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Old 12-04-2012, 01:06 PM
 
10 posts, read 43,738 times
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Hello! We are looking into the possibility of moving to the Walla Walla area. I have a few questions and was hoping some of you could help. First, we live in New Mexico and we really dislike the dry, constantly sunny climate here. I love rain and it rarely rains here. So far, this year, we have had just over 4". We are looking for a place with more interesting weather. Snow doesn't scare us, nor does a lot of rain. We'd like some real input. Everything I've found on the web says the rain is 10", another site says 16", and another says 26", so we really don't know how much rain Walla Walla actually gets. The Chamber of Commerce of Walla Walla says 10".

Next question is: We are an artsy family and really enjoy that kind of culture. We love the culture of Portland but just can't afford to live there. What is the climate like for artists there? What about schools - all schools such as public schools and colleges/universities and the arts? From what I've read, art is highly valued there.

Next is about the elementary schools. My son is gifted and needs some gifted-type education. He is officially in the second grade but his education is currently in the 5th and 6th grade range. Are there schools in the area with special programs for gifted kids? Right now, he currently has pull outs, but would qualify for more if it was available. What are the kids like there? I know that is a vague question but here in New Mexico, it feels like walking among gangsters and bullies everywhere we go. I feel like I am always looking over my shoulder. We're a quiet family with a quiet lifestyle and would love a welcoming community with lots of fun people and an exciting atmosphere - minus the violence and gang activity we see here all too much

What is it like for a person seeking a job without a college degree? What would the pay be for say someone seeking a job in a home improvement center or driving a delivery truck?

Last, what is the likelihood of finding a house with a few acres for under $100k? We don't care if it needs work. We'd love to grow our own food, and maybe plant an orchard or vineyard someday.

Thank you for your time!
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:11 PM
 
320 posts, read 421,512 times
Reputation: 476
Quote:
Originally Posted by alwayssearching2010 View Post
Hello! We are looking into the possibility of moving to the Walla Walla area. I have a few questions and was hoping some of you could help. First, we live in New Mexico and we really dislike the dry, constantly sunny climate here. I love rain and it rarely rains here. So far, this year, we have had just over 4". We are looking for a place with more interesting weather. Snow doesn't scare us, nor does a lot of rain. We'd like some real input. Everything I've found on the web says the rain is 10", another site says 16", and another says 26", so we really don't know how much rain Walla Walla actually gets. The Chamber of Commerce of Walla Walla says 10".

Next question is: We are an artsy family and really enjoy that kind of culture. We love the culture of Portland but just can't afford to live there. What is the climate like for artists there? What about schools - all schools such as public schools and colleges/universities and the arts? From what I've read, art is highly valued there.

Next is about the elementary schools. My son is gifted and needs some gifted-type education. He is officially in the second grade but his education is currently in the 5th and 6th grade range. Are there schools in the area with special programs for gifted kids? Right now, he currently has pull outs, but would qualify for more if it was available. What are the kids like there? I know that is a vague question but here in New Mexico, it feels like walking among gangsters and bullies everywhere we go. I feel like I am always looking over my shoulder. We're a quiet family with a quiet lifestyle and would love a welcoming community with lots of fun people and an exciting atmosphere - minus the violence and gang activity we see here all too much

What is it like for a person seeking a job without a college degree? What would the pay be for say someone seeking a job in a home improvement center or driving a delivery truck?

Last, what is the likelihood of finding a house with a few acres for under $100k? We don't care if it needs work. We'd love to grow our own food, and maybe plant an orchard or vineyard someday.

Thank you for your time!
Hi,

I lived in WW2 for ten years. The eastern part of the state is nothing like the west. While there is rainfall, it is dusty and dry, with incredibly hot summers. Moreover, the culture of eastern Washington is worlds away from, say, Portland or Seattle. The county is deeply[Tea-Party] conservative, though there is a small liberal community in Walla Walla itself. The area is not poverty-stricken but is not at all wealthy (there is more $$ in the Tri-Cities.) There have been a few "gang" incidents in the city --something that freaks out the populace and reinforces their race-based stereotypes about Hispanics--but the crime rate is low. The city houses the State prison.

The population is mainly SDA.

There is a tiny "serious" arts community. The "real" one is centered around the Walla Walla Foundary and Whitman College. Otherwise, "arts" consist of community theatre and downtown boutiques.

