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Old 11-23-2013, 03:43 PM
 
9 posts, read 15,452 times
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Hello Everyone,

My husband and I are considering moving our family to Bend in the first months of 2014. We have a preschooler, a toddler, and (surprise!) twins on the way. We have been living in the Bay Area for the last year after transplanting from DC, but we are ready for a better quality of life and more bang for our buck. My husband spent a couple of days visiting Bend just the other week and fell in love with the beauty of the area, and how friendly the people were - just the feeling of the place, too. Luckily, we work from home, so finding a job isn't an immediate concern. We'll all head up for a visit in the coming weeks, but I have a few lingering questions that I'm wondering if you experienced Bend residents could help me out with.

Our family is a mix of cultures/languages/races, and while I know and am not worried about how white Bend is, I'm wondering about cultural diversity there. Our kids hear four different languages between us and their grandparents, and one advantage the Bay Area has is stuff like German-speaking playgroups and schools/classes (my native language), Korean grocery stores, and just a feeling of lots of people coming from many different places. I think this won't be the case to the same extent in Bend, but I'm wondering how much there is at all of this kind of stuff?

Looking at real estate, while I am thrilled with how much house we can get compared to our current location, I'm still a bit surprised at lot sizes. For the same prices, in or close to other similarly-sized cities in the US, lot sizes are huge compared to those in Bend. My husband said this is offset by the number of parks in and around housing developments, and that this where it seems the neighborhood meets up. Have any of you with little kids found the small lot sizes to be an issue? Are there areas, still in Bend city limits, with larger lots? Or, isn't this an issue, in reality, because of how many outdoors activities there are?

Twins: is there a twins group of something similar in Bend? This will be a whole new chapter in our lives, and I would love to have people to turn to for advice.

How's health care in Bend? I've seen people that are looking to retire in Bend say that it's good, but those of you that have had babies born there and/or with little kids, are you happy with the health care there? I'm a little freaked about this "high risk" pregnancy in an area I'm not familiar with.

Thank you, all!
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Old 11-23-2013, 11:35 PM
 
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Cultural diversity is close to nonexistent in Bend. Healthcare is reputed to be good, but Bend has only one hospital compared to many options in the Bay Area.
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Old 11-24-2013, 01:58 AM
 
Location: Seal Rock
431 posts, read 519,363 times
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I'd agree with BendLocal. As a foreigner, Bend is probably the most non-diverse place I've lived in. If you want exposure to other cultures and ways of life, you're not going to get it in Bend.
The one large hospital (St. Charles Medical Center) is getting to be code to a monopoly. They've bought out the smaller hospitals in Madras, Redmond and Prineville and have their eyes on other places too. The standard of care is OK, but they can be expensive.
As for lot sizes of homes, it really depends where you want to live. On the west side and in NW Crossing, things are going to be tight. Be a little more open minded and you'll have more choice. Despite what some people say, Bend isn't a ghetto outside of those areas. I live in Kings Forest in SE Bend, south of Reed Market and just east of 15th. 5 minutes to the Old Mill District (straight down Reed Market) and 10 minutes from downtown. We have an acre lot with over 60 trees on a cul-de-sac.
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:47 PM
 
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I'd also caution a bit against the 'more bang for your buck' theory.

1) As others have noted, Bend is rich in vistas and outdoor opportunities, but will be lacking in a wide range of amenities you're used to.

2) The local job market is a far cry from what you'll be used to. Yes, that equity you have in a Bay area home will buy a lot of house in Bend comparatively, but if you're reliant on actually working to cover living expenses, it may not be as rosy as people tend to assume.
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:47 PM
 
9 posts, read 15,452 times
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Thank you, everyone, for your honest feedback. We will broaden our housing search pursude NW. Bler144, do you find any amenities that you particularly miss/are lacking?
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Old 11-27-2013, 05:45 PM
 
4,060 posts, read 4,863,454 times
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Again, it will vary depending on the person.

If you travel at all you'll find the Bend/Redmond airport to be expensive and fairly limiting route-wise if you're going any distance. Getting to anywhere in OR, or NorCal, or Vegas probably not so bad. But if you're traveling a lot, or to the east coast, (or internationally) I think it would wear on you.

As other threads note, high speed internet is available but it's not exactly top-end. May also see limited options for cell service, though that's not my area of expertise.

Not a ton of arts, and while there are a number of small museums, my impression is they don't exactly change their displays regularly. So once you've been, you've pretty much been. Concert-wise, shows in the summer concert series are fantastic just for the venue, and they do get a handful of big names. But if you like live music there's going to be a very limited number. Shopping is limited, but Amazon delivers anywhere I suppose.

Restaurants are pretty decent for a town that size, imo, and I think you'll probably be satisfied there unless you really eat out every night. Though if you don't like the options in town for some reason, you're a bit out of luck. The options anywhere else within 2 hours will be even more limited.

The passes back to the valley generally aren't too bad, and 242 up into the Sisters Wilderness is a must-do summer drive to wow the kids. US Route 20 is generally open, but can close, as can 26 if you're bound for Portland and you should know how to drive in snow if you ever want to leave Bend in the winter.

I think it's mostly important to understand how remote it is, particularly in the winter. Even in good weather it's 2+ to Salem or Eugene, and farther to Portland. Though I will say, driving route 20 on a clear summer night with a sunroof open or top down is amazing. Unless you're driving in which case keep your eyes on the road so as to not hit deer or end up off the road. If you have a medical appt in Portland it's going to take you all day, or possibly require an overnight.

A lot of people I know who live east of the Cascades rack up speeding tickets trying to shorten the drive to the value, though that may be anecdotal.

If you're a small town person, loathe the big city, love to fly-fish/camp/hike/snowshoe/ski/etc. you'll find a lot to like.
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Old 11-28-2013, 03:34 AM
 
Location: Bend
24 posts, read 40,647 times
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We are a young family who moved to Bend 2 years ago and love it. If you can live here and make a living, it is a wonderful place! Wouldn't want to live anywhere else.
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Old 12-11-2013, 08:58 AM
 
8 posts, read 12,732 times
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I've lived in Bay area(san mateo) for 12 yrs. and was thrilled to be out. After living in Denver and Pittsburgh, now looking at Bend for the final move-but, being of South Asian origin, have some concerns about my kids. We need some encouragement, I suppose. Hoping to see sunsandskis' there.
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Old 12-11-2013, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,874,650 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunzaman View Post
I've lived in Bay area(san mateo) for 12 yrs. and was thrilled to be out. After living in Denver and Pittsburgh, now looking at Bend for the final move-but, being of South Asian origin, have some concerns about my kids. We need some encouragement, I suppose. Hoping to see sunsandskis' there.
What about Denver didn't suit you? Just curious. You can send me a PM if you want.
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Old 12-11-2013, 01:15 PM
 
35 posts, read 42,688 times
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Default Curious as Well

Quote:
Originally Posted by delta07 View Post
What about Denver didn't suit you? Just curious. You can send me a PM if you want.
I'm curious as well to why you didn't like Denver.
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