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Old 05-29-2011, 01:26 PM
 
2 posts, read 6,530 times
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I've been offered a job in Albany and would like to know more about the area. I've read a lot of posts on this forum and it's been very helpful, but I still have a few questions, especially regarding housing.

First let me say that I love green areas with lots of trees. The pictures I've been looking at of Albany make it look rather bleak in this regard--is this accurate? Everyone I know who's been to or lived in Oregon tells me that I would love it because of how green it is, but the pictures of Albany that I've been looking at make it seem like this area is an exception.

Second, my income is not high and I'm paying off student loans, so I'll be looking for inexpensive housing. The most important factors to me are price, quiet, and a green neighborhood, respectively. My ideal living situation would be in a secluded house surrounded by trees (I'm definitely not put off by Albany being small!), but I understand that on my limited budget, I'll likely be in an apartment in town if I accept the position.

I hear that Corvallis is nicer than Albany (and it looks to be greener), but peace and quiet is very important to me and living in a college town seems like it might not be ideal. This puts me in perhaps a bit of a bind as I'm living on a college student budget but do not want to be trapped in college student housing. Is it possible to find inexpensive housing in or around Albany which will be quiet and in a nice, green area? If not, is it at least possible to find something inexpensive and quiet?

Last, I understand that the area tends to be very cloudy and grey. While I do find this off-putting, I think I can handle it, but it does leave me with one concern: A personal hobby is stargazing. Is the Albany area not good for this because it's so cloudy (or for some other reason of which I'm unaware)? This is a relatively minor concern, of course, but I would love to continue living somewhere with lots of stars in the sky.

Thank you all for any input.
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Old 05-29-2011, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Corvallis, OR
43 posts, read 216,682 times
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Albany isn't too bad. It looks bleak because there are huge roads and large box stores, but there are plenty of green pockets.

I'd stay away from south albany or anywhere near the mall. North Albany is nice, and greener. The downtown is quiet and quaint. To the west of the downtown is fairly nice, but east is run down.

My advice would be to move to Albany first, since its close to your work. Corvallis is 15 miles away. Maybe rent a place for a year. See how you like both Corvallis and Albany, then decide.

Not knowing how much you can afford, I can't say if a secluded house is within your means in either area, but Albany in general is cheaper. Though if you're ready to get an apartment ASAP you may be able to find one in Corvallis. Wait another 2 months and you'll be out of luck.

In terms of star gazing, its nice to be away from any large town, so that'll work to your advantage. But cloudless skies? um. During the summer, maybe. We're very overcast over here.
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Old 05-29-2011, 09:12 PM
i7pXFLbhE3gq
 
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Albany tends to be less green in general, though there are still plenty of nice areas there. There are lots of fairly new apartments there (and they're cheaper than the old apartments in Corvallis), but they do tend to have lots of pavement and manicured lawns. Corvallis has a few places that have more of a woodsy setting in the northwest corner of town.

If you do decide to live in Corvallis, an area like Witham Hill would probably be a good fit. It's far enough away from OSU that it's not completely dominated by students. OSU is not your typical party school though, so even if you are around lots of students, it's unlikely to be a 24/7 party (though you might want to steer clear of the frat houses - probably the loudest part of town and parking is a nightmare).

Quote:
Last, I understand that the area tends to be very cloudy and grey. While I do find this off-putting, I think I can handle it, but it does leave me with one concern: A personal hobby is stargazing.
It's perfect for stargazing in the summer. The other 9 months out of the year, you will not see anything but a giant gray cloud drizzling rain down upon you very often.
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Old 05-29-2011, 11:06 PM
 
Location: Pluto's Home Town
9,986 posts, read 12,747,615 times
Reputation: 5667
Quote:
Originally Posted by alopias View Post
I've been offered a job in Albany and would like to know more about the area. I've read a lot of posts on this forum and it's been very helpful, but I still have a few questions, especially regarding housing.

First let me say that I love green areas with lots of trees. The pictures I've been looking at of Albany make it look rather bleak in this regard--is this accurate? Everyone I know who's been to or lived in Oregon tells me that I would love it because of how green it is, but the pictures of Albany that I've been looking at make it seem like this area is an exception.

