Moving to the PNW, possibly Portland, and looking for advice! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 02-17-2012, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband and I have a business opportunity right now and we're planning to move out to the Pacific NW sometime in the next month or two. (Our condo here is sold and we're waiting to close.) The business contracts are spread all over the PNW, so we could pretty much live anywhere we want, within a few states (Oregon, Colorado, Idaho, Washington)

We're thinking Portland, but that's not based on much, just that we heard it's a fun city, it's green, crunchy, family things to do, etc. We have an almost 3yo DD and an 8mo old son.

It's hard to randomly google and get a real feel for such a large area (4 states) and the various cities. Can anyone recommend a good place to rent in Portland for a year or so (with children) or another city that might be just as great or better than Portland?? Thanks!!


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#2 of 14 Old 02-17-2012, 10:47 PM
 
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Better than Portland? Nope! (But I was born and raised here, and I've lived elsewhere, and moved back 4 years ago and can say that I don't ever want to leave again!!) 

 

I think you'd have to say a little more about what you're looking for in a house or neighborhood before I'd be able to tell you where to look.  Have you visited? We actually live just outside the city, in Happy Valley.  We moved here because of the good schools.  Not that there aren't good schools in parts of Portland, too, but we wanted a bit bigger house that was move in ready, and living out here allowed us to do that.  But we are just a few minutes from the city. 

 

It's a great place! Good luck with your new business!


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#3 of 14 Old 02-18-2012, 04:40 PM
 
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When we first moved to the PNW we lived in Beaverton for the first year.  It's right outside the city and was actually named as one of the top 10 places in the US to raise a family one year.  There are a lot of parks and my kids really liked the schools there.  It's also very easy to access the max (tram) there which takes you all over the place.  My husband was taking the max into the city to work, and he liked that.  I guess it depends on what you're looking for, but it's worth checking out if you want to head to the PDX area.

 

HTH & GL!

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#4 of 14 Old 02-18-2012, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks!

We're looking for....well, probably an impossible combination that doesn't exist anywhere LOL

  • a safe, clean neighborhood where we'd feel safe walking
  • a yard for the kids to run and play
  • close to interesting things to do (family style) farmers markets, shops, library, neat parks/walks, restaurants/cafes, river walk/board walk, nature...
  • hopefully a 3 bedroom rental for 6mo - 1yr in a single family home to avoid apartment living (want kids to be able to roam freely a little and privacy)

We don't need to be near the good schools *yet*, since my DD is only 2 1/2, but eventually we will. I have no plans yet for her school options.

We don't really want a typical cookie cutter type house/neighborhood. We like character, but it seems most places that safe, clean, and room to play = suburb that looks Anywhere, USA, yk? It's sometimes tough to adjust or recognize needs and wants when you have kids. smile.gif

DH would like to be near nature for camping and such. I'd like to be near a university if possible in case I return to teaching someday. He went to college in Idaho. I haven't traveled in the PNW much at all. (Just to Ft Lewis for a few weeks Army training.) DH will make the "rental finding" trip alone while I stay back east with the kids.

Seattle seems cool but expensive. Idaho...I don't know! Boulder, CO, also seems expensive. I like that Portland is near the water. DH, on the other hand, likes the mountains. lol.gif

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#5 of 14 Old 02-29-2012, 09:33 PM
 
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It's been a while since I lived in Portland, but I think your list is do-able. Of course I don't know what you are hoping to pay for rent. Usually, in my house hunting experience...they want a 12 month least for a single family dwelling.

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#6 of 14 Old 03-13-2012, 09:04 PM
 
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We've been in Portland for almost 2 years now and we would not live anywhere else. It's an amazing, wonderful place to live--we really love it! love.gif

 

 

Feel free to PM me if you like. We live in Southeast Portland and love that too--very crunchy, lots of great neighborhoods, not super pricey compared to some areas (depending, obviously, on how close in--close to the river/city--you are: the further out, the cheaper). We rent a 3-br house with a big finished basement and a lovely backyard, walking distance to ds's adorable elementary school, on the bus routes into the city (we both teach at Portland State U), for less than $1,500/month (PM me if you want specifics). We're near Mt Tabor, if you want to look it up on the map. Personally, I wouldn't live anywhere in Portland other than SE or NE (I'd definitely avoid the suburbs), but it all depends on what sort of vibe you're looking for.

 

You should know that the rental market is VERY competitive (apparently Portland has one of the tightest vacancy markets in the country) and you'll be up against lots of other qualified applicants. And yes, you'll need to sign at least a year-long lease.

