12 Pros and Cons of Living in Oregon

Before packing your bag and moving to Oregon, it’s important to know the pros and cons of living in Oregon. 

Life in the “Beaver State” is idyllic but seemingly certain things can disappoint you too.

Pros and Cons of Living in Oregon

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Therefore, before establishing your Oregon address try to know this state well. 

I have been staying with my husband for the past 8 years and here I offer you an honest review of Oregon’s life. 

People often decide to move to Oregon because of the Oregonian way of life, love for nature and the coast.

Hence, this blog is all about the pros and cons of living in Oregon.

What is moving to Oregon like?

Oregon’s incredibly crafted beer, wine, and scenic nature are arguably one of the best things that every person will tell you not to miss.

However, as per a report released on July 1, 2021, by the US census, relocating to Oregon means staying among 4.2 million Oregonians.

Its geographical location in the Pacific Northwest between California and Washington State is idyllic among residents of Oregon.

You cannot miss out on the polarizing conflicts over the ownership of land in Oregon between America and Great Britain. 

Moreover, the perk of living in Oregon is you pay the number you see on the price tag. Starting from shopping for clothes to buying cars there are no hidden taxes.

But, the sad part is will you get an apartment before moving to Oregon? According to ACS data released in 2019, the rental vacancy rate in Oregon is only 4%. 

The picturesque beaches and other traits of Oregon might be very appealing and gorgeous but are you sure you can afford a 250 square feet house for $1000 per month?  

Pros and Cons of Living in Oregon: Is it Worth Living in Oregon

From the high demand, you can figure out that the state is worth living in with good job opportunities, schools, no forced labor, slavery, and more.

However, I would burst your thoughts that Oregon is not all about Portland. Portland is a busy city in the state of Oregon in the United States. 

Oregon has thrived with vibrant culture, ample recreational opportunities, easy breezy coastal life, and a scenic atmosphere.  There are so many great places to live on the Oregon coast with your family.

Not only limited to the beautiful landscape, but Oregon also offers financial security to its residents therefore, property crime is only 27.3%

Here are the things to know before moving to Oregon that ensure a wealth of benefits and endless surprises.

Breath-taking attracting natural scenery

You might have seen countless sandstone cliffs, majestic sandy coastlines to beach shacks that lie just off the coast. 

But have you ever seen the famous Crater Lake, a deep blue color river gorge formed by the volcano of the Cascade Mountains? Also, it is known as the windsurfing capital of the world. 

Again, you know about Mount Fuji in Japan but do you know about Mount Hood Oregon? It stands tall with an impressive elevation of 11,249 feet and is one of the highest mountains in the state of Oregon. 

Furthermore, in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon within Malheur National Forest sits Strawberry Mountains, the 30th highest point of Oregon.

The forest is approximately 68,700 acres dominated by Big Creek, Pines, Canyons, Lake, Strawberries, and Bear. 

Collier Memorial State Park
Collier Memorial State Park

Housing crisis and scarcity of affordable housing

Yes, I am telling it again, the biggest pros and cons of living in Oregon is its insane housing market. 

Especially in Portland, Bend, and the coastal areas the housing market skyrocketed making it one of the huge challenges for people to settle down in 2022. 

The competitive market resulted in such an unrealistic price tag that the median home value of homes in Portland, Oregon is about $581,593.

I anticipate how someone can manage so much. Therefore, I wish you good luck finding a place in Oregon.

I won’t blame Californians, but to some extent, it’s true that they sell their expensive houses and shift to Oregon increasing the demand and price of this place.

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Starting from apartments, condos, and dorms, to one-bedroom flats i.e. below 1,500 square ft. is around the $300,000- $500,000 range. 

In simple terms, for a 250 square feet flat you have to pay a minimum of $1000. 

However, property at Klamath Falls, Gresham, and Albany are affordable and considered as the cheapest places to live in Oregon.

The rental house in these places can start from $480 – $1000 per month. Therefore, if you are an outsider then prepare yourself beforehand during the process of finding an affordable property in Oregon.

READ NEXT:  11 Best Places to Live on the Oregon Coast

Oregon is the most environmental-friendly location in the world 

One of the biggest reasons to live in Oregon is its environment friendly habits. 

