Author Topic: Large Garden on Land on the West Coast  (Read 856 times)

GoBigRed

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Large Garden on Land on the West Coast
« on: October 28, 2018, 02:40:22 PM »
Greetings! 
We are considering a 2-10 acre urban homestead/large garden on the west coast, after FI (estimated <10 years away).  We are doing preliminary research and right now feel drawn to:
Eugene, Corvallis, or Albany - Oregon
Vancouver, Washington

What other West coast cities near larger towns are recommended to consider (we're not including CA in our hunt)?  Pros/Cons appreciated!

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Large Garden on Land on the West Coast
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2018, 02:45:36 PM »
I mean... I can tell you a hell of a lot about all those cities you mentioned. You gotta be more specific though. What matters to you? Is this for personal use or selling? Does a homesteading community matter to you? Drive to an airport/age of house/other hobbies/etc? Do you need to find work otherwise? So on. I have lived in every place you listed except Vancouver. Let me know any specific questions you have!

ETA: also, where are you coming FROM? That will change the degree of climate shock and culture shock, lol.

ETAA: oops just read the "after FI" part. That helps. Jobs can be harder to come by in Oregon than people expect.

GoBigRed

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Re: Large Garden on Land on the West Coast
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2018, 03:00:28 PM »
We'd like to have a large garden and maybe some chickens.  We're very familiar with Portland, but not these particular smaller towns in/around the Willamette Valley.
Good School districts are very important, and we'd be purchasing with cash a "forever" home in early retirement.  A diverse environment, neighbors with community, and nearby to Trader Joes/Whole Foods.  We're outdoor hobby enthusiasts.

lhamo

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Re: Large Garden on Land on the West Coast
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2018, 03:36:50 PM »
I find the requirement to be near TJs/Whole Foods a bit odd -- most communities that are going to have the vibe you are looking for would probably have a pretty well-established local co-op.

Some possibilities in WA, based on trips through them not having lived there:

Olympia -- very crunchy vibe due to proximity to Evergreen College, housing costs a bit higher due to being seat of state government

Port Townsend/Port Angeles/Sequim -- PT is more yuppified/expensive, PA cheaper/more gritty (and smelly, they still process paper pulp there), Sequim somewhere in the middle.  Both benefit from being somewhat in the rain shadow from the Olympics.

Mount Vernon and other places in the Skagit Valley  -- Mount Vernon is a cute little town with a thriving local co-op, like everyplace else there is a drug/homeless problem downtown, though. About mid-way between Seattle and Vancouver, both good for an urban living day trip.  Already a thriving agricultural area, though that may mean land is scarce/expensive

Carnation/Duvall/Fall City/Snoqualmie/North Bend -- this is the area I grew up in.  Probably too expensive now as it has become commuting territory for Seattle/Bellevue/Redmond with lots of typical suburban development.  But there are parts of it that are set aside for agricultural use, and you might be able to get land for reasonable prices further out

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Large Garden on Land on the West Coast
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2018, 04:34:13 PM »
We'd like to have a large garden and maybe some chickens.  We're very familiar with Portland, but not these particular smaller towns in/around the Willamette Valley.
Good School districts are very important, and we'd be purchasing with cash a "forever" home in early retirement.  A diverse environment, neighbors with community, and nearby to Trader Joes/Whole Foods.  We're outdoor hobby enthusiasts.

Like Lhamo says, don't overlook co-ops, CSAs, meat shares, stuff like that.

Eugene and Corvallis have TJs, Albany does not. Eugene and Corvallis have a more similar vibe to Portland- tend a little more liberal, a little more food-sourcing oriented. Albany is... well, it sucks IMO. Most people I know don't actually want to be there, they just grew up there or couldn't afford Corvallis. Albany is cheaper than Eugene or Corvallis though. Corvallis tends to be a bit more university oriented, while Eugene is larger than just U of O. Corvallis is a little more purely liberal vibes, whereas Eugene has a little more urban/rural divide in the city itself. Eugene feels more like a city than either of the others (no surprise, since it's 4x the size), but nothing like Portland.

School districts: Vancouver WA has terrible public schools. Eugene is pretty good but has a bad HS drop out rate overall. Albany has fairly bad schools, Corvallis has pretty good ones. I know a lot of Eugene schools have AP and IB options, not sure about Albany and Corvallis as much.

Vancouver *really* feels like a suburb of Portland, and not a city in its own right. Huge swaths are food deserts. It is very car dependent. We recently looked at living there because of the income tax consideration. Even for a 10% raise, functionally, it wasn't worth us to move to Vancouver instead. Just... if that tells you my thoughts on the matter, lol.

fuzzy math

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Re: Large Garden on Land on the West Coast
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2018, 08:53:52 PM »
Yeah I would not recommend Vancouver to anyone who plans their life out. There's a reason its nicknamed "Vantucky"
The cost of living there is going to be similar to Portland too. You'd get much more home / land in the Oregon areas you listed.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Large Garden on Land on the West Coast
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2018, 08:10:51 AM »
Yeah I would not recommend Vancouver to anyone who plans their life out. There's a reason its nicknamed "Vantucky"
The cost of living there is going to be similar to Portland too. You'd get much more home / land in the Oregon areas you listed.

Especially if there's no income to worry about in FIRE, it takes away the Couv's one main advantage.

Budget certainly matters, too. Areas around Albany are cheaper than around Corvallis. But going more rural, like Santa Clara, Monroe, Sunnyside, Canby, Lebanon, or Brownsville, and all of a sudden it's much cheaper and more plentiful land. Really depends on the type of life you're trying to build. No matter what, you're really not going to be able to find big parcels of land IN the towns you've listed. You'll have a pretty car dependent life, or possibly bike-dependent if you're a brave biker. Country roads don't generally have bike lanes out here, but a lot of people still bike them. (Like Hwy 99E, you see a lot of cyclists there).

iris lily

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Re: Large Garden on Land on the West Coast
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2018, 02:12:49 PM »
I officially hate you, OP, and will not be reading any more of this thread.

See my name? Willamette Valley is the Heaven on earth for growing iris n lilies. Iris rhizomes are big as my hand there. Lilies are as tall as my house.

Poop on you!

Hahahaha, kidding.
But not really! Haha