moving to the Northwest advice

Discussion in 'The Late Night Cafe (off-topic)' started by phoebe, Feb 22, 2003.

  1. phoebe

    phoebe

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    We're planning to move out of Los Angeles in the next few years (yea!):bounce: and we're looking into areas in the Northwest. We want a place where we can afford to buy a house with 3-5 acres, near enough to cities for culture, but far enough away for peace and quiet and critters. Active farmers' markets would be welcome.

    We're seriously considering Bellingham, Washington. It's near mountains. It's affordable. The people seem nice. It's an hour from Vancouver and 1 1/2 hours from Seattle.

    So do any of you know anything about Bellingham or have any suggestions for other places in Oregon and Washington to consider? We'd really appreciate the help. :)
     
  2. coolj

    coolj

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    I don't know much about Washington or Oregon, but I have been to Linden WA, a few times, and it is a really neat town, they have a great fall fair.
     
  3. chrose

    chrose

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    Phoebe I highly recommend a book called Places Rated Almanac it lists 365 or so cities from Washington D.C. to Milleville, NJ! It rates everything and was instrumental in our choosing Rochester, NY to move to. Borro it from the library or buy it on Amazon. It will be well worth it. As I remember Bellingham got high remarks, but everything in Washington is expensive!
    Also go to realtors.com for Real Estate info.
     
  4. chef1x

    chef1x

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    Vancouver is great. Great resources, emerging, rockin' restaurant life, great seafood. Underexplored.
     
  5. phoebe

    phoebe

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    coolj--thanks for the tip. :) When we were up in Bellingham, someone else mentioned Lyndon, but we didn't get the chance to go. We'll try to get there the next time.

    chrose--We actually own a Places Rated, but it's from 1993! I think it's time to invest in another. We did look over best places to retire books, but they were all oriented towards much older people and recommended places like Palm Springs (ick).

    chef1x--Hey sweetie, where have you been? :bounce: How are you doing?
    Thanks for the Vancouver suggestion. We're looking to live outside of big cities and I think it's gotten tougher to move from the US (they have a point system that really penalizes you if you're over 45 or something), but it sure is a nice place. If we fly into there (which is what we did the last time we went to Bellingham), maybe we'll spend a few days seeing what the outskirts of Vancouver are like.
     
  6. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    This post is not to be mean, merely to warn you of an attitude you are likely to encounter.

    There has been a general exodus to the Northwest and Rocky Mountain states from California. There has been plenty of friendly responses and also some ugly ones. The ugly ones have given rise to the term "Californicator" meaning those people who leave California and then try to turn the new place into California.

    Treat people well, don't speak negatively towards their traditions etc. and all should be well.

    I bet you'll do fine.

    Phil
     
  7. phoebe

    phoebe

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    No offense taken, Phil. We do know about the attitude, and a lot of it is justified. According to people we've talked to up there, most of the resentment comes from wealthy Californians buying houses and driving up prices beyond the reach of locals. But those folks come with big bucks from their California houses, and we're sappy little renters. AND we've received a special dispensation. ;) At one breakfast with 8 Washingtonians, we were told that they had decided to grant us a special exception pass to move to Washington (as long as when people asked where we were from, David answered "Cincinnati" which is where he was born, and I could say my father was from Montreal and my mother was from North Dakota).:D
     
  8. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Regarding CALIFORNICATION, funny, what's happening to the northwest and rocky mountains nowadays is exactly what out-of-state liberals did to California way back in the 60's. What comes around goes around, don't you think. ...won't say what we homegrown Californians called those out-of-state liberals back then.

    Funny, Charles Manson is a product of the midwest and Colorado has Columbine. And many east coast people I met in Berkeley in the 70's and 80's, the first thing out of their mouth was, "I'm going to social services to sign up for food stamps and Medi-Cal.".

    Like I said, what comes around goes around and we native Californians aren't too happy with outsiders for they're the ones who gave California its current reputation. I'm just venting.
     
  9. chef1x

    chef1x

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    :)
    Well, we're all from somewhere, and it is the American way to want to improve our lives. I always find it ironic when people start talking about "outsiders" moving into their "territory." This is a nation of immigrants, we were all outsiders at one point.
    My family originally came from the midwest, migrated to the southwest for the good arthritis weather and then on to California. I am a home grown Californian, and hope to move back. One reason I left is to escape the suburban sprawl, closed minds and the "foreign" invasion; I felt it more appropriate to move to a place that had already been decimated and overpopulated, therefore having less of an impact upon the environment and others. The great "melting pot."
    Well, now I'm done with it and like you, Phoebe, I'd love to have my 3 acres and a nice house. Your own little empire. You deserve it, and it's obvious you don't have a problem dealing with "locals."
    On my most recent visit to my home town in the Bay Area, I heard more than one person speak derisively about how everyone and everything had gone "asian." And this from folks whose families emmigrated only a few generations ago. Ironic, no? That's what America is.
    :chef:
    Ahem,
    and now to continue my schpiel,
    I looked more closely at your post Phobe, and realized the place you're talking about is essentially a border town, right? I'm partial to Vancouver because that's where my GF is from and we travel there about once a year. I LOVE it there, so beautiful. My GF won't move back though 'cause it's too rainy, etc. I don't mind it so much, but then there is the unbelievably HUGE problem of becoming legal. OMG. I never knew how impossible it was. You basically have to cut off a foot or something to be able to work there! This must be the French influence. :) And of course, I'm already buried in the legalese of getting work for my GF here. ANYWAY, if you move to Bellingham, you're basically THERE. They have wonderful markets, and as I said, a wonderful emerging cultural renaissance. I did drive through Bellingham and basically there's not much there, is there? Sounds great. I hope you do it.