Every policy emphasizes – recycling, the protection of nature, energy efficiency, improves air, and water quality and eradication of carbon footprint.

Do you know that Oregon is the first state in America to build certified environment-friendly buildings? Also, Portland is ranked as one of the greenest cities in the world

Moreover, the residents of Oregon need a few extra claps because they are very conscious of protecting their place and not littering it.

They work together to recycle and composite seriously and shop from local entrepreneurs and sellers to improve themselves. 

The recent EO 20 – 04 Government order is directed to reduce greenhouse emissions by 80% by 2050. 

Also, the City of Portland imposed a green tax on the large corporation and Oregon is the first state to incorporate bottle deposit or bottle recycling. 

The environmentalists and residents came together to build Oregon, 92,000 acres of greenest place with 74 miles of running and hiking trails. 


Paying so much to Government in form of Income taxes

To your knowledge, Oregon has the 4th highest state income tax in the country just after California, Hawaii, and New Jersey.

Oregon follows a progressive income tax system which means the higher the income higher the tax rates. The minimum income tax rate is 5% and the maximum rise to 9.9%.

Depending on your income bracket, nearly 35% of your income goes to the Government box in terms of federal income tax, and social security tax.

These taxes are collected for the development of Oregon standards – roads, education and infrastructure. 

However, Government should take care to improve the education system to boost the future of every student.

Furthermore, in mathematical calculation, if you earn $ 55,000 per year then you have to pay $13,064 to the Government in the form of income tax. 

Do You Like Living in Oregon? 

Yes, I love residing in Oregon, the City of Rose and dream of many individuals. I stay in a place that boasts world-class wine varietals, Willamette Valley.

How about sitting with Oregon Pique in hand in my courtyard and enjoying the varied views of the landscape, rolling hills, and versatile scenery and relishing the beauty?

Can you imagine that? You can also have Oregon Pinot or Chardonnay. Importantly, the taste is so different from other parts of America.

Just a little information, Oregon is the 4th most wine-producing state in the country. You will be amazed to know that it is home to 774 wineries. 

My friends take complete advantage of my location in Oregon. Every year in the summer they visit me to discover new wineries, new wine styles, and fruit orchards.

Apart from that, waking up every morning and witnessing Oregon’s lush green beauty vineyards under a light blue sky makes me grateful to shift here.

However, this paradise cost me a fortune. The high cost of living, high-income tax rates and property tax always keep me anxious to work extra hard to earn more.

My self-income never feels like enough, moreover, I am lucky to have my husband to share every expense.

If you want to know what are the pros and cons of living in Oregon then you are in the right place. I will tell you everything including– 

  • Cheapest places to live in Oregon
  • Best places to live in Oregon
  • Why are people moving to Oregon?  

Pros and Cons of Living in Oregon: Benefits of Living in Oregon

1. Big opportunities for young adults

SmartAsset released a report considering the unemployment rate, median earnings, 5-year income changes, and median rent costs as the key factors to rate Portland as a rising star among young professionals.

Finding a heart-desired job is tough because a lot of employees do not have years of experience or are willing to take risks. 

But the good news is, Oregon has a strong job market. The main reason why people are moving to Oregon is companies pay well.

Tech industries, Green Technologies, Advanced Manufacturing, and Natural Resources Industries are the big employers of Oregon. 

Brands like Intel, Wells Fargo, Nike, U.S. Bank, and Columbia Sportswear are working here employing more than hundreds of Oregon people.

However, I cannot deny the fact that the Portland lifestyle can be a bit challenging to newcomers because of its high median rent cost.

Therefore, Beaverton, Wilsonville, Hillsboro, Newberg, Pearl District, Tualatin, and Sioux Falls are some of the best places to live in Oregon that offer affordable lifestyles and great connectivity. 

2. Remarkable coffee of Oregon

The Willamette Valley may be famous for offering the best wine options but did you know it has various cafes, bakeries, and roasters that enrich the heart of every coffee lover? 

READ NEXT:  9 Insanely Cheapest Places to Live in Oregon in 2023

The biggest pros of living in Oregon are enjoying a nice cup of roasted coffee while curling up on chilly rainy days.

