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March 14, 2007

decisions, decisions...

I got notice in the mail today that the landlord wants to move back into the house where I live, and that I'll need to move out by June 30. I live in the basement unit, and have a front and backyard, which has been nice to garden in. My neighborhood is generally quiet and nice. I get along with the upstairs roomates well, and have grown to like my 'hood and my spider roomates, but such is the fate of a renter.

I'm not ready to buy a home, either mentally or financially, and I don't think the current prices are worth the hype. People are still getting mugged and killed in the 20001 zip code. I'd still rather live in a rental unit in a house, but I know those prices have gone up too. I don't like condos or apartments, and would rather not have a roomate. I need my Jimbo Time.

So I need to mentally prepare for a move, and start considering my options. I'm about halfway through grad school, and free education as part of my work benefits ain't bad, and I think an MS in Public Affairs Management would help me a lot down the road. I get a decent salary but it's not high enough to both live in DC and allow for savings even without a car. I've been applying for many jobs in DC and Portland, Oregon, but no bites yet even though I'm very qualified for the ones I've applied to. I currently have the luxury of being selective.

It seems like applying to jobs in Portland from afar isn't working. I think they see my DC zip code and throw it in the trash. Plus focused job searches in environmental work doing communications are very competitive out there. Portland is like DC, but for the environmental set, in that it attacts a lot of highly qualified people. I think moving there would improve my chances for hiring consideration, but it would be a move without a job, which would be expensive.

So there are many big choices to think about: live in DC, on the Green Line, near work or where my friends live? Move to Portland or move within DC? Roomate or not? Shoot for a higher-paying job at the loss of free tuition benefits, or stay where I am and finish my degree as I work? There is time to think right now, which is good.

Posted by jimbo at March 14, 2007 4:21 PM


Well Jimbo, if you do decide to move to Oregon, you might end up having a date with this guy: http://fastcupid.com/p/member.cgi?m=3054499_99976&dcb=fastcupid.com&mid=3451384_36059

Posted by: Chris at March 14, 2007 7:35 PM

Hey Jimbo...I am board pres. in my building, and I know a few people are looking for tenants for their units. I live in Columbia Heights on Newton St. It is right next to the metro. Let me know if you are interested.

Posted by: Weatherwoof at March 14, 2007 8:54 PM

I say get the degree out of the way of you believe the degree will provide you with the skills (or anything your profession requires) needed to get a job you love. Otherwise if it is a bunch of useless letters behind your name, go run after the job you love, now, like it was the love of your life.

Posted by: Mari at March 14, 2007 9:33 PM

I might have a place for you on 1st St... lemme know if you are interested... no metro too close by tho...

Posted by: TOS at March 14, 2007 9:56 PM

Jimbo, you can't leave me. I have a spare room you could use. We could blog about living together.

Or not.

And Mr. Barometer, thanks for posting the location of your whereabouts. I'm on my way over. Get ready.

Posted by: durban bud at March 14, 2007 10:03 PM

Hi Jim,
It is Patrick Laraby, we have met several times and you have been over to my place in Columbia Heights (on 1 occasion). I have a basement unit that is in need of fixing up. You MIGHT consider fixing it up and moving here for a deal on rent. Just a thought.

You met me with a beard and then later out-and-about without.

Posted by: Patrick at March 14, 2007 10:49 PM

Ugh. That happened to me some years ago, when I was living in my all-time favorite apartment in Takoma Park. I ended up moving into a tiny granny flat a few blocks away while I mulled what was in store for me. Lots happened. Change can be good. Best of luck with your decision making. We're all pulling for you.

Posted by: sandy at March 15, 2007 12:16 AM

Jimbo - Portland appears to have a full quota of interesting people. DC needs you.

Posted by: Michele at March 15, 2007 8:37 AM

Whatever you choose, good luck. I've been considering moving for some time now. DC's a nice city and all, but it's never quite felt like home. When a friend of mine made me a job offer out in Seattle, I leapt at it. Pity I just had to buy that condo two years ago, but que sera, sera.

And definitely hold off on buying. The market's having a temporary uptick right now, but I have a gut feeling we haven't seen the worst (or best, for those people still renting) of the property bust quite yet.

Posted by: Dan at March 15, 2007 10:18 AM

Get the degree - absolutely.

Do you know anyone in Portland? If so, use their address on your resume...that's how I snuck my way from Cleveland to San Diego.

Posted by: johnny at March 15, 2007 12:31 PM


A very good friend and coworker @ Lambda Legal just handed in his notice and is moving back to Portland. Let me know if you would like to get in touch with him. Since he is heading that way he may be able to help you.

Posted by: Gary at March 15, 2007 1:46 PM

We actually had decided that we were moving without jobs after more than a year of sending resumes from DC. Most companies are afraid that you want them to pay for the moving expenses. I explained to a couple companies that it wasn't important to me as we were going to move to Portland eventually. We had already started making deliveries to Goodwill in DC and preparing friends and family for that fact.

Finally, I got two phone calls and one job offer. I held off hoping the second job would come through (Systems Admin for a College). It didn't, so I took the first offer. We gave away some furniture to some friends, had the bare minimum loaded with a moving company (including my Pickup truck) and started the drive across country.

After eight months in Portland we started shopping for a house to buy. Three months later found it, bought it, haven't loooked back. Don't miss DC at all.....except for maybe a couple restaurants and Litteri's Italian Market in NE.

So my .02, you need to do what's best for you. Whether it be finishing the degree or moving West. If you choose the latter, please leave that East Coast attitude and bitterness there!


Posted by: TonkaManOR at March 15, 2007 2:04 PM

Oh Jimbo... stay in DC, the west coast is so... well... you know... not the east coast. They're so... well you know.... But if you're a lookin'- I agree, use a Portland friend's address.

Ok ladies... how much can I get for Mr. Barometer's exact address and apt. number... I'll even throw in buzzin' you in the building door!

Posted by: Bob at March 15, 2007 3:10 PM

Doesn't the economy in Portland still suck bigtime? And honestly, when I screen resumes at my job, I put out of towners at the bottom of the pile.

Posted by: sam at March 15, 2007 4:29 PM

Portland OR is nice, but Portland ME is awesome! Come up and give it a try.

Posted by: 207guy at March 15, 2007 10:00 PM

Assume you work for the government. Try checking for fed jobs in Portland. Easier to get if you're already a gov employee and relocation is usually paid.

Posted by: Dennis at March 16, 2007 2:19 AM

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