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Relocating to the Northwest... need advice!

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My wife and I are going to be relocating to the Northwest before next summer, somewhere between Eugene, Oregon and Seattle... fact finding trip coming up in a month or so.

Which brings me to this... any suggestions on towns or areas to look at or stay away from? I am a masonry contractor specializing in Stonework ( fireplaces, chimneys, veneers, all phases..) and would like to start my business there and was wondering if any contractors out there have any suggestions?

Also just as important if not more so is the schools, way of life etc.. Looking for a small to medium size town, good riding areas relatively close by. You know, I want it all!

I was living in the mountains of Prescott, AZ where my house bordered the National Forest at 6000 feet for 25 years before we came here to Tucson. I have to admit I do miss being able to put my gear on and walk out to my garage and ride from there to some excellent trails. After 2.5 years I have had enough of the desert. I can't take any more of these 110 degree days!

Anyway, I have family in Eugene, Portland and Seattle, and friends in Tacoma but none of them ride or are in the trades so I need some input if anyone is willing.

Thanks in advance if anyone can offer up any help!

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Look into Bend. It's growing like crazy, Semi-small town and a recreation Mecca.

(And it doesn't rain as much there either)

- Ryan

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YOU DON'T WANT TO LIVE HERE .IT RAINS ALL THE TIME , GETS WINDY AND SNOWS SOMETIMES...AND THEIR EXPECTING AN EARTHQUAKE SOON.. :applause:

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YOU DON'T WANT TO LIVE HERE .IT RAINS ALL THE TIME , GETS WINDY AND SNOWS SOMETIMES...AND THEIR EXPECTING AN EARTHQUAKE SOON.. :applause:

lmao :ride:

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Plenty of bricklayers that say they do stone work. Lots of people spending the BIG bucks in the NW so if you're good you would do well anywhere around one of the larger cities. I've been a subcontractor around here for 33 years.

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I would second Bend. Great place, lots to do. If you wanted to head up to the real NW, bellingham is great, and the trades are booming here. Lower pay, but if you get in with somebody good, it evens out.

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Bellingham would be primo.....Lived there for two years and it was the best. Check it out.

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Plenty of bricklayers that say they do stone work. Lots of people spending the BIG bucks in the NW so if you're good you would do well anywhere around one of the larger cities. I've been a subcontractor around here for 33 years.

Spoken like someone who has experience dealing with masons....

I have been a stonemason my whole life.... I started working with stone when I was 13 in the summers and 33 years later still doing it. I have gone through alot of masons over the years in my company, Ponderosa Stonecrafters, Inc., and just because they can do great things with brick or block doens't mean they can with stone. It's getting to be a lost trade, sad but true.

All of the work I do is high end homes, so as far as quality work is concerned I am pretty confident. I'm in the process of putting together a website, used to have a portfolio but decided to get with the program and upgrade. When I get it done I will be able to show people what I am capable of. :applause:

What phase of contracting are you in? I have a conventional masonry license, able to do anything but the only block or brick I do is in conjunction with my stone. Used to have a stem crew / brick veneer crew years back but got sick of it. Must rather stick with stone.

Sorry for the long post, but would appreciate hearing what your thoughts are about different areas and contracting there. Thanks for any info you can share... :ride:

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If it were me, I would stay in the Portland or Bend area. Lots of high end homes and when the housing market takes the plunge in 2006 like I think it will, you might still be able to find work. I am a general in the PDX area, and I really think the market here is heading for a down turn.

But, you are within 1 to 2 hours or less drive time to some awesome riding areas, the area is nice to live in (stay out of Multnohmah county) and we have very good micro-brews.

Steven

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...Also just as important if not more so is the schools, way of life etc.. Looking for a small to medium size town, good riding areas relatively close by. You know, I want it all! ...

Try this: http://oregon.usl.myareaguide.com/

Small towns don't really cater to lots of high-end homes (to keep your business steady).

Bend is the booming city in Oregon.

Portland has the population you need to sustain yourself...the school system is often criticized...then there's Sandy :ride:

Washington has a strong educational program...you could live in S.WA. and work in Portland like so many folks.

Do some demographic research on-line before you get too enchanted with the sights on your trip. It was definately the ticket for our family. Good luck! :applause:

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Clayman-

A couple years ago, I moved back to the NW (orig from Seattle)from Tucson so I understand your concern.

I would also put a vote in for Bend. Fast-growing community with a ton of high-end homes. Last summer my wife and I looked at a couple places. Well, let's just say...we ended up JUST looking. $$$$

Best of luck....great riding nearby.

Jeff

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If you're into Meth, you'll love Salem, Kaiser, Troutdale, or Gresham.

