Oregon is a beautiful state with breathtaking scenery, but its cost of living can be high. Fortunately, there are inexpensive places to call home in Oregon! From cozy small towns to vibrant urban areas, we’ve rounded up the best places to live on a budget. I also recommend discovering the breathtaking beauty of the USA in winter this year!
In this article, we’ll explore the cheapest places to live in Oregon and highlight the unique charms that make them great places to call home. Surprisingly, more and more people are moving to Oregon from California in recent years although there is no shortage of cheap places to live in California.
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Choosing a place to move or to buy or rent a home depends upon various things like the stage of life, lifestyle, personal preferences, and individual needs. If your main focus is on affordability, we can assure you that there are many cheap cities in Oregon to live in.
To find the most affordable places in Oregon, we have taken into account several critical factors, including the median home value, cost of living, average crime rate, unemployment rate, and others that contribute to livability. Let’s take a closer look at our top 9 inexpensive places to live in Oregon.
1. Baker City
Located in the high desert of eastern Oregon, Baker City is home to 10,000 Oregonians. It is a great place for those who are looking for an affordable city to live in Oregon and lots of outdoor activities. The city is close to the stunning Elkhorn Mountains and the Powder River. Therefore, it is a paradise for hikers, bikers, and other outdoor adventure lovers.
If you are looking to buy a cheap home in Oregon, Baker City is the place where the median home value is under $249,000 and 68% of the locals are proud homeowners. The monthly rental cost is also pretty affordable(average $800). Average utility bills are around $160-210 and it depends on personal energy consumption.
Plenty of job opportunities are available in the manufacturing, and retail sectors, and social assistance. The median income in Bekar City is $48,500.
Cons: The crime rate is 18% higher than the state average.
Baker City has a beautiful downtown that features the historic Geiser Grand Hotel, museums, award-winning breweries like Barley Brown’s Brew Pub, and several shops.
The city is surrounded by forests and mountains which results in lots of year-round outdoor recreational activities including the Oregon Trail as well as scenic train rides and drives.
Cost of Living in Baker City
If you look at the price of housing, utilities, transportation, food, and taxes, Baker City is far cheaper than a city like Portland. The cost of living in Baker City is 20 percent less than the state average and nearly 10 percent less than the national average cost of living.
You can expect to spend around $1200 to live in a 1 bedroom rented apartment in Baker City. Don’t forget to include fuel prices in your monthly budget as Baker City is a driving town.
2. Klamath Falls
With just over 22,000 residents, Klamath Falls offers a small-town charm with a mixture of urban appeal and numerous Oregon outdoors at your doorstep. Located close to the California-Oregon border in southern Oregon, this is a scenic medium-sized city with fresh air, open space, and a warm neighborhood which is perfect for people looking for cheap places to retire in Oregon.
So, is Klamath Falls is only for retired people? Of course not. Downtown Klamath Falls boasts a vibrant nightlife, and strong community that appeals the young professionals. You will be surprised to see the amenities in a rural city in Oregon.
Klamath Falls is home to the renowned Oregon Institute of Technology, a polytechnic university with bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. It’s a growing city with lots of new businesses and start-ups that create numerous job opportunities.
The historic downtown of Klamath Falls is filled with shops, farmers markets, restaurants, bars, and cafes. The local culture is very rich and shines through the historic museums, art galleries, vintage theaters, and local events throughout the year.
Being in a high desert area, Klamath Falls gets sunshine over 300 days a year which offers endless opportunities for camping, canoeing, hiking, fishing, hunting, and cross-country skiing. The average temperature hovers around 82 degrees in the summer, and 42 degrees in the winter.
Klamath Falls is blessed with natural beauty and countless scenic trails. It is a great place to see wildlife such as bald eagles, pelicans, deer, and many other species. For a weekend trip, you can visit Crater Lake National Park which is just 60 miles away, and Mount Shasta, a gorgeous volcano and recreational area in California( 70-mile drive).
