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Old 09-18-2010, 05:53 PM
 
4 posts, read 28,155 times
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Hello, Oregonians. I need your help. I checked out Kate's helpful FAQ, did some browsing and searching in this forum and thought I'd start my own thread here with some specific questions regarding our situation.

My wife and I are planning to move up to Oregon from California (finally fed up with our "home state") and are looking for an interim housing location where we can set up camp for a while and concentrate on narrowing down a place to live in Oregon for the long term. For this initial temporary situation (6 months or less), we're looking to rent a house/cabin/condo/townhome/apartment in the less-than-$900/mo range that's located in a smaller satellite city/town within an hour's drive of one of these three bigger cities: Portland, Salem or Eugene.

We'd like to find a quiet area with a below-average population density (according to city-data's pop. density stats) that's close to or in the middle of nature (trees, hiking trails, etc). We don't have kids and I'm a telecommuter who works from home, so schools and employment opportunities are irrelevant but we'd still like to be within an hour's drive from one of those bigger cities for various services. Presently, we're leaning toward the Portland vicinity because it's the biggest and probably has the most services but Salem and Eugene are possibilities as well.

Since our options are so open, I'm looking at a map of Oregon and have no idea where to begin. I've been to Portland and Eugene, so I have some idea of what those cities are like. I have no idea about Salem or any of the satellite towns/cities surrounding any of the three bigger cities. Can someone help recommend some areas to start searching for rentals based on my description of what we're looking for? Thanks!

P.S. I've noticed there's been some amount of ill-will here toward Californians relocating to Oregon. We're not stereotypical Californians, if that helps. In my previous visits to your state, I've come to the conclusion that Oregon is much more our speed. We're definitely on the humble, frugal, nature-loving end of the spectrum and are just looking for a place where we can live a simple life.
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Old 09-18-2010, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
14,720 posts, read 35,646,633 times
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You can find something to rent in most of the towns outside the cities for $900. The quality of what you will get will vary but you can find something.

Most of Oregon is nice quiet areas and I'm not sure what below average population density is according to City-data. Oregon has three larger cities and two medium sized cities and loads of small towns. You won't have any trouble finding a small town to live in. So really the question becomes what do you want in your small town. What kind of atmosphere are you looking for?
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:37 PM
 
4 posts, read 28,155 times
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Originally Posted by Silverfall View Post
So really the question becomes what do you want in your small town. What kind of atmosphere are you looking for?
Well, other than being quiet and peaceful, a nature setting would be nice. Nearby access to parks, trails and stuff. The ultimate goal is to buy or rent a cabin or cottage in the woods or country that's close enough (w/in an hour) to one of those bigger cities I mentioned. I don't really expect to find that from all the way down here in CA, though. That's why we just want to find a temporary base for now. From there, we can then scout around and get to know some different areas to help narrow down our final location.

I know there are lots of Farmer's Markets in Oregon and that's something we're interested in, so we're hoping to find a place that's near one. A good local library is a plus as well. A town that's slow-paced and uncrowded would be a breath of fresh air for us, coming from the SF Bay Area. Neighborhoods with lots that are more spread out than packed together are what we're looking for, although again, we might not be able to find that right off the bat. On a $900 budget, I'm not sure what to expect in that regard. We could push that up a bit if the place is really nice. We'd prefer a house/cabin/cottage over an apartment, if we can help it. A single-level duplex or townhouse would be the next best choice.

Am I being too much of a wishful thinker here? I guess what I'm describing is almost the stereotypical "place in the country" that everyone dreams about, so that probably makes it a lot harder to find. I just know we can't find anything close to that in CA on our budget.
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
14,720 posts, read 35,646,633 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddage View Post
Well, other than being quiet and peaceful, a nature setting would be nice. Nearby access to parks, trails and stuff. The ultimate goal is to buy or rent a cabin or cottage in the woods or country that's close enough (w/in an hour) to one of those bigger cities I mentioned. I don't really expect to find that from all the way down here in CA, though. That's why we just want to find a temporary base for now. From there, we can then scout around and get to know some different areas to help narrow down our final location.

I know there are lots of Farmer's Markets in Oregon and that's something we're interested in, so we're hoping to find a place that's near one. A good local library is a plus as well. A town that's slow-paced and uncrowded would be a breath of fresh air for us, coming from the SF Bay Area. Neighborhoods with lots that are more spread out than packed together are what we're looking for, although again, we might not be able to find that right off the bat. On a $900 budget, I'm not sure what to expect in that regard. We could push that up a bit if the place is really nice. We'd prefer a house/cabin/cottage over an apartment, if we can help it. A single-level duplex or townhouse would be the next best choice.

