The Ideal Place to Live

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Xtina, Dec 24, 2008.

  1. Xtina

    Xtina Songster

    Jul 1, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    I have to say that of all the places I've lived, Portland, Oregon is pretty darn ideal. That said, there are a few things that have caused my husband and me to consider moving away. I thought that since this forum has members from all over the world, this would be as good a place as any to ask advice on what places match what I'm looking for. Bear in mind that I tend to over-explain everything so this might be a long post.

    First, why I love Portland: 1) I don't have to have a car to live here! 2) I'm allowed to have chickens. 3) I can afford a house in the city proper, it's 1550 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, front and back yard, on .10 acre. 4) People here are open minded...sometimes a little bit too much so. 5) Great underground local music scene. 6) Central downtown area. And almost every neighborhood has a main street so that everyone can walk to all the stores they need. 7) Portland is alternative transit friendly. People bike, walk and skateboard everywhere and no one bats an eye about seeing bikes on main streets. 8) Portland is community oriented. My neighbors all are friends, and we set up a message board so that we can all get together multiple times a month. 9) Economy. I have a good job here. 10) the mountains. I can go hiking every weekend if I want and get a great workout, gaining lots of altitude fast. There are more things, but I'll stop there.

    Now, what I don't love about Portland: 1) The weather. It just rains too much and is cold for too long here! I like four seasons, but I also like for three of them to be WARM seasons. 2) Cost of living. Yes, I can afford a house, but just barely. The schools and crime and pollution in my neighborhood are horrible, and we can't truly afford our house. There's nothing cheaper available. Downsizing isn't an option with our big life. 3) Hippies. True, they make lots of things I like possible. But sometimes, I just can't stand living around so many hippies. I won't go into details...but I will say I'd like to live in a city that is a little less weed-friendly.

    Finally, here's an idea of my ideal life. Some of the things I want are conflicting, or so it would seem until I remember that I've known people who have what I want. 1) I want an in-town house with a front and back yard in a place that allows chickens. 2) I want affordable acreage outside town. Around here, farmland or recreational land on the green side of the state is about $20,000 per acre. That's just crazy. 3) I want to be able to bike to my farm. So, I'd like to afford a house in the city for around $200,000 and a farm outside the city for about $4,000 per acre, about 10 miles or fewer from my town home. The fewer miles the better. 4) I want close access to a Greek Orthodox church. 5) I don't want to live in any of the states that see a lot of cold. If the climate resembles Montana or Wisconsin, it's a no. 6) I want a town with a main street, where I can walk to everything I need. 7) A city with residents who appreciate art and music is a must. Touring bands should want to come through the city. 8) A sustainable future with access to natural rainfall is an important thing to us. Phoenix, Las Vegas and Atlanta won't cut it. 9) A college town would be awesome.

    I do realize as I write this just how much I have. But we feel like we're bursting out of the seams of what we can afford in Portland. I'd like to have kids soon, and be the kind of mom that can stay home. I'd want a better neighborhood in Portland, but cost of living won't allow for both. And I'd like to grow my own food. I have a great micro garden here, but I'm ready for more. Goats even! I'm not opposed to staying in the NW, in fact, I really love it. I love the mountains and the green-ness of the place.

    Perhaps part of my problem is that I don't know where to look to find affordable land in my own area. None of the local websites has a good land search that I've found. Maybe the land here is cheaper than I think but that I'm looking in all the wrong places. Does anyone have a suggestion?

    Finally, I would be wrong to omit the fact that my husband has no desire for town life at all. He'd be happy with a farm house in the middle of nowhere, with a car-based lifestyle and no neighbors. I just don't think that's for me. I want the best of both worlds, like my mom had as a girl in Greece.

  2. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    Quote:You can go ahead and scratch anywhere in the mid-west off your list. [​IMG]
  3. FrontPorchIndiana

    FrontPorchIndiana Songster

    Mar 8, 2008
    $20,000 per ACRE?!!! [​IMG] Good grief! The greater Indianapolis area would have everything your looking for except for that whole getting cold thing... it does get cold there. Maybe that's why farmland is $4,000 - 5,000 per acre?

    I've always heard wonderful things about Portland. I suspect it might be hard to beat.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2008
  4. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Songster

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    Except for the Greek Orthodox Church ( which I really just don't know...never had cause to check it out.) hand down it's Mountain Home Arkansas. Not Mountains but beautiful hills, and hours drive to Mountain View.......Music.

