Cost of living -

7 Things to know and do before moving to Oregon

Oregon is a state known for its eccentric traditions and an interesting past. It has an extraordinarily rich history. Oregon is a state that offers a high quality of life and a lot of jobs to choose from. Oregon is one of the states known for its incredible landscapes. 

It is also one of the greenest places in the United States. In addition to this, Oregon is not highly populated, it has many small and beautiful towns. 

So, if you’re someone who likes the quiet, Oregon is an ideal place for you. It is also one of the few states that don’t have a state sales tax. If you are considering moving to Oregon, there are several things you need to know and prepare. Here are 7 things you need to know and do when moving to Oregon.

What to Know Before your Move to Oregon

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1. First steps before moving to Oregon

Finding a job 

Oregon’s breathtaking natural landscapes, ranging from the Pacific Ocean to mountains and forests, make it an attractive destination for both living and working. The state’s emphasis on work-life balance and the relaxing effects of its natural beauty further contribute to its appeal. Notably, the tech industry in Portland is on the rise, with a growing presence of tech startups and major companies like Intel, as well as being the headquarters of Nike.

Oregon also offers high-demand job opportunities with competitive wages, particularly in managerial roles. These roles include agricultural managers, supervisors and managers of landscaping, fishing, and forestry workers, operations managers, general managers, as well as elementary, high school, and postsecondary school administrators. 

Additionally, there are lucrative opportunities in the healthcare sector with positions like medical and health service managers, as well as in the financial industry with positions like financial managers. These opportunities span across various industries within the state.

Getting there 

Find a reliable moving company, truck rental or moving container

For your move to Oregon, you will need to hire a reliable moving company or take on the move yourself. To find the best moving company in Oregon, look for helpful reviews, a professional-looking website, and years of experience.

Planning a move to Oregon? Have a look at our selection of the Best Moving Companies in Portland and Salem.

Must dos before your arrival

  • Update Your Address: Changing your address is a crucial step when relocating. You can easily set up mail forwarding either online or in person before your move. Remember to update your address with various organizations, including the SSA, DMV, and home services. Also remember to register to vote. To ensure you don’t miss any important notifications, refer to our comprehensive change of address checklist, which covers all the places you need to update when moving.
  • Weather Preparedness: Be ready for Oregon’s diverse weather like cool and rainy winters and warm dry summers. Check local forecasts and pack accordingly, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the region’s climate variations.
  • Apartment Hunting: Plan ahead by researching and scheduling apartment visits before your arrival. This proactive approach will help streamline your housing search process and ensure a smoother transition.

2. Upon your arrival in Oregon

Must dos right upon your arrival

  • Get familiar with your neighborhood, and make sure to take note of the important emergency numbers. 
  • Locate the essential facilities like the nearest hospital, police station, and fire department for your safety and in case of emergency.
  • It would be convenient to purchase a daily transit pass to save money. The fare for the monthly transit pass that includes TriMet buses, MAX Light Rail and WES Commuter Rail is $100 per month in Portland.

Exchanging your driver’s license

Procedure for new driver’s license and vehicle registration in Oregon

When moving to Oregon, you must exchange your out-of-state driver’s license within 30 days. You’ll need to visit your local DMV office, surrender your current driver’s license and provide the required documents. You’ll need an Oregon driver’s license if you’re now officially a resident of the state i.e. if you’re located in Oregon for 6 months or more every year.

If you’ve just moved to Oregon, you’ll have 30 days to title and register your out-of-state vehicle with the DMV from the time you become a resident in Oregon. You can visit the DMV website to check out all the documentation requirements and details.

Documents Needed for Oregon Driver License and Vehicle Registration

Setting up a bank account 

When moving to Oregon, it’s essential to establish a local presence by setting up a bank account. This state follows the same procedures and regulations as in other states. U.S. Bank has more than 100 branch locations in Oregon, and it is convenient for every local because it is accessible.

Getting health insurance

Getting health insurance is an excellent way to get peace of mind when it comes to your health. With health insurance, you will not have to worry about spending a ton of money in case of a health-related emergency. Healthcare is regulated by the state in the US and so the state of Oregon proposes a website to help you with your health insurance search. Simply choose Oregon as your state and create an account.

3. Best places to live in Oregon

Oregon

Portland

Portland is a haven for those with a free spirit, known for its vibrant atmosphere and adventurous spirit. It’s a city that values the arts and promotes a bike-centric culture over a car-centric one. With its breathtaking views, an array of restaurants, art galleries, and shopping centers, residents are spoiled for choice when it comes to weekend activities. 

Eugene

Eugene offers residents and visitors stunning views of the Willamette Valley and a wealth of outdoor recreational opportunities such as kayaking, rafting, and cycling. It’s also a great place for professionally skilled individuals to find employment. The city’s breweries are a draw for both tourists and locals alike. Furthermore, Eugene provides quality healthcare services, as well as numerous malls and pubs.

