Humor me, Portland mamas, best places to live in Portland area? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-03-2007, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know everyone will have differing opinions....naturally

But something inside seems to be drawing me there. I have lived in Washington, in Vancouver for a time, and visited, with dh's family. So I know Portland as far as having been there countless times. But not as far as living there.


I will say it is definitely on the list of places we may want to settle down, and have dh start his company. (Which may be soon?)

So, as I look at wonderfully inexpensive homes-compared to here- on Craiglist, what should I be on the lookout for? What areas would suit me best?

Things I like: Of course I am into being crunchy, or I would not be here

I like being within walking distance to something fun or cool. Lots of naptime jogger walks in this family. Not totally nessecary, but would definitely help.

I like being in a safe neighborhood I can go running for quite a distance in, or close to a trail meant for this.

I love doting on locally owned shops. Epecially yarn shops. I love the yarn shop in downtown Portland!

I need a fair amount of backyard, and preferably a house that is a bit more artistic in nature. I need trees, lots of flowers and great landscaping to keep MIL happy when she visits.

So please, let me know what you think as far as neighborhoods.If you don't currently like where you live, and could do it over, where would you pick?

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
.
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Old 03-03-2007, 04:24 PM
 
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I love SE. I like NE too. Both are good for being able to walk places and shop at local shops. Honestly, everywhere here is good for crunchiness. As far as safety goes, I'm not really too sure about that one. It seems like the farther out east I go, the less safe it is. If it were me, I'd try to buy a house within 72nd given the choice. Mt. Tabor is a nice area, and if you live close enough to the actual Mt. Tabor, you can go for walks and hikes there and there is a pretty cool park for kids. Yeah, actually, if I were you, I'd look at a map, find a cool park, look up the park on the parks and rec website, and try to find a house near one of the cool parks. Laurelhurst Park is probably the best park in SE, but the houses around there can get expensive. I have a feeling that your view of expensive might be a little different coming from NoCA. Other good parks are Sellwood, Mt. Scott, er...I haven't been to a lot. All those place are SE. I don't know much about NE, just that I think it's a cute place to live, like SE. Hopefully some others will chime in.

Sorry for the rambling post.
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Old 03-03-2007, 04:27 PM
 
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Check out SW Portland -- the Multnomah Village/Hillsdale area. I live within walking distance of both villages and Gabriel Park is with walking distance, too. I LOVE this area and feel that it is really safe around here, been living in this area for 6 years now, owned a property here for the last 5.
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Old 03-03-2007, 05:00 PM
 
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If you have a ton of money, try NW, near Forest Park.

Otherwise, I would highly recommend St. John's (where I live!)
or
Alberta St
or
Hawthorne
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Old 03-04-2007, 02:15 AM
 
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I was going to suggest Hawthorne - everytime I drive through I see more and more cool buildings and stores I would *like* to stop at, but I am on my way to a rehearsal or something!

I live in NE (up in Piedmont) and I really like it - there are lots of families, right near the park (with a community pool), and while the demographic of the area is changing, I still feel pretty darn safe. I see lots of people walking friendly dogs, my neighborhood has block parties and progressive dinners quite a bit, and I spy a babywearer almost every day (some are Bjorns, but it is progress!).

Jen, SAHM to Jamie and Alexandra and with #3 in May
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Old 03-04-2007, 03:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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THANKS everyone

It sure does help to know what to look for, having all these suggestions. And I am not even sure we would mover there for certain, but I am researching the areas as much as possible. I see some amazing homes for sale now!

Forest Park does sound appealing Maybe some day

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
.
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:18 AM
 
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I've been looking at moving to Portland too - it's home for me - but in the 10+ years I've been gone housing has absolutely skyrocketed! I'm wondering how anyone can afford to buy a home there.

Am I just not looking in the right places? When I search the real estate ads (including via the Oregonian) I can't find anything less for 150k that's not a trailer (a trailer would be acceptable if it were nice enough and not in a trailer park). I'd prefer Beaverton or west of there (though not too much farther) or SE like Milwaukie up to Hawthorne or so.

Can you believe I used to live in NW (on 19th - across from Couch Park) and only paid $350 in rent?!
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Old 03-07-2007, 01:19 PM
 
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These are my favorites:

Arbor Lodge
Alberta Arts
Irvington
King

Piedmont
Concordia

I live in between the three bolded neighborhoods and can walk to many many places. We won't live anywhere else.
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Old 03-07-2007, 01:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamanurse View Post
These are my favorites:

Arbor Lodge
Alberta Arts
Irvington
King

Piedmont
Concordia

I live in between the three bolded neighborhoods and can walk to many many places. We won't live anywhere else.
me too. we live in alameda (between irvington and hollywood, not on the ridge, but nearer to grant park. we love it. my 12 year old can walk to broadway, grant park, etc., by herself. she can ride her bike around our neighborhood (we are in the flats) - we can all ride bikes to friend's houses in irvington, or to broaway, etc. lots of trees, quiet streets and sidewalks, but plenty of kids out in the summer and friendly neighbors. the houses have gotten expensive though - although we moved from the bay area and they still aren't expensive by those standards, so it depends where you are moving from! the houses are mostly older portland houses - but not the giant 4 squares that sell for a million dollars now in irvington, more english cottages, bungalows, etc. our cottage started out as a 1200 sq. ft itty bitty, but the folks we bought it from finished the basement and dormered the attic so it is now 2900 sq. ft! small back yard, but corner lot, and my kids use the whole corner (we have a disk swing on the street tree, grass in front, etc.) actually they use the whole sq. block, but my kids are older than many of yours .. .
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Old 03-07-2007, 02:30 PM
 
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Thanks! I'm off to search.

