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  1. #1
    Ogr8nwmypstmksnosnse pgoat's Avatar
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    need advice on where to live in Portland.....

    ok, I got good advice from BF on where to stay on a visit...on our next trip we hope to stay longer and scout out some neighborhoods to rent/buy in. fwiw we are not rich by a long shot, so we hope to stay close to town, nice area, etc etc but for example where we were staying (nob hill) is probably out of our price range (we saw houses in the 1/2 mil - million range there). We'll probably rent at first, and we were hoping to stay under $300K if we purchase a home.

    Obviously we'll need to hook up with realtors and do some leg work , but just wanted some basic tips from Portlanders as to what neighborhoods they felt were a good bet to move into, both now and with an eye for the future......not looking to get rich flipping properties, just want a decent investment.

    We currently rent in our part of queens - we pay what is a pretty low amount for its size in NYC (over 1000 sq ft, only $1300/mo) but if we had bought our apartment seven years ago we'd be sitting pretty right now (probably tripled in value since 1999). Other areas here haven't gone up as much; our neighborhood was kinda sleeper. So we hope to at least do okay in OR.

    finally, apologies for being yet another east coast expatriate! I was doing a side by side comparison between p-town and ny and the population growth percentages weren't even close! I guess Portland has been changing rapidly....I hope these changes will not be all bad as the pop. grows.
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  2. #2
    AKA F to the C EffSizzle's Avatar
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    Why Portland???
    '06 Cannondale CAAD8 R800

    Work to eat,
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    YOU'RE AS HAPPY AS YOU WANT TO BE!!!

  3. #3
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Right now it is very difficult to rent and somewhat easier to buy. (with an adequate down payment) I'm starting to see houses on the market for a lot longer than I've seen them in years.

    About how far from the city center is your outer limit?
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  4. #4
    Not so newbie
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    We live in Westmoreland/Sellwood neighborhood and really enjoy it. We have a small downtown area with a bunch of restraunts/bars/coffee houses within walking distance. The neighborhood elementary school is also good if that is of importance. We are 2 minutes from the springwater trail that connects to downtown. My wife works downtown and it takes her about 10 minutes by car and 20 by bike.

    Finding a place for less than 300k might be a bit of a challenge, but there are a lot of smaller houses on the market between the 300-375 range.

    Portland has alot of very liveable neighborhoods. I also like the area around Mississippi avenue in NE and the Overlook area in North Ptld. Both of them are close to downtown and seem like up and coming places to live.

    Good Luck!

  5. #5
    Ogr8nwmypstmksnosnse pgoat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnamb View Post
    Right now it is very difficult to rent and somewhat easier to buy. (with an adequate down payment) I'm starting to see houses on the market for a lot longer than I've seen them in years.

    About how far from the city center is your outer limit?
    tough to say how far because we didn't stray too far from town on our first short stay. I will say that the big main draw (and this partially *answers "why Portland?") was the mass transit/bike thing. Of course NYC has that too but there's just too many freakin people here.....point being I'd kinda rather not move to Oregon and have to drive an hour to work every day. If I wasn't sitting in heavy traffic it wouldn't be so bad but it kinda defeats the purpose of the move for us.

    I know people we chatted with there mentioned Hollywood, Irvington and other areas which I gathered were fairly close to Morrison Bridge on the east side of the river? I do a 6 mile each way bike commute now with a much harder bridge cross so I could prolly handle that part okay.....

    *btw, I also got a fairly liberal vibe from Portland.....that's pretty crucial for us. Not knocking anyone else's personal politics but we absolutely won't live in a solid 'red' town......
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  6. #6
    Ogr8nwmypstmksnosnse pgoat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chisolm View Post
    We live in Westmoreland/Sellwood neighborhood and really enjoy it. We have a small downtown area with a bunch of restraunts/bars/coffee houses within walking distance. The neighborhood elementary school is also good if that is of importance. We are 2 minutes from the springwater trail that connects to downtown. My wife works downtown and it takes her about 10 minutes by car and 20 by bike.

    Finding a place for less than 300k might be a bit of a challenge, but there are a lot of smaller houses on the market between the 300-375 range.

    Portland has alot of very liveable neighborhoods. I also like the area around Mississippi avenue in NE and the Overlook area in North Ptld. Both of them are close to downtown and seem like up and coming places to live.

    Good Luck!
    thanks! Sellwood was indeed another area mentioned to us as a great place to live. We just ran out of time and never got to it. we're trying to beef up our savings for a down payment....guess finding any house under $300k is getting harder all over.....
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  7. #7
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    You're going to be challenged with finding an initial rental in a halfway decent place. If you can steadily save enough for a down payment and bide your time, this whole mortgage crisis might work in your favor. Portland's market resisted it for a long time, but now it's getting difficult to sell. If you do have to get a place further out (at least at first), go for the places that are easy to ride to a MAX stop. Bike-MAX-bike commutes can be very reasonable. I just always bring something to do on the train.

