In Seattle you could find a job of your choice but the housing prices are unbelievable and so is the costs of living. South of Seattle in best as most things down there are still close to reasonable, depending on what kind of work you want to do.
The traffic here is almost as bad as the major large cities. When I go into Seattle in the morning, about 15 miles, it can take 45 to 2 hours to get there. One traffic accident and it's a line of stop light in front of you.
The average small home in Seattle is over $400,000 with starter homes, if you can find them in the other counties at about $250,000.
Compared to where I come from, the east coast, the people here are remote and distant. You just won't make friends. And the single women are pretty bad although there are lots of them.
The new licensing laws are very restrictive and expensive and difficult to get. You now must be a mini-electrician to work anywhere in Washington State. And if you decide to open your own business the additional licensing and time and costs are extreme.
I have the same problem you have. I would love to move somewhere where life is reasonable and affordable and the people are friendly but I have yet to find that place. And my business keeps me really busy. And the stuff I work on just can't be found in this amount anywhere else.
Maybe the gold is right in your own back yard. If you do find that place, let me know. I might be interested.
"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the public's own money.
- Alexis de Toqueville, 1835
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Portland paper is full of jobs. As for low crime rate I think there is quite a bit of crime. I subscribe to a local paper and it list crimes in 3 or 4 communities. Housing is really starting to take a hike,but rents are pretty low. Not a bad place to live. Daughter has been there 20 years. Property taxes pretty high