Salem Oregon questions

Dec 30th, 2018, 08:27 AM
  #1  
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Salem Oregon questions

Any Fodorites live there? Now or recently? I'm realizing I don't see much mention of it and it seems like it might be a location closer to Portland without commuter-priced houses.
What about rumors of Mexican gang crime?
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Dec 30th, 2018, 08:44 AM
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Are you looking for a place to live long term? Job prospects in the Portland area? I'm guessing that there are gangs (possibly Mexican) in every city over 25K in WA, OR and CA. I have seen gang tags (grafitti) all over Portland. If I were looking for a job in Oregon, I would look in the Redmond - Prineville area. Both Google and Facebook have built data centers and are expanding.
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Dec 30th, 2018, 04:10 PM
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Salem has both good and bad things about it. I wouldn't be afraid of living there if we got jobs there. My question to you is, why did you choose it? Will you be looking for a job there? Are you retired?

If you chose Salem because you wanted to visit Portland every week or more frequently, I would say that's a bad reason to live in Salem. Way too many people commute to Portland from Salem, plus I-5 is very full of trucks. You can only cross the Willamette River in very limited locations. And going into Wine Country can get crowded and is a long, long detour. Result: you are stopped on I-5 with everyone else.

​​​​​​Next, you slog through the south suburbs along I-5: Wilsonville, Tualatin, West Linn, etc. These also aren't recommended, due to their quickly rising prices and explosive growth. They are desirable both by the West Side's tech employees, and by those trying to live near Lake Oswego (old money). There's also now a commuter train connecting Wilsonville and Beaverton that is entirely different than MAX. It is called WES.

​​​​​​If you want to live near Portland, and pay a little less for your house, I would suggest Milwaukie. Close in, new MAX line, near some great Portland neighborhoods as well.

If you want a little more rural, consider Oregon City or the areas beyond (Canby etc) .

If you don't mind some wind in the winter, Troutdale, Fairview or even Corbett would be good. These would be a great gateway to the Gorge.
5alive is offline  
Dec 31st, 2018, 08:04 AM
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First, Tomfuller, I taught in Prineville in the late '60's and nearly died of boredom. I realize Redmond is an up and coming area, but too far from my carless son in Portland, when I get to old to drive. Redmond is soon headed for the property tax mess that Bend house, maybe 10 years down the road.

No, I'm retired and when this all shakes out I'll say where I'm living now and why I choose to leave. I'd live in Portland, but DH was raised there; won't go back, plus all the old neighborhoods I like are 2-story and way too expensive.

We looked at Vancouver--turns out is just more Portland with a river in between. I did like the little downtown area of Camus.

I thought Salem was too far for workers to commute to Portland?

I had a cousin living in a beautiful neighborhood in Milwaukie, and nieces in the Clackamas area and beyond Oregon City. Problem is DH likes to fish. Canby/Aurora area is sort of cut off from easily crossing I-5 to get to beach.

I've always considered driving anywhere in the wine country a nightmare. Was going to look at housing in Sherwood but not sure DH would want to deal with the multiplex of freeways just to get out of there. DS lives near the east side of 205 which I thought would make Vancouver a good deal, but.....

Salem would also be closer to DH fishing buddy in Eugene. Am a former Duck but living in Eugene would be too close to fishing buddy, new housing is very close to the river, which adds that morning fog to the grey, grey and rain. I hate rain, and know I would hate that about Salem.
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Dec 31st, 2018, 08:06 AM
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mms
 
