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#1 of 33 Old 06-25-2008, 12:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know I know...another family looking for utopia in Oregon. Here is my story...we now live in Upstate New York in a pretty small town (pop 3000). I don't like the "small townness" and winter is too cold. We are planning a trip to scout around for a new home and I want to make the most of our time and money. Our jobs are pretty flexible. I think we would be best with a population around 9-10,000 with a cute downtown and of course good schools for the 3 kiddos! Near (1 hour) colleges and beach and airport would be perfect.

I am concerned about the gray skies...I think I could deal more with the rain...but the gray skies worry me. I am originally from CA and I am homesick..but of course cannot afford it now.

Lastly, I read a fair amount about drug problems in various areas in the state....any info on that would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Theresa
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#2 of 33 Old 06-27-2008, 03:48 AM
 
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I really dont know of much for towns the size you mention. I am in southern OR, Roseburg. 1 hour south of Eugene, the home of the UofO, and about 90 minutes from Meford and Ashland area. Great college in ashland as well. this is a vally area between the Coastal mountain range and the Cascades. its about 90 minutes to the coast.
Gray skys, yes. You cant get away from that in Oregon, but the farther south, the warmer and milder it tends to be. Quite a bit of rain you could say, but not near as much as the Portland area.
Our population for in town in about 21,000. We have a couple smaller towns about 15 min. away, Sutherlin is a fast growing town, probably about that size now, but the others are all smaller. Maybe you can do some googleing on the area, if you have any questions about it, feel free to ask!

as for the drug problems, well, it jsut depends on where your at really, but you arnt going to completely avoid it. I feel this is true for everywhere though personally, not just Oregon.

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#3 of 33 Old 06-27-2008, 11:25 AM
 
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Hi there,
I am from upstate NY. Utica, NY. I have lived in Portland for 7 years now though and we are actually planning to move back to NY, to Ithaca area. Funny I have met alot of people that are doing the opposite of us like you. The reason we are moving back is because I haven't found that perfect small city in Oregon that I am head over heals for like Ithaca and well I can't believe I am saying this but I miss the weather. The extremity of the seasons. I don't believe you relly get four seasons here or at least they are not that drastic. As for the grey skies yes it gets old but I think in the beginning when you move here you are just so happy about the mildness of the winter that you don't mind not seeing the sun fo weeks at a time. This is what I have found for the seasons here summer is end of June to early October winter is October to end of January February is summer/spring then March-mid-June is back to winterish spring-like weather. If you know about this and expect this the happier you will be here. Summer we get less rain than upstate NY, very clear beautiful skies. Swimming is a little different because the water is beautiful here but you can only stand to be in it for a short amount of time because it is usually freezing. During my time here I have lived on the coast(so beautiful) and in southern Oregon,very nice. Drugs like meth are in Southern Oregon but like the last person said they are probably everywhere. I loved Ashland, but it is too desert-like to me I love the lushness of NW Oregon I just miss snow and need a smaller city. Also think about communiting places. My fav (liberal)places in the Northwest are: Port Townsend WA, Olympia WA, Manzanita OR(on the coast), Ashland or Jacksonville OR, Sisters, OR, Estacada OR.

So where do you live now?
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#4 of 33 Old 06-28-2008, 01:00 PM
 
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Corvallis maybe a good fit. Bend is in Eastern OR a little dry and desert like but you may want to check it out.

Goodluck.
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#5 of 33 Old 06-28-2008, 11:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to all for the great information. We are currently in Homer, NY about 25 miles from Ithaca. We love a lot of things around here...but there are some very bad family vibes here (my dh's) and I really want to be closer to my home (Santa Cruz,CA...can't afford it!!) and milder weather.

I am currently interested in Bend and Corvallis ...but I know I can only do so much research .... we just need to get there and check it out.
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#6 of 33 Old 06-29-2008, 12:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Another quick question...can you garden in Bend?
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#7 of 33 Old 07-02-2008, 12:08 AM
 
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we are in the sorta the same boat but we live in very rural (population 600- two hours from anything) nevada.

we are thinking about eugene or thereabouts. mostly because we miss having some like-minded folks around. childrearing ideas are VERY different out here in nevada

and, i think if i can garden in the desert of nevada you can garden in bend, you just have to start your starts early and wait until the frost is truly gone before you put them out. i lost two starts of tomatoes this year because i couldn't wait

eh. who needs a signature?
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#8 of 33 Old 07-02-2008, 02:59 PM
 
