PDX People I need your help! Our house (near Chicago) is for sale and we will hopefully be moving to Portland soon! We just aren't sure what area, we want LAND at least 3 acers preferably 10 or more!
We need a 3+ bedroom house (doesn't have to be amazing, but not a fixer)
Within 40mins drive time of Downtown (where my husband will be working).
Would prefer to live near some good private schools (possibly Waldorf or Waldorf inspired, but would be open to other things).
The main thing is we need a place where there are no limits on owning dogs! We have 5 and plan on starting a rescue down the line, but until then we will just own many rescued dogs. I can't seem to find any info on dogs laws there (but I know most of the area is much better than it is here where may towns/counties have limits) so if anyone out there knows anything about any of this, especially the dog laws, I'd love some help!
Even just telling me why you like/dislike your town or neighborhood would be awesome. Also, What are the advantages/disadvantages of living in Washington it seems like the homes are a steal (we are looking in the 250,000 to low 300,00s).
A little more info on us, we are "Crunchy" in many respects, cloth diaper, baby wearing, EC, eating organic/local, trying to minimize chemicals in our homes. We are also kind of hipsters, but not hardcore hipsters. :) We are artsy, and kind of laid back and would love to live in an area like that, but we realize with Land we will be driving almost anywhere we go anyway... so its not that big of a deal as long as there is a good school close that's the biggest thing. Don't want to drive an hour each way to school!
Be cautious with the intown neighborhoods, the walkability is nice but you'll end up driving past your neighborhood school to go somewhere else.
We visited and did some looking found some nicer areas we like, but wern't able to find a house.... hopefully next time. We have a much better idea of whats out there. We mostly were in SE portland and Milwaukee (how do you spell it out there?), but would LOVE to be in NE portland if not too close to the airport.
SE is definitely the place to be. We live in outer SE, but would prefer to live a little closer in. Favorite area is from about 76th-39th and from Powell to Burnside. It's a great walking and family friendly neighbourhood!
If you want really want LAND, you aren't going to be able to pull off living in the Portland city limits at those prices (plus Portland doesn't have a lot of undeveloped land left). You'll have to live on the outskirts some place. You might be able to find something around Milwaukie, or East County in the 250,000 to low 300,00s, or out past Hillsboro on the Westside (Forest Grove, for example). Sure you can find houses in Portland in those price ranges, but they aren't going to come with any land.
Don't know anything about the private school scene (I'm a public school teacher who works with Title I kids).
>We need a place where there are no limits on owning dogs.
Currently, there's a limit of 4 dogs in Multnomah County (Portland). You may have to check the other counties around there. I'm guessing things are a bit looser out in the countryside.
What are the advantages/disadvantages of living in Washington it seems like the homes are a steal (we are looking in the 250,000 to low 300,00s).
The main issue with living in Washington is the commute! Living in Washington is approximately like living in Indiana or Wisconsin and commuting to into Chicago. People do it, but it sucks, so things are priced accordingly. The property and income taxes are probably lower in WA, so that's an incentive for some people.
Hope that helps.
You may have found a home by now, but I thought I would post a few thoughts...
I volunteer with several rescues so either Hillsboro or St Johns would be the best place to buy a home with 5 dogs and dreams of running a rescue. The rescue network is plentiful so you will find many like-minded folks.
St. Johns or North Portland (NoPo) would be best for the crunchy side you mention and will fit into your budget. SE Portland and Milwaukie are lovely, but if you find a home under $300K be sure to have a close inspection for molds and foundation damage (black mold is bad for dogs and children).
Hillsboro, SE, NoPo, and St. Johns have some lovely Waldorf schools so you will find a good school no matter where you go. Check out Yelp for reviews on many of the more well-known and check in at one of the schools to ask for recommendations for others. The Waldorf and Montessori philosophies encourage referrals to help you find the best fit for your family so ask for recommendations if you do not click with the first one you find. We are considering several in SE currently, but we were at Swallowtail in Hillsboro this past year.
post back if you want more info...you sound like our kind of people. ~ Cyndi
I'm sorry but my partner and I died laughing while we read this. A 3 BR house in Portland with land for that price is unheard of. Be careful of NoPo it goes from beautiful neighborhoods to ghetto VERY quickly. The SW is full of pompus. mall-friendly, judgemental plastic wearers. The SE is the place to be. People get to know the community, they are always out and about and are much more in line with cloth diapering and organics than some other parts of the city. Of course this is just our opinion after living here for 20 years and seeing what goes on as we have lived in almost every area of town.
Thank you all! After another trip to Portland and much research on-line we've very much changed what we are looking for.
We are looking in SE Portland for a large yard, not true land. We realize that opening up a rescue is more of a distant future thing and more kids are more likely than more dogs right now.
Our budget is lower than originally expected, which isn't a huge deal since the housing market is tanking and home prices are DROPPING. We are looking at homes from about 170-220. We now have someone willing to rent our home here near Chicago while its on the market so we may actually be putting in an offer on a house south of the Woodstock area.
