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Thread summary:

Relocating to Oregon: graphic design college, find a job, affordable, great schools, buy a house.

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Old 07-21-2007, 09:04 PM
 
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA
4 posts, read 10,045 times
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I've read through quite a few posts and done a lot of homework on Oregon, but still find some things a bit vague. We have never been to Oregon before, so any info, however mundane it may seem to you would likely be of great help to us. I am particularly interested in the schools (I have a 1 year old and a 19 year old - the 19 year old was in the local community college for graphic design how's the graphic design programs out there?) I have also heard the schools are overcrowded. How are allergies there? Are the people pretty friendly? So far, I have read a lot from some pretty good people on this site. I am a RN, and my husband has been in manufacturing for the last 3 years, how are the employment prospects? We will also be looking into getting a house down the road (renting first for a while). I have heard a lot of things about how the gov. owns so much land, is it possible to find a reasonably priced house in a nice family oriented neighborhood? What towns do you think are good and why? Any info, positive or negative is greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-21-2007, 10:31 PM
 
8 posts, read 29,720 times
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I would say that Keizer is the best place in Oregon to live. We've been here 13 years and love it! Small community and it has a wonderful sense of community, close to Portland, homes affordable, great schools in N. Keizer. You can check out the local paper online at Keizertimes.com. I was just looking at the photos of the Iris Festival parade on their website. Good luck!
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Old 07-22-2007, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA
4 posts, read 10,045 times
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Thank-you! We hadn't even checked that one out, I just looked it up here and it certainly looks like a possibility. Thanks for the input!
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Old 07-22-2007, 05:15 PM
 
5,765 posts, read 10,759,878 times
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If you are a nurse, you should check and see what positions are being offered by the major health institutions around Salem. Kaiser-Permanente is a big one, for example. Check their websites or call them up. I know there are a few KP facilities in south Salem, which is a fairly nice area.
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Old 07-25-2007, 03:57 PM
 
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Hi-my family also is looking to relocate to the area from Idaho. We vacation on the coast every year, and are always sad when it's time to come home. We've researched alot and have been to the area more than once-so far our favorite has been Albany-it's a beautiful area and seems very friendly-also in the middle of everything-close to Eugene, Corvallis and Salem, not to mention less than an hour to the coast! We actually looked in to buying a house in Albany-the historic district is beautiful, but someone got to the house first. I am an RN also and my husband landscapes-we're looking for more information too. Good luck in your search!
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Old 07-25-2007, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Sheridan, Wy
1,466 posts, read 3,740,769 times
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Well... If I had to choose between Iowa and Oregon, I would chose Iowa in a heart beat. I have never been to Iowa, but I have friends that were raised there...

I lived outside of Salem in the Silverton area. I grew up in Salem most of my childhood into my early teens though...

From the perspective of a young mother and wife starting out with my husband, it was a horrible place for us. We were living paycheck to paycheck, taxes are ridiculous, and housing prices are out of this world.

We had to move somewhere with less taxes where we could maybe actually get ahead. My husband was an apprentice almost finished his program in HVAC, and already had a degree from Louisiana in Electrical. There he could work as an Electrician, but Oregon recognized nothing, and he was virtually kicked out of his trade after trying for 4 years to make it on lists for apprenticeships to go through schooling he already knew and had.. So he went into a similar trade not as regulated HVAC. They paid him barely enough for us to survive. I am a stay at home mom and going to homeschool my children. So we only had one income coming in. So definitely not a place for one income families.

The property taxes are rising faster and faster, and I know bills that were passed all the way back in 1997 that affected property taxes have still not been paid off in Silverton, and two or three or maybe even more increases have been added before we moved out of the state 6 months ago.

Where we live in Wyoming now, my husband makes a few dollars more an hour and no personal income tax, very low sales tax, and no tax on groceries here, only non-necessitie items and other sale goods.

Housing is on the rise here too because of an energy boom in the county next to us and a few other counties in Wyoming..A decent house here in Sheridan,Wy on average costs 140,000-150,000, but in other parts of Wyoming there are houses under a 100,000.

