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Old 08-17-2010, 01:08 PM
9 posts, read 23,897 times
Reputation: 10


Hello everyone,

My husband and I are considering relocating to OR and was hoping some OR residents could share some information about the state with us before we visit and help us find a city that might be best for us to explore when we come to look at apartments.

I have 1 family member who lives in OR and have seen pictures but have never been to OR myself. From what I have seen and heard its beautiful there.

My husband and I currently live in Orange County CA (a republican part of CA) that is very expensive. You have to have a very high paying job to make it here and need at least 2 people working full time just to have a 1 bedroom apartment. The average rent here is about $1300 to $1400/month. On the high end rent is $1800 to $2500/month (near the beaches). You can live in the older and more run down areas for about $1100 to $1200/month.

My husband and I have been wanting to get out of CA for over a year now and were considering different places. We are thinking OR may be the best option but are not sure what city would be the best fit.

My husband and I are both white republicans/conservatives although we also enjoy going to rock concerts once in a while and have a few tattoos. (interesting combination huh?) We are both Christain and attend church weekly (at a non denominational church). My husband has a BS degree from ITT Tech and has had a hard time finding a job in his field that pays more than $8/hr (here in CA). He is working temp jobs for about $10/hr. I work in sales at a very high stress job where I make about $15/hr. I dont have any degree but would really like to attend a community college and get at least a 2 year degree, maybe a 4 year degree eventually. Living here we barely can afford the rent, let alone me cutting back on hours to go to school.

Can you suggest any city in OR that:
1) is safe/low crime
2) has affordable community colleges
3) has decent paying jobs with a short commute time
4) has a larger republican population (if possible) or a larger religious population
5) has affordable apartments (under $1000/month if possible)

We like what we have read about OR. We heard there is no sales tax (which would save a ton when shopping) and that OR has a higher minimum wage than here in CA. Also OR seems to snow less and have more mild weather than other states we were considering like UT and CO.

Can you please share with us any pros and cons about OR and suggest any area that might work for us? We are planning a visit in Nov for our wedding anniversary.

Thank you
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:23 PM
Location: Salem, OR
14,742 posts, read 35,704,436 times
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Of the bigger cities, Salem is probably the closest to what you are looking for. We are more politically conservative than Portland and Eugene and have no lack of churches in town.

Jobs...harder to find. Sanyo is still expanding, Home Depot is building their distribution center, Kettle Chips is expanding here and we have a few more companies expanding and hiring a few folks. You might look into T-mobile and see if they are hiring. I think your hubby would have a harder time finding a job here though.

You can easily rent an apartment here for under $1,000 a month.

Portland will have more job opportunities but it is more liberal. Eugene is a really nice city and it is liberal in a hippie kind of way.
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Old 08-17-2010, 03:39 PM
Location: Dallas, Oregon & Sunsites Arizona
8,000 posts, read 15,491,199 times
Reputation: 2807
But .......

The average rent is the same as Orange County.
Chemeketa is the best CC in the state.
Tell me you are not planning on coming here without having a job carved in stone FIRST?
Food is the cheapest in the state in Salem. (Little known Test Market from the fifties).
Avoid Eugene. It is ultra liberal.
If you don’t like guns, you will not like Oregon.
Albany is very conservative and also has a good collage. Rents are cheaper and many (most) of the homes are dumps.
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Old 08-17-2010, 08:51 PM
Location: Beaverton
640 posts, read 1,481,037 times
Reputation: 401
From what I've seen rent is actually WAY cheaper in any city in Oregon than in So Cal.

For example, my husband and our two kids share a two bedroom one bath apartment 40 miles from San Francisco; the floors are actually soft from the water damage and you can see the mold that's growing under the linoleum -- it's probably because the toilet actually rocks about 2 inches side to side whenever someone sits down -- or it could have something to do with the cold water tap not working, there's a one inch gap underneath our front door, the place is rich with ants and spiders, the carpet looks like it's all original from the 50's or 60's when this place was built, there's no dishwasher and the washing machine is usually broken in whichever laundry room we want to use, the cupboard doors don't close because they've been painted over so many times. But it's the least expensive apartment we could find at only $1300 per month.

In two months (hopefully) we'll be moving to Beaverton and renting a spacious 3 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment with a dishwasher and washer and dryer in the unit for about $900. (that's a bit inexpensive for the area, but the reviews are not so great... we figure it just has to be an improvement so we went to go look at them and they look nice to me.)

I know that when I moved away from Eugene Oregon 15 years ago I was sharing a two bed/ one bath apartment (with dishwasher, washer and dryer) with my BFF for $650. I looked it up, and the rents are still about the same there.

I would caution you about the political climate though: I am extremely liberal -- or maybe socialist, and you'll find much of the area in the valley from Portland to Eugene to be about the same. If you want a more conservative area with a Republican voting populous you'll want to avoid that stretch --- people really will try to make you talk about politics just for something to do. A sort of "sporting political debate" as you wait at the DMV type of thing.

The only other thing I noticed is that the community college I was attending here in Cal is about $25 per credit, but the community college in Portland area that I looked into was about $125 per credit. I'm pretty sure the state sets the tuition for all community colleges, so I'd look into that too.

Good luck!
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Old 08-17-2010, 09:54 PM
9 posts, read 23,897 times
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Yes CA rent is higher than OR (thats a big part of us wanting to move there), and also the no sales tax. San Fransico is a very pricey area, as is Orange County. Homes in my area average $800,000 to 1.5 Million. And these homes dont have much of a yard, some dont have any pool or spa, and only 3 to 4 bedrooms on a lot of them. I could get 7 bedrooms and a huge yard for that price elsewhere (not that I would ever need 7 bedrooms!). Also the rent in my city averages $1300 to $1500/month. And the nicer cities near me are much higher. I have seen much more affordable renting options in OR. Although I saw something saying the state income tax is 9%? I am wondering if no sales tax is made up for with higher state imcome taxes??

