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Old 04-24-2008, 07:50 AM
 
35 posts, read 107,598 times
Reputation: 18

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My family - myself, my son and daughter-in-law and their two young girls, and her father - each are relocating to Eugene (separately) mid-summer. Her dad and I both are disabled so will be looking at public or section 8 housing. I am transferring my voucher from here to there. I am quite mobile and so I provide full-time child care for my granddaughters while Mom goes to school and Dad works.

Since I live on Social Security, and my kids are young parents without a lot of money, finances are a major concern for all of us. My main question is, what areas should we try to avoid while deciding on an apartment or duplex? We need to consider rents, but we don't want to live in the middle of meth central either. Her Dad and I are old-time hippies who have managed to maintain our roots while not being stuck in an era gone by. Does that make sense? (Can't wait to get back to the festivals!) The "kids" are struggling young parents who want to be close to camping, fishing and the woods but also want to work and have access to the amenities of town. We're liberal and accepting people, can deal with the realities of life anywhere, but would prefer a safe but affordable neighborhood for the girls, who are 2 and 5.

I'd also like to know about bus service. Also, how hard it is going to be to bring my golden retriever, even though he is considered a "comfort animal" in regard to my disability. I have excellent references from my landlord here, having rented the same house for nearly five years.

My daughter-in-law was born in Eugene, and I lived in Seattle and Northern Cal for many years before living here in Nebraska for the past six years. We are SO ready to get back home!

We would consider smaller areas like Veneta (yes, I have read the previous posts about that town and so far nothing unexpected) but am worried about commuting due to gas prices etc. How bad is the traffic to and from during the week?

And just one more: about how long does it take to drive to Florence from Eugene? I know the mileage but I also know what roads in rural west coast areas can be like. Ever drive from the interstate to Blue Lake, CA? Teaches you real fast that mileage means nothing LOL But we definitely will be spending time on the coast.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for your replies! Anyone wants to email me privately, please feel free: morgancraft@alltel.net

CZ

Last edited by morgancraft; 04-24-2008 at 08:04 AM..
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:16 AM
 
87 posts, read 279,465 times
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I dont know about eugene, but i am in nebraska looking to go to oregon. why are you so ready to go back. i only know nebraska and am scared to go any where else but i want to get a fresh start and my husband has always wanted to move to some kind of mountain scenery.
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:01 AM
 
35 posts, read 107,598 times
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Default Why move?

Omigosh, where to begin? I have lived many places around the country due to work - Oregon, Washington, Northern California, Baltimore, Detroit, Reno - and I am not kidding when I say Lincoln is by far the worst place I have ever lived. The weather is terrible, the people are unfriendly and very closed-minded, the schools, the drug problems, intolerance, road rage, lifestyle, recreational opportunities, overall attitude and ambiance... I could go on and on. I don't mean to offend those who love it here, but I just know it is not for me.

Sorry to be so negative, but I am speaking from experience. I realize there are problems everywhere, and like my friend told me, "No matter where you go, there you are." In other words, your personal problems aren't the fault of your location, etc. and you can't simply "run away." But the people and quality of life in Oregon exceed even the nicest and friendliest Nebraska city.

I know that's an opinion not everyone here shares. But every time I visit my family out west and have to come back here, I get depressed. I just know how much better life can be. The scenery is only part of it, but that definitely counts. My granddaughters are 2 and 5. I don't want them growing up here. And this is the worst meth city I ever have seen. Again there are drug problems everywhere. But I would rather live among a bunch of pot-smoking hippies who live and let live and don't think they know everything, or don't think that if you aren't a Christian conservative, you are a lesser life-form! There simply is a better life out there. I encourage you to try it. Who knows, you might miss Nebraska and come back. And that's great if you do. But for me and mine, we are outta here!!!

C
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Old 04-24-2008, 11:20 AM
 
87 posts, read 279,465 times
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well we are near omaha and i dont know much about lincoln but i agree with you for the most part. we are in a small friendly town but alot of these people are fake. and the meth here is terrible. i want to go and i think i will be happier i just have to do it. our two choices are oregon and north carolina. you have lived in both so which is better in your opinion? the one thing i hate is drurry days, i need the sun. when we go on vacation i get depressed coming home also. if we go to oregon we have a family member in ashland/talent area and she says its great, do you agree? i was under the impression that oregon was rainy,cloudy and glummy but she says no. i guess i just want more opinions. she may just want us to move and will say what we want to hear.
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:35 PM
 
6,061 posts, read 13,833,119 times
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Hi Morgancraft... I'm in Eugene and I'll try to answer your questions as best I can....