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I would peek at Forest Grove. Cute downtown, an hour or less from the ocean, less than an hour from a major airport, close to Portland if you want to indulge in the city, but far enough away, too =) It's so pretty there, and there is a McMenamins there!
http://www.forestgrove-or.gov/
http://www.mcmenamins.com/index.php?...ion%20Homepage

Jennifer, Mama to Mila (5/14/2002) & : Gael (11/30/06), wife to Tony
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#9 of 33 Old 07-02-2008, 09:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! Thanks. Forest Grove looks cute. Also will check out Mcmenamins...looks fun. I've never heard of it before. I am hoping we will get to visit Oregon in the Fall or Winter this year.
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#10 of 33 Old 07-02-2008, 09:54 PM
 
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Wow! Thanks. Forest Grove looks cute. Also will check out Mcmenamins...looks fun. I've never heard of it before. I am hoping we will get to visit Oregon in the Fall or Winter this year.
I live in Cornelius (right next to Forest Grove) and I love it out here. FG is totally cute, we looked there too when we were househunting.

MJ~ Proud mom to DS (4)
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#11 of 33 Old 07-02-2008, 11:50 PM
 
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What part of Oregon? The Willamette Valley area (Portland to Eugene) is wet and green. The East part of the state is high desert.

What part are you looking at?

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#12 of 33 Old 07-03-2008, 02:15 AM
 
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Here's a plug for another cute small city: McMinnville! 45 minutes to Portland and an hour to the coast, but the quality of life here is fine on its own! Lots of independent businesses (like a toy store, a health food store and a book store, for example) and strong Buy Local campaign, a thriving farmer's market (not to mention proximity to lots of farms and produce), a picture-book lovely downtown, and a McMenamin's with a nifty rooftop restaurant! It's really a great spot.

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#13 of 33 Old 07-05-2008, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! So many great suggestions. I think Forest Grove and McMinnville sound really great...but I am worried about the grey skies! I don't mind the rain...love the green...but worried about missing the sunshine. Sooooo while we are still planning to check out the W. Valley...I am currently researching the Bend area. Anyone live there now?

Thanks Mamas!
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#14 of 33 Old 07-06-2008, 02:19 AM
 
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hmmm-how about Cottage Grove? about 20 min south of Eugene. Smaller than Eugene but still has the Earthy feel. The fam and I are moving from Salem to Eugene this week and are very excited!!!
(Great schools in Eugene area-but bigger city than u are looking for.)

Good luck -I hope you are happy where ever you settle. Oregon Rocks! (Originally from PA--have been here since 9/05 and lovin every minute!)

BTW--DH and I think the gray skies and rain here are so different than back east...tolerable. I actually welcome it some days and I too am a lover of sunshine.

I do not miss the : back east either!

Good luck

Liz ~wife to an amazing man~mama to 2 beautiful sons~trodding through babylon~ loving JAH~rainbow1284.gif

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#15 of 33 Old 07-06-2008, 12:25 PM
 
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what gray skies r u talking about!??! its nice and sunny now.... lol...
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#16 of 33 Old 08-08-2008, 02:46 PM
 
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I think it is so fitting that I found this thread! I grew up in Upstate NY also! Went through school in Camden, NY then college in Rochester. Now I am living in Texas but want to move up to Portland. Love the seasons of NY, but not the harsh winters. I visited Portland once and fell in love with it!

Maybe we could have a little Upstate NY get together when we all get there!
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#17 of 33 Old 08-09-2008, 02:30 AM
 
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I'm getting ready to leave Corvallis - boo. But, we are headed for even more days of gray skies in Washington.

Bend has something like 300 days of sun a year. I haven't been there in ages, but a bff of mine just moved there and her complaints are: finding work, poor housing market, and a some what uppity vibe in the community.

Let me know if you need more details about Corvallis. I've lived here 25+ years!

Oh, and as for drugs. Yes you can spot a drug activity of some kind (stoned hippy, meth head, pot dealer) just about anywhere in Oregon if you know what you are looking for, but I don't feel it is any worse than most areas in the country.
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#18 of 33 Old 08-09-2008, 11:49 PM
 
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Wow! So many great suggestions. I think Forest Grove and McMinnville sound really great...but I am worried about the grey skies! I don't mind the rain...love the green...but worried about missing the sunshine. Sooooo while we are still planning to check out the W. Valley...I am currently researching the Bend area. Anyone live there now?

