U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Washington > Vancouver area
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-11-2012, 11:57 AM
 
27 posts, read 151,072 times
Reputation: 17

Advertisements

Hi All, I have a job offer from a company in Camas which prompted us to consider this move. I was wondering what you would recommend as far as the area for renting a place for the first year or two and buying a house later.

Some background on our situation:
1. The job would be in Camas, WA
2. The family with little kids, pre-school through 1 grade ages.
3. One income in mid-100K, but hopefully after my wife completes her med school study in a few months, her income would kick in as well

Our family-related priorities in this relocation in the order from top to lower:
1. Stay as far as possible from any drug scene, gangs, and crime areas
2. Strong and safe elementary schools for the kids with (very desirable !) language immersion education
3. Living in community of largely educated folks
4. Buy a house in a year or two, targeting no more than $500K
5. Commute: preferably within 30min, but the shorter, the better
6. Community culture: theaters, music, parks etc,

So, I am looking for recomendations on areas? Camas? Vancouver? Portland? Which parts or neighborhoods of those?
Recommedations on the schools?

I understand tax-saving advantages if we live in WA. That's nice but not critical. I also looked up greatschools and crime maps, yet it still is not as valuable as opinions of you folks, living in the community. Thanks in advance!!!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-11-2012, 06:37 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
29,555 posts, read 49,506,776 times
Reputation: 36341
Camas will be your best bet. Anywhere in from 192nd Ave (on the west) to Pipeline crossing (~ 500' east of Camas police station). Follow pipeline to Livingstone Mtn / Fern Praire ...

here is the map... anywhere EXCEPT the lower orange (SE) area (Oak Park). The Far EAST corner of that orange (Goot Park... borders Washougal) is fine. (as well and the WHOLE of the rest...w/ very few exceptions.)
http://www.camas.wednet.edu/wp-conte...ndary_2010.pdf


I prefer Lacamas Elementary / Fern Prairie area, but I'm a 'country kid' and can't handle subdivisions or neighbors in my face (while I'm doing dishes).

There are excellent property values and MANY choices from rural to townhouse to heritage / vintage. You need to be QUICK AND a bargain hunter to do well in Camas Real Estate Market. (It is pretty highly valued for the region, BUT there are some absolute bargains too). Properties hold value well.

Portland is close enough to enjoy in 20 minutes (I've been there 8x in 4 days...) Usually I go a couple x/week.

If you can handle neighbors and want educated ones, look to subdivisions near LaCamas Swim or off Crown Road. (near LookOut Ridge). There are many other nice subdivisions and unlikely you will find a bad one.

WARNING: Consider buying a less expensive home... $500k could run you $7k in taxes (today... $14k tomorrow). I would not even consider building a home in Camas VERY high impact fees, much cheaper to buy than build (material costs have REALLY gone up). BTW: my property taxes have gone up from $800/yr to $12,000/yr in 12 yrs (doubling in a few recent yrs). One of my commercial props doubled in valuation / taxes this yr. A gal friend has an inherited VACANT lot in Camas... $9,800 in taxes... no house, no income, no allowed use, just PAY THE TAXES and shut up.


Consider a home with extra qtrs for MIL / college rental type. (for resale / desire / utility / income potential / care needs for sick parent or adult kid). I tend to buy 'special interest homes' (View / nice land / private / unique ...). I'm on ~ property #25 and have only used a realtor ONCE. I find my own bargains and do my own negotiation and closing through title company (~$1,000 for a done deal vs. $35k for a realtor).

Lots of great options., Congrats on the job. Cat's in the bag.

BTW: where are you coming from, what are your interests / food tastes. Maybe we can help you some more to feel at home.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-12-2012, 10:05 PM
 
27 posts, read 151,072 times
Reputation: 17
Thank you, StealthRabbit, for all the insight! This post and other posts of yours are outstanding.

One peculiarity of our situation is that we would need to move in two steps. I would move soon with a couple of our kids, and my wife would join us in about a year or so. She has to finish her studies here, in Minneapolis. This is where we live now.

We may consider renting the first year or so before we buy. I have not rented for more than ten years now, and it does not particularly excite me to rent again. Yet, it seems like a good idea to give yourself some time to find the right place. For example, this place (Camas Ridge Apartments - Camas Ridge - Camas - WA) seems to be in a good area (next to a good school, Dorothy Fox). Do you know much about rentals in Camas?