Salem

Salem, the capital of Oregon, is a hub of agriculture, with picturesque orchards, vineyards, and fields of roses, offering wine tasting experiences. It boasts a well-established education and healthcare system. 

Setting up home services 

The electricity in Oregon comes from sources like hydro, coal, wind, and even nuclear. The most dominant energy source is hydroelectricity, making it very eco-friendly. In terms of costs, electricity is very similar to the average US electricity bill. To find your water, gas, and electricity provider in Oregon, visit the state of Oregon’s Find Your Utility service.

The best internet providers in Oregon will have bundling options, various speeds, and multiple package options at reasonable prices. 

Should you rent or buy?

In recent years, the trend of remote work has prompted many individuals to seek residence in Oregon, drawn by the allure of its stunning natural surroundings. This surge in demand has led to an unprecedented spike in housing prices and subsequently resulted in a shortage of available housing

Local experts caution that, when considering a property investment, it is wise to focus on central, thriving areas rather than more remote locations. This is because the current upswing in demand, driven by the desire for nature and distance from urban centers, may eventually recede or stabilize, potentially making such investments less optimal in the long term.

Despite its relatively isolated nature, the state offers reasonably priced rental options that are quite competitive when compared to the national average, given the quality of the area’s offerings.

Cost of rent in Oregon

Area/Neighborhood

1-bed apartment

3-bed apartment

Portland, OR (Outside of Center)

$1,567.12

$2,743.55

Numbeo (Oct 2023)

Cost of buying a property in Oregon

Area/Neighborhood

Average home price 

Oregon

$490,224

Zillow (Oct 2023)

4. Cost of living in Oregon

Cost of living in Portland

Category

Monthly cost

1 bed apt rent outside city center

$1,567.12

Groceries

Numbeo’s grocery list ($69.82 multiplied by 4)

$279.28

Utilities

Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage

$266.69

Internet with 60 Mbps

$77.97

Transit pass

$100.00

Entertainment 

Meal, taxi, movie

$96.50

Gym membership 

$63.14

Total

$2,450.70

Numbeo (Oct 2023)

5. The weather in Oregon

Oregon mostly has cloudy and rainy weather year round. But its incredible landscape definitely compensates for the gloomy weather. On average, there are 175 sunny days per year in Oregon. 

The average temperature in the summers is 68°F and the Winter low is 34°F. Oregon averages 13 inches of snow per year and 41 inches of rain per year.

6. What to do as a local in Oregon

Oregon’s breathtaking landscapes invite people to engage in a variety of outdoor activities along the Oregon Coast, such as hiking, biking, camping, fishing, and even skiing during the winter months. With an abundance of national parks, forests, and rolling hills to explore, Oregon’s natural beauty beckons adventure enthusiasts.

One of Oregon’s notable features is its thriving craft beer and wine production scene. Locals relish the opportunity to partake in this delightful indulgence, often enjoying a few drinks on weekends. The state also boasts a vibrant culinary scene, with locals frequently dining in its many restaurants during evenings and weekends, or grabbing a quick and delicious meal from a food cart during work breaks.

Oregon is renowned for its hipster culture, which is evident in the proliferation of cozy and unique coffee shops. Unlike other states in the country, sports don’t hold the same sway in Oregon, and the state has fewer sports teams. However, the most cherished sporting event for locals is football, particularly the Ducks’ games.

7. Fun facts about Oregon

Fun Fact #1

The flag of Oregon’s state does not have the same design on each side. The flag features a figure of a beaver on one side and the other side has the design of an escutcheon from the state seal.

Fun Fact #2

Formed 65,000 years ago, Carter Lake is the deepest lake in the US. Tourists from all over the world admire its crystal blue water.

Fun Fact #3

Oregon was the first state in the US to ban the usage of non-returnable bottles and cans.

Conclusion

Oregon is home to job opportunities, picturesque landscapes, and a quieter lifestyle. From tech to healthcare, job options abound. Upon arrival, address updates and weather preparedness are crucial. 

Consider renting due to the competitive housing market. Prepare for a cost of living that covers essentials. Oregon’s diverse climate offers outdoor activities and a thriving craft beer and wine scene. The state boasts unique features, like a two-sided flag and the impressive Carter Lake.

Are you moving to Oregon soon? Discover the best movers for your move to Oregon

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Selina Cifelli

The author

Selina is a motivated marketing intern with a keen interest in developing engaging content related to moving experiences and city life. With a passion for fashion and traveling, she brings a fresh perspective to our readers. Her talent for crafting innovative written material effectively positions MovingWaldo as a trusted resource for hassle-free and efficient moves.

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