Author Topic: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?  (Read 40071 times)

abiteveryday

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #50 on: June 09, 2015, 12:10:47 PM »
I have no skin in the game, but I really doubt your crime numbers Jeremy.   On a population basis I can't see Seattle or Tacoma being higher crime than Yakima, for example.   

Jeremy E.

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #51 on: June 09, 2015, 12:27:16 PM »
I have no skin in the game, but I really doubt your crime numbers Jeremy.   On a population basis I can't see Seattle or Tacoma being higher crime than Yakima, for example.
I guess I don't know the exact numbers of all cities. I know that on the East side, I don't lock my car or house, and have never had anything stolen, how many people on the west side can say that? but I quickly just looked at crime rates in Pullman, Seattle, Bellingham and Tacoma for 2012.
Pullman is 65, Seattle's is 400, Bellingham is 294 and Tacoma is 567.

Trifele

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #52 on: June 09, 2015, 12:28:58 PM »
@McSaathof --

So -- loved your earlier comment about stopping by Spokane for a beer, and I went online to check out the trail possibilities and found there is a ton going on!  Who knew?  Excellent!!!!!!     

Thanks! 

TheBuddha

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #53 on: June 09, 2015, 12:37:55 PM »
@McSaathof --

So -- loved your earlier comment about stopping by Spokane for a beer, and I went online to check out the trail possibilities and found there is a ton going on!  Who knew?  Excellent!!!!!!     

Thanks!

Spokane is wonderful geographically, mountains a few miles East (and lake Coeur d'Alene), rolling hills and wine country to the South.

I don't know about the town culture, I  just drive my tractor-trailer through there often and it looks like a great place. 


abiteveryday

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #54 on: June 09, 2015, 12:46:59 PM »
Don't get me wrong, Pullman sounds like a great place in that regard.  I just don't think crime is an east/west divide the way politics or religion might be.

AJ

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #55 on: June 09, 2015, 12:54:53 PM »
I have no skin in the game, but I really doubt your crime numbers Jeremy.   On a population basis I can't see Seattle or Tacoma being higher crime than Yakima, for example.
I guess I don't know the exact numbers of all cities. I know that on the East side, I don't lock my car or house, and have never had anything stolen, how many people on the west side can say that? but I quickly just looked at crime rates in Pullman, Seattle, Bellingham and Tacoma for 2012.
Pullman is 65, Seattle's is 400, Bellingham is 294 and Tacoma is 567.

This isn't an east/west thing, it is a population thing. The more people in a city, the higher the crime rate. Like you said, there are more people on the west side:

CityPopulation  Violent Crime per 1000 people  East or West
Yakima93,2575.05East
Vancouver167,4053.54West
Spokane210,7217.16East
Tacoma203,4468.68West
Seattle652,4055.82West

Jeremy E.

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #56 on: June 09, 2015, 02:42:11 PM »
I agree that congestion is a huge factor in crime rate, and the west side is much more congested than the east side. But there are other factors as well, the percentage of people that hunt on the east side is significantly higher than that of the west side (probably because there is a lot more nature on the east side, which in turn leads to more outdoorsy people). The higher percentage of hunters and sport shooters, the higher the number of guns per household, and the lower the crime rate. Here are some other Cities added to add to the list... Notice how many people live in Tukwila... yet the crime rate is the 2nd highest in washington.
City      Population      Violent Crime per 1000 people      East or west
Seattle      652,405      5.82      West
Tukwila      19,765      8.3      West
Tacoma      203,446      8.68      West
Port Orchard   12,959      5.71      West
Pullman      31,395      1.43      East
Kennewick   76,762      3.13      East
Yakima      93,257      5.05      East
Pasco      67,599      2.34      East
Spokane      210,721      7.16      East
« Last Edit: June 09, 2015, 02:43:48 PM by Jeremy E. »

JoJo

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #57 on: June 09, 2015, 03:44:19 PM »
Grants Pass area is good.  1.6 hours to the coast & redwoods (crescent city, CA).  It seems sunnier than most of the PNW if you like that but not the hot/cold of the eastern parts of the states.

