possibly homeward bound for the PNW
October 6, 2011 4:57 PM   Subscribe

Might be making a move back to the North West for a job. Tell me everything you know about McMinnville, OR housing, life, etc.

I was born and grew up near Eugene, but have been living in SoCal for over a decade. I've made lots of trips back to Oregon to see family over the years, but have spent more than 99% of my time learning, living and working the Los Angeles area since leaving home. I have the possibility of interviewing for a position in McMinnville coming up soon and would like to learn more about the area. I know it's easy enough to run to PDX on the weekends to see friends/bands/etc etc, but I'm curious about housing and community stuff in McMinnville area proper.

Things I am interested in finding in a potential living situation: free standing house, with garage or shop (enclosed parking a must). Tend toward mid-century/ranch type rather than newer styles or victorian. Dog friendly, perhaps an acre plus of land for gardening. I feel like I've exhausted my CL searches and could use some insight to the local market. I don't know what areas will give me a short commute into MCM proper that meet my criteria. Assume salary will be same earned in SoCal, so rents below or around $1600 are fine. one or two adults, no kids, one dog. My commute in SoCal is about 10-15 minutes door to door, so something similar would be great. Newberg seems a little far away for that, but maybe I'm wrong about that.

Areas that meet the above criteria area great, but I would also love general thoughts, advice, and knowledge about the area as well. I like art, coffee, beer, working in my art studio, hanging out with my dog, and enjoying being at home.
(i hope our illustrious leader has some advice to offer too!)
anon because of possible employment change
posted by anonymous to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I believe our dear #1 lives in McMinnville, OR. Maybe drop him a MeMail if you don't see him in this thread?
posted by babbyʼ); Drop table users; -- at 5:16 PM on October 6, 2011

I went to school there a long time ago, and while I have visited only occasionally since then, I could certainly direct you to a longtime resident or two who could provide much insight and advice. MefiMail me.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 5:57 PM on October 6, 2011

$1,600/mo. in McMinnville would buy you a pretty grand house. I grew up in McMinnville and my mom is a real estate broker there. MeMail me and I'll give you her contact details if you're interested in buying a house.

Newberg's about a 20 minute drive away IF (and this is a big "if") it's not during the many hours a day when there is a miles-long traffic jam through Dundee on 99W. Assuming you'd be working normal hours, that could be a problem. Portland is an hour away, but it's gotta be by car as there is no mass transit down to that part of the valley. Add another 25 minutes to that hour if the Dundee traffic is present.

Politically, it ranges centrist to far right-wing, but you'll find some lefties here and there. It's one of the larger small towns in the valley, but it's still pretty much a small town in its culture and amenities. There are a couple decent brew pubs, a ton of wineries in the surrounding hills, farms, and a bunch of newer suburban neighborhoods surrounding the old center of town. Downtown (third street) has a very famous Italian restaurant, Nick's, owned and run by a high school classmate of mine. There's a formidable aviation museum, where the Spruce Goose lives, and it's fairly impressive.

I don't super love McMinnville, but I'm probably biased since I grew up there. The folks who do live there seem to take pride in the town, and in the last 15 years have worked to class up the joint a bit. If you have reasonable expectations of the place-- it's a smallish, sorta rural town-- you will probably enjoy yourself.
posted by hollisimo at 6:04 PM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yeah, you can probably get a place with some land just out of town for that much, and everything on the outskirts of town is about ten minutes drive to the middle of town. Your best bet if you're looking to buy a place is RMLS.com. They let you search on tons of criteria, just limit it to the 97128 zip code and you can play with bedrooms, acreage, etc.

I've lived here for 8 years, and I would highly recommend living in McMinnville versus any of the surrounding towns, because the food/wine culture here is really good and surrounding cities don't have the top-notch dining (most places do lunch as well so it's not just high falutin' going out to dinner food). Ideally, if I had to do it all over again, I'd try to find a place with a 5-10 walk (1/2 max) to the downtown 3rd street area. Right now it's a three mile trip for me and I can do it on my bike in about ten minutes each way but outside of summer it doesn't lend itself to casual rides with all the rain. If it was a five minute walk, I could do that in the rain as well.

Email me and we can talk about neighborhoods, which ones are good, etc, and heck I'll even offer to drive you around if you visit.
posted by mathowie at 8:41 PM on October 6, 2011

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