What to Know Before Moving to Portland, Oregon

Summary: There are reasons why people are moving to Oregon! A booming economy, job opportunities, good health system, and more. Considering moving to Portland, Oregon? Figure out everything you need to know about living in Portland in our comprehensive guide.
What to Know Before Moving to Portland, Oregon

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So, you’re thinking about moving to Portland, Oregon (which is different than Portland, Maine) and you want to be sure that you’re making the right choice. This unique city in the Northwestern United States has become home to many people throughout the country, and they’ve found that it’s quite a great place to settle down.

While it can take some time to settle down and cast your roots, you want to be sure that you know a little bit before you start calculating costs with a moving cost estimator. In this article, we’re going to explore some of the most important things that you want to keep in mind before you decide to move to Oregon.

You Don’t Pay Sales Tax or Pump Your Own Gas

Oregon has done a lot of things to try and help make the cost of living a little lower than you may find in other states. For example, you don’t have to pay any sort of sales tax on any item that you’re deciding to purchase. While it may not seem like it would make too much of a difference, you may end up saving $100- $1000 every year, depending on what sorts of things that you’re buying. Also, you’ll never pump your own gas – like New Jersey, an attendant is always going to pump your gas for you.

Food Trucks are More Popular Here than Any Other City

Food is a big deal to people in Oregon, and it has often been cited as one of the best places for foodies. Most people think of craft beer and coffee shops when they’re talking about Portland – but there’s even more! The longer you live in Portland, the more you’ll realize that there are food trucks or food carts at pretty much every corner and everywhere that you turn.

And these food trucks and food carts have all sorts of food. From foods that you probably thought you’d only be able to enjoy at a state fair, to ethnic delights and decadent desserts, you’re sure to find food trucks that you enjoy visiting and that are going to be a lot of fun to go to and eat at. You’re sure to find some of your favorites – you just need to use social media and other online means to know where they are at a particular time!

Health, Sports, and Technology Are the Center of Portland’s Job Growth

Portland is home to a number of different technology, health, and sports companies, which means that there are tons of high-end job opportunities that you’re going to be able to find throughout the entire state. Technology employers include Oracle, Intel (which is the area’s largest employer), and Google.  Other companies that have a foothold in Portland include Airbnb, Mozilla, Salesforce, and eBay.

Sports are also a big deal in Oregon, and the most prominent athletic company found there is Nike. With factories and administrative headquarters found in the city, they often have a lot of jobs available for people who may want to work for them. There are also a number of health-based manufacturing companies found throughout the city, including Riverpoint Medical, PDX Pharmaceuticals, and more.

The Traffic Can Be Rough at Different Times of Day

The Portland area is not as bad with traffic as other cities on the West Coast, but it can still get pretty bad during rush hour. So bad, in fact, that their rush hour is considered 10th worst in the entire country. Thankfully, there are a lot of different options available for those who may be looking to get around the city, including a robust public transportation system and plenty of walking and biking trails.

During other times of the day, you will actually find that traffic isn’t too bad to deal with. While it’s still busy (as you would expect with any city), there are definitely times where it slows down. If you can schedule the times that you are headed out to places to fall congruent with the times that you’re going to see less traffic, you won’t find it to be too stressful. In most cases, however, you’re just better off walking, biking, or taking a bus, train, or taxi.

Housing Costs are Rising

While it’s likely never to get as bad as San Francisco, Portland’s housing costs are rising a bit, depending on where in the city that you live. As of 2019, average rent is around $1,200 per month; the average cost of buying a home is around $350,000. Both of those are above the national average; but there are quite a few cities that you’d have to pay double or triple to rent an apartment or buy a home. Like most of the West Coast, those costs are starting to rise – so, many economists recommend that you move to the area sooner than later.

If You Love the Outdoors, then Portland is a Great Place to Land

The fact is, Portland gives you the best of both worlds when it comes to an urban area. While you definitely are in a city, and it rains a lot there, you are still going to be able to get outside and enjoy everything that the more rural parts of the state have to offer. There are plenty of State parks that you can go out and enjoy, and you don’t need to drive that far to do it.

For example, you are only about 30 miles from the scenic Columbia River Gorge, which has tons of amazing views and all sorts of places to go and explore. The city itself sits at the intersection of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, and if you follow either one of those you’re going to be able to see just how much the state has to offer. You can even kayak through the downtown areas, head to Mt. Hood to ski or snowboard during the winter, or bike through Sauvie Island. In short, if you love the outdoors, you can enjoy everything that it has to offer if you move to Portland or the surrounding areas.

Biking and Walking Around the City is Popular

While there is some form of public transportation (known at the TriMet), many people just prefer to take their own modes of transportation around the Rose City. Even if it’s raining, you’re very likely to see that there are a lot of people who are choosing to just use their feet or their bikes to get from place to place.

Portland is very bike-friendly; there are plenty of riding trails, bike-only lanes, and traffic-free areas that you’re able to bike through with no problems. So, it’s not surprising that more people than ever are choosing to cycle through the city.

Oregon has a lot of amazing parts to it, and Portland is just one of many beautiful places that you’re going to be able to live if you decide to move to this beautiful state. Explore what opportunities that you may have when you’re living in Portland and see what a difference that it can make for you and what it is that you want to be able to do.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to move to Portland, Oregon? 

Moving costs are going to vary based on a number of factors. Local moves can cost somewhere between $1,000 and $2,000, as long as you live within 100 miles of Portland at this point in time.

If you’re looking at a long distance move, then you want to be sure that you save anywhere up to $5,000 for the move, and also take things into account like housing deposits, down payments, and other incidentals that need to be dealt with.

Is Portland a safe city to live in?

Absolutely! When compared to other cities of its size, Portland Oregon is one of the safest cities that you can reside in the United States. While you still want to be cautious when you’re walking around at night (as you would in any urban area), you will generally feel safe and not need to be worried about your physical safety.

Oregon vs. Washington – Which is better to consider living in?

It all depends on what you’re looking for. For example, Oregon has no sales tax; but Washington has no income tax. Rent is much higher in Washington State (specifically, Seattle and the surrounding areas), but that gap is closing more and more every single year.

Both have similar schools, political views, outdoor spaces, and public transportation options. So, basically, it comes down to which you like better and wherein the Pacific Northwest you want to live.

How much should I make to live comfortably in Portland?

According to economic experts, someone should be making at least $15.96 per hour (about $32,000 per year) in order to be able to live in Portland. You want to get closer to $40,000 – $45,000 in order to live comfortably, just so you have a little bit of breathing room in your budget.

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