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Old 05-08-2009, 02:58 AM
 
177 posts, read 548,657 times
Reputation: 50

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VERY LONG, SORRY
Hello! I want to say thank you to the creators of this wonderful site, first of all (not that they're reading, but it's the thought). I appreciate all the great data on all these cities/towns. Ok...
I've been obsessing over moving to Oregon for almost a year now. I'm finally actually doing research more now, though, cause it's time to move soon.
We are visiting there to Portland & surrounding areas & then down to Ashland & Southern area .. We will be there May 20-May 30 . Anyway.......
I live in MO and have never felt at home here for some reason? I feel drawn to Oregon - like I am meant to be there. It's like a calling..
Anyway...
I am from a small town where rent in CHEAP here in MO (I'm talking really cheap $400) and I orginally wanted to start out in Oregon in Southern Oregon around Ashland since it looks like an artistic cozy place w/ college for my boyfriend and would be in between Portland & San Fran & close to CA, as well (so we could do lots of exploring both ways), but then I started looking at housing prices - HOLY CRAP! I'm an RN making $30 an hour here and can't imagine paying even a little more than I do here for housing. - actually it's more like the prices for what you get seem awful - I didn't see many nice rentals searching online for even $700-$800 a month (which is the most I hope to pay). They were all DUMPS with like old green carpet and stuff.
So.. then I thought Grants Pass might not be bad, and then I've had a bunch of people tell me it's boring, redneckish/uneducated type of place .... I thought it looked cozy & friendly, but we need things to do...And also mostly all the rentals I see there are really outdated looking and not worth the price either.
So ... we decided we need things to do & more nice housing choices for the money so thought we should look around Portland. We are so bored here, and we don't want to get to Oregon and be bored there,too... so we decided maybe Portland area would be best.
The thing is I think I have seasonal affective disorder ... I know it is pretty much a constant drizzle from all I've read but I'm wondering how often the sun peaks through? I need some sunshine!
Anyway...
I like all that's going on in Portland as far as entertainment...
SORRY THIS IS SO LONG
Here's what we are looking for if we move around Portland:
A cozy town/small city ...within 30 min or Portland (Portland's main entertainment places) ... I would like the place to NOT be connected/run together with all the suburbs if possible .. I want it to be off by itself with nature around where you actually can get to know some people around town.
We would like the area to not be too redneckish - more of an educated, artsy, natury, cozy place...
Also, it can't be on windy roads ... it has to have a safe road going to Portland ... Also, a place that has a community college real close for my boyfriend & a hospital that isn't too far to where I'll wind up traffic for hours.
Some towns we've read about from the Twilight movie filming sites are St Helens and Corbett. I read that Corbett has dangerous roads and read that both of them are redneckish. I'm used to rednecks where I live, lol, but I would like to be around people I can have some intelligent converstationw with.
I don't know
A part of me just wants to go into the wild and go over to Astoria and hide away from the world, lol. But another part needs more entertainment stuff Portland has.
ANyway - a sense of community and coziness is very important to me. And I need a place where people are FRIENDLY. Any suggestions of places??????
Also, southern oregon is still a possibility even though we might get a little bored .. if we can find housing we can afford. Mike needs school - so that's a very high priority.
HELP ME!!!!!!!!!!!
Melissa
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Oceanside and Chehalem Mtns.
716 posts, read 2,579,172 times
Reputation: 530
In general Oregon wages tend to be low and cost of living is generally high. However unemployment is extremely high.

Assuming you need to work then you're going about it all wrong. You find the job first because they are so scarce.

Even RN jobs are being cut back. (ex OHSU).
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Eastern Oregon
505 posts, read 2,023,649 times
Reputation: 257
Hmmm... I grew up in the deep South, and moved to Southern Oregon in the very early 90's. I lived in S Oregon for many years, and went to OHSU in Portland, so I know a bit about each place.

I'm afraid the high cost of living is what eventually drove us out of OR (I wanted to be able to stay at home with my kids). But we're looking at moving back.

That said, windy roads and SAD are a HUGE part of Oregon. You do get used to the windy roads. I used to have nightmares about driving for a few years after moving to OR, and very much appreciate the flat straight roads here in Michigan, especially in the winter. But anywhere where there's that many mountains, there's going to be windy roads.

As to SAD, I had it bad my first winter there, then I took action and I mean action, the next winter, and got involved in yoga classes, went outside as much as I could, walked, joined the YMCA, and it really helped. S. Oregon DOES get more sun than Portland, but winters there are almost as bad as in Portland. It also gets MUCH hotter in S Oregon in the summer, but you should be used to that, being from MO.

Here's a link to where I used to work in Medford: Rogue Valley Medical Center - Rogue Valley Medical Center - Asante I really liked working there, but hear from former co-workers that they've laid off a lot of people. The economy is bad everywhere. The college in Ashland is good too.

I'm afraid I moved there single when I could rent a room only, then did the roommate thing. You may be able to find a caretaker job somewhere??? If you move to Ashland in the summer you may be able to sublet? You may also try the employee bulletin board at RVMC. There always seemed to be ads for apartments there. Renting from another RVMC employees may give you a break. Same thing at the college... look at the student center bulletin board. When I was workign at RVMC, they were giving nurses "hiring bonuses" of a few thousand dollars, but that may not be the case now.

Good luck.
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Old 05-08-2009, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
2,478 posts, read 4,469,135 times
Reputation: 2753
The places that came to mind from reading the original post:

Forest Grove
McMinnville
Newberg
Canby
Beavercreek
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Old 05-08-2009, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
14,679 posts, read 35,490,806 times
Reputation: 14449
This town is farther than 30 minutes to Portland, but Silverton would hit most of what you want. Great hospital and Salem hospital is 30 minutes away also, artsy, cozy, comfortable...

