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Eugene, Oregon SperlingViews



"I came for the "Quality of Life""


I came for the "Quality of Life" - 4/1/2009
12 3
Sunny
Eugene, OR

Eugene is a nice place to live and raise kids. It's not a good place to live and make money / advance your career - unless you have a Phd, and there's more Phds per square mile here than you would guess. Coming from California, I miss the sun, which, after a long dark fall, winter and most of spring, appears as a foreign object for a hot summer. Although Eugene appears very liberal, it is not diverse, and not as liberal as it would appear. Yes, there seem to be a lot of left-over hippies and pot here, but also lots of organic farmers, so you can eat well. You can get from one end of town to the other in about 15-20 minutes, so commute time is great. The recreation on nearby rivers & lakes is great, & so is the incredible bike path that runs everywhere. The magnificent Oregon coast is a mere hour away. Ok, there's not much material advancement - unless you're a sports repair surgeon - but there is spiritual advancement, thus "quality of life".

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Rachel
Eugene, OR

Civility, Courtesy Quality - 4/11/2015

Civility and courtesy are everyday occurrences; I once had a woman follow me for blocks in her car before I finally pulled over to see what was going on. I had left my house keys in the car trunk keyhole and she didn't want me to lose them. Countless other examples: people don't honk their horns, drivers and bikers are polite, kids and youth in general are pleasantly responsive to spontaneous conversation and have "good manners," the scenery is beautiful, farm produce is first rate and with easy access, people readily smile. I got the firm impression this is not religious based, but people are nice just because it's the right thing to do. Obviously, I am a transplant!

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sam
Eugene, OR

it's great but... - 6/22/2014

There's so many things we love about Eugene, having moved from LA 19 years ago...affordable housing, less crowds and traffic, the beauty, the gorgeous coast, the bike paths, the growing wine and microbrew business, the fun summer festivals, the progressive community, and I believe the best kept secret weather-wise in the summer (no humidity) in the country. All that said, it's the long winter season - no sun, cold rain - that has finally taken its toll...

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MARIE
Lake Havasu City, AZ

Newbie to Eugene - 7/17/2013

I am looking for suggestions about apartment rentals. I'm moving sight unseen because of an employment opportunity. There's no family or pet to worry about. Is there a downtown/business district where it's possible to live/work without owning a vehicle? I've been reading the comments and so far it's only the panhandlers and bums that are freaking me out. Thanks for the help in advance.

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Ann

I moved to Eugene a year ago - 4/21/2013

I moved to Eugene last summer from the eastern Washington area and I have to say most reviews I've read are spot on about almost everything. The humidity is ungodly if you are not used to it. It's not as bad on the coast or further inland, but here in the valley it is extremely humid year round. The traffic is awful during the school year. Need to get from the south Eugene area to the Gateway mall? Plan on a 20 minute drive to go about 5 miles through downtown or take the freeway (twice as many miles). Don't even get me started on trying to get anywhere between 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. If you've been living in western Washington (which is where I lived prior to moving to the east side of the state), the traffic probably seems light :) There are not any decent lakes in this area, and the ones that are here are freezing cold year round. We had jet skis when we moved here but sold them because there really are no decent fresh water lakes. There are panhandlers on just about every major street corner and I'm guessing, thanks to so many "bleeding hearts" they make as much as some of the professors, doctors and CPA's. Crime though? Not that I'm aware of. And the police don't make their presence felt except for in the downtown areas.

