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Had I found this site prior to a couple of days ago, I may have found enough information to sway my family and me elsewhere. However, our visit trip is booked, and the move is all but tattooed onto our knuckles. We arrive Wednesday, August 28th and will be staying through the 2nd of September; a Monday, to discover the city and find a home. From the "extensive" research I have done, I have targeted a few ideal neighborhoods. These neighborhoods seem to be the obvious targets of most native and nonnative residents. Alberta, Hawthorne, Woodstock, etc...but I realize that in my naivety, I might just be a bit NAIVE. Can any person(s) give me the great and awful about what I'm getting myself into? Also, while I'm there this month, where should I go and what should I do to get a feel for the city and also find a home? I don't want to spend any more than $1600, but I realize I may have to. Lay it on me, please.

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Comment by Chee-Soo on August 30, 2013 at 6:13pm

Why would you have gone elsewhere? I live in Hollywood but was in the same situation as you. We had a few days to look for a rental before we came out to see each rentals we found online. Craigslist probably had the most listings for rental homes but some of the ads were sketchy. We ended up living between Killingsworth and Ainsworth which had me concerned about the safety but ended up being fine and really close to the Alberta Arts area. It is a funky, lots of hip restaurants vibe to it. We had the best luck going through a rental agency but they also advertised on Craigslist for a smaller townhouse for $1,100 so it's totally do-able. 

I do agree with your later post about staying before 82nd. It's not a crime mecca or anything but there are a lot of lingerie shops and sketchy people that hang around there. That said, my son went to a really nice daycare on 82nd. Also past 82nd, you kind of get less sidewalks which is a hassle for walking or families. I like Hollywood, Woodstock is nice neighborhood feel, Alberta & Belmont, the Hawthorne, area is a bit congested but cool and Irvington too. It's true, there is definitely low rental inventory and you have to kind of jump on it but you can do it!

We were in the same position a couple of years ago so I can understand. Where are you coming from? It's quite scary but exciting too. Good luck and it'll all work out.

Comment by Lorri E. on August 16, 2013 at 8:41pm

Additional neighborhoods that are closer in and also have that great community feel: Irvington, Beaumont Wilshire, Hollywood, Kerns, Woodlawn, Piedmont, Arbor Lodge, Humboldt.  Boise/Eliot (Mississippi Ave),  SE Belmont/Hawthorne,  Division/Clinton,  Sellwood, Buckman, Pearl, Downtown, Goose Hollow, NW Nob Hill & Forest Heights, Hosford Abernethy (by no means an all inclusive list). 

There is a major bike thoroughfare with dedicated lanes up to N Portland on Williams and Vancouver Ave, which means living in Boise/Eliot (Mississippi) or other neighborhoods near those roads (Alberta, Humboldt, Piedmont, etc.)  makes for a pretty easy commute into Downtown along the bike lane.  All of these neighborhoods are closer in (e.g maybe the furthest one out is like 58th ave?)  Also in SE/SW try Sellwood Moreland, and Multnomah Village. 

Seriously, you will have no trouble at all finding a neighborhood that has a strong or unique sense of personality...there are tons of them.

Comment by Michael Griffin on August 8, 2013 at 2:40pm

Thanks for your response. Basically everything you spoke of is what we are looking for in a rental. The problem that I'm finding is that these neighborhoods are extremely desirable and rentals are not only pretty to very expensive, but only last about a day or two. Yikes. We are okay with anything in the spectrum of more urban to the hippy vibe, but walkability/bikeability is a huge factor for us. We want to spend as much time out of the house and not in a car as possible. A short bike commute downtown would be great, but it is less of a factor than living in a neighborhood that feels alive. We definitely want a neighborhood with a village type of feel, its own sort of personality, and a sense of community and independence. That being said, I know how much of a demand there is for the neighborhoods I listed, so I would really like to broaden the boundaries of my search to other similar neighborhoods as much as possible while staying within our criteria. Without having to go out of your way, is there a way you could break down the actually geography of any areas that may fit the bill so I can yay or nay a property based on its address?  For instance, I was told to keep my search within NE and SE and look no further out than 82nd street. Can you comment or elaborate on that?

Comment by Lorri E. on August 8, 2013 at 8:08am

What features are important to you in a neighborhood?  Some people say they want walking distance to coffee shops, others say they want to bike commute to Downtown, etc.  That will help hone it in.

The closer to Downtown, the more expensive (typically) but there are plenty of close-in neighborhoods that are affordable.  Alberta is artsy, full of shops/restaurants, and a little edgy/quirky.  This area has been gentrified and still has a mix of old and new which has pros and cons.  Hawthorne and SE in general is said to be a little more laid back/granola/hippy in style (more hippy than hipster, which is more the NE/N Portland trendy neighborhoods).  Woodstock is a little more urban--I have friends who live there and they love their neighborhood.  It kind of depends on what you find appealing--there are a ton of great neighborhoods.  Are you looking for a rental? housingmaps.com is a good site for checking those.  Good luck!

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