Moving to Oregon
In addition to the metropolitan Portland area, Oregon is full of farmland, mountains and perhaps the most awe-inspiring coastline in North America—the state just falls straight into the Pacific Ocean and it has to be seen to be believed.
Here are a few bits of advice you should know before moving to Oregon.
Timing: Don’t wait for prices to drop in the fall to move to Oregon; renting a moving truck for your move will cost you about the same during any season of year. And don’t worry about the day of the week—the moving truck rental rates tend to run the same whether they are picked up on a Monday or Friday.
Weather: If you plan to move to Oregon in the fall or winter be prepared to get wet. Those trees aren’t green due to dryness. The west side of Oregon gets a steady amount of rain in the colder month. The east side of Oregon is dryer in general, but it still gets a fair share of rain.
Traffic: The state of Oregon is like anywhere else: the bigger towns and cities have lots of traffic and the smaller communities have less. Portland’s traffic can be pretty bad. Follow Portland traffic prior to moving to get an idea for which time is best to get on the road. Also keep in mind that traffic is at an all-time high on Fridays, sunny days (because of the frequent rain), and during sporting events due to the close proximity of the venues housing the Portland Trail Blazers and Portland Timbers. Oregon has a number of US and State Routes in addition to Interstate Highways 5, 105, 205, 305, 405, 505, 82 and 84, and if you move to Oregon, chances are you will be driving in on one.
HVAC: If you are sensitive to warm temperatures, keep in mind that most homes and apartments in Oregon, especially the western side of the state do not have air conditioners. The weather in Oregon is fairly temperate, but there is a small window in July where the weather can get extremely hot and humid.
Address Change: When moving to Oregon, as with any move, make sure to change your address online or at the post office directly. Both are easy to do and can give you the peace of mind that your mail will make it to your new home in a timely manner. The USPS will forward all first class mail for one-year and magazines and periodicals for 60 days.
Parking: Make sure your new town will allow you to have a storage container or moving truck parked on the street in front of your new home or apartment. Make sure you are not moving to your new home on a street cleaning day or restricted time. Most streets in Portland, Eugene and Salem have specific street cleaning days and timeframes or permit-only parking.
Check out our downloadable planners and checklists.
Cities and Metro Areas
There are 36 counties in Oregon to choose from when deciding where you’ll call home. Offering a mix of metropolitan areas (Portland is the largest), small towns in the Cascade Mountain range and coastal cities in the east, you’re sure to find an area of Oregon that fits your desired lifestyle.
Portland, Eugene and Salem are the most populous cities in Oregon, but by no means the only great places to live in the state. Also consider Medford, Corvallis, Bend, Beaverton and Astoria, among others.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Oregon is 11.6 percent higher than the US average (as of 2012). Costs for food, utilities and miscellaneous goods (restaurants, clothing, repairs, entertainment, etc.) in Oregon are generally in line with the US averages; with the country average index at 100, Oregon comes in at 101, 92 and 103 for the respective categories. So where does the 11.6 increase in cost of living come in? Housing, transportation and healthcare will typically cost more in Oregon.
The cost of living in Oregon will, however, vary significantly by area. Small towns and rural areas may see expenses well below the national averages, while the Portland area, in particular, is one of the more expensive cities in the US.
Highways and Public Transport
Getting around the state of Oregon can be tough due to drastic changes in terrain and lack of population; however, it is surprisingly easy to navigate the bigger communities, especially Portland. Sure, there are the typical traffic jams and slow going if you drive a car, but Portland is a known as a bicycle-friendly city and very walkable. Use the following links as your guide to Oregon transportation.
If you are relocating to Oregon with a job then congratulations are in order! And if you move to Oregon and are in the market for a new job, there are plenty of places to look. Although the unemployment rate in Oregon is higher than the US average at 9.1 percent (national average is 8.6 percent), job growth throughout the state has been positive, with job openings increasing by 0.37 percent (figures as of October 2012).
When moving to Oregon, you will enjoy climate heavily influenced by its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, which means it is fairly temperate. And wet. Western Oregon has, on average, 68 days of sunshine each year. The winters are cloudy and the average high/low temperatures on one day vary by roughly 10 degrees. The relatively dry summers are gorgeous and average 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures can, however, reach into the 90s during July and August. The eastern part of the state stays drier and a few degrees warmer in the summertime.
Many Oregon school districts, like the Portland Public School District, are working on making it easier for families to find the right for school for them. They are taking a wait-and-see approach to easing cross-district transfers, which means it may be easier to get your child in the school of your dreams. The 2014-2015 School District Report Card is also available for Oregon Public Schools, which includes any and all info you might need for elementary, junior high/middle school and high schools. Here are some helpful links for information on education when moving to Oregon:
- Oregon Department of Education
- Oregon Colleges
- Great Schools in Oregon
- List of Oregon School Districts
Before moving to Oregon, utilize the extensive network of online resources available to tackle important tasks such as voter registration, tax information, and city permits needed for tree trimming and construction. Some online Oregon resources can be found at the following sites: