Moving West to Oregon or California


Sep 24th, 2013, 07:56 AM
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Moving West to Oregon or California

We are a couple in our 60's who are moving from the Northeast to the West - Oregon or California is our goal. We have heard that Bend, Oregon or Santa Cruz, California may be the towns we should look at. We had lived in Newport Beach for many, many years but we feel we could not afford the real estate in that area now. Any Fodorites familiar with Bend or Santa Cruz to help us make our decision? Any other California towns that we should look at for proximity to the Ocean and lifestyle affordability? We are retired and look forward to many quality years in our chosen new home!
bonlou30 is offline  
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Sep 24th, 2013, 09:26 AM
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I think Bend is a great place, lots to do if you are an active outdoors person. For me, the winters would be too cold though. I also don't like the idea of not being close to a major airport. There is a small airport in Redmond with most flights connecting in Portland.

At the hight of the real estate boom, Bend homes were some of the most overvalued in the country. I know since then, the cost of homes there have decreased and there were many foreclosures- you might get lucky and find a great deal.
I have a friend who lives at Sunriver Resort- close to Bend- she does enjoy living there but says if she had it to do over again, she says she would actually rather live in Bend.

If you are looking for proximity to the ocean- Bend is not that close either.
I love the Santa Cruz area and many of the small towns around- like Capitola - but of course cost of living will be much higher than Oregon.

Good luck on your search!
sunbum1944 is offline  
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Sep 24th, 2013, 09:47 AM
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I agree with all that sunbum said. We moved from PA to Oregon in 2005 shortly after I retired. We looked at 1 home in Bend before we decided to look for cheaper houses. We settled for a manufactured home in Klamath County 50 miles south of Bend.
If you are looking for a place next to the ocean, look at Brookings. If you want a place in a college town in the Willamette Valley, check out Eugene or Corvallis.
I too have a friend who lives in Sunriver. If you like both golf and winter sports, the Bend area (Deschutes County) is hard to beat.
tomfuller is offline  
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Sep 24th, 2013, 10:07 AM
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You might also have a look at San Luis Obispo in California and Ashland in Oregon. SLO is an attractive college town close to the beach and also to various vineyard areas; Ashland is very attractive to retirees - dry and warm in the summer, not typically cold in the winter. The Shakespeare Festival - - brings lots of arts and culture types to the little town; you're only 90 min. or so from the Redwoods and 2 hours to the beach. There's an airport in Medford, good medical facilities, and no sales tax.
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Sep 24th, 2013, 11:37 AM
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Retirees are welcomed with open arms in the Rogue Valley.
Bend's too cold, Brooking's too small and wet.
Come visit us. Tons of medical facilities and stuff to do.
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Sep 24th, 2013, 02:50 PM
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Santa Cruz is great, but it usually isn't associated with affordability All things are relative through. Depending on where you are in the northeast and the value of any property you may be selling, SC could be totally affordable for you. There are always free events and things going on though, so once you have covered your living expenses, you can entertain yourselves quite nicely without spending a lot.

SLO/Pismo Beach/Shell Beach/Morro Bay is another area you might look at - SLO was mentioned above. It is a good area.

A cousin of mine fell in love with Astoria, OR and is considering moving there. I don't know what the real estate market it like, but you might put it on the list of possibilities.
november_moon is offline  
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Sep 25th, 2013, 09:19 AM
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Even the Monterey area might be affordable; not Carmel or Pacific Grove, but Seaside.
Michael is online now  
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Sep 25th, 2013, 03:24 PM
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You might want to look at medical facilities near Santa Cruz, just to be on the safe side. There are places we'd love to live, but as one ages a good medical center is worth a lot.
Underhill is offline  
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Sep 25th, 2013, 05:25 PM
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You'll never be away from crowds almost anywhere on the California Coast. Oregon's teeny in comparison.
bbqboy is offline  
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Sep 25th, 2013, 11:09 PM
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All good choices.

Friends in their early 60's retired and moved from L.A. to Bend -- they are super active and have a lot of disposable (retirement) income. They also have an RV and love the outdoor lifestyle, so it works for them.

My sister used to live in Santa Cruz and I have a number of friends who live there. Expensive. Cool vibe. Has a bit of nightlife, but also close enough to San Francisco to allow a night on the town to see a band, a concert, or a play, and get back to Santa Cruz.