But its not just the price to live here. I know everyone is supposed to think CA has the best weather but honestly I could do with a little less sun and heat and wouldnt mind some cooler and overcast days. I have never lived in snow but it seems like OR doesnt snow that much compared to the other places we considered like UT or CO.

Is the job market there about the same as CA? I think it is. Still a high unemployment rate in both places?

I dont mind if democrat people want to debate with me. Everyone can have their own opinions and that doesnt bother me. Im going to be who I am and they are going to be who they are. I guess my husband and I could be considered a little modern since we do listen to punk and rock music and have some tattoos (although at work Im a professional and you wouldnt know anything about my social life). My husband and I considered UT but with such a high mormon population we thought we might not be "republican" enough there.

I like being near a big city for the obvious reasons, job availability, shopping, entertainment, being near freeways and airports for an shorter and easier commute, and being near good/main colleges. However I dont want to be right in the middle of the main city so I get the downsides like more homeless people, crime, and bumper to bumper traffic (at least thats what you get in L.A. here in CA).

We are thinking about a suburb near Portland but not actually in Portland. It seems like Portland has schools for me (interested in Concordia) and jobs for my husband and lots of shopping and things to do. But I would prefer to be outside the acutal city in a close by suburb area. I understand a suburb will likely cost more than being in the city but it still has to cost less than the suburbs where I currently live in South Orange County.

Are there any Suburbs you would suggest within 15 to 20 minutes drive to Portland??
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Old 08-17-2010, 11:38 PM
Location: Pluto's Home Town
9,986 posts, read 12,427,720 times
Reputation: 5650
Based on your profile, I would recommend Boise, Idaho over any city in Oregon. It is a nice city, with a lot to do, more affordable with a better economy than Oregon, and conservative. None of the Oregon cities really fit the bill. Boise is full of OC transplants.
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Old 08-18-2010, 12:24 AM
Location: Bakersfield, CA
14 posts, read 18,369 times
Reputation: 14
If you do move to Oregon let me give you a few pointers, please learn from my mistakes! Do NOT tell ANYONE you are from CA. Move somewhere you can find a short term rental even if it's a weekly rate on a hotel and change your drivers license and tags on your car to OR tags. Then move to whatever town you want to live in. I loved OR. It's beautiful, nice weather, great people, except for a few that have an extreme hate for people moving in from CA. I had a hard time finding work there in the early 90's but I don't know how it is now. As far as taxes every state has them and it doesn't matter you will pay your share. No sales tax means higher income tax and/or higher property tax. If you rent the landlord passes the property taxes onto the renters, real estate is after all a business.
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:30 PM
9 posts, read 23,897 times
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I actually was looking at Boise ID this morning randomly. Its funny that was mentioned. I know its going to be more rebulican which is a plus for me. But its also farther away from my family and friends in CA and and from what I read its more harsh weather. Hotter summers and colder winters and it didnt look as beautiful and green as OR. I love nature and I love everything being green and not super dry (like a lot of CA is). Im still considering SLC UT because it is very republican, but its also very mormon which I am not. So Im not sure how I would fit in. UT has a lower unemployment rate but minimum wage is also lower and I hear its a very low wage state. I also dont have any kids and wont be having any in the future which would really make me stick out in UT as I think they have a very very high rate of reproducing. Im not sure about this in OR or ID. Ive been considering moving and researching places for over a year now. Im still a bit confused. I like that OR doesnt have too much snow, as Im not used to it. Sigh! All suggestions and input are appreciated.
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:54 PM
n/a posts
Albany is probably the closest to what you want. It's kind of a dump, but there's no shortage of gun stores, churches, and giant pick up trucks. Rent is cheap there.

If you're looking for an even more conservative place, Lebanon is in the same county as Albany. It has the bonus (as it were) of being far enough away from Corvallis that you'll get more of the conservative mono-culture you seem to be looking for.

And when you tire of parking lots filled with trash, loud trucks, and blind hatred pointed in your direction, you can always take the short drive over to Corvallis and enjoy clean streets, parks, and diversity. Or head to the Cascades for some nice hiking.

The weather is pretty mild, although you better be ready for gray skies for a large part of the year. When it does snow though, it's best to stay home - drivers here have no idea what they're doing and will randomly slide all over the road.

You'll also have to go to places like Eugene and Salem if you want access to more stores. Of those two, Salem is more in line with what you're looking for, but it's also kind of lame and boring.
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:05 PM
896 posts, read 1,693,970 times
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Anywhere in oregon you move to will be difficult as far as securing employment is concerned.

As far as "conservative" character is concerned, places like Albany, Klamath Falls, The Dalles, Medford, Grants Pass and Salem would be better fits for you than places like Corvallis, Ashland, Eugene and Portland.

Unfortunately, in all of the places I have mentioned, jobs will be difficult to come by and with Oregon reporting another for or five hundred million dollar budget shortfall, the economic situation isn't likely to get any better.

One of your posts seemed to suggest you were looking at Utah. Try checking out St. George. Winters there are a good deal milder than nearly anywhere in Oregon not right on the coast and while not a huge place, it is big enough to have most of the amenities found in Orange county (without the smog and traffic). St. George is in a semidesert climate so if you don't like dry, Cedar City is just a few miles up I-15 and about 4000 feet higher in elevation. I've been there several times and it looks like a very attractive town. The employment situation is likely to be better in either place as well. Good luck in your search, FV
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