    If you haven't already, buy yourselves one of these maps. It has the MAX lines and all the good biking routes detailed on it, which actually makes it a useful neighborhood guide for your purposes. This PDF version of a book might also be worth looking at.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  8. #8
    ponyX3
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    i live in buckman hood ( inner se ) 16th between stark and alder.

    its a nice hood, close to shops and food.

  9. #9
    Ogr8nwmypstmksnosnse pgoat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnamb View Post
    You're going to be challenged with finding an initial rental in a halfway decent place. If you can steadily save enough for a down payment and bide your time, this whole mortgage crisis might work in your favor. Portland's market resisted it for a long time, but now it's getting difficult to sell. If you do have to get a place further out (at least at first), go for the places that are easy to ride to a MAX stop. Bike-MAX-bike commutes can be very reasonable. I just always bring something to do on the train.

    If you haven't already, buy yourselves one of these maps. It has the MAX lines and all the good biking routes detailed on it, which actually makes it a useful neighborhood guide for your purposes. This PDF version of a book might also be worth looking at.
    thank you so much for all that Donna. It will surely help in our search. We got that map to use from the bike rental shop.....probably should have bought one at the book store. We definitely are leaning towards doing just what you suggest, which will let us build a bigger down payment and prepare for the move.

    We looked online this weekend and saw some cute small houses under 200K on either side of the Veternas Hwy (Rt 205), which if I am reading the maps correctly look like a 5 or 6 mile ride to downtown. Not sure how those neighborhoods look up close but at least we are in the ball park.... we will also be looking at condos and apartments.
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  10. #10
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    This is why I think if you can find a rental first, you'll be better off. It will give you a chance to really check out these neighborhoods so you know whether or not they're right for you.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  11. #11
    Senior Member NeoGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffSizzle View Post
    Why Portland???
    From the three weeks I spent in Portland during centralized training for my office, Portland was nice. I'd have no qualms about moving to Portland. Besides the riverwalk being a nice place to ride, people are just nicer in Portland. Try walking on a Seattle sidewalk and smiling or saying hi to somebody and see if they even repsond. I'd say 99% of the time they don't.

    Portland is what leaps to mind when I think of the Pacific Northwest. I'd happily relocate and to Portland and not look back.

  12. #12
    lunatic fringe Dogbait's Avatar
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    I would agree with Donna about renting first while you get familiar with the neighborhoods. One of the areas you mention, west of I-205, has the unfortunate nickname of Felony Flats. And while it is a neighborhood on the way up now, it has earned the name and it might not be a good choice... beware of realtor photos, read the crime reports and talk to some residents. Try to spend some time walking or biking around a few areas to get a feel for the place before you invest in a property that may not be easy to sell if you decide to move.

  13. #13
    Ogr8nwmypstmksnosnse pgoat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogbait View Post
    I would agree with Donna about renting first while you get familiar with the neighborhoods. One of the areas you mention, west of I-205, has the unfortunate nickname of Felony Flats. And while it is a neighborhood on the way up now, it has earned the name and it might not be a good choice... beware of realtor photos, read the crime reports and talk to some residents. Try to spend some time walking or biking around a few areas to get a feel for the place before you invest in a property that may not be easy to sell if you decide to move.
    Thanks dogbait

    good to know and we will indeed proceed with caution. this type of info is great cause we're total newbies other than the three days we spent as tourists, mainly in town.
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  14. #14
    Ogr8nwmypstmksnosnse pgoat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeoGeek View Post
    From the three weeks I spent in Portland during centralized training for my office, Portland was nice. I'd have no qualms about moving to Portland. Besides the riverwalk being a nice place to ride, people are just nicer in Portland. Try walking on a Seattle sidewalk and smiling or saying hi to somebody and see if they even repsond. I'd say 99% of the time they don't.

    Portland is what leaps to mind when I think of the Pacific Northwest. I'd happily relocate and to Portland and not look back.
    what he said.
    was just riding home last night and thinking (as the fifth person of the day cut me off with no turn signal) how much nicer it was riding in Portland traffic. A block later I got hit by a cab. I think I'm ready now.....
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  15. #15
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    When you get settled in, send me a PM and the three of us can go for a ride if you like. (a neighborhood-oriented ride)
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  16. #16
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    more helpful info:

    www.portlandmaps.com

    online GIS information, including property values, property tax assessment information, crime statistics for any zip code in portland proper. my wife and I purchased our house in spring of 2004 right before everything became really crazy. I don't know if we would have wanted to spend as much as our house is currently valued for if we were in the market now... but we really like our neighborhood. we live in concordia, off of ainsworth near fernhill park (huge park with off leash dog area), new seasons, kennedy school (you can drink and watch movies and eat pizza at the same time while sitting on a couch in the theater, for those not familiar with mcmenamins).

    I agree with donna, find a neighborhood you like, most neighborhoods in portland have local stores and are bike/walking friendly. I love that I can walk to the store. good luck with your search.

