10 Pros and Cons of Living in Oregon Right Now

Good Things to Know Before Moving To Oregon

Today we are going to walk through the pros and cons of living in Oregon.

Perhaps you want to move to Oregon. But need to know more before making a final decision.

Maybe you are dreaming about retiring in Oregon? And must weigh the advantages against the disadvantages.

Or, you are just looking for a fresh start in life. And a new location to do so.

But before that, knowing the benefits of living in Oregon. Along with some reasons not to move to “The Beaver State”. Is an important first step.

So, whatever your situation. We got it covered.

Because I’m coming at you with my top 10 living in Oregon pros and cons. Right now!

pros and cons of living in Oregon

Disclosure: At no cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Pros And Cons Of Living In Oregon

Our list of Oregon pros and cons consists of the following:

  • An outdoor lover’s paradise
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Pleasant weather conditions
  • Good local things to eat and drink
  • No sales tax
  • High cost of living
  • Heavy tax burden
  • High cost of gasoline
  • Low marks for personal safety
  • Poor quality education

We will go through each of these moving to Oregon pros and cons in just a moment. So you will be able to decide if relocating to Oregon is the right move for you.

But first. Let’s answer the most important question of all…

Is Oregon A Good Place To Live?

Yes. Oregon, located on the west coast, is a good place to live. For several reasons.

Why move to Oregon? Here’s why…

If you are inspired by beautiful and diverse landscapes. And love to:

  • Participate in outdoor activities
  • Protect the environment
  • Eat and drink farm to table.

Then Oregon is a great place to live.

But be aware. Oregon is NOT one of the most affordable places to reside in.

It has a high cost of living. And the state places a heavy tax burden on residents.

Combined with safety concerns and a poor K-12 educational system. And you can see that life in Oregon has its drawbacks.

Also, be warned. Sometimes locals aren’t all that welcoming to outsiders.

Especially, if you are currently living in California. Then move to Oregon.

Okay now. With those key points and highlights completed.

It’s time to review each of the pros and cons of living in Oregon. In much greater detail…

An Outdoor Lover’s Paradise

Oregon is a state for nature lovers. And the variety of the state’s landscape is impressive.

Living In Oregon Means Access To Different Landscapes

Because of the abundant rainfall. In the western part of the state.

Oregon is often thought of as green and lush. And that is true.

But the state has so much more to offer. When it comes to this rugged land located in the Pacific Northwest.

Within a few hours. Or at most, a day’s drive from anywhere in the state. You can find:

  • Pristine sandy beaches
  • Rugged ocean coastline
  • 10,000-foot mountain peaks
  • Dense, green forests
  • Peaceful and productive farmland
  • Crystal clear lakes
  • Awesome river gorges
  • High desert lands

And here is where you can enjoy the Oregon landscape…

Moving To Oregon Allows Access To Great Parks

Is Oregon a good place to live?

First of all, Crater Lake is the one true National Park in the state.

The park’s centerpiece is Crater Lake. The deepest lake in the United States.

Then there is the Oregon state park system.

With more than 250 parks in total. That caters to 50+ million visitors each year.

So, you will be sure to find several parks to your liking. Many of which are located on the states’ miles of stunning ocean coastlines.

The parks mean no issues accessing outdoor activities. Not when living in Oregon.

Find your places. Then boat, swim, fish, surf, hike in the mountains here, ski, and bicycle until your heart is content.

Did I mention bicycling? That’s another one of the reasons to live in Oregon.

Cycling In Oregon Is A Big Deal

The state of Oregon and the city of Portland, in particular, are considered some of the best places for riding a bike.

Because there are many urban biking trails and paths. Plus great bike clubs to join.

And plenty of wide-open rural roads. To take in this state’s beautiful scenery. And wilderness areas.

Next, when considering the beautiful and natural Oregon outdoor environment. This next of our cool things about Oregon makes total sense…

Environmentally Friendly

Oregon life means living in an environmentally friendly state. This fact about Oregon plays out in several ways…

A Low Carbon Footprint Is A Good Thing About Living In Oregon

Oregon is one of the greenest states in the country. Ranked in the top 10 for air and water quality by U.S. News.

First of all, the state is a leader in certified environmentally friendly buildings.

