Opinions Please ~ Looking for my "perfect spot" in Oregon (Portland: appointed, new home)
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Opinions Please ~ Looking for my "perfect spot" in Oregon
In some of my previous posts, I may have mentioned my family moving to Wyoming. We now have our sights (and hopes) set on Oregon.
I am hoping that some of you might have suggestions for where I might begin my search for my "perfect spot" in Oregon as I list what type of environment we are looking for. These are in no particular order of importance to us, yet they are all very important. Just typing them out as they come to me...Here goes:
1. Close to the ocean, but not right on the coast. (Within maybe 30 miles?)
2. Must have forests surrounding us. (Love the woods!)
3. No near neighbors. The more remote-feeling the better.
4. Mountainous terrain would be great!!
5. Not too close to big towns, but not far enough to make commuting/shopping a hassle. Stores I would most like to have in the area: CVS, Walgreens, Aldi, Target. (I am no Mall Rat!! lol)
6. Would like a University/Community College within 30-40 miles.
7. Christian school available in our community.
8. Enough land to own some farm animals, horses in particular, but also maybe chickens.
9. Near equestrian events/schools. (Rodeos, horse riding training facilities.)
10. Enough good weather to be able to plant a garden. (Non-flood prone zone?)
11. Some snow in winter would be GREAT! We want white Christmases!!
12. Rain is fine with me! (I live in the dry desert right now.) Just don't want to live somewhere where it floods all year round.
13. MUST live near a farmers market!! (This should be higher up on my list, actually!)
14. Would love it if a large thrift store were nearby.
15. Non-toursity area. Off the beaten path.
Basically, my husband and I are looking to live simply. We are very friendly people - and love people - but just want to be able to walk out the door and go into the yard and not have someone staring you down. We want "remote". We want "woodsy". We want peace and quiet. And someplace where we don't have to worry about our daughter being snatched up as soon as she sets foot outside the door. We want her to be able to go outside and play, build a treehouse, live the "country life", and learn how to raise animals, grow food, and not grow up to be too influenced by consumerism.
I guess to put it in a nutshell: We want "The Simple Life" + a few modern conveniences. Am I dreaming? Is there such a haven in Oregon? Please tell me there is!!
This is exactly the kind of place I am looking for; we have the same interests! I was looking at Wyoming as well because my family if from there, but 500 inches of snow is too much for this Californian. Good luck to you in your search for "perfect spot".
Sounds to me like the area just west of Corvallis would be pretty perfect for you.
Check out Philomath, Eddyville, Alsea, and that area. Close to the coast, close to OSU (Go Beavs!)...shopping available nearby (in Albany, Salem, and Eugene). Weather is just what you've described.
If you're willing to look a little farther from the coast, the OTHER side of Corvallis might work also; Brownsville, Halsey, Shedd, Lebanon, etc...lots of nice rural areas (checkout Scio and Crabtree too - again if 1 1/2 hours to the coast isn't TOO far.)
I would have to agree with Silverfall. While reading your specifications, the Sheridan/Willamina area came into mind.
25-30 miles away from the cost.
Forests? How about evergreens, its green all year there.
Neighbors? Get a place just outside of town.
Close to larger cities like McMinville.
Theres a Community college in "Mac' (McMinville)
A lot of areas outside of the two towns are farming lands, my aunt even has one just outside of Grande Rhonde, the other side of Willamina
Not sure about a white christmas, but it snows a little here and there.
Want rain? Willamina will give you all the rain you want. It also won't flood if you manage to find some land thats a bit higher in elevation, so the access water will runoff probably into a stream.
If you want snow every year, you will have to go up in elevation. We don't get a lot out here.
Just wondering what you meant by "out here", Silverfall. Do you mean Oregon itself, or the area you are from? If you mean that I should look in Northern Oregon, what cities do you suggest I look into? We do want "white Christmases" every year...So, I guess that would be in my top 5 requirements.
Assuming that you meant Northern Oregon I looked into this area, and have a question about the Blue Mountains...Is that too much of a remote area? It looks like it might be, from what I've seen. Not alot of larger towns nearby, and I'm worried about internet connection. (Sorry. But it's true!) I love the small-town feel, and am looking for small-town schools, but don't want to be too far from a larger town (say, Portland in this case), but far enough so that we are in the mountains - with trees.
I guess what I'm afraid of is buying land, or building a house, or buying an existing home, and then in the next 10 years we end up having development/subdivisions spring up right next door. I want what we buy to be just like it is now for the next 40-59 years. Know what I mean? Should we look into buying land that butts up next to a National Forest or State Park?
Again, I thank you all for your suggestions. This REALLY is helping me to narrow down my search for a new place to live. It's hard to know where to begin when you've never physically BEEN someplace. So, I really appreciate you all!!
Oregon (at the lower elevations) in general doesn't get a lot of snow. You'd have to be in Zig Zag and Rhododendron to try and get some snow for every Christmas. Oregon is cloudy in the winter which traps heat. As a result we don't get a lot of snow down in the valleys, but our winter's are warmer.
All Oregon cities have urban growth boundaries. Inside the boundaries the cities are required to have a 20 year supply of land. Once they dip below the 20 year supply they can expand the boundaries. Once you decide on an area, look at the urban growth boundaries for that city. It will tell you where the sprawl is going to be.
We also have very strict zoning laws out here. I think the biggest issue you are going to have is trying to build a house in an area like that. Your best bet will be to try and find an existing home. Existing homes get grandfathered in, where new homes have to following current zoning. Much of the land that butts up to National Forests is zoned FF (farm forest) or REC (Recreational use) so you wouldn't be able to have a primary residence on land that is zoned that way.
I don't know much about the blue mountains area. They are not close to Portland (3-4 hours maybe) Baker City is the closest city. You originally had wanted close to the coast, so that would be the coastal range. The blue mountains are on the other side of the cascade range even farther from the coast.
A top 5 must have's would be helpful. Wanting to have internet service means you can't be too remote.
The Blue Mts and the communities around them are quite nice and you can pretty much count on snow during the winter. As far as remote goes, well, I guess that all depends on what one thinks remote is, to some people remote is leaving the Willamette Valley area. In north eastern Oregon I-84 puts you within 3 to 4 hours from Portland and about 2 to 3 hours from Boise, ID, both being large cities. NE Oregon like SE Oregon are the forgotten areas in the state. The schools in these areas are small and like most schools in Oregon they do lack funding.
I think allot has to do with what your expectations are, if you go into NE Oregon with high expectations you might be disappointed on the other hand, if you wants a place that provides a quiet, relaxed and stays out of your business atmosphere you might want to take a second look at this area.
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