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Old 01-11-2014, 07:13 PM
 
22 posts, read 58,852 times
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Hello all,

We will be visiting Portland in the near future to see if we want to relocate there. We think it is a great fit for us for so many reasons. We are both in our 30s and work in healthcare & mental health. We are huge animal people (and we love how vegan friendly Portland is!) and have a few rescues.

First, what is the healthcare job market like out there? Are there many hospitals or outpatient clinics in the area (medical hospitals, psych hospitals, etc)? We have pretty high demand jobs elsewhere in the country, but I am not sure what it's like out near Portland.

Secondly, which suburbs should we check out? We are thinking the suburbs are the best way to go, just so long as we are not too far from the city (we want access to all that Portland has to offer, but want more space to spread out, a more family-oriented community, and good school districts as we hope to have kids soon).

I have read through these forums and I'm thinking Wilsonville, West Linn, and Beaverton could be good options. Can anyone who knows these neighborhoods well tell me more about what they are like? We want to be in a great location with easy access to Portland (public transportation into the city would be great!), with beautiful scenery (beautiful mountain views from the neighborhoods would be great), nice neighbors, and very good schools. We would love a neighborhood with lots of trees.

Like I said I have combed through the other threads and have narrowed it down to these areas, but if I am missing anything wonderful suburbs please let me know. We are hoping to visit these areas on our trip to get a feel for them first hand, but we would love the input of people who know the area best!

Thanks
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
543 posts, read 1,080,767 times
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The fact that you're coming for a visit will answer a lot of questions for you. If your work is in high demand everywhere, as you say, that's good, although I don't know what the healthcare job market is like here for your specialties..

West Linn (27,000) has great schools (Clackamas county) but has a high cost of living. House listing prices average $828,000 with average sale prices about $381,000
It has some rolling hills and trees.
Lake Oswego is similar in cost of living and schools.

Both of those cities have healthcare clinics.

Wilsonville (25,000) has most of it in Clackamas county also. It has home listing prices average of $429,000 and sales price $326,000. It's about 19 miles to Portland and depending on traffic can vary from about 25 minutes to quite a bit longer.

Beaverton is in Washington county and is the largest city in your list (about 90,000) average list $303,000 and median sales price $247,000

You've named 3 cities, each having many neighborhoods and various "flavors," so it is hard to tell you about each. Trees, you will find everywhere, as well as family areas. A lot will depend on where you work, as to how far and long you will need to commute.

Where do you live now so if we are familiar with that area, we can compare better to this.
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Old 01-12-2014, 09:36 AM
 
22 posts, read 58,852 times
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Thanks!

We live in Philadelphia now, right in the city. We are ready for a slower pace of life and less congestion. We live in a very diverse (both ethnically and socioeconomically) area. I like diversity, but I know Portland doesn't have a lot!
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:59 AM
 
988 posts, read 1,334,861 times
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Wilsonville is a great choice! It has everything you need, they just built a gorgeous new Fred Meyers, restaurant choices are good. Close to I-5 t get into Portland, Friday afternoon commutes out of Portland can make what is normally a 20 minute drive a 45-50 minute drive...so time your commute if possible. You are on the edge of rural areas which are very pretty. Great schools.

The medical field seems one of the only fields still booming here, and there should be plenty of opportunity.

Check out

Villebois Wilsonville Oregon l New Homes for Sale l Creating Community

The new elementary school is even in walking distance.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
543 posts, read 1,080,767 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lmr99 View Post
Thanks!

We live in Philadelphia now, right in the city. We are ready for a slower pace of life and less congestion. We live in a very diverse (both ethnically and socioeconomically) area. I like diversity, but I know Portland doesn't have a lot!
You may find Portland at least a bit more diverse than some of the posters here describe. My Portland Plan: Portland is Growing More Diverse - however, compared with Philadelphia, Portland is mostly white (71%) - with a growing Asian and Latino population (about 10% each). The black population is around 6% currently.

