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Old 11-26-2022, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Seattle
7,497 posts, read 17,095,821 times
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I agree that Port Townsend overall seems to fit your bill best of all, seconded by perhaps Bellingham (extra points for proximity to Vancouver BC).

However, with your housing budget... have you considered Eastern Washington? All kinds of different areas and options, a few are listed below in no particular order. These places will (on balance) receive a lot more snow than Western WA and are politically more center-of-the-road and/or conservative (or are in center-right counties).

1. Methow Valley (Twisp, Winthrop, Mazama: all 3 REALLY small town vibes, but have fun and interesting summer/ag and winter/ski scenes) or a bit further south, Chelan (small city vibes)
3. Walla Walla (unofficial wine capital of Washington)
4. Pullman (Washington State University)

If you're really intent on more of a Western Washington vibe, maybe check out Longview? This one is going to have milder weather and much better access to Portland and Seattle, and will never have to consider or deal with snow events of any real magnitude. I don't know what the Longview-Kelso arts/hipster scene is like. My guess is that many folks leave for other places when they're old enough, but on the plus side, that leaves space for new folks to move in as well.

One final thought is The Dalles (OR). If you need to live in WA for a specific reason, you could always live on the upper side of the border, as there's a bridge crossing of the Columbia River right there.
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Old 11-26-2022, 03:50 PM
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Those towns are priced WAY OUT of the posters price range. It is going to be hard to find anything in eastern Washington in that price range.

I retired from the Forest Service and always kept a list of towns that I would accept a transfer.

Lots of towns on that list that people have NEVER heard about, but since the pandemic it seems ALL of them have been "discovered" by city folks.

We still have about 40 years before we FINALLY burn down our National Forests and convert the landscape to "National Brush Fields".

California has done a excellent job in the last decade of burning down the National Forests. This creates a window of 30 years before the reburn cycle starts. If you are sensitive to smoke, you might want to consider a minimal smoke environment. Smoke is NOT healthy for humans.

That said, I would seriously consider staying in place where you are just on the smoke issue and that growth in California will be much below the national in future years. Your in a pretty good location to avoid smoke.

Good liberal towns are as rare as hens teeth. But as you mention Eugene is one of those. It is way outside your price range, but it is a nice town. Except for the weather I would move to Eugene.

If you insist on continuing your search for nice towns go to a Forest Service office and ask for their directory. It lists all the Ranger Stations and Supervisors Office. Start there.

Make a trip to see those towns.
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Old 11-26-2022, 04:03 PM
 
Location: PNW
1,657 posts, read 2,667,682 times
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Agree that you'll have to make huge compromises with that housing budget near any college town in Western WA and likely live rurally or in an outlying town. For example, many of those priced out of Bellingham (who want to own a home) live in Ferndale, Burlington or Sedro Woolley.
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Old 11-26-2022, 04:17 PM
 
1,595 posts, read 675,444 times
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Prices all over the Olympic Peninsula have gone waaaaaay up. Forks, maybe??
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Old 11-26-2022, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
8,061 posts, read 8,280,857 times
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La Conner/Shelter Bay Community:

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/604-Shelter-Bay-Dr-La-Conner-WA-98257/23391619_zpid/

Port Townsend/Port Hadlock:

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3...12559165_zpid/

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1...12554502_zpid/

Mission Beach:

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2...67107294_zpid/ $149,000, Tulalip Tribal Land Lease $1125/month through 2036 (12% increases every three years).

https://www.redfin.com/WA/Tulalip/60...1/home/2762695 $120,000, Tulalip Tribal Land Lease $1540/month through 2032 (12% increase every three years).
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Old 11-27-2022, 11:17 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
102,052 posts, read 106,815,852 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmeecakes View Post
Thank you all- this is helpful so far.

I definitely want to check out PT and PA for sure. I realize my budget is a disappointing one and fear the swap for CA prices to WA ones may not be that big of a gap. I
Hoping the market cools down a bit and perhaps the doors will open for us.

I’ll definitely check out Astoria and Mt Vernon. I’ve also come to the conclusion that indeed I probably want a college town as I’ve always loved Eugene, OR also.

For nature activities we typically do hiking/walking with the dog and I prefer a rainforest to climbing hills or mountains. My partner is mainly a road cyclist.

One other thing I forgot is access to healthcare. Prefer Kaiser but can do private also. It does seem like getting it all will be a stretch but one can hope!
If looking around Pt T, be sure to look beyond the town limits, to find cheaper properties: west of town you may find old farmhouses at lower rents or lower RE prices, and south of town there's Chimacum and Port Hadlock. Sure it's nice to be in town or nearby, but that will cost you, unless you get lucky (which also is possible: seek and ye shall find).