The trail of Willamette Valley is filled with caffeinated roasted beans smell that drives you crazy to bring back beans to your home. 

You can visit Baker’s Prairie Bakery which serves Garage Coffee and other delicious treats.

Another one, my favorite, is Caravan Coffee, Yamhill County. They serve coffee free of chemically treated beans. 

You should come here on Friday at 9.30 am to taste their offer named “cupping” where they offer two coffees side by side. The aroma and fragrance are unique.

Apart from these, Salem is home to The Governor’s Cup Coffee Roasters which serves the best “damn good coffee”.

Margin Coffee in Historic Albany’s new downtown serves Bespoken Coffee Roasters coffee. 

It has earned a name as a “place to come, not to escape life, but to allow some time in our day to simply be.” 

Moreover, Oregon is home to 250 cafes with fame for offering micro-roasters and fresh coffee beans. Portland ranks #1 country for coffee lovers.

3. Nature blossoms in its unique attributes

Imagine living in a place that is surrounded by towering mountains, curvy trees along the two-lane highway and the blue fluid sky at the top of your head. 

Oregon’s versatile natural scenery of lush forest, wide open spaces, and 360 miles of coastline makes you feel magical. It feels like you have lost yourself in nature.

The Columbia River looks like an aquarium where you can enjoy the soft coastal wind and waves crashing down. 

Come to Tillamook County, the rugged cliffs, rollicking beaches, forested shorelines, sandy beaches, historic lighthouses, and unbelievable views of miles of craggy.

It sits amidst a tangle of rivers and farm fields famous for agricultural production. You should visit the cheese factory and dairy services.

Pacific City, Seaside, Astoria, and Cannon Beach are all stuffed with surprising and mesmerizing scenic views of the ocean.

If your heart is calling for a road trip, visit Baker City, a hill station in eastern Oregon with less than 10,000 people as per the 2010 census.

If you are in search of instagrammable places in Oregon, pictures in the massive redwoods, Douglas-fir, red alder, big-leaf maple, or ponderosa can increase your followers’ base within a second.

How about enjoying the wide swath of wilderness? The Alvord Desert in southeast Oregon with magnificently sculpted dunes is the scene you do not want to miss.

Advantages and disadvantages of living in Oregon

4. Paradise for cyclists

Oregon is a true cyclist’s paradise. The dedicated bicycle lanes and encouragement programs on two wheels instead of four make it one of the states with a high level of cycle commuting.

With innovative bike paths and 350 miles of best scenic routes, Portland has been named the best city for biking in the United States next to Eugene.

Bicycle is just not a mode of transportation but is one of the basic lifestyles of Portland people. In Portland, people celebrate the annual Naked Bike Ride, Pedalpalooza, and Portland Bridge Pedal. 

During all these events you can drive through the iconic bridges of the city. The famous bike trails are 

  • Nestucca River Road
  • Rim Drive at Crater Lake
  • The Oregon Alps
  • Row River Trail
  • Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail
  • Banks/Vernonia State Trail
  • Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade
  • Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway
  • McKenzie River Trail
  • Deschutes River Railbed Trail
  • The Oregon Alps

Because of riding a bicycle, I can save so much on vehicle taxes too. 

To enjoy the stunning vistas of the Powder River and the Elkhorn Mountains, Baker City is such a beautiful and cheapest place to live in Oregon.  

Pros and Cons of Living in Oregon: Cons of Living in Oregon

1. Forget to pump your fuel and pay a high Gasoline tax

No self-service at the gas pump. Yes, you heard it right this may be the biggest advantages and disadvantages of living in Oregon.You have to wait in the queue for your turn and also pay a little higher fees for the service. 

The state permits stand-alone fuel stations in counties with less than 40,000 residents, the rest of the states require fuel-serving fuelling.

However, everything is not bad about it, people will wipe down the windows, check the fluid levels, and also make sure the vehicle is up for a run!

Another con to moving to Oregon is the high price of Gasoline. The State Government has imposed high taxes; therefore, it is better to drive a bicycle rather than a bike.