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Ted
Camas, WA

If you're coming to OR - hard pressed to beat Euge - 2/25/2013

I read all the posts... Many good points have been made. But I'll add another perspective. Disclaimer: I was raised in Eugene. My family lives there. I can relocate there and still make a six figure income. I could live anywhere. My employment opportunities are endless - I could go work for Goldman, iBnak, whatever. I attended UO and love my Ducks. I say this only for perspective. But I am choosing to move back to Eugene. Here is my honest review of over 25+ years of living there: Jobs: If you are a doctor, lawyer, CPA, etc. you will be fine. If you are trying to start a career? Forget it. I am moving back after I built a strong résumé but if you want to start something in Eugene you need to be an entrepreneur or have a family business; guaranteed. If you want to be 30 making 6 figures working on a "career" that is not going to happen easily; and is in many cases basically impossible; regardless of education. Housing: It's expensive. Period. If its somewhere you would "want to live" get used to paying serious cash. I have a 220k house in the state of WA and its a LOT more than you can get there. But, if you buy a house built in the 60's or 70's, the yards are huge. Lots of green space, room to expand, etc. if you have vision for a house, or are willing to put in work, you can get something with a ton of positives and make it your own for 250k without trouble; and in a decent to nice area. Schools: They are fine in the nice areas, bad in the bad areas. Stands to reason - this is universally applicable. Go to Sheldon and you will see BMW/Mercedes/Porsche in student parking. Go to north Eugene, and you will see clapped out cars with low income children driving them. It's just the way it is. This spills over into academic/athletic achievement and resources. People are, on average, highly educated there. People who work at Red Lobster as waiters have masters degrees - no joke! And people have a thirst for knowledge; they soak it up and it bleeds into the rest of life. Economy: Eugene does not weather storms well because, despite the "education" people have. Eugene is no doubt anti-business. They want to keep people out as much as possible to not disturb the "utopia" that exists. Ill get into that more later. Religion: Extremely diverse. No one will judge you on that basis. Feel free to bring your opinions and beliefs and people will gladly listen to you. Politics: Local politics are certainly left leaning. However, there is a big "silent majority" there that keeps the really off-the-wall things in check. If you're a conservative, you're not alone. If you're a liberal, you will love it. Crime: Is non-existent. Meth heads are dealt with easily. Someone breaks into my house and I bring out my Glock 10mm, they will run like the wind. These are not "real criminals". Don't act like a victim and you won't be a victim. This is common logic that can be applied anywhere. I have literally never felt truly "unsafe" after living in and visiting other big cities - and I would not be concerned about it. If you have a shred of common sense regarding your property, you're fine. Traffic: Does not exist in Eugene. If you have lived in any metro area, you will literally never complain. Cost of living: Is relatively low. Cheaper than Portland but not by a lot. It's by design. Eugene wants to make it just expensive enough to stop people from wanting to come there, while keeping it cheap enough for the natives to stay there. Climate: It rains. A lot. No worse than portland or anywhere in the state of Washington on the west side of the mountains. It's the PNW, you know it's not so cal when you come here. It's also mild and not too extreme. Humidity is basically non-existent. Summers are perfect;literally. But no one says that for fear other people might figure it out and move there. Transportation: Tons of mass transit. The airport is small but extremely nice. You can connect anywhere out of Eugene and you will literally never stand in a TSA line, wait more than 10 minutes for bags, or sit on a Tarmac or wait in a holding pattern. It's a small version of a major airport and thus it's void of all the bad. Don't expect to see designer shops, but that's not what traveling is for anyway. Want a sandwich or a preflight cocktail? You got it. Hippies: It's Berkley north, and the 60's never died. There are a lot of hippies. I am not a hippy. But, a good friend of mine once said, "you know, we hate the hippies, but in a lot of ways, they are what makes this place great". And he is right. Their lack of urgency and isolationist attitude keeps people out who don't "get it". And if you do, they welcome all with open arms. Finally, the reason I am heading back.... Quality of life and the people: Quality if life is literally unparalleled. You have more outdoor activities than you can think of; rivers, lakes, ocean, mountain, biking, running, and everything else. Golf, tennis, baseball; it's all there. People in Eugene are abnormally happy. They live in a place that economically could use an overhaul but they don't care - I call it the Eugene "life tax". You give a little to get a LOT. If you are over 35 and employed you chose to live there - and it shows in how people behave and think. They are truly happy. People are healthy, and unusually so. Both mentally and physically. People are not pretentious, self-absorbed, negative, or generally bad. It's really strange in some ways because there are places that are far more prosperous and sunny but people there are really happy. It's refreshing. Air quality is fantastic. Arts, theatre, food, beverage is all local and abundant. People really do open doors and "love thy neighbor". I see some posts that are negative and I'm sure that is their experience, but ultimately it's about location and ability to see the surroundings for what they are. You never are really "unsafe" and people are highly educated. In many cases, the people there literally know they are giving up much more money and advancement by living there, but they don't care. This means people are there who want to be there. The city literally stunts growth nearly intentionally; they really want to make sure that those who live there "want" to be there... And it reflects in the diverse and happy people who populate it. It's a special place. I have been all over, seen lots of money and amazing areas and homes, but it doesn't hold a candle to a 1200 square foot bungalow in Eugene and all of the people, activities, and the quality of life that accompanies it.

