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Old 11-29-2013, 11:33 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,383 times
Reputation: 10

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That's right, another "where should I move" thread...sorry in advance, but I appreciate any help.

I'm 24 years old, and just moved out of Boston. I liked the city for the most part, but seemed too big for me.

What I'm looking for:
-good road biking, and not needing to bike through 20 miles of urban strrets to get to it
-trail running and mountain biking within a reasonable distance
-mountains (I couldn't stand that the mountains were so far away from Boston)
-good skiing (both resort and backcountry)
-an emphasis on sustainability / environmentalism / community
-a good environment for meeting people my own age, who also love being outside
-local business is embraced, as is buying from local farms
-having a running club to be a part of
-a college / university to take advantage of lectures, orchestra, etc
-a bike communiting culture
-ability to have a backyard / garden, live in a house, and not pay outrageously for it

Places I've considered living:
-Boulder
-Missoula
-Spokane
-Ashland
-Portland
-Bend

I've been to Bend, Portland, Boulder, and Ashland. I've read tons on all the places, and unfortunately it seems no one place is perfect.

I'm leaning towards Portland, but I'm afraid that I'll run into the size issues that I had with Boston. Ashland was also high on my list, but conversely I'm afraid it will be too small, especially for my age.

I was working in Boston as an accountant, but I want to try switching careers to green residential building.

I really appreciate any help and guidance. Thanks!
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Old 11-30-2013, 12:55 AM
 
58 posts, read 43,144 times
Reputation: 66
I can't speak to the first three, but can to the last three. I am an inner SE Portland native, but lived several years in Boston (liked it a lot but a but of a culture shock lol). My husband works in green sustainable design and building....and I garden

I really think Portland has everything you mention. You could probably make Bend work for the outdoor living activities (they are arguably more outdoor centric than PDX) but I find it shockingly conservative in other ways and I think the university environment there is lacking. I have always found Bend a little snooty and out of touch, it feels a bit like a spoiled resort community to me (I have never lived there, to be frank, but my husbands family all lives there and that is my observation of 14 years of long holidays).

Ashland is adorable and would be a great place to live, but there isn't much besides the college, and my sense is that it would be hard to find a job there, and definitely in the field you are interested in. Portland is the hub of the sustainability industry at least in this part of the world.

FWIW, Portland is a similar size to Boston, but the residential neighborhoods are set up in a way that really let you experience the feel of a smaller community, especially on the inner east side. I live close in, and yet my street is quiet and friendly....chickens wander into the street from the neighbors and people stop to talk while walking their dogs or pushing a stroller. I can walk up a few blocks to local shopping. I lived in the fens and then Brighton while in Boston and it never feels like that here. It's mostly houses and neighborhoods, really only a few areas have dense housing.
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Old 11-30-2013, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
9,813 posts, read 15,928,750 times
Reputation: 6220
Quote:
Originally Posted by xckeefe12 View Post
That's right, another "where should I move" thread...sorry in advance, but I appreciate any help.

.....
I was working in Boston as an accountant, but I want to try switching careers to green residential building.

I really appreciate any help and guidance. Thanks!
Boy, you really want to jump off the work cliff.

We have unengaged architects with a green focus by the boat load. You haven't mentioned your qualifications to do green residential building... Just because you 'have an interest' doesn't mean you can make a living in that occupation.

Find a job as an accountant in the community you choose, then learn what you need to know about green residential building.
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Old 11-30-2013, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Giethoorn, Netherlands
629 posts, read 982,217 times
Reputation: 736
Quote:
Originally Posted by xckeefe12 View Post

Places I've considered living:
-Boulder
-Missoula
-Spokane
-Ashland
-Portland
-Bend
Another -1 for Ashland from me. I love Ashland and mentioned it too in my "where should i move" thread, but it feels like an over-50 town to me. Not a bad thing if you're in that stage of your life, but I think in your situation you'd be itching to get out of there rather quickly

Good luck!
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Old 12-01-2013, 11:57 PM
 
74 posts, read 219,567 times
Reputation: 88
As I went down your "looking for" list, I kept thinking, "Why is this posted in the Portland section? This person needs to check out Bend!" Then I read the rest of the post, and except for the college aspect, still think Bend would be a good fit for you.

Negatives against Bend:
• No university atmosphere here. There is a plan to expand the current satellite OSU branch into a four-year university, but that's still a ways off.
• The climate sucks for gardening, but creative souls have managed to eek out some produce for more than just two months of the year.
• For a town full of passionate cyclists, the commuting atmosphere is somewhat lacking. When I say this, I mean in comparison to Portland.
• The biggest reason more people don't move here is lack of jobs.

Pros for Bend:
• Depending on what part of town you live in, you can ride from your doorstep to the major mt biking trail network in 5 minutes.
• Regardless of what part of town you live in, you can be on a road ride within a couple miles.
• Year-round trail running in town, and only a short drive to get to more stuff.
• 20 minute drive gets you to all types of skiing (resort, BC, nordic, etc.)
• Hugely active population of all age ranges, with many opportunities for finding a group to go out with.
• Cheap housing, although it's on the rise.
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Old 12-02-2013, 01:03 PM
 
4,063 posts, read 4,218,817 times
Reputation: 2839
"-ability to have a backyard / garden, live in a house, and not pay outrageously for it"

Renting a room in a house, this is quite possibly achievable. Buying/renting a house on your own is more questionable, or at least depends on how you define 'outrageously.'

Median home prices are about 5-6x median incomes (hh income: 40k, family income: 50k - median sale price 257k), and rose about 15% this past year. And around the median the lot sizes are generally going to be quite small. Rent prices likewise seem to be up significantly - I haven't seen a specific quote, but in general I'd say renting a house is on par with what you'd pay for PITI to buy it with 0-10% down, particularly if you're renting through an agency.
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Old 12-02-2013, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
241 posts, read 403,312 times
Reputation: 407
From what you've described, have you considered Eugene? It seems to fulfill the things you list you are looking for.
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