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Old 12-06-2018, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
6,258 posts, read 13,640,545 times
Reputation: 7197

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Quote:
Originally Posted by izzy2017 View Post
So, I feel like I need to respond to the bolded above and I hope that maybe I've just misunderstood your post Derek, as someone who doesn't live in our area I think I can understand why you posted this about the downtown Camas area, I'm sure you didn't see all of it. I think though that it comes off as misguided and frankly a little elitist.

We have many friends who live in beautiful homes on lovely streets in downtown Camas. I'm not sure where you got the idea that those streets aren't safe, the crime rate in Camas is very low and mostly involves car break-ins. You make it sound like a scary, run down place but it's really quite neighborhoody.

Kids from the area actually sled down the hilly streets in the winter in downtown Camas, there are block parties, and bbqs in the summertime. The Crown Park area is being bought up by young families who want an actual yard with their home, maybe some quality construction in their homes, and easy access to downtown Camas. Yes, the houses are older, maybe even "ancient" if you're from California. I'm from the northeast where a home built in the 50s is considered new in many areas.

One of the things that Camas is struggling with right now is an influx of new people flush with home equity money at the same time that our blue-collar community is shrinking. Older residents are upset about the way that many newcomers look down on the mill past of our town. They want to change the name of the high school mascot, and they celebrate online when there are layoffs at the mill. You've never come off as one of those people Derek, which is why I'm responding.

OP, I think you have a good idea of where to visit in Camas, hope you have a great trip!
izzy2017, sorry if it came off that way. It's good to get input from folks who live there regarding safety, etc... Just to clarify, I'm not talking about crime but rather the local street traffic zipping in and out where kids normally ride their bikes, play, etc... There were actually much worse neighborhoods regarding local traffic than the downtown area. It's also somewhat difficult to give an honest perspective without the possibility of offending some who might live in those neighborhoods. So for that reason I do not mention actual streets. Though we definately took note of them.

Regarding downtown, it actually reminds me a lot of the area we live in now in parts. Historically, Monterey is an old fishing village with neighborhoods of really old homes (early 1900s) which some seem to love. Some are even of historic significance. For me as a potential buyer, I just see all the problems I would need to deal with. This is more after working on them for a number of years in construction remodeling while in college and living in some as well. Working with asbestos, lead paint and other toxic materials as well as rusty pipes, old electrical and other things not up to current code or bootlegged isn't very fun. In the coastal areas here they are very common. It's actually more common than Vancouver since we do not have many new developments at all. That being said, I realize some love the older homes and enjoy fixing them up. So it's really more of our take on things.

Then there are parts throughout Camas, not just downtown, as well as Vancouver and Washougal that simply appear more rundown in terms of basic neighborhood upkeep, etc... This can even vary street to street in some neighborhoods and I don't think age of residents is a factor. Though our kids have made it very clear they do not want to live in a 'retirement community' with more eldery than families which is what we live in currently. Hence the need to drive them before buying especially from out of state. This is really like most towns and not unique to Camas at all.

The mill history I find interesting and see no reason to attempt to change that including the school mascot. I didn't even know that was a thing. I also think many are glad that the smells from the mill are no longer a problem. Though it's unfortunate that so many lost their jobs after its closure.

Derek

Last edited by MtnSurfer; 12-06-2018 at 11:53 AM..
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Old 12-06-2018, 02:06 PM
 
28 posts, read 19,406 times
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All very helpful info.

I explored downtown a bit online and noticed while there was a mix of older homes, there were larger, newer ones sprinkled throughout.

We have one 5 year old son. My husband teaches HS Math and will be keeping an eye on positions coming open in Camas, Evergreen, Washougal, Battle Ground and surrounding.

The school ratings in Camas is not the only appeal for us, the smaller size is too. We'd be coming from Chapel Hill -Carborro city schools in NC which we love and has several similarities to Camas. We also appreciate having our son attend the same district my husband works in, as everything aligns. That may or may not pan out if we moved to Camas.

I nanny for a living and it's a crapshoot where I would end up.
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
6,258 posts, read 13,640,545 times
Reputation: 7197
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadesofkray View Post
All very helpful info.

I explored downtown a bit online and noticed while there was a mix of older homes, there were larger, newer ones sprinkled throughout.

We have one 5 year old son. My husband teaches HS Math and will be keeping an eye on positions coming open in Camas, Evergreen, Washougal, Battle Ground and surrounding.

The school ratings in Camas is not the only appeal for us, the smaller size is too. We'd be coming from Chapel Hill -Carborro city schools in NC which we love and has several similarities to Camas. We also appreciate having our son attend the same district my husband works in, as everything aligns. That may or may not pan out if we moved to Camas.

