Thinking of Moving? Here’s Everything to Know About Living in Portland Oregon

Do you know what makes living in Portland, Oregon, great for so many people? It is one of the greenest places in the US, home to the annual World Naked Bike Ride, and plenty of hiking paths you can use to get around.

If you’re entertaining the idea of moving to Portland, Oregon, know that you’d be staying in a place with blooming technology and cargo shipping industries, as well as one the highest number of microbreweries per capita anywhere in the world. Once you find employment, emerge yourself in the kookiness of pirate and zombie festivals. After a while, you will realize that becoming a Portlander was the best decision you could’ve made.

Go Over the Pros and Cons of Living in Portland, Oregon

No matter where you live, most locations have good and bad sides, but when the pros outweigh the cons, you will know that you chose a great place to settle down in.

Like every other Portlander, you will be faced with unusual weather. Some might take this as a pro, but others as a con when it comes to life in this metropolis. The same can be said for traffic because, if you are not a fan of driving, you might consider it a downside.

All in all, this is a location that caters to the needs of its residents, which can be seen in the way the government plans development, in the diversity of job and housing offers, and vast entertainment options.

Go over pros and cons and you will see all the benefits of becoming a resident.

Pick the Right Place to Call Home When Moving

Did you know that there are 95 officially recognized neighborhoods in this metropolis? Data from the website Niche shows that the percentage of those who are renting their homes is almost the same as the percentage of homeowners. No matter what you choose to do, remember that the median home value is $383,600, while the median rent is $1,200.

Even before you think about packing your belongings, make a priority list, and see what essential requirements your new home should meet – whether that is the location, crime rates, or vicinity to top-rated schools. After that, you should go over the housing market and look for suitable accommodation.

Consider the Reasons Why Some Neighborhoods Are Better For You Than Others

All of the best neighborhoods in Portland should be safe, well connected, and with diverse housing options. But what makes a location perfect for you?

Different neighborhoods will fulfill different needs. If you are moving in with your partner, you’ll probably look for accommodation that fits both of your budgets, and is equally far away from both of your workplaces.

Young professionals looking to rent an apartment should consider Goose Hollow or Pearl District since their central locations are ideal for dedicated career chasers. Every young and single person who wishes to move to a city alone can have fun anywhere. Nevertheless, Downtown, Buckman, and Richmond have a perfect mix of entertainment, accommodation, and work opportunities many people need.

Those who dream of moving from an apartment to a house should look up Northwest Heights or Markham.

The metropolis is divided into six sections.

Define a Budget If You’re Wondering Whether It’s Expensive to Live in Portland

If you are relocating from a small town to a big city, you might be surprised by the higher prices of utilities, housing, and even groceries. When it comes to the cost of living in Portland, Oregon, you should carefully consider all bits and pieces that go into it. More often than not, the amount of money you need will depend on your lifestyle.

All of those who love to dine out at some of the best restaurants in Portland should keep in mind that a meal for two is around $55. If you want to save up, consider cooking on your own, and for that, you will need some basic groceries like milk, which is $3.40 a gallon, a beef round of 1 lb that is $7.30, and a loaf of bread that costs $3.

The Best Decision Would Be to Look for a Job Before Moving

Have you thought about how to get a job before you move? Between packing, looking for accommodation, and finding a professional moving company, this might have slipped your mind, but it’s quite essential. Having a job waiting for you at the next destination will spare you of digging into your savings account and make the adaptation process way more comfortable. Also, before you accept the offered paycheck, research just how much money you will need to live comfortably. It will give you leverage when you are negotiating the salary.

Calculate How Much You Need to Earn to Live Comfortably

Comfortable life means you get to pay all of your bills and still have money to enjoy yourself and put some in the bank. To be able to do so, every Portlander should earn around $60,000 a year, according to a report by personal finance and banking site GOBankingRates.

Put your expenses on the paper and see how much money you actually need for a decent living

PDX IS a City With Many Tech Companies

Did you know that Portland’s geographical position is beneficial for several industries? Add low energy costs, a network of interstates, international airports, resources, marine and shipping facilities, and you’ve got a great business location.

Marine terminals handle over 13 million cargo per year, and this is the largest freshwater port, as well as the second-largest wheat shipper in the world. The steel industry is also booming because of Schnitzer Steel Industries, Steel Mills, and ESCO Corporation.

If you wish to work in the tech field, you’ll be happy to hear there are more than 1,200 technology companies within the metropolis, earning it a nickname – Silicon Forest. This is a fertile ground for startups as well. Intel, a computer components manufacturer, is present in the metro area, and it’s the city’s largest employer, providing work for more than 15,000 Portlanders.

Did you figure out that the metropolis is also a business cluster for athletic and outdoor gear and footwear? When looking for work, you’ll stumble upon globally famous enterprises such as Adidas, Nike, LaCrosse Footwear, Dr.Martens, Columbia Sportswear, and Keen. Nike is one of two Fortune 500 companies in the area, the other being metal fabrication company Precision Castparts Corp.

