Moving to Portland Oregon – Everything You Need to Know

Are you thinking about moving to Portland, Oregon? If so, get ready to live in a place with fantastic nature and friendly people. It has all the necessary urban amenities, but also some stunning views, as it is located in the shadow of Mount Hood.

The place of fantastic nature and friendly people

PDX (as locals often call this place) is Oregon’s largest city. With a population of around 650,000 people, it is the 26th largest city in the US. However, the metro area includes seven counties, and when you add local communities, the total population reaches 2.4 million.

Here’s the Ultimate Moving to Portland, Oregon Advice

(Don’t) buy an umbrella! Yes, it might seem confusing, but the fact is that Portlanders don’t like (some would say – hate) umbrellas. Even though PDX has an average rainfall of 40.8″, which is pretty much the national average, and 222 cloudy days, there is a belief that PDX, more than other cities, suffers from a lack of sunny days and has a lot of rainy days.

Portland’s Weather

The climate in PDX is mild, with the annual average low temperature of 45.7°F and the annual average high temperature of 63.3°F.

  • Spring – Although it is rainy, the area is picturesque and colorful, especially in May, when spring hits its stride. Plants start budding in late February, and bushes and trees bloom. It is nice to see when petals pile up like colorful snow in the streets, creating a dreamy setting for all the hopeless romantics.
  • Summer – Daylight hours become long after the summer kicks in around the 4th of July. That is why you should consider moving in the summer. Trees are verdant and leafy, and plants are in full bloom. Compared to other parts, the summer in Northwest is mild, but temperatures can reach the 90’s. If you wake up early and see cloud layers, don’t worry; they usually burn off by the end of the morning.
  • Fall – Even though the temperatures start cooling, the early fall is an extension of summer with sunny days still coming around. You should expect everything – warm sunny days, but also rainy days spiced with a bit of breeze.
  • Winters are gray, rainy, cloudy, and cold, so moving in winter could be a bit challenging. However, PDX is not a snowy town. It may experience a couple of days of snow each year or none at all.
Winters are cloudy, gray, cold, and rainy with just a couple of snowy days.

What Cost of Living Should You Expect

If you are wondering what the cost of living in Portland is, you can always make a comparison with the average US cost of living. That way, you can easily see what part of the overall cost of living in PDX is high above the US average. According to the information taken from the website BestPlaces, and with the national average index being 100, the statistic goes like this:

  • The overall cost of living – 130.8
  • Housing – 181.5
  • Groceries – 103.7
  • Utilities – 79.9
  • Transportation – 129.9
  • Health – 85.9

Housing and Prices

When planning a move here, make sure that you are well-informed about what the housing possibilities are, because the availability and cost of them could be a problem. According to the Portland Housing Bureau’s 2016 report, only eight of the 24 neighborhoods studied are affordable for the average family to purchase a house.

Even though the real estate market has continued to grow after the Great Recession, the majority of residents don’t have enough means to purchase any. That’s why a lot of Portlanders decide to move outside of the central city, looking for more affordable homes. So, if your plans include buying a real estate, the cost of a square foot in the center is $315. Outside of it, it’s around $200.

According to Numbeo, when it comes to renting a place, if you would like a one-bedroom apartment in the center, the monthly rent is around $1,500, and outside of it $1,200. For a bigger place, such as a three-bedroom apartment in the center, the monthly rent is approximately $2,800. For one outside of the center, it is around $2,000.

Of course, these numbers highly depend on where exactly you choose to live. Some of the best Portland neighborhoods have much higher prices, but living in Portland can be quite affordable if you know where to look.

It can be expensive to live in the center depending on your income.

