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Old 01-10-2015, 10:40 AM   #1
canadian chris OP
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Question would you move to Camas, WA?

My wife & stepdaughters are looking to move from Phoenix to Portlandia this summer, while we wait for their Canadian residency visa application to work its way through the system. It'll be at least 3 years before that gets approved and we're looking to narrow the distance between us in the meantime.

They originally were thinking the Bellingham area, but Portland-Vancouver not only has more job prospects for her (she's an LPN) but also offers her daughters (currently ages 15 & 16) more opportunities as they get older. The girls are are already salivating at the prospect of going to Powell's Books.

She'd like to be on the outskirts of the cities and Camas seems to be a nice place, with a good High School and public transit to Vancouver & Portland.

They've always lived in the Phoenix area, so anywhere in the PNW is going to be a big climate/culture/greenery adjustment for them.

If you don't recommend Camas, is there an alternative that you do (and why)?


thanks in advance!


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Old 01-10-2015, 11:01 AM   #2
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My wife and I moved from Los Angeles to Vancouver WA back in 2008. Kind of the same change in weather if you will. Just be ready for the rain, and the clouds. Wifey is originally from England and me from back east so the weather isn't that bad as far as we are concerned.

Camas is just a few miles away from where we live in Vancouver. It's a nice SMALL town with a small town feel. You're close enough to other areas for anything you will need. The taxes are lower in WA than in OR for sure. Being in Camas puts you close to the 205 freeway to pop into Portland, and close to the airport, PDX. There's a great big park in Camas for hiking and mountain biking, I like riding the mountain bike there since it's so close. Jobs are available for a LPN just about anywhere these days - she should have no problem finding a job. You may also want to look at the Hockinson School District in the Vancouver area. We don't have kids in school, but bought our house in the school district as it's the best, which helps to keep property values up.

Feel free to ask any more questions, I'll do my best to help out. One thing you should know, there's PLENTY of great motorcycle roads both paved and unpaved in the area!

Wifey's family left England years ago, and went to Canada. Edmond area first, then onto Vancouver Island to Nanamio. I see you're in Victoria. Lovely place that is. The drive from the Vancouver WA area to Vancouver BC isn't that bad, about 6 hours on average.

Cheers,

Bill
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Old 01-10-2015, 11:03 AM   #3
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Camas is okay, and can be family friendly. It's certainly NOT "Portlandia", not that is a bad thing. It's way out there though, I'm sure some people commute from there, but it's quite a haul and if you are going to Oregon, there are only two bridges and they get pretty socked in with traffic. If commuting to Vancouver and generally staying in Wa, it's fine. Oh and there is a mill there, that stinks to high heaven, fortunately it mostly blows west into Vancouver and North Portland.

Personally, I'd find a job first then choose your location based on that. There are a lot of good areas pretty much any direction, but you wouldn't want to live on one side of the metro area and commute to the other. It's not like Phoenix where there are lots of different freeways to choose from. With the Rivers, , Hills and lacks of alternate freeways commuting can be an issue.
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Old 01-10-2015, 11:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfabc View Post
My wife and I moved from Los Angeles to Vancouver WA back in 2008. Kind of the same change in weather if you will. Just be ready for the rain, and the clouds. Wifey is originally from England and me from back east so the weather isn't that bad as far as we are concerned.

Camas is just a few miles away from where we live in Vancouver. It's a nice SMALL town with a small town feel. You're close enough to other areas for anything you will need. The taxes are lower in WA than in OR for sure. Being in Camas puts you close to the 205 freeway to pop into Portland, and close to the airport, PDX. There's a great big park in Camas for hiking and mountain biking, I like riding the mountain bike there since it's so close. Jobs are available for a LPN just about anywhere these days - she should have no problem finding a job. You may also want to look at the Hockinson School District in the Vancouver area. We don't have kids in school, but bought our house in the school district as it's the best, which helps to keep property values up.

Feel free to ask any more questions, I'll do my best to help out. One thing you should know, there's PLENTY of great motorcycle roads both paved and unpaved in the area!