All of you big beer drinkers will be happy to learn that breweries are another staple of the metropolis. That’s why there are almost 140 of them. Additionally, with 20 coffee roasters, there is a robust coffee-drinking culture.

You are soon going to be a Portlander, and if you desire a stress-free relocation experience, try looking up employment even before you relocate. Knowing that you have a position lined up for you can alleviate anxiety and make the whole process run smoothly.

There are plenty of enterprises, national and international, where you can land employment.

When Living in Portland, Oregon, Be Prepared for Misty Weather

While professional Portland movers are taking care of your bulky items, you should look into the climate of your future area. Knowing what to pack and what to leave in storage will make your relocation efficient and less chaotic. The metropolis has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, but cold and cloudy winters, with an average yearly temperature of 71F, and 144 sunny days.

According to the website CurrentResults, there are 222 cloudy and 125 foggy days annually. Most Portlanders are used to the mist and consistent precipitation. Nevertheless, if you are not a huge fan of rain, remember that the metropolis is still not amongst the top 10 US cities with the highest annual rainfall.

It's not as rainy as it seems, but you will have to get used to the mist.

Get Used to Driving a Car

Did you know that almost 80% of residents use a car to commute? With a network of well-maintained roads, shipping your car to the new location would be a smart move. Keep in mind that Downtown and The Pearl have premium parking spots, but there are many lots you can pay to park in.

The metropolis counts more than a few state highways, numbered as Oregon, Interstate, and US Routes. As a driver, you should keep in mind that commute time is usually less than half an hour. Still, traffic jams are possible at interstate connections, especially sections of Highway 217 and 26, as well as the Interstate 5 bridge crossing the Columbia River. Also, if you are not too keen on driving around, you can always use public transportation.

Getting a Hang of the Public Transportation

The metropolis has a developed network of light rail, bus, and streetcar services that can take you to any location you need to go. With the TriMet public transportation system, you can go anywhere you want, and fares are $2.50 for two and a half hours of travel or $5 per day.

For all of those who need to travel long distances, there is the International Airport, 20 minutes northeast of Downtown. This airport was named the best one in the US for seven consecutive years, from 2013 to 2019. You will also find Downtown Heliport, the only public heliport in the state.

If you don’t like to be behind the wheel, but still try to avoid public transportation as much as possible, there are other ways to get around. You just have to choose those that fit you best.

There Are Other Commute Options as Well

Did you know that around 22,700 employed Portlanders bike to work? The metropolis has the highest percentage of bike commuters for a large US area.

According to the official government website, there are 385 miles of bikeways, and 95 more are planned for the next five years. Since 2016, there is also a bike-sharing program called Biketown, which allows you to rent a bike and pay as you go, and it costs $0.08 per minute.

If you prefer to get to your destination on foot, you should remember that the website WalkScore gave the metropolis a score of 97 out of 100, making it a pedestrian paradise.

You shouldn't be surprised by the number of one-way streets.

Sports and Outdoor Activities Are a Big Deal

Portlanders might not have an NFL team to cheer for, but there are more than enough other games you can enjoy watching. It is home to three major league sports teams – Timbers compete in men’s and Thorns in women’s soccer leagues, while Trail Blazers are part of the NBA league.

Without any doubt, Portlanders also love the less popular sports like roller derby, electric hockey, ultimate frisbee, paintball, and underwater hockey. If you wish to meet new neighbors, invite them to watch a game with you, and bond over strange sports preferences.

Being in a big, urban area doesn’t mean that you can only partake in indoor activities or watch sports from the bleachers. Put on some good walking shoes, and check out what kind of outdoor activities the city has to offer.

Portlanders Hold Their Outdoors in High Regard

Portlanders are residents of one of the greenest cities in America. The main reason behind this is pioneer state-directed metropolitan planning. The government invested in green streets that improve air quality, reduce temperature, and replenish groundwaters.

All the innovations reflect in more than 10,000 acres of public parks and natural areas. If you are relocating with your pets, they will have plenty of places to run around, and you will have vast opportunities to enjoy the fresh air and outdoor activities. Stop by Forest Park, the largest wilderness park within the city limits in the entire US, and pick your favorite activity: biking, hiking, running, or bird watching.

There are more than a few outdoor spots where you can hike, bike, or run.

Culture Is a Major Part of Life of Every Portlander

The metropolis has plenty to offer not only to tourists but to its residents, as well. The mix of influences makes for an unusual culture scene that leaves people speechless. When you settle down, explore all the performing arts institutions, watch theater plays, or stop by Oregon Ballet Theater and catch a show. When you feel like dancing or losing yourself in music, you can check out some excellent music venues that have an offer that would leave every music fan without words.

You Can Enjoy Any Music Genre You Want

Have you heard of Pink Martini, The Hugs, and The Decemberists? Remember all of those bands that people are constantly talking about, but you never heard of? They might be from Portland. The city has a vibrant music scene, from 80s rock venues to classical music.