 

 

ETA (after reading your list again): our neighborhood--and most in SE if you stay in the right areas--is definitely clean, safe, walkable, and not cookie-cutter :) Our house, like most in our neighborhood, was built in the 1920s. And Portland is an hour from Mt Hood, if your dh needs to be near mountains!


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#7 of 14 Old 03-13-2012, 09:16 PM
 
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I live in Hillsboro, which is just outside.  Another thing to consider is if you decide to live in city near Portland that if you live near the MAX then it's easy to get anywhere.  And I absolutely love it here!


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#8 of 14 Old 03-14-2012, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, all. Due to some circumstances, we've decided to rent a friend's apartment in NorCal. greensad.gif Very good "family rate" rent, although we would've loved to see Portland! We're still thinking of moving there permanently someday, once we figure a few more things out re: our small business. Thanks for all your input! I'll save this thread. smile.gif

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#9 of 14 Old 03-14-2012, 10:54 PM
 
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NorCal is okay, my hubby's from there!  Best of luck.


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#10 of 14 Old 03-19-2012, 11:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XanaduMama View Post

 

You should know that the rental market is VERY competitive (apparently Portland has one of the tightest vacancy markets in the country) and you'll be up against lots of other qualified applicants. And yes, you'll need to sign at least a year-long lease.

 


Wow, this makes me really nervous. I'm going to be moving to Portland in July. I'm hoping to end up in SE as my boyfriend will be going to Portland State and I will be (eventually) going to Birthingway. We can definitely afford a decent rental house, but neither of us has good credit. 

 


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#11 of 14 Old 03-20-2012, 01:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamiPolizzi View Post


Wow, this makes me really nervous. I'm going to be moving to Portland in July. I'm hoping to end up in SE as my boyfriend will be going to Portland State and I will be (eventually) going to Birthingway. We can definitely afford a decent rental house, but neither of us has good credit. 

 



DS1 found a PDX rental on CL last May . . . I know things change in a year, but he landed the second or third place he called about, all while he was in the middle of finals.  The property management company he rents from did have a first-come-first-considered policy, so if (for example) someone with stronger credit had come along after he put in his paperwork, he still would've gotten the rental if his record was good enough to pass their checks.  For him, the key seemed to be making contact as soon as he saw a rental, pushing other things off to pursue it, rather than waiting a day or so in the middle of a crazy time.

 

See if Res Life at PSU can give any referrals or suggestions, you might also be able to score an off-campus rental through them that's available to students and may not need all the formal background checks.


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#12 of 14 Old 04-01-2012, 06:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamiPolizzi View Post


Wow, this makes me really nervous. I'm going to be moving to Portland in July. I'm hoping to end up in SE as my boyfriend will be going to Portland State and I will be (eventually) going to Birthingway. We can definitely afford a decent rental house, but neither of us has good credit. 

 



It can be tough to find an affordable place, even with good credit. If you're willing to have housemates, it's a lot easier to get a fabulous space (the landlords often only check the first tenant or two, and then they rent out the rooms). But even with not-so-great credit you can usually find something, although you definitely have to be on top of it, and be prepared to go look at apartments where you're not the only one coming to look! At my current place, my boyfriend and I were two of about 15 people who came to look at it.

 

And PSU housing might be an option, although it can be tricky since you're not a PSU student. When I went, you had to be married or have some proof of domestic partnership for both people to be allowed to live in student housing. But things may have changed since then. Good luck!


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#13 of 14 Old 01-11-2013, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OP here! Life handed us some craziness, and we lived in NorCal for a while, NY for a while...and then my husband landed a job back in the PNW...so we're headed to Portland on MONDAY! We have a temporary place to stay for 60 days while we look for a house. I've been looking in the NE/SE, my husband is looking further out (he wants a bigger yard and more square footage.) Hopefully we can find something we both like! He will travel for his job a LOT, and will need to commute to the airport to fly for business. I'm excited to finally move to Portland after all this time!

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#14 of 14 Old 01-17-2013, 10:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamiPolizzi View Post


Wow, this makes me really nervous. I'm going to be moving to Portland in July. I'm hoping to end up in SE as my boyfriend will be going to Portland State and I will be (eventually) going to Birthingway. We can definitely afford a decent rental house, but neither of us has good credit. 

 

Don't fret about it. Me and DH moved to PDX 2 years ago from Florida and don't have good credit either. The market isn't that tight if you are willing to look around. We're in our second home now and didn't have a problem. Occassionally Landlords will ask for a co-signer or extra security deposit. I do know that landlords and management companies really want to meet you first before starting the process. Moving from florida was hard because we couldn't fly out to meet anyone and they didn't want to video chat. 

In the end though it all worked out. Keep looking on craigslist there are constant updates of places to rent on there.


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