If it were me, I'd rather be in Santa Cruz than anywhere else on the West Coast.

Good luck in your search and . . . lucky you!
Surfergirl is offline  
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Sep 27th, 2013, 08:06 PM
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I also think you have gotten great advice.

To expand on the point about airports: I would suggest you price out a RT flight to New York, London, etc. from each of your target cities. Note the total hours (with layovers etc) you would spend from door-to-door on your flight. Example: A flight from Redmond, to (airport 1) to Newark to Rome.
5alive is offline  
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Sep 28th, 2013, 04:28 PM
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I've spent a weekend in Bend and loved it. It's is truly a remarkable town with a lot to do and see - world class plays, hiking, camping, fishing, and I believe it has a great small college if you wanted to see about taking courses.

I prefer Los Gatos to Santa Cruz. But both are nice, it just depends on a number of factors.

Santa Cruz is closer to the Bay Area if you'd like to go into San Francisco for the day, has access to San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland airports, has mild weather year round, and the population is around 30,000. It's very upscale, but we have friends (a youngish couple who were able to buy a relatively affordable home).

Santa Cruz is quite a bit further south (but still close to SF just not as close). It is however, about twice the size of Los Gatos (about 60,000 pop).
nanabee is offline  
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Sep 28th, 2013, 05:00 PM
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To expand further on 5Alive, The Central Oregon Breeze runs 1 and sometimes 2 buses daily from Bend to the Portland airport and onward to the PDX Amtrak station.
The Amtrak short bus starts in Redmond (airport) and serves Bend, Sunriver and La Pine taking passengers to and from the Chemult (CMO) Amtrak station.
Bend is now over 80000 population.
tomfuller is offline  
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Sep 28th, 2013, 05:05 PM
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Nanabee- agree Los Gatos is a great spot- would live there in a heart beat- if only I could afford it.
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Oct 4th, 2013, 08:44 PM
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I've lived in Bend & Corvallis. Bend is very California-like. High cost housing, nightmare traffic, very little community feeling. Corvallis is a medium city with a small town feel. Eugene airport is 40 minutes south, PDX is 1.5 hours north, the coast is 1 hour west. Contrary to popular myth, it only rains in the winter. The Valley gets about the same annual precipitation as the Midwest, we just get it in one season. Spring starts in March, fall in October/November. Summers are dry and pleasant. Lots of arts, outdoor activities, opportunities for community involvement. Originally, I'd planned to retire in Bend but not anymore. I just retired, moving back to Corvallis!
AbbyAdams is offline  
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Oct 5th, 2013, 05:25 PM
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Sorry you feel that way about Bend. The native Oregonians have been known to say "Don't Californicate Oregon". Yes, housing can be quite expensive in the city of Bend. My friend who used to live in Bend moved outside town about 4 miles which is a whole different lifestyle.
This morning I was in Bend with no traffic problems. The gas is cheaper there ($3.459) than many other places in Oregon I've seen lately.
My BIL lives in Corvallis and works for HP. He likes it there and may stay there when he retires.
tomfuller is offline  
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Oct 5th, 2013, 06:06 PM
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Sorry, AbbyAdams, but you've got Bend all wrong. Housing is a little more expensive, but other beautiful communities nearby are quite reasonable. Nightmare traffic? I've lived here 13 years and I can honestly say that I have no idea what you're talking about. There are only 80,000 residents, and we have a nice highway bypass that keeps through traffic on highway 97 off the surface streets. You can get to anywhere in town any time of day in 15 minutes. No community feeling? There are more things going on per capita in this town than anywhere else I've lived. Try getting involved and you'll be amazed at how quickly you're swept up into the community. This is the most welcoming place you'll ever experience. There's really too much do to here...all year 'round.
roundthebend is offline  
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Oct 7th, 2013, 02:58 PM
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The Battle of Bend!
bbqboy is offline  
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Oct 7th, 2013, 06:11 PM
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Amazing that people would move somewhere on internet recs without going there for 6 months or so.
Gretchen is offline  
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Oct 7th, 2013, 11:17 PM
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Gretchen, of course you are right--a rental would be wise.

All, note that the OP has never posted back with a thanks or follow-up question. They are likely long gone.
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