2. Sorry, the weather sucks

If you are planning to move to Oregon, then prepare to buy raincoats and umbrellas because grey skies and heavy rainfall are prevalent. 

However, if you are settling down in eastern Oregon then you can experience sunshine more compared to western Oregon.

READ NEXT:  13 Best Places to Live in Oregon For 2023

In simple terms, the weather varies from place to place but in a nutshell, Oregon rain continues for days and weeks. 

To be very true, I do not like the forever looming grey skies, it makes me so sad. However, Willamette Valley and Portland record the highest rainfall.

The summer season is very short, moreover, Oregon experiences rain followed by heavy winds and hail storms. 

Rain in Portalnd
Rain in Portalnd

3. Oregon has the lowest graduation rate and education quality

Very few people talk about Oregon’s schools and education quality. As per the new study, Oregon ranks #38 in public education.

Again, it has recorded a 78.7% graduation rate in the nation. It’s sad to say that Oregon’s schools mostly rank at the bottom. 

The University of Oregon has been ranked 103rd among national universities by U.S. News & World Report.

Therefore, keep your hopes low if you are planning to move to Oregon with your family. However, private schools are available but you have to pay a lot.

4. You can get stuck in traffic congestion

Oregon’s traffic, especially Portland, needs special mention for its traffic jam. During rush hours you will get stuck for hours without moving an inch.

The traffic between Salem to Portland and 1-5 Corridors through Grants Pass is mostly high. 

The booming economy and traffic jams are the biggest pros and cons of living in Bend Oregon. Bend sits on the edge of the Deschutes River which is a three hour drive from Portland.

Moreover, Oregon has a strike speed limit – of 65 miles per hour, however, little improvement has been incorporated but still slower than other states.

If you are coming from the east or north, the traffic jam will come to meet you on your way! Also, Portland has been ranked in the top 10 most congested American cities.

Moving to Oregon Checklist

  • Rent or buy a house in Oregon
  • Having a job
  • Updating your address – apply for Oregon’s driving license
  • Registering your car and yourself to enjoy the voting rights
  • Have a health insurance
  • Open a bank account in Oregon’s bank and take care of other investment plans
  • Prepare yourself for Oregon’s tax and talk to your advocate
  • Set up your home
  • Slowly buy a bicycle 

Wrapping up

Here, I have laid down the pros and cons of living in Oregon. If you ask me, I would suggest you settle here. You are working hard to present yourself with a better life and Oregon can make that happen. 

However, before navigating to Oregon, I would suggest going through all your paychecks, expenses, income and credit card bills. This will give you an estimate of what your new take-home pay will be. 

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FAQs – Pros and Cons of Living in Oregon

1. What is the worst thing about living in Oregon?

A: The worst thing about living in Oregon is the high-income tax and high property tax. Oregon follows a progressive income tax system that rate ranges between 5-9%. On the other hand, the property tax bill is also considered as the highest among all states in the country. 

2. Is Oregon a good place to retire?

A: Oregon is a good place to retire because of its environmentally friendly habits, open green space and no sales tax. Parks like Wallowa Lake State Park, Silver Falls, State Park, and John Day Fossil Beds National Monument are some of the national parks in Oregon where a retiree can explore and enjoy the open air. 

3. What is the safest area to live in Oregon?

A: Every town is delightful if it offers security and safety to its people. Great schools and low crime rates make a place safe. Sherwood, West Linn, Monmouth, Newberg Dundee, and Canby are the safest areas to live in Oregon. 

4. Where should I not live in Oregon?

A: Places like Springfield, Woodburn, Grants Pass, and Salem in Oregon should be avoided because they do not ensure security, and safety.

5. Is it cheaper to live in Oregon or California?

A: Oregon is cheaper than California because the tax rate in California is 13.3% whereas in Oregon it is 9.9%. The average cost of living in California is $46,636 per year on the other hand it is $42,055 per year in Oregon.

6. Is Oregon a good place to work?

A: Oregon ranked #1st on Oxfam’s first annual Working Women’s Index. Portland is the most amazing progressive artsy city which is home to technology start-up companies. It plays an important role in designing an economic framework for the country.

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