Who hasn’t dreamed of calling the picturesque Pacific Northwest home? Imagine basking in the refreshing air of the Cascade Mountains or finding solace in the tranquil blue Crater Lake National Park.
But let’s ponder: Can everyone turn this dream into reality within the bounds of Oregon? Is this a beautiful place within your financial reach? If price is the barrier, here comes my blog on the cheapest places to live in Oregon that fits your budget.
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When it comes to inexpensive housing options in Oregon, Umatilla County tops the list. But here I bring places from various counties that have easy access to farmlands, mountain views, the Columbia River, and the big cities of Oregon.
These places I have listed down will surely bring you the solace of mind and pocket.
Table of Contents
Factors Influencing Affordability in Oregon
1. Housing Cost
The housing market stands as a paramount concern for prospective movers when contemplating relocation. Factors such as mortgage rates and wages play pivotal roles in the decision-making process.
Additionally, in today’s landscape, new homebuyers also prioritize energy efficiency features as a crucial consideration before finalizing a home purchase. Also, resale value and its location ideally influence its price.
2. Employment opportunities
EECO Northwest has meticulously compiled an extensive report based on surveys that encompassed regional employees in the hospitality, healthcare, and high-tech sectors. These employees have faced stagnant revenue growth in contrast to the current economic climate.
3. Income of an individual
Income isn’t just a number; it’s the key to unlocking the door to living comfortably, meeting your interests, and affording things you want. If your income is modest you can afford a comfortable life.
Moreover, the challenge of owning a home in Oregon is further compounded by low wages and subpar job quality. One cannot overlook the role of inflation as a constraining factor that hampers wage increments.
4. Tax structure
In Oregon, residents can breathe easy knowing that they don’t have to contend with sales tax. Instead, their primary concern is the amount of income that goes toward paying state income tax. However, in a welcome relief for retirees, Oregon’s retirement communities enjoy the advantage of being exempt from state income tax on their Social Security funds. Click here to learn more about Oregon’s tax structure.
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Cheapest Places to Live in Oregon
As I compile a list of the nine most affordable places to reside in Oregon, I have taken into deep consideration the crucial aspects of a standard lifestyle and fundamental amenities.
The pivotal role that the education sector plays in shaping a location’s desirability, particularly for the future of one’s children, has not escaped my attention. Moreover, I recognize the paramount importance of safety, encompassing healthcare provisions and crime rates, which significantly influence the well-being of individuals.
Balancing these factors, alongside the availability of activities that promote physical and mental health, I have thoughtfully curated this list of places. So, let’s know where you can reside in Oregon at an affordable cost.
- Population: 38, 760
- Cost of living index: 106 (US average of 100)
- Crime rate: 20.70 (per 1,000 residents)
- Household income: $85, 364
- County: Marion County
To enjoy the essence of the Pacific Northwest way of life, showcasing fertile farmland, vineyards, and mountains, and enjoy the advantageous location near Willamette Valley, Keizer is one of the most beautiful yet affordable cities in Oregon.
Keizer residents enjoy the area’s appeal and opportunities for hiking, fishing, boating, exploring Keizer Rapids Park, attending events at the Volcanoes Stadium, and enjoying the views of the Cascade Mountains.
The cost of living for a single adult is approximately $34,113 annually, which is lower than the national average annual cost of living of $38,433. The average home value is mostly around $235,900, making homeownership more attainable.
Residents primarily work at institutions such as Salem Health, NORPAC Foods, and Garmin International. Keizer is the least expensive area in Oregon with good schools, neighborhoods, and easy access to big cities.
Things to do in Keizer:
- Attend the pet parade at KeizerFest Iris Festival on the 3rd weekend in May
- Fun competition among neighbors in December during Christmas
- Ride along the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway seeing the Hop fields, cow grazing, and so more
- Population: 26, 180
- Cost of living index: 104 (US average of 100)
- Crime rate: 34.81 (per 1,000 residents)
- Household income: $67, 845
- County: Marion County
My experience has been nothing less than delightful, as I have discovered my ideal location in Woodburn’s Tukwila, one of Oregon’s budget-friendly towns. I’ve been here for 2 years. Woodburn is situated within the Salem Metropolitan Statistical Area and holds the distinction of being the third most populous place according to the 2020 census.
You’ll discover that the place is a tapestry woven from its rich agricultural heritage, resilient community, and alluring quality of life. These days the economy is driven by manufacturing, retail, the healthcare industry, renewable energy, and technology.
However, the absence of colleges and universities in Woodburn resulted in migration to Portland and Salem which is easily accessible. You can choose Portland State University for quality education.
Additionally, its location along Interstate 5 makes transportation quite easy for residents. Woodburn Premium Outlets helps people to do shopping whenever they want to. A single adult expense is around $34, 113 per year.
Things to do in Woodburn:
- You need to attend the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Spring. There are other festivals like the Woodburn Summer Nights Concert Series and Woodburn Fiesta Mexicana are popular events to take part
- Enjoy the rural and urban culture
- Have a spiritual journey at Mount Angel Abbey
- For wine tasting and a view of the beautiful vineyard, come to Wooden Shoe Vineyard
- Population: 16,719
- Cost of living index: 87.1 (US average of 100)
- Crime rate: 35. 57 (per 1,000 residents)
- Household income: $58, 093
- County: Umatilla County
Sitting along Interstate 84, amidst the foothills of the Blue Mountains, Pendleton offers residents an authentic experience of the American West. Umatilla County one of the cheapest counties in Eastern Oregon is well known for its whisky, blankets, and Pendleton Round Up event.
