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We're thinking of moving to Southern Oregon from Hawaii because we just can't afford Hawaii anymore. Ashland sounds like a great match for what we're looking for, but housing prices are too high--might as well stay home in Hawaii. Prices in Medford seem better, but I'm concerned about some of what people have written on this forum. Is the drug problem really bad in Medford, and are people really rednecks there, as some have said? Are there other places outside of Ashland that are safe, tolerant, artsy? My husband and I are both professional writers, politically more liberal, although we get along with almost everyone from all backgrounds and viewpoints. We don't have kids living at home so schools are not an issue. Many thanks!
This from an outsider observer who just came back:
They both have areas that have not been kept up if thats what people mean by being "red-neckish". Medford is bigger so they have larger areas of it. To me, Ashland was basically a one street little town which went through a recent renaissance and is now considered to be hip. People there seem to bring to attention that they are distinct from their surrounding areas. It is pretty and does have some attractions going for it. In comparison to the Los Angeles area, Ashland would be like Los Feliz while Medford would be like any suburban city (Santa Clarita, Yorba Linda, etc)
I take it you think only liberal minded persons are tolerant (?). Good one. Well since you're asking, I made it be known to some of the people I've meet that I was rather conservative and was treated fine & no different so that would answer your question. Then again, being an Asian in Oregon where I saw no other, I was treated quite well in those supposed red neckish areas. Basically, everyone I ran into in OR were pleasant & very accomodating. You wouldn't be dissappointed by the people of OR.
I guess it boils down to: do you want pay a lot and live in a old-town area where everything is within a few blocks or do you want to live in a cheaper, suburban setting in a newer home where you might have to drive very little to get where you need to go?
You really can't lose either way. Both Medford and Ashland were great & so were the people and they're both not that far off each other.
Not far off, snb. We did a lot of soul searching before buying in Ashland. We looked in Jacksonville and Medford as well. Medford has many new homes being built and is very suburban. The homes are lovely and East Medford can be a suburb in Anywhere, USA. Convenient, tidy, nice, quiet. Jacksonville was a bit more rural with a very cute downtown area which is frequented by tourists in summer, as is Ashland.
We decided on Ashland because of that warm, small-town feel. We can walk to town if we want and once there it is very pleasant. Lithia Park is a treasure. There's a Newcomer's Club which helped us get on our feet socially. We spent enough time in suburbs to want something different and this suits us just fine. Good luck in your search!
Don't let people scare you....Medford is fine....and more affordable than ASHLAND....as with communities throughout the U.S....there are drug problems....and you can get involved if that is your choice...however, the drug problem is not rampant....we have two fantastic medical facilities...4 great golf course's....and outdoor activities galore !!!! Drop me a personal line with any questions or concerns you may have.....
I grew up in Ashland. It was a wonderful place to experiance as a child and as a young adult. Unfortunately it has changed a great deal in the last 10 years. At first glance it is charming, however it has become crowded and it is an expensive place to live. Many of the folks who made Ashland appear to be a "liberal community" have died or moved away. I don't see how Ashland can retain that reputation when houses sell on average now for half a million and the cost of living seems to be a third more than what can be found in surrounding communities. I live in East Medford now with my wife and 3 kids. We couldn't afford to buy the home we are in if it were in Ashland. We are very fortunate. The cost of living across the board is very affordable. Living in East Medford gives me access to the entire valley and in just minutes. School is a short walk from our home and shopping is a short drive down the hill. Far more conveniant than what Ashland could ever offer. I was surprised to learn that the night life in downtown Medford has become rather sophisticated offering many eclectic venues filled with young and old, seemingly healthy, optomistic patrons. "Drugs" are an issue everywhere in the U S. "Redneck" is a discriptive prejudicial term that is rather relative. Let's just say there are all types everywhere now. Can't we all just get long? My wife by the way, is a native of Japan. Her 8th year here we have never had any racial issue. She loves to shop at the Asian store. We have developed many close friends in our area and we are all non-religious, open minded people. Medford has a lot of parks. I truly enjoy my life here. I miss the Ashland years but I wouldn't move back now for anything. When you peel back it's surface it's no longer what it was. Ashland's not worth it. M
You know regardless of where you go in the world there are going to be drugs, rednecks and even less desirable neighborhoods that you want to venture into.