I nanny for a living and it's a crapshoot where I would end up.
We have family who live in Brush Prairie and all the kids attended Hockinson HS. They've all loved going there. Its also one the better high schools in the area. Because its a smaller school, they feel like they get to know everyone well including their teachers.

The one major difference between Brush Prairie/Hockinson and Battle Ground is that you are living further out more in the country. They love it, ride horses, do 4H and have a great time with it. But that just has to be factored in if that is something you prefer more or not.

There are quite a few new homes being built in southern Hockinson we were considering. It is also 'closer in' to Vancouver and Camas than some of the other parts - only ~ 15 minutes to Lacamas Lake, for example. You can take a look here:

https://www.redfin.com/school/144996...384:-122.54572

The other good areas to check out include the Union High School district as Texasdiver mentioned as well as Felida/Salmon Creek. There are more homes in your price range here which gives you a bit more to work with. There are actually parts of Camas itself within the Union HS district since it borders the city.

https://www.redfin.com/school/89942/...511:-122.56887


https://www.redfin.com/school/111625...ear-built=1970


Derek

Last edited by MtnSurfer; 12-06-2018 at 09:13 PM..
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:51 PM
 
Location: WA
4,084 posts, read 5,189,322 times
Reputation: 5426
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnSurfer View Post
We have family who live in Brush Prairie and all the kids attended Hockinson HS. They've all loved going there. Its also one the better high schools in the area. Because its a smaller school, they feel like they get to know everyone well including their teachers.

The one difference between Brush Prairie/Hockinson and Battle Ground is that you are living further out more in the country. They love it, ride horse do 4H and have a great time with it. But that just has to be factored in if that is something you prefer more or not.
The difference between Camas and the Hockinson area is that Camas is an actual town or small city with a walkable downtown and all kinds of local shops and restaurants. Hockinson is just a spot on the map with a stop sign and country market.

In Camas you can get pretty much everything you need on a daily basis in a 4 block radius of downtown Camas. And there are actual residential neighborhoods with sidewalks and a wide assortment of houses and apartments and parks within walking and biking distance of downtown. There's a safeway, excellent local hardware store, great library, lots of restaurants and brew pubs, a variety of specialty shops. About all it lacks is a clothing store and big box electronics for TVs and such. There are some boutique clothing shops but no place like a Sears or JC Penney or Fred Meyer.


This is the center of Camas: https://www.google.com/maps/@45.5858...7i13312!8i6656


You can find a place called Hockinson on the map but there is no town there at all. Just a stop sign and old country store and maybe a Grange building in the center of what is called Hockinson next to the new high school. There are dozens of new subdivisions all over the area including lots of ones with larger 1-5 acre lots for those who want that sort of thing. But there is nothing else there. You'll be driving to Battle Ground or Vancouver for absolutely everything. This google street view is the very center of Hockinson. What you see is all that's there.

https://www.google.com/maps/@45.7374...7i13312!8i6656

Anything else like the nearest restaurant or grocery is at least a 10 min drive away in Battle Ground or the Orchards neighborhood on the northeast side of Vancouver, both of which are mostly suburban strip mall commercial areas.
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
6,258 posts, read 13,640,545 times
Reputation: 7197
Quote:
Originally Posted by texasdiver View Post
The difference between Camas and the Hockinson area is that Camas is an actual town or small city with a walkable downtown and all kinds of local shops and restaurants. Hockinson is just a spot on the map with a stop sign and country market.
Yes, sure. That's actually why we prefer places closer into town. But that said, some still enjoy country living more if that's their thing. We actually have two sets of relatives living there - one in Brush Prairie and the other in Fishers Landing. They both are happy with their choices even though the grandparents would love to be right next to their grandkids. Different strokes for different folks. The reason I included the country was that the OP mentioned Battle Ground as an option. Though I don't think the schools are rated as well as Brush Prairie/Hockinson.

Derek
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:44 PM
 
28 posts, read 19,406 times
Reputation: 37
Hi everyone - Took me forever to post a follow up. I actually typed one when we were traveling and then my phone died and I lost what I wrote, so this version won't be as fresh in my mind. Either way I saved our "route" for exploring if anyone wants to use it. We spent only a few hours seeing the area but I still feel like we got a good feel for it. Basically I mapped out way points that would have us not jumping back and forth and not driving aimlessly.

