Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

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Allan
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Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by Allan » Sun May 26, 2019 1:22 pm

My wife and I are considering a summer home in Port Townsend in order to beat the heat in Houston. I am self-employed and in the "I'll never retire" camp, this might be a good transition in case I change my mind. Any thoughts on this area?

Allan

RamblinDoc
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by RamblinDoc » Sun May 26, 2019 1:41 pm

Allan wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 1:22 pm
My wife and I are considering a summer home in Port Townsend in order to beat the heat in Houston. I am self-employed and in the "I'll never retire" camp, this might be a good transition in case I change my mind. Any thoughts on this area?

Allan
My spouse and I love that town - considering something similar in the future. Quiet, friendly and picturesque. Great history and outdoor activities. Lots of Mom and pop shops. A ferry ride to Seattle. Short drives to Port Angeles or Bremerton if you need to shop at bigger stores.

Do take note that the hospitals in that area are primary/secondary at best. Any significant issue will be sent to Seattle (via ferry /air ambulance). Something to consider as you age.

hicabob
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by hicabob » Sun May 26, 2019 1:51 pm

Really pretty area but quite remote. They do have issues with noise from the Navy "growlers" practicing on Whidbey (noisiest plane ever made?) sometimes in some locations which bothers some people. The "rain shadow" is interesting and covers most of the town giving a reprieve from the Seattle region's winter rains.


https://www.ptleader.com/stories/navy-g ... gion,60393?

http://www.olympicrainshadow.com/olympi ... owmap.html

suemarkp
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by suemarkp » Sun May 26, 2019 1:54 pm

Have you visited there much? What do you plan to do in those summers?

We live in the Seattle area and have been looking around a places that have a lower tax rate than Everett/Seattle/Tacoma for retirement. We visited Port Townsend and Sequim to assess them.
  • Can you take the rain and cool temps?
  • Port Townsend doesn't seem to have any large stores (e.g. Costco). You need to drive to Sequim for that or Silverdale. Some like that, and some do not.
  • If you want to head to the Seattle area (major airport) or the Cascade mountains, it is a bit of a drive. Ferries don't really save time even though the distance is less, but it is a nice experience.
  • Even going places on the Olympic penninsula seems to take a while (Highway 101 can be slow).
  • Once you've seen all the sights in Port Townsend, I'm not sure what you'll do that is close unless you like to watch ships in the water.
Ultimately, I think we're scratching the Olympic Penninsula off our list as it is just too far away from other family members (although we don't know where they are going to end up). Property costs there are rising there too as other Seattlites get the same idea, so it wouldn't be saving us much money unless we go to dilapidated Aberdeen, some of the small towns, or central/eastern WA.
Mark | Kent, WA

cherijoh
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by cherijoh » Sun May 26, 2019 2:03 pm

suemarkp wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 1:54 pm
Have you visited there much? What do you plan to do in those summers?

We live in the Seattle area and have been looking around a places that have a lower tax rate than Everett/Seattle/Tacoma for retirement. We visited Port Townsend and Sequim to assess them.
  • Can you take the rain and cool temps?
  • Port Townsend doesn't seem to have any large stores (e.g. Costco). You need to drive to Sequim for that or Silverdale. Some like that, and some do not.
  • If you want to head to the Seattle area (major airport) or the Cascade mountains, it is a bit of a drive. Ferries don't really save time even though the distance is less, but it is a nice experience.
  • Even going places on the Olympic penninsula seems to take a while (Highway 101 can be slow).
  • Once you've seen all the sights in Port Townsend, I'm not sure what you'll do that is close unless you like to watch ships in the water.
Ultimately, I think we're scratching the Olympic Penninsula off our list as it is just too far away from other family members (although we don't know where they are going to end up). Property costs there are rising there too as other Seattlites get the same idea, so it wouldn't be saving us much money unless we go to dilapidated Aberdeen, some of the small towns, or central/eastern WA.
I thought Sequim had low rainfall for Pacific Northwest. Isn't it something like 15 inches per year? I think Houston TX is triple that.

Besides cool and rainy might be a nice break for someone from Houston.

runner3081
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by runner3081 » Sun May 26, 2019 2:17 pm

cherijoh wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 2:03 pm
suemarkp wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 1:54 pm
Have you visited there much? What do you plan to do in those summers?