Wifey's family left England years ago, and went to Canada. Edmond area first, then onto Vancouver Island to Nanamio. I see you're in Victoria. Lovely place that is. The drive from the Vancouver WA area to Vancouver BC isn't that bad, about 6 hours on average.

Cheers,

Bill
thanks Bill!

I'll be sure to get her to find out more about the Hockinson area.

I'd be lying if I said that I hadn't already noticed Camas' proximity to the south end of the WABDR

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Originally Posted by Scott_PDX View Post
Camas is okay, and can be family friendly. It's certainly NOT "Portlandia", not that is a bad thing. It's way out there though, I'm sure some people commute from there, but it's quite a haul and if you are going to Oregon, there are only two bridges and they get pretty socked in with traffic. If commuting to Vancouver and generally staying in Wa, it's fine. Oh and there is a mill there, that stinks to high heaven, fortunately it mostly blows west into Vancouver and North Portland.

Personally, I'd find a job first then choose your location based on that. There are a lot of good areas pretty much any direction, but you wouldn't want to live on one side of the metro area and commute to the other. It's not like Phoenix where there are lots of different freeways to choose from. With the Rivers, , Hills and lacks of alternate freeways commuting can be an issue.
thanks Scott. Phoenix has the freeways but it still takes an hour to get anywhere there - but I definitely agree on not setting herself up for long commutes.
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Old 01-10-2015, 12:38 PM   #5
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I don't live in the Camas/PDX area but certainly would echo finding a job first and then finding a place to stay due to the commute.
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Old 01-10-2015, 12:52 PM   #6
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Chris,

I totally forgot about the mill. It does smell to high heaven sometimes for sure. The other comments about commuting are true. There a good many health facilities in southwest WA, so that should help the job search. I work from home and can generally hit the highways after the big rush. Now, the traffic is nothing compared to LA, but it still sucks to sit and then inch your way along. The 205 on the east side of Portland does move better then the 5 usually. Going north on the 5 into WA after work totally sucks in so many ways. Getting a job on this side of the Columbia river is highly recommended for commuting purposes. I'd say buy a house in WA if you can, as Portland has ridiculous taxes and they keep trying to add more. Maybe someone that lives in Portland proper can speak more clearly to this matter. Also, I would say the WA schools would be a better bet for the kids.

And yes, we are close to the south end of the WABDR

Cheers,

Bill
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Old 01-10-2015, 07:15 PM   #7
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^ Nailed it!
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Old 01-10-2015, 08:22 PM   #8
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Anything that puts me closer Gifford is a big fat yes
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Old 01-10-2015, 09:41 PM   #9
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Anything that puts me closer Gifford is a big fat yes
Don't fear though, further south, you'll still have great riding in Mt Hood and a lifetime of trail riding opportunities in Tillamook State Forest (Browns Camp, Nestucca, Diamond Mill etc.)

Taxes in both states suck, Washington is definitely use fee crazy lately (Discovery Fee for example). The City of Portland has high Property Taxes and every time they want to raise money they tack on more to it. Now they are talking about a Road Use fee for all users (I think Wa is talking about that one also).

If you find you want to live on the South Side of the Columbia I'd recommend outside of Portland City Limits...unless you want Portlandia Urban Living which can be quite fun as well. Tigard, Tualatin, Oregon City etc. You will enjoy not having to pay sales tax though, so there is that.
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Old 01-11-2015, 08:14 AM   #10
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Did anyone mention bridge traffic over the Columbia river during the morning and evening commute ?

And, if you work in Oregon and and live in Washington you will PAY Oregon income tax !! No Oregon benefits, you just pay the income tax !!