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I agree with 5 alive. I was born and raised there, and go back fairly often. Yes, the gang thing is a bit of an issue, but not widespread and not enough that it would deter me from living there. South Salem and West Salem are the most desirable, IMO. Housing is much more affordable than around Portland, even compared to Tualatin/Sherwood etc. I like that it has everything you want/need, but does not have the big city feel to it at all. South Salem was our home for many years, and I have a soft spot for it. As I said, I still go back and still love it, FWIW.
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Dec 31st, 2018, 08:09 AM
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hopingtottravel--We posted at the same time Many people commute between Salem and Portland, both directions, not just to Portland. We lived in Sherwood for 14 years, just leaving about a year ago. If you want details, let me know, but we absolutely LOVED living there! It is very easy to get around from there, not a nightmare at all. Again, I can give you details on what the locals do. Tons of backroads etc.
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Dec 31st, 2018, 08:24 AM
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Prineville has changed a LOT since Google and Facebook started building in the past 5 years. I'll be in Prineville for a geocaching event later today while DW is at an appointment in Redmond.
There is a daily bus (sometimes 2) from Bend with stops in Redmond and Madras on the way to PDX and the Portland Amtrak station.
My BIL lives in Corvallis and advised us to stay on the east side of the Cascades for a drier climate.
If you want to live in the Willamette Valley, check out Albany. There is an early morning train or bus into Portland. When we went to Hawaii, we parked at the Albany station (free) and rode an Amtrak train to Union station and got onto the red line out to the airport.
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Jan 2nd, 2019, 07:11 AM
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Yes, I know how much I would miss these blue skies. Keep in mind I'm originally from Baker. The family cemetery plot now has five generations in it!

Does Albany still smell like a paper mill? Off and on I spent 11 years in Eugene and could hardly stand to drive by Albany on the freeway.

We are discovering that when we drove around Salem we somehow never discovered west Salem--didn't realize that apparently part of the town is across the Willamette. We really need to have a realtor drive us around.

Mms, I always enjoy reading your posts as for years it seemed like maybe you and Sunbum were the only posters I recognized in that part of the state.
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Jan 2nd, 2019, 12:02 PM
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hmmm... I'm interested in the gang crime rumors. I have family in Corvallis and have never heard anything like that.

Personally I wouldn't want to commute I-5 back & forth to Portland from Salem (if you are talking 5 days a week, full time) but that's just me.
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Jan 2nd, 2019, 01:35 PM
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mms
 
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hopingtotravel--No, thankfully that awful smell is gone! My uncle worked there. I remember as a kid closing the car vents and holding our noses as we passed by there. Then as teens we would blame others in the car, lol. The mill has been gone for several years, which is odd to see, but my nose is happy

suze--I know many people who make that commute daily, and it really isn't a big deal at all. I used to do it from Corvallis to Portland right after college graduation, and DH did it to Albany for a while. As for the gangs, I am talking about Salem, not Corvallis.
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Jan 2nd, 2019, 02:11 PM
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I understand that some people don't mind a commute. And that many people do just that for several hours daily. I just did the drive last week. No way would I be willing to drive I-5 from Corvallis to Portland 5 days a week. Like I said in my post, doesn't mean it might not be OK for someone else, if they don't mind 2 hours round trip (at best, on a good day with no bad weather or accidents) on a daily basis.

I know you don't mind driving and do a lot of it often. May or may not be true for hopingtotravel.

Sorry I had missed reading your sentence about Salem gangs when I posted.
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Jan 2nd, 2019, 02:32 PM
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mms
 
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Suze--We just did the drive over Christmas as well. Regardless of how much I drive, I am just stating that it is a very normal commute for many people. You may not want to do it, but many people do and I was simply sharing that.
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Jan 2nd, 2019, 03:02 PM
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I get that. Lots of people do crazy commutes in Seattle daily. A coworker commuted from the south side of Tacoma for 10 years. She allowed 4 hours per day for her commute by public transportation.

This poster seemed open to getting information for their move. I was not trying to express my own preference (although I know I did) rather trying to point out the distance and time involved, in case this person was not familiar with the I-5 corridor and the conditions you might find there.
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Jan 3rd, 2019, 09:11 AM
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Suze, Sorry that maybe I didn't make it clear we're retired and would NOT be driving I-5 daily. I can remember well that in the 90's I would fly AK from Anchorage to Seattle and drive I-5 to Portland, and in the 70's I made a lot of round trips from Eugene to Portland. I don't recall those horrendous ground fogs like they sometimes get now.

