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Old 04-11-2016, 07:55 AM
 
19 posts, read 22,743 times
Reputation: 19

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Dear all,

we, a young couple currently living in Chicago, are very seriously considering the move to the PNW. I have lived in many countries all over the world, in places large and small and am now ready to leave the big city again to go back to a life with more outdoor and recreation opportunities. Love hiking, running, skiing, anything outdoors .

We recently visited Quilcene and it seems to be very much what we are looking for! Small town with a strong, slightly odd community in a fantastic location. So we are now looking more broadly into the area - Port Townsend, Port Angeles etc.

Any advice with regards to what a good place to settle on would be? Important for us is an openminded community for things like sustainable architecture and sustainable farming and tourism. I am a documentary linguist and would also love the option of getting in touch with local Native American tribes.

Does anyone know what the conditions are for successful airbnb rentals?

Do you know anything about local restrictions and regulations regarding experimental architecture - think Earthship, tree house etc.?

What are the demographics of the area? Families? Retirees? Telecommuters?

How reliable are internet providers and how is rush hour to, say Seattle or Olympia? We are not planning on commuting daily, but an possibly regular trips will be necessary.

Thanks so much!
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Old 04-11-2016, 03:29 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,584 times
Reputation: 11
I know quite a bit about Port Townsend, as I am moving there this summer. It is peaceful, left-leaning, disproportionately folks over 50 and retired, health conscious, and local politics very engaged regarding what can be built there (no big box stores, etc.) but I don't know about experimental architecture, although since it is a Victorian seaport town it seems like the uptown and downtown are promoting buildings consistent with that look, however some of the outlying areas may allow more experimental structures - not sure about that yet.

I know re: air B&B if you want to have "whole house" rentals and they must be for 30 days or more, and if you are living on the property you can only have ADU or rooms as Air B&B rentals if your neighbors agree to it. I will be planning to manage some of those once I get up there myself, as there seems to be a big need for short-term housing due to the festivals and activities at Fort Worden. The Visitor Center and Chamber of Commerce have been very helpful.

There is not much work in Port Townsend. I am a realtor in CA and will be getting my WA license and working up there, my partner is a musician retired from his former day job, so it is perfect for us, but for others not much opportunity for employment, although potentially great for entrepreneurs. I think sustainable farming and cottage industries related to that have a lot of potential up there. There is a sophisticated and appreciative foodie community and farmer's markets.

Haven't looked into the internet, I believe it is cable thoughout the area as the best solution. let me know if you decide on PT, by the time you arrive I should be ready to help you find a place to land.
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Old 04-11-2016, 05:44 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
72,633 posts, read 64,111,757 times
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Earthships are big outside Taos, NM; a funky art town, with tribes galore all around, just fyi.

For farming, Sequim might be best. Or depending on how much land you require, there are farmsteads outside of Pt T that sometimes rent cheaply, if you're lucky. Quilcene could work, too, and land/rents are cheaper there. You'll have to research building codes in the area, and outside of Pt T, like across the city line on county land. There's a tribe in the vicinity of Sequim, and a community college in Port Angeles with a heavy Native presence and Native-oriented programs. Look up WA State tribes to get an idea of where they're located. There are some around the Kitsap Peninsula, and others out on the Pacific Coast. Also look up unrecognized tribes of WA.

Pt T has a high percentage of retirees, but also telecommuters. There are also young couples like yourselves moving in, but finding employment is challenging for them. Local employment relates to service industry and store personnel, schools, health care, and colleges outside Pt T (involving commuting). As for commuting to Seattle, it involves taking a ferry, and depending on the tides, service can be unpredictable, though mostly is regular.

Finding a rental in the area is very challenging, as in the last year or two, there's been a sudden increase in transplants from out-of-state. New arrivals like yourselves typically end up in temporary housing, waiting for something more permanent to open up.

You might also consider Paulsbo, on the Kitsap Peninsula. There are old farmhouses with below market-rate rent there, too, with a little land. If you're looking for empty land to build on creatively, that's another matter.
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Old 04-11-2016, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Near Sequim, WA
563 posts, read 1,859,165 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dorohoffmann
We recently visited Quilcene and it seems to be very much what we are looking for! Small town with a strong, slightly odd community in a fantastic location. So we are now looking more broadly into the area - Port Townsend, Port Angeles etc.

Any advice with regards to what a good place to settle on would be? Important for us is an openminded community for things like sustainable architecture and sustainable farming and tourism.
Of these locations (IMO) Port Townsend (PT) has the largest and most active permaculture community. PT also does a fair bit of tourist business and marketing.

If you've not done so already, use the forum search box and enter Port Townsend, Port Angeles or Quilcene as the search term. You'll quickly summon several hours worth of reading to give you a reasonable feel for these communities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dorohoffmann
Do you know anything about local restrictions and regulations regarding experimental architecture - think Earthship, tree house etc.?
Plenty of green building being done here but for the types of housing you're asking about, I'd suggest talking to the county building department to obtain specifics on regs for such construction. BTW, PT and Quilcene are both in the same county (Jefferson). PA and Sequim are in Clallam county. Anyway, this is the permits page for Jefferson and you can go from there:

Permit Info and Application Forms

Quote:
Originally Posted by dorohoffmann
What are the demographics of the area? Families? Retirees? Telecommuters?
E) All of the above

