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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all!
My name is Julie and I currently live in Texas but I have plans to buy land in Oregon and move into a small cabin, living off-the-grid. I've been doing a lot of research but this is all new to me and I was delighted to find this website and forum! I'd love to hear and exchange ideas and experiences!

I'm looking forward to life's next adventure.:)
 

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Oregon has terrifically high taxes and is a very liberal state. This year they proposed placing GPS devices in everyone's car in order to tax for road use by the mile. Its as far left as one can get without actually being in Kalifornia. It is beautiful with some great people, but there is no industry, and any job over minimum wage is a coveted one.

Having said that chase your dream and do whatever you want. Life is too short to worry about the little stuff. Welcome!
 

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Welcome, Teatime! As a resident of Oregon, I applaud your good taste! ;)

A word about Oregon taxes: Property taxes can be high, very high, if you live in the city limits. If you live rural, then taxes are in fact quite reasonable. I live rural and pay about half of what I paid in property tax in California. There, I lived in a 3 bedroom 2 bath house on a 50' x 100' lot. Here, I live in a 3 bedroom, 3 bath house on 35 acres. So... "high" property taxes are relative, based on what you are accustomed to. You definitely want to check out tax rates for whatever property you're thinking of purchasing, and be aware that any improvement you make to dwellings valued over $10,000 is a basis for the county to reassess the value.

We have no state sales tax.

The tax situation is complex. Oregon's traditional revenue came from Federal timber payments. The state was encouraged to grow trees instead of industry as a matter of national interest -- so they did. But those timber payments abated abruptly, and Oregon was left scrambling to try and make up the huge shortfall -- $253 million dollars annually -- on its own. There is huge resistance, understandably, to creating a sales tax. But the revenue must come from somewhere. That said, similar to California, property taxes are held to annual increases of 3% per year. And because the revenue has not been made up sufficiently, many services, including law enforcement, have suffered a lot. Since you plan to live rural, be aware that you will basically be on your own if troublemakers come a knockin'. Law enforcement is spread very thin here.

Re liberalism: The west side of the state is predictably liberal, near the universities. Education and liberalism are well known to go hand in hand. If you prefer a more conservative bent, I would encourage you you to stick to the areas east of the Cascades, especially the smaller towns. The closer you get to Idaho, the more conservative it gets. Even in the rural areas in the western part of the state, there are lots of conservative folks. That said, my experience in the west is that people are less concerned with all of that and more interested to know how you're amending your soil or what variety of tomato you're planting this year. :) The hipnecks and the ******** coexist quite peacefully. Mostly Oregonians live by a simple creed: Don't be a jerk. And you are very much encouraged to be Exactly Who You Are.

As has been noted, there is stiff competition for jobs. Best to come with an independent source of income (retirement, self-employment, trust fund) or a job already nailed down. Counties are frantically working to entice clean industry and the logging industry is picking up again, but finding work can be extremely challenging for those who are looking. Do check this out quite carefully if you are planning to find a job when you arrive.

There are regulations, particularly about water, with which you'll want to familiarize yourself. Water rights are fiercely protected here. If you can't buy them with the property you intend to purchase, chances are you won't be able to get them. You can always drill a well for residential use, but you won't be able to use water from that well for any commercial purpose. The State of Oregon maintains ownership over most surface water, unless water rights have been specifically granted to the property owner. Taking water from them is a big no-no.

A lot depends on where you plan to settle. We have many Oregonians on this site and they can impart specific, helpful knowledge about the areas you might be considering. Good luck with your plans, and if I can offer you any assistance, please don't hesitate to ask! :)
 

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Hello fellow Texan.

I hope your plans come true. I to have also wanted to move up that way and live off grid. Just so much to think about and research. So many things dont know.

Maybe we could talk sometime so I can learn what you know.

-Wolf
 

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Thank you, all! I am planning on Klamath County near Bonanza/Bly Mountain. Very rural. I won't need a job since I'm retired from teaching and I do freelance writing, which I can do from anywhere, thanks to satellite internet and my extensive previous experience. :)

That's a good area for solar with generator backup. My biggest expense will be water since I'm planning on doing a cistern with water trucked in, at first. I'll likely drill a well later. But since it will just be me and a small cabin, my water needs won't be large.

I am glad to meet a real Oregonian, Raeven! I will have a million questions, I'm sure. My biggest battle will be septic and I am so prepared to take on the DEQ, hahaha. I've found a fantastic solar and wind-powered, self-contained septic system that I will FIGHT to have approved for my cabin if I have to because it's cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and doesn't require water, chemicals or land. It just came on the market for residential use in June, developed here in Texas, but it's been used commercially and by parks services for a while now.

As for taxes, the previous comment scared me a bit so I took a look at the state tax website -- and laughed and laughed. I will have a better deal in Oregon than I do here in Texas. Property taxes are lower and no more 8.25 percent sales tax. YAY! Vehicle registration is lower, too.

Anyhoo, I am excited. The big thing will be selling my home in Texas so I can do this. I am preparing now so I can put it on the market in the spring.

Big Wolf, I hope you can make it happen! It's a LOT of planning and research. I've been working at this and reading everything I can find! I absolutely need to get out of the horrible Texas heat for health reasons. It's literally killing me.
Julie
 

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Julie, I think you'll be just fine. :)

I don't know how the county officials are in Klamath (I'll bet we have some Oregonians here who do), but in Lane County where I am at, I have found them to be nothing but helpful. As a rule, Oregon is pretty forward-thinking and encouraging of environmentally friendly technology. I'll be surprised if you run into any significant resistance to your proposed septic system.

I do know our property taxes seem shocking to some, but they were very reasonable to me, also. Like I said, all about perspective! :) I'm glad you checked it out. The sales tax thing is a welcome change for those of us who came from other states where they were high. And yes, the vehicle registration... every car I ever bought in California, I mentally added an extra $2-3,000 to the price for tax, license and vehicle registration. First vehicle I bought in Oregon was exactly the agreed-upon price -- plus $35. That was the registration fee. My husband and I couldn't stop giggling as we finished up the paperwork.

Like anywhere, Oregonians pride themselves on All Things Oregon. I came from California most recently, but it was by no means the only state in which I lived prior to moving here. I love California and will never say a bad word against it. But neither could I be induced to return there. Oregon isn't California, and I'm glad of that. If you can refrain from making blanket statements like, "Back in Texas, we.... (fill in the blank)," you will find most Oregonians very welcoming, friendly and glad to lend a hand.

The beauty here will never stop knocking you over, as I'm sure you already know. I've lived here nearly 10 years, and I still can't get over it!

Best wishes for a quick house sale next spring and smooth travels to the great Pacific Northwest! :)

BigWolf, same to you! And if you have questions, I'm happy to try and answer them if you find that useful.
 

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I saw that, Handymama. I responded to one of his posts.

Thanks, hawgsquatch. (Did I spell that correctly?) I plead the Fifth on politics. :) My only goal is to live a simple, beautiful, kind life and to treat people well. I think if you approach things that way, it will be well.
 

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I saw that, Handymama. I responded to one of his posts.

Thanks, hawgsquatch. (Did I spell that correctly?) I plead the Fifth on politics. :) My only goal is to live a simple, beautiful, kind life and to treat people well. I think if you approach things that way, it will be well.
If you treat people like that, I KNOW you will prosper. There are a huge amount of native American relics out that way. I hunt Mule deer there every 5 years or so and find arrowheads and broken spear points just laying around after a rain. My favorite find was a genuine 45-70 period correct gov't issue cartridge case.
 
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