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Old 09-20-2011, 01:50 PM
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa.
7 posts, read 10,244 times
Reputation: 10


Hello my name is Tracey, my husband & I are thinking about moving there to Portland. I am 48 and from Pittsburgh, Pa. my husband is 38 he is from Austin, Tx. I am a Area manager of a large commercial office cleaning company for the past 12 years and my background has always been management, my husband is a Painter and he has an advertising degree. He has been painting for about 10 years and does advertising media on the side. We are focused, professional individuals and hard workers. We have been doing some research and looking at a lot of pictures of Portland it looks like a very nice city. Most of the pictures are from 2004 so I don't know if there is a huge difference or not. Here is the link of pictures we were looking at Very beautiful. On the right side we even clicked all the suburbs and looked at all the pictures
portland ground: Downtown Archives: Pictures of Portland Oregon

We also have been reading up on demographics. What we found out unless we are wrong, The economy is pretty good in Portland, the jobs that we have seen in the Portland newspapers and on Craigslist does not look bad at all. Rental prices are not that high it seems to us.
We don't understand what this means we went online and read this "As of the 2010 Census, Portland had an estimated population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the U.S Portland is Oregon's most populous city, and the third most populous city in the Pacific Northwest. Approximately 2,260,000 people live in the Portland area" What does that mean? So the city went from half a million people in 2010 to over 2 million in 2011? Just checking.
I have been reading some posts that people are saying the opposite, the economy there is bad, the jobs are scarce, and the rent is high but to us 600 to 750.00 is not that high is this true? I know where we live jobs are not scarce it is just there is a lot of people that don't want to work in Pittsburgh, Pa. The economy is really bad and has always been in Pittsburgh. I have been in Pittsburgh my whole life but Pittsburgh People are not the friendliest, a majority of the people are not educated and MY husband is actually from Austin, Texas and told me there is way better places than Pittsburgh so with that in mind his friends from Austin have told us Portland and Austin is alot like except Portland is a little smaller and more laid back. I have never been to Austin or Portland but he tells me the people are way friendlier, economy is way better in the central-west areas. Any help would be appreciated and sorry for the long post :P
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Old 09-20-2011, 02:09 PM
Location: the Beaver State
6,464 posts, read 13,437,760 times
Reputation: 3581
There are jobs, but what you're not seeing is that hundreds of people are applying for each one. It's not impossible to get hired, just not easy either.

The discrepancy in population numbers is easy to explain. The City of Portland has ~583,776 people. The Greater Portland Area, which includes all cities from Vancouver (Washington) to the North, Salem to the South, Forest Grove to the West and Sandy in the East has about 2.3 million people.

I've never been to Austin, but it seems to get compared to Portland quite often, so there must be some grain of truth that the cities are similar.
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Old 09-20-2011, 02:12 PM
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa.
7 posts, read 10,244 times
Reputation: 10
Default Thank you for the info!

Thanks for the info!
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Old 09-20-2011, 04:43 PM
Location: Lakewood OH
21,695 posts, read 28,442,276 times
Reputation: 35863
I have a feeling the rental prices you are quoting are either in the burbs or the less desirable neighborhoods. In good neighborhoods it will be difficult to find a one bedroom apartment for less then $900 without heat included.

Competition for jobs is fierce. With the exception of very specific occupations, most jobs have many people chasing them. For every one job opening there can be over 100 applicants in most fields.

So, if you have some money saved and can live here on the savings while job hunting for six months to a year, that would be one way to go. The best way of course would be to secure a job before you move.

If you are successful in getting a job, Portland is a good place to live depending upon your needs. Portland is a beautiful city. You have the mountains and the ocean both within a couple of hours or less from Portland. There are great restaurants including the famous food carts as well as pubs and locally owned places.

We have wonderful farmers markets inside and outside the city. There are independently owned health food supermarkets as well as upscale and chain ones. If you ride bikes, there are many bike paths and street lanes. Some neighborhoods have shops and entertainment just a block or two from nice apartments and houses.

