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Old 07-21-2011, 10:05 AM
 
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Hello,

Hubby & I are in our late 40's/early 50's, with 2 young teens. We're coming from a small, rural city area and need to know what outer areas of Eugene to look at for family neighborhood rentals.

Any ideas?
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:16 PM
 
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Which high school or middle school are you thinking about for your teens? If you figure out which school you'd like for them (there are several websites you can use as well as the 4J website to help you figure out which school would fit the best) then it will narrow down the part of town you're looking in.
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:18 PM
 
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I just realized you are looking for outer rural aras. You might have a hard time finding rentals in the outer areas. You might try Coburg? But it can be a little expensive.
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Old 07-23-2011, 08:37 PM
 
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Actually, I hadn't even looked at schools just yet (our move isn't until next Summer 2012 or maybe even later).

We have two very smart teens, straight A's, one interested in becoming a BioChemist or an Environmental Scientist; and the other who's an accomplished artist & is interested in Digital Arts & has written a set of fiction-fantasy books. We do know we must find the best schools we can for both of them, although my thoughts are starting the process at the "good family neighborhood" level.

We've lived in a lot of cities, and mostly it seems that typical cities will have a "rich side", a "good side" and a "lower middle class side" and a "really bad side." How would you "rate" the "sides" of Eugene.....

North of the city center is....rich? good? lower middle class? or really bad???
Same for South, East, West of the city center....

That'll at least give us a starting point. If the city can't be split into North/South/East/West like that, then could you give me an idea of what streets/intersections to be sure to look at or to stay away from?

Just a place to point our compass first.....
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:17 PM
 
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We've lived a lot of places, too, and I know what you are talking about. Eugene, though, is a little different. The neighborhoods are very mixed. I'm not sure if it's just how they wanted to plan the city out or if it just happened that way or what... but the two best areas in Eugene as far as the schools go are the Sheldon High School area and the South Eugene High School area. South Eugene High School is probably your best choice considering what your kids are interested in. Sheldon would be a better option if your kids were more into athletics. I would warn you to stay away from the west areas of Eugene.

Also Eugene doesn't really have sprawl like other cities we've lived in... if that's what you were thinking regarding outer areas... We don't really have what I like to call "Siberia" out here. I grew up in the Park Cities, TX and old East Dallas and Lakewood, TX. Dallas was surrounded by suburbs and sprawl and "Siberia", where it's just grid after grid of subdivisions and housing. Eugene's not really like that. Directly to the east you have Springfield. To the north you have farms and then Coburg. To the west you have Bethel, (which IMO just kinda blends in with West Eugene) and then a stretch of highway, and then a lake (Fern Ridge), and to the south more farm areas and about a 25 minute drive to Cottage Grove.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:21 AM
 
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Thank you so much for the guidance!
It's so difficult to "see" a new place in your mind's eye...I love this site and those who post on it!

I, like my husband, definitely don't want what you call "Siberia" - that's funny that you call it that! We lived in Northern VA for a lot of years, and we recall how all of that urban sprawl got on our nerves and how all we wanted was to get the hell outta that rat race when we had the kids.

So, South Eugene High School is good for science and the arts....there's a wonderful website called www.melissadata.com that I can get the boundaries of any school district with, and then I can map that area and look for a rental within it.

What are the good swimming lakes in the area around Eugene? I see that lake on the map that's just West of Eugene, but it the not-so-good area of Eugene is to the West, then what can I expect of those that might be at that lake?

I see other lakes all over on the map.....any for a day of swimming?

Also, what do you know about Salem? It looks small on the map, but it's closer to Portland where more jobs are (in a better economy, of course). Is it a decent commuting distance to Portland?
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:57 PM
 
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Fern Ridge is mostly used for sailing or water skiing. People do swim there, and there is a campground there, too, but there are much nicer, more beautiful places to swim and definitely to camp. Fern Ridge is about 15 minutes from Eugene, so it's not really part of Eugene. All kinds of people use Fern Ridge Lake, I have always felt safe there. They usually do fireworks there on the 4th of July. (Though the BEST fourth of July fireworks show is definitely after the Eugene Emeralds minor league ballgame at PK Park! Go Em's!)

There are so many great spots for swimming and cooling off in the water here I couldn't even begin to list all our favorite spots. When you get here - just go for drives. Just choose a direction and go, and when you see signs that point to campgrounds or recreation areas or viewpoints, etc. stop and check them out. Dress in warm layers (even in summer), pack a lunch, bring a bottle of water, and make sure you have a full tank of gas. Eugene is only an hour's drive from the coast - that is my favorite place to cool off on a hot summer day! Have you been to the Oregon Coast yet?

Also, the City of Eugene Recreation Services offers great trips and outings and classes for family's. It's a great way to introduce yourself and your family to the fun outdoor opportunities in and around Eugene. Recreation Services (http://www.eugene-or.gov/portal/server.pt?space=CommunityPage&control=SetCommunity &CommunityID=221&PageID=1349 - broken link) It's a safe way, too, as the guides will help you learn what not to do, what to watch out for, how to prepare, etc.

