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Old 07-20-2010, 11:56 PM
 
16 posts, read 22,174 times
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I am considering moving to Clatsop County...to be more precise...Astoria, from HOT, Humid, bug infestid Louisiana. Any input on the friendliness of the local residents; employment outlook; the weather and cost of living. I have done my homework and know that there is no sales tax but a 9% income tax (OUCH!) and that real estate taxes are more but utilities are less and that unemployment rates are hovering between 10 and 11%(pretty close to the national average.) Home and auto insurance rates? Did I miss anything? Cool temps, beautiful scenery, wonderful seafood, close proximity to the ocean and river/ocean views are what I'm after. The population of Clatsop County is approx. 40,000 (?) and you're an hour 1/2 to the big city of Portland. Any opininons out there? Thanks!
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:32 AM
 
Location: Still in Portland, Oregon, for some reason
890 posts, read 3,353,467 times
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Welcome! You've got it pretty much nailed down in terms of the 'facts' about moving to Oregon right now. I wouldn't make a move without having employment waiting for you, though. Having driven through Louisiana last summer I can honestly say I don't know how you folks stand the heat and humidity. That being said, the Oregon coast is cool compared to the rest of the state and can even be drastically different from Portland, only 75 miles to the east. It could be 85 to 90 with sunny skies in Portland and be 60 and cloudy on the coast. It really does vary that much but that isn't to say it doesn't get warm there.

Most of Clatsop County is pretty rural and Astoria is the largest city in the county. I'm not sure what the real estate market is like right now but I was just up there today and I can't say I saw too many for sale signs. Many of the neighborhoods in Astoria sit on the hill but I don't know how many actually have views of the river and the ocean. Do some searching and see how the real estate market there matches up with what you can afford. If Astoria is too expensive, Warrenton is just across Young's Bay and Ilwaco, Washington is just a hop, skip, and a jump across the Astoria-Megler Bridge.

Hopefully this is helpful to you!
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:28 AM
 
16 posts, read 22,174 times
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Default Much appreciated advice...

Hello rosecitywanderer and thanks for the information and advice. MUCH appreciated! I have contacted several realtors in the Astoria area and am constantly watching the on-line realestate "for sale" adds for that area. Prices range all over the place and saw recently where a number of forclosures hit the market there, which is always an indicator of the economy...as with the rest of the country. Admittedly, I am enamoured with how Astoria is perched on the side of a hill overlooking the Columbia River. I have always wanted to live where I would have that type of vantage point... And, the weather that you mentioned sounds like heaven right now as the average heat index is over 100 degrees here in Louisiana. Many times I walk outside and between the blast of hot, humid air and mosquitos that see a fresh piece of meat...ME... I just don't think that I can take it any more. I have also looked at Warrenton and considered across the river into Washington...they have lower income taxes but the cost of real estate seems comparable. Bloggers in Washington say that they come to Oregon for the tax-free shopping. (So there is more than one way to skin a cat...as they say here in the South.) Keep the advice rolling. Thanks!
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Oceanside and Chehalem Mtns.
716 posts, read 2,630,942 times
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Definatly secure employment before making a move. The unemployment rate along the coast is usually much higher then the state average.

Visit the area, do some local networking and see if you can get something lined up before making a commitment.
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Eastern Oregon
505 posts, read 2,054,415 times
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I was born and mostly raised in Baton Rouge, went to Tulane, stayed an extra year, then moved to Oregon permanently in '91 (after working a summer in 1990). I LOVE it, and would never move back.

I moved to Southern Oregon, which is a lot different than Astoria. As you know, Astoria gets tons of rain, especially in the winter.

You'll miss the amazing food that Louisiana is famous for, but also learn to eat healthier. I think Louisiana has friendlier people, but Oregon is much better than most places in the US. I also find the Oregon population rather boring, compared to the rich racial and cultural diversity that makes up Louisiana.

My biggest "adjustments" were the winters (dark), learning to drive on steep mountain roads (especially in the winter), and in Southern Oregon learning how to deal with dry heat. You may not have that problem in Astoria. But dry heat can be deadly too. I'd be out in the dry heat, which felt very comfortable to me, and since I thought I wasn't sweating (it was evaporating), I just would keep going and going until heat exhaustion would set in.

