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Why are young couples flocking to Troutdale?

A new list names Troutdale number two on a list of the best Portland suburbs for young couples. OUTLOOK PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Troutdales population grew by 3.3 percent between 2009 and 2013.

Motovo, a real estate company, ranked the top six suburbs based on census data and different livability scores. First place went to Sherwood, then Troutdale, Happy Valley, Hillsboro, Newberg and West Linn.

The ranking itself wasn’t a surprise for Troutdale Mayor Doug Daoust. According to Daoust, Troutdale combines affordability and location.

“We’re on the outer-fringes,” Daoust said. “I think people like to be on the edge of the Columbia Gorge Scenic Area.”

Troutdale, also known as the Gateway to the George, offers parks such as Glenn Otto and Lewis and Clark, trails, bike paths, and the Sandy River soon will be home to a new bike path and bike hub.

What is a surprise for Daoust is the suburbs that Troutdale outranked. Other than Happy Valley, the other top suburbs are all west of the Willamette River. OUTLOOK PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Troutdales small but upscale downtown section reflects the fact the city has the seventh highest median income in Oregon.

According to the census, Troutdale, with more 16,000 residents, has the seventh highest median income in the state of Oregon. Troutdale’s median income is $62,326; the median income for the state of Oregon is $50,229.

“It shows that all of those stigmas that East County gets placed upon it aren’t really true,” said Troutdale City Councilor Eric Anderson. “We are educated. We do make money.”

Anderson moved to Troutdale in June 1996. When he came to Troutdale at age 28, Anderson and his then wife were searching for good schools and safe neighborhoods for their daughter. Nineteen years later, he’s still there.

Anderson credits Troutdale’s growth to the increase in cultural opportunities like the First Friday Art Walk and new restaurants downtown coupled with Troutdale’s safety and small town feel.

“Virtually everywhere I go, whether I’m on city council or not, chances are that I’m going to run into someone I know,” Anderson said. “In our cul-de-sac, our neighbors say hi to each other, we interact, everyone is friendly.”

Larry Morgan is the youngest member of Troutdale’s city council. As a real estate agent, Morgan frequently sees young couples moving to Troutdale. According to census data from 2009 to 2013, Troutdale has a 66 percent home ownership rate, slightly higher than the state’s 62 percent.

“A good home in this market as it relates to things you need like three bedrooms, two baths, a nice big backyard is about $215,000,” Morgan said. “You can’t do that anywhere else where it relates to Portland versus here.”

Morgan moved to Troutdale as a child in 1998. He left to attend college in Illinois, but came back to Troutdale to be closer to family. When it comes time to start one of his own, the 24 year old can’t imagine anywhere else to do it.

“I’ve been other places, traveled around and have no desire to leave,” Morgan said.

There’s no strong evidence that anyone else is leaving. Troutdale’s population grew 3.3 percent from 2009 to 20013, according to census data.

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