Q: Can you lay out what some of the benefits are for living in SW Washington and commuting to Portland?

A: Living in SW Washington gives you the best of both worlds. By being a hop, skip, and a jump away from Portland, you have all the conveniences and benefits of a large metropolitan city, but none of the hassle. You get to live right along the Columbia River, which provides a peaceful demographic, yet you still live in a smaller city, with all the benefits that offers. There are major tax benefits for business owners, individual taxpayers, and homeowners. The schools here are top-notch excellent schools. SW Washington offers what Portland does on a smaller scale; it is a boutique version of the city. There are concerts in the park, wine and jazz festivals, and summer events at Esther Short Park. Some people worry about the commute. How long does it take? Is it going to get worse with so many people moving to Vancouver? The commute really isn’t that bad and if you know what routes to take and which times to avoid you can get from one city to the other in well under an hour. They are also currently widening the road and discussing adding a bridge to alleviate traffic. Alternatively you could drive across the bridge and board the MAX train. I drive into Portland constantly and unless you are trying to park downtown it’s never an issue!