I wouldn't think you could find land and a house for under 100K. Most homes cost in the 200K-300K range. The listings that are lower tend to be shacks.

The schools are decent but underfunded. Remember, the community is very conservative and every public improvement levy is always voted down. There is little public recreational activity in city -- the populace is unwilling to even build a public pool.

From the nature of your questions, I'd guess that you wouldn't like it there. However, you should visit just to be sure.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,623 posts, read 26,000,917 times
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I don't think you'll find the climates of New Mexico and Walla Walla to be that different from each other. Walla Walla gets 20 inches of rain a year, about as much snow as Albuquerque, and similar temperature patterns throughout the year (though WW doesn't have the day/night differential many NM locations have). Precipitiation in WW is more concentrated in the winter months.

Keep in mind, climate wise (and culturally for that matter), Walla Walla is NOTHING like the better known western part of the state, or Portland et al.

Walla Walla is a college town surrounded by farms. And onions, wine, college, and prison.
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Moderator for Los Angeles, The Inland Empire, and the Washington state forums.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:19 AM
 
10 posts, read 43,738 times
Reputation: 16
Thank you all for your input. I think we are going to look into other places closer to Portland, such as Eugene or Corvallis. I think the culture is more like what we are looking for the closer to Portland we get. You've been a big help.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:25 AM
 
Location: the Beaver State
6,466 posts, read 12,078,922 times
Reputation: 3549
Eugene and Corvallis aren't much better, and you're still not going to find a house for under $100k in either town.

You should ask more specific questions in the Oregon Forums though
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:05 AM
 
852 posts, read 826,679 times
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Walla Walla is NOTHING like Portland, as others have said, lol. SE Washington is mostly a dry, semi-arid region, so the weather won't be drastically different. You won't find a very artsy culture in the really small towns like WW out there either.

It's a somewhat random option, but I'll ask if you've considered Tacoma at all? It will have the rainy weather that you're looking for. The arts scene there isn't too shabby (They do have an art museum and stained glass museum downtown). Most of the housing is cheaper than Portland, and ALOT cheaper than Seattle (Though you're still not going to find anything great for $100K or less). The workforce there tends to be more blue collar, so you could probably find the type of work you mentioned fairly easily. Only thing is that schools are middle of the road overall, and some parts of town aren't so nice (like Eastside).

Another place I'd recommend considering is Olympia. Houses aren't as cheap as Tacoma, but schools are great, and crime is lower. And it's a smaller, but vibrant, artsy/liberal kind of community.

I'll second that Eugene and Corvallis probably aren't what you're looking for either.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Dallas, Oregon & Sunsites Arizona
8,001 posts, read 15,272,006 times
Reputation: 2799
Quote:
Originally Posted by hamellr View Post
Eugene and Corvallis aren't much better, and you're still not going to find a house for under $100k in either town.

You should ask more specific questions in the Oregon Forums though
I did. Even after spending $45,000 to rehab it, we are still under $100,000.


Don't get you hopes up though. I have only seen one other since, in Portland for $24,000, with no acreage like ours. They are so rare, you could say they do not exist.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:04 AM
 
10 posts, read 43,738 times
Reputation: 16
We're pretty open to suggestions, and thank you for all you've suggested. We want to be within a reasonable distance to my brother in Portland, whatever that means. Right now we are almost 1400 miles, so I suppose a "reasonable distance" is relative.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:28 PM
 
12 posts, read 24,781 times
Reputation: 45
I've lived in the Walla Walla valley since 1998. My wife and I are currently trying to move to the southwest because of the continual dark days throughout the winter. The clouds don't even look like clouds, it's just one monocolor dark/grey blanket over you from Oct to May (you don't even see a bright spot from the sun, you are literally completely blanketed). And honestly, it doesn't really rain here much compared to the west side (PDX, SEA). Hardly snows here, every few years you might have a good storm... but usually just a light dusting for a day or to. It does however get quite cold... not to mention the inversions that hold pollutants (fireplace fumes) down to the ground in a swirling mess throughout the winter.

Basically, from my biased viewpoint, stay far away from here by all means possible.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:29 AM
 
10 posts, read 43,738 times
Reputation: 16
Default Not looking any more

We're not looking in the area any longer. Thank you all.
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