I lived in Klamath Falls most of my life and lived in Central Point for 4 1/2 years and worked in Ashland. The cost of living is cheaper anywhere up in the states as opposed to Hawaii. I have a couple of friends who lived in Hawaii for many years and the cost of very thing is much higher. So even if you move to Oregon and buy a house that is a little more expensive you will still be saving on everything else.
There are MANY other outlying areas that are lovely too. I suggest avoiding White City at all cost.
Eagle Point is on the rise and has many lovely areas to buy.
Shady Cove is a little more out of town to the north east of Medford.
If you want to be closer to Ashland there are a couple of little towns to look at.
Phoenix and Talent. They are right off I5 and are very close to Ashland and Medford.
To make a move like that you really have to take a week or two and go check out all the areas for yourselves. No one knows what your likes and dislikes are more than you. If you have kids, call and make appointments to see some of the local schools. That can also depend on where you might want to live.
But regardless of where you go, you will always find the rednecks. I am now living in Eastern Canada and trust me. We have our fair share of rednecks here too.
I have llived in Medford for 13 years and can't wait to move on! Yes, it's a lovely valley surrounded by fantastic wilderness. However, the city and county are in economic peril. The schools are over-crowded, the air pollution is getting worse, the roads are becomming crowded, the building here is raging full speed ahead. Orchards are being replaced by housing tracts. What once made this area appealing is rapidly disappearing. If you like car lots, coffee drive-through stands, bad and abundant Mexican restaurants, good 'ol boy mentality, a downtown that has improved but is still struggling and big box stores, Medford is for you. Affordable housing is all a matter of finances and perspective. You can't find a decent house in this valley for under about $280,000 and that may be small and in need of repair. I'd budget for between $350K and $400K for something nice. Oh, did I mention that they are planning to close all of our Libraries because they don't have the funding to keep them open?! Ashland is a lovely, forward-thinking city, but it is much more expensive there and you have a mix of yuppies, college students and hippies. Actually, a fun mix and I'd prefer to live in Ashland, but so would every Californian coming here, too. Come see it for yourself and make your own choices but we wouldn't recommend this area. If you're interested in Oregon and you can stand the rain and you want a larger city, Portland is fantastic. You might monitor the Mail Tribune Newspaper. Lot's of info on what's happening in our area: http://www.mailtribune.com/ Good luck!
No debate, Ashland is the crown jewel of So. Oregon, but it's starting to look more like cubic zirconia to me. The housing prices are way out of line for what you get. Besides that, there's no end to the building and cramming of new homes on ever smaller lots. It also seems like the city council is doing what it can to ruin the charm. Their current idea is to rip up the quaint little golf course on the south end of town, it's been there since the 30s or 40s, to make way for affordable housing. I really hoped to buy a house here, and can actually afford a nice one, but the longer I stay, the more I worry about the direction the city is taking, and what it's going to be like 10 years down the road.
You can get a brand new 1500 s.f. home for $260,000 in GP. Northridge homes is advertising them every week in the paper. For a really nice home Crume builders and Chapman builders are at mid 300's approx. 2000 s.f. in really nice neighborhoods. This is a great time to buy, probably the best it is going to get, barring a depression or a dump in int. rates..
I am not associated with any of the above listed builders, so I hope this is not taken as advertising, and just informative. If it is I apologize and will understand if it is edited.
From personal experience, alot of people in Southern Oregon like to exagerate things to make it seem worse than it is. Medford/Ashland are not that bad. If you look to the east in Klamath Falls, it's pretty much an eye sore at best. Whichever town you choose, you'll feel very safe.
As far as rednecks go, well, it's Oregon, it's country but they're harmless just like the kids who pretend to be gangstas (in Southern Oregon).
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