We live in the Seattle area and have been looking around a places that have a lower tax rate than Everett/Seattle/Tacoma for retirement. We visited Port Townsend and Sequim to assess them.
  • Can you take the rain and cool temps?
  • Port Townsend doesn't seem to have any large stores (e.g. Costco). You need to drive to Sequim for that or Silverdale. Some like that, and some do not.
  • If you want to head to the Seattle area (major airport) or the Cascade mountains, it is a bit of a drive. Ferries don't really save time even though the distance is less, but it is a nice experience.
  • Even going places on the Olympic penninsula seems to take a while (Highway 101 can be slow).
  • Once you've seen all the sights in Port Townsend, I'm not sure what you'll do that is close unless you like to watch ships in the water.
Ultimately, I think we're scratching the Olympic Penninsula off our list as it is just too far away from other family members (although we don't know where they are going to end up). Property costs there are rising there too as other Seattlites get the same idea, so it wouldn't be saving us much money unless we go to dilapidated Aberdeen, some of the small towns, or central/eastern WA.
I thought Sequim had low rainfall for Pacific Northwest. Isn't it something like 15 inches per year? I think Houston TX is triple that.
Yes, it is in the rain "shadow".

https://www.beautifulpacificnorthwest.c ... ffect.html

quantAndHold
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by quantAndHold » Sun May 26, 2019 4:49 pm

Port Townsend is a lovely place to visit. To live there, though....it’s a long way from anything. Airports, decent shopping, healthcare, things to do besides kayaking and hiking, are all a long way, usually by ferry.

jebmke
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by jebmke » Sun May 26, 2019 5:03 pm

RamblinDoc wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 1:41 pm
Do take note that the hospitals in that area are primary/secondary at best. Any significant issue will be sent to Seattle (via ferry /air ambulance). Something to consider as you age.
We retired to the Eastern Shore of Maryland. We were quite familiar with the area but underestimated this phenomenon. . As medical practices have consolidated, it has only gotten worse. As an example, we have no critical cardiac care. If you get in trouble they make a guess as to whether you will survive with minimal damage a two-hour ride to Baltimore. If the answer is no, helicopter ride for you. Even that costs an hour. Trauma care is non-existent. I keep plenty of duct tape around and my spouse knows to use it if needed.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

Gnirk
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by Gnirk » Sun May 26, 2019 5:29 pm

I love Port Townsend, and Sequim is lovely, has nice weather, but is a bit remote. Have you considered the Bellingham area? It’s a college town, on the water, skiing nearby at Mt. Baker, there is some air service from Bellingham. You can visit British Columbia, Vancouver Island or the city of Vancouver. Just a thought.
I know a beautiful place where I would love to live, but I’m not going to share it because it’s becoming much too popular! It’s a little less than a 2 hour drive from where we currently live.😉

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AerialWombat
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by AerialWombat » Sun May 26, 2019 5:34 pm

Allan wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 1:22 pm
My wife and I are considering a summer home in Port Townsend in order to beat the heat in Houston. I am self-employed and in the "I'll never retire" camp, this might be a good transition in case I change my mind. Any thoughts on this area?
Port Townsend is a perfect little slice of heaven. I lived in the area for several years, until a year ago. Cost of living is nowhere like Seattle, yet Seattle is easily accessible by ferry. The weather is absolutely perfect, year-round ( I love rain). There is plenty to do in Port Townsend, Port Ludlow, Sequim, Bainbridge Island.

I would highly encourage this behavior.
“Life doesn’t come with a warranty.” -Michael LeBoeuf

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MP123
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by MP123 » Sun May 26, 2019 6:46 pm

Port Townsend is a fun little town to visit with a nice touristy downtown. It's reminds me a bit of Friday Harbor.

If you're into outdoorsy stuff or boating it would be a great place for you. As mentioned above though it's a long way from anything really urban if you want or need that.

Don't underestimate the weather. Yes it's a little drier than other spots around Puget sound but still a lot of dark gray clouds and short days in the winter. A big change from Houston for sure.

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tyrion
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by tyrion » Sun May 26, 2019 8:16 pm

My parents live in Port Townsend. When I visit them and go out to any sort of event - concert on the dock for example - I'm the youngest person there. I'm 47. Everyone else is over 60 unless you count the handful of grandchildren who are under 10.