I read in your other posts that you homeschooled your kids, yet you seem to know a lot about local schools. Sometimes, greatschool does not give you a good idea of which extracurricular programs a school has. Also, we're highly interested in foreign languages for our kids. Do you know which schools in Camas are strong in such programs and languages?

We'd also need to find a good pre-school program (daycare) for our younger kids.

Huh... hobbies... A few things with some being more kids-oriented, and some to satisty our own interests (yoga, hiking, swimming, to list a few). Vancouver seems to have some nice yoga options .
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-13-2012, 12:30 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
29,555 posts, read 49,506,776 times
Reputation: 36341
Quote:
Originally Posted by acrobat19 View Post
...Minneapolis. This is where we live now. Oh gee, you can be a big help,,, We have roots in Sleepy Eye, and I have been to MSP many times to research and train for Senior Cooperative Foundation. Becketwood is my FAVORITE Enjoy Active, Independent Senior Living in Minneapolis at Becketwood. I need some help in organizing a 'work-study' program to bring senior housing co-ops to PNW (we have ONE... in Bellevue WA w/ 16 yr waiting list...) I will be back in touch with logistics


...(Camas Ridge Apartments - Camas Ridge - Camas - WA) seems to be in a good area (next to a good school, Dorothy Fox). Do you know much about rentals in Camas? THESE are brand new. Probably pretty decent for the area. There are many other options nearby (from houses / townhouses if you need more privacy than an apartment). I sold all my rentals in Camas, but looking for some single level 4 plexes myself. Camas has a pretty strong rental and housing market due to schools. You will be able to find something you like. I would tend to avoid the older multi-units (possibility of young adult renters, first time out of house... noisy / parties), but Camas Ridge is probably fine

I read in your other posts that you homeschooled your kids, yet you seem to know a lot about local schools.... My whole family (for generations) have been teachers (as well as homeschoolers) We worked every week in public schools as Homeschool service project. I have many friends who teach in the region. Several of my youth group kids were Camas students, many homeschoolers used Camas as well as Running Start (College instead / alongside High School). I stay active in EDU issues, but I do advocate OUTSOURCING USA k-22 edu to a country that has PROVEN results (We lived in Europe, Asia, and Canada while homeschooling / working). Also, we're highly interested in foreign languages for our kids. Move to Singapore for your kids gr2-8, public CHINESE school worked GREAT for our US friends.

Do you know which schools in Camas are strong in such programs and languages? I am not sure for elementary. There is a good cultural cross section and high interest in language learning in the community. There is a weekend Chinese school in Vancouver (as well as Japanese in Portland). I'll ask around...

We'd also need to find a good pre-school program (daycare) for our younger kids. I think there is a good one at Harvest Church (next to Dorothy Fox).. At least there used to be a good one there, they will help you find one.
Huh... hobbies... A few things with some being more kids-oriented, and some to satisty our own interests (yoga, hiking, swimming, to list a few). Vancouver seems to have some nice yoga options .
Swimming is very BAD in Vancouver, but if you have bucks (maybe since you have a JOB..). then Lacamas Swim Center is just over the hill to the north. (I was spoiled with 3 indoor lap pools in town of 30,000 in Colorado... cost = $.75 30 yrs ago and is the same today). Vancouver has some newer 'Play' pools. I still have to drive to Beaverton for a 50m lap pool.

Yoga in Camas... Give Paul a try @ Paul Cheek / Rushing Water Yoga in Camas, WA
hiking / watersports in Columbia Gorge (10 min east) is tough to beat... I live near here http://www.trailsnw.com/index.php?fu...l&hike_num=176 http://www.portlandhikersfieldguide....Horn_Loop_Hike I will probably need a house sitter for ~ 15yrs as I need to move to a foriegn country for healthcare needs till I'm medicare eligible (USA will PROBABLY raise to age 70+)

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 07-13-2012 at 12:45 AM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-14-2012, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
2 posts, read 24,289 times
Reputation: 15
I am curious if you are looking at a job with Fisher Investments. My husband started there last year and we had to do the 2-step move as well. We are currently renting in Salmon Creek (north Vancouver) and we love it here.

If you are committed to being in Camas: All of the elementary schools are great there. They each have their own personality, but have high academic standards - I don't know how much language work they do there though. Also, Camas Montessori is a great preschool in Camas.

