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Old 12-27-2011, 09:56 AM
 
4 posts, read 4,485 times
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My boyfriend and I have been considering moving away from the East Coast. Cannot stand it here any longer (we are native southern New Jersey folk, but have traveled all over the East over the past 10+ years). We would love to set up shop somewhere on the Oregon Coast around late 2012. We are planning to take a trip out for a couple weeks this coming spring, but do not know where exactly to go or what to even look for - this will be our first trip to the West Coast!

We do not have children and aren't planning on it, so school systems aren't much of a concern to us right now. He wants to be close to the ocean (he is a fish... I mean, a surfer). Lots of locally owned small businesses and farmers markets would be a plus - we're trying to get away from the hustle and bustle of big cities and major consumerism.

Eventually we would like to build a very tiny house, but for now, a cheap rental apartment or house anywhere would do . Assuming we would be making the same amount of money in Oregon that we are here in NJ, we would be looking for housing up to $1000/mo. He has been doing labor jobs (landscaping, construction, etc.) most of his life but has recently graduated college with a degree in Literature and is hoping to be able to do something with that. I have been a graphic designer for the past four years. I don't know if this is important at all to help us out, but I figured I would include it.

We are young homebodies that like to make things to occupy our time, so the night life is not important to us. We also enjoy camping and hiking quite a lot! Basically a small, liberal, green town within a half hour from beaches would be perfect. But we are willing to work with what we're given if that is too much to ask for.

Sorry this ended up being so long! Thanks in advance for any and all opinions!
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Dallas, Oregon & Sunsites Arizona
7,925 posts, read 6,654,897 times
Reputation: 2371
Do you have a job carved in stone. If not don't bother. His skills are a dime a dozen and over staffed here mostly by latinos and out of work meth addicts. Yours are in very limited demand especially on the coast. read the other posts. Do not expect east coast wages in Oregon.
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Old 12-27-2011, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Medford, OR
77 posts, read 63,385 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Pickering View Post
Do you have a job carved in stone. If not don't bother. His skills are a dime a dozen and over staffed here mostly by latinos and out of work meth addicts. Yours are in very limited demand especially on the coast. read the other posts. Do not expect east coast wages in Oregon.
FYI, he has a degree in Literature that he'd like to put to use. Not too many out of work meth addicts in literature I'd imagine. Besides, if they are staffed somewhere, are they still out of work?

Though, I'm not sure what you'd do with a literature degree other than teach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Pickering
Do not expect east coast wages in Oregon.
Is it safe to assume the cost of living is less than on the east coast? Just saying...
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Old 12-27-2011, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
11,012 posts, read 18,924,139 times
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The Oregon coast isn't like the CA coast. Surfers wear wet suits and the ocean is cold. All of the towns on the coast are small. Not sure I'd call any liberal though. Most of the coast votes red. Most Oregon towns are "green" as this is Oregon. Even our most conservative towns are green. So...are you wanting "green" hippie kind of thing or what are you talking about?

I think what you want is Corvallis, but it isn't on the coast.
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:56 PM
 
4 posts, read 4,485 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverfall View Post
The Oregon coast isn't like the CA coast. Surfers wear wet suits and the ocean is cold. All of the towns on the coast are small. Not sure I'd call any liberal though. Most of the coast votes red. Most Oregon towns are "green" as this is Oregon. Even our most conservative towns are green. So...are you wanting "green" hippie kind of thing or what are you talking about?

I think what you want is Corvallis, but it isn't on the coast.
Surfers wear wet suits in NJ, too. We aren't from California, not sure what you are getting at. I don't know any of this because I have yet to travel to Oregon. I do not live there so I do not know. We are just trying to get a feel for what some places are like and if anything would be 100% "us". Green in more than one way. Green as in woods. Green as in "hippie kind of thing" (not a ton of pollution and nonsense like we have where we are currently).
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:00 PM
 
4 posts, read 4,485 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinnamon_Girl View Post
FYI, he has a degree in Literature that he'd like to put to use. Not too many out of work meth addicts in literature I'd imagine. Besides, if they are staffed somewhere, are they still out of work?

Though, I'm not sure what you'd do with a literature degree other than teach.

Is it safe to assume the cost of living is less than on the east coast? Just saying...
There's only so much I can tell from Craigslist, haha, but it seems like the cost of living may be cheaper in OR than NJ. I'd imagine other than teaching it would probably be something like newspaper jobs, things that have to do with writing, editing, etc.

I agree, I don't really think there are too many out of work meth addicts in literature either
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:31 PM
 
Location: the Beaver State
6,476 posts, read 6,329,903 times
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What is being said to you in a very nice way so far is that your boyfriend's degree is useless in Oregon. There are a lot of people already here with liberal arts degrees who are working way outside of their field. My wife has two liberal art degrees, and hasn't worked a day in either one.