Thanks Mamas!
I grew up in the Bend area and love it there. Even when it's snowing, sunshine is right around the corner. There are so many outdoor activities, parks, ect. That being said, it in an expensive part of the state to live in. If we could swing it now, we would totally move back there.

aka ~lioneyes~ :: In love with DH :: DD 5 :: new sweet baby girl 3/14/2011~ both born at home in water
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#19 of 33 Old 08-09-2008, 11:55 PM
 
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I think Corvallis would be a good fit for you. It's close by to Portland (1 hour 30 min), 45 minutes from the beach, 15 minutes from a major highway. Really cute town.
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#20 of 33 Old 08-15-2008, 02:54 AM
 
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I don't live in Bend...yet, but my best friend does and she is recruiting us to move there. I have to say that everything we have seen seems great. Lots of parks, museums, big pool complex, schools seem good,there is a Whole Foods, and a Wild Oats, farmers market twice a week in summer, etc. I actually, although coming from CA, am surprised at how much housing prices have dropped in Bend. A year ago, when my friend first got us looking, housing was considerably higher than it is now. We are excited about the housing market now (except the selling our house part) and my friend said that the people she has talked to (she's in marketing for the town) have indicated that they think housing prices will continue to fall for at least another year, if not more. Houses on the low end of the market are moving, and on the high end, but there are somewhere near 1,000 houses on the market in the 200,000-350,000 price range.
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#21 of 33 Old 08-23-2008, 03:46 PM
 
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I don't live in Bend...yet, but my best friend does and she is recruiting us to move there. I have to say that everything we have seen seems great. Lots of parks, museums, big pool complex, schools seem good,there is a Whole Foods, and a Wild Oats, farmers market twice a week in summer, etc. I actually, although coming from CA, am surprised at how much housing prices have dropped in Bend. A year ago, when my friend first got us looking, housing was considerably higher than it is now. We are excited about the housing market now (except the selling our house part) and my friend said that the people she has talked to (she's in marketing for the town) have indicated that they think housing prices will continue to fall for at least another year, if not more. Houses on the low end of the market are moving, and on the high end, but there are somewhere near 1,000 houses on the market in the 200,000-350,000 price range.

This has been our experience too. We're also from CA and visited friends in Bend a few years back, and loved it. Housing was expensive then though, so we figured we wouldn't really be saving any $$ by relocating. Now though, prices are more reasonable.
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#22 of 33 Old 09-07-2008, 12:58 AM
 
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We just went and visited a friend in Bend last weekend, scoping the housing situation. It is much less expensive than it was awhile back. We had a GREAT time. So much for us to do with the kids. Parks, hiking, free concert on Sunday. We had a blast. We will definately be thinking of heading there....if/when we sell our house.
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#23 of 33 Old 09-07-2008, 01:44 AM
 
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I bet you'd like Silverton. Its East of Salem so you are near plenty of things (Willamette University, West OR Univ in Monmouth).
Its a great little town with a nice downtown area (great yarn store! and coffee places) and its just a charming looking place.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#24 of 33 Old 09-08-2008, 12:16 AM
 
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Wow! So many great suggestions. I think Forest Grove and McMinnville sound really great...but I am worried about the grey skies! I don't mind the rain...love the green...but worried about missing the sunshine. Sooooo while we are still planning to check out the W. Valley...I am currently researching the Bend area. Anyone live there now?

Thanks Mamas!
You know we moved up here from California too. I grew up in the Stockton Modesto Area and DH in Santa Rosa. We lived up by Clear Lake before we moved.

I don't really notice that much more rain than I did in the Clear Lake area. Yes there are periods of grey skys but you also get the sun. And growing up in the valley, the fog set in about December and didn't lift until late Feb. so I think I see the sun more now.

Coming from Santa Cruz it is rainy and green there. I personally would not be happy in Bend. It is too desert like. I need the greenness of the trees and undergrowth. I am really happy here.. although we are trying to move to a much smaller town than the one we live in. I wouldn't recommend the town I live in cause the schools are horrible. We also are on the very east side so not by the Ocean.

Good luck with your decision. The best thing to do is come up here and scope everything out!

