Going home...apartments in Portland?
January 10, 2007 4:49 PM   Subscribe

I grew up in Salem and Portland, Oregon. My family moved to Wisconsin as a teenager. Now, finally as an adult, I'm moving back home to Portland (yay!).

My boyfriend is going to move first to job- and house-hunt for us, as he is self-employed. Once he finds a neighborhood we will want to live in permanently, we will put our current house on the market, and I will move when it is sold (hopefully early early spring of this year).

From everything I've read, the best place to apartment hunt is craigslist for Portland (Madison, where we are now, hardly uses craigslist, oddly).

1. Is there anywhere else we should be looking for a month-to-month apartment for him to live in while we are scoping out neighborhoods to move to? This is the main thing - what should we use to research apartments while he is still in Madison?

2. Do any Portland folks have an idea of how hard it is to find a month-to-month lease?
posted by ugf to Travel & Transportation around Portland, OR (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Craigslist really is THE place for apartment listings, though you'll find a small number at oregonlive.com.

Month-to-month lease: I haven't had any trouble at all, though you may have to pay a premium on your rent (I think I once got charged an extra $25 a month).

The rental market has changed a lot in the past year, with a number of multi-unit apartment buildings going condo and high home prices keeping a lot of folks from buying. Two bedroom units that used to go for $575 in happening & central neighborhoods are regularly topping $900, and it's harder to find an OK place for less than $700 even in cool-but-not-central neighborhoods. Landlords know they have the upper hand, and they're becoming more demanding, too.

There are still deals to be found, though, and craigslist is the place to look.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 4:56 PM on January 10, 2007

Move into my place! It's in close in NE (near 15th and Prescott) and the lease is month to month.

I'm moving Feb 5, then the landlord is going to put in new carpet and partially finish the basement. He said that would take a month.
posted by trixie_bee at 5:07 PM on January 10, 2007

Depending on the area you want, month - to - month could be difficult. Lake Oswego is v. difficult to find month to month, Pearl District and Waterfront has all gone condo.
Craigslist is correct in terms of apartments, great resource for out-of-town.

On preview, the job-hunt might kill you. I know of several people who do what you are doing, who really want to live in Portland, and after 6+ years of searching, they've never been able to get back to the level that they had in the Midwest.

Don't misunderstand, Portland = amazing. Portland's job market = difficult at best.
posted by lilithim at 6:53 PM on January 10, 2007

We don't need no stinkin' Craigslist.

Seriously, tho, I don't know you, but it's sad to hear of Madison losing a Mefite. :)
posted by thanotopsis at 7:17 PM on January 10, 2007

Yep, craigslist. Maybe oregonlive.com or willametteweek.com, but craigslist seems to be your best bet. I think month-to-month shouldn't be that difficult.
posted by dan g. at 7:33 PM on January 10, 2007

The Ridge at Mountain Park will go month-to-month when I lived there. They're at 12375 Mt. Jefferson Terrace in Lake Oswego. Downtown's gotten stupid expensive. Expect to pay about $750-$800 for a 1br apartment. Great location, though, right by PCC Sylvania.

I moved last year to Texas. Don't get me wrong -- Portland's a great place, but there's just too many people that want to live there, and not enough work for all of them. I couldn't find a job that paid enough for me to live on as rents skyrocketed. I took a significant pay cut to move to Texas, but I keep almost $500 more a month.
posted by SpecialK at 8:56 PM on January 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

will = would. Preview, dangit.
posted by SpecialK at 8:57 PM on January 10, 2007

And downtown has gotten stupid expensive, expect to pay $750-$800 for a 1br apartment in the suburbs like Lake Oswego.
posted by SpecialK at 8:57 PM on January 10, 2007

Uh, I don't agree with SpecialK on rents or jobs.

I've moved twice this year (grrr, landlord issues), and have paid $850 and $725 for two-bedrooms inside city limits. I'm just a little farther out than I used to be, and I'm definitely paying a couple hundred more than I was a year or two ago for closer in places.

Portland rent is still pretty cheap in the grand scheme of things. I'm paying about the same as my friend in Columbus, Ohio, and a whole lot less than folks I know in DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia or New York.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate here is 4.7 percent -- only marginally higher than the national 4.5 percent. During the depths of the recession, my husband was unemployed for 8 months and it took me a year to find a job in my field. But that was "the depths of the recession." Since then we've both had much better luck, and that's been the case among my acquaintances out here, too. There's always someone laying off -- especially in blue collar manufacturing industries, which once were a major contributor to this region's economy. But hiring is up and jobs are available in many fields.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 9:11 PM on January 10, 2007

I'm in a very nice two bedroom house in NE Portland near Trixie (11th and Fremont). Biking distance to downtown where I work, 2 blocks from a good organic grocery store, an irish pub and a coffee shop. I found the house on Craigslist and while its not month to month, I wouldn't be surprised if I could have gotten that sort of lease if I asked. We're paying $1050 a month. That's more than the $800 a month we payed for the two bedroom house we moved from in Eugene, but its also nicer and in a bigger city. The pay increase I got moving to Portland was more than the rent increase, so for me at least, it worked out well.

I would also consider asking mefites for help in the housing hunt. I'm sure there are folks here, such as myself, that would be happy to cruise by an apartment, take a couple photos and send them along with a perceived "skank factor" rating.

Good luck on the hunt and welcome back to Oregon.
posted by afflatus at 11:36 PM on January 10, 2007

Eh, you can get decent one-bedrooms near downtown for $750-$800 still; I did last November. You pretty much have to hunt on foot, though, or that was my experience.
posted by furiousthought at 1:04 AM on January 11, 2007

Thank you very much, this was really really helpful for us! Wish us luck finding a good place for him until we find a house!
posted by ugf at 4:45 PM on January 11, 2007

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