Btw - my daughter is 16 and a sophomore right now.
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Old 03-07-2007, 07:07 PM
 
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Grant's the best mainstream public school IMO. YOu can do an RMLS search based on high school, neighborhoods, or zip codes.
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Old 03-08-2007, 02:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So how is the unschooling/homeschooling community in these favored areas?:

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
.
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Old 03-08-2007, 02:23 AM
 
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I'm not an US/HS, but there seems to be a pretty active community and I hear the state is somewhat friendly. I think Alison from Vancouver, WA says the laws were a wee bit friendlier 'cause of no testing.
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Old 03-08-2007, 04:43 AM
 
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My favorite place to be right now is the Clinton area!!!
It is really booming. You have the NIght light (good organic late night food and stiff drinks)
Clinton Corner cafe which you get a discount at if you are a member of People's Co-Op WHICH is in Clinton too....best place to shop and enjoy shopping!
PLus mother nature (cloth diaper and carriers) and kids resale. (picolina?)
Then you can still get all the bennies of Hawthorn (where do I begin) and Division-- (Children's exchange and Detour Cafe)
For the long jogger you can hit the Esplanade pretty easy or head to Mt. Tabor.
"Crunchy"....Inner SE is the crunchiest!!!!!!!!
Buying a house....But have one of the "normal" income's....basically anything on the other side of 82nd...sad but true. NOTHING IS affordable close in SE.
It's a shame in this open minded part of town there is no co-housing.
BUT if you are into the Co-housing thing try Cascadia Commons off Canyon Road...I heart that set up!
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:25 PM
 
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The Clinton area is between SE Powell and SE Division? What numbers? How far is it from Reed?

(I so miss Portland for the simple directions! Pittsburgh is a nightmare.)
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Old 03-08-2007, 01:52 PM
 
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Search the SE Clinton area between SE Powell and SE Hawthorne. SE Division is one street over from Clinton, so that wouldn't give you many choices in that direction I'd say look anywhere from SE 17th up to SE 45th ish.
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Old 03-08-2007, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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there are some really gorgeous homes on Craigslist right now
Lots of green remodels too

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
.
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Old 03-08-2007, 03:01 PM
 
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There are some nice big houses with yards for sale right now at around 12th and Division, but they are right next to the train! That would suck so much to have such a nice house next to a train that has a regular run at 3AM. I think someday they'll change the route and get the train out of that area, but it's not gonna be soon .

Most houses around here are between 200K and 400K. I'm incredibly lucky to be renting a 2 bedroom/1 bath house for 800/month. Any other landlord would probably charge 1100. Then again, utilities in this old house bump our house expenses to about that anyway! The old houses are really beautiful and appealing, but if they haven't had new insulation in the last 20 years, look forward to either paying a high heat bill or paying to insulate the house. People love buying up old houses and making them amazing and energy efficient, and then they cost $450K. I know because I've toured them for fun!

You could look for houses near the Springwater Corridor, which is a great place to jog or bike, and is being improved regularly. Or peruse that Portland Parks site for parks and trails near any houses you find listed. NE Portland seems to be pretty hip and happening, and North Portland, while historically a bad area, is downright livable now! I think some of those houses might be good deals still. The trick is to find an "up and coming" neighborhood. (Like Brooklyn! )

I'm a proud mama of two girls! 4/30/06 Madeline, 09/25/08 Amelia
--**I'm here to share my mistakes and learn from yours**--
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Old 03-08-2007, 03:21 PM
 
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If you are leaving Los Altos, you will have no problem buying a really nice house here in PDX. Now, I vote for SE, because that's where we live , however, there are nice houses in every quadrant. There are also 2 WAP's in the pdx area, one for each side of the river.
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So what kind of area is West Linn?

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
.
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:09 PM
 
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So what kind of area is West Linn?
$$$$$$$$$$$

That's where you can go for the big box houses.
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:34 PM
 
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Grant Park is a wonderful neighborhood close to everything. We just moved from there four months ago and I miss it so much. I don't know what we were thinking. We'll never be able to afford to move back!
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:35 PM
 
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So what kind of area is West Linn?
$$$ Suburban
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:45 PM
 
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So what kind of area is West Linn?
IMO, West Linn and Lake Oswego have the better school districts, as well. But I also taught in Tigard for 3 years, and there are some $$$ areas there, too.

Jen, SAHM to Jamie and Alexandra and with #3 in May
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Old 03-09-2007, 05:36 PM
 
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If you want a big yard you may want to check out the 'burbs. Beaverton is close to the city if you want access. Lake O is pretty, as is West Lynn. And they're more expensive. If you want more house for your money I'd look in close-in NE.

Kat - mama to Clara (9/29/03): & Iris (5/30/06)
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Old 03-10-2007, 05:21 AM
 
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West Linn is one of those places you see a lot of Chevy Tahoes and Channel sunglasses.
BUT I know some of those people as I occasionally take a nanny job out there and there are some good mama's out there.
THe closer in (to PDX) the less you spend on gas coming into the city for things and the more access you have to basically anthing...you wanna african dance...1.5 miles! You wanna do yoga...four blocks MAX! You wannna swing from a trapeez...1 mile! You wanna see puppet shows, childrens theatre, knitting cafe, nutrition lectures, go soak your bones and relax, have a micro brew, eat at an organic food place...ALL within 5 miles of basically anywhere in the four quadrant 8 mile radius of the river....
to put you in perspective....
The river divides West side and east side and Burnside divides North and South. Check out a PDX map and you will see our beautiful little grid system
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Old 03-10-2007, 11:40 PM
 
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