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Tom
Eugene, OR

Crime - 1/22/2013

High

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Nick
Sacramento, CA

Eugene vs. Portland in terms of overcast skies? - 7/10/2012

Has anyone lived in both cities for several seasons to give a thorough comparison? Weather data alone doesn't seem to tell the story. I'd like to know the difference between Eugene and Portland Oregon in terms of the "gloom" factor, since Eugene gets more total rainfall than Portland, but also seems to have more "sunny" days (partly sunny, mostly likely). Is Eugene's rain more concentrated into fewer total days? How about overcast days with drizzle that lack heavy rain? Thanks for any details.

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Joe
Eugene, OR

Hippie Land, Somewhat Evolved - 12/29/2011

There are enough STRONG pros and cons about Eugene that anyone contemplating moving here should definitely consider: PROS: 1. The people are really, really nice. In fact, it's a bit scary. People open doors for you, wave you ahead in traffic, greet you with a sincere friendliness, etc. It's refreshing to not hear honking horns in traffic! (Really. I've been honked at exactly twice in three years.) 2. The university enriches the cultural life of the city. There's more going on here than in some cities five times the size. 3. Eugene is beautiful and green. It's also clean--and that includes the air. 4. You are within an hour of both a beautiful coastline and some fantastic mountain scenery. The best hiking and camping anywhere! 5. Cost of living is fairly low, though the university puts upward pressure on rental housing prices. Oregon tax structure is fairly progressive, meaning that it's pretty easy to survive on a low income. CONS: 1. The weather is Oregon weather. That means: yes, it rains all the friggin' time. Surprisingly, the summer isn't all that pleasant either--it gets pretty hot and humid. But that's when you should be up in mountains or out at the beach anyway. The shoulder seasons can be absolutely perfect (unless it rains). 2. The town revolves around the university, and especially, the football team. Five tuition hikes in five years, and the football team loses ten of millions a year. The town comes to a complete stop every day there's a home game. So it would be good if you like football, because you'll pay for it one way or another. The thtudent athletes (an oxymoron if there ever was one) get preferential treatment, from special buildings just for them to thtudy and to live in, from carte blanche to be low-grade felons (a few of them overdid it and got heaved off the team last year). 3. A social climate that is openly hostile to business. Not only a confiscatory tax structure at the high end, but also a series of rape-the-rich bills passed in the legislature ensure that businesses stay the hell out, which, with the commensurate high unemployment, seems to be EXACTLY what people want--none of those BEEEEEG EEEEEEVIL corporations sullying our greenscape! All of the above means that what type of person you are and your personal goals can make this place either heaven or hell on earth. If you're a student or a teacher--great. If you just want to escape the rat race--great. If you love the outdoors--great. If you want to make money--forget it. If you like warm, sunny weather--forget it. If you're a political conservative--actually, it might not be that bad. People here are just too damn nice and mellow to get that worked up over anything. "Diversity" and "tolerance" aren't just buzzwords here. I think that stems from the not-too-distant past when this was jumping-up-and-down, marching-in-the-streets, blowing-up-things, radical Berkeley-of-the-North. The present social climate is a reaction to that. Plus, due to the ongoing Second Great Depression, no one can afford to buy drugs, so things are calmer than they have been for quite a while.

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Jay
Leander, TX

A very nice town - 10/7/2011

I went there to visit in June of 2011 and overall I like Eugene a lot because its very green with a lot tall evergreen trees and flowers. Its very clean compare to cities in Tx. Very nice weather not too hot at all and its was in the 70's and a few clouds. Very friendly people there. Many sight seeing not far from Eugene and the ocean is about an hour away. Oregon and Eugene is very pretty place and I am from Texas and Texas is not very pretty at all in most places so Oregon has a more larger area that is so beautiful there that I didn't want to leave Oregon. I will visit Eugene Or again when I have vacation time and just hang out and visit all these beautiful sight seeing near Eugene and is so relaxing there and a nice place to get away from Texas.

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jamie
Wellfleet, MA

Not safe you are nuts - 9/15/2011

Eugene is one of those few places where people are so incredibly nice that if you see someone on the streets and don't say high you might very well hurt their feelings this is a town of 150,000 that might go all year without a single murder there is almost nowhere like that anymore anywhere, your best bet might be under a rock and whatever you do don't ever head anywhere east or south cause you won't make it not safe you are either making this up or just plan nuts no offense but my god dude grow a pair eugene is a rare phenomenom of honest nice people.