You may find an affordable property or two in the SE part of town near the pulp mill. Beware: aim to be as far from the pulp mill as possible. Most of the time the wind blows the stench out over the Sound, but on rare occasions, the wind shifts, and blows it into town either northward (toward Ft Worden) or NE.

RE: Astoria--a good co-op scene. Hospital nearby, but it's not fully-equipped to handle anything/everything. Gorgeous location, though. Seasonal/annual schedule of outdoor art/craft fairs. Affordable (for now, but it's starting to attract attention). There's a CC and an OSU branch nearby. Only downside: there will be smoke from OR wildfires. The location near the mouth of the Columbia (ocean breeze proximity) doesn't help with the smoke much, if at all. But wildfire smoke has become one of the hazards of West Coast living in general. Astoria's no different than any other location in WA or OR that you might choose (except for the OR coastal towns, but they have their own issues). Astoria's also near beach towns on the north coast. Caveat: check sea-level rise maps to avoid flood-prone properties.

Good luck! Give us an update, when you find something!

Last edited by Ruth4Truth; 11-27-2022 at 11:29 AM..
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Old 11-27-2022, 11:33 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
102,052 posts, read 106,815,852 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayfair View Post
Agree that you'll have to make huge compromises with that housing budget near any college town in Western WA and likely live rurally or in an outlying town. For example, many of those priced out of Bellingham (who want to own a home) live in Ferndale, Burlington or Sedro Woolley.
I've found that Ferndale is really no cheaper than B'ham. So many people already located in Ferndale as the "cheap alternative" to B'ham 20, 30 years ago, as well as more recently, that it's no longer cheaper. Even Lynden, which might be worth a look (virtually crime-free), isn't significantly cheaper, especially for renting.
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Old 11-27-2022, 11:49 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
102,052 posts, read 106,815,852 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW4me View Post
And (if you haven't already), at least take a look at Arcata, CA... up in the redwoods.
This is not a bad idea, OP. In terms of climate and culture/Native culture, Humboldt is part of the Pacific NW. And there are properties within your budget in Eureka, which was recently "discovered", but you can still find something in your range, and in some of the towns in southern Humboldt: Ferndale, Fortuna (buy on high ground only, as river is flood-prone), Loleta, etc.

Eureka, 3 br., on a double lot, "good" part of town:
https://www.realtor.com/realestatean...3_M15427-98880

There's a street theater group hosted by one of the tribes that stages surprise theater events in Arcata. There may be other theater groups, too. Definitely artsy/quirky. There's a hospital in Eureka with a branch in Fortuna. Cal State Poly in Arcata, with College of the Redwoods in Eureka. Good organic grocery scene, dairies that "export" goat and sheep dairy products to the Bay Area and elsewhere regionally. Beautiful Victorians everywhere. As a CA resident, you should def visit Humboldt "just because", if you haven't already. The redwoods are a national treasure, as you know, living near Yosemite. Humboldt County has done a very good job of putting out any fires that start in a timely manner, which can't be said of neighboring Trinity Co.

Last edited by Ruth4Truth; 11-27-2022 at 12:46 PM..
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Old 11-27-2022, 11:53 AM
 
Location: West coast
5,281 posts, read 2,992,870 times
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I’m no realtor but I watch real estate prices .
They are coming down.
It’s getting/going to be a great time for buying with cash.
Sadly there is no real price reduction when you are financing right now and it looks like it might get worse.
Once again I’m no realtor I just have some investment properties.

Ruth is spot on about getting a place beyond a towns limit.
That does tend to lower the price and it’s a nice way to live for me at least.

I know several people who invest/buy off market properties and do well.
It is a bit of self guided work that might require going above and beyond most peoples comfort level.
I’ve done it several times with good results.
The hardest part was getting off my butt to make it happen.
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Old 11-27-2022, 01:00 PM
 
Location: PNW
1,657 posts, read 2,667,682 times
Reputation: 1446
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
I've found that Ferndale is really no cheaper than B'ham. So many people already located in Ferndale as the "cheap alternative" to B'ham 20, 30 years ago, as well as more recently, that it's no longer cheaper. Even Lynden, which might be worth a look (virtually crime-free), isn't significantly cheaper, especially for renting.
That's too bad. I know prices have gone nuts even in Sedro Woolley. People went further and further out to afford houses.
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