Today I went with my brother and his realtor to look at houses in Southeast Portland. We looked all over at places that were in the mid-200's. You get a lot more for your money out here than what you could get in Southern California of course, but I didn't see anything I would have been willing to live in for $250K. The Eastmoreland and Sellwood areas were the nicest as they were a little more immersed in the forrest and were not too far from streets with antique shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants. Sellwood in particular seemed to have a close knit neighborhood feel and also active residents that have banded together to prevent Walmart from opening a store in the area.
I think that if I was going to move here, I would be happier in the Hawthorne District. The homes there are mostly craftsman style and are within walking distance from Hawthorne Blvd and Belmont Street which have many shops, cafes, bars, etc. From Hawthorne, you can easily get to downtown Portland via a bike or the TriMet 14 bus. Tomorrow we're going to meet with the realtor again to visit homes in this area costing between $350 and $45oK.
Other things we did today: Walked across the Willamette River on the Burnside Bridge to the Saturday Market. Happy Hour at the Portland City Grill which had cheap food and great views.