Oregon is located right in between Washington State and California in the Pacific Northwest. The fact that Great Britain and the U.S. disputed ownership in the 19th century over portions of land in the area, makes the location quite unique.
It wouldn’t be until 1846, that the Oregon Treaty was signed in and became organized in 1848, ceasing the conflict. In 1859, with the undercurrent of the Civil War looming, the state was later admitted to the Union.
Local residents were battling the tribes in the region during the Snake War while the North fought the South in the 1860s, and the local volunteers never really saw conflict in the American battles until they sought it out.
Freed slaves were forced to leave the region under the threats of lashing and hard labor even though slavery was outlawed in Oregon in the early 1840s.
When living in Oregon, polarizing conflicts will be part of life whether the issue is progressivism vs. conservatism or British settlers vs. American ranchers. This is still the case today, and you’ll come to know it when reviewing the pros and cons of living in Oregon. Everyone living there seems to find ways to get along even when you’ll come across people who are the exact opposite of you.
If you’re considering making a home in this state, you will have to weigh your options against the good and bad. Without further contemplation, let’s check out the pros and cons of living in Oregon.
Pros of Living in Oregon
1. Stunning Coastline
You will find some of the world’s best beaches in Oregon. With Highway 101 taking you the entire way, you’ll find over 360 miles of coastline to explore.
You’ll also discover how the area feels magical and free, giving you a chance for exploration around the Columbia River, the aquariums along the ocean, and quiet stretches where the only sounds you’ll hear are wind and the waves.
Make sure to take a trip to Tillamook County to visit their cheese factory and dairy facilities if you happen to live in Oregon down by the beach.
When you live in Oregon, the green trees which tower over the mountains and beaches along the coast won’t be the only opportunity for you to get in touch with nature. One of the lowest carbon footprints found in the U.S is offered by this state.
There are a greater number of certified environmentally-friendly buildings in Oregon state than anywhere else in the nation. Often ranked as one of the greenest cities in the world, Portland has energy-efficiency standards, recycling programs, and access to renewable energy. Once you call Oregon your home, it will all be available and affordable to you.
Oregon being a part of the Pacific Northwest faces rain more often than in the other parts of the country. But when you consider the high hills of the eastern part of the state, it doesn’t even fall among the Top 10 U.S. states for total rainfall each year.
The cloudy, rainy weather happens near the coast, so as you continue moving up the Columbia River valley, you’ll get more sun, more heat, and less rain waiting for you.
4. Outdoor Activities
You will find vast options of adventures waiting for you in Oregon. From almost any location within the state, you can choose to make a fun day trip to enjoy the stunning beauty of Crater Lake.
You also have the choice to climb Mount Hood if you wish, whether you make it to the summit or not. Sandboarding can be done along the dunes in the east, while in the central part of the state, there are ranch tours and vineyards.
The coastal forests and beaches too, cannot be forgotten. You can also visit the Painted Hills, or go horseback riding along a quiet lake. There’s always something available for you here, no matter what lifestyle you may wish to pursue.
5. No State Sales Tax
The state sales tax rate in Oregon is 0%, as noted by Avalara. The state places a higher tax on personal income instead of taxing purchases to generate revenues. For residents that bring in a vehicle from out-of-state, there are also vehicle use taxes.
You’ll be required to pay that tax before issuing a title and registration. Some situations also apply county and local taxes. However, when you live in Oregon, the price you see on the shelf is the price you’ll be paying.
Cons of Living in Oregon
Portland is legendary for its traffic jams because of the setup of bridges you’re forced to traverse as you travel around the city. The I-5 Corridor down through Grants Pass gets full of traffic coming to and from the faculties within the region. Even once you are available from the east, there are pockets of traffic to think about which will surprise you.
It takes you longer to legally arrive at your destination, with the lower speed limits in place on highways in the state too (65 miles per hour). Although changes were made to extend speed limits from 55 mph in 2016, the routes are still slower than what you’ll find in other states.
2. High Rental Costs
The rental percentage in Oregon for 2014 came in at 3.6%. Although you can afford an excellent apartment, condo, or home to rent within the state, trying to seek out one would be a headache. It had been the rock bottom percentage within the entire country. Some rentals were going for over $1,200 per month just to offer you access to 400 square feet.
3. Difficult to Earn a Living
When ranking the value of living with high income and property taxes, workplace safety, and other factors, Oregon ranks 49th out of fifty states for households trying to form a living. The sole state worse was Hawaii, as noted by the MoneyRates ranking system.
If you can settle yourself within the state with an honest job before moving, then you’ve got a fighting chance to enjoy some time within the Pacific Northwest. Good luck with the work hunt, for those moving here more on a whim.
4. Many Transplants
There is a rivalry within the Pacific Northwest between Californians and people living in Oregon or Washington. The taxes and policies of California are often restrictive, making it difficult to take care of an honest standard of living.
Like most families would, people that find CA inhospitable move north to take care of their lifestyle at a less expensive cost. The sole problem is that Oregonians often find the attitudes of Californians to be smug and superior, which may be a trait viewed by both sides. If you’re moving to Oregon, and especially if you came from south of the border, you’ll have to expect some resistance initially.
Oregon is overdue for an outsized earthquake, which may be a similar threat expressed up and down the West Coast of the US. The rumbling for the quake might be above 8.0. With the event, comes an expected tsunami that would inundate the whole coastal region.
Those that check out the chances of such an earthquake say it could become the worst natural disaster within the history of North America if it occurs. The probabilities are 1 in 10 for the large one, and 1 in 3 for an outsized shaker, and there are many households still not prepared for this event.
Cost of Living
Oregon with its pros noted and cons taken care of could still be a great place to settle in. And if you’re planning on doing so, listed below are a few basic costs of living in Oregon.
1. Housing and Renting
As a state, Oregon’s average home value is $340,027, as noted by the NeighborhoodScout. More than two-thirds of the homes in the state fall between $130,954 and $523,432. The values of homes can shift on a city to city basis. In Portland, the average home value is $464,496, while Medford’s is $283,699.
Rent prices cut close to national averages, with one-bedrooms coming in at $982 and two bedrooms at $1,205. According to the 2019 data from Apartment List.
The average monthly energy bill in Oregon in 2017 was $103.26 according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). That stages the state right around the middle of the pack, as its figure is $8.41 less compared to the national average.
The average utility bill in Portland, Oregon is $174.97 according to Numbeo.com. It is for a hypothetical 915 square-foot apartment and includes electricity, heating, water and garbage.
A single adult with no children living in Oregon will spend $3,573 a year on food, as noted by the MIT Living Wage Calculator. The MIT data also states that the yearly living wage for such an individual is $27,280. From this, we can deduce that around 13.1% of Oregon residents’ income will pay for sustenance.
Based on 2016 data from the Health Care Cost Institute, several of the metro areas on the West Coast have high healthcare prices. The worst of these are San Francisco and San Jose, coming at 64% and 82% higher than the national average, respectively. The Portland metro area still has high prices, but they are a little better and it stands 18% above the U.S. median.