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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We want to move to Oregon and have been researching different areas, to figure out which places we should visit next month. It's hard to get info about rural areas, though! We want to be within a couple hours of either Portland or Eugene, have 10+ acres, with a reasonable condition home. We're happy where we are, but our house is tiny (650 sq ft) and it costs to much to add on here. We do have land though, and livestock we'll want to move with us.

Does anyone know of great areas, or areas to avoid? I've posted in the OR tribe area, but I think everyone lives in an urban area.
 

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Hi. There are some people in the OR forum that are more rural. I know there's one person building a strawbale house in the Molalla area.

What kind of rural are you thinking? (What kind of climate?) Oregon has it all from coastal rainforest to high desert. Anywhere in the Willamette Valley is expensive. Even (or especially) rural land. We've been looking for months.

Are you more interested in being isolated, geographically? There is affordable land in the eastern part of the state, but damn it's pretty conservative.
It is also DRY. But very scenic. Beautiful, really.

Are schools an issue, or do you homeschool? That can make a HUGE difference when it comes to rural areas. Politics are also a big issue. Oregon is pretty much liberal in the valley and conservative everywhere else. But even in the valley, there are pockets of Rush-is-right-kill-the-femi-nazis-Adam-and-Eve-not-Adam-and-Steve-etc. The only way to know for sure is to drive around and read bumper stickers.


Anyway, cost is relative. If you live in CA, Oregon is cheap. If you live in Utah, Oregon is expensive. Good luck with your search!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply. A lot of what you wrote confirms what we've been trying to piece together.

We live in Northern California, so Oregon seems relatively cheap to us -- though the nice houses on big acreage are definitely above our price range! We're in a very progressive and temperate climate right now, and we feel like we couldn't cope in a hot and/or conservative spot.

We're coming up at the end of August, and I can't wait to see some of these places in person. When we look online, we see more affordable places in towns like Lebanon. What we wonder is, is Lebanon meth central, or something else we'd want to really avoid?

We're planning on homeschooling, so school quality isn't important to us, though having a local homeschooling community is. There seem to be lots of properties in the 1-4 acre range, but our livestock require more space. Depending on the land itself, we probably need 15+, so that really narrows the field in terms of availability and price. Are there certain areas that you'd recommend we look in?
 

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Lebanon/Sweet Home/Scio is a very pretty area, and it's cheaper because the schools are kind of crappy and there aren't many jobs. Also, the greater the distance from a desirable city/town, the cheaper land gets. The closest crunchy town to that area is Corvallis, which is a really great place to live (co-op groceries, home-schoolers, all that stuff). As far as meth labs, yeah, that could be an issue in Lebanon. I'm not sure. But it's worth checking it out.

There are quite a few Salem-area mamas in the Oregon tribal area, and they insist that Salem is getting crunchier by leaps. The rural land around Salem is pretty, but you want to be sure to ask about wells! In general, water is much more an issue on the west side of the valley. The wells in Dallas/Monmouth area are really iffy and expensive to dig.

We are looking in the Silverton area, which is about 15 minutes east of Salem. Silverton is a small town, but more liberal than other small towns in the area. It's also a bit more expensive. *sigh* The schools there are good, though, and there are a lot of artists, wineries, and the downtown is super cute.

I don't know much about Eugene's rural areas, maybe start a Eugene thread in the tribal forum? I grew up in a small town outside of Salem, so I have a good feel for this particular area, and Portland.

Rural land around Portland is expensive, and suburbia (McMansions) is creeping towards it at an alarming rate. There are some really beautiful areas in the coast range, but it's mostly forested. "East county" can get a bit trashy and methy (ever heard of Tonya Harding?), but there are pretty areas there, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow, I can't thank you enough for your post -- this is exactly the kind of information I've been looking for! We live in a low-water area, so well concerns are a big deal to us.

Printing all this out ...
 

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Hi Truvie,
I was at the farmers' market this weekend and noticed that one of my favorite organic farms is from Lebanon. They're called Persephone Farm. They don't do CSA, but they sell at farmers' markets and also directly at the farm. Anyway, thought you might be interested since you mentioned Lebanon. Obviously there are at least a few crunchy people that way!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by gottaknit
Hi. There are some people in the OR forum that are more rural. I know there's one person building a strawbale house in the Molalla area.
Good luck with your search!
Hijacking here...
Hey gottaknit, I don't suppose you're talking about Bret are you? She's a mama of 3 from my homeschool group who's building a straw bale house in Molalla. She is so freaking cool. I am her groupie.

FWIW she has told me that they've met some great liberal & cool sorts of neighbors in their area. They're off the grid at the moment & she says she can't get on MDC much anymore.

Anyway, small world if we're thinking of the same person, OR if there are 2 mdc mamas building in Molalla!
 
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