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Moving to Portland, Oregon?

by tom44 on June 1, 2014

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Question by Laura: Moving to Portland, Oregon?
I currently live in Washington DC with a job that allows remote working. I have always wanted to move to the west, and picked Portland because California is too expensive for me right now, and the vibe in Portland seems totally up my alley.

A few questions:
1. I am considering selling my car before the move. It’s crazy to me, because living in DC area, you can’t go a day without a car! But it’s expensive to keep one, and I thought it might be interesting to try living without one. Is this doable? I also am interested in hiking, and know the Gorge is not too far away- are the buses out there? How would I get there without a car?

2. The weather. I hate the cold, but I’m used to it. I don’t think I’d mind the rain or gloom, but everyone makes it seem there are literally NO sunny days through the fall, winter, spring. Is this really true? I visited in May and it was beautiful weather the entire time I was there.

3. Overall lifestyle- do you live in Portland? Are you happy there? Tell me why or why not!

Best answer:

Answer by MisterTattiePie4U
Portland is more expensive in some ways than Southern California. So where you got the idea it was cheaper here, I don’t know.
No car in Portland means you ride the bus or TriMet light rail. Getting to the Gorge without a car, ummm…walk, or find a friend that’s going that way. Hiking, doesn’t get any better here, but, again, no car, you walk. Buses don’t go there. There are some local clubs who’s members share rides, but just showing up here doesn’t suddenly mean they’ll include you in. You typically have to prove your sincerity by doing work on trails or other projects with the local club.

The weather, it gets cold here, yes sometimes ice and snow storms in mid winter. Sometimes, like last year, we had NO SUNNY DAYS for almost three and a half months. Nothing too cold, mid 20’s was the worst. Rain through the fall and winter into early spring is common. Summers are typically dry and hot 80’s and 90’s, sometimes into the 100’s in August.

I lived in Portland for 30 years, moved to Eugene six years ago, moving back to Portland next year. Yes, I like it, it is where I’m from. (native Oregonian)

Ok, lets talk JOB’s. They are hard to get, pay worse here than in other cities of relative size. And, if you just show up without a job, be ready for some serious rejection from employers and the State employment office. Because jobs, good paying jobs that is, are hard to get, locals are the first pick by employers.

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3 thoughts on “Moving to Portland, Oregon?

  1. stargatekatie says:

    If you already have a job that allows you to work from any location, then you’ve got one main problem solved. Oregon did have some of the highest unemployment in the country, and though things are better than they were a few years ago, it’s not perfect. There is hiking in and around Portland without going all the way out to the Gorge also on bus or TriMet (the light rail system here). Affordable housing is available, but may take some hunting. The housing market is picking up and I don’t know how quickly you will find a place to live. Sunshine? Yes, it happens in the fall and winter. It’s not 100% rain. There is a little snow each winter, but not much to worry about. Oregon is a nice place to live and I hope you can join us.

  2. Chuckles says:

    Unless you live right in downtown Portland you need a car. Western cities are more spread out than in the east and cars are more important to have in the west. In any western city other than San Francisco a car is essential.

    If you hate the cold, be aware is is rainy and cool to cold in Portland for a good part of the year. It can go 6 months straight over the winter with little direct sun light.

    If you really hate the cold and love sunlight, look at Henderson Nevada to live. It rarely gets cold there and housing is cheap compared to Portland or DC. Plus there is tons of nature stuff to do in the desert.

  3. UrbanPhotos says:

    Portland is the best city in the USA. I’ve lived here since 1975 and haven’t owned a car since 2002.

    I would move to Northwest Portland. It’s walking distance to anything you’d need, and is close to Forest Park which has hiking trails and is 5,000 acres of wilderness.

    http://www.portlandonline.com/parks/finder/index.cfm?PropertyID=127&action=ViewPark

    You can ride a city bus (Tri Met) to Troutdale http://trimet.org/maps/trimetsystem.htm which is the western end of the gorge. Cost is $ 5 for an all day pass.

    There are lots of sunny days in the winter and all year long. The summer is mostly sunny with a few cloudy days whereas the winter is mostly cloudy with a few sunny days. I prefer the cloudy days anyway.

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