Lake Oswego, Washington Park...? (Portland, Beaverton: real estate, rent, house)
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I just found out that we will most likely be relocating to the Portland area next year. We currently live in the Seattle area, Mercer Island to be exact. However, we could be city dwellers again. What is the area close to the zoo called? We have always liked the area where you ride the train up the hill. What other parts of the city would you recommend?
I have read several posts and Lake Oswego seems to be closest in comparison to Mercer Island. We want the best schools. Our son has 15 children in his class and an aide (public school). We are looking for this again if it exists. We have three children and will have two school aged when we move. I am a stay at home mom and my husband is a CPA.
Commute is very important. Husband will be working downtown. We do not want more than a 20 minute commute.
Budget: 900k and under. We would rather keep it at 600k, but would pay more if it was worth it.
What we like:
Best Schools: public. We could do private school, but believe in supporting public first.
Family areas ( lots of kids). We enjoy museums, parks,etc.
Community Center? Athletic Club?
Professionals in neighborhood.
Not fans of cookie cutter homes.
Organic food lovers, veggie growers.
IMHO you are looking at Chapman & Ainsworth grade school enrolment areas. The neighborhood I think you have in mind is Arlington Heights. In addition to the MAX Zoo stop it is served by bus 63, Washington Park which connects to the MAX at the stadium (does not go down town). The Hillside neighborhood's bus also goes to the MAX stadium stop and operates weekdays only. The Portland Heights is served by bus 51, Vista, which goes downtown and has the most frequent bus service of the three. Twenty minutes to the city center is very do able, unlike Lake Oswego.
There are two athletic club options that may work for you: the Multnomah Athletic Club and the Riverplace Athletic Club. The first is much like the Washington Athletic club, in fact to become a member outside of a drawing you may need to transfer from a correspondent club. The MAC has wonderful family programs and when my daughter was on Lincoln's swim team that is where they practiced. Note that routes 63 & 51 pass by the MAC and 63 comes within a couple blocks.
I have no idea what the current class sizes are at Lincoln HS, Chapman or Ainsworth but I am quite certain that 15 students in a class won't happen. To get that class size you need to look at Oregon Episcopal School (where admission at the high school level is academically competitive - very competitive) or Catlin Gabel. [Example: my nephew was told to leave his rural school during his sophomore year because he had completed all the classes they offered, with straight A's. He wasn't ready, socially, for college. OES accepted him as a student and for the first time he couldn't complete his homework in class. He is now an 'individual contributor' at MS.] The Moving to Portland website has a link to school data.
Lincoln HS parents have high academic expectations for their students. After my children were in college we moved to Bainbridge Island where they provided an education similar to that on Mercer Island. They didn't hold a candle to Lincoln which offered an International Baccalaureate program when my daughter attended. An academically talented student will find lots of peers at Lincoln. If your child is a hands on learner or doesn't do well where kids compete to earn the best test score s/he may not be happy at Lincoln.
Last edited by Nell Plotts; 12-19-2010 at 04:54 PM..
You may have to sacrifice "Large Lot" to get the other items on your list. If you find "large lot" and every thing else, all the better and consider yourself blessed with fantastic luck. Just so you know.
Nell Plotts- such great information! Thank you! Sounds like our area.
I will be checking out the area few times this coming year. I still think Looking at lake Oswego is must, but I also want to know what else is out there. We have friends that live in Beaverton, Vancouver, and Milwaukie. I know there is no income tax in Wa which is very good for us, but location and commute are more imorptant to us.
I am completely ok with a smaller lot. We just want a little grass and area for growing veggies. We are fine with a smaller lot if there are several parks nearby.
Our Children will be in second grade, kindergarten and preschool when we move, so I am not quite sure how they'll thrive in high school. Education in our home is not an option.
I do expect where we live currently to be very competitive later on. I looked up the school info you mentioned. Sounds great! Know of any Mandarin immersion programs? Both our oldest two take Manadrin lessons.
Are there any other areas I should look at within 20 mins of downtown?
Tell me about Multnomah Village? Did I spell that right?
Last edited by Family0f5; 12-20-2010 at 12:54 PM..