If you like Mexican food, stay in Arizona. There's no good Mexican food to be found in Portland Metro. If there is, it's a well kept secret.

If you like cheese and ice cream, TILLAMOOK! :applause:

Don't buy a house within 100 feet of a spruce tree (pine needles everywhere!)

Tillamook ORV ROCKS! http://www.omra-online.org/

I think the business taxes are the highest in Multomah County :ride:

I moved to the Portland area in 2000 and love it but the wife misses the So-Cal sunshine.

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More riding/racing in Oregon that is close by compared to WA.

From a business owner perspective, I do not think that there is a worse state than Washington to start up and run a business. Why do you think Boeing shifted it's headquarters out of state and MS keeps threatening.

Check Oregon to see if it is better for business owners.

I live in WA and for the most part really like it up hear, but there are times I really want to get out (mostly because it is not friendly to business owners or off-road motorcyclist).

my .02

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I live in the Columbia Gorge on the Washington side but if we didn't own a business (JOC Corners, why do you think Washington so bad to own a business in?), a house and I didn't have a passion for windsurfing I could easily see us moving to Bend. Not the the Gorge isn't a great place to live as well but I really like the Bend area. It's got great winter activities, it generally gets more sun than the more Western areas of the region and it is booming with a lot of new high end construction. I am not all that farmiliar with the riding in the immediate vicinity but I know that Bend is relatively close to many great riding areas. I have not spent much time up in Seattle so I really can't comment on that. I really like Portland for a larger city but the school system is pretty scary and I really don't know how much longer the housing market can keep going before imploding. Eugene and Salem are not for me but maybe you would like it more there. Good luck.

Matt

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What phase of contracting are you in?

Sorry for the long post, but would appreciate hearing what your thoughts are about different areas and contracting there. Thanks for any info you can share... :applause:

I'm a Doorguy, but since almost nobody knows what that is I'll call myself a finish carpenter.

In Central Oregon you should be able to get in plenty of outdoor playing while everything is frozen up in the winter. Or maybe your hoddie can build a fire by the mixer?. I would say it's a matter of what kind of climate you want to live and work in and the amount of traffic/people you want to deal with. We have a coast, valley, desert or mountains to choose from. I'm near Portland and for playing can get to it all and especially like the Gorge for the sailing.

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I'm a Doorguy, but since almost nobody knows what that is I'll call myself a finish carpenter.

In Central Oregon you should be able to get in plenty of outdoor playing while everything is frozen up in the winter. Or maybe your hoddie can build a fire by the mixer?. I would say it's a matter of what kind of climate you want to live and work in and the amount of traffic/people you want to deal with. We have a coast, valley, desert or mountains to choose from. I'm near Portland and for playing can get to it all and especially like the Gorge for the sailing.

A door guy, I do understand.... It's like when I tell someone I am a stonemason they instantly think of brick, oh well.

As far as the tenders building fires, been there-done that! Living in the mountains for years before coming to Tucson we always lit a fire under the 55 gallon water barrel to keep the water warm. That and space heaters inside scaffold structures. But we did keep working!

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If you're into Meth, you'll love Salem, Kaiser, Troutdale, or Gresham.

If you like Mexican food, stay in Arizona. There's no good Mexican food to be found in Portland Metro. If there is, it's a well kept secret.

If you like cheese and ice cream, TILLAMOOK! :applause:

Don't buy a house within 100 feet of a spruce tree (pine needles everywhere!)

Tillamook ORV ROCKS! http://www.omra-online.org/

I think the business taxes are the highest in Multomah County :p

I moved to the Portland area in 2000 and love it but the wife misses the So-Cal sunshine.

Thanks for the link... When we do get moved I really do want to get back into racing. Raced mostly desert and some MX and really want to give some hare scrambles a try. :ride:

As far as pine needles, I lived at 6000 ft for 25 years so I am used to them, and TILLAMOOK, I love that stuff!

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Clayman-

A couple years ago, I moved back to the NW (orig from Seattle)from Tucson so I understand your concern.

I would also put a vote in for Bend. Fast-growing community with a ton of high-end homes. Last summer my wife and I looked at a couple places. Well, let's just say...we ended up JUST looking. $$$$

Best of luck....great riding nearby.

Jeff

How long since you have been to Tucson? It just keep getting hotter, more crime filled and crowded and I can't wait to leave this place for good. No offense to the Tusconans on the board, but they can have it! I know, I know, good riddance....

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my vote would be for the Vanouver ,WA location. better schools than Oregon, no state income tax, excellent location between Seattle and Eugene. Eastern Vancouver is booming with very high end homes and more work would be available closer to the big cities. Just my .02

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