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Old 10-17-2011, 03:21 PM
Location: Atlanta, Georgia USA
1 posts, read 1,877 times
Reputation: 10


Cliff notes version: Married couple in early 30's with young child..native New Yorker/Londoner, respectively, and have been southern expats for a few years. Husband is a skilled carpenter and wife has Bachelor's in History Education.
What we are looking for:

- Mild winter (not brutally harsh like in NY)
- Sunshine (not gray like in the UK, but not brutally blazing like in GA)
- Open minded individuals
- Accessibility to a downtown area, pref. walking distance
- GREEN! Recycling encouraged
- House pref. in a historic district or close. We currently own a $100k 3 bed/2 bath in walking distance to a downtown and lake/beach..we are willing to go up to $200k for something similiar.
- Woods! We have an awesome wooded view in our backyard and can walk to trails and woods..so somewhere that isn't flat.
- Close to natural swimming-river, lake, coast..something!
- Little illegal or non-english speaking immigration. Husband would love to work with other english-speaking guys again like in England..not just him on his own and a group of other guys speaking spanish to one another.
- No religion thrown in your face (the bible belt is taking it's toll)
- Can buy a house for $100-200k and live off of $50k per year. We HATE McMansions, SUV's, and ''bling'', so this is pretty obtainable. We do it now without a problem and do not want to live anywhere expensive or around people who are flashy. We like the ''less is more'' attitude!

I have viewed the posts but am just asking if anyone knows of a place in Oregon or any other state that sounds like what we're looking for. I really appreciate any advice offered. Please no rude comments!

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Old 10-20-2011, 03:02 PM
122 posts, read 302,273 times
Reputation: 169
You've got to really ask yourself if you want to trade "have a blessed day" and people blinging out for vitamin D deficiency, because basically nothing else you want is available in Oregon except for the absence of religion and fancy personal grooming.
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:28 PM
1,592 posts, read 3,190,423 times
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Pretty much everything on your list is available in Eugene and most other places in Oregon.

The winters are mild, but long and grey, not much sun. 200k is kind of low for a house, the average is about 250k in Eugene, less elsewhere, but it can be done. Are you looking at Eugene in particular or somewhere smaller?
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:06 AM
n/a posts
Oregon matches your list pretty well, with a couple of exceptions.

1) Winters are pretty gray and wet. Not terribly cold though.
2) Housing is fairly expensive.

Working with native English speakers can be done if you want. I'm guessing residential construction has more illegals than commercial (I've never seen anyone who wasn't white at a commercial construction site).

Pretty much everywhere in western Oregon is only a few minutes from the woods. Urban sprawl is minimal here. Even in Portland you're never very far from forests.

Also, the coast isn't really for swimming unless you're up for a particularly brisk swim. Even on the (rare) warm summer days at the coast, the water is frigid. Go to a lake if you want to swim.
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:53 AM
6,061 posts, read 14,062,708 times
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Mild winters you'll find in the PNW, Eugene included.

Sunshine you'll find, parts of the year and even short blips of it during our long grey chilly wet muddy winters.

Open minded individuals - check.

Accessibility to a downtown area.... depends on what city you settle in. Portland might be more fun than Eugene - depends on your idea of a downtown. Some people want skyscrapers and others want shops... Eugene has a big hole in the ground. (I kid... Well... there IS a big hole in the ground, but there are shops and galleries and fun places to eat and things to do, too...)...

Eugene is green, definitely, and we have plenty of woods to run amok in... tons of places to swim, too.... hot springs, really pure lakes, rivers, the coast (very cold, though, most people do not swim at the coast even in summer)... Google "Crater Lake"... it's amazing. If you come here, you have to go there. You also should go mushrooming, and also attend the truffling events if you're into good food. We have lots of truffles and mushrooms here.

Eugene was found to have about 40 gangs. It was in the paper recently. Find the Register Guard and google around about it. (The R-G is Eugene's newspaper.) There are Hispanics here as well as a surprising number of South Koreans and we also have African Americans. Eugene really isn't as "white" as it used to be. If that's not cool with your hubby, you might want to keep searching. We do have quite a few people here who are into woodworking and carpentry, very crafty and skilled... so he might find his niche and his world all set to rights. Sounds like you both would LOVE the Saturday Market.

