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Thread summary:

Moving to Oregon: property rent management, cost of living, traffic, home remodeling.

Old 09-06-2007, 04:48 PM
gvc gvc started this thread
Location: DC Metro
9 posts, read 33,178 times
Reputation: 11


Hello. I have spent days reading these forums about Oregon and Washington and think I may have, at least, found a greater connection with OR and its people. I have long had a romantic attraction to the beauty of the PNW, but I have never visited. For many of the same reasons others have stated, I am looking to relocate there. The area I was born in has changed both economically and in the basic personality of the locale. In just the last 6 years, it has grown 24.7%, according to city-data. I feel it.

The neighborhood I moved into 29 years ago (this month) was a fairly quiet part of a geographically large city on the outskirts of DC. A couple of Mayors ago, the City decided to modernize itself. All the original shop owners were pushed out by higher property management rental fees and taxes and replaced by big-box and chain stores and goodness knows how many different kinds of ethnic restaurants. Now, instead of the sidewalks rolling up at 7pm (which was a charming nuisance at the time), we have attractive new sidewalks and streetlights, but no more on-street parking for visitors either in front of my house or even at the library, and a 24/7 downtown, ensuring 24/7 traffic. I have to depend upon the kindness of strangers (usually commercial drivers, surprisingly) to make a left turn out of my driveway in the mornings, and I often have to wait until a quieter time to turn my car around at the end of the day, since there is no such thing as backing out. My property taxes and refuse and sewer services have become astronomical. "They" are knocking down older homes and replacing them with McMansions that have no yards.

One positive thing to come out of this is that the developers who come through the area for one piece of property or another periodically make offers to buy from nearby residents. My next door neighbor told me what they offered him the last time they came through - a very attractive figure. At that time, I had a child in school, so a move was not particularly attractive. But, another sizeable piece of property nearby was released to the developers and they have broken ground. I got my first offer this week. This time around, I'm going to make a deal. It seems like just the right time to leave the area, even if I am about 35 or more years late.

Without making excuses, I have nearly nothing saved for retirement, so much of the proceeds will have to go toward that. I am 8 years away (or more, depending).

There has been a lot of negativity toward Californians on these boards ... probably a little like I feel toward all the NYers, Pennsylvanians and others around here. But, I *did* learn how to drive politely when I briefly lived in Virginia many years ago; I never mow before late afternoon; and I recycle.

I would like to return to a smallish city where rampant growth doesn't look so likely to become the trend as it is here. I've had to shovel so much plowed road snow from my sidewalk and driveway that I reeeeally don't care if I never see another flake. I only shop when I need something, so malls are not entertainment for me. A big piece of property is quite unfortunately not in the picture due to my advancing age and a damaged knee. I am in favor of and used to sidewalks and great architecture (Why do so many NW houses make the garage so focal?) and book stores/libraries and a nearby community college and an occasional movie out. I love nature and want to learn more about photography so that, besides walking around and using the internet, I have something to amuse myself with in this spectacular new place.

I originally had Eugene in mind, but the comments hereabouts have not been too positive. There have been favorable comments I've connected with about Ashland, Grants Pass, Brookings, Cottage Grove, Portland and Corvallis -- in no particular order. Okay, now you know me. What do you think?
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Old 09-06-2007, 05:45 PM
1 posts, read 1,922 times
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Default 1st time user

My husband and I are also looking to move to Oregon. We are going to Douglas County on Sept.10th, this Monday. We are interested in looking at Roseburg and Winston. I have friends and relatives that live up there and they say it doesn't really snow very often, and if it does, it usually melts by the end of the day.

Anyway, we are from California,(Santa Clarita Valley) and your right, Oregon people don't like us very much. But there are a lot of people from California up there.

My husband has been on disablity for the past 7 years and we've used up any savings we had because we went from $80,000-89,000 a year to $25,200 a year. What an ajustment. So we will have to work with what ever money we receive from the sale of our home.

Anyway, I wish you luck with your move. The areas you mentioned are all beautiful. I have been vacationing for about 2 weeks every summer in Oregon for the past 30 years and I might as well live there and save some gas.
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Old 09-06-2007, 08:48 PM
Location: Oregon Coast
1,830 posts, read 3,853,302 times
Reputation: 2531
I'm thinking..........Have you ever visited the small Northern California coastal community of Eureka?
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Old 09-06-2007, 08:49 PM
gvc gvc started this thread
Location: DC Metro
9 posts, read 33,178 times
Reputation: 11
Roseburg has been mentioned favorably in some of these posts. It's great that you have family in the area to give you guidance as you settle in to your new home, even though it doesn't sound like you are very happy to be leaving CA.

I'm sorry to hear about your husband's disability and the impact it has had on your income. "Adjustment" is an understatement! However you did it, it's fortunate that you were able to hold onto your home for as long as you did and that you still have each other.

Thanks for your wishes to me and right back atcha for your move next Monday! Come back and let us know how it has worked out.
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Old 09-06-2007, 09:14 PM
gvc gvc started this thread
Location: DC Metro
9 posts, read 33,178 times
Reputation: 11
I hope you were replying to me .... I haven't quite got the hang of this forum yet and can't always tell who is speaking to whom. (I've just edited my mail settings so I can give myself some help.)

