Help us pick a city in Oregon! (Portland, Eugene: for sale, foreclosure)
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I have been reading this Oregon forum a lot, and doing some research on the weathe in Oregon, so now I think I have a little better idea of what I am looking for!! To give you a better idea of what we are like, me and my fiancee are both in our mid-twenties, Christian, active, enjoy crafts (woodworking, jewelry making, painting, sewing...), pets, cars, outdoor activities, cooking and are traditional conservative politically. We are trying to find a place to potientially relocate to from Wisconsin in the next few years.
I've narrowed my list of "wants" for a possible place to live down to the following:
1. Would prefer the weather to be mild (30's-40's winter-80's-upper80's summer) with most days being sunny or partly cloudy. I know Oregon is known for being cloudy and rainy, and I don't mind rain, and I actually like day where the sun is out, but there are a decent amount of clouds.
2. I would like to live in a smaller town, but be within maybe 30-40 minutes driving distance of a larger city that has some entertainment (theatre, movies, museams, cafes, art, concerts, whatever...). We would probalbly rent to begin with (and renting in a bigger city would be OK temporarily), but I'd like to eventually own a small-med sized house on a few acres of land out in the country.
3. Lots of fun outdoor activities--we enjoy swimming, fishing, canoeing, hiking, biking, rock climbing (casual, nothing really intense LOL), and just taking walks in pretty areas. I would like to live somewhere that is close by to some type of body of water for recreation/fishing (lake, ocean, river whatever...) and within view of mountians would be great!
4. We are both in the medical profession (I am a RN and he will be going to school to be a Nurse Practitioner), so I guess available medical jobs would be a factor (I prefer to work long term care VS. hospitals).
5. We are very much into cooking and learning about nutrition and whole food, so farmers markets, farms that sell directly to customers, and health food stores nearby are a must!
From what I've read thus far these things are hopefully all feasable in one area...?
So what I am looking for is suggestions on cities and towns that you think we would like, and why. And also descriptions of those places! Thanks in advance!!
Springfield. It's next to Eugene which provides bigger city options, concerts, restraunts, etc.
Lots of nearby recreation. It is next to two rivers, hills, mountains and lakes.
They build a mega hospital there a couple years ago. I don't know what the job outlook is though.
The Bend area for sure!
LOTS of the recreation around that you seek....and, far more sunshine than the westside of the Cascades.
Chilly mornings in Sunriver.....in the summer, but HOT and very dry in the afternoons. (Overnite lows in the 30's-40's.....highs in the 80-95 degree range, typically). Forest fires ARE a real threat though. NOT much rain there and the occasional thunderstorm DOES have lightning....which is the cause of many fires too.
The economy is flushed down the toilet though, with unemployment hovering between 15-20% and it's noticeable. Many people have left the area in the last 2 years. Sooo MANY homes for sale or in foreclosure..... it's sick!
BUYER'S MARKET....for sure!
I just wrote a massive post for another person on this forum interested in moving to Oregon. It sounds like you might benefit from the information. Of special note, the region I'm promoting (Southern Oregon) matches your interest in farmers markets, crafts, etc. perfectly. We have a large wine industry and the area has largely grown from agricultural roots. We are transitioning to different industries, albeit a bit slowly, but it's happening.
Here is the information I mentioned - any questions just ask!
I'm probably going to get slain for this by other Oregonians, but I'd highly suggest Southern Oregon. It's often looked down upon by people that don't really understand the area and what is here! I've included a bit of information on why it might really work for you, especially if you are trying to find a truly more relaxed lifestyle!
1) I'm not sure what you are qualifying a city as - if it's population based then you are pretty much looking at Eugene, Salem, or Portland. Each have areas around them where you could live and still get into the city. That being said, the Southern Oregon region has really grown (slowed of course by economic troubles) to nearly 200k pop in the last 7-10 years. Theater is attainable in Ashland and Medford, while Ashland and Jacksonville hold a large variety or restaurants, B&B's and other great places to enjoy some excellent food.
2) I'm not sure what positions might be available for an electrical engineer, as that's a field that is not even relatively close to my profession, but Medford has a large medical community, with the largest hospitals, doctors, care centers, etc. between Eugene and Sacramento. It's an industry that has been running strong as Southern Oregon has developed into a popular retirement/second home area for many.
3) If nature is your thing Southern Oregon has just about every other are in Oregon trumped, if only because of the well-rounded climate. We are near the STUNNING Crater Lake, and have a variety of lakes, mountains (Ashland, Mcglouhlin, etc.), forests, etc. all surrounding us. The Coast isn't too far (about 2 hours to Brookings/Northern Cal Coast) and the road takes you along the Smith and Illinois Rivers - both gorgeous. Best of all if you head over through Grants Pass to get to the coast you can go through the Redwood forests..another amazing recreation area.
Whether you like snowboarding/skiing, hiking, swimming, fishing, camping, walking, biking, snowmobiling, rock climbing, canoeing, boating, or anything else I've missed, you can do it here very easily at a variety of beautiful places.
We have 4 very balanced seasons, nice worm summer, beautiful fall, cold (but not too cold and snow stays in the mountains) winter, and a spring that brings lots of fresh green life back to the area. We also have very low humidity most of the area...not sure if that matters.
4) We've got the basic conveniences covered - multiple walmarts, costco, lowes, Home depot, many shopping centers, multiple movie theaters, between the towns and of course many choices for groceries. This is not a high fashion area (although more money is entering the valley in a variety of ways) but a drive to Eugene or Redding, which both have some more shopping variety are only about 2.5 hours away, bend also contains more shopping and the drive over is gorgeous -again about 2.5-3 hours.
5) We have a variety of small parks and safe places for kids to enjoy the beauty around them and release their energy. A new sports park was just completed (US Cellular park) that contains soccer field(s), nature area, bike paths, and softball/baseball fields. That combines with Ashland's Lithia park, medford's Bear Creek park and a multitude of others to provide a lot of options in that area.
For education - public school in Ashland is the strongest, however there are a variety of options as far as private schools go in Medford where the public school system is weaker. Jacksonville elementary, Abraham Lincoln elementary and Hoover elementary in Medford have been the best elementary schools in the region.
6) Crime is very low in the area, and there are only small pockets of neighborhoods/streets that you would not just want your kids playing on - and it doesn't sound like you'd end up in those places.
House in Ashland and Jacksonville is more expensive, but both towns have some strong draws. Talent has become a popular alternative to Ashland for many young couples as they can't afford Ashland home prices but want to be near by for the other benefits it offers.
I personally live in E. Medford, near Hoover Elementary school. I recently purchased my home for 220k on .5 acres in what is consider a nice part of town (I also live across the street from a park). My house needed work, but I believe you could find your privacy and a nice house within your price range - housing sky rocketed here for many years but has, of course, plummeted and there are some EXCELLENT homes in beautiful areas to be had right now.
Hope this information spurs you to give Southern Oregon a look. On paper it might not seem like as good of an option, but there is a reason people live here and the area grows...it's very very unique. Hope you give it a try!
If you'd like a little more information let me know and I'll see if I can provide some more resources for you!
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