    By the way, thanks for noticing I was even gone.
    :)
    I've been on the "road" a lot, interviewing, tracking, hunting. A great opportunity arose via the "September 11th Fund" who all of a sudden are providing a ton of services and advocacy. One of the perks is that FEMA might pick up my rent. Even better is they allocate $4,000 to use for "job training" aka, classes! And a weekly stipend on top of that. I'm amazed.
    So, I'm taking various restaurant management, finance and Spanish classes! So great to be a student! Great contacts, et al. I wish I had taken more math in HS and college though.
    My GF gets all the above plus legal services to help with her immigration.
    As is typical, the jobs I've been offered are not the one's I want (one was back in the Wall St. area), and the one's I want are falling through (JP Morgan, the caribbean,Californicata :) {and hey, let's give some credit to the Chili Peppers for that one}). But I certainly can't complain!

    Thanks for the launching pad.

    Keep us posted on the homestead hunt!
     
  10. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    I'm just tired of hearing Californian this, Californian that - US VS THEM, you know. It's just that I feel that the state has been overrun with outsiders.

    The next time you're in California and you feel shunned, ask yourself this: "Am I an outsider." No different that what any Californian has experienced elsewhere. What cometh around goeth around is all I'm trying to say.
     
  11. ziggy

    ziggy

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    Before moving to AZ I was in Seattle for nearly 10 years....had spent most f my life in CA before that. I never experienced any negativity in WA from being a Californian...sure people talked about the rising real estate costs and that the amount of people moving in to the state helping drive that(not to mention the phenomenon of hte Microsoft Millionaire) but I never experienced anythign personally directed at me.

    The Northwest is a wonderful part of the world. Bellingham and the surrounding areas are particularly wonderful and when we left two years ago much less expensive than the Seattle area. Have you looked at La Conner? This is another favorite area of mine - between the Seattle area and the Bellingham area. I still get very homesick for the tulip fields(not too faraway for the Tulip Festival right now!).

    Just be sure you like the rain...it really does rain there as much as they say and it can be hard to deal with the first several years if you're not used to it...count on rain as a regular part of your life for most of the year except for the period from July 4th to late Sept. It's not really the rain but the constant grey....but you'll have an appreciation for a sunny day unlike any you've ever had before!

    I really miss a sunny Northwest day...nothing in the world liek that experience!

    Good luck!
     
  12. peachcreek

    peachcreek

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    I lived outside of Portland, Or. for a few years in the mid 80s'. I agree with having to like the rain. It rains a lot. Everything rusts or mildews or gets covered in blackberries in no time flat. But the food- the BEST veggies, fruits, seafood, all right there. I worked at a little fine dining restaurant in Tualitin, Or, and during the summer there were deliveries seemingly several times a day with small batches of just-picked baby veggies and fresh herbs. It was great. And the fish... We were getting halibut, wild salmon, rockfish, dungeness crab and fresh razor clams that were fantastic. And those tiny Olympia oysters, yum. In the little town I lived in they had a summer fruit exposition called "Applefest" where you could taste over 200 different locally grown varieties of apples alone. And all those cool Northwest pinot noirs, right there in your own backyard.
     
  13. phoebe

    phoebe

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    Hey Ziggy--We drove through La Conner on our way to Anacortes just as the tulip season was winding down. Most of the fields had been picked, but those that weren't were unbelieveable! The colors were so vibrant they almost didn't look real. Just amazing.
    And to both you and Peachcreek--I figure I'll be fine with the rain though I worry about my husband, and he thinks he'll be fine but worries about me :rolleyes: . So last night we talked about it and realized it would probably be better to rent a place for a year and see how the weather and community are for us. It would be a pain to move twice, but it would be a bigger pain to buy a place and have to turn around and sell it.
    And Peachcreek--how do you like Idaho? We've never been there, but we're trying to remain open to other possibilities.
     
  14. ziggy

    ziggy

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    Hiya Phoebe

    Having spent most of my life very active in sunny climes before going there...the first couple years were a real shock. Like I mentioned it wasn't the rain itself as much as the grey and darkness. During winter it is not uncommon to have the streetlights on all day as it never gets bright enough for the sensors to kick them off. And the daylight hours are SHORT! But the summer is the payoff when you're still outside til 10:30 at night!

    You get used to doing stuff in the rain...but that's another adjustment. I had a horse most of the time I was there and well either you got over being wet and muddy or you never left the house!

    For me the hardest part was Apr-Jun...when you WANT it to be springy and pleasant and the weather is the same as it was in Jan-Feb. Oct-Jan I LOVED the weather as it should be like that through the holidays(still haven't adjusted to wearing shorts on Christmas here! :lol:)