Hamster

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #58 on: June 09, 2015, 07:10:35 PM »
If you want to get a feel for the concept of gardening in the maritime NW, Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades is an oddly enjoyable book by a rather quirky guy, that will explain a lot of the uniqueness of the region, which does vary a bit from Eugene to Bellingham.

In winter in Bellingham, there is little enough sunlight that winter crops grow very slowly. Your kale and (covered) chard will last most of the winter for continual harvesting as long as you can keep the aphids at bay, but will not grow much during that time. You start planting your winter garden in July so there will be enough warm days for growth before the cool and gray sets in.

Erica's website is also a fantastic resource, and she can feel very free to correct any misinformation I post...

For what it's worth, in Whatcom County (Bellingham area), once you get just a few miles further inland, the summers do get a bit warmer, which is better for corn and tomatoes, but the winters also get colder. Microclimates play a huge role in veggie gardening around here.

Moving one county south to Skagit County (Mt Vernon and Burlington), the climate is a little better for veggies with a few degrees warmer summer temps and particularly fewer frost days in winter. The Chuckanuts sit between the two counties and seem to block some of the cold winter winds coming south from Canada's Frasier Valley (which bring our winter frost days in the Bellingham area).

That said, most people prefer Bellingham as there is more going on - there is a huge running (trail running and ultra-running) scene, and many multisport races - check out Ski to Sea, Bellingham Traverse, and many events on the greater Bellingham running club website.

Eugene also has a huge running scene.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2015, 01:44:19 AM by Hamster »

Jeb

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #59 on: June 10, 2015, 12:11:00 AM »
We've lived in Walla Walla for the last 8 years and love it. Biking is very feasible most of the year, only dicey when the roads ice up. We garden, and grow both tomatoes and kale with success (and at least 50 other types of veg right now, apples, cherries, peaches, plums too). Kale, lettuce, etc planted in March, tomatoes and peppers in early May. Really, this is an ideal place to garden. Housing prices are reasonable, our 3br 1 ba home on a half acre with a creek was <225k.

We are part of the Whitman community, so in a very progressive mix, but have found many locals to love too. Great neighbors, it's like going back in time 25 years. We almost never hear sirens, which in nice.

Eastern OR is prettier than Eastern WA in my opinion. While access to rec is easy in both, it's worth a visit to see which speaks to you.

Trifele

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #60 on: June 10, 2015, 04:39:41 AM »
Thank you, Hamster and Jeb!  This is exactly what we needed.  I will check out that book Hamster, and I will research Walla Walla, Jeb. 

DH and I talked last night and we are going to do two trips out west to check out all these great possibilities -- one to the eastern side of both states, and then one up and down the coast. 
« Last Edit: June 10, 2015, 05:34:24 AM by Trifele »

Trifele

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #61 on: June 10, 2015, 04:46:02 AM »
@ Tweezers -- I was reading about Anacortes based on your suggestion, and -- what a cool little place!  Never would have found it if you hadn't mentioned it. 

Ditto with Sequim.  Thanks again everyone. 

Trifele

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #62 on: June 10, 2015, 05:31:50 AM »
@ CaseyJones -- thanks for your long and thoughtful answer.  I will check out Olympia more thoroughly. People seem to have such different opinions about it that now I'm darned curious! 
« Last Edit: June 10, 2015, 08:49:18 AM by Trifele »

davisgang90

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #63 on: June 10, 2015, 05:57:31 AM »
This has been a great thread for me as my family is gathering in Mount Vernon area this weekend for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary and my wife and I will be checking the area out for a potential RE site in 3 years time.

magnuminator

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #64 on: June 10, 2015, 09:41:13 AM »
One more thought: Port Angeles could be worth a look.  It's a reasonably affordable place on the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  Ferries to BC if you care to visit and there are regular private shuttle buses to Seattle (I think that they go to SeaTac airport as well but am not sure) if you want to visit but don't care to drive.  I believe that the only post-secondary school is Peninsula College, but it could be worth a look.  The big win there, though, is ridiculously good access to the Olympic mountains.