Other Portland neighborhoods are more suburban looking. It all depends upond what you are looking for.

As far as the people go, that's very subjective. I don't think newcomers are welcome with widely open arms but they are not rejected on the whole either. You have to make your own little gang of friends and it may take awhile. If you are joiners; church, recreation, neighborhood groups etc you will find friends.

It's good to ask opinions here but you will always be viewing it through someone else's eyes and the view can be very different depending upon who responds. The best thing to do is to visit and stay as long as you can to get the feel of the city for yourself.
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Old 09-20-2011, 06:28 PM
Location: Sometimes Portland, other times LA
600 posts, read 1,468,591 times
Reputation: 247
Just like Hamellr said those jobs can have literally hundreds of applicants. Oregon's unemployment is one of the highest in the nation, our economy is not that great. As far as the rent prices you see Minervah is right - take those prices with a grain of salt. The cheaper the place the less desirable neighborhood, less safe, etc. The rental market is hot right now with all the foreclosures and people losing their homes. Definitely make a trip out and see for yourself to get an idea of where you want to be and if it's the right fit for you. Good luck!
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:23 PM
Location: Pacific NW
6,413 posts, read 12,142,138 times
Reputation: 5860
Originally Posted by giacomo107 View Post
We don't understand what this means we went online and read this "As of the 2010 Census, Portland had an estimated population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the U.S Portland is Oregon's most populous city, and the third most populous city in the Pacific Northwest. Approximately 2,260,000 people live in the Portland area" What does that mean? So the city went from half a million people in 2010 to over 2 million in 2011? Just checking.
The first population figure is for the city proper ... within the city limits. The second is for the Portland Metropolitan area, which encompasses many surrounding suburban areas, in Oregon and Washington.

And the photos at Portland Ground are really great, aren't they. They are very representative of the city, warts and all.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:35 PM
4 posts, read 8,591 times
Reputation: 15
For what it's worth, my wife and I moved to Portland from Austin a couple months ago. We enjoyed living in Austin quite a bit, but so far think Portland has much more to offer. We went to university in Austin and then lived there for our entire 20's. However, after living there about 10 years, we were ready to move on. Since the Austin/Portland thing comes up a lot, I will probably expand more upon this and write up a longer post after I have lived in Portland through the Winter/Spring. Here is what I can tell you so far:

- In general, people in both cities are pretty laid back and friendly, people don't care how you dress, etc.
- Both cities are attracting a lot of new people since they are mid-sized, there are things to do, they have a reputation for being hip and cool, they aren't prohibitively expensive, and they aren't "soulless" like some of the other affordable cities. They both have the "Keep Austin/Portland Weird" slogan, although Austin isn't particularly weird anymore in my opinion.
- Rents and home prices are relatively similar. I would say you get more square footage for your buck in Austin, but in Portland you will have more cool cafes/food carts/pubs/movie theaters within walking distance embedded in your neighborhood. It is much easier to find a place to rent in Austin. In Texas there are apartment locators who will give you many choices, in Portland it seemed like we were competing to find a place. Home prices are more stable in Austin the past few years, whereas they have been tanking in Portland.

Portland Pros
- Much better stuff to do outdoors. The coast is beautiful. Many beaches, waterfalls, forests, mountains, and parks are nearby. Love the Gorge, Multnomah Falls, Cannon Beach, Cape Meares, the many state parks, beautiful hikes, etc. People like the outdoors in Austin too, but the scenery really pales in comparison.
- Easy to drive to Seattle or ride the Amtrak up there if you desire a fancier, big city experience on the weekend. Continue on and you are in Vancouver, BC.
- Pretty good music scene. MusicFestNW was like a smaller SXSW. Much cheaper to attend, good music without as big of a scene. Some good music venues such as Doug Fir Lounge, Crystal Ballroom, and the Aladdin Theater.
- Better public transportation. I've never had a car in Austin or Portland, but in Portland it is so much easier. There is more of a car culture in Texas whereas more people ride the bus and MAX in Portland.
- No sales tax. This makes the transition easier since you aren't taxed on things you buy, making your savings last longer. The high income tax does not impact you while you are not earning any money
- More of the neighborhoods have grocery stores, movie theaters, music venues, coffee shops, and other niceties. More sidewalks and easier to walk/bike around.