It was many years ago, but I was surprised at how cheap it is to drive here, but rent and housing prices were a big shock. I'd personally rather pay sales taxes than our high income taxes, but I didn't miss the outrageous sales tax in New Orleans.

Good luck!
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Just outside of Portland
4,828 posts, read 6,668,055 times
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Astoria = CLOUDY WITH COLD WET RAIN for 9 months. Fun at first, but gets old quick.
If you suffer from any kind of depression at all, it can get tough during and past the middle of winter.
Wonderful summers though.


Lots of commercial ships, fishing boats, recreational Salmon and Sturgeon fishing, crabbing, good/excellent razor clamming beaches very close by, commercial marine businesses, and tons of tourists in the summer. A beautiful area.

Actually it's a pretty neat place to live if you can stand the dreary weather. It's pretty wet there.
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:07 AM
 
21 posts, read 41,236 times
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As a former portlander. Now in palm Springs I am looking to move back to OR. But not no where near the rain. My wife wants to go back to Portland as she loves the greenery and rain. She is born and raised in the desert so its new to her. And to be honest rain is a nice change when we do get it in the desert.
I Do NOT want to deal with all the rain and I dont think she understands (as you, not to be rude) that when the rain starts, it doesnt stop for 9 months as mentioned earlier. I dont want to be a party pooper, but that gloomy gray weather gets old after 3 months and then you get 6 more months of it on oregon coast. But if you think you can handle it, go rent a place first for a year and see how you feel.
I am looking going to Bend. 4 season, mostly sunny and its got all the hunting and fishing I can ask for.
My friend left the NW for good. spent 10 years in coos bay, 3 seattle, 6 spokane. Now he is Corpus Christy, TX and LOVES it.
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Hillsboro, OR
54 posts, read 111,178 times
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Astoria is very charming with alot of history, great old houses and alot of excellent restaurants. They have a good farmers market. I was surprised how many cruise ships stop in Astoria. Its not too far from Portland when you need your urban fix.

Dont understimate the long winter. Its gray most of the time, lots of drizzle, fog and rain. It seems romantic at first when you have hot cocoa and a fireplace, but its everyday for months. It is a problem for some people.
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Just outside of Portland
4,828 posts, read 6,668,055 times
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An interesting read is Lewis and Clark's account of wintering over on the Oregon coast.
Their "Fort Clatsop" was located near Warrenton, which is a few miles away from Astoria.
All they had to eat for months was Elk meat and fresh water.
I don't remember the statistics of dry days vs wet days but I seem to remember something about it not raining for only a few days through the winter.
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:25 PM
 
16 posts, read 22,174 times
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Default Thanks for all the great advice...

Hey everyone! Thanks for all the great advice. It's always nice to hear different points of view. The common thread that I continue to hear is about the dreary, wet winters and lots and lots of rain. I don't suffer from depression so don't have any idea whether the copious amount of rain will bother me, or not. Bluebird mentioned missing the wonderful Louisiana food and Oregons lack of cultural diversity, which are excellent points. Louisian does have awsome food, but I'm a pretty good cook when it comes to jumbalaya, etouffe, gumbo, etc. so figure with all the wonderful seafood that the coastal area of Oregon has, I should be able to find fresh ingredients for my cajun cravings. As for the cultural diversity...I'm all about cultrual diversity...BUT, as a caucasion male, I have been passed over for jobs because of cultural diversity and was told once that it was a shame that I wasn't an African American female, who was needed to fill the position to meet certain quotas. I should have been mad but, instead, it hurt my feelings. It would be nice to live in an area where the playing field was more level and a person acquired a job based on attitude, experience and work ethics...not on gender or the color of a persons skin. (I hope I don't sound like I have a chip on my shoulder, because I certainly don't...just the way that it is.) Another topic that continues to keep popping up is also about getting employment, before moving... I've contacted Oregons workforce development agencies and submitted applications: I have plenty of transferable skills which is always an asset and have also been contacting the larger coastal businesses, sending resumes. Keep getting told that it would be best if I lived there first and had an Oregon address...so go figure! Again, thanks again for everyones information and opinions! You all sound like genuinely terrific people. Keep the comments flowing! This is certainly helping in the decision-making process.
Regards!
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