    Steve

  17. #17
    Portland, OR, USA pdxtex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgoat View Post

    finally, apologies for being yet another east coast expatriate! I was doing a side by side comparison between p-town and ny and the population growth percentages weren't even close! I guess Portland has been changing rapidly....I hope these changes will not be all bad as the pop. grows.
    don't sweat it. nobody in portland is really from here. im a transplant of 11 years and people still ask me where im from. america is changing and were more mobile then ever. whats happening here is happening everywhere. but on to the topic. for 300k, you can get a pretty decent place. you pretty much can't go wrong buying a place in se portland within the following borders - hwy 84 to the north, holgate to the south, mlk/grand/99e to the west, and 82nd to the east. thats a huge area with many unique mainstreety retail nodes. good luck.

  18. #18
    Ogr8nwmypstmksnosnse pgoat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnamb View Post
    When you get settled in, send me a PM and the three of us can go for a ride if you like. (a neighborhood-oriented ride)
    will do! Thanks, that sounds great. I had definitely been hoping to ride to more neighborhoods when we were there, but there's only so much you can do in three jet-lagged days (we had a delay taking off in NY which didn't help any). I scouted jobs one day, we did the Japanese Garden etc. another and a little riding the third (plus a lot of shopping and eating!), so, next thing you know - bang! we're on the way home.

    But I know cycling through neighborhoods is great to get a real feel for what it's like to live there. I didn't want to rent a car and blast through too quickly; also, if the neighborhood was far away enough to NEED a car to get to from downtown, I think that kinda defeats the purpose for us.
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  19. #19
    Ogr8nwmypstmksnosnse pgoat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdxsteve-o View Post
    more helpful info:

    www.portlandmaps.com

    online GIS information, including property values, property tax assessment information, crime statistics for any zip code in portland proper. my wife and I purchased our house in spring of 2004 right before everything became really crazy. I don't know if we would have wanted to spend as much as our house is currently valued for if we were in the market now... but we really like our neighborhood. we live in concordia, off of ainsworth near fernhill park (huge park with off leash dog area), new seasons, kennedy school (you can drink and watch movies and eat pizza at the same time while sitting on a couch in the theater, for those not familiar with mcmenamins).

    I agree with donna, find a neighborhood you like, most neighborhoods in portland have local stores and are bike/walking friendly. I love that I can walk to the store. good luck with your search.

    Steve

    thanks for the link Steve! That should be quite helpful.
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  20. #20
    Ogr8nwmypstmksnosnse pgoat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdxtex View Post
    don't sweat it. nobody in portland is really from here. im a transplant of 11 years and people still ask me where im from. america is changing and were more mobile then ever. whats happening here is happening everywhere. but on to the topic. for 300k, you can get a pretty decent place. you pretty much can't go wrong buying a place in se portland within the following borders - hwy 84 to the north, holgate to the south, mlk/grand/99e to the west, and 82nd to the east. thats a huge area with many unique mainstreety retail nodes. good luck.
    I hear you; obviously it's the same here in NY. I just get a little sad when I see areas get totally morphed by newcomers......there's usually a lot of positive rejuvenation as well as any ill effects, and you can't fight progress, but it is still sad. People I know who've lived here for years marvel at how NYC has changed from 'the bad old days' (in ways both good and bad). It's inevitable; I just hope we have respect for what went before when we relocate.

    thanks for the tip on the boundaries!
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  21. #21
    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    Many years ago, when we lived in P town, we bought a home on 70th between Glisan & Burnside. A nice family oriented neighborhood. My bike commute downtown was about 5 miles each way.

    There used to be quite a demographic break at 39th to the river being mostly younger folks renting & from40th to 122nd more family/homeowner types. My oldest son bought a home near Reed college in the mid 80s & saw it double in value before he sold & moved to Salem. The Mt Tabor area had beautiful homes, but pricey & the neighborhood around Hawthorne has really improved over the years. Good luck house hunting. Don
    visit my homebuilding blog: www.monoplanar.blogspot.com

  22. #22
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    I'm partial to corvallis only because I currently live here. Actually, the wife and me are going to move next year to Portland. (we just got married) so this comes as a noteworth topic for myself as well. good luck though. if you want oregon, but some gnarly and fun back roads, check out scio.
    New 37-590 tires and tubes. yeaaahhh

  23. #23
    Portland, OR, USA pdxtex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ollo_ollo View Post
    Many years ago, when we lived in P town, we bought a home on 70th between Glisan & Burnside. A nice family oriented neighborhood. My bike commute downtown was about 5 miles each way.

    There used to be quite a demographic break at 39th to the river being mostly younger folks renting & from40th to 122nd more family/homeowner types. My oldest son bought a home near Reed college in the mid 80s & saw it double in value before he sold & moved to Salem. The Mt Tabor area had beautiful homes, but pricey & the neighborhood around Hawthorne has really improved over the years. Good luck house hunting. Don
    the amount of families and home owners between 39th and the river is huge now. there are still alot of rental properties but id say just by guessing, rentals are probably less then 30% in that area.

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