Culturally, I think it's a mix.  It's not a liberal place by western Washington standards but it is in western WA, which is fairly liberal.  A downside is that PA is pretty far north.  Even Seattle is further north than where most Canadians live and PA is further north, still.  Same with Bellingham.  I'm not sure how much less light they get in the winter, but compared to Oregon it would probably be noticeable.

To the southeast, Port Townsend feels more lefty and is smaller but more expensive.

Shropskr

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #65 on: June 10, 2015, 10:42:25 AM »
One thing I will say I home schooled in Washington for three years it was easy.
  Check out
Washhomeschool.org

I don't know Oregon rules.  But states differ. So its definitely something to be aware of since your homeschooling.

Good luck.

PDX Citizen

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #66 on: June 10, 2015, 11:47:57 AM »
The two towns that came to mind to me when I read your post were Eugene and Wenatchee.  Both are still, I think, under 250k for a decent house, but things are changing pretty quickly in that regard.  I'd agree to what an earlier poster said - westside vs eastside makes a large difference in lifestyle.

Eugene being a more typical westside small city - wet, green, liberal, more urban amenities, Wenatchee being more a typical eastside small city - sunny, open space, more conservative, a bit closer to the wilds.  Both are great towns and have access to amazing backpacking and other outdoor activities.

PDX Citizen

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #67 on: June 10, 2015, 12:01:07 PM »
The higher percentage of hunters and sport shooters, the higher the number of guns per household, and the lower the crime rate.
City      Population      Violent Crime per 1000 people      East or west
Seattle      652,405      5.82      West
Tukwila      19,765      8.3      West
Tacoma      203,446      8.68      West
Port Orchard   12,959      5.71      West
Pullman      31,395      1.43      East
Kennewick   76,762      3.13      East
Yakima      93,257      5.05      East
Pasco      67,599      2.34      East
Spokane      210,721      7.16      East

That's a pretty broad generalization and even the cities you picked don't support it.  Spokane likely has a much higher percentage of hunters than Seattle, but has a higher violent crime rate.  Cities of the south sound (Tacoma, Tukwila) have been less expensive in part due to crime, for a long time.  Violent rime rates of other liberal cities (Bellingham, Olympia) would be interesting to compare. as well as more affluent cities like Bellevue.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2015, 12:24:22 PM by PDX Citizen »

Jeremy E.

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #68 on: June 10, 2015, 01:40:39 PM »
The higher percentage of hunters and sport shooters, the higher the number of guns per household, and the lower the crime rate.
City      Population      Violent Crime per 1000 people      East or west
Seattle      652,405      5.82      West
Tukwila      19,765      8.3      West
Tacoma      203,446      8.68      West
Port Orchard   12,959      5.71      West
Pullman      31,395      1.43      East
Kennewick   76,762      3.13      East
Yakima      93,257      5.05      East
Pasco      67,599      2.34      East
Spokane      210,721      7.16      East

That's a pretty broad generalization and even the cities you picked don't support it.  Spokane likely has a much higher percentage of hunters than Seattle, but has a higher violent crime rate.  Cities of the south sound (Tacoma, Tukwila) have been less expensive in part due to crime, for a long time.  Violent rime rates of other liberal cities (Bellingham, Olympia) would be interesting to compare. as well as more affluent cities like Bellevue.
Bellingham, 82,631, 3.47, West
Olympia, 48,338, 2.79, West
Bellevue, 133,992, .99, West

cautiouspessimist

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #69 on: June 10, 2015, 02:36:35 PM »
I can't stop thinking of the MxPx song, "Move to Bremerton".

I'm from Lynnwood originally, and I'm a big fan of the area north of Seattle. I don't know that I can offer much else to the conversation since I haven't lived there in a while and it's definitely changed a good bit since I did live there. I don't think you'll regret moving to the PNW, though, so good luck! Keep us updated, too!

Fuzz

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #70 on: June 10, 2015, 05:09:27 PM »
Cashmere, Washington. Seriously. It's 15 minutes to Wenatchee (also a good idea) and 15 minutes to the mountains. Great gardening. 4 real seasons. I grew up in Seattle and it's too rainy for me to return to. I'd pick something on the Wenatchee river and within 30 minutes of Wenatchee. Wenatchee has enough going on for non-hipsters.