Furthermore, the state government does a good job of introducing environmental legislation. That promotes energy-efficiency standards, recycling programs, and renewable energy sources.

Finally, residents contribute too. Because you won’t find many people littering. And if they do throw out a bottle or container.

Economics suggests a budding entrepreneur will be sure to pick it up. And return it for the 10 cents refundable deposit.

Here is another point that supports the Oregon environment….

Federally Owned Land In Oregon

The state has one of the highest percentages of federally owned land in the country. At more than 50%.

The goals of federal agencies that own the land are simple. They are intended to preserve the land for recreation.  And the development of natural resources.

Thus, federal ownership allows for public access. Supporting outdoor recreation. And limits commercial development that can damage the environment.

Next up. Let’s talk about the weather.

This is an arguable point. Is it a pro or con of living here?

Well, I think the weather is one of the perks to living in Oregon…

Pleasant Weather Conditions

To confess, I do not like extreme temperatures.

Anything above 80 degrees. Or, below 30. Is beyond my comfort zone.

Mild Temperatures In Oregon

This is why I think the weather is one of the advantages here. Because temperatures remain mild for most of the year.

Four Season Living In Oregon

But, you still get all four weather seasons living here. And snow in the higher elevations.

Without the extreme temperatures. At least in the major metropolitan areas. Where many people reside.

The Rain And Clouds In Oregon

Most of the state’s population is clustered in the Western one-quarter of the state. Between the Cascade Mountain Range. And the Pacific coast.

It is here where most of the rain falls. Also, there are plenty of cloudy days from fall through spring.

So, take this into account. If you are a person that needs a lot of sunshine.

Otherwise, the temperatures are pretty good. To take part in the outdoor activities year-round. That the state offers.

Weather In Eastern Oregon

On the other hand, if you decide to locate in the Eastern half of the state. Closer to the border state of Idaho.

You will experience more sun, less rain. And greater temperature extremes.

This is true as you approach the Eastern state border across from Idaho. Also, to the Southeast bordering the dry mostly desert state of Nevada.

Now, on to everyone’s favorite subject. Food and beverages.

I think this is one of the best things about Oregon…

Good Things To Eat And Drink

oregon pros and cons

Here’s where I think Oregon stands out. When it comes to things people like to eat and drink.

Access To Fresh Foods Living In Oregon

First of all, Oregon is home to many family-owned farms and ranches. They are big producers of

  • Pears
  • Peppermint
  • Peas
  • Blueberries
  • Onions
  • Potatoes

And with such a fine local crop. Farmer’s markets are very popular. With more than 100 to choose from in the state.

Furthermore, close access to the Pacific Ocean. This means the state has excellent fresh seafood.

Dungeness crab season starts in the fall. And the catch is so tasty and plentiful. That crab is a popular item during the holidays.

Wild salmon, albacore, Oregon pink shrimp, oysters, and rockfish are also popular choices from the sea. Off of the Oregon coast.

Then, we need something to wash all this food down with.  It is another one of the benefits of living in Oregon…

Living In Oregon Means Great Local Beers And Wine

wineries in "The Beaver State"

First of all, Oregon is home to hundreds of craft breweries.

And stouts, those dark roasted ales, with a coffee-like taste. Are some of the best beers Oregon brewers create. At least, in my opinion.

Then there are nearly 1,000 wineries located in Oregon. Where the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varieties stand out as some of the best.

Visit the wineries in this state. Enjoy a tasting. And taking in the beautiful scenery.

All doing so right out your back door so to speak. Are good reasons to move to Oregon.

Next up. It’s time for the last one of my pros of living in Oregon.

And we will make a shift to how Oregon impacts your finances.

No Sales Tax

Oregon state does not have a sales tax. And there are no local sales taxes either.

So the price you see on an item you are interested in buying. Is the price you will pay. In almost all circumstances.

This is a nice benefit. If you are a large consumer of goods.

In case you are interested, 3 other states do not impose a sales tax. They are:

  • Delaware
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire

But, you are going to see in a moment. That sales taxes are one of the few tax benefits this state offers.

Okay. That completes my list of 5 pros of living in Oregon.

Now it’s time to shift to 5 reasons not to move to Oregon.