Second, my income is not high and I'm paying off student loans, so I'll be looking for inexpensive housing. The most important factors to me are price, quiet, and a green neighborhood, respectively. My ideal living situation would be in a secluded house surrounded by trees (I'm definitely not put off by Albany being small!), but I understand that on my limited budget, I'll likely be in an apartment in town if I accept the position.

I hear that Corvallis is nicer than Albany (and it looks to be greener), but peace and quiet is very important to me and living in a college town seems like it might not be ideal. This puts me in perhaps a bit of a bind as I'm living on a college student budget but do not want to be trapped in college student housing. Is it possible to find inexpensive housing in or around Albany which will be quiet and in a nice, green area? If not, is it at least possible to find something inexpensive and quiet?

Last, I understand that the area tends to be very cloudy and grey. While I do find this off-putting, I think I can handle it, but it does leave me with one concern: A personal hobby is stargazing. Is the Albany area not good for this because it's so cloudy (or for some other reason of which I'm unaware)? This is a relatively minor concern, of course, but I would love to continue living somewhere with lots of stars in the sky.

Thank you all for any input.
Corvallis is lovely. However, I would say it is probably one of the worst places in the USA for stargazing. As JasonF posted, clouds nine months of the year. Also in summer they get marine stratus rolling in at night, which would cover the skies. And even on the few days it is clear at night, the heavy, moist air will not be ideal. One of the things I enjoyed about moving to S. Oregon is the night skies are often clearer, and I can see many stars.
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:54 PM
 
Location: State of Jefferson coast
963 posts, read 2,815,846 times
Reputation: 1298
Quote:
Originally Posted by alopias View Post
I hear that Corvallis is nicer than Albany (and it looks to be greener), but peace and quiet is very important to me and living in a college town seems like it might not be ideal.
Corvallis will fit the peace and quiet criterion better than Albany. It's off the I-5 corridor and there's no heavy industry there. The college area doesn't affect a very large percentage of town. Even the college area is fairly tame compared to many other college towns. Corvallis will have more options in rental housing than Albany has.

You didn't say if you're looking to buy or looking to rent, but an intermediate possibility might be North Albany. It's on the other side of the river, so like Corvallis, it's in Benton County (Albany is in Linn County). It's very green there, but really, in the Willamette Valley no one suffers from greenery privation...not in summer anyway. Gray and brown are perhaps the dominant colors of winter. Realize, too, that there is a critical nexus between the cloudiness and the greenery. In climates where the sun shines all the time, the landscape looks like it does in New Mexico.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:34 AM
 
Location: the Beaver State
6,466 posts, read 12,504,644 times
Reputation: 3555
For star gazing you'll be pretty close to Mary's Peak.

There used to be Star Gazing parties up there with a local Astronomy group, but I don't know if they still meet or not.
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Old 05-31-2011, 01:18 PM
 
2 posts, read 6,530 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you all for the responses. They're very helpful. I'm sorry I forgot to mention that I am looking to rent, not buy. Based on these responses, I guess I'll just have to look around both towns and see which has a place I like. Sounds like stargazing won't be ideal, as expected, but if it's at least nice in the summer, that doesn't sound so bad.

If anyone's still reading, I had one more question. My job starts in August and I'd been thinking of looking for an apartment/house to move into around August 1st. From what I've read in other posts on this forum, though, it sounds like a lot of the good, inexpensive rentals get snatched up by college students right around that time. Should I be looking for something in July? Or do they only fill up the housing that's near the university?

Thanks again!
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:27 PM
i7pXFLbhE3gq
 
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Housing can be tough here. The student population continues to increase every year, but housing remains pretty much static. Now is the time to be looking, although at this point your selection is already going to be pretty limited.

I would look for a month to month place so that you can move after students start dropping out.

As for what fills up, Corvallis fills up first, of course. Then Albany. Then those who waited until the last minute find themselves stuck in Lebanon. Inside Corvallis, you have a better chance of getting an apartment as you go further away from campus.
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