It's a nice place. Nice pace of life. As someone mentioned, no big box stores. Costco is an hour south. Nice restaurants. Summer is fun - lots of events. If you like outdoor stuff it's nice. Hiking, kayaking, sailing, biking, etc. Lots of aging hippies.

Try before you move there. It's not for everyone. Weather beats Seattle, but it lacks all the stuff to do in Seattle and it's further from SeaTac so harder to get to and from.

bighatnohorse
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by bighatnohorse » Sun May 26, 2019 9:48 pm

As a summer home, I think it would be great.
But it depends on what you like to do. Shopping, not such a great place. Kayaking, boating, fishing, enjoying outdoors - it's pretty sweet.
There are other resource there, but they are a bit hidden and you'd have to seek them out.
It'd be worth renting for a summer and checking out the place, things to do and nearby stuff.
I think you'd be back to buy property.

LISD
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by LISD » Sun May 26, 2019 9:57 pm

If a summer house, rain shouldn't be too much of an issue. Only about 1" of rain per month in the summer - or about 5 rain days out of 30 (in the winter, 15 days out of 30).

https://weatherspark.com/y/979/Average- ... Year-Round

Rent an Airbnb there for a month this summer and see what you think (or somewhere close-by).

Have you thought about how you would maintain the house during the majority of the year that you aren't there? Also consider this - it is very likely that a vacant house will be broken into - no matter where it is.

FYI - I thought I wanted to retire to HI. Then we spent a month there (just got back) - now I've changed my mind.

Try it out before you commit.

CommitmentDevice
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by CommitmentDevice » Sun May 26, 2019 10:03 pm

+1 for being a fine place to visit or live
+1 for renting for a summer before you buy
Curious why people buy summer homes instead of renting... much less hassle/upkeep, let alone freeing up capital.

desiderium
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by desiderium » Sun May 26, 2019 10:49 pm

This is a great idea. If you have been there and are charmed then you won't regret it. There are lots of things to do. Culturally rich for a tiny town, especially music, with several important music festivals every summer. Also lots of writers, poets, local theater, a film festival. There is the water; it is a center for wooden boat building and has some of the few boatyards that specialize in wooden boat repair. The mountains and forests are close by for hiking. As others have said, if you cant live without being close to costco, this probably isn't the place for you. Seattle is close enough, and Victoria is an easy ferry ride. There are whale watching boats that you can ride to get directly to the San Juan islands in the summer. Summer here is temperate, an ideal escape from Houston

suemarkp
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by suemarkp » Sun May 26, 2019 11:00 pm

cherijoh wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 2:03 pm
I thought Sequim had low rainfall for Pacific Northwest. Isn't it something like 15 inches per year? I think Houston TX is triple that.
Besides cool and rainy might be a nice break for someone from Houston.
If you're not from the Seattle area, rain here is different than in the midwest and perhaps texas. Where I grew up in Ohio, it would rain buckets of huge raindrops for 30 minutes and be done. Get your 1" of rain over and done with. In the PNW, rain is smaller and can be like a heavy mist. It takes hours of mist to fill the rain gauge so inches of rain can be misleading...

Really, the problem here is the grey. It looks like it going to rain, but may not. The 3 day weather forecasts are usually pretty good so you can usually plan accordingly. I was in Sequin last may. The day we got there it was quite windy with very wet mist. Later in the day it was just windy. The next two days were nice, but it was greying up again when we left. I normally don't wear a coat in Seattle, but I was cold that first day outside with the cold wet wind.

Yes, this area will be much cooler to someone coming from Houston, but I'm afraid they may be too cold. Temps above 70F to 75F are uncommon, and you're right on the cold ocean water. Humidity is also low (in general, humidity in the PNW is low -- I can't take Ohio anymore as it just seems too sticky compared to what I'm now used to).
Mark | Kent, WA

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SevenBridgesRoad
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by SevenBridgesRoad » Mon May 27, 2019 12:18 am

We owned a second home just south of PT for 15 years. House right on the Puget Sound. Loved it. Considered retiring there. Sold it only because we had the opportunity to move to our dream small town also in the Pacific NW, where we are now happily retired.