If you want to get actually rural, look at the Methow Valley. World class XC skiing, backcountry skiing, and alpine access off Hwy 20.

Otherwise, Hood River in OR would be pretty sweet.

Anywhere in the I-5 corridor has too much traffic and rain.

(just trying stirring the pot).

slugsworth

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #71 on: June 10, 2015, 05:49:24 PM »
Gardening in western WA is great, and I would recommend nwedible.com as a resource. In Spokane, which is much drier and 4 seasons there has recently been an explosion of community gardens. . . which is new and great.

If I was a trail runner in Spokane I would probably frequent Polly Judd park as a trail head - awesome trail in the city near downtown, possibly followed by the centennial trail (paved but seperated from cars), and the trails at minnehaha. . .




Trifele

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #72 on: June 11, 2015, 04:35:50 AM »
Fuzz -- Researched the Methow Valley and O.   M.   G.  is it beautiful.  The skiing!!!   [long pathetic whimper]    It is probably too rural for us to actually live there.   We have lived in some very small towns before -- under 500 people.  You definitely notice the nature/culture tradeoff in that situation, and in very small towns people tend to be way more conservative on average of course. 

Maybe live in Wenatchee and do day trips up to the Methow Valley . . . ?  My initial researches seem to show Wenatchee at the 'red' end of the blue-red spectrum, but maybe I'm wrong about that.   If it's in the middle that's fine.  We can definitely deal with "purple."  :)  Just don't want pure red. 

OK, now we will do three trips to WA/OR to check out all these great possibilities -- one to the coast, one to the far east side, and now one to this beautiful central region.   Thanks!     
« Last Edit: June 12, 2015, 11:53:08 AM by Trifele »

Trifele

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #73 on: June 11, 2015, 06:19:55 AM »
Hi again Fuzz
I took a look at Hood River OR, and it does look sweet.  Real estate prices are high there, though, so I think that possibility is out. 
T

abiteveryday

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #74 on: June 11, 2015, 07:31:36 AM »
By Washington standards Wenatchee is pretty dead red, but I admit I don't have outside comparisons really.   Still a very nice place though.    Even if you never plan to live there, definitely visit the Methow Valley, it's just as great as your research suggests.

zoltani

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #75 on: June 11, 2015, 09:55:24 AM »
Methow Valley is a pretty special place, I love it. The thing you have to remember is that in the winter you would be at the end of a very long dead end road.

Jeremy E.

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #76 on: June 11, 2015, 10:40:57 AM »
If you are looking for a blue city, it's best to look west of the mountains in general.

RichMoose

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #77 on: June 11, 2015, 11:38:35 AM »
If you are looking for a blue city, it's best to look west of the mountains in general.

True. Walla Walla may be the only place I know of that's more purple east of the Cascades. That being said I haven't been to eastern Oregon.

Edit: I will add Pullman/Moscow area to this; because of the universities they have a decent size blue population even though its surrounded by very red.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2015, 12:35:07 PM by Tuxedo »

Trifele

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #78 on: June 11, 2015, 12:00:42 PM »
I've read in more than one place that Spokane is "purple."  What do you all think?

abiteveryday

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #79 on: June 11, 2015, 12:59:28 PM »
In relative terms (compared to Republic, or Ephrata) it might be purple, but honest truth if you truly want even blue-ish you are pretty much limited to the West side, and really only Olympia north.

EDIT:  In Washington of course, I can't speak for Oregon as much.  My impression as an outside is that you have a blue Willamette Valley surrounded by a red state, with a couple blue outposts in Ashland and Bend.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2015, 01:06:19 PM by abiteveryday »

davef

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #80 on: June 11, 2015, 01:11:01 PM »
Corvaillis is nice, It meets all of those Criteria. Eugene may be too big, but it is a nice city. If you are looking for something a little more remote try Silverton OR, Close enough to Corvallis or Eugene for the kids to go to either school (within an hour of both) very small town nestled in beautiful natural setting.