In Silverton, (10 miles out of Salem) You cannot find a home under 200,000. My aunt has a home she bought for 130,000 next to the waste water treatment plant and that is her view and it is worth over 300,000 and it is a fixer upper. About 5 or 6 years ago homes were in the 130,000's and have skyrocketed...

State and local government is increasing thanks to the good old governor. My dad works as a Vet rep for the state, so he is my source to verify that... Last year alone the local government increased by 7%. Industries are moving out and anyone in the graphic design field is very limited, it is a very competitive place to get a job. Many have to go out of state, I had friends in college that were going in that field and had no work for years.. and either left or switched careers.

My dad told me cause he works in the employment department helping specifically veterans, that statistics found that more than 50% of two income families could not afford to live in the area anymore.

I watched Salem from when I was a little girl to this past year quadruple, and they say in the next 10 years Portland will see some major growth as well..

Chemeketa Community College in Salem has done several class cuts over the years, I have a degree from there, and I watched in a matter of 5 years almost half the classes cut and tuition costs at a community college there costs what it costs here to go to the University of Wyoming.

Oregon state has limited the amount of students they accept over the years as well...

So it really depends on what you are looking for...

That area does have its advantages.. It is beautiful, green. Lots of allergies, but beautiful. Some places are nice communities with nice people. I would say Keizer, some parts of Albany, Silverton area. But you have to put up with increasing state government, one of the most regulated states in the country, one the highest unemployment rates in the whole country and the only reason it goes down is because people have exhausted their unemployment claims and still aren't employed.

I would seriously recommend visiting the area for a few weeks or even a month if you can...

I wish you the best if you do decide to relocate...
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Old 08-02-2007, 11:02 AM
 
1,218 posts, read 3,777,855 times
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First off, I wouldn't listen to Kristy. Sounds like she has a bad attitude because things didn't work out for them in Oregon. Some of the things she commented on are true--partially. Take out the attitude, though.

Businesses moving out? I have news for you, Kristy, and anyone else--they're moving in, and out. Just like everywhere else. Taxes are not going up that much because we have property tax limitation laws that prevent valuations from going up more than 3% per year. Yes, there are exceptions to that, but my taxes have only increased by $100 in 14 years while my home has appreciated by seventy percent.

And you have NOT watched Salem quadruple in population. Since you're a stay at home mom, you are probably in your twenties or thirties. Salem has roughly 150,000 people. In your lifetime you've probably seen it increase about 40-50%, not 400%. It's grown 400% since 1945.

My advice to people looking for legitimate comments is to read between the lines. When someone has an attitude, it's best to take their comments with a boulder of salt.

Since the early posters here have asked, I will answer. As a student of demographics and economic development, I can give you intelligent answers void of incendiary attitude.

Finding a nursing job will be no problem. There's a tremendous nursing shortage. You should be able to easily make $50K in Salem (where I live). Definitely check out Salem Hospital. They're spending $250 million on a new facility. Kaiser is also here. Albany has Good Samaritan Hospital.

This entire area is growing and will continue to grow. For the West Coast, we have very reasonable housing prices. This makes us a destination for companies looking to locate here. For Oregon, our prices are considered high which makes it difficult for people who don't earn a lot of money.

There are manufacturing jobs; Oregon has a high rate of manufacturing jobs. However, in any downturn, manufacturing jobs usually go first. In any upturn, manufacturing usually is the first to grow.

I don't have allergies so I can't comment on that. I would think that summer would be the worst for you.

Yes, the government owns a lot of land--much of that is in the forests and in Eastern Oregon. Don't assume that they own every other parcel. It is possible to find family friendly neighborhoods. I live in a delightful neighborhood with our own local park in Salem. Local communities that are delightful are Silverton, Stayton, Dallas, Monmouth, Independence. These communities are all between 7-15,000 people with Dallas being the only one in excess of 10K. Remember that these towns won't have the amenities of Albany or Salem.

