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Old 09-23-2015, 01:38 AM
 
149 posts, read 133,629 times
Reputation: 104

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I'm coming up on a year in Portland now, so I thought would enlighten those dreaming of making the move.

My advice?

Don't do it.

Why do I say this?

1. I've never seen so many homeless people in my life. Portland is America's Homeless Camp. And it's perfectly legal. It's also disgusting and dangerous. There's literally hordes of seriously mentally ill people roaming the streets.

North Park Blocks: Summer of 'lawlessness' gets Portland's attention | OregonLive.com

Our Homeless Crisis: Portland Business Alliance urges City Hall to find more emergency beds | OregonLive.com

Portland police fired 5 beanbag shotgun shots at man with sword on riverfront, then left scene | OregonLive.com

2. Rents, rent increases, and home prices are out of control. Worse, there's no justification for it. Your landlord is constantly raising rents while you've got the homeless sleeping in front of your apartment building and breaking glass on the sidewalks.

Working class priced out, kicked out in new Portland housing boom | OregonLive.com

Is Portland the next San Francisco? 4 takeaways from Metro's discussion | OregonLive.com

3. Did they tell you about the "big earthquake" potential here? Do you know there's been a lack of building code to protect you from this coming earthquake?

The Earthquake That Will Devastate the Pacific Northwest - The New Yorker

The New Yorker follows up with earthquake, tsunami instructions, saying Portland faces enhanced threats | OregonLive.com

They didn't even have earthquake building codes at all until 1993.

http://projects.oregonlive.com/maps/...kes/buildings/

4. There's no shortage of gang activity, to include regular shootings.

More than 250 bullets flew in 30 gang violence calls in Portland this year | OregonLive.com

Suspected gang shootings 'coming in so fast' that police playing catch-up | OregonLive.com

5. The traffic is flat out awful, and the car insurance rates are high. And finding a place to park your car is a nightmare.

Portland drivers among the most collision-prone, report says | OregonLive.com

It's not your imagination: Portland highways are at or above capacity | OregonLive.com

As you can see, I backed up my comments about Portland with actual news articles about the things I complained about.

Last edited by Raisinet; 09-23-2015 at 01:58 AM.. Reason: Added New Link

 
Old 09-23-2015, 10:42 AM
 
4,060 posts, read 4,597,437 times
Reputation: 2862
For certain demographics, it's probably still appealing. But I do think the cons (rents, traffic) are growing faster than the pros.
 
Old 09-23-2015, 10:59 AM
 
230 posts, read 300,870 times
Reputation: 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raisinet View Post
I'm coming up on a year in Portland now, so I thought would enlighten those dreaming of making the move.

My advice?

Don't do it.

Why do I say this?
Because you don't want anyone else to move in?

Sorry, couldn't resist.
 
Old 09-23-2015, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,697 posts, read 24,243,362 times
Reputation: 35566
He does have some valid points. I was priced out of Portland after living there for 36 years. I relocated from Chicago in the late 70's when Portland was very different.

The point is, not every city is for everybody. If you can make it in a place that is right for you, fine. If you have to struggle just for an address, chances are the place is not for you. That includes Portland or any other city. I have seen too many people struggle to make ends meet in Portland because of an unrealistic dream they were chasing.

Some of the issues the OP mentions would not prevent me from relocating to Portland if I were a young person considering it today but the key issues of COL, rental shortages and prices, accessibility of public transportation transportation and jobs (the last two he doesn't mention) would.

That's my criteria. For others, they might not be.
 
Old 09-23-2015, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Portland Metro
2,289 posts, read 3,940,229 times
Reputation: 2685
The two things I agree with the OP on are 2. the housing costs and 5. the traffic.

The cost increases in Portland Metro in the past 5 years since the great recession have been fast and steep. I think Portland still has a reputation as being a relatively cheap place to live, especially when compared to other west coast cities. But that reputation is slowly being diminished when people see the reality of housing costs here--especially if they are coming from someplace with moderate to cheap housing. I just saw a post on another thread from somebody in South Carolina speaking about how their brand new SFH that they purchased for $110k was increasing in value. I can't imagine something other than a 2/1 condo in a kind of older, tired complex in the burbs going for $110k here in the Portland Metro.

The traffic is bad, no two ways about it. If you want to get anywhere from 7:15am to 9:30am or 3:30pm to 6:30pm, assume it will take twice as long as it would normally. Freeways, surface streets, it almost doesn't matter.

I've somehow found a way to not have much dealings with the mentally ill homeless, so I can't comment on that.

The earthquake threat is probably less of a threat than that of a massive destructive hurricane on the east coast or the gulf during any given year. That doesn't stop people from living there. But I do agree that we are sorely unprepared.