I have a girl friend in Orting who told me yesterday they get daily "lahor" alerts in case Rainier ever blows. Boy have things ever changed. I'll never forget being in Eugene and hearing St. Helens blow up.
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Jan 3rd, 2019, 10:27 AM
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You're right I was confused by "closer to Portland" and the "commuter-priced houses".

Anyways... nothing you asked about but I really like Corvallis and Philomath. My family's there. I could see myself moving there eventually myself.
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Jan 3rd, 2019, 12:23 PM
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hopingtottravel--Those ground fogs were there, I think you just got lucky I remember some of those drives in the 80's. We were living in Salem when Mt St Helens blew and we got a dusting of the ash. Like I said, if you have any questions about the Sherwood area, I know it extremely well so just ask. Fabulous area to live! If you are still interested in West Salem etc, definitely have a realtor show you around. I love both of these areas
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Jan 4th, 2019, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by hopingtotravel View Post
First, Tomfuller, I taught in Prineville in the late '60's and nearly died of boredom. I realize Redmond is an up and coming area, but too far from my carless son in Portland, when I get to old to drive. Redmond is soon headed for the property tax mess that Bend house, maybe 10 years down the road.

No, I'm retired and when this all shakes out I'll say where I'm living now and why I choose to leave. I'd live in Portland, but DH was raised there; won't go back, plus all the old neighborhoods I like are 2-story and way too expensive.

We looked at Vancouver--turns out is just more Portland with a river in between. I did like the little downtown area of Camus.

I thought Salem was too far for workers to commute to Portland?

I had a cousin living in a beautiful neighborhood in Milwaukie, and nieces in the Clackamas area and beyond Oregon City. Problem is DH likes to fish. Canby/Aurora area is sort of cut off from easily crossing I-5 to get to beach.

I've always considered driving anywhere in the wine country a nightmare. Was going to look at housing in Sherwood but not sure DH would want to deal with the multiplex of freeways just to get out of there. DS lives near the east side of 205 which I thought would make Vancouver a good deal, but.....

Salem would also be closer to DH fishing buddy in Eugene. Am a former Duck but living in Eugene would be too close to fishing buddy, new housing is very close to the river, which adds that morning fog to the grey, grey and rain. I hate rain, and know I would hate that about Salem.
I've intended to reply to this thread, but frankly I'm a little confused. I reviewed a few of your old threads and that didn't help. It sounds like you live in Oregon now, maybe Portland, maybe Lakeview, I'm not sure. I understand you don't want to give away personal information.

Get a state map and mark the different important destinations-- your son's house, the beach, the fishing buddy.

Then look at what options might make sense. Go to open houses in those areas. Drive around, eat lunch there.

​​​​​​I do have a few things to add to MMS and the others:

I do think it gets foggy in a lot of places, and not just Salem. I don't believe it rains more in Salem, but check historical websites where you can see averages for each year.

Given your reference to Baker City and its history, one more advantage of Salem is they have a lot of history there, including the Mission, Deepwood, and more. In addition, you are very close to the historic buildings at Champoeg. If you were interested in volunteering, you'd have lots of options.
​​​​​
I probably wasn't clear before about the south suburbs. I think they're a great place to live but I am not sure I'd recommend them because they are getting so expensive. You would be paying for features you don't need, like proximity to work and great schools.

Still, I don't find it particularly hard to drive out of Sherwood, should you choose it. Yes, I5 and 205 come together, but it is straightforward.

Hope this helps.






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Last edited by 5alive; Jan 4th, 2019 at 10:29 PM.
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Jan 7th, 2019, 07:40 AM
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South suburbs of Portland do you mean? I assume Salem doesn't have 'suburbs' per se.

Oddly, I have lived in both Lakeview and Portland. I've lived in Baker, Eugene and The Dalles too. Longest period I guess was Alaska.

We're going to drive to Salem for another look this weekend. I do like Sherwood; just assume homes are more expensive with proximity to Portland. Corvallis is cute, but we're Ducks.
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Jan 7th, 2019, 10:35 AM
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Corvallis is cute, but we're Ducks.

Really? I mean not really that you're Ducks but really you would nix a fabulous town (without the issues you are concerned about in Salem) in the very area you're looking because of a college sports team?
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