attention all tPFers in the Pacific Northwest!

  1. hey you guys, i'm a college student as a lot of you know, and i'm looking to move when i graduate in a year and a half. there are several areas of the country that are on my list to find out about, and Portland and Seattle (but more Portland) are up there. are jobs plentiful? is housing reasonably priced? how's the weather? how's the shopping? how're the people? anything you can tell me and any reviews you can give me would be very helpful! TIA!
  2. The job market here in Portland has been sucky for years, but it all depends on your profession.

    Housing has skyrocketed. It's truly insane here. I'm paying more for an apartment now than I used to pay for my mortgage! And it's one of the cheapest apartments in the area!

    People are friendly in general.

    The weather? I came from the Midwest, so it was definitely a change. You have to be able to deal with rain and gray skies. A lot of people do find this difficult.

    Gosh..I didn't mean to make this sound so negative! LOL It's just that the sucky job market and the skyrocketing housing prices have really detracted from the quality of life here.
  3. aww, no fun. lol but don't feel bad for making it sound bad, i want to know the truth! it's just one area that i'm looking at, so you're not crushing my dreams or anything!
  4. i :heart: portland!

    i've lived in oregon my entire life and although i wouldn't mind living somewhere else for a few years just for a change, i really can't imagine living far from here for very long. where else in the country can you get to the mountains and the beach within an hour?

    it is rainy and grey in the winter (but portland is sunnier than where i am currently, so even that seems better to me :smile:). that might be a hard transistion from the south....but it's beautiful and green all year round, which can't be said for a lot of the country. the summers are great! mild and sunny.

    people here are the friendliest i've met in any of my travels (aside from maybe the south). it's very very casual. a lot of places, a button up shirt and khakis is dressy. there's great museums, art, and theater and of course outdoorsy stuff if you're into that. seattle has a lot of the same (more even) but seems really BIG and overwhelming to me. portland still keeps it's small city feel while offering everything you need. and imho the traffic is better here than seattle. my dad has lived all over the united states (army brat) and swears portland is the cleanest friendliest city he's ever lived in.

    the housing prices in portland don't seem that bad to me, but that's probably because i live at the beach....they're WAY higher here for houses that aren't nearly as nice or convienient. same for the employment situation: there's much better opportunities in portland so i'm a bit biased. i think it really depends on your profession. if it helps, most of my friends have managed to find jobs within six months of graduating. i've been reading in the city daily that employment is on the upswing and i've noticed housing prices levelling out. a lot of the NICE brand new three bedroom two bath condos they're building in the burbs start around $300K....i haven't looked seriously at houses in the area. rent on an apartment will run anywhere from $575 to $900+ depending on the area you choose and the amenities you want. it is very possible to find a nice apartment in a nice neighborhood at the lower end of the spectrum.

    as for shopping, it just keeps getting better and better. lots of independent boutiques with some amazing stuff as well as a (small) Saks, LV, tiffany, anthropologie and a three Nordstroms among LOTS of other things. they just built a freestanding MAC boutique in lake oswego. i've been able to find most everything i've seen online somewhere in portland if i look hard enough.

    okay, so it's obvious how i feel about it here, so i'll stop gushing. :smile:
  5. Seattle
    are up there. are jobs plentiful? Yes, it/tech is still booming.

    is housing reasonably priced? a typical one bedroom can be anywhere from 900-1400 depending on if you want a view and how close your are to bus lines and the neigborhood.Capitol Hill, downtown is increasing very quickly.
    It is cheaper to live outside of downtown, if you have a car.

    how's the weather? It's drizzly, some days you have downpour for a couple of hours, but as a ex-californian I can handle it.

    how's the shopping?
    If you like fendi, chanel, lv, Barneys, Nordstrom, you are in luck. Things that are missing, Sak's and Neiman, oh and Hermes.

    how're the people?
    Women and men wear a large amount of rugged wear ( workboots, and patagonia, northface gear,exofficio) and there are the financial types that wear suits...

    Food is wonderful, the Chinatown and Intenational areas are as good as California, and you have to watch your speed when driving, there are a lot of state troopers that monitor the highway and city streets.
  6. A couple of things Portland has that Seattle does not is:
    Voodoo donut, Coffee People, and no sales tax so whatever you buy in the store is the price you walk out of the door.
  7. very interesting. keep the info coming, this is all very very helpful!

    it does seem steep as far as housing goes compared to the south - the southest is such a booming area that most of my friends have jobs lined up when they graduate and the housing still hasn't gotten too out of hand, particularly if you go to the suburbs or some of the areas of Atlanta that are being 'revitalized.'
  8. I went to school in Oregon for 4 years. I had a hard time with the weather (but I am from Hawaii). I didn't realize that I wouldn't see the sun for 1/3 of the year and it got me really depressed. Nevertheless, it was absolutely beautiful in the Spring, flowers everywhere. Hawaii is paradise, but Oregon made me feel more in touch with nature. Speaking of nature, I found Salem where I was at a lot more conservative than I was used to in Hawaii. People were def. in touch with "earth" and as elizabethk says above they dressed accordingly. Lots of things to do if you like the outdoors (hiking, skiing, fishing, etc.). I enjoyed my 4 years there and loved the no sales tax.

    My brother went to college in Tacoma and loved it. I visited quite a bit and actually enjoyed Seattle more than Portland. I found it a little more diverse and cosmopolitan. I think it rains more in Seatle than in Oregon.

    Hope this offered a little insight.
  9. I just love Seattle area- don't have much info to add about it, but how exciting to be looking amanda!
  10. I used to live in Gig Harbor Washington, not too far from Tacoma (my daughter was born there). It is the most beautiful state I have ever lived in. It does rain a lot and the skies tend to be grey a lot during the winter months (they have a joke there...Washington only has two seasons...winter and june)...But, people still wear shorts out when it rains, its not always cold. It is truly gorgeous and the scenery is very green...GORGEOUS! But, you have to like the rain!
  11. Portland has cheaper housing than Seattle so that might be something to consider in your decision making. Both cities have really friendly people and dress is def. more casual in the Northwest.
    The weather can be dreary and gray in Seattle for long, periods of time. (Bad for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder) but the scenery is incredible.