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Old 10-15-2011, 02:10 PM
 
Location: WA
7 posts, read 18,693 times
Reputation: 15

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Hello all! We are getting ready to fly up to Vancouver this coming Tuesday to find a home in the area.

I've been lurking here for months, learning from the wealth of information here. (Plus, this has got to be the friendliest board I've ever seen!)

We are coming from So. California (natives) and have finally decided we've got to get out while we can. I read another post from someone in So Cal considering a move, and I echo all the reasons. Goodbye. Plus, being raised near the ocean, I'm used to "June gloom" as we call it, (ie., "overcast") and love it. I also never could get enough rain! I love the feeling of a cloudy, rainy day - always have.

So, I wanted to post my list based on my research (a lot of it from here) of "where to and not to look" and just make sure I've got it pretty much correct. I realize we'll learn much more while we're there, driving around, but we've got four days to find something, and then we fly back to finish our move. I want to make the best use of our time. Maybe some of you could just glace over my list and point out any glaring mistakes.

We both work from home, so "where" we live is not a problem. I just want to be able to get into Portland in about 20-30 mins in non-rush our traffic, which I think doesn't rule out almost anywhere in the area! I'm sorting homes based on large(er) yards, backing a green belt, large(ish) lots. I don't need acreage per se, but a bit of room would be nice (I'm DONE with high density living!) :-) Price range: 1300 - 1500ish. We're paying much more of course now, but we want to lower costs, to be able to save to buy within the next 2 yrs.

Also, we have one son, age 7, who I moved from a private school (for K & 1st) to a charter school for 2nd grade this year. It's a very unique situation where I home school for three days (M-W) and he attends classes on Thursday & Fridays. I have found that I love teaching him (who knew?!) and I want to continue.

I've learned that Washington no longer has charter schools available and I've looked into the "independent study" programs at the public schools and find them restrictive. (I'm allowed to mix/match with our current charter school, doing some of my own curriculum, and some of theirs). So, I'm wondering about some good homeschooling programs to plug into. I would like to find a similar set up where I can send him at least one day a week to classes so he can get the interaction with other kids (given that he's my only kiddo.) I've found a TON of HS resources in Vancouver online, it's actually so much that I'm having trouble sorting it all out. Any recommendations for co-op classes that are well attended?

Back to homes.....here's my list so far:

WHERE TO LOOK:

Camas areas:
  • Look in the area near Crown Park / Will and Rob Center / Cemetery
  • Prune Hill
  • Lacamas Shores on the lake
  • Older neighborhoods with tons of kids: Lake Pointe, Sunningdale Gardens, Holly Hills, Lake Heights
Vancouver:
  • The nicer parts of Vancouver, like with most cities, are in the outlying areas.
  • The area around Officers Row, and east along Evergreen.
  • Lincoln area
  • Fisher's Landing (on the east side)
  • Salmon Creek (on the North side)
  • Felida
  • and parts of NW Minnehaha (Near BPA / ROSS)
For more rural living:
  • Ridgefield
  • Battleground
  • Hockinson
AVOID (OR BE AWARE THERE ARE SOME NOT-SO-GOOD AREAS):
  • parts of Orchards
  • most areas near Vancouver Mall (or Westfield Shopping Town, as it's now called)
  • the area known as "Alphabet City" (any streets with letters instead of names, usually closer to downtown)
  • 4th plain from I-5 to I-205
  • Heights near Mill Plain Walmart & I-205, some of lower mill Plain
  • Some of Hazel Dell (near 99 and 99)
NOT SURE ABOUT / HAVE QUESTIONS:
  • Hazel Dell -- "north" vs. "south" -- any differences? Would you consider any areas there? (Other than the area listed above in "avoid"?)
  • Washougal -- we really like the area, but I've read some scary things about Highway 14 with respect to road rage, accidents, etc., due to it being a two lane highway. I did some research and found that there is widening going on, but not due to be done until Winter of '12. Anyone care to share their experiences driving it? Is this an over-exaggeration? Should I not rule out Washougal based on this?
Thank you for reading this lengthy post, and thank you to anyone who has any wisdom to share!

Lauren
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Old 10-16-2011, 01:41 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW / CO / SA TX / Thailand
11,182 posts, read 18,570,078 times
Reputation: 8028
You listed subdivisions, but mentioned you wanted more S-P-A-C-E. There are plenty of rural places to rent for much less than $1500 (I rent some for 1/2 that, my most expensive one is under $1000 and has very nice gardens, flowers, shop, and barns) Have some great goat / CSA farmers renting that joint

I would look near the area of Fern Prairie Market. Camas / Washougal has active and supportive homeschool network, tho is currently in transition (due to Battleground District closing Camas 'river campus' of Homelink. CW homeschoolers will unite and get something going. You can use public schools / science programs to augment + there are several private tutor / classes within HS network. Also check regional source Clark County Home Educators
once 10th grade arrives... then student can test into Running Start (college instead of High School).

Other areas I like (garden spots) is Pleasant Valley > Meadowglade / BrushPrairie (north of Vancouver) ~ north of 119thST to 172 ST between NE 50thAVE and Hockinson ~ NE 170th AVE)

I really loved our fruit farm location we had in NW Minnehaha. 3 neighbors and self had about 80 acres of open space IN TOWN !!! bordered by a couple hundred acres of WSU extension farm and Hazel Dell Park. But.. I don't miss the hassle of 'farming' in town and the late night altercations with car and fruit thiefs, druggies, wild party animals, noisy barking neighbor dogs, night noise of I-5 (while sleeping w/ windows open.) There is a price to pay for living 1 minute from 'shopping' / freeway/ even if living on a farm.

