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Old 02-24-2011, 09:08 PM
1 posts, read 5,107 times
Reputation: 10


Hello all. I'd like some advice on where to live in Oregon. Let me tell you about myself.

I will be attending Oregon State University hopefully this fall. I will be majoring in Fermentation Science with a minor in chemistry or business. My goal is to eventually start a micro-brewery.

Currently, I live in the south suburbs of Chicago, IL.

I grew up in Illinois and spent 27 years of my life here. I also lived in Boulder Colorado for a year and I lived in Laveen, Arizona for a year.

Boulder, Colorado was one of the greatest places I have ever lived. It has a population of about 95,000 I believe. Felt smaller to me though. While living in Colorado I discovered just how much I LOVE the mountains, and running streams. A 2 minute drive from Boulder put me into the mountains. There were many hiking trails and a water fall close by. The people were all super friendly. There was a place called Pearl street where it was a long closed off street with shops, restaurants, and all sorts of stuff to take in. Sort of like an outdoor mall (no major department stores though). Next to my apartment building there was a trail for walking and biking. It ran right along side a stream that was so beautiful. I used to walk and ride my bike to the library or the store everyday on this trail. You could take the trail to many places. It was so private and felt so great.

Also, Boulder was BIG into being healthy and vegetarian. There was a whole foods on every corner! haha! I am not a vegetarian anymore but I love "health food" stores and eating healthy.

There was also a lot of focus on art and music. It just seemed like a wonderful place.

I am looking for a similar place in Oregon. Here are some things I am looking for:

NICE WEATHER--Not a lot of snow in the winter if any, not too cold. Nice warm or hot summers. Not too much rain.

*Even though I would prefer the weather described above, if I could keep everything on my list but had to sacrifice something It would be the weather. Coming from Chicago, I can deal with snow and cold if I have to.

HIKING/CAMPING--I love to hike and camp. I must add though that I really like trees and mountains and especially places where there are lots of rocks and running water. I dont really enjoy hiking on flat land such as the desert. Unless it's beautiful of course! When I lived in AZ., there was a place called camelback mountain and it was a very nice place to hike. I much prefer the mountains, water, and trees though.

HOUSE PRICES—I would say unless my business really takes off, $200,000 would be the maximum for a home. Ideally, I’d like to pay less than that. I’m not sure if that is possible though. The house prices in Oregon seem much more expensive compared with the suburbs of Chicago.

SMALL TOWN FEEL--It doesn’t have to be super tiny or in the middle of nowhere. Nor does it have to be huge and have a mcdonalds or a ton of huge coportions on every corner. The things that are important to me would be:

-A nice library.
-Many restaurants-family owned, vegetarian, healthy, -Brew pubs (I'm REALLY into craft beer). Place to get good burgers.
-A whole foods would be nice
-Music store
-bowling alley
-movie theatre

Not all of these things have to be IN the city but within a short distance would be desired.

BIG CITY FEEL--I don't want to live in a big city but I would like to be close to the following things:

A zoo (if possible)
A museum
An Orchestra Hall

If I havent confused you enough Let me try and clarify.

My girlfriend and I are not super into dance clubs and crazy "night life" type of stuff. We really enjoy things like hiking and camping along with going to the mall, bowling, seeing a movie, going out the brewpub, drinking craft beer, trying new food, visiting the zoo or museum, seeing an orchestra play etc…

So I guess Ideally, I would like to live in a smallish and fun city that is far from a mcdonalds on every corner (I don’t mind having some familiar fast food around but don’t want to be surrounded by it!) and close to the mountains and running water. Also, I would like to live in a place that has room and would be accepting of someone starting a micro-brewery. Likewise, if I end up not starting a brewery I would like to be in (or close to) a city where I can find a job as a food scientist/chemist.

Also, I did not mention this before but My girlfriend and I would like to get married and have children, so good education, low crime, and friendly neighborhoods are a must.

