The NW states: possible relocation site for me and family
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This is a discussion on The NW states: possible relocation site for me and family within the North Western States forums, part of the Regional Discussion category; Just out of curiosity, I'd like to hear from you guys/gals that are homeowners on the pros and cons of ...

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    Geriatric Ginger Mod Rogan's Avatar
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    The NW states: possible relocation site for me and family

    Just out of curiosity, I'd like to hear from you guys/gals that are homeowners on the pros and cons of the NW states. We're looking to possibly relocate there from Virginia. I'm looking into western ID area, primarily. I'm in the IT profession, so my few initial questions are:
    1. How's the weather, year-round? Do you get four seasons?, does it get stupid hot? Frigid cold? Rain all the time?
    2. Financially, how expensive is it to live there?
    3. Personal Property taxes? Are they insane? Real Estate Tax: City, State, or yes?
    4. Job availability: Is there a decent chance to get a job in the IT field? Any suggestions?
    5. Location-wise, what does living in a particular area of the state(s) give you, pro/con wise?
    6. Education: How is the education system there? Good? mediocre? suck?


    I appreciate your input, in advance.

    Rogan
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  3. #2
    \_(ツ)_/ Rambo's Avatar
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    Not sure how I missed this before, but I'll help out.

    First off, weather/cost of living/job availability etc varies WIDELY depending on location. I live in Oregon's Willamette Valley, north of Bo, which is where most of Oregon's population is focused. I have family that live in eastern WA, though, so I'm very familiar with the western ID area.

    1. Western Idaho is fairly arid, like Central Oregon. It's at a higher elevation, so you definitely see snow (several feet at a time, typically). Summers are dry and warm, as you would expect of a high desert, with most temps in the 80s and low humidity. Lots of pine trees, tumbleweeds, etc. Forest fires can be a real danger in summer. My grandparents have had a few close calls, but never had to evacuate.

    2. The cost of living is fairly low compared to more population-dense areas around Seattle, Portland, etc. Check local realty listings to get a better picture. I know you can get a decent house on some acreage in the $200k range, depending on how far out in the boonies you're willing to live. I remember gas was cheap last time I was in Idaho, but don't remember specifically what it was.

    3. Not sure about property taxes in that area. Around Portland, $5-10k a year is pretty common for in-town and the closer suburbs, although if you live out of town a bit, they drop off dramatically. We live 40minutes from downtown Portland (10 minutes from local suburbia towns), and we pay just $1,500 a year to the county. We don't have state property taxes.

    4. Job availability is a tough one. I'd guess your best chances of IT along the WA/OR/ID border would probably be around Spokane (WA), the Tri-Cities (WA), or Boise (ID). Micron has a large microchip plant in Boise, so that would probably be a good place to start. Realistically, though, I'd expect a better job market around Portland (Intel, lots of hospitals, lots of smaller high tech companies) or Seattle (Amazon, Microsoft, a bazillion others).

    5. I love Oregon. From my house, it's a 2 minute drive to the nearest boat launch on the river, a 45 minute drive to the ocean/sand dunes/etc, a 1.5 hour drive to Mt Hood and world-class skiing, a 3 hour drive to the "High Desert", and a 4 hour drive to rainforests. That's pretty amazing. All thing outdoors are easily accessible and highly supported in the state. The Portland brew pub scene is incredible. We're trying new local brews every day, and there's tons of support for home brew as well with many hop varieties grown right here.

    Plenty of support of Subaru (and diesel!) tuning support, as Subarus are pretty much Oregon and Washington's state car. In Oregon, if you live outside of the major cities, there's no emissions/inspections whatsoever. I simply fill out a card, write a check for $80, and get my new tags every two years.

    Downsides? Pretty high income and gas taxes (although no sales tax). The gloomy fall/winter/spring weather around the Interstate 5 corridor between Seattle and Eugene can be very annoying to some. I grew up here, so I love rain and cloudy days. Summers are nice, though. If you've ever watched "Portlandia", that's a pretty true to life depiction of what Portland is like, although most of the hipsters are in downtown Portland, and all the dirty hippies are in Eugene. Outside of those areas, I like to think the rest of us are pretty "normal"...

    6. Primary and secondary education varies widely by district. Lots of great universities depending on what you're looking for: Oregon State University (engineering/agriculture/oceanography), Montana State U (engineering and also mining I think), University of Washington (Engineering/medical), Boise State, University of Oregon (business/architecture).

    Hope that helps! The NW is a beautiful area, and I honestly wouldn't live anywhere else.
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