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Old 04-22-2015, 09:28 AM
36 posts, read 42,218 times
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Our family is relocating from Arizona to Salem in the near future and we are looking for advice on the Salem area.

There will be myself and my wife, and our three daughters ages 9, 5, 2. I currently work in Insurance will make roughly $40 - $50k. My wife is a stay at home mom, but may look for part time work once we get to Oregon.

Our budget for housing needs to be around $1000 - $1300 and minimum three bedrooms

Here is what we are looking for help with:

1. Best Area in Salem for home / apartment rental
2. Good Schools and zip codes
3. Which zip codes in Salem would be considered good ones to reside in.

Any other advice would be awesome.

Thank you in advance for the help
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:12 PM
Location: Salem, OR
14,773 posts, read 35,799,280 times
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Unlike in other cities, zip codes aren't the way to look for properties for rent here.

Oregon enacted urban growth boundaries with Senate Bill 100. This creates an artificial line drawn around our cities that can't be expanded until certain criteria are met. So we have an odd progression of development here. If someone within the UGB holds onto 3 acres of land while everything else is built out around them, then you will have new and old areas intertwined.

Salem is all about neighborhoods and not zip codes. You have great neighborhoods and not so great ones all in the same zip code so it is deceptive to people that don't understand that when they move here and secure a rental in 97304, not realizing that the flats aren't of the same quality as other areas.

So, generally speaking south Salem, West Salem, and northern Keizer have the better schools. South Salem is south of Mission Street and between the Willamette and I-5. West Salem is across the river in Polk county. Northern Keizer is from Lockhaven north.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:58 PM
36 posts, read 42,218 times
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Thank yuofor the information, and will definitely start to look around those areas such as south & west salem and northern Keizer.
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Old 04-23-2015, 12:05 PM
4,060 posts, read 4,888,279 times
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The other point I'd toss in is that Salem rentals have been relatively tight for 1-2 years now - if not quite as tight as Portland, still enough to make the search a challenge.

Comparatively, the cost of buying in Salem may actually fit your budget and your open up your ability to actually land in a neighborhood you're targeting. Though obviously with buying you're accepting some longer term market risk, and I'm a bit of a housing bear personally, I do think Salem is a market where one should at least contemplate whether buying is a more viable option over renting.

If you look at similar threads in the past year you'll see quite a few prospective renters not finding what they want and stuck either renting off Lancaster, or outside the city proper, which sometimes can involve a decent commute since most of the outlying towns aren't exactly adjacent.
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