Cost of Living in Klamath Falls
Lower than the national average cost of living is the main draw for many people moving to Klamath Falls. The median home price in Klamath Falls is around $322,000 and the monthly rent for an apartment is around $900.
Woodburn is one of the cheapest places to live in Oregon, and it’s a place I know well. I lived in Woodburn for several years and found it to be a charming and welcoming community with a lot to offer. For people looking for affordable housing, Woodburn is a desirable option due to its low cost of living.
Additionally, the town has a strong sense of community, with plenty of local events and activities to enjoy. One of my favorite things about Woodburn is its rich cultural heritage, which is celebrated in annual events like the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival and the Fiesta Mexicana. Overall, I highly recommend Woodburn as a great place to call home in Oregon.
Things to do in Woodburn
Woodburn is located near many popular sightseeing destinations in Oregon. Just a short drive away, you’ll find attractions like Silver Falls State Park, Willamette Valley wine country, and the Oregon Gardens. Additionally, the town is located about 30 minutes from Portland, offering easy access to all the city has to offer.
Cost of Living in Woodburn
Woodburn, Oregon has a cost of living that is slightly higher than the national average due to housing costs, transportation expenses, and healthcare expenses. However, its cost of living is still lower than many other cities in the state, particularly in the Portland metropolitan area. The median home price in Woodburn is $425k.
If you cannot afford to live in Portland, come to Gresham, a perfect affordable alternative to Portland. With a thriving community of people, a wide variety of attractions and activities, lower than state average cost of living, and above all growing job opportunities in town and nearby cities – These are the reasons why Gresham is one of the fastest growing cities in the US. The population of Gresham has increased steadily over the years.
Families love this place for its safe neighborhoods, reputed schools, and above all easy access to Portland. The weather in Gresham is overall good. Don’t expect heavy snow, but autumn and summer are the best times when most people love to spend sunny days at local parks, hiking trails, or visiting nearby attractions.
Adventist Medical Center is the biggest employer in this city. It is a great opportunity for healthcare workers. Portland is just 30 minutes drive from Gresham. You can easily find jobs in companies like Boeing, Precision Castparts, and Daimler Trucks or in local shopping centers.
Gresham city is filled with approximately 850 acres of natural areas and 300 acres of city parkland. Families can relax in the Main Park in Gresham, a wide-open space to spend a lovely afternoon with their children. The downtown area features some nice shops, bars, and restaurants.
Nadaka Loop Trail, Springwater Trail, and Butler Creek Trail are popular for their fantastic vistas and stunning Oregon landscapes. Gresham’s farmer’s markets are nice where you can shop locally produced fruits and vegetables.
Cost of Living in Gresham
Gresham City is one of the cheapest places to live near Portland, Oregon. The local cost of living in Gresham is higher than the national average, but you should keep in mind that finding a job is easier compared to other inexpensive cities in Oregon. You can live comfortably with a monthly budget of $1600including room rent(1 bedroom apartment).
The median home value in Gresham is around $495,000. Rental apartments are available on an average of $1400 a month for a one-bedroom.
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Located in the heart of Willamette Valley, Albany is one of the most affordable places to live in Oregon. It has a small-town feel with easy access to the coast, the mountains, and Portland.
Winter and summer both seasons are mild in Albany. Humidity is low and maximum rainfall occurs from November through May. The city is known as the leading producer of grass seeds. It is safe and boasts a thriving cultural and art scene.
Housing and rental costs are quite cheap in Albany. Depending upon size, and location, the rental housing ranges from $900-$1500 per month. If you have a plan to buy a house in Oregon, expect to spend around $270,000 to buy a 3-bedroom home.
The unemployment rate in Albany is lower than the national and state average. It has several employment opportunities in the education, manufacturing, agriculture, and healthcare sectors. It is also considered one of the top-growing cities in the US.
Albany is just 11 miles away from Corvallis, another budget-friendly city in Oregon to live. It is a stunning city with a bright population and perfect for students as Oregon State University is located here.