My wife and I both grew up in Texas and lived there even while we dreamed of relocating eventually to the Pacific Northwest. We stayed in our second place frequently and loved the total change to the maritime environment of the Olympic Peninsula. We took up boating in the San Juans and frequent trips to Victoria. Yes, polar fleece becomes your second skin, but that's better than the climate in Houston any day in our opinion. A summer escape from Houston? Try it. You will love it.
Retired 2018 age 61 | "Not using an alarm is one of the great glories of my life." Robert Greene

reisner
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by reisner » Mon May 27, 2019 8:56 am

I lived in Port Townsend for three and a half years, from 2005 to 2009--actually in Cape George, a "gated" (the gate was never closed) a couple of miles outside PT. It is a very attractive town; restaurants, bookstores and galleries, a wooden boat festival, a film festival, a major poetry publisher, Copper Canyon Press, and a general ambience of both culture and the outdoors. Certain drawbacks sent my wife and me packing. It is at least two hours from good medical care; supposedly the local hospital has recently improved, but still. You have to go to Seattle and either do nothing but your errand and hurry home to beat the rush hour, or else stay to have a little fun and get home at eleven. Staying overnight in Seattle is problematic; there are not enough hotel rooms, and thanks to the cruise industry, they are hard to come by and pricey.

Sometimes you are completely cut off; in high winds or low tides the ferries might not run; waves can close the floating bridge so you can't drive; the roads can be blocked by fallen trees; winds can ground the life flight copter. It is a very windy place; once my wife was blown off her feet.

In fair weather it is beautiful place, though a few days of summer sun can cause toxic algae to grow in the ponds. In foul weather . . . We enjoy storms and rain and snow, but the winds could reach seventy miles an hour. For the most part the rain is a gentle ooze, accompanied by the crows, who caw in a more mournful accent than they do in California. One fall we didn''t see the sun at all for eighty-eight days. In our neighborhood the homes were oriented west to take advantage of the spectacular views of Discovery Bay, Protection Island Bird Sanctuary, the Dungeness Spit lighthouse, and the Olympic Mountains. That meant little light came the windows and french doors during winter until late in the day.

Allergies on the Olympic Peninsula are over the top; they brought back quiescent neurological problems in us both and were the major reason we left.

The politics are very liberal except at the gun range. That's good with me, but I felt expected to wear my heart on my sleeve, which is not good. We bought a custom-built house on a professionally landscaped 12,000 foot lot, with a thousand-gallon fish pond, for 490K. We sold three and a half years later, after a few improvements, for 550K. Shortly thereafter the house dropped in Value to 350K, and no properties were selling in our community for a couple of years. Folks like us who felt they had made a mistake were stuck.

duckcalldan
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by duckcalldan » Mon May 27, 2019 1:57 pm

Port Townsend is a lovely town. Like many have mentioned, it’s quite isolated and you’ll have to drive to Sequim, Silverdale or across the ferry to Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island for your amenities.

Port T is very much a tourist-oriented town. Are you OK with that? The downtown area is very nice but it centers around the weekend and summer crowd to support those businesses. That doesn’t appeal to me personally as a resident of a town like that.

Have you considered Poulsbo? Beautiful views of the Olympics, close to the Bainbridge ferry, a smaller and faux-Norwegian downtown but a beautiful setting and much closer to Silverdale. Plus nice shopping in town.

We’re moving to Tacoma. We like a larger city but without the costs of Seattle. Although it’s getting more expensive. But still affordable for us.

quantAndHold
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by quantAndHold » Mon May 27, 2019 2:07 pm

If you’re coming from Houston and considering moving to PT year round, you might consider renting for a month first, IN THE WINTER. Summer is lovely, and I would be quite happy to have a summer home in that area, but it was winter that drove us entirely out of the PNW. It’s hard to describe how soul crushing all that drizzle was for us.

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CardinalRule
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by CardinalRule » Mon May 27, 2019 2:13 pm

It might be good to stay far away from that paper mill. :(

mariezzz
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by mariezzz » Mon May 27, 2019 2:27 pm

I'd consider closer to Vancouver, WA - which puts you close to the Portland Airport - go across the Columbia on 205 and you're close to PDX, so you can miss most Portland traffic. Near Vancouver, WA puts you within decent driving distance of lots of places: Seattle area (2.5 hours if you avoid Seattle - Tacoma - Olympia traffic from 5 -10 am and 2-7:30 pm M-F), Port Townsend, Olympic Peninsula, mountains: Mount St. Helens, Bend, Oregon Coast, etc.

suemarkp
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by suemarkp » Mon May 27, 2019 3:24 pm