I guess I agree-ish with the gang thing, from the standpoint that the only acceptable level of gang violence is zero. But LA we ain't.
 
Old 09-23-2015, 11:48 AM
 
1,376 posts, read 1,043,768 times
Reputation: 1453
I'd say the rent increases would be the biggest potential issue that people moving to Portland should think about--that and the fact that housing prices continue to go up has made living here more expensive year over year. But rental prices are really up and not even going up in relation to taxes or the increase of property values--they're up over 15% on average since last year--it's basically a lot of landlords cashing in(and new private investors getting into the rental market). People are really frustrated with how much rent has gone up recently--lots of calls for rent control or new regulations. It's not even cheap to just rent a room with other housemates these days--prices are close to what I paid for a 1 bedroom apartment when I first moved here.

A lot of the other things mentioned including price increases are issues to varying degrees in other cities as well though, and it's going to vary how much those affect you. Crime for example happens near my neighborhood as far as theft, though I'm not fearing for my life walking anywhere in Portland and gang activity most likely won't impact you unless you're involved with gangs or hanging out around them. Homeless will be visible around downtown and inner SE and then rarer further out--the problem is out of control downtown though and just over the river from downtown. Traffic is awful if you commute from suburb to city or city to suburb, though if you commute in the same general area and don't cross over the Columbia or West Hills not as bad. I rarely spend more than 10 to 15 minutes looking for parking even in crowded areas(easier than many other cities, though some people don't seem to know how to parallel park here).

Every place has issues and benefits, Portland is hit or miss depending on your personal situation basically. The job market is better here these days, though a lot of people seem to lack any real marketable skills or connections and have trouble finding much. Plenty of people enjoy living here and plenty are frustrated, wherever you live though you will have to probably compromise on some level.

Earthquakes have everyone scared, though it's a sort of once in a lifetime chance that something happens--you've got far greater odds of cancer or heart disease taking your life.
 
Old 09-23-2015, 11:49 AM
 
310 posts, read 271,583 times
Reputation: 561
I love Portland, but I don't disagree with this list. Where I am lucky to live I do not see homeless people everyday and am unaware of gang activity, but I know those are realities in many neighborhoods.
 
Old 09-23-2015, 11:57 AM
 
1,615 posts, read 3,278,776 times
Reputation: 2269
It's all a matter of perspective. To some people from CA, NYC and me from the PHL/SNJ area, Portland is a safe, cost effective, clean area compared to where we came from even with all its flaws.
 
Old 09-23-2015, 01:06 PM
 
4,380 posts, read 3,724,249 times
Reputation: 4395
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjpop View Post
The traffic is bad, no two ways about it. If you want to get anywhere from 7:15am to 9:30am or 3:30pm to 6:30pm, assume it will take twice as long as it would normally. Freeways, surface streets, it almost doesn't matter.
I'm amazed by how bad it is getting on weekends - at least as far as I-5 is concerned. I headed downtown from Vancouver around 12:30 on Sunday and northbound traffic rivaled that of rush hour! Coming home just after 5:00, there was a solid backup to get onto 84 E from the I-5 split. I seem to be seeing that more and more on the weekends and am getting to the point where I avoid I-5 in favor of I-205/84. The last time I met a friend after work on a weekday downtown for happy hour, I left Vancouver at 4:15 and got to the restaurant just after 5:00. It took me 20 minutes to go the last 3 miles due to congestion from 84 onto the I-5 split.
 
Old 09-23-2015, 01:30 PM
 
149 posts, read 133,629 times
Reputation: 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
He does have some valid points. I was priced out of Portland after living there for 36 years. I relocated from Chicago in the late 70's when Portland was very different.

The point is, not every city is for everybody. If you can make it in a place that is right for you, fine. If you have to struggle just for an address, chances are the place is not for you. That includes Portland or any other city. I have seen too many people struggle to make ends meet in Portland because of an unrealistic dream they were chasing.

Some of the issues the OP mentions would not prevent me from relocating to Portland if I were a young person considering it today but the key issues of COL, rental shortages and prices, accessibility of public transportation transportation and jobs (the last two he doesn't mention) would.

That's my criteria. For others, they might not be.
Just to clear up any confusion: I'm not being priced out of Portland. I'm capable of paying a significant amount of rent. What I object to is I feel as if there is no value for the rent I am paying. You really have to see this homeless train wreck to believe it. I'm not paying large amounts of rent to have to ask some homeless guy to get off the sidewalk, so I can exit my expensive building.

These rental increases are not really being driven by demand either. They are being driven by things like hedge funds buying apartment buildings, flipping them back and forth, and squeezing the tenants until they refuse to pay another dime. I have significant income and mobility. I don't have to play this silly game.
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