If You Want to Get a Job, See What the Hiring Options Are

The community has several key sectors, including metals and machinery, software and media, and computers and electronics. Therefore, many people move here to look for professional opportunities due to the growth in technology, but also in sports and health. Let’s take a closer look:

  • Sports – Many professionals, led by the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, work in marketing, customer service, and product design in local offices of big athletics companies such as Columbia, Under Armor, Adidas, and Keen. So, if you see yourself in this field, PDX is the right place for you.
  • Health – The number of 15,000 people working at Oregon Health & Science University shows how vital health and science here are. Also, reputable private companies, public agencies, and hospitals all invest in the growth of the bioscience sector.
  • Technology startups found their home here. Thanks to them, PDX has earned one more nickname – Silicon Forest. Many established companies, including Tektronix, WaferTech, and Mentor Graphics are here; and don’t forget Intel. With 18,000 employees, Intel is the largest employer in the area.

Get Ready for a Fierce Work Competition

Even though there are great job opportunities in Oregon’s largest city, how to get a job before you move depends a lot on who you know. Personal relationships and recommendations are likely to be the key to your new employment. You should also consider visiting Portland job sites; it could be a good starting point.

Since the last recession, in 2009, the city’s job market has grown by 207,000 new jobs. The job growth in PDX is 7% higher than the rest of Oregon. Therefore, the city has become attractive for young professionals craving for success.

Diverse industries are what makes the city’s job market strong. Over the years, companies like Greenbrier (inc. Gunderson), Schnitzer Steel, Leatherman Tool Group, Inc, and Iberdrola have confirmed their place on the list of top 50 traded-sector employers.

Last but not least – salaries. For being almost $4000/year higher than the national average, the average income of PDX residents is another thing that attracts people to move here.

Who you know is the line that will connect you with the wanted work position.

You’ll Need to Get Used to Traffic When Living in Portland

It seems like the city’s infrastructure was not ready for the number of newcomers. As days go by, there are more and more cars, cyclists, and pedestrians on the road. That’s why traffic jams are sometimes challenging. The same goes for finding a free parking spot. It could take you a lot of time and nerves. However, there’s an alternative – biking.

Portlanders are serious when it comes to biking. There are one or two bike shops in every neighborhood and an impressive system of bike paths and shared roadways.

Another Issue – Public Transit

When it comes to public transit, the opinions are divided. For some, the city has a fantastic transit system, while others have a lot of complaints. One of the most common is that it takes so long to get from one part of the town to the other. Also, almost all buses shut down shortly after midnight, making it harder for those who need to get home late. In this case, the best alternative is Uber.

Traffic can be a mess, but there's an alternative - biking.

To Go Outside or to Stay Inside – That Is the Question

Depending on the weather and how adventurous you are, there are a lot of indoor and outdoor activities to enjoy, whether you are moving to a new city alone, or have a family. With a little research, you could find a few activities suitable for your preferences.

What to Do Outdoors When in Oregon’s Largest City

Did you know that Forest Park is the largest urban forest in the US? It occupies 5,157 acres, and it is a part of 11,697 acres of PDX’s parks. It is pure heaven for those who like to hike, bike, and run. Picnic areas, swimming pools, golf courses, and off-leash dog areas are just some of the things that will make you fall in love and spend as much time as possible outdoors. Another great pastime activity is visiting the Oregon Zoo.

The Indoor Attractions: PDX Is Famous for Its Museums

On the other hand, when it rains, you can easily find some exciting indoor activities. Among others, you could visit Powell’s Books, the world’s largest independent bookstore. Just imagine a store that occupies a whole block, and it has more than one million books. Besides buying new books, you can also sell your old ones. It could be for cash or to double your store credit.

Also, you can explore the culinary scene by visiting the best restaurants in Portland, such as Tasty n Alder, a place where traditional steakhouse plates contain meats, seafood, and salad, spiced up with diverse flavors; Kachka, a top-notch Russian restaurant, and if you want to try the best pizza in the city, you shouldn’t miss Lovely’s Fifty-Fifty.

If you are relocating with kids, you should not worry about the quality of their free time. There’s a lot of choices, including a visit to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and the Portland Children’s Museum.

Oregon’s largest city is famous for supporting art. So, if you are an artist or simply enjoy art, in PDX, you’ll find a lot of museums, galleries, and even outdoor street art exhibitions. Don’t miss a visit to the Portland Art Museum, Oregon Symphony, and Portland Center Stage.