If you are thinking maybe Vancouver: I would stay in Salmon Creek or Felida. Other areas have good parts too, but this area is just so family friendly. Our girls go to Our Lady of Lourdes for preschool and we love it. It is all day (just like a kindergarten) and has all the extras like Spanish, library, PE, music, etc... Also, kids can start at 3 years old. It is also an excellent K-8 school.

[mod]see note[/mod]

Last edited by Count David; 07-17-2012 at 06:31 AM.. Reason: this is not the place to promote your website, thanks!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-18-2012, 05:38 PM
 
3 posts, read 25,502 times
Reputation: 10
You'll love Camas. A real cultural mecca. So many good restaurants and so much to do. I hear they are even planning an olive garden next to the BMX track. Enjoy the tax savings.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-20-2012, 10:28 AM
 
1 posts, read 23,181 times
Reputation: 10
Acrobat, I am almost exactly in the same boat as you! This is valuable information. Decisions, decisions. I would be relocating from So Cal.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-20-2012, 09:04 PM
 
27 posts, read 151,072 times
Reputation: 17
StealthRabbit, TheVancouverMom, RyanMang, - thank you very much for your helpful comments!

Walletclan, - huh, nice to hear that we're not alone .

I am leaning towards staying in Camas, yet it seems to me that availability of good rental properties there is somewhat limited now. I've been considering Camas Ridge Apartments and Lookout Ridge Apartments. Any upsides or downsides of either of these if you know?

Can anyone comment on Heritage Heights Apartments in Camas? They are right by the Camas Ridge ones and have surprisingly low presence on the internet. I have not found their page or any reviews.

I am also considering as a second choice apartments in Fisher's Landing area such as Eight Towncenter Apts or The Cove at Fisher's Landing. Do you guys know any of these?

Thank you all in advance!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-20-2012, 11:29 PM
 
23 posts, read 70,511 times
Reputation: 19
I'm not familiar with the Camas locations but the two in Fisher's Landing are near where we landed when we moved here.

The area in general is really close to all the shopping you'll ever need to do, and quite safe. The only sirens we've ever heard have been for traffic accidents on 164th ave.
We've walked by both complex locations when we're out with the kids. Lots of sidewalks and pocket parks around here. I've never seen children outside at Eight Towncenter. I see lots of kids outside at The Cove but they're always playing in the parking lot. Not much green space there. There is a really nice park in the middle of the Heritage neighborhood that has half-courts, two playgrounds, paved bike loop around the grassy area too.

We're in the Heritage Green complex just south of both - waiting (...still...) for our house in Battle Ground. I wouldn't recommend this one due to all the construction around here.

Good luck!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-21-2012, 10:56 AM
 
27 posts, read 151,072 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy_Homesteader View Post
I'm not familiar with the Camas locations but the two in Fisher's Landing are near where we landed when we moved here.

The area in general is really close to all the shopping you'll ever need to do, and quite safe. The only sirens we've ever heard have been for traffic accidents on 164th ave.
We've walked by both complex locations when we're out with the kids. Lots of sidewalks and pocket parks around here. I've never seen children outside at Eight Towncenter. I see lots of kids outside at The Cove but they're always playing in the parking lot. Not much green space there. There is a really nice park in the middle of the Heritage neighborhood that has half-courts, two playgrounds, paved bike loop around the grassy area too.

We're in the Heritage Green complex just south of both - waiting (...still...) for our house in Battle Ground. I wouldn't recommend this one due to all the construction around here.

Good luck!
Thank you, Homesteader ! I am sure you'll enjoy having your own place.

So.... I've been looking at reviews on all of these three complexes, and none of them appear stellar overall. Please take a look:

Heritage Green: Heritage Green Apartment Ratings, Reviews, Map, Rents, and other Vancouver apartments for rent from ApartmentRatings.com
The Cove: The Cove at Fisher's Landing Apartment Ratings, Reviews, Map, Rents, and other Vancouver apartments for rent from ApartmentRatings.com
Eight Towncenter: Eight Towncenter Apartment Ratings, Reviews, Map, Rents, and other Vancouver apartments for rent from ApartmentRatings.com

Overall, pretty mediocre ratings and comments, which makes me concerned about any of those. Possibly Heritage is the best out of all three... and maybe Eight Towncenter is ok too. What do you think? What type of construction are you referring to?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
>
Powered by Foreclosure.com
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Washington > Vancouver area

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2022, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top