AND YES it does matter where you live if you expect good internet coverage. I'm 20 minutes from PDX, and ONLY have 'pay-by-the-byte' dialup available; That stinks, and NO WAY could I do a home business... I can't even access my bank accounts without timing out / losing connection. AND for this privilege, I am taxed at $1000/ month (Just my property taxes to Clark County... they increased from $800 / yr to $12,000...). I suggest you RENT...
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
9,072 posts, read 12,111,689 times
Reputation: 6616
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
I'm 20 minutes from PDX, and ONLY have 'pay-by-the-byte' dialup available;


Have you looked into wireless aircards?

I use mine for travel and only run into coverage problems in the ruralest of rural areas (they usually work if cell phones work). $40ish/mo.
__________________
Moderator for Los Angeles, The Inland Empire, the Washington state forums, & Co-Mod for the North Dakota forums
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:26 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW / CO / SA TX / Thailand
11,182 posts, read 18,570,078 times
Reputation: 8028
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Aguilar View Post


Have you looked into wireless aircards?

I use mine for travel and only run into coverage problems in the ruralest of rural areas (they usually work if cell phones work). $40ish/mo.
Got one... Have to drive to town to get a connection (Towers (and dishes) not allowed in a National Scenic Area...) Lots of 200'+ tall trees and canyons make it a challenge
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
9,072 posts, read 12,111,689 times
Reputation: 6616
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Got one... Have to drive to town to get a connection (Towers (and dishes) not allowed in a National Scenic Area...) Lots of 200'+ tall trees and canyons make it a challenge
Ouch.

At least you've got the trees and canyons though.
__________________
Moderator for Los Angeles, The Inland Empire, the Washington state forums, & Co-Mod for the North Dakota forums
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:29 AM
 
Location: WA
7 posts, read 18,693 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
I would look near the area of Fern Prairie Market.

Other areas I like (garden spots) is Pleasant Valley > Meadowglade / BrushPrairie (north of Vancouver) ~ north of 119thST to 172 ST between NE 50thAVE and Hockinson ~ NE 170th AVE)
Thank you so much! This is extremely helpful. I had not considered any of these areas!

Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
There is a price to pay for living 1 minute from 'shopping' / freeway/ even if living on a farm.
Don't I know it! We're paying that price now (although we don't live on a farm -- far from it). More like a tight, cramped subdivision -- which we don't want more of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
AND YES it does matter where you live if you expect good internet coverage.
I had a feeling this would be the case. I appreciate the feedback. It's one of our top questions for the rural properties.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
I suggest you RENT...
Definitely. At least for a year, probably two, until we get a feel for the area.

SteathRabbit, I appreciate your detailed reply! I was hoping you'd respond. I've read SO many great posts you've written! Many thanks.

Lauren
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:15 PM
 
17 posts, read 29,527 times
Reputation: 25
Stealth Rabbit, one statement you made boggles me. I am a home owner myself and my property taxes dropped three hundred dollars. How is it yours went from
"I am taxed at $1000/ month (Just my property taxes to Clark County... they increased from $800 / yr to $12,000"?
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:30 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW / CO / SA TX / Thailand
11,182 posts, read 18,570,078 times
Reputation: 8028
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanc1 View Post
Stealth Rabbit, one statement you made boggles me. I am a home owner myself and my property taxes dropped three hundred dollars. How is it yours went from
"I am taxed at $1000/ month (Just my property taxes to Clark County... they increased from $800 / yr to $12,000"?
EZ, it is all in the math. This yr they decreased my assessment by over $100k, but my taxes went up. The County just increases the multiplier (mill levy rate). (Multiplication goes WAY up FAST compared to incremental subtraction).

It is also their way to beat me into submission. Statistically compared to 48 neighbors, my (and 2 others who fought) taxes increased 18-20% in the yrs following court, while 48 neighbors who didn't contest went up ~3%

We are OWNED, and just pay 'rent' (taxes) to Clark County. Do some research on how they have expanded their operational expenses beyond a sustainable level. (HUGE NICE BUILDINGS w/ lots of glass and private offices)

Some of us are just lucky... as I said, the assessor really likes my house (enough to think it is worth nearly $1m, tho I built it for under $100k... and no one will buy it for $500k)
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Old 12-10-2011, 11:36 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,669 times
Reputation: 15
Smile If you honk we will deport you to california

For all of the Californians moving up here, I would not flaunt the fact that you are from California. Years ago we used to have a sign on the highways aimed at Californians that said something to the effect of.....thanks for visiting but please don't stay. I also remember once when a radio station reported that it was pouring rain when the sun was shining. This was all aimed at discouraging Californians from moving here. If you decide to move here because you heard its peaceful and beautiful, PLEASE educate yourself about the way we live and enjoy life here and don't bring your bad habits with..... like honking. Natives DO NOT HONK at drivers who are spaced out at a green light. Try it, you might actually like it when someone behind you allowed you to space out for a few seconds. And oh you will totally give yourself away if you carry an umbrella. We tought it out or wear a hooded raincoat
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Old 12-14-2011, 11:53 AM
 
17 posts, read 29,527 times
Reputation: 25
Thanks for clarifying that StealthRabbit. Now I understand what you are saying. Thanks for the tip on not fighting the taxes also. That sounds painful. Perhaps a petition would be less attention garnering on the individual basis? I know there are a lot of ppl who wait in front of the library to ask ppl to sign petitions.

MaggieSimpson, although I agree with the sentiment about relaxing a bit on the green light issue and really just laying of using the horn in general and being in such a hurry on the street, I can't agree with the umbrella. I grew up between Philomath, Oregon and Kingston, Wa. My parents, myself and my brother still used and currently use an umbrella if it is truly raining. Granted, if it's lightly raining, sprinkling or drizzling, I won't. A steady rain, though, always prompts my umbrella usage.
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