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Last updated: April 17, 2024 • Traveling Around the World

Moving to Portland: What to Know Beforehand

Welcome to the City of Roses, where nature shows its true colors!

Whether you plan on visiting or moving to Portland, Oregon, for a fresh start, you should know the city has much to offer. The Pacific Northwest gem has become a popular tourist hub due to its picturesque views and stunning attractions for young families. 

Living in Portland is a great idea, any way you look at it. You can access urban amenities, a friendly community, and the best outdoor recreation.

Let’s make your stay in Portland even more pleasant! Before contacting one of the most reliable moving companies, here are some things you should know about the city and its residents.

Table of Contents

It’s Quite Expensive Here

close businesswoman expensive concept

Well, it’s not New York or The Golden State of California -type of expensive, but you will have to spend more than you would if you’re from areas like Seattle.

With a 10% higher cost of living than the U.S. average, Portlanders find it harder to purchase basic amenities and housing. For instance, most of the best moving companies in Portland have stated that groceries, transportation, and housing cost more in the city than in most other areas.

The real estate market in Portland suffers from low inventory, thereby driving a high cost of housing. Due to the sharp rise in the housing department, a 2016 study revealed that only 8 in 24 neighborhoods have households with a budget to finance buying a home.

  • Average House Rent: $1,728
  • Median Home Value: $513,000

Suppose you are interested in buying or renting a home in Rose City. The best course of action is to contact experienced real estate agents in Portland, Oregon, as soon as possible.

There’s A Diverse Job Market

job market magnifying glass

The Silicon Forest of Portland! Famous for its high growth in the tech industry over the years, it has been a significant employer in the city.

Other prominent industry employers in the city include food services, which employs about 104,900 residents, healthcare, and sports. The Oregon Health & Science University has employed an estimated 15,000 Portlanders.

As a city with a high living cost, you’d expect a high average salary to balance the expenses. Well, that’s not exactly the case. Of course, Portlanders tend to make more than the average American, but it falls short when compared to areas like New York City or D.C.

  • Median Household Income: $85,876
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.7%
  • Poverty Rate: 12.2%

Expect Plenty of Rain

Whatever you have heard about Portland’s weather, it’s probably true!

Pack your umbrellas and raincoats while moving to Portland, Oregon, because the city gets a lot of rain. It’s rainy from October to May, and even the winters tend to bring icy storms.

The city averages over 35 inches of annual rain and 4 inches of yearly snowfall. Portland’s average temperature all year long sits around a low of 45° and a high of 63°.

Is Portland’s Weather Indeed Such a Downer?

The truth is, at first, you’ll get exhausted by the constant rain. However, just like many locals, you’ll learn to live with the weather and even enjoy it. After all, the absence of scorching and freezing weather conditions in Portland makes the city even more appealing. 

Transportation is Easy in The City

transportation in portland

Living in Portland means you’re automatically spoiled for choices regarding transportation within the city. Moving from Downtown to surrounding suburbs is accessible through the TriMet lines. There are also the choices of WES commuter rail, MAX light rail, streetcars, and buses.

Moving around the city is also a big plus for personal car owners. However, if you drive a car, you should be prepared for the heavy Portland traffic. 

Most locals in Portland barely rely on the public transport systems, though. The city has made its road system available to all bikes for easy transversing. Plus, there’s a Bike Share Program with 1,500+ bikes for renting across the different neighborhoods. In other words, the city proudly promotes sustainable traveling.

A Bookshop is Part of the Main Attractions

You can’t visit Portland or live here without knowing about Powell’s City of Books.

Founded in 1971, it has the country’s single most extensive book collection, housing millions of used and rare books. On a good day, many tourists and even locals spend hours browsing the shelves of knowledge in the store.

You don’t have to be an avid reader to fall in love with the bookstore. Plan your trip to the store as you move to the City of Roses; it’s one journey you won’t regret making.

Forget About Pumping Your Gas

It’s not like a law prohibits you from filling your gas tank or everyone drives a Tesla in the city. Instead, you’re requested to ask for an attendant’s help at the station.

If you come from a city like New Jersey, having someone fill your gas for you wouldn’t be strange. However, newcomers from different regions will need time to adapt to this unique trend in Portland.

The state banned self-service gas stations some years back for safety concerns. However, if you think about it, this practice makes sense. At least you can spend a few minutes relaxing and planning your next trip.

Natural Scenery is A Lot

many roses

Portland’s title of City of Roses isn’t a joke! The city’s tradition of planting roses dates back to the 19th century, and because of that decision, the Portland Rose Festival is an annual event. 

Moreover, the city has plenty of gardens from different cultures. For instance, there’s the Portland Japanese Garden, Lan Su Chinese Garden, and an International Rose Test Garden where expert hands carefully nurture new roses.

To protect natural beauty, the city tries to lower its carbon footprint and foster green living across the neighborhoods. There’s a lot of recycling, reusing, sustainability practices, and any other engagement that can curb the accumulation of waste.

Weird is Still A Thing in Portland

What do you need to know before moving to Portland, Oregon? It’s a weird city, but in a good way!

“Keep Portland weird” is a common phrase in the city. It doesn’t make the place unsuitable for raising a family or living; it simply makes it unique.

Although some would say the town’s quirkiness has slowly faded due to the population burst and the influx of new residents, that’s not entirely true. Watch for the infamous Unipiper, who rides on a unicycle while playing the bagpipes.

If that’s not enough weirdness, visit Freakybuttrue Peculiarium, where you’ll find Portland’s bizarre and comb galleries of oddity, interactive art installations, and novelties.

Final Words—The City of Roses

Moving to Portland, Oregon, as a single or family individual is always a perfect decision. Despite the high cost of living and constant downpours of rain, the city will genuinely mesmerize any visitor. 

The best advice for people considering relocating to this part of Oregon is to plan ahead. A valuable tip is to hire moving companies in the city. It will make your transition to a new neighborhood easier. 

Best of luck with your relocation!


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