Relocating / Moving to Vancouver, Washington

Old Apr 10th, 2006, 06:51 AM
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Relocating / Moving to Vancouver, Washington

My mom is going to be relocating to Vancouver, Washington in approx. a month. We do not know the area at all.

She will be renting an apartment. Can anyone provide insight as to best places to live, opinions about the city, etc.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 07:22 AM
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Small to medium size town over the river a few minutes (about 40 to an hour depending on starting point) from Portland OR.
HAs a medium sized hospital and all the usual what ever you need to live shops...more on the cheap side as Vancover is a poor mill/lumber town. Sorry to tell you this but it has one of the highest poverty levels, few jobs and the highest suicide levels...very little money in the town..very little resources.

Having said that, it is a small town and the outskirts toward Portland are nice. A few nice parks...
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 07:48 AM
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Having lived in Vancouver for several years and with several friends still living there, I know it is NOT a small town. And you can get into Portland in well under an hour (except during traffic jams). It has some quite well off neighborhoods as well. Vancouver hasn't been a lumber town for years...the outlying towns of Camas and Washougal are the lumber towns.
In fact, it is booming. The downside is that it still has a "bedroom town" mentality. Traffic jams are a real problem, esp. over on the east side in Cascade Park. However, Cascade Park also has some of the nicest developments. Look into the Bella Vista or Bella Vista Woods area. The "old" Fishers Landing area around a very pretty park is quite pleasant as well...nice views of Mt. St. Helens and an easy walk to grocery stores, etc.
If your Mom is over 55, there is a retirement community, Fairhaven, which is also located in Cascade Park. Personally, I think the houses are overpriced for what you get, but it is a pleasant place.
We liked Vancouver. I know that people who live in Portland have a knee-jerk tendency to look down on it, but we liked our low-crime, clean neigbborhood, the neat, tree-lined streets, the wide bike/rollerblading lanes on McGillvray (sp), the views of the mountains, and the easy of getting to Portland. (Plus it was nice to pay no income tax in WA and no sales tax in OR).
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 08:09 AM
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Yeah, no way is it 40-60 minutes to get from Vancouver, WA to Portland unless there's a bridge problem or a major car wreck - but you'd have the same issue stuck on I-84 or I-5 in Portland itself. Without traffic, it's 15-20 minutes tops to get from Vancouver to Portland, sometimes less. Only about 8 miles from downtown Vancouver to downtown Portland.

Vancouver is a mix of a tiny downtown with some half-decent classic neighborhoods, a number of strip-mallish, new but dull suburbs like Salmon Creek and Fisher's Landing, and a number of trashy neighborhoods in between. Clark County, which contains Vancouver, is one of the fastest growing in America thanks in part to the growth of nearby Portland. Clark County has no urban growth boundary, unlike Portland, which restricts growth, so there is a lot of sprawl in Vancouver due to lack of these constraints.

Vancouver doesn't have a reputation for high culture or a lot of excitement, and parts of it are kind of trashy - best to avoid them. Depending on your mom's lifestyle, I'd go for a place like Fisher's Landing (east of downtown Vancouver) with its chain stores and new housing development feel, but quite a ways from Portland - or downtown Vancouver, which is still kind of dull but improving, retaining a little of its "small town" feel. Downtown near Esther Short Park they have been building new condo and apartment buildings, and there is a fairly decent farmers market down at the park on weekends. Downtown is also a very quick drive to downtown Portland and, if you want to skirt Washington's sales tax, just across the river from Janzten Beach with big box stores like Home Depot, Target, and Barnes & Noble. There's also express bus service to Portland on C-Tran from downtown: quick and efficient.

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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 08:53 AM
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Mill/lumber town? Small? 40 minutes to an hour from Portland? Are you sure this isn't being confused with Longview? shows an estimated 2004 population of 155,000 and their county shows 2005 average home selling price of over $266,000.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 01:18 PM
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Fishers Landing has both old and new sections. The older ones give you a bit more property, are more nicely landscaped and are less "cookie cutter."
The correct name for the retirement community is "Fairway Village," not Fairhaven. My bad. Mostly 2 bedroom or 2 bedroom/den homes around 1200 to 1600 square feet and some condos. (Plus golf course, hence the name.)

I am not fond of the Salmon Creek area and Battle Ground is too far north.
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