    Super affordable....need I say more. It's diverse........yes, it actually is. But not overly.

    Taxes and cost of living are low.

    Short, refreshing winter.

    Summers are not too hot.

    Lakes and Rivers? Tons. Check it out.

    Hope you find your dream place.

    Merry Christmas,


  5. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    Portland is one of my fav cities. You forgot to mention that you're in the middle of a really spectacular wine region.

    Plus there's nothing like Mother's for brunch. [​IMG]
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Add an extra 0 to that 20k/acre up in this neck of the woods... Sorry can't be a help. Love the rainy PNW!!!

    No matter where you go though, you'll find the quirks of each place. Corvallis OR is cheap. And a college town. :p
  7. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Here in Virginia the weather is really nice - gets too hot for me in the summer - but we only get 1 or 2 decent snowfalls per season - so just enough to appreciate the snow, then it melts.

    Land in my immediate area goes for about $2,000-$3,000 per acre but in some of the surrounding areas goes for $5-$8K. Our house is 4 bedroom, 3200 sq ft on 6.43 acres with outbuildings and we paid $187,000 before the housing market tanked, so I imagine you could get one even cheaper now.

    We live close to everything, 15 minutes from the mall, etc, but that's driving. It's a 1 1/2 miles to the nearest gallon of milk and I don't usually walk to it.

    Music related activities aren't my thing, so I haven't paid attention to their availibility in my area. But we're 40 min from Roanoke and they have major concerts and stuff.

    The best thing I love about the South is that everyone is polite. People hold doors for you - you're considered rude if you don't. Everyone calls each other sir or ma'am or miss.

  8. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    You are really dreaming aren't you.

    Branson, MO... but it gets a little cold in the winter.

    St. George, UT... cool in the winter, warm in the summer, good land, good people.

    Show Low or Heber, AZ... a little cool in the winter, but you would love the summer.

    San Diego, CA area. Perfect weather year round, but the land is gonna cost you some $$$.

    Quito, Ecuador... perfect weather year round, folks take chickens with them on the bus there. Hables Español? And can you get used to 9,100 ft in elevation?

    Meadow Vista, CA -- it's in the sierra foothills so it's a little cooler in the summer but it's expensive.

    Klamath Falls or Grants Pass, OR -- doesn't get as cold or as rainy as Portland and have many of the advantages you seek... also Silverton... not that far from Portland.
  9. Xtina

    Xtina Songster

    Jul 1, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Quote:My husband grew up in Illinois and would love to live in the Midwest again. He wanted us to move to Rolla, Missouri or Champaign, Illinois instead of here a few years ago. College towns among cheap, cheap, farmland. But I ixnayed it based on the cold, the landlocked area, and the underfunded public school systems. I toyed with the idea of those places for a while a few months ago, but again, I think the cold would just kill me.

    Quote:Seriously! Portland is great like I said, but holy moles. Land is high.

    Quote:This is a suggestion I hadn’t thought of. I hear that some places in Arkansas and Oklahoma are really nice. My mind is open.

    Quote:Ha! That is one of the few things about Portland that don’t make a difference to this straight-edge girl. (I’m not really straight-edge because I drink caffeine and don’t listen to the genre, but I’m as good as…)

    Quote:Yeah, I know no place is perfect. And that $20,000 is a minimum. I was actually in Corvallis a while ago when my husband’s band played a show at the Fox and Firkin bar. It seemed expensive, and eerily clean!! But yes, a beautiful college town.

    Quote:Now, I actually used to live in VA, in the Hampton Roads area when my husband was in the Navy. Part of me feels like I shouldn’t have run away from the state so fast, but I felt like living there was forced upon me…well, because it was forced upon me! And my heart longed for the big mountains, so once he was released, we ran back here. But since leaving, I’ve often felt like I didn’t explore VA enough, or give it its due credit while living there. Also, I love some things about the South, especially the Sir and Ma’am thing, but it never happened in Chesapeake! I was so shocked, having lived in Alabama before. I thought my students would refer to me as ma’am, but after a few weeks of trying, I just gave up on it ever happening.

    Quote:Yes, I am a big dreamer [​IMG]. Look at this house I found near Silverton!:

    lot, garage, shed, formal dining room! Tiny backyard though, and not many bathrooms. But just look at the price!

  10. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Wow... if you end up in Silverton, I have a friend that lives there I'd like you to meet. She is so COOL!

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