Trifele

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #81 on: June 11, 2015, 04:15:51 PM »
Thanks, Bite, for the honest opinion on the red vs. blue issue.

Thanks Dave for the additional Oregon comments!

PDX Citizen

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #82 on: June 11, 2015, 05:44:22 PM »
I can't speak for Oregon as much.  My impression as an outside is that you have a blue Willamette Valley surrounded by a red state, with a couple blue outposts in Ashland and Bend.

Yep - that's a pretty good summary for Oregon, although the coast is it's own area as well.  It is a blue state in national politics because the majority of the population lives in the Willamette Valley.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2015, 05:48:51 PM by PDX Citizen »

iluvzbeach

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #83 on: June 11, 2015, 10:25:43 PM »
Following as we, too, are planning a move to the PNW. Our plan is the Ashland/Jacksonville/Medford area, but we're flexible and want to see the comments.

Joshin

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #84 on: June 11, 2015, 11:15:30 PM »
I live in Spokane and we are secular homeschoolers. We are moving west as soon as possible. It is in many ways a conservative Christian city. Not to the extent as some places in the south and midwest (like where I grew up), but enough to make us feel like we are aliens. This is going to sound horribly elitist, but the education level also seems to be fairly low in the general population and I encounter a lot of plain ignorance in day to day living.  We do have a secular homeschooling community, but it is not highly active. Spokane is also undergoing major growing pains right now, as they try to deal with the problems of a mid-size city but the local government can't get past the small town mentality. There also isn't too much for culture, if you like museums, etc. We do finally have a small science museum, but it's struggling to survive. I think Spokane has potential, we've lived here for 9 years and it is getting better, but it is a city in flux right now and I think it will be another decade before it begins to reach its potential.

Trifele

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #85 on: June 12, 2015, 05:00:41 AM »
Thanks, Joshin!  Great to hear from someone on the same general life path.  Where are you moving to?

sol

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #86 on: June 12, 2015, 09:12:11 AM »
I think Spokane has potential, we've lived here for 9 years and it is getting better, but it is a city in flux right now and I think it will be another decade before it begins to reach its potential.

I remember people saying that about it in 1985.

zoltani

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #87 on: June 12, 2015, 11:20:18 AM »
I applied for jobs in Spokane. During one phone interview I asked what the company's marketing strategy. The gentleman told me that they pray to God that their business will be successful so they can pay their employees. Needless to say I turned that down, don't want to rely on praying for my paycheck! 

slugsworth

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #88 on: June 12, 2015, 11:25:42 AM »
With regard to the Spokane is purple question - the City council is mixed, a few liberal a few conservative and a few in between and there is a good liberal contingent in the city itself. . . but the county and Spokane Valley have a high tea party quotient. That being said, biking as a form of transportation and recreation as well as community gardening has exploded there (from nothing) in the last few years.

If you want a more liberal place with a population over 10,000 you need to be West of the Mountains, at least in WA. Not to dog Pullman, but Moscow is a much cooler town.

As far as CC skiing, in addition to the Methow, the hut system at Mt. Tahoma is pretty great. 

If you don't mind a wet place, you might consider Port Angelas, in WA and Astoria in OR. I always liked both places. . . .if I didn't need to work.

spokey doke

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #89 on: June 13, 2015, 08:14:58 AM »
So you've got the gardening map going, I'd also think a bit more about the recreation map - as you said easy access to nature and being able to hop on trails for a run or a cx ski is important.  A few big questions:

Are you OK getting in a car to access trails?
If so, how long you might be willing to drive?
Do you really want to be able to ski at least semi-locally?
Are you OK running on wet trails much of the year?
Are mountains important (or what types of 'nature' are you most drawn to)?

