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Old 11-26-2007, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,558 posts, read 4,119,000 times
Reputation: 1156

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(I'm sure you guys get annoying posts like this a lot, but I need some help. Sorry!)

So I live about 45 min outside Boston, I'm 25, and engaged. My fiancee and I are looking to move in spring 2009. I work in biotech, and she's almost done with an MBA, hoping for marketing or HR jobs. The main reasons for moving are the crappy weather here from late October --> early May, the fact that a 600k house is 1200 sq ft with no yard, and just for something different. Maybe more outdoor opportunities, less crowded (MA isn't so big, you see...), etc. Anyways, we had been focused on Portland, OR for awhile now. They seem to have low housing costs, compared to here, and a lot of nature stuff, good microbrews, wine, local food, etc. We're both liberal, but mainstream, and Portland seems good for that if you don't mind the freaks

Anyways, the obvious problems I see presented are the fact that it rains there a lot Nov-April, and this is preferable to snow, but might get depressing. Also, I guess the job market is quite bad there. We're worried we're going to wind up working at a bookstore or something, stuck in gloomy weather. How does Sacramento fit in to this? I thought all of CA was expensive as hell, but this doesn't seem as bad. Is it reasonable for 2 college-educated late-20-somethings to make a combined 100k there? What is the shopping like (malls, little shops, etc)? What are the people like, friendly, conservative, liberal, diverse, straight-laced, weirdos, dressy, casual?? What kind of cars do people drive? Are there cool lofts or apartments downtown? Do people in my demographic typically live in suburbs, downtown, or certain sections? Are there earthquakes? Is the weather nice? I'd really love some thoughts on the good, the bad, and any suggestions....on Sacramento, Portland, other places, whatever.

Sorry this was so long and rambling. Thanks very much for anyone who responds!
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:45 PM
 
Location: San Diego (Unv Heights)
809 posts, read 2,456,117 times
Reputation: 611
Default My 2cents...

Portland - Cloudy, rainy, lush and green, clean air, good drivers, excellent public transport, contained growth, safe, slightly withdrawn yet friendly people, progressive.

Sacramento - Hot, sunny, arid and very smoggy, horrendous drivers, crumbling infrastructure, urban sprawl run amok, questionable safety, rude and trashy people, politically backwards and socially conservative (especially in the suburbs).
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:07 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
13,860 posts, read 24,600,071 times
Reputation: 6587
Quote:
Originally Posted by GucciLittlePiggie View Post
(I'm sure you guys get annoying posts like this a lot, but I need some help. Sorry!)

Is it reasonable for 2 college-educated late-20-somethings to make a combined 100k there? What is the shopping like (malls, little shops, etc)? What are the people like, friendly, conservative, liberal, diverse, straight-laced, weirdos, dressy, casual?? What kind of cars do people drive? Are there cool lofts or apartments downtown? Do people in my demographic typically live in suburbs, downtown, or certain sections? Are there earthquakes? Is the weather nice? I'd really love some thoughts on the good, the bad, and any suggestions....on Sacramento, Portland, other places, whatever.

Sorry this was so long and rambling. Thanks very much for anyone who responds!
Making a combined 100K with your education backgrounds should not be difficult at all. It might take a year or so for both to be situated in jobs you really like, but income wise you should be able to exceed this without too much difficulty.

Shopping is concentrated in a few areas, Folsom has quite a bit on two exits just north of Rt 50. Elk Grove has a ton of shopping located just off of Rt 99. Arden Arcade has a big mall and lots of other strip shopping near Alta Arden and Howe, just to the east of I-80, and Roseville has a major mall, and millions of additional square feet of shopping along Rt 65, north of I-80. In addition, we have about 500 stores located downtown, and another 300 or so in the midtown areas. Midtown stores tend to be local and quaint:

midtowngrid.com, Directory for Sacramento, Midtown, Downtown Sacramento, East Sacramento and Old Saccramento Business Directory for shopping, restaurants, hotels, Sacramento's 2nd Saturday Art Walk, Entertainment and more!
Old Sacramento - Shopping. Dining. Entertainment.

People are varied, generally a casual area. Politics tends to be liberal in the city and close in suburbs, and more conservative in the further suburbs. Politics isn't a big item in local discussions, it isn't a politically charged atmosphere either way. Very diverse city, the gay population and foreign born integrate very well into society, it isn't a polarized place at all.

Downtown and midtown apartments and lofts are plentiful, but you need to shop around here in person because many of the buildings are small, containing between 4 and about 20 units. Here is a listing of some of the larger buildings near downtown:

Downtown Sacramento Partnership -

No earthquakes at all. Weather is hot and sunny in the summer, with highs in the mid 90s to low 100s, with cool nights generally near 60. No rain from May through September. October through April generally have rain about 5-10 days per month, with temperatures in winter being about mid 50s to low 60s for a high, and low 30s for a low (sub freezing about 10 times or so per winter, but not by much). Air quality is very good in winter, and fairly poor in summer, especially when we don't get the evening Delta breeze.

And $600K will buy you a home of at least 3000 ft with 5 bedrooms, 3 baths and a pool in the yard, in a very good area.
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Old 11-27-2007, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Shingle Springs, CA
424 posts, read 2,535,860 times
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I wanted to add a couple of things that other posters haven't covered yet. With the real estate market being so bad right now, you might be able to get a lot for your money. In the foothills, 3000 sq. foot homes are still going for about $800,000 to about $1.2 million, but they usually have acreage.