We can't afford to fly out to see a house AGAIN. We already did back in April when we had a contract signed on our house. By the time we got on the plane the house we were going to look at was already under contract... and by the time we found a house we liked our the buyers of our home broke the contract. :(
We did however build a relationship with a Realtor and saw lots of houses all over Portland and Milwaukee (what is the Oregon spelling? Sorry I'm from an hour south of the Wisconsin Milwaukee!) And got a feel for a lot of neighborhoods and she really helped us to hone in on what was most important in a house and we decided that was the neighborhood. We'd rather have less land and be closer in and in a decent area (the really nice areas are too expensive, since apparently its harder to get a mortgage than it was 4 years ago!) We also decided that we don't need an actual 3rd bedroom as long as the house has a basement/den/loft pretty much any extra space somewhere!
Now I'm trying to figure out if this is for sure the house we want! We are flexible people and honestly we roll with whatever comes pretty easy so if there are a few hitches we don't care that much. The things this place has that I love are
1. the yard 1/3 of an acre for my dogs and kid(s?) to enjoy.
2. Location. Just a few miles from great shopping and eating not sure how much is walkable but its only a short drive/bike ride. Also only 7 min drive to my sisters apartment.
3. It has an old feel/old details but remodeled. Its not old and falling apart, it has the old cuteness, but new floors/roof/paint/etc...
4 Its already fenced! It only needs 1 gate installed to be totally fenced in!
Its missing a few things that are important to me, really only one I can't change though and I'm trying to figure out if its a big enough deal to not put in the offer.
1. No view of the yard from the kitchen. This is the BIG one. My son plays outside A LOT. And I try to cook at home as much as possible. Right now I have a window over the sink and a slider to the back yard in my kitchen and can see almost the whole yard while I prepare food so he can play on the back porch whenever the bugs aren't too bad. In the house we are looking at the only kitchen window looks at the neighbors house.... I'm pretty sure the only views of the back are from the bedrooms.... which means for the next few years I'd have to go out with him every time he goes out (he's 1). But looking back on our experience most of the houses we saw either had no view or a street view from the kitchen. There are huge windows to the front yard (which is also fenced) from living room so there's the possibility he could play there and I could check on him constantly....
2. Few trees. We love our mature oaks here. There are 7 on our 1/4 acre lot. There are only 3 trees on the lot there. We can buy a few bigger trees but it will still take years for them to mature.
3. No real deck/porch. This is the most easily fixable. There is a small deck that's in terrible shape (its the only thing they didn't replace in the remodel) off the dining room and that's it. First order of business will be to get a front porch!
Anyway, this is the first house we saw and really though it could be our house! I'm very practical so I don't get stuck to a specific house and think its my house, I slowly come to love and make my own whatever I got due to the practicality!
Also can anyone actually help me find the law that limits people to 4 dogs? If its actually there (I can't find it) I plan to break it and hope my neighbors think its as dumb as I do. Then I plan on working to get it changed. Dog limit laws do nothing, but keep responsible people from saving lives. Backyard breeders already break 100 other laws, so do hoarders, they don't care about a dog limit. A law isn't going to stop them. Its just going to stop people like me from giving the dogs sitting in shelters due to the irresponsible people a good home.
So, did you find a place yet? I immediately thought of Hillsboro when I saw your budget and land requirements... and there are some crunchy mamas there... a lot more than you think. And Milkwaukie (that's the Oregon spelling - LOL) is nice too... as are other places in Clackamas, Oregon City, Wilsonville, etc. if you don't mind a slightly longer commute (not Salem far, but not a short commute either). And if you're in Clackamas County, you won't have to worry about dog laws... they're mostly in place in Multnomah County to keep dog barking in check in the city and to prevent dog fighting rings in east county, from what I understand.
So first we lost the Ogden St house, then tried on two others, then Ogden came back on the market and we got it!!! A great mix of everything we need. A few minor issues, but its in great shape on a HUGE lot, in a quiet neighborhood not far from the main woodstock area. Walking distance to the rec center. :) Home inspection is wednesday and assuming it goes well we will be moving in Augest!
This is the house, the old link is broken. http://www.redfin.com/OR/Portland/5328-SE-Ogden-St-97206/home/26501086
This is the house, the old link is broken. http://www.redfin.com/OR/Portland/5328-SE-Ogden-St-97206/home/26501086
Lovely! So glad you got the house... it's beautiful.
Insepction found several small issues but nothing major, the seller is going to repair many of them. We are going to have a structural engineer come to look a wierd beam, and an inspection for pests, but yeah it looks like we are moving to portland!
I'm very happy with where we ended up. I really feel like we have the best of both worlds (country and city) by being in our neighborhood (Brentwood-darlington). We have a big yard, as do most of our neighbors, lots of room to garden, neighbors share their homegrown goodness with each other. Yet we are 15 min car drive or a 30min train ride from downtown.
My sister just bought (literally TODAY) a new house in our neighborhood, just east of us. Houses are still affordable, but the good ones sell fast! Renting is tough, the good rentals are gone as soon as they are listed. We are walking distance to the businesses in the Woodstock neighborhood, which are getting better all the time. Soon we will have a "Health convenience store" which is being opened up by the former CEO of New Seasons (the best grocery store out here, like Whole Foods, but way better). I'm very excited about that.
We are slowly meeting more parents and unschoolers, but most of those connections are being made on-line via yahoo groups and facebook! I actually started my own facebook page https://www.facebook.com/theunpreschooler as well as a new facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/663822750310657/ And I've met a few new people though that too. We are just starting to plan playdates and such, and I'm sure we will be a part of the unschool park day when we get back from our trip in June.
Feel free to ask away. :)