Another plus of vancouver wa is that wa has no income tax and Oregon has no sales tax. You are on the border so it is easy to choose where to buy things. The Columbia river is a big river but it isn't the ocean...
Mark | Kent, WA

bubbadog
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by bubbadog » Mon May 27, 2019 4:48 pm

jebmke wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 5:03 pm
RamblinDoc wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 1:41 pm
Do take note that the hospitals in that area are primary/secondary at best. Any significant issue will be sent to Seattle (via ferry /air ambulance). Something to consider as you age.
We retired to the Eastern Shore of Maryland. We were quite familiar with the area but underestimated this phenomenon. . As medical practices have consolidated, it has only gotten worse. As an example, we have no critical cardiac care. If you get in trouble they make a guess as to whether you will survive with minimal damage a two-hour ride to Baltimore. If the answer is no, helicopter ride for you. Even that costs an hour. Trauma care is non-existent. I keep plenty of duct tape around and my spouse knows to use it if needed.
Duct tape as a substitute for trauma care?

RetiredAL
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by RetiredAL » Mon May 27, 2019 5:14 pm

bubbadog wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 4:48 pm


Duct tape as a substitute for trauma care?
Not quite Trauma, but........ Rural Montana wedding: While dancing late evening, there was a fall and a broken arm. A flower box from the garbage + duct tape from someone's tool box for immobilization for the 75 minute car ride to nearest ER.
Last edited by RetiredAL on Mon May 27, 2019 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

whodatheads
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by whodatheads » Mon May 27, 2019 5:51 pm

Gnirk wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 5:29 pm
I love Port Townsend, and Sequim is lovely, has nice weather, but is a bit remote. Have you considered the Bellingham area? It’s a college town, on the water, skiing nearby at Mt. Baker, there is some air service from Bellingham. You can visit British Columbia, Vancouver Island or the city of Vancouver. Just a thought.
I know a beautiful place where I would love to live, but I’m not going to share it because it’s becoming much too popular! It’s a little less than a 2 hour drive from where we currently live.😉
Anacortes?

Topic Author
Allan
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by Allan » Mon May 27, 2019 7:24 pm

Thanks for all the responses. We would only live in Port Townsend in the summer to escape the Texas heat. I know it is a small town, and no Costco! The more we research it the more we like it, any additional comments or opinions would be appreciated.

Allan

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Watty
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by Watty » Mon May 27, 2019 8:15 pm

I am not familiar with Port Townsend but one thing to watch out for in a small town is that internet and cell phone service may not be up to the standards that you are used to. With being self employed that could be real important to you.

What is theoretically available may be much different in practice.

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MP123
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by MP123 » Mon May 27, 2019 8:37 pm

More details about what you're looking for, likes/dislikes, and so on would get you more focused responses. What attracts you to Port Townsend?

I can throw in Blaine/Semiahmoo, Anacortes, Friday Harbor, La Connor, and Sequim as being somewhat similar small towns in the area that might also be worthy of consideration.

If you really just want a summer getaway renting would make the most sense, at least at first.

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SevenBridgesRoad
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by SevenBridgesRoad » Thu May 30, 2019 12:24 am

Allan wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 7:24 pm
Thanks for all the responses. We would only live in Port Townsend in the summer to escape the Texas heat. I know it is a small town, and no Costco! The more we research it the more we like it, any additional comments or opinions would be appreciated.

Allan
No sweat. Literally. (Check the dew point comparisons.)

Costco is not that far away in Sequim. Excellent tertiary medical care in Bremerton... and if really needed, world class care in Seattle, not that far away.

Can't beat the Summer weather (or the farmer's market) in PT. Great escape from the Houston heat and humidity. The incredible change in your total paradigm will be worth it: much much better summer weather, jump on ferries to incredible nearby locations, relaxed long cool summer evenings outside with no bugs. The comments about internet services are completely silly. You'll have world-class internet in PT. Port Townsend and the OP are the opposite of Houston, TX...which is what you're after.
Retired 2018 age 61 | "Not using an alarm is one of the great glories of my life." Robert Greene

white_water
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by white_water » Thu May 30, 2019 1:16 am

Port T. is a charming port town, more sail oriented than commercial and or power. Charming older Victorian homes, restaurants, specialty shops attract many day trippers. The Wooden Boat Festival is popular and growing as is the no-motor, sail, pedal, paddle, or rowing Race To Alaska. Hiking, salmon and halibut fishing, sailing, kayaking, crabbing are at hand.

