SF, Portland or Seattle for Families

Old Apr 14th, 2016, 10:08 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
SF, Portland or Seattle for Families

Hello All,
I have 3 kids (3, 6 & 8) and looking for the best place to raise kids.
My job allows me to live anywhere along in NorCal, OR, WA, ID, MT or AK.
Too many choices...
So I think we've narrowed our options to Marin in SF, Lake Oswego in Portland & Bellevue in Seattle.
I'm leaning towards Portland because the people are so darned nice & we can likely get a place on the lake or canal for a lot less than nice areas of Marin. We're touring Lake Oswego houses and schools and will likely have some answers of our own, but I'd love to hear from any family who has faced this decision.
Sincerely
BD
brianjohndavis is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2016, 05:32 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,759
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Portland winters (if they're destined to come at all any more) are worse than Seattle winters.


Though I suspect, that somebody projecting forward the anticipated life for those kids when they are old enough to make a go of it on their own, would have to give Portland the highest grades among the 3 places for affordability.

And the Portland metropolis probably has greater room to expand than do the other places.

Furthermore, Portland has better transportation infrastructure already in place than does Seattle. And while society is moving to both the Seattle area and the Portland area, Portland's suburbs may be expanding more efficiently than are Seattle's.

As for attractions... well, you can't beat a doughnut shop and a used book store for headliners.
NorthwestMale is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2016, 07:03 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 11,705
Likes: 0
Received 17 Likes on 4 Posts
I agree totally with NWMale. The cost of living is much better in Portland.
You should look for a place close to the TriMet light rail system. http://trimet.org/max/index.htm
Lake Oswego is served by buses on the TriMet system but can get caught in frequent traffic jams.
There is good late season skiing going on on Mt. Hood.
Two ski areas on Mt. Hood will be open this weekend even though temps in the city of Portland will hit 80 on Sunday.
tomfuller is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2016, 07:19 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,342
Received 79 Likes on 8 Posts
Location, location, location.

First, "Marin" is a county, and a pretty big one at that. You could be in Stinson Beach and feel like you're a light year from SF; on the other hand you could be in San Rafael and feel like you're in Anysuburb USA.

Bellevue is rapidly emerging as a center city on its own, separate from Seattle. Its population is three times that of Lake Oswego; it's a corporate headquarters city, arguably the shopping center for the county, and has a full set of big-city advantages (ethnic diversity, range of housing options) as well as disadvantages (traffic, crime.)

Bellevue schools are very good; whether they still will be in 10 years is anybody's guess, but my assumption is that they'll remain so. Ever since I spent summers as a kid in east Portland, Lake Oswego has had the reputation of being slightly snooty; Bellevue used to have that reputation but it's faded big time. (I presume ditto for Lake Oswego but don't know.)

There are some grown-up considerations as well. Oregon has a state income tax but no sales tax; Washington has a high sales tax but no income tax. California has both.

Winters are wetter and summers hotter in Portland than in Seattle; you're two hours from salt water in Portland but close to the wonderful Columbia Gorge. There's a great bookstore and a lot of food trucks in Portland; you can fly to a lot more places out of SEA than you can out of PDX. In Bellevue you're three hours from either Portland or Vancouver; in Portland you're three hours from either Seattle or... ? You can be skiing or hiking in the mountains in an hour from either place; you can watch MLB or NFL in Seattle or NBA in Portland. Seattle has a lot more higher education resources than Portland.

Depends on what you (and your family) are looking for, big city or suburb.
Gardyloo is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2016, 07:25 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,749
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We live less than 5 miles from both Bellevue and Lake Oswego. We split our time between the two places, so know them both all too well.

First off, schools in WA are much better than OR overall, although both Bellevue and LO are good. Having kids that have been through both schools in both places that we live, I give the nod to WA schools overall. Check the details in reports.

As for things to do, it depends on what your family enjoys. We like to hike, and from our place near Bellevue, we have more options for closer hiking trails than we do near LO. We also like to sail in the summers, and found more places to do that around Seattle.

In the winter we ski and snowshoe, and WA has more options again. For Portland, most people head to Mt Hood( either Timberline or Meadows). For Seattle, there are more options again. Stevens Pass, Crystal Mtn, Snoqualmie, etc.

Cost of living is much better in Portland than Seattle.

If you have any questions, keep asking
Fodorite018 is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2016, 07:37 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 11,705
Likes: 0
Received 17 Likes on 4 Posts
To answer Guardyloos question mark. In Portland you are 3 hours from Bend or Eugene (University of Oregon).
You are 2 hours from Corvallis (Oregon State). My BIL lives in Corvallis and will soon be retiring from HP.
I do have a friend that got her nursing education in Portland and loves her job as a nurse at one of Portlands several hospitals.
tomfuller is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2016, 07:46 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,749
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Gardyloo--Yes, LO still has that reputation. It has not diminished at all and there is a pretty bad association with it as far as not being racially diverse.