Overall we loved the area. We had a good feeling about Camas and it didn't disappoint! This was our route:

- We checked out Fisher's Landing first and loved it. The homes were a little bit higher then what we're looking to spend but it seemed like we may have a couple options in the area. Overall the neighborhood gave a very family friendly vibe and was well kept.
- We checked out a couple properties on SE 41st Way and then crossed over the Vancouver border to Camas to see a property on SE 38th Way.
- We headed to Camas-Washougal / Washougal Waterfront Park, stopping to briefly see a property on NW 6th Place.
- From there we checked out Downtown, stopping first at Liberty Theatre and Camas Library, and then just driving around the surrounding neighborhoods.
- Next stop was West Lookout Ridge drive.
- We then stopped to see Camas High School. Since my husband will be applying at local high schools, it was helpful for him to see each one and their proximity to surrounding neighborhoods.
- We then set Camp Currie as a way point, not with any interest to see it, but because it took us up the side of Lacamas Lake.
- Next stop Union High School
- Headed to Grass Valley Neighborhood / Grass Valley Elementary. I wasn't a big fan of the home styling / neighborhood here, so we didn't stick around long. Not sure a specific reason.
- We stopped at Lacamas Park. This was the second opportunity (after the waterfront park) for our son to get his wiggles out. We enjoyed a brief walk along the trail and the small playground.
- We checked out a couple other properties on NW 31st Avenue and NW 18th Avenue. Most of these homes were outside our price range, but the two we looked at were more affordable. If I remember correctly, I think this was the top of Prune Hill?

It was now 430 and with the sun setting we checked into our AirBNB then went to grab dinner while seeing the shopping routes in Vancouver. Since we prefer a GPS navigating in unfamiliar areas, we set up some businesses to form a loop like one poster suggested (Dominos, Tapped Brew House and Pub, Lowes, Whole Foods, and Fred Meyer).

If there was some key areas we missed, please reference them to we can check them out a bit online.

Overall loved the area. My husband will be applying shortly for teaching positions, and I wanted to ask, what surrounding school districts are there? I know of Camas, Evergreen (the largest), Battleground and Washougal.
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
6,258 posts, read 13,640,545 times
Reputation: 7197
Wow Shadesofkray,

You really did cover a lot of ground! Apparently you maximized your limited time. Good job seeing all of that. It's sounds like you got a good sense about how different some of the neighborhoods are. Glad you were able to enjoy the lake. Isn't that a beautiful spot?

Don't count out Hockinson School District. We have family there and all three girls have really enjoyed it and have done very well academically as well. Their high school rates higher than most in Vancouver. Though we don't base everything on ratings alone since there is more to a school than ranking or test scores. The environment is a big factor among others such as fit, etc... Since we have teenagers we're mainly looking at these high schools: Union, Camas, Hockinson and Mountain View.

Here's a complete list of the school districts in Clark County: SCHOOL DISTRICTS

Derek
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:07 PM
 
Location: WA
4,084 posts, read 5,189,322 times
Reputation: 5426
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadesofkray View Post
Hi everyone - Took me forever to post a follow up. I actually typed one when we were traveling and then my phone died and I lost what I wrote, so this version won't be as fresh in my mind. Either way I saved our "route" for exploring if anyone wants to use it. We spent only a few hours seeing the area but I still feel like we got a good feel for it. Basically I mapped out way points that would have us not jumping back and forth and not driving aimlessly.

Overall we loved the area. We had a good feeling about Camas and it didn't disappoint! This was our route:

- We checked out Fisher's Landing first and loved it. The homes were a little bit higher then what we're looking to spend but it seemed like we may have a couple options in the area. Overall the neighborhood gave a very family friendly vibe and was well kept.
- We checked out a couple properties on SE 41st Way and then crossed over the Vancouver border to Camas to see a property on SE 38th Way.
- We headed to Camas-Washougal / Washougal Waterfront Park, stopping to briefly see a property on NW 6th Place.
- From there we checked out Downtown, stopping first at Liberty Theatre and Camas Library, and then just driving around the surrounding neighborhoods.
- Next stop was West Lookout Ridge drive.
- We then stopped to see Camas High School. Since my husband will be applying at local high schools, it was helpful for him to see each one and their proximity to surrounding neighborhoods.
- We then set Camp Currie as a way point, not with any interest to see it, but because it took us up the side of Lacamas Lake.
- Next stop Union High School
- Headed to Grass Valley Neighborhood / Grass Valley Elementary. I wasn't a big fan of the home styling / neighborhood here, so we didn't stick around long. Not sure a specific reason.
- We stopped at Lacamas Park. This was the second opportunity (after the waterfront park) for our son to get his wiggles out. We enjoyed a brief walk along the trail and the small playground.
- We checked out a couple other properties on NW 31st Avenue and NW 18th Avenue. Most of these homes were outside our price range, but the two we looked at were more affordable. If I remember correctly, I think this was the top of Prune Hill?