Quote:
Originally Posted by morgancraft View Post
My family - myself, my son and daughter-in-law and their two young girls, and her father - each are relocating to Eugene (separately) mid-summer. Her dad and I both are disabled so will be looking at public or section 8 housing. I am transferring my voucher from here to there. I am quite mobile and so I provide full-time child care for my granddaughters while Mom goes to school and Dad works.

Since I live on Social Security, and my kids are young parents without a lot of money, finances are a major concern for all of us. My main question is, what areas should we try to avoid while deciding on an apartment or duplex? We need to consider rents, but we don't want to live in the middle of meth central either. Her Dad and I are old-time hippies who have managed to maintain our roots while not being stuck in an era gone by. Does that make sense? (Can't wait to get back to the festivals!) The "kids" are struggling young parents who want to be close to camping, fishing and the woods but also want to work and have access to the amenities of town. We're liberal and accepting people, can deal with the realities of life anywhere, but would prefer a safe but affordable neighborhood for the girls, who are 2 and 5.
OK - since you guys have little kids... I would try to stay within the city of Eugene. By that I mean - don't do the unincorporated areas. The city of Eugene has AWESOME services and recreational opportunities for children, families, and the elderly and physically challenged. Outside the city of Eugene, you might still have some access to those services but it will cost you more for being out of the area. Sometimes it's even just a few blocks which have not incorporated... so be very careful when you look for place. Make sure it is within the city of Eugene.

Also - I would highly recommend the Applewood Apartments in the northern Eugene area for your situation. We have rented there (for three years) with our two children and it was a wonderful experience. It is in a very safe neighborhood within walking distance to everything you could possibly need and also right on the corner you can catch the bus and go anywhere you need to go. Also the bike trail is right there which is fun for kids and young families... Also for then the kids are old enough - the elementary school is Gilham Elementary school which is a wonderful school. Our boys loved it! The kids catch the bus right here on the corner, too, so that makes getting the kids to school and picking them up in the afternoons very easy. The apartments are only two-bedrooms, though, so if you need a smaller or a bigger place that would be the only issue I can think of. We felt they were really affordable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by morgancraft View Post
I'd also like to know about bus service.
Lots of your questions can be answered from the city of Eugene's website I personally haven't ever used the buss system but from what I understand it is very easy to get anywhere you want to go by bus here. Lots of people do use the bus system here and there are bike racks on the buses as well. As a family we have found it's actually quicker and easier to get where you are going by bike in Eugene than in a car! I love this town...



Quote:
Originally Posted by morgancraft View Post
Also, how hard it is going to be to bring my golden retriever, even though he is considered a "comfort animal" in regard to my disability. I have excellent references from my landlord here, having rented the same house for nearly five years.
Well... I don't think those apartments I mentioned allows dogs, but maybe ask them about it. Eugene seems to be more of a cat-lovers town than a dog-lovers town. I'm sorry I'm not much help here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by morgancraft View Post
We would consider smaller areas like Veneta (yes, I have read the previous posts about that town and so far nothing unexpected) but am worried about commuting due to gas prices etc. How bad is the traffic to and from during the week?
Maybe it's just me, but Veneta seems to be changing. Too much new development and prices are going up and just.... yuck. If you are on limited income and will be using the bus system to get around, I would recommend really trying to stay in Eugene. The Thurston area of Springfield might work for you as well but I am not familiar with the apartments in that area - it seems to be mostly residential single family homes. Don't let people bad-mouth Springfield - it has a bad rep but just like Eugene - some parts are really nice and some parts are sketchy. You just have to check it out for yourself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by morgancraft View Post
And just one more: about how long does it take to drive to Florence from Eugene? I know the mileage but I also know what roads in rural west coast areas can be like. Ever drive from the interstate to Blue Lake, CA? Teaches you real fast that mileage means nothing LOL But we definitely will be spending time on the coast.
We drive the speed limit, and it usually takes us slightly over an hour. If the weather is acting up (Fall, Winter, Spring...) it takes a little longer. In Summer the weather is usually awesome but if you are going on the weekend the traffic and RV'ers will slow you down. The best time to go is during the week while the 9-5'ers are busy workin'!

