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View Poll Results: Best Place to Live (We are open to move to anywhere in the Country)
Is Greater Portland the #1? 2 66.67%
If so, Hillsboro is the best place there? 0 0%
I like this area because: It is clean, green and close to beaches and ski area. 1 33.33%
Reasonable Cost of Living? 1 33.33%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 3. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-27-2009, 08:32 AM
 
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We are moving to Portland area (and we browsed Google Map and found Hillsboro ) because it has the 'best air quality' in the lower 48! I am an corporate finance executive and I do all my business in China and UK, so I do not need to be tied down by any particular city here in the US. I met my wife in China and we had a son there. We moved back to the US last July in order to raise the child. We picked Sugar Land, TX because it was 'The Best Place To Live' by Money magazine. Well, it might be if you need to look for a job in an oil company a year ago. So here is not for us.

Is it true that you have the best air quality? Do you have that European 'Le Centre' feel? Can you walk/stroll at night in the streets? And since you are so close to the MAX, is it a quiet place? How noisy is the MAX? Do you have easy access to the beaches? How was the drive to the coastal areas? Is your pool heated year-round? Do you know anything about the skiing at Mount Hood? How long is the ride on MAX to Portland International Airport (I travel a lot)?

Thanks a lot!
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Don't live in Hillsboro, around the areas the Max comes in it's generally manufacturing laborers and agricultural workers. Same with Aloha.

I would not say that Portland has a European feel, it is not quite dense enough even though it's more dense then most Midwestern cities and not quite as much as East Coast. It's generally safe to walk around, but I don't go strolling around downtown, Pearl or Lloyd just for the heck of it late at night...there are a good number of homeless people, drug users, and nuts around.

The drive to the coast takes around 90 minutes, about the same to Mt Hood or Mt St. Helens from the area (rough estimate when I was driving around). The Airport ride on the Max is always slow, but takes you right to the door and cheaper then parking.
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Old 03-27-2009, 11:05 AM
 
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Thank you subsound. Until now I have only read nicer things about Hillsboro. We definitely need a complete picture, that including views like yours.

Aside from Hillsboro, do you have any suggestions in the greater Portland area? Or other places in the entire US you can recommend? Thanks again.
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Old 03-27-2009, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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I am looking for Beaverton/Murry Hill/Tiguard from about 217 towards Marquam Hill as a really nice area that abuts Portland and still good service by public transit. I would stay away from Marquim Hill (and to a lesser extent Gabriel Park) because it's expensive as well as the hills are crazy in the summer and suicidal in the winter. Lake Oswego is very posh, but still has regular transit service. Both have very good schools for the area.

I'm a Colorado fan myself (spending highschool, undergrad and masters there), Denver is decent all around while Boulder is tops in the area. Boulder is a pretty safe and small community to check out, but very growth limited so housing is very expensive.
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Old 03-27-2009, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Greater PDX
1,018 posts, read 3,434,058 times
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longnshort,

First off, if you travel frequently you might want to look at the Seattle area. The Seatac airport actually has quite a bit more available direct flights than PDX, and there are many similarities between Seattle and Portland as you might expect. We have saved time and money by renting cars and driving up and flying out of Seatac - but that's not really doable if you fly a lot.

As far as Hillsboro, it has good parts and bad parts. Gang activity is increasing although it is not on the level of other parts of the country. There is a distinct downtown but it is not particularly compelling.

I lived off a Max line in the Beaverton/Aloha area for a while and the ride to the airport was about 1.25 hours one-way. Hillsboro would be longer. From where I was living, I could make the drive to the airport in about 45 minutes...but it was very convenient not to have to park (and pay for parking) at the airport.

In general I really like the west side of the Portland metro. It is much closer to the beaches and wine country, and you don't have to deal with "urban problems" while you can still make it in to the city with relative ease for all the urban benefits.

By the way, you will find a very different culture than Sugar Land here. For one thing, nobody has swimming pools in their backyards. Not hot enough to make it worthwhile. Skiing at Mt. Hood is about 2 hours away on a pretty good highway (although it can be treacherous in icy conditions). Or go about 2 more hours and ski at Mt Bachelor in Central Oregon - really the best resort in the state.
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Pacific NW
6,415 posts, read 9,004,381 times
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I think there's a bunch of muddled advice here.

Hillsboro. It wouldn't be my number one pick in the urban area. If you're looking to the west side, I'd look closer in. I'd agree, it doesn't have a compelling downtown. Beaverton would be a bit better choice, but it's really the part of town that appeals to me. Both are pretty suburban, car-driven towns.

Subsound's advice about strolling the Pearl, downtown, or the Lloyd District don't have anything to do with Hillsboro. And all are great districts to stroll. Late at night, when everthing's closed? Who'd want to stroll then? So of course crowds thin out, and the worst element is left.

If you're looking for a more European feel, a neighborhood feeling, you're going to want to look into Portland itself. Assuming from your occupation, price doesn't sound like it'd be a major issue (maybe a wrong assumption). So somewhere housing is more expensive might not frighten you off. Someplace like Multnomah or Cedar Mills, Lake Oswego, west of the river; or Sellwood, Moreland, Ladds Addition, Laurelhurst, or Alameda are some of the nicer areas with a "community" feel. I like the website Moving To Portland for their information on neighborhoods.

I'm in the central area of Portland, and the trip to the coast from my home (north coast -- Cannon Beach, Seaside, Astoria) is about 90 minutes. Ditto to Mt. Hood.

My family does have a pool (not my house), but it's only heated and used from mid-June to mid-September. The cut-off date is more because the kids are back in school than because the weather turns bad. It's usually nice into October.

