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Whether you’re from the Pacific Northwest or not, you probably know the area to be laid-back, friendly, and somewhat rainy, but full of great things to do outdoors. These qualities make it an ideal area to raise a family, start a new career, or head off to college. If you’re considering moving to a city in the Pacific Northwest, Portland and the surrounding area has just about everything you need as you embark on the next chapter of your life.

Portland, Oregon is quirky, charming, and simply one of the best cities in the area for job opportunity, education, and attractions. The city is both urban and full of nature, giving locals the best of both worlds. If you’re looking at possibly moving to Portland in the near future, here are a few things you need to know before making the big move. Safe travels!

Environmentalism is important.

If there’s one generalization that can be made about Portland locals, it’s that the environment plays a big role in everything they do. In fact, half the city’s power comes from renewable energy. If you’re interested in adopting a more eco-friendly lifestyle, Portland is an absolute mecca. There are plenty of environmentally-friendly shops to frequent, opportunities to participate in sustainability initiatives, and a whole lot of walking and bike riding as a form of transportation, which we’ll touch on later. An eco-friendly city also means an abundance of vegan and vegetarian alternatives available everywhere you go. Whether you visit a local coffee shop or a chain (we love you, Dutch Bros), there are always dairy-free alternatives to choose from for your morning cup of joe.

This environment-first mentality also means a lot of Portlandians put health and wellness at the forefront, as these lifestyles often go hand in hand. From yoga studios to hiking clubs, there are so many new experiences waiting to be had for health-conscious individuals in the Portland area. 

You can live car-free.

As mentioned, a lot of Portland residents choose to walk or bike around town as their primary means of transportation. Because it’s such an important part of the Portland lifestyle, the city has taken major strides to ensure the easiest and safest experience for bike riders. In fact, Portland is the most bike-friendly city in the entire US. With over 350 miles of bike lanes, cyclists have an easy time navigating the city and can feel completely comfortable doing so. Many avid bike riders have made Portland their home simply because of this fact. If you’re looking to decrease your carbon footprint or just want to get a little more fit during your daily commute, moving to Portland might what helps you kick off some new healthy habits.

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Job opportunities are plentiful.

Portland is more than just a fun city, full of outdoor adventures, good restaurants, and a thriving nightlife. It’s also a great place to work or attend school. If you’re looking to work for a huge company in the big city, you might turn first to New York City or Los Angeles, or even more budding areas like Austin or Denver. Portland gives you that awesome Pacific Northwest lifestyle, but you don’t have to skimp on those career opportunities. It may be deceitful because of the abundance of natural attractions, but it is indeed a big city.

Portland and the surrounding areas are home to some of the biggest businesses in the country—Intel, Nike, Wells Fargo, Adidas, and Salesforce, just to name a few. The job opportunities in this area are endless, especially for those looking to break into tech, athletic fashion, or healthcare. The great part about Portland is that, while the population growth is on the rise, so are job opportunities. While young professionals have been flocking to Portland because of the lifestyle benefits, many companies were able to take advantage of the talent, education level, and diversity of the workforce available in this area. It’s become a win-win scenario for everyone.

Housing is affordable.

If you’re looking for that big city lifestyle but don’t want to pay big city prices, Portland is the place for you. Portland houses for sale are extremely affordable to other cities on the West Coast, as well as cities like New York or Boston out East. The average rent in Boston is about $3,772 and the median home price is around $760K. Portland comes in at about $1,746 for rent—over $2K less than Boston—and the median home price is around $549K, according to Redfin. The difference is astounding. 


Still, keep in mind Portland is a big city. If you’re coming from a small town in rural America, the cost of living may be much higher than expected. Fortunately, the city also has a great public transit system, as well as the bike-friendly lanes we just can’t praise enough. There are plenty of opportunities to save money on cars, auto repairs, and parking, which may make the city even more affordable than expected.

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