The pace of life would be slower and access to nature would be much higher. Hope you find what you're seeking.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:44 PM
 
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Portland serves Oregon residents and So. WA residents in terms of health care. I have known many transplants come from The East coast with specific skills in medical field and secure jobs quickly. It is a good thing that you are coming for a visit. The neighborhoods are distinct in Portland and the suburbs are nice in this area. Culturally, the PNW is quite different from the East coast metro areas. Portland would remind you of areas in Northern New England.
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:56 PM
 
22 posts, read 58,852 times
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This is all very helpful information! Thank you! It sounds wonderful out there and we can't wait to see it for ourselves.

@gray horse-- that link is incredible. I can't believe the beautiful affordable homes you have in the Portland area! Are many of the homes new construction?

Do many of the neighborhoods in Wilsonville or West Linn also have HOAs? Or are these independent communities? I would prefer to avoid HOAs at all costs if possible.

Do any of these neighborhoods have access to public transportation into Portland?

In addition to the city itself, we were going to visit Cannon Beach and Hood River, just to see the beautiful nature you have in your backyards. Do you recommend we visit or see anything else on our trip? We plan to have 6 or 7 days there.

Thanks again for all of your help!
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:53 AM
 
988 posts, read 1,334,861 times
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Lmr99,
Villebois is new construction. The newest houses don't have yards but some of the older ones have nice yards. Villebois probably does have HOA, but there are plenty of other neighborhoods without them. Wilsonville has the light rail, I think it goes to Beaverton and then you transfer for downtown, TriMet.

www.rmls.com is a good place to look at available houses.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:35 PM
 
22 posts, read 58,852 times
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Thanks!!! You have been very helpful!

So I've been reading a lot about the Cascadia earthquake threat. Can anyone tell me about how you are all safeguarding your homes just in case? Are newer homes in the suburbs/area built to account for the risk? Other threads have talked about getting your home bolted to the foundation-- are the newer homes built this way? What about earthquake insurance?

On the one hand, the thought of a 9.0 earthquake is a little frightening, but on the other hand, so many other things can happen on a daily basis and we never really know what is in store for us. Just wondering how you all deal with this!
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Old 01-15-2014, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Portland Metro
2,307 posts, read 4,271,001 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lmr99 View Post
Thanks!!! You have been very helpful!

So I've been reading a lot about the Cascadia earthquake threat. Can anyone tell me about how you are all safeguarding your homes just in case? Are newer homes in the suburbs/area built to account for the risk? Other threads have talked about getting your home bolted to the foundation-- are the newer homes built this way? What about earthquake insurance?

On the one hand, the thought of a 9.0 earthquake is a little frightening, but on the other hand, so many other things can happen on a daily basis and we never really know what is in store for us. Just wondering how you all deal with this!
I know something about the earthquake threat (not an expert, but I've read quite a bit). We have carried earthquake insurance for years and had our circa-1977 home bolted to the foundation a couple of years ago. The contractor we hired for the work told me a little about building codes--it wasn't until the late 70s/early 80s that the earthquake threat was really acknowledged in western Oregon. Once that happened, building codes have been strengthened, and construction since then has been built with better and better foundation bolting and bracing. I would imagine that homes built since the 1990s are adequate, but someone with more experience may want to verify that. But it still doesn't mean that there won't be some structural failure if the quake is severe enough.

The earthquake threat is real--look up the 2010 Chilean earthquake and the 2011 Japan earthquake to see what subduction zone earthquakes are like. Sadly our Oregon infrastructure is not great, and many, many bridges and overpasses are likely to fail in a large earthquake. That will paralyze the entire region. Many coastal lowlands will be submerged under a tsunami.

Here in the PNW we are past the mean recurrence interval for a rupture based on the geologic record. Take a look at this press release from Oregon State University to get some more details: 13-year Cascadia study complete. So this will happen, it's just a matter of when.

The OSU study points to the most likely epicenter being off the south coast of Oregon, so you can imagine that that region will suffer the greatest damage. But Tokyo is over 200 miles from the epicenter of the 2011 Japan earthquake, and there was damage there. Portland is about that distance, maybe slightly more from the area of the subduction zone that they pinpointed.

Then there are other smaller faults in western Oregon including in the immediate Portland vicinity. They would trigger much smaller earthquakes, but they would be closer so we could expect damage depending on the magnitude. I don't mean to be alarmist, you just need to be practical and knowledgeable about the natural disaster potential of anywhere you live.
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