Am I being too much of a wishful thinker here? I guess what I'm describing is almost the stereotypical "place in the country" that everyone dreams about, so that probably makes it a lot harder to find. I just know we can't find anything close to that in CA on our budget.
All of Oregon is close to farmer's markets, parks, trails, etc. That pretty much describes every Oregon town.

Oregon has urban growth boundaries so our cities are really compact. This is what preserves all those parks, and nature. You can't have nature if you let your cities sprawl.

All of Oregon functions at about 1/4 the pace of the big cities. Slow paced is the name of the game in Oregon. Typically that is why drives people away. Personally renting is a great idea because each city has it's own character. You don't sound like you have a clear enough definition of what you want.

I can also tell you that many people think they want to live out in the middle of nowhere and then move back closer to civilization. Often times the slow pace of Oregon life in one of the small cities satisfies their need to get out of the rat race.
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:16 PM
 
4 posts, read 28,155 times
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Yeah, having our options so open at this point is actually making things more difficult. Once we get up there we'll be able to narrow things down a lot more. Another purpose of this transition place is to find out if we really do want what we think we want. Anyway, it sounds like there are lots of towns that will fit the bill. I'm leaning more toward the Salem area now as it's centrally-located between Portland and Eugene. We'll be thoroughly checking out those three cities to see which fits our needs best.
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Salem, OR
14,720 posts, read 35,646,633 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddage View Post
Yeah, having our options so open at this point is actually making things more difficult. Once we get up there we'll be able to narrow things down a lot more. Another purpose of this transition place is to find out if we really do want what we think we want. Anyway, it sounds like there are lots of towns that will fit the bill. I'm leaning more toward the Salem area now as it's centrally-located between Portland and Eugene. We'll be thoroughly checking out those three cities to see which fits our needs best.
Rentals are tough to find in Silverton, but I'd look there and in Dallas. They are nice smaller towns on the outskirts of Salem. Stayton would be easier to find a rental than the other two.
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Old 09-20-2010, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Portland Metro
2,300 posts, read 4,120,192 times
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It sounds to me like you want a rural rental rather than a rental in a neighborhood in a town, is that correct?

About 15 years ago my wife and I found a rental on the outskirts of Monroe (about 30-40 minutes north of Eugene between Eugene and Corvallis). It had a rustic look, but was nice on the inside, on a 5-acre Christmas tree farm. Monroe itself is tiny (maybe 500 residents?) I imagine you can still find rentals like that, but I haven't been looking so I don't know. These are the kinds of places that you find in local papers that may or may not be online, so an extended trip up here may be in order... Good luck.
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Old 09-20-2010, 12:08 PM
 
Location: the Beaver State
6,466 posts, read 12,211,644 times
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Since you're a telecommuter, you need to be aware of internet infrastructure in the area you're looking for.

The kinds of areas you're looking at may only have telephone that was strung 50 years ago. Cable may be non-existent in favor of Satellite.
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Old 09-20-2010, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
14,720 posts, read 35,646,633 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamellr View Post
Since you're a telecommuter, you need to be aware of internet infrastructure in the area you're looking for.

The kinds of areas you're looking at may only have telephone that was strung 50 years ago. Cable may be non-existent in favor of Satellite.
Actually this is a good point. I know several rural folks that only have dial-up.
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Old 09-20-2010, 04:05 PM
 
5,897 posts, read 5,502,794 times
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Silverton seems like one to check out if you decide you want to be near Portland.

Brownsville is a pretty good location for checking out Eugene, Salem and maybe the Corvallis area. Another small town somewhat like the recommended Monroe but a bit nearer the mountains.

If you decided to be near Eugene there are a lot of possibilities. Narrowing it depends on how small a town you are willing to be in or near and how close you want to be to hills or the bigger mountains. If you are ok with a small town, I've heard Marcola mentioned before. Vida is much further out from town but nearer the mountains. Cottage Grove is somewhat bigger though property crime appears fairly high. Maybe outside of it could work with that small downtown nearby. Not sure on the rental prices for these. Drain also got a mention before and might be worth checking out. It appears less expensive on housing than these others. Wooded with hills to the east and west.
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