5 moving to Oregon pros and cons

And, I’m not done with your finances…

High Cost Of Living

You can certainly find less expensive places to live.

Because the cost of living in Oregon is high. Here are the big contributors to the price you will pay living in Oregon…

Living in Oregon Means Expensive Homes

Similar to another state out West, Utah. Oregon’s housing market has been robust. To say the least.

Housing costs add the most to the price of living in Oregon.

Because the median cost to buy a home in Oregon is high. At almost 50% more than the median cost across the U.S.

Cheaper homes can be found in the Eastern part of the state. But most people relocate to Western Oregon. Where home prices are much higher.

The greater metropolitan area of Portland, including Hillsboro and Beaverton. Also cities like Salem, Eugene, and Medford up down the Western part of the state. All have very competitive housing markets.

Eugene in particular has been very hot. Called by Forbes recently one of the top seller’s markets in the country.

And median home prices in Portland are more than $500,000 according to real estate broker Redfin. The high cost is pricing many would-be buyers out of the market.

Then there are rents…

Apartment Rents Living In Oregon

And you won’t catch a break if you want to rent an apartment.

Because average monthly rental rates in the state are about 11% higher. Versus the country as a whole.

And again, rents in Portland are much higher. As compared to the rest of the state.

Evaluate Your Financial Condition Before Moving To Oregon

So, make sure you are on solid economic footing before moving to Oregon. Since the cost of living is high here.

Get your Oregon retirement finances in place. Or, have secure employment in hand before you move.

Furthermore, pull your finances, investments, and expenses together. Then make a good assessment.

For this task, I recommend the online tool from Personal Capital.

Because Personal Capital is a great tool to see where you stand financially. Before making a move. So you don’t get yourself in financial trouble.

Best of all Personal Capital is free. To sign up. And to use.

Because heading to Oregon needing to navigate the job market. Or doing so with shaky finances. Are not the best ideas.

Especially with statewide unemployment in Oregon. Running near the national average.

More Tools For Dealing With The High Cost Of Living In Oregon

So, be prepared financially. And make sure you don’t overpay for a mortgage.

You can get a low-cost mortgage from LendingTree. For that new home in Oregon.

And make sure your credit score is in good shape. Because both lenders and landlords will check your credit.

You can check it for free using Credit Karma. And beat them to the punch.

Here is another of the cons of living in Oregon. And we are still working on your finances…

Heavy Tax Burden

taxes: one of the bad things about this state

The state of Oregon places a high tax burden on its residents. Here’s why…

High Income Tax Rates Living In Oregon

Oregon has one of the highest marginal income tax rates in the nation. Clocking in at almost 10%.

The state runs a progressive income tax system. This means that households making more money. Incur higher tax rates.

The minimum income tax rate in Oregon is 5%.

But it only takes about $9,000 of income as a single filer. Or, about $18,000 as a married filer.

To jump into the 9% tax bracket. And fork over 9 cents on every extra dollar you make.

Combine Oregon’s income tax with federal income tax, and social security tax. And it doesn’t take a lot of income to give up nearly 40% of it to the government.

That will come right off the top of your paycheck. Ouch!

Then there’s another tax to be aware of. Another one of the reasons not to live in Oregon…

Property Taxes

Real estate taxes are a function of two things.

First of all, the tax rate. Secondly, the value of your home that the rate is applied to.

Oregon’s average property tax rates fall in the middle of the pack.  Versus all other states.

But applied against the high property values in Oregon. It means the average property tax bill is in the highest one-third of all states in the country.

But I’m not done picking your pocket just yet.

Because there is one last cost I want you to factor into your budget. It is another one of the pros and cons of living in Oregon.

High Cost Of Gasoline

And that is the high price you will pay at the pump. For a gallon of gas. Here’s why.

Full-Service Gas Stations Living In Oregon

Oregon has a quirky law that applies to gas stations. Specifically, in counties with more than 40,000 residents.

In those counties, which comprises all of the major metropolitan areas. It is illegal to get out of your car and pump your gas.

Thus, a service station attendant must do it for you. And this service increases the price of gasoline.

But there’s more about gasoline prices than meets the eye in the state…

High Gasoline Taxes When Living In Oregon

Then the state government adds on one of the highest per gallon gas taxes of all states in the country. To make Oregon gas prices some of the most costly you will find.