Schools are poised to lay off even more teachers this next year state wide due to continued budget cuts. Many of them have years of experience and the Oregon Education system is setup to help teachers get their Masters degrees. So getting a teaching job is going to be putting him up against a large bank of experienced people.

Newspapers left and right are slashing staff, which is causing the paper quality to drop, which is causing a drop in readership, and even more slashing of staff. So if he somehow finds a newspaper job, don't expect to keep it more then a couple of months.

There are about a billion bloggers in Oregon. I mean, blogging pretty much started here. I maintain six blogs myself. So there are a ton of experienced people already in that field, and he'll have to work hard to fill a niche, or work long hours in getting traffic to his site.

He might be able to get a job freelancing in the comic industry, a lot of popular comics and comic artists are in Portland these days.

The only other job I can think of off hand is for him to write his own book and get published.

The only place you're going to have a chance of getting a graphic designer job is in Portland where the largest creative force lives. You'll have slightly better chances of a job, Nike, Adidas, Columbia Sports, Laika, and hundreds of web development companies could use your skills. But you'll need to network now and start building up contacts to get a job, plus have an outstanding portfolio.

There are no towns "within 30 minutes" of the Oregon Coast. Most everything is directly on the coast, or a few miles inland. The Coast Range mountains are still the same barrier they were 150 years ago. Either way, Oregon Coast isn't really for surfers. It can be done, but it's extremely rare, you're going to get weird looks, plus you need to watch out for all the rocky coast line. Oh, and decent waves only happen for a couple of weeks out of the year. Note that no one calls it "the beach," because there just isn't a lot of sand. Most of the Oregon Coast is high rocky cliffs that are awesome to look at, but useless for anything other then nesting sea birds.

The cost of living in Oregon is generally less then East Coast. But the wages are also much lower on average too. Most people your age are working at or very close to minimum wage.

Your "green liberal" towns are going to be in the Willamette Valley for the most part, Portland, Corvallis, Ashland, Eugene.

I'd suggest you stay where you are, have your boyfriend work on getting a more useful degree while you build up your portfolio and then move when the economy turns around and you can be sure of a job.

If you somehow decide to not take anyone's advice here, at least come with living expenses for a year saved up.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
11,012 posts, read 18,924,139 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krystea View Post
Surfers wear wet suits in NJ, too. We aren't from California, not sure what you are getting at. I don't know any of this because I have yet to travel to Oregon. I do not live there so I do not know. We are just trying to get a feel for what some places are like and if anything would be 100% "us". Green in more than one way. Green as in woods. Green as in "hippie kind of thing" (not a ton of pollution and nonsense like we have where we are currently).
What I was getting at was the romanticization of Oregon that people often have. People want to surf the coast, ie rocky shoreline, with our stunning coastal landscapes not realizing that we have few surfers out here as the waters are quite cold and the waves aren't great. People also don't realize how gray our coastal weather is and that sweatshirts in the summer are normal.

While you probably feel your description was helpful, you described many cities in Oregon. Oregon is very pro Oregon and we have many mom and pop stores in every city. We have farmer's markets in every city. Our coast isn't built up so the cities are quite small and slow paced. This often sounds good to people to escape the hustle and bustle until they realize how slow, slow is. Oregon has a slow pace in general. Head to the small towns and it gets really slow.

Stick to the larger cities in the valley. Adjust to the pace of Oregon and then go smaller from there. I see sooooooo many people move here for small town life and move to Portland after 2-3 years because they can't stand it. West coast living is VERY different than East coast, even in our larger cities.
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:10 AM
 
Location: Cleveland Heights OH
13,601 posts, read 10,695,006 times
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A "hippie kind of thing" will not be found at the Coast. Most Oregon towns are on the conservative side at least politically. Corvallis, Eugene, Portland and Ashland (maybe Ashland) will be more amenable to the hippie kind of thing.

They are not near the Coast but you may stand a better chance of getting jobs in these towns someday. I want to reiterate what some have already said. Try to secure a job before coming here. You will see it isn't easy but it won't be easy if you are actually living here with the job skills you have to offer; tons, and tons of competition along with the lack of need for these things.

One thing you can do is relocate to Portland where the majority of jobs are and sign up with a temp agency. That seems to work for many new transplants for getting their foot in the door to a permanent job. The company I used to work for got most of its entry level employees that way and those who were kept on moved on to very good jobs withing the company.

Be prepared to earn low salaries but with two incomes, you might just be able to make it.

If you are determined to move to anyplace in Oregon without a job, bring enough to live on for six months to a year. Sorry to be such a downer but that's the reality of the situation. You want to move to a place where many, many others want to relocate as well. And many of those who are already here are struggling to survive.
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:25 PM
 
Location: Dallas, Oregon & Sunsites Arizona
7,925 posts, read 6,654,897 times
Reputation: 2371
You said he was in Landscaping. The Degree is useless here. He can find some landscape work, but the newspapers here are going out of business and Teachers are Union and waiting for recall from layoffs. You need to consider staying where you are.
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