I think most locals know the best times to go to the coast are not when most people go. Make sense? Not on the weekends... not on the breaks or holidays... and not on the prettiest days. We go mostly during the winter and have whole stretches of the coast to ourselves - with all kinds of treasures washed-up during the winter storms. Amazing... During the Summer we like to head to the mountains while the driving there is safer - ever seen Crater Lake? If not - you gotta!

Good luck with everything!!
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:42 PM
 
35 posts, read 107,598 times
Reputation: 18
haggard: Wow, thanks for the great and VERY helpful info. You answered most of my concerns! I really appreciate it. Yes, I lived near the coast in northern Cal and also in Washington State for a long time. I love the off-season days when the beaches are your own. I can't wait to share them with my granddaughters. Thanks also for the tip about those apartments. I am going to call them. As for Springfield, that's very interesting because yes, I had heard some bad things. I plan to look around but it's good to know it's not all bad. P.S. I am guessing by your name that you are not opposed to the idea of Fae. Do you go to Faerieworlds? I am hoping to be out there in time to catch at least one day. I believe my own house elf paid us a visit last night. I had a window open - first time I was able to this year due to the weather and it smelled great - but then when my cat tried to attack birds though the screen, I closed and locked it again. Well, this morning it was up and open, with the wooden holder in place just so. Can't be opened from the outside either. Think my house elf sympathizes with cats? LOL

apej6: I love rain, so all those grey days don't bother me. Oregon is a large state, and there is a variety of weather depending on what part of the state you are in. But honestly I know nothing about North Carolina. My son is a trucker, though, and he says it's beautiful there.

Thanks again everyone.

C
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Old 04-28-2008, 07:37 AM
 
5 posts, read 16,858 times
Reputation: 13
Default Eugene Neighborhoods

Hi
Easy answer first - Florence to Eugene is 60 miles on a two-lane highway that winds a bit through the coastal mountains. You can still average pretty good speeds, so it takes about an hour and 15 minutes to get there. It's a beautiful drive.

Harder answers
Time has brought significantly higher rents and housing costs to Eugene. 15 years ago you could buy any house for under $100K and rents for same were under $500/month. Generally speaking, house prices have tripled and rents have doubled. Section 8 will help you though.

Your best bang for the buck is to choose a Springfield neighborhood. Springfield is Eugene's "poorer" cousin, over the river, but only 15 mins from downtown Eugene, and there is good bus service between the two cities. Housing is 30-50% cheaper across the river.

If you stay in Eugene proper, your best bet might be the River Road area - beautiful older neighborhoods in a woodsy setting, with good transportation options. The main drawback is that there isn't good shopping directly - you'll have to drive.

West Eugene (and Danebo) is the sprawl area of cheaper suburbs, where farms have been filled in with cookie cutter houses. Some of the older, closer in housing is okay, but the farther you move out the more humdrum it becomes.

The best alternative (i.e., old hippie) neighborhoods are in west central eugene (south of 7th Ave, north of 18th ave and west of Willamette St). They are old homes, within walking distance of downtown. The same north/south boundaries to the EAST of Willamette are basically college boarding areas - the crime, noise, traffic are all higher on this side nearer the college. The second alternative area is Whitaker - this is truly the low-rent, mixed community of Eugene. On the plus side, it is a true community, chock full of activists, Hispanic folks, alternatives, traditional hippies, and liberal birkenstocks. It is the most vibrant and colorful neighborhood, but on the downside it is also where most of the street people and drug traffickers are. Personally, it has always been my favorite neighborhood, although I've found myself wary at times.

One note about renting - it is very competitive in Eugene. I was taken back the first time I tried to rent - the screening was intensive as finding a job, with dozens of people applying for every open apartment. My advice is to treat it like a job interview - have references, your bank statement, credit score all available, and come dressed nicely. It will give you a good leg up on everyone else.

-john
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