IMHO, live in the state you work in.
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:42 AM   #11
canadian chris OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mista Vern View Post
I don't live in the Camas/PDX area but certainly would echo finding a job first and then finding a place to stay due to the commute.
Thanks for that, Vern. Unlike other specialties, nurses have the advantage of having job openings in almost every town (albeit sometimes because the employer isn't great). If it means getting her girls into a good HS, she's okay with some short-term commuting pain until there's a closer job opening.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alfabc View Post
I totally forgot about the mill. It does smell to high heaven sometimes for sure. The other comments about commuting are true. There a good many health facilities in southwest WA, so that should help the job search. I work from home and can generally hit the highways after the big rush. Now, the traffic is nothing compared to LA, but it still sucks to sit and then inch your way along. The 205 on the east side of Portland does move better then the 5 usually. Going north on the 5 into WA after work totally sucks in so many ways. Getting a job on this side of the Columbia river is highly recommended for commuting purposes. I'd say buy a house in WA if you can, as Portland has ridiculous taxes and they keep trying to add more. Maybe someone that lives in Portland proper can speak more clearly to this matter. Also, I would say the WA schools would be a better bet for the kids.
good advice Bill, thanks! are there any Vancouver neighbourhoods you'd recommend steering clear of?

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Originally Posted by Scott_PDX View Post
Don't fear though, further south, you'll still have great riding in Mt Hood and a lifetime of trail riding opportunities in Tillamook State Forest (Browns Camp, Nestucca, Diamond Mill etc.)

Taxes in both states suck, Washington is definitely use fee crazy lately (Discovery Fee for example). The City of Portland has high Property Taxes and every time they want to raise money they tack on more to it. Now they are talking about a Road Use fee for all users (I think Wa is talking about that one also).

If you find you want to live on the South Side of the Columbia I'd recommend outside of Portland City Limits...unless you want Portlandia Urban Living which can be quite fun as well. Tigard, Tualatin, Oregon City etc. You will enjoy not having to pay sales tax though, so there is that.
in addition to Camas, she's been thinking about the Beaverton area. I'll get her to check out Tigard, Tualatin & Oregon City as well, thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by rg, sw wa
And, if you work in Oregon and and live in Washington you will PAY Oregon income tax !! No Oregon benefits, you just pay the income tax !!

IMHO, live in the state you work in.
an excellent point, Ron - thanks for that!
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:55 AM   #12
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Oregon has a state income tax. Washington does not.
Washington has a state sales tax. Oregon does not.

A number of people live in border towns in Washington (like Camas), work in Washington and do their shopping in Oregon.

If you live in Washington and work in Oregon you pay Oregon income tax.
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:39 AM   #13
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I just moved west from NY last spring. I'm enjoying the Gig Harbor area so far. Great schools, lots of water, a local brewery(7 Seas), and 2 hours closer to Canada too, eh. Plenty of medical jobs in the area.
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Old 01-11-2015, 06:25 PM   #14
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Camas......

The Camas/Washougal area is a nice area, just like any place it has its' good and bad areas. Most people who think of "Camas" instantly think of a smelly paper mill....Camas isn't just a small area surrounding the paper mill. There is plenty of places to live with a Camas or Washougal address that you'll never notice. As mentioned before it's a nice SMALL town with a small town feel. If you decide to live in SW Washington, I'd stay clear of working in Oregon due to state income tax and increased commute time. I may be bias because I prefer a smaller town but it will defiantly be a huge change from Phoenix. My wife is an RN at SWMC in Vancouver. Good luck with your search
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:28 PM   #15
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One of my best friends lives in camas. One of his kids goes to private school in portland. He works in portland. He claims he saves money by living in camas but I don't believe him. The taxes seem to me to be pretty much a wash. I used to climb with a guy who was a teacher at camas high school. No way would I want him anywhere around my kids if I had any.

If you think that just because your SO works in healthcare she's going to walk into a job you may want to research that. I know several RNs and its a very competitive market. I admit that I could be wrong about that but portland is an extremely desirable place to live and the market is tight.

IF you are used to commuting for long periods of time and/or spending a lot of time in the car when you want to do some social activity (see a band, concert, museum, fine dining etc) then camas isn't a bad place to be. I imagine the climate shock is going to be the worst part for her. When I was a kid my family moved to AZ and we hated it. We were back in Portland within 9 months.

The paper mill stinks but you get used to it. So I hear.
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