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Old 12-03-2018, 10:53 PM
 
28 posts, read 19,621 times
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We are highly considering a move to Camas next summer. We will be in town very briefly this weekend and want to see at much of the city as we can, however we have very minimal time there. We'll be arriving afternoon, staying over night, and leaving around 6 AM. That gives us only a few hours of daylight to explore. We are very visual and will get a good feel just by driving around. However, with such short time we don't want to drive around aimlessly, as it would be easier to have GPS send us between specific locations. If you could map out key areas / locations that would give a representation of Camas overall, what would it look like? Even simple things like key shopping, common routes etc. Ideas of where to explore in the evening would be helpful as well, including surrounding areas. Thanks!
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:12 PM
 
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Where are you staying? Depending upon what time you make it to PDX in the afternoon you may barely make it to Camas before dark. Just go downtown and have dinner. You're really not going to be able to see much in that limited period of time. If you really are considering moving this coming summer, it's best to set up at least two full days for scouting on a few trips. We are moving up this coming summer as well but started our scouting work over two years ago. What are looking to achieve with the move? Why Camas?
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:41 PM
 
Location: WA
4,163 posts, read 5,285,909 times
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This Friday is the Hometown Holidays celebration in downtown Camas. Every first friday of the month is a downtown celebration gallery walk, music sort of thing. The Christmas one is the big one. The local HS and middle school bands and choirs will be performing at varous street locations around downtown and there will be all kinds of holiday stuff happening downtown. Christmas tree lighting, street music and venders, all the galleries and shops staying open late. That sort of thing. Parking will be tight but you'll find plenty of on-street parking on the edges of downtown a couple blocks away from the main activity which is on 4th street. https://downtowncamas.com/event/hometown-holidays It will give you a good sense of the community spirit of the city and how it looks when people are out and about.

Downtown Camas is quaint and artsy with many shops and restaurants. However most Camas residents do the bulk of their shopping on 192nd and 164th and Mill Plain in East Vancouver. You could do a loop around 192nd, Highway 14, 164th and Mill Plain and get a very quick peek at all the normal big box stores and restaurants you'll have available for your every day shopping.

During daylight hours you can do a loop around Lacamas Lake. Start at the the Costco on 19nd and 1st. Drive east on 1st. You'll pass Skyridge Middle School just to the right on Parker Street. Drive around it if you want to see a middle school then continue east on 1st which becomes Lake Road. You'll pass Lacamas Park where you can park and see the lake and the trail around it.
Turn left at the next light on Everest Street. Take a short detour to see Camas HS if you want to see the HS and grounds then return to Everett St and take Ledbetter Road around the north side of the lake. Follow your GPS back to the Costco or next door Union HS (which is a good school but in the Evergreen School District of East Vancouver). Half of this drive on the north side of the lake will be dark country roads at night so don't bother then.

Most of the nicer subdivisions are on Prune Hill. There are a whole bunch of them. Basically the area bounded by Parker Road to the west, downtown to the east, Lacamas Lake to the north, and Macintosh Road to the south. I would suggest just downloading the zillow app to your phone and follow the zillow map around to some houses that look interesting to you and are in your potential price range to get a flavor of neighborhoods. Most of the subdivisions are tucked away on winding cul de sac streets with only intermittent through streets between neighborhoods so you just have to kind of drive around and explore neighborhoods. You can't really just do a loop through Prune Hill very easily.

PS, if you are interested in specific neighborhoods and houses I would HIGHLY suggest visting during both day and night to see not only how the place looks during the day but also walk around and check out the neighborhood at night to see what kind of street lighting there is and how it feels at night. Especially if you are like me and do a lot of dog walking at night.
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:23 AM
 
28 posts, read 19,621 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 182pilot View Post
Where are you staying? Depending upon what time you make it to PDX in the afternoon you may barely make it to Camas before dark. Just go downtown and have dinner. You're really not going to be able to see much in that limited period of time. If you really are considering moving this coming summer, it's best to set up at least two full days for scouting on a few trips. We are moving up this coming summer as well but started our scouting work over two years ago. What are looking to achieve with the move? Why Camas?
We have an AirBNB for 1 night in Camas. Based on when our flight lands we'll make it to Camas around 1:30-2:30.

We lived in Seattle for 6 years before moving to North Carolina 2 years ago. It didn't impress the way we'd hoped and Camas became the goal to have much of what we loved about WA with better livability. I heard someone describe Raleigh (where we moved) as a place that pencils out nicely on paper and fits many desirable specs, but when you experience it leaves you disappointed. We've grown to like it a bit more, but ultimately heart strings pulling us back so to speak. We aimed for last summer, but my husband couldn't land a teaching position / transfer his certification in time. So the new goal became next summer. With our schedules, school etc this is really our only shot to see the area together as a family, and we realize that's minimal (We originally moved to Seattle area having never been and loved it, so not terribly nervous.)