I grew up living all over OR and WA (coast, western valleys, east side) and I've lived in the N. Rockies and Mid-west, and like you, gardening and recreating in nature are two of my top priorities, and politics are important too. If you want to ski, the east side or right by the mountains are going to be the top spots...the east side also gets you dry weather, so trail days - dirt and snow, are often much greater there - which is one reason Bend is such a popular/$$$ recreation center.  Places like Wenatchee are less expensive with some similar characteristics, but less idyllic in my mind (although small places nearby like Leavenworth are pretty spectacular).  Places like Hood River give you access to just about every kind of option, as it straddles the line, but again, you pay for the privilege in that particular spot, but there are others nearby east of PDX that get you many similar benefits.

While the politics can be more challenging, and you need to make some adjustments for extending growing seasons, the far east side does provide some rewarding options, especially for access to nature and the combo of summer trail running and winter skiing...like Walla Walla, La Grande, etc., and you might be able to afford a place near a town that allows you super easy access to pretty boundless trail time.  That said, I've never found Spokane to my liking...

I'd live in Bend in a heartbeat if I could afford it...

Good luck, it sound like you need to take a serious road trip and check things out.


Trifele

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #90 on: June 13, 2015, 08:06:12 PM »
Thanks, Spokey!  I thought from your name that you might live in Spokane, but judging from your comment about it, now I am guessing not.  :)  Answers below and thanks for your comments!  It sounds like you know the area really well. 

Are you OK getting in a car to access trails?  Prefer to have it closer, but if I have to drive, then yes
If so, how long you might be willing to drive? Less than 15 minutes
Do you really want to be able to ski at least semi-locally?  Yes -- x-country only, no downhill
Are you OK running on wet trails much of the year? A-OK. Shiggy is fine.
Are mountains important (or what types of 'nature' are you most drawn to)?  Woods.  Mountains are nice, but not essential


I'd live in Bend in a heartbeat if I could afford it... Bend does sound great, except for the gardening.  That would be rough.  I can't not garden.

Good luck, it sound like you need to take a serious road trip and check things out.  Agreed!  We are currently planning it!  I don't think there's any one perfect place.  It's about finding that place that ticks the most boxes and feels right.
[/i]



So where do you currently live, if you don't mind my asking?   
« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 03:31:41 PM by Trifele »

FrugalKube

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #91 on: June 13, 2015, 08:18:11 PM »
@McSaathof --

So -- loved your earlier comment about stopping by Spokane for a beer, and I went online to check out the trail possibilities and found there is a ton going on!  Who knew?  Excellent!!!!!!     

Thanks!

Going to warn you now Spokane has a lot of crime and get pretty nasty in the winter. Looks like the others have mentioned that. I used to have to go there for work and I'm not a fan. I have a few friends who grew up and they hate the traffic and they think the schools are pretty poor. Just my two cents.
http://www.homesecurityshield.org/news/15-most-dangerous-cities-in-washington/

Spokane is  a decent place to visit, but I would recommend the Tri-Cities, Pullman, or Walla Walla over Spokane/Yakima. Walla Walla/TC lots of good biking, close to the Blue Mts for skiing, good outdoor activites. $$$ goes a lot further it is pretty hot and dry

Westside recommedations, I have family that lives in Puyallup/Sumner WA  and they are close to Tacoma. I recommend those places close to what you want to do outdoors stuff but lower cost of living than a big city.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2015, 08:23:41 PM by FrugalKube »

iluvzbeach

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #92 on: June 13, 2015, 08:26:20 PM »
Trifele, we've spent the last few days house-hunting in Ashland and Jacksonville and have determined we'll need to raise our budget for something we feel we'll like. Medford is likely much more affordable, but still with easy access to all the greatness this area has to offer.

Katsplaying

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #93 on: June 14, 2015, 09:32:07 AM »
Longtime (since 1993) resident of Whatcom county/Bellingham, WA, and I gotta tell ya, even within the immediate environs there's a dramatic shift between the liberal city dwellers & the county residents (who once tried to secede and form their own county). B'ham is a university town and it shows: lots of bars, rental housing, and service jobs. The locals are predominantly white & Christian and some choose to use their property to display political messages year-round.

Skagit county to the south is even worse as even the city dwellers are pretty rigidly socially conservative. Snohomish (Everett) , King (Seattle), and Pierce (Tacoma) counties are very expensive to live in both for housing costs and the hellish commutes. Trouble is, that's where you're more likely to find better-than-survival-pay work.