Good luck!
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Old 08-02-2007, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
15,296 posts, read 14,744,223 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmulk View Post
Taxes are not going up that much because we have property tax limitation laws that prevent valuations from going up more than 3% per year. Yes, there are exceptions to that, but my taxes have only increased by $100 in 14 years while my home has appreciated by seventy percent.
Don't forget that property taxes are local, and bond levies are not limited like school and operating taxes. If the voters want to double their taxes, they are free to build their monuments to eternity, or their new sewage treatment plant. Property taxes are highly variable, depending on where you live. On appraised value, I pay 2.4 mils. Before they died 5 years ago, my inlaws in Portland were paying 13.7 mils.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmulk View Post
Finding a nursing job will be no problem. There's a tremendous nursing shortage. You should be able to easily make $50K in Salem (where I live). Definitely check out Salem Hospital. They're spending $250 million on a new facility. Kaiser is also here. Albany has Good Samaritan Hospital.
There are also some really high profile jobs in graphic design. Weiden and Kennedy is in Portland, a very successful ad agency. There are also a number of international corporations based in Portland, with active ad campaigns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmulk View Post
This entire area is growing and will continue to grow. For the West Coast, we have very reasonable housing prices. This makes us a destination for companies looking to locate here. For Oregon, our prices are considered high which makes it difficult for people who don't earn a lot of money.
Or who don't have a good equity position. Most of the USA has cheaper housing than Oregon. It's hard to sell a house in Iowa or Pennsylvania, and find out that a comparable house in Oregon will cost an extra $100k. However, Oregon is comparable to anyplace on the West Coast, with real estate in California and BC being quite a bit more expensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmulk View Post
There are manufacturing jobs; Oregon has a high rate of manufacturing jobs. However, in any downturn, manufacturing jobs usually go first. In any upturn, manufacturing usually is the first to grow.
The bedrock of Oregon's economy has always been manufacturing. That's why it has been so susceptible to recessions. When the market dries up, so do the jobs.

For the last 25 years, agriculture has taken a back seat, though it is still Oregon's biggest single industry. It looks like that is about to change in a big way. The billions of gallons of ethanol they are brewing in the midwest are going to absorb all the excess agricultural capacity in North America. Crop prices have already doubled or tripled, and promise to go even higher. Couple that with the tanking dollar, and we haven't seen farm prices like that in 30 years. The farmers who held on through decades of poverty will shortly be running the state's economy again.
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA
4 posts, read 10,045 times
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Thank-you all for the wealth of information. We are still looking around though and I will possibly take a job as a travel nurse first so we can see the area we want to move to without the obligation to stay long term. I appreciate all you have to say. I certainly understand attitudes also. Iowa is a very nice place for some people, but I can't stand it here, and can have quite the attitude myself about that. Some people are just not cut out for certain places. Thanks again!
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Old 08-14-2007, 12:08 AM
 
59 posts, read 254,070 times
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I can't answer all of your questions, but I'll give you my two cents on the area.

Allergies can be pretty bad in Oregon, depending on what you are allergic to. Like I know that grass seed is very bad. The usually have some kind of pollen count or something like that (I don't have allergies, but my parents and spouse do) on the local news. The Portland news stations might have the specific info about allergies. Hopefully someone else can help with that.

I think most people would consider Oregonians friendly and laid back. They tend to have a thing about Californians, that is part in jest and part sincere. It's silly. But when my family moved down from Alaska our neighbors were very nice.

The town that is probably the most affordable, with the most jobs is Salem. I went to high school in Salem. It's a medium-largish sized town.

My favorite town is Corvallis, which is a bit more expensive. It is a college town, pretty charming, very pretty scenery.

Those would be my top two choices, depending on your priorities and cost of living needs.

Anything in the Willamette Valley corridor (along I-5) is within an hours drive to the beach, which is gorgeous.

The Willamette Valley is pretty rainy, but has nice summers, falls, and winters. You won't see a lot of snow at all, but you aren't too far from skiing if you miss winter.

I think Oregon is a great place to live. It has weaknesses, of course. Some people don't like the rain. Although usually when it's raining the rest of the country is snowing, so there you go. The school financial situation has been a mess for a while now. Not that the schools are terrible, by any means. But it's just something to research a bit more before you settle on a school district. And Oregon has pretty high property taxes, although there is no sales tax. There is a state income tax. Not sure if you have that in Iowa.

Oregon is very very pretty. I can't imagine anyone wouldn't think so.

I hope you love it!!
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