Though this little Oregon town has over 30 public parks and countless trails to explore, the main attraction of Albany is the Historic Carousel and Museum which features a preserved 1909 Dentzel carousel and many hand-carved animals. The city also hosts annual cultural events and many festivals.
Cost of Living in Albany
Due to the lower median home price, and cheap grocery, transportation, and utility costs, Albany is much cheaper than other Oregon cities. A family of four can expect to spend around $2800-3200 monthly whereas a single person can live here with just $1800 per month renting a 1 bedroom apartment studio.
If you search for where are the cheapest towns to live in Oregon, Umatilla must be at the upper part of the list. With a population of about 9000 residents, this charming town is located across the Columbia River.
Families with children like to settle in Umatilla as the city is ideal to raise kids and admit them to a reputed school. Umatilla is not for party-loving people, rather it is loved for its simplicity and affordability.
Most residents own their own houses and apartments as housing cost(37% lower than the national average) is not that expensive in Umatilla. The median home price in Umatilla is $287,000. The rent of a 1 bedroom apartment starts from $800 monthly.
Umatilla is a quiet place where you can live peacefully. In fact, it is one of the safest places to live in Oregon on a budget. There are many trails that you can explore on the weekend. Locals also enjoy the biking path and fishing in countless ponds.
The main attraction in Umatilla is the Hat Rock State Park, a perfect place for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Families can enjoy picnics and watch wildlife during weekends.
Cost of Living in Umatilla
From housing expenses, and groceries to transportation, and utility bills, pretty much everything is quite inexpensive in Umatilla. Although the health cost is a little bit higher than the state average, it is still lower compared to the national average. With a monthly expenditure of $2200-$2500 a family can live a happy life with all the basic amenities.
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Nestled in the heart of the Columbia Basin, Hermiston is another cheap place to live in Oregon. It is not only affordable but also popular for plenty of outdoor recreation activities to enjoy. Hermiston is just 6.5 miles away from Umatilla town. If you like recreational facilities and a festive atmosphere, buy or rent a home in Hermiston.
Nearly 60% of residents of Hermiston are homeowners as the housing cost and maintenance costs are pretty low here. The median home value in this city is around $336,000. No issues if you don’t have a budget to buy a home. Hermiston is one of the cheapest places to rent in Oregon. More than 35% of residents of Hermiston rent homes and apartments.
The unemployment rate in Hermiston is very low. The biggest industries that offer the most job opportunities are food processing and distribution. Hermiston is famous for watermelon farming. It has 1200 acres of dedicated land to produce top-quality watermelons. The recent growth of the city’s logistic hub and data center creates ample job openings.
Hermiston is a small US city, but it won’t disappoint you if you plan to relocate here. Hermiston Parks and Recreation is a great place to enjoy a lovely weekend with families. It is open year-round and features trails, community events, and various recreational activities.
You can also visit Harrison Park, a well-maintained clean park, ideal for a morning or evening stroll with your children. Hat Rock State Park is just 15 15-minute driving distance from this lovely town. Explore the trails, enjoy a picnic with your friends and families, or go wildlife watching.
Cost of Living in Hermiston
Hermiston has been ranking pretty well as the inexpensive city in Oregon for the past few years. Housing, grocery, and medical costs are very affordable in Hermiston. Utility bills generally cost $180-$250 per month depending upon individual usage. With a monthly budget of $2500 – $3000, you can live a happy life with all the basic amenities.
7. Coos Bay
With a population of more than 16200 residents, Coos Bay has consistently been featured on lists of the cheapest places to live on the Oregon coast in recent years. Especially for foodie people who prefer to stay near the coastal areas, Coos Bay is one of the best places to live in Oregon. Food festivals are not uncommon in Coos Bay. This cheap Oregon city celebrates a variety of food festivals throughout the year.
Coos Bay experiences mild weather usually. Summer is dry but not extremely hot. Snow is very rare here but rainfall occurs in winter.