My 1200sqft 3b/1.5ba starter home was $129k when I bought in in 1997. Zillow says it's worth $248k now, down from the all-time high of over $295k at the peak of the housing bubble. 

School quality varies across this small city. Some outlying towns like Ferndale are rougher in terms of the populace but have amazing tax bases due to the proximity of the refineries at Cherry Point. Both Whatcon & Skagit have a significant migrant worker populations due to agricultural needs.

The plusses: Mountains! Miles & miles of trails all over B'ham! City, county & state parks! Lakes! Puget Sound! Islands! VERY bike friendly (but for crying out loud GET VISIBLE)! Fabulous neighborhoods of restored & fixer-upper homes. Trees everywhere! Deer in my front yard and frogs in the pond and I live IN the city! Minimal traffic, easy access to Seattle & Vancouver, BC! WWU & WCC for continuing education! Culture & entertainment for everyone with gallery walks & community festivals throughout the summers (try the Upfront for cheap laughs)! For the athletically & competitively inclined Ski to Sea!

Weather is awesome; I've worked full time, year-round outside since moving here and after the initial investment in rain/wind-proof gear, it isn't a problem. Fleece is your best friend in the PNW. Everyone says tons of rain but it's mostly non-rain, ie drizzle that barely dampens your face. Many grey days in winter but that's why it's so green & our skin stays young looking. Contrary to popular sentiment, we don't rust, we DO tan because in summer this is the most beautiful place on earth.

If you have specific questions, please feel free to IM me.

Cheers!

Trifele

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #94 on: June 14, 2015, 12:43:20 PM »
Thanks FrugalKube, Katsplaying, and Iluvzbeach!  Great input.  There have been some really negative comments about Spokane lately.  I think we'll still visit to check it out, but I hear what you are saying!  Also some positive comments lately about Walla Walla and Tri-cities.

spokey doke

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #95 on: June 14, 2015, 01:57:37 PM »
Thanks, Spokey!  I thought from your name that you might live in Spokane, but judging from your comment about it, now I am guessing not.  :)  Answers below and thanks for your comments!  It sounds like you know the area really well. 

Are you OK getting in a car to access trails?  Prefer to have it closer, but if I have to drive, then yes
[/b]If so, how long you might be willing to drive? Less than 15 minutes
Do you really want to be able to ski at least semi-locally? Yes -- x-country only, no downhill
[/b][/i]Are you OK running on wet trails much of the year? A-OK.   Shiggy is fine.
Are mountains important (or what types of 'nature' are you most drawn to)?  Woods.  Mountains are nice, but not essential. 


I'd live in Bend in a heartbeat if I could afford it...  Bend does sound great, except for the gardening.  That would be rough.  I can't not garden. 

Good luck, it sound like you need to take a serious road trip and check things out.  Agreed!  We are currently planning it!  I don't think there's any one perfect place.  It's about finding that place that ticks the most boxes and feels right.
[/i]



So where do you currently live, if you don't mind my asking?

I'm in a red state - infuriating politics and culture, great mountain recreation, low taxes, cheap real estate, and good gardening. Moved here for the job.

So be sure to get on the trails and check out the low-down on XC skiing, lots of places will plug this kind of thing when it really is lame or far away.  Most of the west side will not support XC skiing well and you will be looking at a decent drive with decent elevation gain to get to wet snow for much of the year.  Again, central OR is pretty nice on this front, and you can garden there, you just need to cover your beds more often.

A couple possible outliers that might not otherwise get on the radar: Sandy or Estacada OR (1/2 way up the mountains E. of PDX), access to snow and tons of public land in the mountains, great rivers right there, easy access to PDX and all is coolness. Some of the best berries in the world.

I'd again say check out Wenatchee area, including the small towns towards the mountains from there (good wine in the area too, BTW).

Haven't lived there but I think that Olympia might work for you - but a drive to CX ski. I'd put it right there with Corvallis (nice and a bit ho-hum), with a bunch more far left quirkiness along with state capitol lack of excitement.