Portland Cons
- The #1 thing always mentioned is the weather. I have only visited during the rainy season (which was a nice break from the Texas heat), and so far we have only lived here in the summer. I will experience my first dark, extended gloomy/cloudy/rainy period soon. So I will probably have more to say about this next year. Thus far the clouds/rain makes me feel thoughtful and calm. And I also appreciate that my electric bill has been only $19 in the summer (as opposed to $200).
- The #2 thing always mentioned is unemployment. The city attracts a lot of young, college educated people who are just looking for any old job. The unemployment rate is high and there are also a lot of underemployed folks as well. On the bright side, we moved here with nothing lined up, and my wife got 3 job offers in less than 30 days. I have also had no trouble getting new work. However, my wife is in health care and I am a software engineer type, and both of these areas have been relatively strong, and we had a good chunk of money saved in case it took a while to get re-established. I think it helps to come with experience and a clear idea of what kind of work you are seeking. It seems a lot of people move to Portland with no real goal or plan to make ends meet, and don't have a lot of experience or savings.

Austin Pros
- Has a much stronger economy and many more jobs than Portland. Many new startups/tech companies and other large businesses
- Some bigger music events like ACL, SXSW, and FunFunFun Fest. Lots of big names come to town, but at the same time these events are much more crowded in Austin and have higher prices. Many music venues downtown that are close together - Stubb's, Mohawk, Emo's, La Zona Rosa, Moody Theater, Austin Music Hall.
- No state income tax (this is better than having no sales tax)
- If you are into college football, people love the Longhorns. If you aren't, I hope you like the color burnt orange.
- Austin has more late night coffee/bar options, whereas places in Portland tend to close a bit earlier. In general, Austin is good for college party type of fun.
- All the sun and clear skies you could want

Austin Cons
- In the middle of Texas. There are some day trips to get BBQ, go to McDonald Observatory, and some state parks, but it's nowhere near as cool as driving down Highway 101, going to Seattle or Vancouver, BC, going to Crater Lake, hiking the Gorge, or going to Oregon Wine Country.
- Hot as hell in the summer. I can't count the number of facebook posts I saw from friends about the number of days it was 100-113 degrees this summer. Light rain is more pleasant to be in than walking around when it is 110. Trust me.
- I sort of felt we had outgrown the city at a certain point.

Edit: on the point about newcomers to Portland and whether they are welcome -- I was wondering about this before we arrived. Honestly, I have met very few people who _aren't_ newcomers.
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Old 09-21-2011, 11:29 AM
Location: Peoria,AZ
218 posts, read 376,700 times
Reputation: 61
You also have to take into consideration people with an Education, Work experience, and who can land a job the first time when looking at the job force. I went for a week there on a trip and applied for a position before I came there and was offered the job on the spot because of my past work experience and degree. If you can apply your self and sell your self, you should be fine getting work here. But saving money before you move is obviously the best bet just incase.
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Old 09-21-2011, 11:39 AM
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa.
7 posts, read 10,244 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you all for your post , I would like to see more opinions though.
Does anyone know the name of any commercial cleaning company's there.
I Have 20 plus years in building management.
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Old 09-23-2011, 12:47 PM
Location: Beaverton
29 posts, read 80,640 times
Reputation: 31
I can't comment on the employment situation, because I don't work in your field.

My DH grew up in Waco, TX, and attended college in Austin. He relocated to Portland from Rhode Island, after deciding that he "would rather starve in Portland than prosper elsewhere." We met here.

Mild weather, great food (but not much Texas-style barbeque,) great music, and pet-friendliness are some of the similarities he likes. We don't even take advantage of the wide variety of outdoor recreation here--he's more of an "indoorsman." The ocean and mountains are just an hour away. Oh, and hardly any newer homes have cockroaches!
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