Well, this is all I can think of right now. Feel free to ask any questions. Thanks for taking the time to read this!
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:38 AM
1,592 posts, read 3,299,398 times
Reputation: 2146
I would just live in corvallis if I were you, it's on the smallish side but has everything you mention, I think. haven't spent too much time there. don't know if you can get a house for less than 200K unless maybe you go outside the city limits.

if you don't wanna live in corvallis your only other options, based on what you describe would be eugene (45 minutes away) or portland (an hour and a half). honestly though i don't see what would be wrong with corvallis.

edit-the only place you can get a 'big city feel' in Oregon is Portland. don't know why you want to live by a museum (wouldn't you get tired of it eventually??). Eugene has a pretty good orchestra hall and some good performing arts stuff, although not too often. if you just keep abreast of the stuff coming to the Hult Center in Eugene then you could just drive down for that when you find something you like.
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:24 AM
32 posts, read 148,508 times
Reputation: 17
Gypsies....I am wondering if it is just in your area where all the Oregonians are A Holes or thats the impression i got from your post.While living in Salem for two years i heard Lake Oswego was a higher priced area but theres places like that all over.
Alot of people say that about Panama City Beach/Pensacola Beach area where im from.
I lived in Salem for 2 years and traveled a little outside towards Portland and the Coast.
I got along with most "Oregonians" and was embraced with open arms or maybe they just loved a girl with a Southern accent.
I might say that there were not alot of manners from kids or towards the elderly as in yes mamn,no mamn,thank you,your welcome or giving up a seat for a elderly person on the bus.
I'm not a true Floridian and have lived all over the world as a airforce baby and i know just for me that there is no place like OREGON....its beautiful,mountains and its SOOOOO GREEEEEN.
They are really into recycling and keeping things clean unlike FLORIDA.
There is always something to do whether it be an outside activity,museum,art show,weekend market....OREOGN IS AMAZING.
I'd put up with damn near anything to live in a place so beautiful.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:15 AM
Location: Portland Metro
2,317 posts, read 4,400,905 times
Reputation: 2772
endofnight - rent in Corvallis until you complete your degree at OSU. While you are attending school you'll have plenty of time to explore the rest of the state to find the place you love. You might just find it in Corvallis.
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Old 03-01-2011, 03:35 PM
Location: St. Louis County, MO
11 posts, read 36,159 times
Reputation: 20
Ok, so I have been following through the forum since the first post on the thread. I have gotten a lot of clarity and feel like I can format my question in a bit more concise and detailed way.

After visiting Oregon for a church camp trip 2 years ago my daughter and I fell in LOVE with it! I completely disagree with the opinion of Gypsy that Oregon is rude. On the contrary! People in the airport were nice, our hotel staff on both ends of the trip were wonderful, LOVED the train system through Portland, even the garbage was friendly! (There was a smiley face on a refuse cart at our hotel!) We fell in love with the weather, the green, the enormous tree's, the moss that would rival expensive carpeting....then we got to go to costal Washington state last summer and that finalized it. We are in love with the pacific NW and have to make a plan to move. I have been a lifelong resident of Missouri and my family has lived in the Suburbs or St. Louis for about 13 years. My family is scattering, so there isn't much of a connection here anymore. We are all just ready for a change!

So here are my needs: family home of 3+ br no less than 1300 sqft for no more than $150K in an area with access to good schools (I need one that is sensitive to and capable of handling autistic students in middle school and high school age) and music programs (vocal and orchestra), low crime, neighborhood feel, close to metro area and near employment hubs. Also need to have access to natural surroundings especially waterways. More temperate environment...I am from Midwest and will avoid hard snowy winters and ghastly humid summers at all cost! I am not interested in the smallest of small towns...something in the ballpark of 20-40K population...I was raised in extreme rural areas and am not inclined to have to plan a day trip to go to the grocery store. We also need to be close to a cultural center due to my daughters musical interests. I would also like to live where a farmers market where an art influence is available and amidst an agriculturally sustainable environment.

Ok, I am bad at concise, but hope that was enough detail! Any help?

