Pros and Cons from a Local’s Viewpoint
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PROS of Living in Bend
#1 Outdoor Lifestyle
Many people move to Bend for the outdoor lifestyle and what a great reason! If you live in a larger city and you’re tired of traffic jams and limited access to skiing, hiking, lakes, rivers, mountains and biking trails, then maybe moving to a smaller town, like Bend, Oregon is a good solution. I know it was for me and my husband. If you’re thinking of a move to Bend, I suggest making a list of what you don’t like about your current location and what you want in your new location. Check it agains these pros and cons and see if Bend is a good match!
So whether you’re in search of rivers to kayak on, lakes to fish in, mountains to ski down, hiking trails to explore, rocks to climb, there are endless outdoor opportunities for you here. And the best part is…it usually won’t take you hours and hours to get there to enjoy them!
#2 Slower Pace of Life
This is the one I felt the most after moving to Bend in 2015. The slower pace was noticeable everywhere, for instance, when walking on a sidewalk downtown or in the grocery store. Everyone is moving at a slower pace than I remember in Seattle. There is no freeway in Bend, only Highways and the speed limit on the main highway through town is only 45 mph. Yep! That should slow you down if you’re used to driving 75+mph on LA freeways!
Bend, Oregon’s climate is that of a High Desert, meaning it’s very dry and arid with the main trees being various types of Pine and Juniper. If you love to garden, you’ll have to deal with a very short growing season here. Bend has four distinct seasons and most of our average yearly 32″ of rain comes a little bit at a time during the Spring and Fall months. Summer is usually very dry with temps in the 70-90 degree range. Winter seems the most unpredictable of the four seasons and can bring the average snowfall, which is about 3ft annually, much less or much more, depending on the year.
#4 Caring Community Vibe
I’d never lived in a small town before moving to Bend, so the sense of community that exists in Bend was quite a nice surprise to me. With less than 100,000 people, I find there are so many ways to be in touch and involved with community events. Our non-profits and charitable groups are a big part of the community all year long. I find this community to be very loving and giving, willing to help each other whenever a need arises. One of the ways this plays out in everyday life is the idea of always supporting local businesses whenever possible. We do have some “chain” stores and restaurants, but we really try to support our local businesses because we want them to thrive and provide us with the amazing creative businesses environment that enriches all of our lives.
✅ Bend School Rankings USNEWS https://www.usnews.com/news/best-stat…
✅ Bend School Rankings NICHE https://www.niche.com/k12/d/bend-lapi…
CONS of Living in Bend
#1 Negative attitude of long time residents
Most of the time I’m not aware of these negative attitudes, but once in awhile I’ll get a comment on a video or FB post that makes me realize this is a real issue for some long-time residents of the area. A small percentage of the population feels a certain “right” to be able to buy a home at a “reasonable” price. While I wish this was a true right of all Americans, sadly it’s not. These folks put the blame on all those “Californians” moving into Oregon, but the growth of Bend began a long time ago, back in the 1990’s, so it’s been an issue for at least the past 2 decades.
What these long-time residents fail to acknowledge is all of the benefits of growth, new infrastructure, new schools, shops and restaurants. These immigrants to Bend have brought jobs and diversity to the economy and a vibrancy that makes Bend such a wonderful and desirable place to live.
#2 Cost of Living
Depending where you live now, this could be a PRO or a CON. The high cost of housing in Bend relative to other costs, is a problem if your earning power is not enough to compensate for it. If you live in say…San Diego, San Francisco or Seattle, then Oregon’s cost of living will be a positive for you! It all depends on your perspective and expectations.
Jobs that can support a family are not plentiful in Central Oregon. So, I always suggest when considering a move to Bend, Oregon, make sure you have a job lined up that will pay enough for you to live here. You may save on work clothing or commuting costs compared to a big city, but for most items in your budget, the cost will be about the same as in a larger city.
Are you a remote worker? Bend has several co-working spaces and more seem to be added all the time. If you need a place to work, check out this video where I talk about Bend’s co-working spaces and other reasons people choose to move to Bend, Oregon.
If you’re a true “foodie” you may not be satisfied by the number of fine dining restaurants we have in Bend. However, if you just like a really good burger, some great wings (try Broken Top Bottle Shop on Sunday for Wing Special) or delicious organic, high quality food (try Jackson’s Corner) Bend has you covered. We have many high quality restaurants that I’m sure will satisfy most desires for dining out.
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