possible move to southwest Washington (Longview/Ridgefield) - need advice - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 04-24-2012, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi mamas!

My husband has an interview next week in Longview and while he is out there he plans to check out the area a bit to see where we might live if he is offered the job and accepts it.

I've done some preliminary research on Longview and have read really negative things about the city, so much so that I have pretty much written it off.

We'd like to live within about a half an hour drive so that his commute isn't too crazy. So far, I've seen Ridgefield and La Center as possible options, as well as Castle Rock and Kalama as much smaller options. Any advice?

We currently are city dwellers but have lived small town life before. Our priorities: safe, family-friendly, parks/outdoors (Ridgefield has a wildlife refuge!), people are happy living there, affordable.

We aren't big on fancy things and have no need to live in a suburban type of area (no cookie-cutter houses would be our preference).

In my dreams, I'd like a place where I can find a few other people who are supportive of AP, natural living, artsy (I love to knit), open-minded, and friendly. We will not know too many people out in that area, and I enjoy having a tribe/community of support and one that I can also participate in!

 

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#2 of 7 Old 04-29-2012, 03:21 PM
 
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We are in Battle Ground. We are pretty new here (moved here in Jan), but we are starting to meet some like-minded people here. Ridgefield is nice, but pricier than any other area around here, and the commute could get old (though there wouldn't be much traffic). Northern Clark county is historically pretty conservative; I am guessing most of Cowlitz county is similar.

 

The closer you get to Vancouver/PDX, the more family activities you'll find, although I am guessing Longview has its share.

 

If we were moving to the area, I would lean towards Cathlamet. Beautiful area, affordable, tight-knit community, small town. We looked into buying there, but the hour+ communte to Vancouver was too much.
 

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#3 of 7 Old 04-29-2012, 10:00 PM
 
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I live in Washougal which is east of Vancouver.  My mom lives north of Longview.  I would definitely go La Center or Ridgefield.  Kalama is ok but it is mainly a tiny little town with industry running along the river side.  I have not explored the country there though so not sure what that is like.  Ridgefield would be close enough to head down to Portland for the day or Vancouver.  Those areas are pricey though.  You could get a lot more house and land for your money in the other areas so it depends on your budget I guess.  Check out the rentals/houses on Craigslist and that will give you a good idea of prices.  SW WA is on the Portland Craigslist and most Longview and south is listed under the Clark County section.   


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#4 of 7 Old 04-30-2012, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ldsmom View Post

We are in Battle Ground. We are pretty new here (moved here in Jan), but we are starting to meet some like-minded people here. Ridgefield is nice, but pricier than any other area around here, and the commute could get old (though there wouldn't be much traffic). Northern Clark county is historically pretty conservative; I am guessing most of Cowlitz county is similar.

 

The closer you get to Vancouver/PDX, the more family activities you'll find, although I am guessing Longview has its share.

 

If we were moving to the area, I would lean towards Cathlamet. Beautiful area, affordable, tight-knit community, small town. We looked into buying there, but the hour+ communte to Vancouver was too much.
 

 

Thanks for your reply! I checked out Cathlamet a bit on the web, I'll have to scout it out more if we end up over there. We think we've decided that if he gets the job and we move out there, we'll rent someplace for awhile while we get to know the area, and then settle down some roots once we're acclimated and can explore a bit without moving there blindly!

 

My husband was unimpressed with Ridgefield, and said La Center was like Wisteria Lane (Which scared me a bit). He felt much more positive about Kalama and Columbia City (Oregon), though.

 

Now the stress of waiting to hear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonK View Post

I live in Washougal which is east of Vancouver.  My mom lives north of Longview.  I would definitely go La Center or Ridgefield.  Kalama is ok but it is mainly a tiny little town with industry running along the river side.  I have not explored the country there though so not sure what that is like.  Ridgefield would be close enough to head down to Portland for the day or Vancouver.  Those areas are pricey though.  You could get a lot more house and land for your money in the other areas so it depends on your budget I guess.  Check out the rentals/houses on Craigslist and that will give you a good idea of prices.  SW WA is on the Portland Craigslist and most Longview and south is listed under the Clark County section.   

 

I will have to check out Ridgefield - even though DH was unimpressed, he's gotten wrong impressions about places before. I did check out some rentals last night on CL (Thanks for the reminder!) and got a good idea of what's around. Thanks for pointing out that I'd have to check out the portland craigslist. That would have confused me!

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#5 of 7 Old 05-03-2012, 12:01 PM
 
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My mom has lived in Kalama for the last 7 years.  I visit several times a year (I'm about 3 hours away) and am always struck by how peaceful everything is there.  They have a great children's resale shop too.  I always think it's so nice how my mom knows everyone at the stores in town.


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#6 of 7 Old 05-03-2012, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by BrokenFish View Post

My mom has lived in Kalama for the last 7 years.  I visit several times a year (I'm about 3 hours away) and am always struck by how peaceful everything is there.  They have a great children's resale shop too.  I always think it's so nice how my mom knows everyone at the stores in town.

 

thanks for your input. Do the people seem happy there? (Peaceful indicates to me that perhaps they are)...

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#7 of 7 Old 05-04-2012, 12:35 PM
 
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They seem happy, but I may be projecting as I tend to be pretty happy when visiting.  Although this is despite the fact that my mother tends to drive me a little batty, so maybe it's the setting that's making me happy too!


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