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Old 11-28-2013, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Giethoorn, Netherlands
629 posts, read 1,072,932 times
Reputation: 738

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Hi everyone

I only spent a week in Oregon but it left a lasting impression: Ashland, Eugene, even Salem . Now that I'm recently, (unwillingly) separated, it's time to start over and the PNW is calling me.
Really, the towns that I loved most in Oregon were places like Ashland, Sherwood, Sandy, Newberg. With my wife, all those places seemed like beautiful places to live a peaceful life. But now that it's just me, I feel my life in any of those places would be sitting alone on the porch until I die. I understand that towns like that don't usually exist inside of a big city, but I'm trying to get as close as I can?

I've lurked in many threads here and three of the most commonly-mentioned "nice" areas near the CBD are:
-Irvington
-Pearl
-Northwest

What I'm bringing:
- A job that pays 40k a year and I can do from anywhere in the world (it's not a lot of money but I'm a frugal minimalist)
- 20k in savings, 5k in checking, another 20k coming in 2 months from sale of a family asset
- 0 debt
- Turning in my leased car so I'll be carless
- I've signed up for some car sharing services (Car2Go & ZipCar) for the occasional/rare need for longer-distance trips.

What I'm looking for:
- Close enough to downtown to bike
- Close enough to some sort of natural food market to walk
- Safe (Grew up in a Los Angeles ghetto and never felt unsafe in Portland, but still)
- As much green space/houses (vs apartments) as possible being so close to a CBD (not a fan of highrises but I could make it work if the place was nice)
- I live simply so 300-400 square feet is fine for me
- Prefer new/renovated properties to old/broken ones

Basically, if Irvington were located exactly where Pearl is, I guess that's what I'm looking for(?)

The current plan:
- Rent something furnished (AirBNB?) in Pearl or CBD until I get my bearings

Once I find something I like, I will either
- Continue renting for approximately $1000/mo (if it's a residential place like Irvington, my income would probably limit me to renting a wealthy person's guest house, something like this: Irvington Lloyd, Very Cool Studio Apt. above Garage!! )
- Buy something incredibly small (probably limited to a <400 sq. ft. studio based on my wish list) for 130-150k

I'm planning on heading over on December 26

Any advice from locals would be greatly appreciated!

(Sorry for overly-detailed post)

Last edited by topaz420; 11-28-2013 at 02:04 PM..
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Old 11-28-2013, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Jennings Lodge, OR
478 posts, read 786,027 times
Reputation: 452
If you want the feel of a small town in the city, you might also look at Sellwood, which is an easy bike commute to downtown on the Springwater Trail. You can walk to New Seasons (plus lots of other markets) and you have the Oaks Bottom wildlife refuge right there.
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Old 11-28-2013, 04:38 PM
 
537 posts, read 1,076,077 times
Reputation: 1265
You have a really good plan, so I think you're good to go! Congrats on making the decision to move. I rented a room on Airbnb for a month, and it was a great decision. It was only $500.00 for the month, and the couple was really friendly and helpful. Sometimes, I wish I had stayed longer!

Have you considered building your own tiny house? They have plans that are around 400 square feet and with how much you're considering purchasing a small place, it might be a good alternative.
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Old 11-28-2013, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Giethoorn, Netherlands
629 posts, read 1,072,932 times
Reputation: 738
Quote:
Originally Posted by drunkwithwords View Post
You have a really good plan, so I think you're good to go! Congrats on making the decision to move. I rented a room on Airbnb for a month, and it was a great decision. It was only $500.00 for the month, and the couple was really friendly and helpful. Sometimes, I wish I had stayed longer!

Have you considered building your own tiny house? They have plans that are around 400 square feet and with how much you're considering purchasing a small place, it might be a good alternative.
How interesting you mention that! I've been reading many "tiny home movement" websites/forums, though I imagine tiny plots of land would be hard to come by anywhere in the city(?)

It would be great if some person had a >1-acre property on the outskirts of the UGB and could just sell me a sliver of it - though the zoning laws for doing such an operation vary wildly throughout the country

Thanks to you and Crisw for your replies! (Looking at Sellwood right now)
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Old 11-28-2013, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Portlandia, OR
43 posts, read 61,476 times
Reputation: 102
I too would recommend Sellwood. That's where I live, and I LOVE IT! It's super convenient to everything, yet it's quiet as well. And the vibe of the neighbourhood is pretty sweet as well
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Old 11-28-2013, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Jennings Lodge, OR
478 posts, read 786,027 times
Reputation: 452
Portland has very liberal laws regarding ADUs- unlike many areas, they want them built! So you might be able to swing a deal with someone to build a tiny house on their property. Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) | The City of Portland, Oregon
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Old 11-30-2013, 01:08 AM
 
58 posts, read 54,264 times
Reputation: 68
I live in Woodstock (above Sellwood) and love it!! You might also like some other inner parts of SE, like Sellwood, Brooklyn, Clinton, thinking of some nicer areas of close in SE that aren't ridiculously expensive. There are probably great parts of NE too but I'm not as familiar with each niche as well as I am SE. Honestly from what you describe I don't think you'd like the Pearl or Irvington that much lol!! The outer parts of Nw (like definitely further than Glisan) are kind of interesting and a possibility for sure but I still think you'd get more for your money (esp in terms of land and yard) in SE.
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Old 11-30-2013, 01:21 AM
 
Location: Houston
1,257 posts, read 2,366,528 times
Reputation: 1231
You have the seeds of success. If I was coming back to Portland car less Sellwood would top my list.

All the great new cool places that are fairly recently gentrified. I cant warm up to them. I remember it as it was.

Working from home the commute is a non issue. Getting downtown by bike or bus is not a huge deal unless it is part of your job.
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Old 11-30-2013, 01:45 AM
 
2,430 posts, read 6,138,242 times
Reputation: 1226
My complaint about Sellwood is there isn't a lot of bus service--one line only (2 if you count the 19 that goes thru West Moreland). Sellwood is a great walking neighborhood but if you need to go to other parts of the city, particularly at night, it's hard to get around. I have a friend who lives there with no car and he ended up getting really into cycling because it took him so long to get to where he needed to go (he didn't work from home). Sellwood is a great area though otherwise.
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Old 11-30-2013, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,697 posts, read 25,306,286 times
Reputation: 35674
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtintype View Post
My complaint about Sellwood is there isn't a lot of bus service--one line only (2 if you count the 19 that goes thru West Moreland). Sellwood is a great walking neighborhood but if you need to go to other parts of the city, particularly at night, it's hard to get around. I have a friend who lives there with no car and he ended up getting really into cycling because it took him so long to get to where he needed to go (he didn't work from home). Sellwood is a great area though otherwise.
I thoroughly second this. It's the one thing that has prevented me from moving into the Sellwood neighborhood in the past because I love it there but I do not drive. The OP has stated that she will be renting a ZipCar and Car2Co service for rare occasions but if she chooses Sellwood, she will need one more often. Still if she has the car, Sellwood is an outstanding choice.
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