Electricity, gasoline & car registration are cheaper in Coos Bay. Housing options are not cheap though. The median home value in Coos Bay is around $350k. But with a median household income of $48,919, it’s not hard to pay housing and utility costs.
However, there is one downside in Coos Bay. The property tax is pretty high and the crime rate in this coastal city is higher than the state and national average. It is much safer near downtown Coos Bay.
Coos Bay offers mesmerizing views of the bay. The residents can enjoy various oceanfront activities as well as hiking, biking, and fishing. The downtown area features some beautiful boutique shops and restaurants.
You can also visit the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area which offers ATV riding, while Cape Arago State Park, just one mile south of Coos Bay is a fantastic place to spot seals and whales.
Cost of Living in Coos Bay
Housing cost in Coos Bay is 14% lower than the state average. Grocery and utility cost is affordable but health care cost is a little bit higher than the state and national average. The median home value in Coos Bay is under 200,000. Family rental house starts from $1200 monthly. Overall, it is pretty affordable to live in Coos Bay.
Salem, the state capital of Oregon is home to historic sites, fascinating museums, and countless recreational parks. Located just an hour south of Portland, It is not only affordable but also one of the best cities to live in Oregon as it offers some really great parks.
This is an agricultural city, hence the food cost is fairly low. The median home value($180,000) is very decent, which means finding a house to rent or buy won’t break your bank. Salem celebrates various food festivals year-round.
Salem has characteristics of Mediterranean climate which is not bad. The city experiences dry, warm summers and cool, wet winters. Snowfall is rare here, but most rainfall occurs in late fall and during winter.
Farming, education, and health services are major employers in Salem. One can find jobs at Salem Hospital, public school district, Willamette University, T-Mobile Calling Center, Roth’s Fresh Markets, and GE Security. Beyond healthcare and schools, the government also supplies career opportunities around Oregon’s capital city. You can also check out the Salem Government’s official website to apply for city jobs.
Salem boasts acres of public gardens, parks, children’s museums, and many more. Locals love to spend time at the Riverfront Park along the beautiful Willamette River. Enjoy the Riverfront Carousel and holiday events that are held throughout the year. Stroll through the Minto-Brown Island Park and explore the trails during the weekend.
The historic downtown features many boutique shops, restaurants, and bars. Downtown Salem also celebrates annual events that include Annual Salem Art Fair Festival and Willamette Jazz Festival.
Wine lovers must visit the Willamette Valley Vineyards and enjoy the sweeping views and wine tastings.
Cost of Living in Salem
Although the healthcare cost, grocery cost are higher than the state average, surprisingly housing cost in Salem is very affordable, which is the reason most people are relocating to this charming city from Portland.
If you are planning to rent an apartment in the city, a one-bedroom apartment will cost you around $1100 – $1500 a month depending on location, size, and amenities.
In conclusion, there are many great options for those looking for affordable places to live in Oregon. From picturesque small towns to bustling urban areas, there’s a perfect community waiting for every budget and lifestyle.
While the cost of living in Oregon can be high, it’s important to remember that there are also many advantages to living in this beautiful state, including access to outdoor recreation, a thriving arts and culture scene, and a strong sense of community. By choosing one of the cheapest places to live in Oregon, you can enjoy all that this great state has to offer without breaking the bank.
1. Is it more affordable to live in a small town or a city in Oregon?
A: Generally speaking, it is usually more affordable to live in a small town than a city in Oregon due to lower housing costs and a lower cost of living.
2. How does the cost of living in Oregon compare to other states?
A: The cost of living in Oregon is higher than the national average, but it is still lower than many other states on the West Coast, such as California or Washington.
3. What factors should I consider when looking for an inexpensive place to live in Oregon?
A: When looking for an inexpensive place to live in Oregon, factors to consider may include the cost of housing, cost of living, local job market, transportation options, and access to essential services such as healthcare and education.