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Kevin
Eugene, OR

Hard place to go against the flow - 5/6/2011

Eugene is a great place to live but its decision-making is dominated by well-meaning, liberal-progressive social engineers. They see themselves as tolerant but that doesn't apply much to those who disagree with the "correct" thinkers.

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Vance
Brooklyn, NY

Not Safe - 2/28/2011

The sad and simple fact is, growing up in downtown Eugene is hellacious. I've been robbed, at the point of various weapons, on the street in the neighbourhood I grew up in three times- twice in broad daylight. The police never did anything about it. My house was broken into four times. Police did nothing. I've had rocks and beer cans thrown out of car windows at me for no apparent reason, and been attacked by surly burn-outs and thugs more times than I can count. Schools are sub-par and dangerous. I grew up near (multiple) meth-houses and swarms of homeless. At times I felt terrorized everywhere I went. The U of O is vastly underrated, and I am pleased I stayed around to study there. But life after university is desolate. When I moved to South Brooklyn, New York, I was prepared for the worst, Eugene being the only place I ever lived. I'm surprised everyday that there are no bums here, there is no noticeable crime, no public inebriation, etc. I'm definitely safer in one of the less safe neighbourhoods of New York City than an average neighbourhood in Eugene, Oregon. I realize others who have lived in more remote and affluent parts of Eugene have different experiences, but this is my experience and the experience of those I grew up with.

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marblegirl
Springfield, OR

gauntlet of cigarette smoke - 2/14/2011

It seems like the number of smokers significantly outnumbers the non-smokers. I get frustrated by how many people I pass on the street who are smoking.

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John
Eugene, OR

Eugene - 12/29/2010

Don't move to Eugene. I live here and I don't want to see this city enlarge. I think everyone should consider Portland, it's got a lot going for it!

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J.D.
Eugene, OR

Living in Eugene - 12/11/2010

After traveling through most of the country last summer I have come to realize that Eugene has a lot more to offer than most other cities or towns in the U.S.A. Why? Eugene and its surrounding areas offer an abundance of outdoor activities for adults and children alike. There are outdoor programs that Willamalane and Y.M.C.A. offer for kids and adults from river rafting to arts and crafts. There is something for all ages. We are close to the beach where there is camping, boating, crabbing, fishing, etc. Florence and the Southern Oregon Coast all offer "World class sand dunes!" People from all over the world travel to Oregon to experience the sand dunes. And from Eugene, you are only about an hour away from the dunes. The winter months are usually wet with a lot of rain but you can head to the mountains just an hour and half away and play in the snow. There is skiing, snow shoeing, and tubing for all ages to enjoy. Also, hunting is huge near the Eugene area where there is plenty of game. Traveling from Eugene to Bend is a great adventure in the winter or summer months where there is plenty to do (2 1/2- 3 hours away). Eugene also does not have the incredibly high "Humidity" that most of the other states have to deal with in the summer. When temperatures do rise in Eugene the humidity usually stays moderate. I have experienced the southern states where in Florida, Alabama and many other states have excessive humidity levels. The days and nights can be unpleasant to say the least. Also, Eugene is home to the Oregon Ducks football team. Experiencing a game at Autzen Stadium (Loudest stadium on the country) is a great way to have fun on a Saturday in the Fall months. Just remember to scream loud (OOOOOOOOOOOOOO)!! If you come to Eugene expecting tropical weather, you will be disappointed. But if you come to escape the traffic of LA or high humidity of other states, you will be able to enjoy the outdoors at any time.

