Welcome to Blog For Oregon

Blog For Oregon is your guide for visiting and relocating to the State of Oregon. Whether you are looking to visit the greenest city in America, Portland, planning to go to the excellent Universities in Corvallis or Eugene, or explore the beautiful Oregon Coast, we invite you explore our website. Our team of writers and editors will be regularly updating this site with new places to go and things to do. We hope you will come back regularly and thanks for visiting our site.

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Guide to Oregon Real Estate

The state of Oregon offers a diversified range of geography, interesting cultural differences and a variety of attractions. Each of the seven main regions presents a unique character and offers a scenic environment and enjoyable way of life that carries throughout the entire state. Residents who settle in this Northwest area find it to be an ideal location for working, raising a family or enjoying an active retirement. The region boasts extensive outdoor recreation, tax-free shopping and top-rated educational programs.

Portland Regional Area

Many people immediately think of the Portland metropolitan region when they consider moving to Oregon. The city thrives both day and night and offers an active lifestyle with numerous restaurants, shops, museums and entertainment centers. Lush gardens and expansive parks are scattered throughout the city known for its abundant flowering roses. The Portland region attracts sports enthusiasts who find year-round activities such as boating, fishing, golf and bicycling. Dozens of scenic walking paths meander throughout the neighborhoods and nearby hiking trails provide access to the Cascade Mountains and wilderness areas. Portland’s architecture combines historic ambiance and contemporary design and Portland’s has been named America’s most sustainable city (1).

The Oregon Coast

One of the most beautiful coastlines in the U.S. can be found along the western edge of Oregon. Charming original lighthouses highlight the shoreline adding to the beauty and nostalgic feeling of the Oregon coast. The towns that reside along the 363 mile stretch of Highway 101 offer beachfront access and a peaceful and fulfilling lifestyle. Coos Bay and North Bend on the southern coast have a mild climate and extensive outdoor recreation venues. The popular central coast region is filled with State Parks, scenic beaches and Lincoln City, rated as one of the top places to retire in the U.S. The northern coastline boasts a series of small towns including historic Astoria and Seaside where long sandy beaches, parks and a waterfront village atmosphere brings year-round enjoyment.

Central Oregon

The sunny climate and abundant outdoor activities make living in Central Oregon a popular choice. The cities of Bend and Redmond have become a haven for families and retirees and are close to ski slopes, hiking trails and rock climbing centers. A high desert terrain characterizes much of the central region and provides breathtaking scenery and dryer weather. Forests, lakes and rivers highlight the regions surrounding the town of Sisters located at the edge of the Cascades. Favorite activities in this region include cycling, hiking and mountain climbing and residents will find cultural events including art shows, music concerts and local craft fairs.

Eastern Oregon

The region on Eastern Oregon, located adjacent to the borders of Washington, Idaho and California, offers a quiet lifestyle with plenty of open space to explore. Residents in this region may find a ranch for sale or choose to live near one of many lakes and rivers interspersed among high desert scenery. Top-rated downhill skiing is close by and an abundance of outdoor recreation including hiking, kayaking and mountain biking are easily accessible. The centrally located city of Hermiston provides close access to the Interstate Highways and offers job opportunities in agriculture and food processing, light industry and consumer services. Property near Baker City includes new homes with acreage, Victorian cottages and spacious single family homes.

Southern Oregon

History and natural beauty abound in Southern Oregon where visitors enjoy sites such as Crater Lake and come to see the annual Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. The historic town of Jacksonville maintains its Western heritage while providing modern amenities and a desirable lifestyle. New residents flock to the Rogue Valley region where they enjoy a mild climate, ample outdoor recreation and year-round cultural activities.

The Willamette Valley

Hillsides covered with vineyards, views of the mountains and scenic waterways create an attractive region in the Northwest section of Oregon. In the city of Eugene, the University of Oregon provides education and employment opportunities and residents in this region enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle. In Corvallis, excellent housing and employment can be found as well as Oregon State University. Oregon’s capital city, Salem, resides on the Willamette River and is less than an hour from the Portland region.

Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge

The border between northern Oregon and southern Washington is a natural paradise that provides a fertile valley for agriculture and offers sports and recreation throughout the year. New boutique wineries continue to appear and the area has become a popular place for retirees, families and young professionals seeking a unique relocation opportunity. The city of Hood River thrives with tourism and outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy windsurfing, white water rafting and water sports on the Columbia River. The backdrop of Mt. Hood highlights the Dalles Area, a popular residential area filled with both history and pleasant new homes.

Visit our real estate website if you are interested in searching for Oregon Real Estate.

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Guide to Saving Money on Homeowner’s Insurance

Shopping around is one of the easiest ways to get the best deal on you homeowner’s insurance, but there are several things you can do to reduce your payments even further:

Make sure your credit is looking good. Mortgage companies will be checking all 3 major credit reporting agencies, so be sure to clean up any blemishes before getting a quote.

Ask about group coverage rates. Businesses, schools and community associations often negotiate better rates for their members. Check to see if you qualify through your alma mater or community organization.

Ask for non-smoker and senior discounts. These are based on insurance companies’ findings that smokers and younger working adults are more likely to have insurance claims.

Set up electronic payments. Additional fees per payment are now common with most insurance companies, but are typically waived if you elect to have your premium automatically deducted from a debit or credit account.