People have defined West Eugene to us differently, which makes it even more confusing for transplants. Some people claim it's anything west of downtown, while others have told me it's anything west of Chambers/River Road and north of 13th or 18th. Once you get here you'll be able to get a better grasp of it. We know a few families who's fathers are police officers and they have all warned us against buying homes in the West Eugene area. Bethel is kind of up-and-coming, or it's trying very hard to be, but the middle and high school there still isn't great from what I hear from two people who work as specialists there in the Bethel school district. They are trying hard to improve though.

If you go to Flickr and search for Eugene you'll find lots of photos people have taken of the town. I love Flickr.

We've never lived in Salem, so I shouldn't really say anything about it. I have my opinions about it but it's prolly best to let someone who actually lives there respond. I can tell you that it's about half-way between Eugene and Portland, so it's about an hour drive straight up the 5.

You can also go to Google maps and do the streetview option which lets you "drive" through Eugene and see what it looks like. Each time we've moved for my husbands job I have done that and it's helped us figure out what areas of town we might like to look at once we get there.

And one last thing - geocaching. I have learned so much about Eugene just by geocaching with my husband and kids in the area. The geocaches themselves are usually not very interesting, but just the process of searching and going to places you wouldn't have otherwise gone is very interesting, and fun.
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Old 07-25-2011, 02:16 PM
 
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Definitely look into the "Ferry Street Bridge" neighborhoods and perhaps even the area near North Eugene High School, in Santa Clara (sort of a "suburb" of sorts of Eugene). Lots of newer housing developments and a family-friendly atmosphere on the edge of town, but still readily accessible to all the city has to offer.

A lot of the arts, the college, and the downtown "hip" scene is south of the Willamette River and east of Willamette Street, so you probably won't find much there. The South Hills (City View and Chamber streets) have some nice homes south of town.

As for lakes, Fern Ridge is the most accessible, and most frequently used. There is also Dexter Reservoir (about 30 mins east of town) and Fall Creek Reservoir (45 mins out of town). Not any real "beach" attractions, though a few places on the river path around town have wading holes.

Cougar Reservoir and Cottage Grove Reservoir are farther afield, but might be worth the drive if you enjoy boating.

Personally, I'd avoid Salem. It's where old people go to die. Yeah, it's closer to Portland, but that's about it's only plus. If you like Portland, move to Portland, or one of its suburbs.
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Old 07-26-2011, 01:02 PM
 
22 posts, read 31,409 times
Reputation: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
Fern Ridge is mostly used for sailing or water skiing. People do swim there, and there is a campground there, too, but there are much nicer, more beautiful places to swim and definitely to camp. Fern Ridge is about 15 minutes from Eugene, so it's not really part of Eugene. All kinds of people use Fern Ridge Lake, I have always felt safe there. They usually do fireworks there on the 4th of July. (Though the BEST fourth of July fireworks show is definitely after the Eugene Emeralds minor league ballgame at PK Park! Go Em's!)

There are so many great spots for swimming and cooling off in the water here I couldn't even begin to list all our favorite spots. When you get here - just go for drives. Just choose a direction and go, and when you see signs that point to campgrounds or recreation areas or viewpoints, etc. stop and check them out. Dress in warm layers (even in summer), pack a lunch, bring a bottle of water, and make sure you have a full tank of gas. Eugene is only an hour's drive from the coast - that is my favorite place to cool off on a hot summer day! Have you been to the Oregon Coast yet?

Also, the City of Eugene Recreation Services offers great trips and outings and classes for family's. It's a great way to introduce yourself and your family to the fun outdoor opportunities in and around Eugene. Recreation Services (http://www.eugene-or.gov/portal/server.pt?space=CommunityPage&control=SetCommunity &CommunityID=221&PageID=1349 - broken link) It's a safe way, too, as the guides will help you learn what not to do, what to watch out for, how to prepare, etc.

People have defined West Eugene to us differently, which makes it even more confusing for transplants. Some people claim it's anything west of downtown, while others have told me it's anything west of Chambers/River Road and north of 13th or 18th. Once you get here you'll be able to get a better grasp of it. We know a few families who's fathers are police officers and they have all warned us against buying homes in the West Eugene area. Bethel is kind of up-and-coming, or it's trying very hard to be, but the middle and high school there still isn't great from what I hear from two people who work as specialists there in the Bethel school district. They are trying hard to improve though.

If you go to Flickr and search for Eugene you'll find lots of photos people have taken of the town. I love Flickr.

We've never lived in Salem, so I shouldn't really say anything about it. I have my opinions about it but it's prolly best to let someone who actually lives there respond. I can tell you that it's about half-way between Eugene and Portland, so it's about an hour drive straight up the 5.

You can also go to Google maps and do the streetview option which lets you "drive" through Eugene and see what it looks like. Each time we've moved for my husbands job I have done that and it's helped us figure out what areas of town we might like to look at once we get there.

And one last thing - geocaching. I have learned so much about Eugene just by geocaching with my husband and kids in the area. The geocaches themselves are usually not very interesting, but just the process of searching and going to places you wouldn't have otherwise gone is very interesting, and fun.
Thanks so much for all the good info! I can't help but think you & I could be friends when my family & I actually get there. I've no clue as to how to "privately" email you, though, and I don't date put my email address here or I fear I'll get spammed like crazy.

I'm gonna go over to Flickr now to see as much as I can!
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