questions about moving to PDX - homelearning, rentals, neighborhoods and jobs? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 03-14-2011, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So we're about to move to the Portland area, and I guess what I need is words of wisdom about rentals and neighborhoods. I've been reading all of the threads here about living in PDX. So far based on my reading we're looking at: Hosford-Abernathy, Laurelhurst, Grant Park/hollywood, Mt Tabor, Beaumont, Alameda, Irvington, Clinton, Sunnyside, Southeast Portland, Woodstock.

I have a few other questions: How's the IT market there? Maybe you shouldn't tell me. We're throwing our hats over the fence and just up and moving there, THEN DH will procure a job. He is convinced no one will take him seriously for hiring until he already lives in Portland. Whee! risk! Luckily we'll have the funds from the sale of our current home to slide us through. But hopefully not for long!

Urm, here is what we want to buy (I believe buy) rent: 3+ BR Sunny and bright, near good stuff like lots of homelearners, which I understand can be found everywhere. (We're unschoolers).

 

I gather the homeschool laws there are great, since there are many homelearners, but can someone tell me the whole bit about homelearning in PDX?

 Um, what else should I ask? Other recommended neighborhoods? What county is Portland proper  in for Craigslist? I notice the tabs are for different counties.

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#2 of 11 Old 03-16-2011, 07:56 AM
 
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I don't know anything about the neighboroods you're considering (I live out in the westside suburbs) but I do know a fabulous realtor: Robbie Ratkai with Portland's Alternative Realtors. He was recommended to me by another MDC mama when I moved to the Portland area 4 years ago, he helped us buy our house, then he helped us sell it last year, and later this year we'll be calling him up again to help us find a new home :) He works in the whole metro area, but primarily PDX proper. His email is robbie@altpdx.com and I've got his number around here somewhere...I can get it for you if you'd like, but my phone is upstairs and I'm far to lazy to go get it right now... :)

 

There are a lot of homeschoolers and hsing groups around. We don't hs right now, but most of my friends do. The laws are pretty good. I'm not super familiar with them, but one friend told me "they're not the most lenient laws ever, but they're very workable." I hope someone who knows a bit more will chime in....

 

My only concern for you is that the job market is pretty tough here. Not sure about the IT industry in PDX proper, but I know that several friends in IT out in the burbs have been searching for a while. Also, it sounds like you're considering buying a house as soon as you get here? (Sorry if I misinterpreted that....) You will probably not qualify to purchase unless you have an income, a promise of a job (in writing), or a whole lot of cash in hand. Your DH is right that he will have a harder time finding a job from a distance- there are enough qualified applicants locally that most employers do not need to look further, and it's far more convenient to interview people that are nearby. My FIL searched for a job here from CA for 6 months and didn't even get a call back. He put my (local) address and phone on his resume and had two interviews offered in two weeks, and was offered one of the jobs. It can be done, especially with an impressive resume, but it does seem to be easier to get in the door once you're here.

 

Hope that helps! This is a wonderful area to live, full of wonderful people and fun things to do. Welcome! I hope you'll love it here as much as I do! :)


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#3 of 11 Old 03-16-2011, 08:09 AM
 
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Depends on your IT position. My hubby, a programmer, still has lots of folks call him even though he's employed. And the last time he was unemployed.. it only took him 12 days to find another job.


I don't think I'd move here without a job though. You want to keep your commute down and some of the high tech jobs are out in the burbs of Hillsboro, Beaverton, Wilsonville. If you buy some cute place intown.. the commute will be grueling to these burbs each morning.

We don't live in the cutesy intown spots because the ugly truth is that folks who do drive their kids past the neighborhood schools to other places to school. My hubby and I live where we school our children. Since you homeschool.. this will be less of a factor for you.

All that said, I'm, going on my fifth year of being an PDXer and I love it. Two book clubs, a tea group, science pub lectures, free concerts in the summer months. Its a great place to live if you deal with the constant winter rain.
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#4 of 11 Old 03-16-2011, 09:07 AM
 
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DH commuted out of the city and into the burbs for quite a while.  It wasn't bad at all in the morning, although he tended to keep more of a 7-4 schedule, rather than 8-5.  If he did 8-5, he would end up with more traffic.  I think the major thing is that the majority of traffic commutes in to the city in the morning, and out to the suburbs at night.  If you're doing the opposite, it isn't nearly as bad.  That said, a lot of IT is in the suburbs.  The vast majority, in fact, are located in the outlying suburbs (like Hillsboro and Wilsonville).  Commuting from any of the neighborhoods you mentioned, out to those outlying 'burbs, would commit your DH to probably a 45 minute commute each way.

 

I think your DH's ability to find a job quickly will depend on whether he's willing to look in the suburbs, and what sector of IT he's in.  DH is a mechanical engineer, and went to school with quite a few computer engineers.  All of them had a pretty easy time getting jobs after the mass layoffs that happened a few years ago.  I know Intel is always looking for people, and they have good benefits.