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adam
Eugene, OR

Stay Away - 10/20/2010

We've lived in Eugene since 2002 and will be leaving ASAP. There are good things about Eugene: The bike paths, the organic grocers, the mild climate, the proximity to the coast and mountains, and fewer racist individuals than other parts of Oregon. However, the crime, over-heated real estate (still), pollen, unfriendliness, and the habit of the college students to riot far out weigh the benefits. Crime: I've been accosted by bums 3 times. There was a shooting in my front yard. Some one tried to break into my house to rape my wife during the middle of the day. An arsonist set my garage on fire. An arsonist tried to burn down REI. There is often needle and other drug paraphernalia in the parks, and the list goes on and on. Housing: The good neighborhoods are South Hills, College Hill, Cal Young, and Fox Hollow. The okay neighborhoods are Friendly and Amazon. All these neighborhoods have bad areas, and you should never leave your doors unlocked anywhere in Eugene. Stay away from West Eugene, Santa Clara (very high cancer rates!), Train Song (lots of cancer), and most of Springfield. Expect to spend at least $225k for a smallish house in okay shape in one of the good neighborhoods. I take allergy medicine 6 months a year. I've developed asthma, which I'm told is quite common in the Eugene area, and when they start burning the fields in the summer, you better hope you have AC. We've lived in Eugene for 8+ years and I have no friends here. I use to go to community events and other gatherings, I even tried joining a simplicity group. No one has ever offered me there phone number or bothered to call me when I've given them mine. Sure the people in Eugene are accepting, you can run naked through the streets if you'd like, but that doesn't mean they'll talk to you. I have numerous friends in Salem, Oregon where I lived for less than a year and in Portland, Oregon where I've never lived. The U of O speaks for itself. The U of O may not be the best place to get an education but it is a top party school. The joke in my office is the new prison expansion is to house U of O students. If you really want to live in Oregon Ashland, Corvallis, or Portland are better choices.

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John
Eugene, OR

I am making a real effort to leave Eugene - 8/9/2010

I have lived in Eugene since July 06, 4 years now. I agree with everything the other folks have said about living here. But I thought I would add a few other things. The people here have an almost religious fervor with the Ducks. I became a fan of sorts but you are not a real fan unless you have lived here your whole life. The ironic part is the football team has been in constant trouble with the law. These are black athletes recruited from the deep south to play, go to school, and live in Eugene. You really have to understand how Lilly white Eugene is to appreciate the how upside down these fans really are. My 5 top reasons for hating Eugene. 1. The Rain. 2. The Hippies. 3. The Transients Bums. 4. The Grass pollen kills me in the spring. 5. The Hippies. Did I mention the Hippies? What I will miss with Eugene. 1. The bike riding along the river is remarkable. 2. Its an hour drive to the coast and 45 minutes up to the mountains to go shooting. 3. The summer and fall is great for camping, but most camp grounds are full of hippies.

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dean
Springfield, OR

Two Thumbs Down!!! - 6/16/2010

Eugene is not the place to live if your interested in bettering your career or raising children! This city has more trash on the ground then any where I've been and the homeless population is the largest I've seen in any city, they leave needles and condoms along sidewalks and on hiking/biking trails, and yet the city just keeps handing them more and more shelters and food! Also the city's management finds it more important to keep throwing money into unnecessary projects like adding bus lanes when very few even ride,, or renaming highways at a cost of $250,000 and all while the city is over $500 million in dept as of April 2010! If you prefer not working and trash everywhere this is the city for you!!!!!!!!!

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Suzi
Tempe, AZ

A little help from future friends? - 6/15/2010

Hey all. My niece has been decided on UO for her university studies... so, to Eugene we go. I've seen the crime data and understand (living in Tempe, AZ currently) how crime is "pocketed" when living near a university (especially one like ASU where people move in from other states... and not unlike us). However, I would like to see us move to a lower crime neighborhood as it'll be just us and her pup. I'm concerned about the stories of drug addicts attempting to break into residences (oh, I wish I'd copied that site down) while the owners are home and the police unwilling to respond. It's possible that may be a one off story but I'm simply not sure where to start looking. Any suggestions?

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drew
Tempe, AZ

welcome to a private oasis - 6/11/2010

Eugene is a crown jewel of oregon...you may not find a better city or quality of life except portland metro....its not for everyone,it is a university town,university of Oregon being a focal point,it is a wonderful place to raise kids,its safe, have a family, and lead a nice quiet life...you can still go for walks late at night with little concern,...its small,but has all modern ammenities needed for most people, a mixture of students, hippies, regular people, and nature lovers, dogs and biking are welcomed, beautiful river runs thru city, good transportation, farmers market, rains alot, but spring and summers are plenty sunny with gardens in bloom...if you want big trees, nice people, artists, student life, nature, and the niche of everything you have heard, Eugene is for you. Cost of living is low, education is good, the job market is not the best, too many people, too few jobs, like i said , not a huge city, that would be the only drawback.

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