Chemeketa community college is about 20 minutes away...

not cheap, but honestly Oregon is just not cheap. If you want nature and the beauty of Oregon it comes with a price tag...

Otherwise McMinnville, like Rob Allen said, was another smaller town that came to mind.
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Old 05-08-2009, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Florida
6,262 posts, read 17,965,524 times
Reputation: 4724
I agree with Rob. I love Newberg and can be in Portland in short order.
Sherwood is nice too. But Newberg has that small town feel. People are very friendly. It may not be-but it feels safe! I actually think it is a pretty safe place to live. I don't have kids in school but I hear the schools are really good here.
I've not seen any homeless people anywhere here.
The weather is awesome to me; but I'm not all that "into" sunshine".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Allen View Post
The places that came to mind from reading the original post:

Forest Grove
McMinnville
Newberg
Canby
Beavercreek
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Old 05-08-2009, 01:07 PM
 
52 posts, read 240,386 times
Reputation: 88
It's a good thing that you're coming out for a visit. I would encourage you to spend a few days around Grants Pass and Medford for yourself. I have been living in Grants Pass for just 6 months now, and am still trying to find the hordes of rednecks that some people warned about. I've found the people to be quite friendly and the living expenses quite reasonable. But then again I'm originally from Sacramento, and just about anywhere is an improvement over that place.

Medford is about twice the population of Grants Pass so has more opportunities for employment, and it's a very short drive to Ashland from there so you could enjoy Ashland without paying the high price of living there.

Also - there is a big difference between the winters of Portland and this area. Just read the differences on the pages here at this site for Portland and Grants Pass. Southern Oregon is warmer and gets less precipitation than Western or Northern Oregon. East of the Cascade mountain range is dryer yet, but quite a bit colder as well - Bend, Klamath Falls, for example. In fact if you don't mind cold winters with some snow and mild summers, you might consider Bend.

But unemployment is high all over Oregon. Last I heard it was 17% in Bend, 15% in Josephine County (Grants Pass), and not far from that around Medford (Jackson County). You would be wise to line up work before moving out here.

ETA: I think I have SAD too and would never even consider moving to any area with more precipitation than this for that reason. If you want quite a bit of sunshine and don't mind the cold in winter, you might seriously consider Bend. Too cold for me though.
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Old 05-08-2009, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Keizer, OR
14 posts, read 69,924 times
Reputation: 17
Salem / Keizer is the best!! You are only 45min away from OSU (Go Beavers!!)
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Old 05-08-2009, 01:57 PM
 
177 posts, read 548,657 times
Reputation: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by davefr View Post
In general Oregon wages tend to be low and cost of living is generally high. However unemployment is extremely high.

Assuming you need to work then you're going about it all wrong. You find the job first because they are so scarce.

Even RN jobs are being cut back. (ex OHSU).
Thanks for the response. I am planning on putting apps in the areas I am interested in & waiting to move until there is an opening. I am willing to wait for the area I want. I do realize even RN jobs are hard to come by these days,which sucks. I waited to get my year experience of nursing to be a traveling nurse and now all the companies have turned me down because since jobs are so scarce they require atleast 2-5 years and ICU experience for most jobs.
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:06 PM
 
177 posts, read 548,657 times
Reputation: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebird39 View Post
Hmmm... I grew up in the deep South, and moved to Southern Oregon in the very early 90's. I lived in S Oregon for many years, and went to OHSU in Portland, so I know a bit about each place.

I'm afraid the high cost of living is what eventually drove us out of OR (I wanted to be able to stay at home with my kids). But we're looking at moving back.

That said, windy roads and SAD are a HUGE part of Oregon. You do get used to the windy roads. I used to have nightmares about driving for a few years after moving to OR, and very much appreciate the flat straight roads here in Michigan, especially in the winter. But anywhere where there's that many mountains, there's going to be windy roads.

As to SAD, I had it bad my first winter there, then I took action and I mean action, the next winter, and got involved in yoga classes, went outside as much as I could, walked, joined the YMCA, and it really helped. S. Oregon DOES get more sun than Portland, but winters there are almost as bad as in Portland. It also gets MUCH hotter in S Oregon in the summer, but you should be used to that, being from MO.

Here's a link to where I used to work in Medford: Rogue Valley Medical Center - Rogue Valley Medical Center - Asante I really liked working there, but hear from former co-workers that they've laid off a lot of people. The economy is bad everywhere. The college in Ashland is good too.

I'm afraid I moved there single when I could rent a room only, then did the roommate thing. You may be able to find a caretaker job somewhere??? If you move to Ashland in the summer you may be able to sublet? You may also try the employee bulletin board at RVMC. There always seemed to be ads for apartments there. Renting from another RVMC employees may give you a break. Same thing at the college... look at the student center bulletin board. When I was workign at RVMC, they were giving nurses "hiring bonuses" of a few thousand dollars, but that may not be the case now.

Good luck.
Thank you for responding. Yea, I guess I'll get a feel for things on my visit soon and see about the windy roads ... scary. i need yoga, too and other things like you mentioned to stay happy.
I've looked into both places of work you mentioned and both seem nice. When I'm in town I want to atleast speak with the human resources manager even if they are not hiring so we can meet face to face for when they may hire sometime soon and I'm not available in MO. I'll look around for that bulletin board you mentioned. I bet Michigan is pretty. Heck, maybe I should look into it there? lol I'm lost . I want sunshine, peace, serenity .. I feel drawn to Oregon, but I don't know. I don't want to always be broke living there or without sunshine.
One positive note is that we may be staying in the Heceta Head B&B on our trip! It's beautiful...
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