So, if you do a lot of driving. Be prepared. Because it’s going to cost you more at the pump.

Next, allow me to help you save some money…

Cash Back Apps For Saving Money In Oregon (or anywhere you live)

With all of these extra costs living in Oregon.

Here are a couple of resources for how to save money in this state. Or any other state you choose to live in.

We save on all of our online purchases using Rakuten. It’s simple.

First of all, get $10 for signing up with Rakuten and making your first online purchase.

Then get cashback rebates on everything you buy online through Rakuten going forward.

Then when you make a trip to the grocery store. You can save money on your purchases there too.

By using the cashback app from Ibotta.

Rakuten and Ibotta! They are a nice one-two punch.

For saving money on everything you buy. Both online, and at the grocery store.

As I said, you can save with Rakuten and Ibotta in Oregon. Or, any other location for that matter.

But now, back to “The Beaver State”. Because I have another one of the disadvantages of living in Oregon…

Low Marks For Personal Safety

No one wants to get injured. Or be involved in an accident.

So, it’s important to know about safety issues before moving to Oregon.

Bad Traffic Living In Oregon

First of all the state is notorious for bad traffic.

There is the city of Portland. And its greater metropolitan area.

Because of the population. And series of bridges drivers must negotiate. Traffic gets jammed.

Then there is the Interstate 5 corridor. Running North-South from Portland to Medford.

These two areas, in particular, are known for bad traffic. Furthermore, heavy bad traffic leads to a higher than desirable accident rate in Oregon.

And another one of the bad things about living in Oregon…

High Crime Rates In Mostly Urban Areas

The crime rates are higher here. Versus other states.

Both for violent crime. And property crime.

However, crime is a function of where you choose to live in Oregon.

With the urban areas having notably higher crime rates. Versus rural areas in Oregon.

Earthquake Risk Living In Oregon

Then there is the ominous threat of a severe earthquake.

Because Oregon is located on the Cascadia Subduction Zone. A 600-mile fault line running through the state.

According to Oregon.gov, there is potential for a 9.0+ magnitude earthquake caused by this fault line.  And a resulting tsunami of up to 100 feet in height impacting the coastal area.

It is scary stuff for sure. It could be one of the worst things about living in Oregon.

And, last but not least. The last of our reasons not to move to Oregon.

That made it on our list of 10 pros and cons of living in Oregon…

Poor Quality Education

Public school education is not the greatest in Oregon. WalletHub ranks the quality of Oregon’s school system in the bottom 25% of all states in the country.

High dropout rates. Lower test scores. And crowded classrooms are some of the problems in Oregon’s K-12 educational system.

So, if you have school-age children. And are considering a move to Oregon.

Choosing the right location with the best schools is important. Or, coming up with the money to pay for private schooling is another option.

But be sure to factor in additional education expenses for your children. Into your budget before you move.

Okay. That’s it. And concludes my review of the best things and bad things about living in Oregon.

Let’s wrap up with a summary.

Pros And Cons Of Living In Oregon

10 living in Oregon pros and cons

Keep these 10 moving to Oregon pros in cons in mind.

Before you pick up stakes. And move to “The Beaver State”.

So, consider these things when thinking about Oregon:

  • An outdoor lover’s paradise
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Pleasant weather conditions
  • Good local things to eat and drink
  • No sales tax
  • High cost of living
  • Heavy tax burden
  • High cost of gasoline
  • Low marks for personal safety
  • Poor quality education

Now you know the pros and cons of living in Oregon. And what it is like living in Oregon.

So, all the best with your decision. On where to move.

More Reading Beyond The Pros And Cons Of Oregon

My Favorite Resources For Oregon Living And Beyond

Throughout the article, I mentioned several resources for making the most of your money in Oregon. Or, anywhere you choose to live.

They are summarized here for your convenience.

conclusions about "The Beaver State"

Disclosure & Disclaimer: I am not a licensed investment adviser, financial adviser, or tax professional. And I am not providing you with individual investment advice, financial guidance, or tax counsel. Furthermore, this website’s only purpose is information & entertainment. And we are not liable for any losses suffered by any party because of information published on this blog.

thinking about living in Oregon

The Pros And Cons Of Living In Oregon Explained