree in forensics next semester but all of my experience is pretty much in another field.

I'm prepared to take whatever job I can get at first, which is why I didn't mention any need for good employment opportunities. I realize they are few and far between. It's the same where I'm living now, but I'm saving for the move and hopefully will have a little time to work with as far as finding a job goes.

I appreciate the suggestions that have been made. I've tried searching using a map and this site, but there were so many options and I thought it might be easier to narrow it down with some help. I'll definitely have to look at Silverton and McMinnville!
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:37 AM
4,508 posts, read 9,325,426 times
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If you don't mind being east of Portland, try Fairview. It's a very quaint community. If west of Portland, try Vernonia.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:49 AM
Location: Salem, OR
12,373 posts, read 25,191,075 times
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All of the metros have small towns outside of them. So if you land a job in Salem, then you should consider Silverton or McMinnville. If you land a job in Portland there is Banks, Forest Grove, Scappoose, etc around that metro. There are many small towns around Eugene as well.

Oregon isn't like other states where our cities run together so we only have a few metros, all of which are small in comparison to other states, surrounded by small town America. I think most people would find a small town they like in Oregon.

Also, when you say small town, I'm thinking less than 20,000 people. Corvallis was mentioned on here, but I wouldn't consider it a small town since it has 50,000 people. So part of our ability to help you on here depends on how you define small town.
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Old 09-06-2011, 05:09 PM
125 posts, read 86,529 times
Reputation: 70

University town, small-town feel, still has everything you need. If it's too big for you, consider Philomath (on C.'s west side) or Lebanon (20 mi west). I also like the feel and look of Sweet Home quite a bit.

Any of these places would be about 75 minutes from Portland and 45+ minutes from Eugene.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:06 PM
3 posts, read 13,270 times
Reputation: 10
I'm really appreciating these suggestions. I've looked into all of the towns mentioned. I think Fairview and Vernonia are much too far north for me. I really do need to be able to commute to both Eugene and Portland (for various reasons) from wherever I decided to live.

As far as how small is a small town, 20,000 people or less is good though I'm leaning towards 15,000 people or less. The town I live in now only has about 7,000 people so I certainly wouldn't mind smaller.

Right now I'm looking at Silverton (my current favorite), Philomath, Lebanon, Sweet Home and Jefferson. Does anyone have any opinions on these? Maybe you could give me an idea of the general feel of the community? How open-minded/easy going are they? And how are these towns/cities in regards to affordable housing?

Thanks for all your help so far!
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:30 PM
125 posts, read 86,529 times
Reputation: 70
Silverton: not all that convenient to get to I-5; about a 30 min drive on two-lane roads to get to Salem. Much more convenient to Portland than to Eugene. The town has a nice, quiet, laid-back feel, but is small enough that you might find yourself going to Salem (ecch) quite often for even the basics.

Jefferson: barely there. You'll need to go to Albany or Salem for just about anything.

Philomath: Only 10 min from Corvallis, so, a small town without the small town disadvantages. Closest to the coast of any of your choices, if that matters to you (and being less than an hour from Newport is quite a plus, IMHO).

Lebanon/Sweet Home: Pretty much the same in terms of size, ambiance, etc. Sweet Home is further east on Hwy 20 than Lebanon, so it's less of a bedroom community and has more of a rural feel. Of course, it would be 15-20 minutes farther from Portland or Eugene.

None of the communities you mention are all that close to I-5, which lengthens what would apparently be a daily commute for you. Unfortunately, I-5 was routed AWAY from all those small towns; 99W or 99E goes through them, instead.

You might also look at Monmouth, Dallas, or Independence.
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