Here's a few other things to think about
There is a Costco and Wal-Mart about 30 miles west on the far side of Sequim. Usually an easy 40-45 minute drive.
Paper mill odor can be an issue on the wrong wind, esp if someone is sensitive or asthmatic.
Lack of medical care is an issue for many older people, getting worse with population growth.
Highways are substandard for the growing population, esp during summer tourist season. An accident may close two lane Hwy 101 for hours.
It's not uncommon for a ferry to Seattle ( Edmonds- Kingston) to miss a sailing due to mechanical problems, then lines back up. 1-2 hour delay is common on summer Friday, and Sunday afternoons.
The ferry to Whidbey Is. will cancel departures on a very low tide.
The Hood Canal bridge opening can cause 20-30 minute delays en route to Seattle, Bremerton, Tacoma Narrows Bridge or Sea-Tac Airport.
Some local lakes close in summer due to toxic blue-green algae. A local dog died last week after a few moments exposure.
Wind damage is not unusual, tho less likely in summer.
The liberal recreational MJ culture may not be to some peoples liking.

iamlucky13
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Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by iamlucky13 » Thu May 30, 2019 3:13 am

I'll probably come across as a bit of a grinch, but while the Pacific NW has gained a very positive national reputation lately based mainly on its rapid growth in the tech industry and the resulting large numbers of young, well off residents, I strongly do not think the area is for everyone. I recommend a couple extended trips to the area before making any long term decisions.

In my opinion, there are 3 reasons to live in the Pacific NW:

1.) You have a job here not easily available in other parts of the country.

2.) You're one of the few people like myself who actually likes the climate (I grew up here, and my ancestry traces to several of the rainier parts of Europe, so I'm probably genetically predisposed towards it). In the Olympic rain shadow, the amount of rain is reduced, but it's the same air masses as outside the rain shadow, so the amount of sun is not significantly increased (solar insolation map, and the temperature is actually lower than in the Seattle area. Also, the rain shadowed area is relatively small and bordered by some of the rainiest areas of the country (Precipitation Map).

For much of Western Washington, the number of inches of rain is misleading, because most of it comes in slow, very drawn out drizzle. I know numerous people who have moved away to escape the grey (including some who have abandoned #1 above), and most of the rest complain frequently about it.

3.) You want away from the crowding in other parts of the country. Except this doesn't really apply anymore. Seattle itself has been getting more crowded and the surrounding area sprawled radically over the last couple of decades, and geographic constraints make it more difficult to accommodate the growth that has occurred than in other regions. No joke, I have spent 5 hours getting from the north end of the metro area to the south end before, solely due to Friday afternoon traffic (no accidents, no construction closures). And local leaders have actually publicly advocated plans to make it worse as a means of influencing travel behavior.

While the Port Townsend area is rural, some of this still applies, including the Seattle metro area's dominance of state-level policies that affects prospects for improvement in transportation infrastructure. The weekend traffic volume can be quite high relative to the capacity of the local roads, and when you do need to go to Seattle to get to the airport or for other reasons, you will have to deal with some of the worst stretches of the area's highways. Overall, community-wise, the rural Olympic Peninsula will be a radical transition from a place like Houston, but you will probably be more impacted by typical big city issues like traffic than you'd expect.

By the way, a non-location-specific add-on to a couple prior comments about internet: It is true that inside even most small towns in Washington, good internet access is available, but that frequently ends very shortly outside of town. I'm not even on the peninsula, but on the edge of one of Seattle's commuter suburbs, and my only option is an unreliable DSL connection, or very expensive, high latency satellite or fixed wireless service. If your business requires good internet access, you need to find out what is available at a specific address before moving. The online FCC broadband map will not help you. It is just a means of collecting the claims of internet service providers in one place for more efficient dissemination of false information.

SGM
Posts: 3050
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:46 am

Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

Post by SGM » Thu May 30, 2019 5:31 am

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Port Townsend on an extended business trip to Seattle. We lived in Houston for several years and getting away from the summer heat was always a treat.

For what its worth: A chemist friend from Houston was ecstatic when he transferred to Anacortes. An artist and university professor with the nickname Tex happily spent her summers camped out on a small island within a short commute to Port Townsend.

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