And for the wild-card small town in a more isolated but stunning environment: Joseph, OR - tons of mountains and solitude with access to trails and snow and wilderness in every direction.

Another wild-card you might check out (no CX skiing): Astoria, OR - cool town with lots of character and a nice arts culture vibe (with a bit or Oregon coast quirkiness).  Close to PDX and you can either run on local trails in the hills or head to the beach.  Gardening friendly, but not much hot weather, and no really cold weather.

I really don't care for the Tri-Cities - no character, no mountains, hot as heck.

Second the recent comments on Spokane, a rather seedy quality that I can't shake whenever I'm there.

Ashland is really way cool in many ways, but a long ways from a big city.  As others note it is spendy, and nearby Medford gets pretty darn hot.  Great produce in the area however (loads of fruit).

Listen to what folks say about Tacoma - lived there and there are great things about it, including trails in the city limits (Pt. Defiance), and some great neighborhoods, but it has its rather seedy side as well.  You will have to drive quite a while to get to snow, and likely way more than 15 minutes to get to major sources of natural areas with trails.  Traffic stinks in that whole I-5 corridor from Tacoma north (and often well south of there).
« Last Edit: June 14, 2015, 02:10:30 PM by spokey doke »

spokey doke

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #96 on: June 14, 2015, 02:19:42 PM »
And if you are driving I-84 coming or going, take a serious look at Boise, ID.  Fairly progressive college town on the upswing, more trails in and around town than you can shake a thousand sticks at (seriously! that you can use nearly all year around), great gardening weather, pretty reasonable real estate prices, snow close by and lots of rivers to enjoy...but it is in one of the redder states there is (again, a good chunk of the local culture is progressive and you feel it when you are there (note: I don't live there, but visit often).

Somewhat similarly, a number of places in western MT are fairly liberal/progressive, and have incredible access to trails, but most of those aren't cheap (e.g. Missoula).
« Last Edit: June 14, 2015, 03:26:29 PM by spokey doke »

Trifele

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #97 on: June 14, 2015, 04:42:45 PM »
THANKS Spokey! Great comments and a lot to research/follow up on. 

sol

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #98 on: June 14, 2015, 06:13:57 PM »
Second the recent comments on Spokane, a rather seedy quality that I can't shake whenever I'm there.

I grew up in Spokane and have no desire to go back, but all of the Spokahate in this thread is starting to rile my feathers.

Spokane is the second largest city in the state.  That title comes with some associated problems, but those are balanced by better access to outdoor recreation opportunities than any other large city in the region.

I think much of the bad rap the city gets is because people judge based on the parts they can see from the freeway, which are all of the worst parts.  Check out Manito Park, or the north end neighborhoods, or Brown's Addition, and you'll get a very different picture.  They have an outstanding parks system, including one that takes up a huge chunk of downtown, and a whole variety of annual events.  And four beautiful seasons, unlike anything west of the mountains.

The politics were a bit of a problem for me, even as a kid, but things have definitely improved in that respect in the past 20 years.



Jeremy E.

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Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #99 on: June 15, 2015, 10:04:10 AM »
Second the recent comments on Spokane, a rather seedy quality that I can't shake whenever I'm there.

I grew up in Spokane and have no desire to go back, but all of the Spokahate in this thread is starting to rile my feathers.

Spokane is the second largest city in the state.  That title comes with some associated problems, but those are balanced by better access to outdoor recreation opportunities than any other large city in the region.

I think much of the bad rap the city gets is because people judge based on the parts they can see from the freeway, which are all of the worst parts.  Check out Manito Park, or the north end neighborhoods, or Brown's Addition, and you'll get a very different picture.  They have an outstanding parks system, including one that takes up a huge chunk of downtown, and a whole variety of annual events.  And four beautiful seasons, unlike anything west of the mountains.

The politics were a bit of a problem for me, even as a kid, but things have definitely improved in that respect in the past 20 years.
The issue is that the houses around 150k to fit there budget are in the crappier neighborhoods, and to get into those nicer neighborhoods they'll have to pay a bit more