Look into Replacement-cost coverage. Initially this is a more expensive coverage option, but one that pays you the replacement amount instead of the actual value of an item in the event of a loss.

Skip land insurance. Consider omitting the value of the land your home sits on when shopping for quotes since the land around your house isn’t at as much risk of damage from theft, fire, windstorms, etc.

Improve home security. Insurers often give steep discounts for installing smoke alarms, CO2 detectors, deadbolt locks and burglar alarms.

Buy a newer home. Modern plumbing and electrical systems are likely to be in better condition and less prone to breakdown than those found in older, non-renovated homes.

Opt for a higher deductible. A higher deductible means the insurance company pays out less in the event of a claim, but can mean significant long-term savings for the homeowner.

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Guide to Online Mortgage Calculators

Although web-based interest calculators can’t tell you what size mortgage you can afford, they will help you determine how much your monthly payments will be after you’ve closed on a new home.

The first step is to determine the principal amount of the loan. This is the amount you will have borrowed from the bank and does not include your down payment, and the amount you will be paying interest on for the life of the loan. Enter your principal amount into the online calculator’s “Principal” or “Mortgage” box.

Next, select the number of years your loan is to be amortized over. A typical mortgage is amortized, or paid off in installments, over a 30 year period but your time frame may be different depending on the terms of your loan agreement. If you aren’t sure, enter 30 years into the calculator to be on the safe side.

The calculator will ask for your interest rate. You can call your bank, your buyer’s agent or search online for the day’s average interest rates. Press “Calculate” or “Submit”, and the calculator will take the information you provided and give you an estimate of your future monthly payments.

While online mortgage interest calculators are wonderful tools for helping you design and stick to a homeowner budget, it’s important to remember that they do not include compulsory fees such as property taxes, utilities, homeowner’s insurance, or incidental expenses like appliance replacements, landscaping and structural repairs.

For more information on Home Loans, visit JMA Properties Home Loan FAQ.

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Guide to Oregon’s Regional Attractions

Whether you’re planning a romantic couple’s getaway, a fun-filled staycation for the whole family or just looking to get better acquainted with your local area, each of Oregon’s unique regions offers a rich variety of cultural and entertainment opportunities. Here are just a few:

The verdant Willamette Valley is famous for its storybook farms, colorful patchwork of cropland, and for its wealth of award-winning wineries surrounded by lush vineyards, many of which offer onsite lodging and activities for kids. Some of the area’s lesser known attractions include the 80-acre Oregon Garden in Silverton which boasts Oregon’s only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home, the children’s Discovery Museum in downtown Salem, McMinnville’s Evergreen Aviation Museum and the Baskett Slough Wildlife Refuge- home to over 2000 acres of trailed forest, upland prairie and wetlands.

The Columbia River Gorge river canyon follows North America’s second largest river and encompasses a National Scenic Area spanning more than 290,000 acres along the river border of Oregon and Washington. Outdoor recreational opportunities are nearly endless in this region, with hiking, biking, sailing and windsurfing being the most popular. Additional attractions include the observatory Vista House at Crown Point and the famed Multnomah Falls and the historic Bonneville Dam.

Southern Oregon was the site of Oregon’s own gold rush in the early 19th century and offers an incredible wealth of outdoor and cultural opportunities. Choose from rafting on the Rogue River, camping at Crater Lake, hiking in the gorgeous Klamath Basin or hunting for sea shells along America’s Wild Rivers Coast before seeking out one of the area’s venerable fresh air festivals such as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland or the Britt Music Festival in Jacksonville. Luxury and mid-priced lodgings abound in Southern Oregon, and include Guest Ranches for the adventurous traveler.

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Guide to Employment Opportunities in Oregon

Although state economists are predicting that Oregon won’t see pre-recession employment levels until 2015, there is some good news on the horizon for a region that continues to feel the effects of the current recession. An early-year Future Hiring Survey conducted by the Employment Department found that one in three private sector employers expect to hire additional workers before the end of 2011.

With mildly positive job growth expected this year, the Oregon economy is poised to see as much as a 2% employment growth by the fourth quarter of 2011. A bounce-back by the professional and business service sectors is expected, as well as growth in the retail and high-tech industries. Just a few of the regions looking forward to expanded employment opportunities:

Lebanon- Located near the state capital city of Salem, Lebanon is home to approximately 16,000 residents, manufacturing giant Entek International, and the soon-to-open Western University of Health Sciences. Staffing jobs at the university will be available, as well as at new adjunct businesses such as the associated fitness center, pharmacy, coffee shop and credit union.

Medford- Oregon’s fourth-largest metro area is located less than 20 miles from the Oregon/California border and is home to Harry & David, the venerable but recently troubled gift-baskets distributor. In spite of ongoing legal challenges, the company will be adding 1,400 new call-center jobs starting in May.

Coos Bay- This small coastal community saw a huge increase in job opportunities earlier this year when First Call Resolution announced they would be adding 250 field support positions. Employees will be providing customer service to clients in the health care, travel and wireless industries.

Portland Metro Area- With Intel, the Portland Timbers, Vestas, McMenamins and other industry powerhouses announcing plans to hire hundreds of workers in the coming months, the outlook is brightening for job seekers and those looking to relocate to the metro area.

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