Last edited by wonderv; 03-01-2011 at 04:25 PM..
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:43 PM
Location: Portland Metro
2,317 posts, read 4,400,905 times
Reputation: 2772
Originally Posted by wonderv View Post
Any help?
wonderv, you don't mention anything about needing to work or find a job. If you reveal more about your employment situation you'll get more responses.

I can tell you that your population criteria limits you to cities in Western Oregon and the Bend-Redmond area. Also, you may have difficulty finding housing at your price point unless you are interested in a fixer-upper. Weather will not be an issue unless you are east of the Cascades, then snow becomes part of the winter weather picture.

However, someone could recommend the best place based on all of your criteria but there may not be a good employment scene. And that would do you no good if you need to find work. For example, Eugene has much of what you are looking for, but jobs are so scarce that I would recommend against moving across country unless you had a job lined up.
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:54 PM
1 posts, read 4,927 times
Reputation: 10
I would say Oregon City, Gladstone and Clackamas are the best places to live I have lived here for a period of time and this places are quite and have awesome schools. Also, stores are not to far away maybe 5miles most but there are closer stores as well. I would say look into this zipcodes if you would like to move to Oregon. (Milwaukie 97222 and Clackmas/Gladstone 97267 and Oregon City 97045). Good luck! I would say in this areas people, neighborhoods, organizations are more friendly. Nice places as well.
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Old 03-27-2011, 01:59 PM
1 posts, read 4,855 times
Reputation: 10
Default Coastal OR town?

Hi Everyone,

We'd love some advice. We're a semi-retired couple who want to live in a small cottage on a beach. We don't care about schools or jobs. We would like the town to be close (20 min drive at most) from basic shops and some restaurants. We want to be able to walk on a long stretch of beach from our front door, so it can't be high on a cliff or a beach that's all rocks.

Milder winter would be nice, but not essential. We have an RV and would likely snowbird out for a few months so we can travel.

We're going to be driving up the coast soon and would love some ideas of towns to stop and and explore in depth.

Any ideas?
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Old 04-02-2011, 12:40 AM
Location: Giethoorn, Netherlands
629 posts, read 1,132,486 times
Reputation: 740
My wife and I just did a 10-state road trip, and Oregon captured our hearts. We loved the green, the rain, the people.

I work online so I can live anywhere. I just want a safe town with no more than 200k people. And hopefully not in "heavy" mountain lion territory 8-|

While visiting, i loved: ashland, eugene, salem, sandy... even portland

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Now to warm up some coffee and dig into this 21-page thread

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Old 04-02-2011, 05:54 PM
6,774 posts, read 7,172,640 times
Reputation: 4894
do3, you might want to look around Florence or Newport for beach and nearby services / restaurants.

topaz420, a safe town with no more than 200k still covers a lot of ground. You list ashland, eugene, salem and sandy. Eugene and Salem metros are already well beyond 200,000- Eugene 400k and Salem 350k. Sandy is a small suburb of a very large metro. Ashland is a satellite of a Medford / Grants Pass combined metro that is pushing 300,000. It is hard to guess what to recommend and what you are most inclined to consider. Not knowing if you want to buy a home and what you can & want to pay for it also makes it hard. Your employment interest / prospects are your business but certainly affect your choice.

In between moderate size metro and small city / town is Corvallis metro at 85,000. That might work if you want a little of both worlds but that doesn't cut it for some who really want to be at one end of that range or the other. It is not as close to the Cascades as Sandy or Ashland but it is not too far from a variety of outdoor options.

If that is too small, then go back to looking at Eugene and Salem and their suburbs or maybe look further at Ashland or Grants Pass or Eagle Point depending what you can afford on house prices.

If you think a suburb of Portland would work out overall, there are many options and many threads available to read.

If you set a tighter population range and a home price target and perhaps add other preferences or requirements I'd think you might get more and better recommendations.

Roseburg is another option but southern Oregon in particular is a tough job market these days. Same with Klamath Falls.

Also, for a personal response it is often better to start a new thread. "Best of" threads are crowded with requests and answers and other talk and it may be somewhat harder to get personal answers or many personal answers from within one.

Last edited by NW Crow; 04-02-2011 at 06:18 PM..
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