Moving to Portland Or. Need advice

So, like a couple of years ago in this thread I’m seeking advice from Portlanders on things Portland. This time we are really going to do it!

We need to decide where to live.

I will be working in the container terminals in the port, i.e, the commute is a consideration, but a pleasant, safe neighborhood is important. We would like to live in a “traditional” neighborhood with older houses on tree-lined streets as opposed to tacky ranch-style sterile houses in a “development”. We are not suburbanites in our lifestyle or outlook. Definately urban types. Or country living, which is not practical work-wise.

We could spend about $300 K for a house, but would like to spend more in the neighborhood of $250 K.

Our plan is to rent a furnished place on Craig’s List so that we can get to know the town before we buy.

We are liberal/progressive types and enjoy cultural events.

Any and all advice gratefully accepted.

Oh yes, tell us about the weather.

We love the sea. How long does it take to get to the gorgeous Oregon coast?

No advice on house-buying, I’ve been away from Portland too long to know neighborhoods or prices.

However, it will take you an hour to an hour and a half to get to the ocean, depending on where you want to go and how many other people want to be there at the same time. but it’s always worth the drive.

Do you wear hats? I’ve always found that hats are better in the rain than umbrellas, especially if there is wind. And in Portland, there will be wind more often than not. The rainy season stars in late October, though there will be plenty of rain-free days until mid-December. It is not unheard of to have some rain everyday from mid-Decenber until March–but there are many kinds of rain, and after a while, it has to be coming down in buckets before it even register. Temperature will drop down to 20 to 30 degrees at night, and climb into the 50’s during the day. March to the end of May, the start of some beautiful weather, interrupted by rain. Almost impossible to plan anything outdoors and know what the weather will be like. Oh, it may snow in December or January, but not much, and only for a couple of days. June is overcast/foggy. Drives people nuts. July, August, early September–summer. Sunny day after sunny day, between 65 and 90 degrees, except for maybe a week or two when the temp. goes up to 104 or there-a-bouts and everyone melts. It seems to be getting warmer every year. Oh, and it will rain occasionally. Late September to mid-October–best time of the year. Still mostly sunny, with crisp mornings and chilly nights, maybe 70 degrees in the middle of the day in Sept. but 55-60 by the end of October.

People talk about the rain, but it’s not like it is pouring every second of every day, even in the middle of winter. We get a lot of mist and sprinkles, with some awesome downpours every once in a while.

Welcon to Portland, we’ll have to have a DopeFest for you when you get here, and introduce you to the great local beer, wine or cider. And here’s a hint–the ocean does not close during the rain. Put on a coat and a hat and go walking on a deserted beach, a favorite pasttime of any true Pacific Northcoaster!

One more thing about the weather. Every couple of years there’s an ice storm. It rains. It gets cold. The rain freezes and turns the streets and sidewalks into a giant skating rink. The whole area shuts down until things thaw out, which is usually the next day.

I moved out of the the Portland area a couple of years ago, but the container terminals are located not too far from the Saint John’s Bridge and Cathedral Park neighborhood. That might be a place to start looking.

I was going to suggest the St. Johns area also. It’s very close to HWY 30, which will get you to Astoria in 1 1/2 to 2 hours, and has the least coast-bound traffic, IMHO, on Fridays. St. Johns is a funky old neighborhood with lots of older small to medium sized houses, that is moving upwards now. Lots of young families moving in and fixing up older bungelows, etc. You should definately be able to find something in your price range there, but, depending on where you’re coming from, you might be in for a bit of ‘sticker shock’.

I don’t know if this is kosher on the boards or not, so Mods, do as you see fit.:

My wife and I are both real estate brokers in Newberg, which is about 15 mi. SW of Portland proper, but we have access to Portland’s multiple listing service and can help you with your search when you get ready to buy something if you like. We mostly work in our own area, but occasionally go into Portland, in fact we wrote an offer on a house in St. Johns just yesterday.

:smack: Pushed the wrong button before I got to say welcome.

Welcome to Portland, you’re gonna love it here. Definately let us know when you arrive and we will have a fest. Lot’s of great food and drink around here. Do you like Scotch eggs? :wink:

Live north of the river. Your wallet will appreciate it.

We;come to Portland, you will love it. If you like hustle and bustle you could check out the Paerl District. It has condos made from renovated warehouses or made to look like renovated warehouses. Very expensive, but also very convenient. You could walk or take public transportation most anywhere. You may be able to ride a bike to the terminals.

See: here

Do you mean across the Columbia in Washington? As in Vancouver?

I’m sure that’s what Duckster meant, and property taxes are a bit cheaper up there, (but not as much as some people believe), if you can stomach the commute, it’s a viable alternative.

Welcome!
There are some very nice neighborhoods in North and Northeast Portland that would put you fairly close to the industrial district. You can use Portland Maps to research an individual house or a neighborhood. For example, you can put in an address and learn about the house itself, it’s assessment history, improvements, and tax districts. It also identifies parks and schools within a mile as well as census and crime information for the area.

There are also some online resources to catch up on the local news:

Willamette Week- This paper offers consistently high quality investigative reporting. They generally have one main article per issue with some interesting columns.

Portland Tribune- More conservative than Willamette Week, it offers a different perspective.

Portland Communique (b!X) - A rather interesting blog, he is very good at covering local issues. He also links to other interesting blogs.

Correct. According to some real estate friends, somewhere around 30-40 percent of their business is coming from Portlanders wanting out.