Interested in seeing the day to day visual mostly.
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:32 AM
 
28 posts, read 19,621 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasdiver View Post

PS, if you are interested in specific neighborhoods and houses I would HIGHLY suggest visting during both day and night to see not only how the place looks during the day but also walk around and check out the neighborhood at night to see what kind of street lighting there is and how it feels at night. Especially if you are like me and do a lot of dog walking at night.
We'll be arriving Saturday, leaving Sunday morning. Our budget is on the lower end, approx. $350K, so we won't have much selection neighborhood wise. May even go the condo / townhome route. I am pretty adamant about buying in Camas though due to schools and other details with our jobs. I've been watching the market and realize there's minimal properties in this price point, so I don't think we'll be able to narrow it down much.
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Old 12-04-2018, 08:06 AM
 
Location: WA
4,163 posts, read 5,285,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadesofkray View Post
We'll be arriving Saturday, leaving Sunday morning. Our budget is on the lower end, approx. $350K, so we won't have much selection neighborhood wise. May even go the condo / townhome route. I am pretty adamant about buying in Camas though due to schools and other details with our jobs. I've been watching the market and realize there's minimal properties in this price point, so I don't think we'll be able to narrow it down much.
In that case definitely check out the Fishers Creek neighborhood which I think is technically just across the boundary line in Vancouver but still in the Camas school district. Super convenient to shopping, you can walk to QFC grocery and Starbucks. There are two current listings in that neighborhood. I think it is very cute. Lots of kids. The neighborhood has its own little playground. It goes crazy at Halloween with decorations and my daughter likes to trick or treat down there with a friend who lives there. Also a good neighborhood for commuting to other parts of the metro area. Here's an example: https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sal.../66113733_zpid

Another neighborhood to check out is Grass Valley neighborhood around Grass Valley elementary. I don't see any current listings there but a lot of smaller houses and town houses in your price range there.

If you don't mind an older house or fixer upper then there are possibilities in the downtown area. https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sal...23246758_zpid/
https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sal.../23246991_zpid

Last edited by texasdiver; 12-04-2018 at 08:41 AM..
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Old 12-04-2018, 01:25 PM
 
28 posts, read 19,621 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasdiver View Post
In that case definitely check out the Fishers Creek neighborhood which I think is technically just across the boundary line in Vancouver but still in the Camas school district. Super convenient to shopping, you can walk to QFC grocery and Starbucks. There are two current listings in that neighborhood. I think it is very cute. Lots of kids. The neighborhood has its own little playground. It goes crazy at Halloween with decorations and my daughter likes to trick or treat down there with a friend who lives there. Also a good neighborhood for commuting to other parts of the metro area. Here's an example: https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sal.../66113733_zpid

Another neighborhood to check out is Grass Valley neighborhood around Grass Valley elementary. I don't see any current listings there but a lot of smaller houses and town houses in your price range there.

If you don't mind an older house or fixer upper then there are possibilities in the downtown area. https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sal...23246758_zpid/
https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sal.../23246991_zpid
This is very helpful, thanks so much!
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:03 AM
 
Location: WA
4,163 posts, read 5,285,909 times
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After your visit, come back here and let us know how it went and what your impressions were!
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
6,309 posts, read 13,738,494 times
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We did a pretty extensive scouting mission this past summer. You can go back and take a look at that post if you'd like here: Impressions after scouting trip.

Based upon the information you've provided including the given budget and limited time here's what I recommend.

Look at the areas within Camas that have homes/condos in your price range to get a sense of what those neighborhoods are actually like. You didn't say anything about the age of your kids or if you even have them. So we have to make some assumptions.

The thing with Camas we discovered after driving it extensively is that it really varies a lot in terms of neighborhood feel especially for a rather small town. That is very important to us especially with kids. Just being in a good school district really isn't enough in and of itself. This is something which becomes more evident after driving around. There are some neighborhoods which may look good on paper but once you get there its just not the same things at all - less or more desirable to say the least. Neighborhood types from our perspective:

I. Some streets were simply not designed very well for the amount of higher local traffic coming in and out. It makes you want to say 'Slow Down! There are kids playing around here.' IMO, these neighborhoods are too impacted with folks who simply want to live in Camas. While I can understand why, there's a definite trade off living there compared to other nice(r) parts of Vancouver with decent schools as well.

II. Then there are neighborhoods with really old homes closer to downtown. This is more of the old Camas blue color factory town with some really ancient homes and streets. This can feel a bit more rundown in parts. Though you might find a diamond in the rough in need of some repair. Think about what it would be like for kids playing in those streets. Does it feel safe? Do you want a home built in the 50s or older with asbestos, lead paint, rusty pipes, etc...