LO to Corvallis is 1 hour 15 minutes, and to Eugene about 1 hour 45 minutes. We make both of those drives routinely to see family.
Fodorite018 is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2016, 09:11 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 7,303
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Another area you might consider in the Seattle area is Edmonds. It is a beautiful community, right on the water, views of the mountains across the sound, several restaurants with ocean front dining, it has a small town feel to it with the amenities of the city close by.

It's an easy drive into the city but no public transportation as far as I know.
I have friends who live there and enjoy any opportunity to visit there.
sunbum1944 is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2016, 10:35 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 413
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"...society is moving to both the Seattle area and the Portland area..."

No kidding! Portland reportedly has the hottest housing market in the country, attributable in large part to what seems to be a mass exodus from California. It's doubtful housing costs will reach the level Seattle, though, and if you're looking in LO, you're probably not too much concerned about it.

But increased population and the increasing gap between housing costs and wages creates other livability issues too. Enough such that from your list of possibles, you might also seriously consider ID and MT.
FaceInTheCrowd is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2016, 02:13 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 11,705
Likes: 0
Received 17 Likes on 4 Posts
While you are looking at Oregon, at least look at Bend.
The former QB of the NE Patriots Drew Bledsoe built a beautiful house in Bend and is now a football coach at Mountain View HS. He also owns Double Nickle winery in SE Washington. (His jersey was 55).
I have seen a few bumper stickers reading 'Don't Californicate Oregon'.
tomfuller is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2016, 02:24 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 11,705
Likes: 0
Received 17 Likes on 4 Posts
Correction: Bledsoe's winery is Doubleback and he coaches at Summit HS. He has 4 children in the Bend public school system.
tomfuller is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2016, 03:34 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 97,112
Received 12 Likes on 11 Posts
Portland is by FAR the more reasonably priced of the three places... then Bellevue, then Marin County.
suze is online now  
Old Apr 15th, 2016, 04:42 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Truth is, it's all about the kids. We want them to be well educated & have blast of a childhood. SF has been good to us, but it's tight & we're ready to make the leap a place with more elbow room, a home for a dog and tons of outdoor activities. I love to sail, hike, ski and enjoy good food.
That said, a friend recently recommended Mercer Island because of the schools & sailing. Can anyone weigh in on their schools?
brianjohndavis is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2016, 05:03 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 16,377
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>>Drew Bledsoe .....(His jersey was 55)
StuDudley is online now  
Old Apr 15th, 2016, 05:29 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,342
Received 79 Likes on 8 Posts
Mercer Island is terrific; housing prices could be Marin-ish but the schools are excellent and there's a nice community feel. Getting into Seattle is super easy, as is access to the mountains.

Sailing is available everywhere; of course to get to salt water from MI involves a long trek through the Lake Washington Ship Canal and the Ballard locks, but Lake Washington is enormous so plenty of places to sail there too.
Gardyloo is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2016, 11:41 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,759
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
... and add to it all, that Portland, Oregon has more strip clubs per capita than does anywhere else in the USA

(which has to be amusing to anyone coming from the S.F. area)

So, you've got doughnuts, food trucks, used books, and strip clubs... something for morning, noon, and night.
NorthwestMale is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2016, 12:20 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,288
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Mercer Island has better schools than Bellevue. Housing costs are high in the whole Seattle/Bellevue area.

Can you live in smaller towns or is it important for you to be close to a major metropolis? If you can be farther away, consider Bellingham, about 70 miles north of Seattle. It's a University town right on the water.

I live right in Seattle, have lived here since the mid-1970s when I finished grad school. I've loved it, but the traffic has gotten so bad, I feel like I can no longer take advantage of all of the opportunities here. Bellevue traffic is also terrible.
Kathie is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2016, 12:45 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 26,243
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've lived in the Bay Area for 43 years and I say "get outta Dodge" while you can. (My kids grew up on the Peninsula, and we live and work in very well-paying jobs downtown now, and I have a strong philosophical objection to the cost of living here)
sf7307 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
hikrchick
United States
18
Feb 1st, 2017 10:54 PM
holly_denny
United States
21
Jul 26th, 2013 07:43 PM
sxfalls
United States
12
May 22nd, 2006 07:23 PM
DonFanucci
United States
12
Jul 14th, 2003 11:15 PM
mick
United States
9
Apr 5th, 2003 09:49 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -