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Thread: Need relocation advice from Northwestern Washingtonians!

  1. #1
    Senior Member Selah's Avatar
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    Need relocation advice from Northwestern Washingtonians!

    Shalom from Israel, everyone! Well, after nearly three wonderful years here, the crap has hit the fan in the life of DH and me. In short, after months of going through endless series of tests and examinations and physical therapy, DH was refused to be prescribed medical marijuana by the Israeli Health Ministry, despite being fully supported for it by his family doctor, a pain clinic, and three specialists. As he has Crohn's disease, he is unable to tolerate any kind of NSAID, painkiller, or other anti-inflamatory medication. Appeals to the board are not possible, and the decision is final. In other words, he's SOL. We don't understand why he was refused, but there seems to be no recourse at this point.

    As such, barring some kind of a miracle turnaround (this being Israel, we won't entirely rule that out), we will be shortly moving back to America to Washington state, which has my (aging) family members living there, as well as legal marijuana. He will be able to be pain-free and be able to work full time--neither of which he is able to do now. My heart is breaking, but if we're going to be moving back, we're going to be going where he can get legal treatment and where we can be near my family.

    So here's what I need: advice on choosing an AFFORDABLE community somewhere along the I-5 corridor, between North Seattle and up to, but not including, Bellingham, Washington. (Bellingham rents are already too pricey, it's too far away from Seattle, and doesn't offer enough work--my mother lives there and we've already checked it out thoroughly.) We will be bringing our telecommuting jobs with us from Israel, which will be enough to support us for awhile, but looking down the road, we need to be prepared to find physically-based work (i.e. office jobs) if necessary. So, isolated, rural communities too far (i.e. more than a 20 minute highway drive) from an employment hub (e.g. Everett) are out. Ideally, we'd also like to be in a town that either has, or is not too far from, a synagogue. When we lived in rural Nevada, we had to commute 75 miles one way to go to shul, and that's just not acceptable anymore. We want to be able to be involved in our temple's community life on a regular basis, so they need to be only a town or two away.

    We will probably rent a very temporary, month-to-month place at first, so we have somewhere to land with our two Israeli cats (!), then search for a longer-term rental. We're hoping to be able to rent a 3 bed, 2 bath house, at around $1,000 USD a month or less.

    We are very fixed on being in this geographical area, as I have my stepmother in north Seattle, and my mother and stepfather in Bellingham. They are all getting older and do not feel comfortable driving in Seattle traffic into the center of the city, much less further south. We very much want to be close to them and make it easy for everyone to visit each other--not just us always doing the driving.

    I was born in Seattle, Washington, but have never lived there since I left it at age three. My experience of the area I am talking about is really limited to just driving back and forth between Bellingham and north Seattle, never really stopping except for gas or meals. So my impressions consist of: Airport, Space Needle, U District, Shoreline, Burger King, senior citizen home, Everett, bridge, flat, tulips, casino, outlet mall, nice rest stop where they sometimes give you free coffee, mountains, twisty roads, Bellingham., Canadian border, IKEA." That's it!

    Any advice or suggestions you can give would be very much appreciated. I know we have a LOT of Washingtonians in this group, and even though it breaks my heart to be leaving Israel, there are far worse places we could be ending up than in beautiful Washington!

  2. #2
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    Have you looked at Sedro-Woolley? Its been a few years since I've been there but the last time I was there rents seemed cheaper there and super easy access.
    So sorry that Israel isn't working out for you, hoping that WA is better for your needs.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  3. #3
    Member tetrimbath's Avatar
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    I agree. Sedro-Wolley sounds good; especially, if you want to run up into the mountains to go hiking.

    That stretch of I-5 has built up considerably, for some of the same reasons you state; i.e. too far north or south are too expensive. From Marysville to Mount Vernon has become much more suburban in the last decade. Checking craigslist for jobs usually pulls up a lot of casino stuff around Bow. Mt. Vernon has lots of convenience, and the stores to go with it.

    It may be a bit out of your criteria, but Anacortes has recently revamped itself. It is much more than just a ferry terminal. Downtown is almost trendy. The big-box stores are kept in their own cluster (almost). There's an actual industry in the shipyards.

    Seattle's housing bubble is bubbling. Something like half of the metro-Seattle houses sold at or above list price. I don't know if that's happening up the corridor (it isn't happening here on Whidbey) but it might be a reason to rent.

    Tell us if we're helping!

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    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    http://www.johnlscott.com

    There are lots of towns between Everett and Bellingham--none of which I know anything about. You might take a look at Bothell or Mt. Vernon. But I really think you can't go wrong, whatever you choose. Rent first and take time to explore.

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    Senior Member Selah's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for the replies, everyone! I've never heard of some of these places, and we will definitely investigate them online right away! Thanks again, and any additional suggestions are also welcome, e.g. counties with good social services, or great community colleges, cool art scene. ..

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dhiana's Avatar
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    I second Anacortes.

    Whidbey Island's Oak Harbor may have some options, also, but it is just a bit further past Anacortes over the Deception Pass Bridge. Someone one on another message board I frequent lives on Whidbey Island and is also active within their Jewish community. It's a short beautiful drive from Anacortes to Oak Harbor.

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    Senior Member lhamo's Avatar
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    I think you are going to have a hard time finding a 3br house in that area for under $1000. I just did a quick search on craigslist for Snohomish county 3brs in that price range and there are almost no listings. More listings if you go up to $1500, or drop down to 2br.

    Monroe/Stanwood/Marysville/Arlington seem to have some options. This place looks kind of cute, though it is basically an apartment over a garage, rather than a proper house:

    http://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/apa/4598782156.html

    They might be too small to have a significant Jewish community, though.

    Sorry things have taken this turn but hope your return to the PNW is smooth and successful. Maybe I'll be following in your footsteps before too long -- still waiting to see what happens with my job situation and some other family-related issues that might make it possible for us to leave Beijing.
    "Seek out habits that help you overcome fear or inertia. Destroy those that do the opposite." Seth Godin

  8. #8
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Rentals near Mt. Vernon:
    http://skagit.craigslist.org/apa/

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    Don't have any suggestions, but want to let you know how sorry I am that your husband is suffering and that you will have to leave where you are not living. Wishing you all of the best.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Selah's Avatar
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    Thanks, Tussiemussies, and everyone who responded! The links were very helpful, and we are doing some very deep thinking about the situation. We hope we will be able to stay here in Israel, but if not, we'll just have to look at it as one of those "Man plans, God laughs" situations, and make the best of it. To tell the truth, a working holiday away from the war here, and close to our families, might just be what the doctor ordered!

    By the way, just as an update, yesterday DH's doctor got to the bottom of why he was refused treatment by 'the committee,' which actually turned out to be just ONE doctor at the Ministry of Health. If you can believe this, the doctor "didn't like" the qualifications of the (highly specialized and legally permitted) doctor who gave her final approval for DH's application. DH's own doctor, who did the sleuthing to find out what had happened, was both dumbfounded and extremely angry. The clerk he spoke to on the phone, while DH was in his office for his appointment, was so rude that she refused to give DH's doctor the name of the Ministry of Health doctor who made the decision. "I don't give patients the name of the doctor who makes the decisions," she shouted at him. When DH's doctor explained to her that he was the patient's DOCTOR, not the patient himself, she only grudgingly and rudely finally revealed the man's name.

    When DH's doctor demanded that she give him the phone number of the "decider" doctor, she refused to reveal it. When DH's doctor said, "fine, then you tell Dr. So and So to call me immediately at this number," she hung up on him! He has received no call yet--no surprise.

    Holy crap, the mind boggles. It's Kafka-esque, truly. We worked SO hard and waited SO long to get here, and have put everything we have on the line to be here, and if this stupidity is what finally defeats us, it would be funny if it weren't so tragic. Sorry for the moaning here, but this is really a messed-up situation at the moment.

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