III. As you move up toward the Lacamas Lake you approach the lifestyles of the rich and famous (or so it seems in comparison) and everything changes. The neighborhood streets are not as crazy, crowded. The streets are wider with larger lots, nicer, newer homes. The locals don't seem as frantic racing around so fast from point A to point B. Kids are playing or selling lemonade on the corner. Its like another place entirely, seriously. And you guessed it, the homes are more expensive as well.

IV. Then you find some neighborhoods in between the above extremes, maybe not the newest neighborhoods but not the most rundown or crazy, impacted either. This can actually vary street to street as you pass certain borders or subdivisions. For example, as we drove from old Camas to newer Camas we saw this.

V. New developments with smaller lots which can present more affordable options. But its too hard to tell what the neighborhood feel is like since it doesn't really exist yet. You kind of have to extrapolate based on other similar developments.

You really need to get a sense of these neighborhoods before buying a home from out of state. For a short visit I think you need to quickly see/experience these differences even if only in part. Texasdiver gave some good advice. Start from downtown and then drive up the hill near the lake and possibly over near the high school. There a bunch of new, smaller homes going up there which 'may' be in your reach and present a decent option like this development - https://www.zillow.com/community/win...?fullpage=true

Then check out some of the other neighborhoods west of the lake to the border. Here's a couple decent homes which 'may' work: https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1...?fullpage=true

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2...?fullpage=true

Then, I agree with Texasdiver about taking a look at Fishers Creek and Fishers Landing right across the border from Camas. We actually liked it more than many parts of Camas and the schools are good there as well. Here's a townhome which could work:
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/4...?fullpage=true

Derek
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:37 AM
 
136 posts, read 95,455 times
Reputation: 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnSurfer View Post
We did a pretty extensive scouting mission this past summer. You can go back and take a look at that post if you'd like here: Impressions after scouting trip.

Based upon the information you've provided including the given budget and limited time here's what I recommend.

Look at the areas within Camas that have homes/condos in your price range to get a sense of what those neighborhoods are actually like. You didn't say anything about the age of your kids or if you even have them. So we have to make some assumptions.

The thing with Camas we discovered after driving it extensively is that it really varies a lot in terms of neighborhood feel especially for a rather small town. That is very important to us especially with kids. Just being in a good school district really isn't enough in and of itself. This is something which becomes more evident after driving around. There are some neighborhoods which may look good on paper but once you get there its just not the same things at all - less or more desirable to say the least. Neighborhood types from our perspective:

I. Some streets were simply not designed very well for the amount of higher local traffic coming in and out. It makes you want to say 'Slow Down! There are kids playing around here.' IMO, these neighborhoods are too impacted with folks who simply want to live in Camas. While I can understand why, there's a definite trade off living there compared to other nice(r) parts of Vancouver with decent schools as well.

II. Then there are neighborhoods with really old homes closer to downtown. This is more of the old Camas blue color factory town with some really ancient homes and streets. This can feel a bit more rundown in parts. Though you might find a diamond in the rough in need of some repair. Think about what it would be like for kids playing in those streets. Does it feel safe? Do you want a home built in the 50s or older with asbestos, lead paint, rusty pipes, etc...

III. As you move up toward the Lacamas Lake you approach the lifestyles of the rich and famous (or so it seems in comparison) and everything changes. The neighborhood streets are not as crazy, crowded. The streets are wider with larger lots, nicer, newer homes. The locals don't seem as frantic racing around so fast from point A to point B. Kids are playing or selling lemonade on the corner. Its like another place entirely, seriously. And you guessed it, the homes are more expensive as well.

IV. Then you find some neighborhoods in between the above extremes, maybe not the newest neighborhoods but not the most rundown or crazy, impacted either. This can actually vary street to street as you pass certain borders or subdivisions. For example, as we drove from old Camas to newer Camas we saw this.

V. New developments with smaller lots which can present more affordable options. But its too hard to tell what the neighborhood feel is like since it doesn't really exist yet. You kind of have to extrapolate based on other similar developments.

You really need to get a sense of these neighborhoods before buying a home from out of state. For a short visit I think you need to quickly see/experience these differences even if only in part. Texasdiver gave some good advice. Start from downtown and then drive up the hill near the lake and possibly over near the high school. There a bunch of new, smaller homes going up there which 'may' be in your reach and present a decent option like this development - https://www.zillow.com/community/win...?fullpage=true

Then check out some of the other neighborhoods west of the lake to the border. Here's a couple decent homes which 'may' work: https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1...?fullpage=true

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2...?fullpage=true

Then, I agree with Texasdiver about taking a look at Fishers Creek and Fishers Landing right across the border from Camas. We actually liked it more than many parts of Camas and the schools are good there as well. Here's a townhome which could work:
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/4...?fullpage=true

Derek

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!
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