 

On the chicken front, I thought that Beaverton didn't allow chickens though?  Has this changed now?  I can't see Wilsonville allowing chickens, but maybe that's also changed.  Portland proper does allow up to 3 chickens, unless their hen house is more than 20 feet from any other domicile, and then you can get a pretty easy and cheap permit, and have more.  Or you can ignore just the rule, which a lot of people do.  Bees in the city limits may require a permit, but again, easy and cheap to acquire.  We have a neighbor a few blocks down who keeps his in the driveway smile.gif


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#5 of 11 Old 03-16-2011, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I updated post #1 a bit. as we're going to rent. That's a good idea about putting a Portland address on DH's resume, I believe I can arrange that (I've got a friend or two there that might lend me their address for such a purpose).

 

DH is a Systems Administrator, Systems Engineer, Systems Specialist (I asked him what he is called and he says these). I very much like  the idea of him securing work so we better know where might be a good place to rent - a long commute is the last thing we want for him. Thanks for your input, everyone who has responded thus far (and in future) - it gives me things to think about.

 

Oh, I have an odd question: are there any good used toy stores in Portland?

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#6 of 11 Old 03-21-2011, 02:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chasmyn View Post

Oh, I have an odd question: are there any good used toy stores in Portland?


Not that I know of. We do have swappers and consignment sales, though.

http://www.enviromom.com/2008/02/kids-clothing-s.html

http://portland.jbfsale.com/

http://www.katu.com/amnw/segments/105041034.html

http://swappositive.wordpress.com/
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#7 of 11 Old 03-29-2011, 01:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Italiamom View Post

 

On the chicken front, I thought that Beaverton didn't allow chickens though?  Has this changed now?  I can't see Wilsonville allowing chickens, but maybe that's also changed.  Portland proper does allow up to 3 chickens, unless their hen house is more than 20 feet from any other domicile, and then you can get a pretty easy and cheap permit, and have more.  Or you can ignore just the rule, which a lot of people do.  Bees in the city limits may require a permit, but again, easy and cheap to acquire.  We have a neighbor a few blocks down who keeps his in the driveway smile.gif

Beaverton does allow chickens now. :) I have a few girlfriends who just bought chicks- one lives right near the police station in Beaverton. My other girlfriend is down from me (I live by Garden home which is the West Side technically Portland but I consider it Tigard). We were looking at getting them too but... bah, I have too much going on!!!

 

There are a lot of families HSing here- I only recently started homeschooling my 6th grader and we are expecting our 7th kiddo in 6 1/2 weeks. Ill be homeschooling my 5th grader with her next year, too.

There are some cute houses for rent around here too, and it's a good mid section inbetween Beaverton/Hillsboro and Wilsonville which are both the larger tech areas in the Portland metro. My husband is in advertising but Intel is one of their clients and they do online media stuff.
 

 


 
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#8 of 11 Old 03-29-2011, 02:27 PM
 
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Call me a buzzkill, but I wouldn't move here without a job unless you have the $$ to sit tight for a long time. Unemployment is high. A friend in IT has been laid off multiple times. My dh got a job here from CA (back in '98). It didn't occur to us that being from out of state would be a detriment in him being hired and it wasn't.
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#9 of 11 Old 03-29-2011, 03:06 PM
 
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I would have to agree. IT is a dime a dozen, too. :(


 
-Jyn, Blessed mom of Abbie ('99), Gracie ('00), AngelBaby ('01), Danny ('02), Jacob ('03), Eva Bella ('06), Angel-Baby2 ('07), Emmalia ('09), Justus John Mark ('11), Jude Ellias Due 7-16-13
 

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#10 of 11 Old 03-29-2011, 03:41 PM
 
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I agree that it's probably much wiser to find a job before moving, but just to clarify (since I'm one who mentioned having a harder time getting a job from out of state): the problem isn't being from out of state, it's being out of state. This wasn't a problem until very recently- when the economy fell, unemployment rose, and companies could be more selective about who they considered for positions. When you have 2 dozen local folks standing in front of you for multiple interviews, short trial and/or training periods, and avaiable to start same day if hired, people who need enough notice to buy a plane ticket just to get to a face to face interview lose a lot of their appeal, and it makes it harder for them to compete for the small number of jobs that are available. That's all I (and others, I assume) meant by that comment. I don't know if it's a widespread issue or not, but I do know a large number of people who agree this is a common occurance around here these days.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post

Call me a buzzkill, but I wouldn't move here without a job unless you have the $$ to sit tight for a long time. Unemployment is high. A friend in IT has been laid off multiple times. My dh got a job here from CA (back in '98). It didn't occur to us that being from out of state would be a detriment in him being hired and it wasn't.


 


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#11 of 11 Old 03-29-2011, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for the input, everyone - I like having an accurate account of what it's really like there, and I have asked my DH to please find a job before we go - even though we've done it differently before and we will have the $ from the sale of our house here, I really don't wan to use it to live on, and if it means we need to wait a bit, we will.

 

That said, we do have a Portland address on his resume, and DH can drive there for an interview if need be - it isn't THAT far from here :-)

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