Quote:
Originally Posted by dorohoffmann
How reliable are internet providers and how is rush hour to, say Seattle or Olympia?
My internet here is OK most of the time. It's not what I'd call blazing fast if you're used to 100+ Mbps where you are in Chicago. My impression is that faster internet speeds are available in Port Angeles/Sequim than in Port Townsend. I've only lived in PA and Sequim though so an actual PT resident may be able to give you a better feel for internet service in PT. Do they even have internet in Quilcene?... ( )

Rush hour during the week in Seattle and surrounds really is more like rush half day. You can drive to Seattle or Oly during peak traffic hours but it's a total mess with a gazillion cars jockeying for position. We try to plan trips to Seattle for on the weekend. If we have to go during the work week then we try to arrive in Seattle by late morning and be out of town and across the water by early afternoon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dorohoffmann
Thanks so much!
Welcome!
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Old 04-13-2016, 01:55 PM
 
19 posts, read 22,743 times
Reputation: 19
Thank you so much for your insights!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovinMyLife View Post
I know quite a bit about Port Townsend, as I am moving there this summer. It is peaceful, left-leaning, disproportionately folks over 50 and retired, health conscious, and local politics very engaged regarding what can be built there (no big box stores, etc.) but I don't know about experimental architecture, although since it is a Victorian seaport town it seems like the uptown and downtown are promoting buildings consistent with that look, however some of the outlying areas may allow more experimental structures - not sure about that yet.
We are not looking into moving into Port Townsend directly, but the surrounding areas, so we are hoping that regulations there are less strict.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovinMyLife View Post
I know re: air B&B if you want to have "whole house" rentals and they must be for 30 days or more, and if you are living on the property you can only have ADU or rooms as Air B&B rentals if your neighbors agree to it. I will be planning to manage some of those once I get up there myself, as there seems to be a big need for short-term housing due to the festivals and activities at Fort Worden. The Visitor Center and Chamber of Commerce have been very helpful.
Are you talking about such restrictions for rentals? Or does this somehow hold for places you own?
thank you for the tip with the visitor center! We will be sure to have a look,

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovinMyLife View Post
There is not much work in Port Townsend. I am a realtor in CA and will be getting my WA license and working up there, my partner is a musician retired from his former day job, so it is perfect for us, but for others not much opportunity for employment, although potentially great for entrepreneurs. I think sustainable farming and cottage industries related to that have a lot of potential up there. There is a sophisticated and appreciative foodie community and farmer's markets.
That's the general first impression we got and it's great to see it possibly confirmed here. We are not looking for an office job, but into telecommuting and alternative revenue streams.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovinMyLife View Post
Haven't looked into the internet, I believe it is cable thoughout the area as the best solution. let me know if you decide on PT, by the time you arrive I should be ready to help you find a place to land.
We will be in the area this very weekend (mid April!) - but thanks for the offer .
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Old 04-13-2016, 02:02 PM
 
19 posts, read 22,743 times
Reputation: 19
thank you so much for your thoughts and insights!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Earthships are big outside Taos, NM; a funky art town, with tribes galore all around, just fyi.
yep, that's where we know them from and that's why we would like to build one. Taos itself is, however, extortionately expensive... unfortunately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
For farming, Sequim might be best. Or depending on how much land you require, there are farmsteads outside of Pt T that sometimes rent cheaply, if you're lucky. Quilcene could work, too, and land/rents are cheaper there. You'll have to research building codes in the area, and outside of Pt T, like across the city line on county land.
Do you know if the building codes are true outside of city limits as well? That's where we are primarily looking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
There's a tribe in the vicinity of Sequim, and a community college in Port Angeles with a heavy Native presence and Native-oriented programs. Look up WA State tribes to get an idea of where they're located. There are some around the Kitsap Peninsula, and others out on the Pacific Coast. Also look up unrecognized tribes of WA.
thank you! that's great to know and fantastic advice. I will make sure to look into that and get in touch with local college and more to try and establish an introduction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Pt T has a high percentage of retirees, but also telecommuters. There are also young couples like yourselves moving in, but finding employment is challenging for them. Local employment relates to service industry and store personnel, schools, health care, and colleges outside Pt T (involving commuting). As for commuting to Seattle, it involves taking a ferry, and depending on the tides, service can be unpredictable, though mostly is regular.
We are planning on telecommuting and finding other alternative ways of employment. So a lack of 'traditional' jobs is not a big issue. It is great to know that other young couples are moving in! We would love to meet likeminded people and find community in the area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Finding a rental in the area is very challenging, as in the last year or two, there's been a sudden increase in transplants from out-of-state. New arrivals like yourselves typically end up in temporary housing, waiting for something more permanent to open up.
Thanks for letting us know. We are planning on buying a place, not renting. Therefore, we are hoping this will be easier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
You might also consider Paulsbo, on the Kitsap Peninsula. There are old farmhouses with below market-rate rent there, too, with a little land. If you're looking for empty land to build on creatively, that's another matter.
Thank's for the tip! We will certainly do that!
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Old 04-13-2016, 02:05 PM
 
19 posts, read 22,743 times
Reputation: 19
Thank you very much Dendrite for all your insights! I will check out the permit info for building in Jefferson and Clallam counties.

I've also been spending a lot of time searching the forum for the three places and learned a lot, but also thought it would be great to ask some questions more specific to us.

We love to hear that PT is big in permaculture - this is exactly what we are looking into.
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