It's true you'll find more choice of flights out of Seattle, but I don't think the south end of Seattle (nearer the airport) is a desirable area to live in. North of Seattle is the nicer areas, and the traffic (in my experience) is awful. Commuting through town down to the airport very often wouldn't be fun.
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis, IN
914 posts, read 3,435,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longnshort View Post

Is it true that you have the best air quality? Do you have that European 'Le Centre' feel? Can you walk/stroll at night in the streets? And since you are so close to the MAX, is it a quiet place? How noisy is the MAX? Do you have easy access to the beaches? How was the drive to the coastal areas? Is your pool heated year-round? Do you know anything about the skiing at Mount Hood? How long is the ride on MAX to Portland International Airport (I travel a lot)?

Thanks a lot!
I have lived in Hillsboro, and I grew up in the Portland area. My answers to your questions in order are:
1. It is decent. It know the Portland area does actually have some high pollution times, especially if the air is warm and stagnant. But with a city of any size, really it is unavoidable. I, personally, have always enjoyed the air quality,
2. Definitely not. I have no idea why anyone would ever say that about Hillsboro. They have done some nice things recently with the downtown area, and there are some fancy new strip malls in the outlying areas like Orenco Station (Actually, I am thinking this is where you are getting the description from. Orenco Station is cute, but . . . eh, most of the housing is nice looking but actually very poorly built.), but really, um, no.
3. Again depends on the neighborhood you are living some. Someplace residential, perhaps. Downtown Hillsboro probably no, although downtown Hillsboro is not particularly picturesque, so I don't know why you would want to.
4. It is probably of average quietness. It is general suburbia. However, I think it is important to point out that there is much more crime in the areas directly adjacent to MAX, mostly drug related. Not really a place I would like to raise a family.
5. Not very, although I didn't live right next to it.
6. Yes! Straight shot on the freeway/highway, depending on where you want to go. Especially good access to Cannon Beach, which, in my opinion, is the best costal town in Oregon.
7. The drive is pretty easy. There will be snow in the mountains in the Winter, but even then, it isn't too bad. About an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and a half to the coast, depending on which way you are going.
8. I don't know. Most community pools ing the area are.
9. A lot of people enjoy it, and it isn't too far from Portland. I do know that there is better skiiing on mountains further south in Oregon (like Bachelor). Also, the season can very because Oregon's weather is more temperate. Sometimes the season can be short.
10. Ride to the airport from Hillsboro for us was about an hour and 45 minutes. It also requires a change from the blue to red line.

I agree with the alternative suggestions subsound has made. I would also add to the list the Sylvan Hills or the Sunset area (North of highway 26). Or anther similar area west of Portland, but closer to Portland. If I had the money, I would probably live in the West Hills. These areas can be a little (or a lot) more expensive, but there are some extremely nice, picturesque neighborhoods up there, with some very cool old houses.
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
7,090 posts, read 9,679,730 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnricoV View Post
Subsound's advice about strolling the Pearl, downtown, or the Lloyd District don't have anything to do with Hillsboro. And all are great districts to stroll. Late at night, when everthing's closed? Who'd want to stroll then? So of course crowds thin out, and the worst element is left.
I do stroll them, but I live by Lloyd and go to plays and late night drinking with friends downtown. I do go down during the day, and dinner, quite frequently in those areas though only twice I have had real problems (more so annoyances). Does not apply to downtown Hillsboro in the least, though at work we refer to it as "Hillsburrito" (we are not PC at work, sorry).

I have been looking to move the areas I suggested myself. Irvengton/Lloyd has been getting a bit worrying to me. It may just be personal preference, but I follow my instincts a good deal. A shooting at Lloyd athletic club, 6 blocks over and 1 block down from me, and 5 on 1 beating at applebees, 4 blocks from me, have spooked me a good deal where I am living now.

The West Hills are simply stupendous IMHO, though some places need a good ground clearance to get in and out well (Gabriel Park has been the worst I have seen so far). I am more of a suburb person honestly, many city rat friends don't agree with my choices.

Last edited by subsound; 03-27-2009 at 09:52 PM..
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:34 AM
 
119 posts, read 230,532 times
Reputation: 136
Money magazine's article should be called "Best Places to Live if you are a White, Heterosexual, Christian family with young Children." (Nothing wrong with being a white hetero christian family, but I just think a little truth in advertising in order - Sugar Land Tx would be a horrendous place for me to live along with a lot of other people I know).

Honestly, I don't know why somebody who flies to China and England a lot would choose to live here, since we don't have very many direct flights overseas.

That said, if you want to live in Portland and have access to the airport, I would consider the East Side, especially the Irvington, Alameda and Grant Park neighborhoods, which are about a 15 minute drive from the airport. It's about a 45 minute ride on Max from Hollywood. Anyway, these neighborhoods have beautiful older homes, tree-lined streets, plenty of families with children, and are only a 15 minute drive downtown in addition to being much closer to the airport than anything on the West side. Although some West siders seem to the think the East side is less desirable, these neighborhoods are if anything, more expensive than all but the nicest West Hills areas, because they are so charming and conveniently located.
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:43 PM
 
12 posts, read 32,279 times
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Thank you all for the kind and useful advices. After a few weeks of searching, we come no closer to pick a place to live... So we are still searching...

We were a little shocked by finding how many Registered Sex Offenders living in the areas we were considering moving to (Criminal Searches - FREE criminal searches on anyone)

Thanks again. We are putting the 'safety first' now. (Probably the Hudson River Valley in NY?)
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