Oh.. I also wanted to touch on the seasons. Coming from California the OP would be used to two seasons. Summer and Winter. Winter in Santa Cruz is probably milder than some of the falls here. I love the fact that the leaves actually change color here instead of falling of the trees then turning brown. I love that there is a crispness in the air as fall rolls in rather than the two weeks of fall there is in Cali. We have seasons. Maybe nothing like NY.. but much better than Cali.
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#25 of 33 Old 10-07-2008, 04:32 PM
 
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I just moved to Bend and LOVE IT. I was living in Tacoma, WA and before that in Lima, Peru, so I was all done with the grey skies, which really don't agree with me. Its great here! Friendly people, no traffic, small town feeling but everything you need right in the area. Its perfect!

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#26 of 33 Old 10-09-2008, 04:41 AM
 
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I don't have much to add about specific locations, but with regard to meterological tendencies, I moved here (to Portland) from Michigan, and I find that I do really miss having four seasons (and cider and donuts this time of year). That said, winters in Michigan tended to be steel grey, often bitter cold, and days could pass without a change in the light or the general greyness of things. One of the first things I really noticed about Portland is how the sky changes constantly.
To me, it seems rare that a single day goes by without at least a glimpse of sun here and there, however feeble. I'm probably not explaining it well, and I've been here for four years now, so I'm really beginning to miss snow, and large, warm bodies of water and vibrant fall colors--I particularly miss this time of year in Michigan, with the really crisp mornings and warm afternoons, and I miss being so close to the edge of a time zone, it gets dark a little early here (thank you, west hills), but it never really feels socked in here like it did during Midwest winters. Also, there will be people out doing things in all kinds of weather, so it's easy to feel like being out and about, grey skies and rain or not, is a good idea and fun, albeit maybe a bit damp. Rain in Portland is only very rarely like the kind of rain I'm used to; it's more of an enthusiastic mist a lot of the time.
Good luck with your search, I hope that you find what you are looking for.
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#27 of 33 Old 10-12-2008, 03:47 AM
 
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Thanks to all for the great information. We are currently in Homer, NY about 25 miles from Ithaca. We love a lot of things around here...but there are some very bad family vibes here (my dh's) and I really want to be closer to my home (Santa Cruz,CA...can't afford it!!) and milder weather.

I am currently interested in Bend and Corvallis ...but I know I can only do so much research .... we just need to get there and check it out.
OMG! we live here in pdx, my sis lives in Santa Cruz, and we grew up in Berkeley! WEll, I have to say that with every year that goes by I get MORE sick of the rain and the grey. When summer rolls around you forget about it, but summer is SO short compared to winter. I don't know what your jobs are, but if you can do them anyplace I would chk out Bend as it's much drier. Corvallis is nice too and Ashland from what I hear.

Yes, you do need to chk it out and come when it sucks like dec-feb.
Good luck! I really miss CA too and want to go back!

What do you guys do for work?
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#28 of 33 Old 11-09-2008, 04:21 PM
 
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I am from Sacramento and we live in Salem, it's quite an adjustment, maybe southern Oregon would be a better bet for sun...
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#29 of 33 Old 11-10-2008, 06:21 AM
 
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Wow! So many great suggestions. I think Forest Grove and McMinnville sound really great...but I am worried about the grey skies! I don't mind the rain...love the green...but worried about missing the sunshine. Sooooo while we are still planning to check out the W. Valley...I am currently researching the Bend area. Anyone live there now?

Thanks Mamas!
I grew up in the area. Yes, you can definitely garden. I love living here (Culver, actually, but very close. Redmond is great, too - not too big, not too small). We don't get very much rain at all; it's been quite sunny this year. It is the high desert, though, so you have to work for your green landscaping. It's absolutely beautiful, though. You should definitely check it out. So many recreational opportunities, too - skiing/snowboarding, trails, lakes, rock climbing, the list goes on and on.

I'm Nina. Writer, doula, student midwife, non-conformist. Follower of Jesus. Wife to one sexy fireman, mama to four adorable kids. Lover of simplicity. And babies.

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#30 of 33 Old 11-10-2008, 06:24 AM
 
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Wow! Thanks. Forest Grove looks cute. Also will check out Mcmenamins...looks fun. I've never heard of it before. I am hoping we will get to visit Oregon in the Fall or Winter this year.
We have a McMenamins in Bend too. So good. :

I'm Nina. Writer, doula, student midwife, non-conformist. Follower of Jesus. Wife to one sexy fireman, mama to four adorable kids. Lover of simplicity. And babies.

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