Relocating here will make you fall in love with and embrace art.

Stay Connected With Nature

When someone says green-friendly culture, the first association could easily be – PDX. Portlanders think a lot about the environment. If you are planning a move here, you should consider adopting sustainability practices and green-friendly culture.

Think Green

Keep in mind that Portlanders recycle, up-cycle, and compost. They also have great respect for parks and green spaces. It might come as a surprise, but the fact is that even during the winter, the grass is green. Another important piece of info: the waste of water is also a big no in PDX.

The place where the grass is green even during the winter.

Portland’s Neighborhoods

With a population of about 620,000 people, PDX is by far the biggest city in the Beaver State. It has 95 neighborhoods divided into six different sections.

The city cherishes its reputation as an open-minded community, and it is highly suitable for people with progressive beliefs, including artists, students, young professionals, and families.

We are sure that you will fit in no time, but first, take a look at some of the best neighborhoods in Portland and choose the one you’ll call home.

  • Nob Hill is one of the oldest communities in PDX. Its streets are packed with trendy shops and boutiques, as well as cafes and restaurants. Whether you are a baby boomer or a millennial, you will find your favorite place here.
  • Pearl District is a highly walkable location, and many residents prefer going on foot rather than driving a car. It is an ideal place for families who want to be close to family-friendly activities and young adults seeking fantastic nightlife.
  • Hawthorne is a place famous for its hippie and hipster community. Thrift shops, bookstores, and fine dining make it unique and attractive.

We Could Say That Arlington Heights Has the Nicest People in the World

With many renovated parks and more than 300 single-family homes, Arlington Heights is the neighborhood made for families who enjoy outdoor activities. People are courteous, kind, and open to newcomers. Arlington Heights will become your home in no time.

The neighborhood is ideal for outdoor activities, whether you choose to explore the 12 miles of hiking trails in Hoyt Arboretum or to go on a relaxing walk through Washington Park – one of the most popular parks in the city.

Parents can take their kids to visit The Children’s Museum or go to some of the playgrounds ideal for making new friends.

Portlanders are kind and friendly. You'll enjoy it!

Think Globally, Shop Locally

Chain stores are not the “thing” for Portlanders. Instead, they embrace and put their trust in local businesses. Whether it is a restaurant, coffee shop, grocery shop, clothing boutique, or brewery; if it is local, then it’s a big yes for PDX.

Try to Save Money When Shopping

Each one of us would like to cut costs every time possible. When it comes to shopping, especially grocery shopping, there are some useful tips you could incorporate into your shopping routine.

First of all, try not to buy fast food. It seems like buying it will save you money, but that is just short-term. Secondly, avoid buying food packed in boxes. The groceries packed in bags, such as cereals, are much more affordable.

Prep your food, replace coffee shop coffee with your homemade coffee. When you start buying ingredients and preparing meals, you’ll see the positive difference in your overall body and state of mind, but also your budget. Not bad, right?

This is a place for local businesses to grow.

Things to Know Before Moving to Portland Oregon

Let’s draw a line and make a mini checklist of the most important things you should know before relocating to PDX:

  • You’ll need vitamin D – As you can see, PDX has a lot of cloudy and rainy days. That’s why, if you enjoy sunny weather, make sure to take your vitamin D and avoid bad moods caused by bad weather.
  • Think about purchasing a bike – It will be easier to get to the desired location, it will not cause you trouble in finding a free parking spot, and it will benefit your health.
  • Learn about sustainable practices – Portlanders are highly aware of the importance of taking care of the environment. If you want to be a member of the PDX community, you should get familiar with the green-friendly culture
  • You’ll get used to and eventually really enjoy how kind people from PDX are.

Now that you have essential information about your future city, you can start packing your suitcases. Last but not least, find reliable Portland movers and make your relocation easier on yourself by hiring expert moving and packing service providers.

Written By: Jessica Hill