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Old 12-07-2012, 11:04 AM
 
10 posts, read 44,180 times
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Hello. My husband, son and I will be moving to Oregon this summer. We are primarily looking at areas in and around Corvallis and Salem. We love Portland but simply can't afford it. We would love to own an old house with an acre so we can grow our own food and have a few chickens. We are in New Mexico right now, with a small, personal farm, but we hate the dryness and constant sunshine - yes I know, quite odd. My husband is from Roseburg and wants to get back to rain and green. We have had some setbacks financially, so we're financially limited on what we can buy. My husband is a contractor, so fixing something up to get affordable, is definitely an option for us, we just prefer not to live in an area where it would be dangerous since we have a seven-year-old son.

Our son needs gifted education, so schools offering gifted education, are high on our priority list. We currently commute 48 miles each way, every day, to take my son to a school with a gifted program and we can't do that long of a commute any longer. A small commute of 20 miles would be ok, however. What are the laws, if any, with regards to your child attending a school out of your living district? Where are some good elementary schools with good gifted education programs?

We would also like a community with walking being a priority, or at least where there are neighborhoods with facilities within walking distance. We are tired of driving and love exercise, and would love to be able to walk to school, the grocery store, and a park or coffee house/bakery.

I, also, have a vintage clothing business that I would like to bring along with me and possibly find a home where I could work and live. I have a 42' schoolbus that I have converted into a store. I know it sounds weird but it actually is a fully functional store and once inside, you can't tell it's a bus. I would love to park this on my property and open shop.




That being said, I would love to hear about places that offer these things. We are also a family of artists and crafters, we are responsible and clean, quiet, and love the feeling of community where you actually know your neighbors and invite them over for a cup of coffee. We're accepting of different lifestyles but are opposed to living near known drug areas, high crime areas, or areas where outsiders aren't welcome.

I know this is a lot to ask, but my gut says it's out there and I would appreciate input from any who feel compelled.

Thank you!
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Dallas, Oregon & Sunsites Arizona
8,000 posts, read 15,457,715 times
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The death knell for any downtown is an influx of Vintage anything stores. Although Corvallis would maybe find an eclectic clothing store interesting, it is not a city individuals with limited finances can afford to live in, or even near. Rentals are almost none existent, and land is five times higher for rural land than New Mexico.

Eugene would be a good choice for the hobby store and schools. Roseburg would also be one to consider. Coos Bay has lots of room for the downtown killing used clothing stores, and the special needs programs are not bad.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
14,713 posts, read 35,598,559 times
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You have exclusive criteria. First of all, all Oregon cities have urban growth boundaries. This is an artificial line drawn around each city to compress growth and preserve our farmland. So what this means is we have subdivisions and acreage. Those 1 acre parcels are premium properties, generally speaking and go for a lot. So you are either urban or farm. Walking to schools and grocery stores from your home isn't going to happen unless you go small town and happen to get a parcel right on the UGB line.

I have no idea what you want to spend but anything under $250,000 will need work. You might get a short sale or foreclosure in decent shape in the $250-$300k range but you'd have to wait and jump on them when they come up.

Salem has the TAG program (Talented and Gifted) but I wouldn't call it good. Once your child meets the criteria they just have an IEP that says they need to be challenged. Bend OR has a separate classroom for TAG kids at one of the schools, but Salem doesn't have that. I don't know what Corvallis offers, but in general education in Oregon isn't stellar. Jjpop might now since he lived in Corvallis for a long time before he had to move to PDX.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
14,713 posts, read 35,598,559 times
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Oh and because of our strict zoning laws, you can't just park the bus and call it open for business.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:43 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
26,157 posts, read 34,677,851 times
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Corvallis would be the better choice for a vintage clothing store, because of the college. Corvallis is expensive, but you could live in Monmouth or Independence where you could buy your acre with a vintage house for a reasonable amount (reasonable for Oregon). That's an easy commute to Corvallis for work.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Portland Metro
2,300 posts, read 4,115,913 times
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Thanks for the plug, Silverfall!

We moved when my son finished 2nd grade, so we didn't get too far into the world of TAG in the Corvallis SD. But I can tell you that the District is highly regarded. Probably the main reason is the high educational attainment of the parents. Also around the time we left (over 3 years ago now) the Corvallis SD was clamping down on out-of-district registrants. Don't know if they are still clamping down, but I'd have to imagine that's the case with school budgets being so tight.

My gut tells me that if you find Portland too expensive, you will have an even tougher time finding an acre within a few miles of Corvallis that will fit your budget. If you remove your acreage requirement, and settle for a city lot, there are more possibilities. Albany was recently in the local paper as having one of the most affordable housing markets in the entire state Survey: Albany homes among most affordable

Good luck.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:55 AM
 
10 posts, read 44,180 times
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Thank you, everyone!
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Jefferson, Oregon
30 posts, read 129,811 times
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I would pretty much corroborate what Silver Falls said. I'd stay away from Salem schools. Their district, called the Salem-Keiser SD, is a total disaster, IMHO. I dealt with their Special Ed system for years and was like herding cats. Impossible. The 2nd biggest SD in the state is totally political and bureaucratic.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:50 AM
 
Location: the Beaver State
6,466 posts, read 12,199,950 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwayssearching2010 View Post
I, also, have a vintage clothing business that I would like to bring along with me and possibly find a home where I could work and live. I have a 42' schoolbus that I have converted into a store. I know it sounds weird but it actually is a fully functional store and once inside, you can't tell it's a bus. I would love to park this on my property and open shop.
There are already half a dozen "bus" stores around the Greater Portland area. Several do vintage clothes, one is a sewing shop, a couple are bike repair shops. I don't know of any in Corvallis specifically, but I wouldn't be surprised to see one.

Most of them sit outside of established businesses and are pretty much non-mobile. I'd think you'd have to watch land zoning laws pretty carefully before just opening it up anywhere.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:20 PM
QFT
 
4 posts, read 10,446 times
Reputation: 21
I think before you worry about gifted programs you might want to look into the educational system overall. Education varies widely from state to state in terms of curriculum and policies. From what I can tell Oregon has really varied quality in education based on the community but you really need to go through the painstaking process of researching each school you are considering.

It sounds like you want a more rural ag type area with an artsy feel. Corvallis is cute, expensive and overrun with college students. It can also feel (to me anyways) kind of snobbish.

If I were you I would check out Cottage Grove and Silverton. I am in Lebanon now and like it for the historic homes and rural feel but my kids are grown and so I know nothing about whats available here for kids.
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