No matter what genre you’re into, there is a big chance that you can catch a live performance somewhere. All around the metropolis, you can find great spots when you feel like going out: check out Aladdin Theater, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Dante’s, and many others. When you don’t feel like dancing your night away or jamming to some epic melodies, you can spend the day learning and exploring.

There Are Numerous Museums You Can Check Out

Going to a museum can be a great all-day activity. If you are planning on spending your day with friends or family while learning something new, check out the Art Museum, Museum of Science and History, Historical Society Museum, or Children’s Museum.

If you are looking for more atypical museums, we suggest that you go to:

  • Freakybuttrue Peculiarium and discover interactive displays for all senses
  • America’s Largest Hat Museum and see a collection of more than 1,000 hats
  • Movie Madness and admire the world’s most extensive video, DVD, and Blue-Ray rental selection

When a day of learning and exploring drains you out, you should definitely kick back and relax at one of many restaurants all over the metropolis.

Food Is a Big Part of the Culture

Foodies will love exploring all kinds of restaurants while being here. Portlanders will tell you that food is a big part of their culture. That’s why, when you go out, you can discover all kinds of cuisines.

When you’re craving Spanish cuisine, stop by Ataula or Urdaneta and have excellent tapas and drinks. Also, there are Japanese, European, and restaurants serving American dishes. No matter what you wish to eat, there will be a place that serves it.

Did you know that the metropolis is famous because it has over 400 food carts and mobile eateries? And they don’t only sell hot dogs but a variety of different foods. Check out Kargi Gogo, a cart that serves traditional Georgia cuisine, or stop by some of the local favorite late-nighters such as Potato Champion, Pyro Pizza, and Chicken and Guns.

Embrace the street carts and mobile eaters as an everyday thing.

Embracing the Weirdness Is Not a Phase, It’s a Way of Life

What is weird anyway? Is it the behavior we don’t fully understand or the one we don’t encounter that often? Don’t overthink too much, but embrace all the diversity. There are more than enough steampunks, hippies, and hipsters to make this place colorful.

You should remember that only 32% of Portlanders identify as religious, making the metropolis the least religious place in the US. Residents might not be religious, but you still can find the 24 Hour Church of Elvis.

Portlanders are fond of crazy spectacles and competitions. That’s why you can participate in an adult soapbox derby, nude bike rides, but also pirate festival, zombie walks, and Star Wars-themed bar crawls.

There Are So Many Great Things You Can Do While Living in Portland Oregon

Embrace adventures. When you want to pause on exploring parks and discovering restaurants, other things will keep you entertained, especially if the weather outside is bad.

Get your geek mode on in one of the few board game cafes, or embrace your inner child in arcades. Embrace uniqueness, individuality, and expressionism. After all, many are inspired by the slogan “Keep Portland Weird.” That’s why you will probably stumble upon unusual and eccentric performances or exhibitions all over the metropolis.  Don’t get freaked out if you see Batman running around with Superman, it’s completely normal.

You can also visit Powell’s City of Books and see why it’s the world’s largest new and used bookstore. If you’re in the mood to spend some cash, Lloyd Shopping Center provides you with more than 200 stores, where you can get dressed from head to toe.

Living in Portland vs Seattle – What Are the Differences?

When packing up your whole life and relocating somewhere new, you should be sure you are making the right choice. If you still have some doubts, compare the overall cost and quality of living between your current and future hometown. For example, if you currently live in nearby Seattle, this is what the comparison will look like:

Seattle and Portland are both on the west side of the United States, and they share more similarities than you might think. The climate in both cities is in the Mediterranean zone, and the demographic structure is similar. Nevertheless, you should go over the cost of living in both and see how they compare.

Statistics from global database Numbeo show that Portlanders pay 35% less when it comes to preschool, and 30% less when it comes to international primary school. If you have infants or toddlers, it would be smarter, in the long run, to relocate to a cheaper place. All renters will save up a significant amount of cash if they choose to become Portlanders, but that goes for homeowners as well.

Before moving, if you are still torn about your decision, compare the basic costs of utilities, housing, and average monthly wages, and make an educated decision you won’t regret in the future.

CityMonthly Utilities for 915 sq ft Apartment Rent - one bedroom apartmentBuying a property - Price per Square FeetAverage Monthly Net Paycheck
Portland, Oregon$175$1,200$250$3,750
Seattle, Washington$165$1,650$430$5,550

You’ve Reached the Final Stage of Becoming a Portlander: Now You Can Kick Back and Relax

Are you unpacked and all settled down? Give it some time, and you will eventually feel like you truly belong. When the fog and the rain stop bothering you, when a stroll in the park becomes an everyday activity, and your geeky levels rise up, you will realize that you have become a true local. Enjoy it, because Portlanders are unique beings who appreciate the weirdness of the world around them.

Written By: Blake Shaw