Multnomah Village is a neighborhood inside the city limits of Portland. You would pay Multnomah and Portland taxes. For lots more info on Portland's Neighborhoods, please Google: Moving to Portland
A couple of hits from Real Estate Ladies who host web sites that offer lots and lots of info on City of Portland's various neighborhoods; a bit Rah-Rah cheerleader-ish, but what do you expect from Real Estate Ladies?
Multnomah Village is know for it's "so-last-decade crunchy" vibe and young families who are so very Green and Earth conscience.
Lake Oswego is in Clackamas County, which is a large and mostly rural agricultural county. The portion of Clackamas County within the Portland Metro's Urban Growth Boundary contains most of Clackamas County's population. Commuting to Portland would be a hassle, but nothing compared to commuting across the Columbia River.
In all seriousness, I think you should also glance through some listings in the Eastmoreland neighborhood as some of these mid-20th-century homes have dropped to under 1 million dollars. Portland city taxes of course.
Large (quite large, BTW) Grand turn of the 20th century homes (Edwardian?) homes are in Irvington District, which I think is holding up in value and may be just a bit out of your current reach, unless you find a bargain from a motivated seller.
The only public school I personally know of that has a Mandarin immersion program for all students is a charter school in Los Altos.
Here is a link to a discussion about Portland Public Schools programs: School Closeup: Mandarin Immersion in Portland, Ore. « Mandarin Immersion Parents Council
The District has recently had to make hard choices about their programs because of the economy so I would verify the above. Were I you I would look for a 'Saturday School' or after school program. That will give you the flexibility to select a teacher that best meets your children's needs. Their current teachers may have recommendations also.
I am not a fan of Lake Oswego, but that's just me and the commute to downtown is tough. If you are considering homes that direction I suggest you consider the Riverdale School district in what most call the Dunthorpe neighborhood. Japanese is the Asian language offered. It is a small district, in the past their students attended Lincoln for High School. They may only have the option of attending Lake Oswego now (Lincoln has a wait list for out of enrolment area students.)
The Irvington neighborhood is nice and the grade school strong.
I hesitate to comment on any of the other neighborhoods mentioned because I do not know their schools well. There are other areas in the vicinity that may meet your needs, but I am not sufficiently familiar with them to comment. The neighborhoods I first mentioned are the only ones really convenient to the MAC.
Last edited by Nell Plotts; 12-20-2010 at 03:43 PM..
Thanks to everyone for such great info! Our friends belong to the MAC and they enjoy it. What about preschools? I have done Montessori for my older two. I am open to alll kinds. I want a loving and nurturing school.
The housing prices I've looked at are encouraging. Cheaper than Seattle anyway. We may rent the first 6 mos or so. I hope to visit some schools in the spring.
Again, many thanks to everyone who responded.
Last edited by Family0f5; 12-21-2010 at 04:52 PM..
The preschool I am familiar with is at Friendly House. I attended in 1945 (before kindergarten was offered in the schools), my children in the 1970's, and now my grandson participates in the the play program. I don't know the preschool program today, but I do know they have a wait list. The staff I have met all have early education bachelor degrees, except for the cook who is a real chief. Friendly House is a community center, not for profit. The minus is that you have children in different classes you will spend your life juggling kids. Friendly House
Not far away is Childpeace Montessori school, they have concurrent classes for different ages. Childpeace / Montessori
If you live in Arlington Heights there is a playground for young children in Washington Park at the "Elephant House". In NW, in addition to Hillside Park, there are playgrounds for all ages at Wallace Park. The Portland Park Bureau has a finder that will help you locate convenient suitable playgrounds.
IMHO it is wise to find a preschool that the children in your new neighborhood attend. You will get to know the parents in your area and play-dates are easier to arrange. Were I in your shoes I would visit the grade school my children might attend and contact the kindergarten teacher. Ask where their students attended preschool.
Just popping in... I live in Lake O and work downtown (the Fox tower to be specific) and my commute is roughly 15 - 20 minutes taking side streets (LowerBoones -> Terwilliger -> Barbur) I have owned in LO for 5+yrs and love it. I have lived in Portland proper but got out as soon as I could because of all the 'goofiness' that is Multnomah county. (plus that is the only place I have ever lived where my house was burgled while I was at home )
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