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Old 08-22-2014, 11:35 AM   #1
boblovesbeer OP
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Portland area questions

My wife and I are in the planning stages of a move to the Portland area and we're trying to get some local perspective on the different areas of the city. We've stayed in downtown Portland before and are somewhat familiar with that area but don't know much about the outlying areas that seem to be more affordable. We have a larger dog so we're really hoping to find a small house, duplex or something similar that would have a yard. What neighborhoods would be best as far as affordability? Are there areas not necessarily in Portland itself but close enough to commute that would be worth considering? Really we're just looking for some ideas so when we visit in a month we have an idea of where to focus our search.

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 08-22-2014, 11:45 AM   #2
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Portland is the cheapest big city on the west coat, but it's damn expensive compared to the Midwest.

A definition of "cheap" may help. If it's $100k, you're screwed. If it's $300k, you will do better. Market around here seems to have been in recovery mode for a while now.
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Old 08-22-2014, 11:58 AM   #3
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http://www.portlandneighborhood.com/...hborhoods.html

Will give you some general information.

In my experience, and friend's experience, in the last 6 months, any home for sale in Portland proper that is near $200k will have multiple offers within a week of the listing, no matter the neighborhood. You won't find much cheaper than that, except homes that are intended to be torn down by developers. Things seem less competitive, and there are a lot more options, around 300k as DW pointed out.

Portlanders are very commute-averse. It is in no small part because traffic can be exceptionally bad depending on where you are coming from and going to. I would suggest considering where you will be working as step one.

It's also worth noting that some fields are entirely over saturated with quality employees in Portland, so if you don't have anything lined up yet... research carefully.
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:24 PM   #4
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At first we plan to rent while we get our bearings on what areas we like the most. So I was referring to rentals. Sorry, I should have been more clear. Since we aren't buying right away we're really looking for the cheapest rental we can find that will work with our dog. I was curious if there are certain neighborhoods or parts of the city that should be focused on more than other areas for inexpensive rent. I'll find out where exactly my wife will be working to give us a starting point.

My wife will be transferring with her current company so I'm the one that has to worry about finding a job. I have a little over 8 years experience as a claims adjuster and almost 17 years of customer service experience so I'm really hoping that will get my foot in with either some insurance claims jobs or even just some sort of customer service position. Nothing glamorous but if it will pay the bills then I can work my way up from there. I'm nervous for sure because I'm well aware of how hard the job market is right now. Out of curiosity what fields seem to be the most saturated in Portland? I'm trying not to stress about it too much because it is a good opportunity for my wife and I'm ready to get out of the Midwest.

Thanks for the advice guys!
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Old 08-22-2014, 03:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by boblovesbeer View Post
will work with our dog.
I bought a house 8 months ago because it was becoming impossible to find homes to rent that would allow the dog. That's with hounding rentals, finding them before they are on the market, and being an outstanding renter in terms of credit/income/references/etc. In Portland, landlords can be exceptionally choosy (despite what the law says) and there's far more demand than supply.

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Out of curiosity what fields seem to be the most saturated in Portland?
Anything creative. Anything entry-level (including service,) especially if it is in an office setting. I assume this is the case for most of the country over the last few years. Six months ago my employer had an opening for an office assistant and a customer service person, both at average wages and entry level positions. We had over 200 applicants for each position within two weeks, and the quality of the applicants was outstanding. I believe both people that were hired had 10+ years working in the specific industry, were highly educated, and had previously held management positions. I also have friends who manage food-service enterprises, and tell similar stories.

I am not trying to discourage you, and my sample-size is of course limited. I just meet a lot of people that have struggled (employment wise) since moving to Portland. On the flip side, I've done great.
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Old 08-22-2014, 04:02 PM   #6
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There are many good areas to be here in Portland. Close in east or west are all mostly good and I would also suggest renting/buying on the same side of the river you will be working on. Much easier commute that way. One of the best parts of Portland tho is the local restaurant scene, there is a lot of great eating out here, as my bathroom scale will attest! Good luck on the move!
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Old 08-22-2014, 05:00 PM   #7
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What WB said. He is no slouch on bikes, Craiglist finds or housing.

I just looked at 10 house rentals in my 'hood (inner SW/johns landing) for 'ya.
All 10 are "no" on pets, they just don't need to allow that to get places filled anymore. Rents in my 'hood are $1300 to $3200/mo, most 1 year deals.

Good luck with finding housing on one income in this town! There are jobs, and it's really competitive market here, esp anything inside SE 82nd Ave.

Start spiraling out from your gal's new place of employment, go from there. Maybe her employer has somebody who can help too.

But yeah, I'd want out of KS too. Do it.
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:43 PM   #8
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What about the surrounding cities like Beaverton or Vancouver? Is it any easier finding places to rent in those cities?
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:55 PM   #9
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What about the surrounding cities like Beaverton or Vancouver? Is it any easier finding places to rent in those cities?
Absolutely! As long as you are working in or near those suburbs/cities, they can make a lot of sense. Or, if you have a odd start/end time to your job.

But, either way, you'll miss out on some of (Some would argue much of) what makes Portland, Portland.

Also, I don't mean to control this thread, but I left the east coast seven years ago this week, and I'm feeling a bit nostalgic about choosing Portland, and how different Portland looks now. I can't imagine having grown up here!
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Old 08-23-2014, 12:00 AM   #10
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I live in John's Landing too. We bought a duplex here so we rent one apt and the average for this area is 1.25-1.5 $ per square foot.bits pretty outrageous we would never afford this neighborhood now. Most of my co-workers live further out. I would recommend you look in Tidard area. Commute is a bitch to the city but it's still got some affordable living.

And jobs are very rough here, to get anyway. Best of luck, I moved here 20+ years ago and I can't leave. Worth the effort.....
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Old 08-24-2014, 07:51 AM   #11
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Get used to riding bicycles or using public transportation to commute.

I don't know why youre going to Portland, but what about So. Oregon? More affordable, more open space for a dog, less hustle and bustle.
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:10 AM   #12
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The big question still, is where is your wife's place of business? Downtown, east side, Beaverton etc. That will drive location recommendations more than anything else. It's not very practical to live in Vancouver and commute to Beaverton for example.
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:31 AM   #13
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Beaverton is a great example of Anytown, USA. Sprawl, shopping malls, and typical subdivision housing. Vancouver is fine, but depending on what you are looking for - it's lacking a bit in the restaurants/cultural things PDX has just due to size. Both suck to commute into Portland proper - in a serious, serious way. Close in SE or NE will cost.
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:36 AM   #14
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Depending on where your wife's job is, Milwaukie, Oregon City, and West Linn are all great places to live in my opinion. I lived in Milwaukie for almost 5 years and worked in Gladstone.
In non rush hour times, I could be in Downtown Portland in 15-20 minutes. Still could enjoy all Portland had to offer, but lived in a more relaxed community.
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Old 08-24-2014, 01:12 PM   #15
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...Oregon City, and West Linn are all great places to live...Milwaukie ...Gladstone.

In non rush hour times, I could be in Downtown Portland in 15-20 minutes. Still could enjoy all Portland had to offer, but lived in a more relaxed community.
Unincorporated Clackamas County is a joy after living in Portlandia.
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