There are lots of lofts and apartments going in downtown, but there is such a variety you would have to check them out personally. The city has spent a lot of money upgrading the area, so there's a lot of new restaurants, etc. downtown. I work downtown and it doesn't seem to be crumbling to me I just heard on the news that another new complex is proceeding downtown. There's some old victorians that have been divided into apartments that are very nice too. The bus system and light rail is good downtown, but Sacramento is a car city, everyone drives (usually not too politely). The light rail is no where near as good as Boston's.

Due to gas prices, I'm seeing a lot more Priuses and other small cars, but there are a lot of SUVs and large trucks on the road.

One thing that distinguishes Sacramento from Portland is that it's the state capitol and there are a lot of State jobs. Your finance might want to look into working for the state as well as private industry. The job market is still supposed to be fairly good in Sacramento.
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Old 11-27-2007, 09:06 PM
 
433 posts, read 2,220,057 times
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Well, if you can put up with the rain and months of cloudy weather, Portland would probably be a better fit coming from Mass. Better skyline. More compact. More urban life. More city-like.

Sacramento does not have the wow factor of Portland. It is a big, tree-shaded, giant suburb looking kind of place. It's nice in its own way. Palm trees meet pine trees. I think the people are more laid-back here than the Pacific Northwest though. And the weather is better. Recreational opportunities would be abundant and quite similar at both locations.

As far as driving and drivers, I see about anything out here as an improvement compared to what I saw in Boston!
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Old 11-27-2007, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,558 posts, read 4,119,000 times
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Thanks very much for all the thoughts. We decided to look at several cities now besides Portland, just so whatever decision we finally make, it's not made in isolation. Thanks again!
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:04 PM
 
Location: modesto
11 posts, read 49,408 times
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i would have to say portland i have lived in both
but like i always say.its a matter of opinion
good luck
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Macao
16,069 posts, read 37,969,728 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingsnkali View Post
Well, if you can put up with the rain and months of cloudy weather, Portland would probably be a better fit coming from Mass. Better skyline. More compact. More urban life. More city-like.

Sacramento does not have the wow factor of Portland. It is a big, tree-shaded, giant suburb looking kind of place. It's nice in its own way. Palm trees meet pine trees. I think the people are more laid-back here than the Pacific Northwest though. And the weather is better. Recreational opportunities would be abundant and quite similar at both locations.

As far as driving and drivers, I see about anything out here as an improvement compared to what I saw in Boston!
This seems pretty accurate. I'm actually hoping to bump this up to hear more comments on the two cities.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:42 PM
 
8,373 posts, read 15,213,561 times
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To some extent. Sacramento and Portland are pretty much equally dense--about 4200 people per acre. They have about 550,000 in about 140 square miles, we have about 500,000 in just under 100. Our metro area is a little larger (2.5 million vs. 2.2 million.) As far as skyline goes, it's hard to get a sense of Sacramento's scale from the ground because we're flat, while Portland is a hilly place and it's easier to see more of the city at once--it also looks "higher" because buildings that aren't any taller than those in Sacramento are on the side of a hill instead of on the same horizontal plain.

Portland has more of a collegiate feel in its central city, as there are a couple of universities there, while Sacramento has Sac State and a couple of community colleges in the suburbs, UC Davis across the causeway, and a handful of satellite campuses downtown. As a result, Portland definitely has better bookstores.
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Old 10-05-2009, 07:54 PM
 
142 posts, read 488,804 times
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Portland got bigger faster. In 1940, Portland had a population of just over 300k while Sacramento had a population of just over 100k.

Portland, Oregon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sacramento, California - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

What that means is that if you like living in older pedestrian orientated neighborhoods, there is just more of it in Portland.

Air conditioning made life in Sacramento a lot more pleasant. So after WW2, this region grew faster. In a sense, air conditioning moderated the negative effects of summertime heat, but so far nothing really has moderated the rain in Portland.

Portland is a pretty area. All of the rain means that its green pretty much year round. Here rain mostly stops after March or April and doesn't really seem to come back much until October or November.

I like visiting Portland, but I really couldn't handle the constant rain. As between Portland and Sacramento price levels vary. Sometimes, Portland is more expensive than Sacramento and sometimes Sacramento is more expensive than Portland. Right now Portland is cheaper than Sacramento. If you can put up with the rain, Portland is more affordable.

The economy in both places is pretty poor. As between Portland, Seattle and Sacramento, if you can handle the rain Seattle probably has the most dynamic and diversified economy. But there is even more rain in Seattle than in Portland.

One other town to consider that you haven't listed is possibly Chicago.

In terms of big city amenities, Chicago is up their with Toronto, NYC and SF. But in terms of price, Chicago is comparable to Sacramento.

HousingTracker.net | Median Home Asking Price & Inventory Data for Sacramento, California
HousingTracker.net | Median Home Asking Price & Inventory Data for Chicago, Illinois

As a percentage of the population, Sacramento has more Asians (17% vs 4.9%). But in terms of overall Asian population, there are more Asians in Chicago than Sacramento 135k v 77k. If you were interested, there are some fairly Asian neighborhoods in Chicago.

Sacramento city, California - Fact Sheet - American FactFinder

Chicago city, Illinois - Fact Sheet - American FactFinder

The winters in the midwest can be pretty rough and the summers are fairly humid. It definitely isn't for everyone. For work, I have to fly out occasionally to Chicago and I half to admit, I really like the place. If the opportunity presented itself, I definitely would look at Chicago. Lastly if you like older pedestrian neighborhoods, in 1940, Chicago was much bigger than Sacramento and Portland put together. There are a lot of different neighborhoods and communities in Chicago. Depending on what you are looking for Chicago might be a better fit than Portland, Seattle or Sacramento.
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