YES, I have looked at Eureka online (and was in not so nearby Big Sur many, many years ago) and found it very attractive for many reasons, including the number of sunny days it has. But the weather's just a little brisk, and the crime stats are really high. I also have some doubts about Brookings because, while I live in a coastal state and consider myself a coastal person, I've never actually lived on the shore and really prefer mountains and woodlands.

Now don't complicate things for me by throwing in another state after I've worked so hard to get to this point, lol!
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Old 09-06-2007, 10:34 PM
Location: coos bay oregon
2,096 posts, read 8,495,812 times
Reputation: 1301
you know, I actually thought of Coos Bay when reading your post. We just bought a nice little house for a terrific price. decent yard in front, fairly big in back (big enough for couple swingsets, couple dogs, some trees, and the kids running around) We dont even have a garage! lol
Its a HUGE thing when it snows here. Unfortunatly for me, I adore the snow, and one of my joys in life is watching it fall while enjoying a Peppermint Patty drink. And sadly for me, it just doesnt snow here. sigh. Well, lets see, maybe if we're lucky, one day a year...if youre further inland...and get up before 9.00am. lol So you wouldnt have to deal w/snow here!
Theres not much shopping here, but we do have all the basics, and some really neat little stores w/unique items.
SEVERAL bookstores (Im an avid reader, so that makes me quite happy) and two nice libraries.
A great Community College thats nestled in the trees w/the Empire Lakes on 2 sides. SWOCC (SouthWestern Oregon Community College)
We do have a couple theaters, and several local theater groups.
Theres also many incredible homes, stately and grand, to the little seaside cabins. Of course, theres also the tract homes, and mobile home parks, the boring new development ones, but if you look, you can find some old homes that take your breath away. I have my eye on a few in hopes they might come for sale one day when I have enough $$$ to move on from our little first home.
Anyhow, it sure sounds like Coos Bay fits your want list. Might be worth a thought?
Best of luck to you!!
i dunno, but it sure sounds like
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:49 AM
Location: Oregon Coast
1,830 posts, read 3,853,302 times
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GVD - LOL, oh no, GVC, I wasn't trying to confuse you but from some of the things you mentioned in your original post, Eureka California came first to my mind (they don't want big-box stores down there, they have a quaint older Victorian section of town, old town has parking on the streets, and just that Northern California Coast and Southern Oregon Coast and vice versa, well, without the drawn border are similar in some ways.

Now, as for Brookings Oregon, if you live on the East side of the 101 I'd consider that woodsy coastal mountain area and yet an easy drive to the ocean and also has the "banana-belt temperatures". Worth checking in to on a visit.
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:12 PM
Location: Sacramento / KFalls, OR
20 posts, read 82,515 times
Reputation: 12
Although separated geographically, my heart resides in the Columbia River Gorge; hence, my vote comes naturally. The city of The Dalles (The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce, Wasco County, Oregon) could quite possibly be a good fit for you. Check it out. However, you will have to shovel the snow a few times per year.
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:32 PM
gvc gvc started this thread
Location: DC Metro
9 posts, read 33,178 times
Reputation: 11
Default Maryland to Or-uh-gn (right?)

Thank you Tiffela, Seashelly and seekNsun! I really appreciate all your responses, and I am researching (and reconsidering) all suggestions.

I see Coos Bay has some very fine trees and mountains (and I'll have to learn the terminology for the island cliffs out in the ocean, if you've got a name for them) almost right up to the shore and that *does* have an appeal to me. Everything else about it sounds almost special ordered ... the book stores, the libraries and college, the variety of the houses, the minimal snows. It's still a little cooler year-round than I was looking for. There are a lot of pluses.

Brookings rivals Coos Bay in many ways and definitely stays on my list of places to check out.

The Dalles has some nice warm weather and some of the coldest temps (brutal cold!) I've seen anywhere outside the upper midwest and northeast. Shovel did you say? -- naaa. Not likely to make it to my exploratory trip map -- but I'll sure consider it for a long weekend in the fall or spring once I settle in.

Thanks again everyone! Calling it a day here. But wait -- Does OR have any special restrictions on building/remodeling or is it county to county? Some places make you retain at least one exterior wall or restrict you to the same footprint of whatever you may want to remodel and so forth. Anything like that in OR? (A little prairie-style house a couple blocks away from me was replaced by something out of character with anything and everything else in the neighborhood and fills the entire yard to within 3 feet of its small border with the exception of the mandated set-back.) My neighborhood has everything from Victorians to Tudors to grand Colonials and tiny post-war homes as well as styles that may not even have a name, like mine. I think I've learned my lesson about living inside a Municipality. Public meetings to hear any objections for almost any change, even minor improvements, are required (but fortunately only) in our historical district. Please say it ain't so.
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Old 12-05-2007, 02:24 AM
Location: Cottage Grove
17 posts, read 50,049 times
Reputation: 17
Cottage Grove is a great city, pure Oregon. plus 2004 All-American City.
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