Religion is not "thrown in your face" here like I was used to growing up in Texas. So that's nice! There are all sorts here... I've met many Mormons, Pagans, Wiccans, Christins, Catholics, and some who claimed to be things I'd never heard of before. But none tried to cult-ivate me.

The house thing. Hmm... Plan to spend closer to $200K. Depending on your lifestyle $50K might work. The West coast is much more expensive than living in the South. Coming from Texas it was quite an adjustment for us when we moved here, but now we are used to it. We are about your age with two kids. Hubby makes quite a bit more than that and we live very simply. (We don't like McMansions or that sort of lifestyle, either! Blech!)

You can go to Realtor.com and do a search for Eugene, OR to give you an idea of home prices. You can search by map so you can see how much the homes cost which are near downtown. The area just north of downtown but south of the Willamette river is sketchy (it's called the Whiteaker... it's near Skinner's Butter...)... of course it's all relative to what you're used to and where you're coming from... but I would not live in that part of town with children. If it were just me I probably would, because it's ecclectic and funky and artsy and walkable and near downtown and has an interesting vibe and it's affordable. West Eugene (perhaps west of Chambers/River Rd.) can also be sketchy. Generally.... if it's a 3 bedroom home that's going for less than $180'ish, there's probably something wrong with it or it's in a bad area. In some areas... you'll have nice streets and awful streets (Whiteaker is like that...). Eugene mixes low-income housing with higher-income housing... so it's not uncommon to see a $400K home on the same street as manufactured homes. We currently live in a community of townhomes across the street from $500K - million dollar homes. It's a very nice area, but I personally can't imagine spending a million bucks to live across the street from a cluster of rented townhomes. It's kind of weird! But perhaps in a good way?

Good luck with your search!
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:10 PM
Location: Eugene
31 posts, read 54,887 times
Reputation: 37
Default Eugene

Eugene is green. I agree with the other poster about Oregon has basically everything you want but constant sun. Summers are more beautiful than any place I've been but it is gray here much of the time... which is the reason summers are so gorgeous! Western Oregon is mild temperatures. Central to Eastern Oregon gets colder and snowier. Eugene gets snow maybe a couple times a year if they're lucky! Then everyone gets excited and school is canceled! :-) It's quite the event!!

Eugene also has a great farmer's market, they've got lots of organic produce, also there is a wonderful store in town called Market of Choice. It's a great place, although on the pricier end. The store on Willamette St. is awesome though! Wine tasting, cheese tastings, beer tastings... homemade pastries and cakes that win awards for decorating!

Of course we have the Oregon Ducks here in town and that really livens up the town! OSU Beavers are only an hour away and you'll find Beaver fans and Duck fans everywhere you go.

Eugene Emeralds are a minor league baseball team here that is a minor team for the San Diego Padres! The games are small, intimate and really fun! And best of all, no traffic!

Which brings me to traffic... I can't qualify Eugene traffic as a "traffic jam". No. Being from Southern California, I have been in traffic jams where cars just can't move. Eugene has no traffic problem. There's a little congestion on the Beltline Hwy and Delta Hwy about 5pm, which takes about 5-10 minutes to get through. :-) Lots of people in Eugene ride their bikes everywhere and there is a lot of bike paths all over town. They're a lot of fun to ride on next to the river.

Now... home prices are low but not as low as the south from what I understand. Realtor.com does have some good info on home prices. I'm a Realtor and I'd say you can find a decent place in Springfield for under 200K for a family. If you want to get something smaller, then under 150K is possible. Believe it or not. I have a lot of first time buyers that fall in the under 150K range and there are some really great buys to be found!! Contact me if you're wanting any help with more information and I'd be happy to help you.

Good luck!
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:53 AM
Location: Belgium
84 posts, read 136,054 times
Reputation: 52
You don't live in ATL itself, I'm guessing, based on the 100 K house and walking to downtown. My brother lives in ATL,visited last June and the heat about killed me. I really don;t care for GA besides the nature. ATL has Peachtree, Midtown, Buckhead and Druid Hills, but thats really all it has. Portland or Eugene are the only way I would move from here in Antwerp (Belgium).
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