It was now 430 and with the sun setting we checked into our AirBNB then went to grab dinner while seeing the shopping routes in Vancouver. Since we prefer a GPS navigating in unfamiliar areas, we set up some businesses to form a loop like one poster suggested (Dominos, Tapped Brew House and Pub, Lowes, Whole Foods, and Fred Meyer).

If there was some key areas we missed, please reference them to we can check them out a bit online.

Overall loved the area. My husband will be applying shortly for teaching positions, and I wanted to ask, what surrounding school districts are there? I know of Camas, Evergreen (the largest), Battleground and Washougal.
Fishers Landing and the western edge of Camas near 192nd will be your best bet for easy commuting to school jobs elsewhere in the county. In descending order of size (more or less)

Evergreen (4 high schools plus magnets)
Vancouver (4 high schools plus magnets)
Battle Ground (2 high schools)
Camas (1 large HS plus magnets)
Ridgefield (one 2A high school)
Hockinson (one 2A high school)
Washougal (one 2A high school)
La Center (one 2A high school)
Woodland (one 2A high school)

You can use google maps to figure out distances and commuting times. Woodland and La Center will be the farthest. You could also apply for jobs in Skamania County out the Gorge. There are a couple very small schools out there and the winter commute in the dark will be dangerous and sucky on 14 but people do it every day, mostly in the other direction. If you did that you'll probably want to live further out in Washougal to reduce the daily driving.

Some teachers in the Vancouver area drive all the way to jobs in Cowlitz County to schools in Kalama, Kelso, or Longview. That would be in the 45 min to 1 hour distance from Camas. You can also look for jobs across the river, especially in east Multnomah County schools but there is more competition from Portland area teachers and the commute will be sucky.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
6,258 posts, read 13,640,545 times
Reputation: 7197
Fisher's Landing is sort of a double-edged sword. The neighborhoods are really nice for families. The bummer is that there are so few homes on the market compared to other areas. It seems most end up really liking it and see no reason to leave/sell. We have relatives who bought there a couple of decades ago when it was all new construction. Now they're retired and empty nesters. But they still have no plans to move. Every now and then we've seen a good one come up that fits what we're looking for. But those tend to go quickly if priced right. I guess it will depend upon when you're ready to buy. March-May tend to be good months to look because that is when other families are also getting ready to move with school finishing up.

We did explore parts of Cascade Park right next to Fisher's Landing that didn't look too bad. Although some areas around the golf course looked too much like a retirement community which our kids would not be thrilled with.

Interestingly, Camas still has a lot of new construction going on near the high school. Though they may not suit every families' requirements, preferences, price point, etc... There is a lot of new construction going on further north closer to Hockinson and the northern border of Union High School's boundary as well.

Derek

Last edited by MtnSurfer; 02-09-2019 at 10:52 PM..
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:27 PM
 
Location: WA
4,084 posts, read 5,189,322 times
Reputation: 5426
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnSurfer View Post
Fisher's Landing is sort of a double-edged sword. The neighborhoods are really nice for families. The bummer is that there are so few homes on the market compared to other areas. It seems most end up really liking it and see no reason to leave/sell. We have relatives who bought there a couple of decades ago when it was all new construction. Now they're retired and empty nesters. But they still have no plans to move. Every now and then we've seen a good one come up that fits what we're looking for. But those tend to go quickly if priced right. I guess it will depend upon when you're ready to buy. March-May tend to be good months to look because that is when other families are also getting ready to move with school finishing up.

We did explore parts of Cascade Park right next to Fisher's Landing that didn't look too bad. Although some areas around the golf course looked too much like a retirement community which our kids would not be thrilled with.

Interestingly, Camas still has a lot of new construction going on near the high school. Though they may not suit every families' requirements, preferences, price point, etc... There is a lot of new construction going on further north closer to Hockinson and the northern border of Union High School's boundary as well.

Derek
I think this is one of the big new developments out past the high school. https://www.columbian.com/news/2018/...draws-protest/

It is actually in Washougal (or will have a Washougal address) but will zone to Camas schools. The boundary lines between Camas and Washougal school districts don't follow the city boundary lines, especially as those two areas have grown.

If I was planning to possibly commute to jobs in other parts of Clark County, I'd be careful not to buy too far back in that direction as it will add a LOT of extra time to your commute. And will get worse and worse as more subdivisions go in with no real plan to increase the highway capacity. The closer you are to the 192nd & Highway 14 interchange the better.
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