Relocating to Pendleton is ideal for those who adore outdoor activities and seek an escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Moreover, it also offers the added convenience of being just a three-hour drive away from Portland.
With a median home value of $155,100, it’s worth noting that this is lower than the national average. Your dream of homeownership can ideally come into reality here. I have affection for the Nolin neighborhood which boosts ample green spaces.
The slow pace of life ensures less traffic and 43% less violent crime than the national average. It holds the eight best rent-to-income ratios in the entire state. This remarkable fact makes it one of the most affordable places for retirement in Oregon.
Things to do in Pendleton:
- Embark on a captivating journey through the Pendleton Underground to uncover hidden passages and tunnels beneath the surface
- Learn the history of Walla Walla tribes, Cayuse, and Umatilla at Tamastlikt Cultural Institute
- Enjoy sweeping views of the landscape while hiking along the trail of Pendleton Adventure Trails Recreation Area, Hat Rock State Park Trail, Sno Road Winey Mountain Biking Trail System, and so more
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4. Coos Bay
- Population: 15,835
- Cost of living index: 87.3 (US average of 100)
- Crime rate: 51.61 (per 1,000 residents)
- Household income: $48, 233
- County: Coos County
A multitude of expenses, ranging from childcare to kinds of entertainment, utilities, market costs, fuel, and car registration are significantly lower in Coos Bay than the US average. The cost of living in this Oregon coastal city is exceptionally affordable, averaging only $ 35, 414 per year for a single adult.
The community is very welcoming and plenty of outdoor activities to indulge in. A median home value is around $178, 300. Even renting is so cheap that you might get a home for $803 a month. Hence, if you are in search of low-priced rentals in Oregon, no place is greater than Coos Bay.
If you’ve got a child then I’m sure you want him to get into Marshfield High School because of its quality. There are numerous colleges like the Oregon Institute of Technology attracting students all over the country.
However, good education cannot sustain good employment opportunities. The city’s economy depends on education, tourism, and health care thus technology industries are not much flourished.
Things to do in Coos Bay:
- Unwind yourself at Cape Arago State Parks, Sunset Bay, and Short Acres
- Camping at Bastendorff Beach
- Spot sea lions with your kids at Simpson Reef Overlook
- Buy seafood from Fisherman’s Seafood Market to have a delicious homemade lunch
- You can plan short trips to The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and Umpqua Dunes
- Population: 19, 421
- Cost of living index: 91.3 (US average of 100)
- Crime rate: 28.84 ( per 1,000 residents)
- Household income: $60, 971
- County: Umatilla County
Guess what? Living in Hermiston comes with a fantastic perk – 19% more affordable than the average cost of living in Oregon. The city specializes exclusively in watermelon cultivation and its economy is driven by only farms.
The city proudly declares itself as “Where Life is Sweet” and recorded zero mass shootings and a very low crime index. Recently, logistic jobs have created other employment opportunities for the residents. Apart from job facilities, it is one of the safest and the best affordable towns for retirees to reside in Oregon.
You can rent a house starting from $737 per month. It is said that the residents pay the 6th smallest percentage of their income on rent. You can also buy a house that might cost you on average $156, 500.
Desert Sage and Highland Hills are good neighborhood areas in Hermiston to choose from. The rural feel, delightful downtown area, and strong community make it ideal for moving in. However, fewer options for quality education for higher education and access to good healthcare services make the place a little challenging.
Things to do in Hermiston:
- Enjoy a short trip at Hat Rock State Park, a desert oasis
- Hike the trails of Oxbow Trail watching a variety of native plants and wildlife
- Hangout with your friends or family at The Riverfront Park
- Experience the Umatilla County Fair, a vibrant four-day event held every summer, where you can enjoy carnival rides, attend music concerts, and engage in a variety of other exciting activities.
- Population: 56,672 residents
- Household income: $87,783
- County: Clackamas County
Rivercrest is a neighborhood in the northwestern part of Oregon, where you can stroll along the tree-lined avenue and enjoy the tranquil beauty of the Willamette River.
To its south, you will find homes and bungalows that cost around $350,000 – $6000, 000. If you move to Ogden Street and Brighton Avenue the apartments cost more. The places hold a significant place in the pages of history after World War II.
According to the report published by walkscore.com, Rivercrest is positioned as the 4th walkable charming neighborhood. With low-cost living in this beautiful place in Oregon, you can also choose good schools like John McLoughlin or Gaffney Lane Elementary School which focuses students to have a strong base on health care, engineering, and communication.
Things to do in Rivercrest
- You should have morning coffee from Russia With Love
- Go shopping at Steve’s Select Market and Sunset Market
- Take a vineyard walking tour at Flag Hill Distillery and Winery
- Enjoy the views of wetland vistas at Rockingham Rail trails
- Population: 2,578
- Cost of living index: 132. 5 (US average of 100)
- Household income: $77,265
- County: Clackamas County
Best known for Clackamas Community College, Caufield is the best place to live in Oregon for families with kids. Oregon City High School is one of the high-ranking educational institutes in Oregon. In the 1840s, it was Oregon’s Territory’s capital.
You’ll find a cluster of new homes, townhouses, and condominiums around Glen Oak Road. Starting from parks, shopping centers like Fred Meyer and Get & Go Grocery and other entertainment options are available at the end of the highway, which is easily accessible.
The Caufield neighborhood stands as one of the oldest places on the West Coast where you can delight in stargazing at night, savor delicious meals at the Wild Hare Saloon, and Oh! Teriyaki, and engage in rounds of golf at the Oregon City Golf Club and Stone Creek Golf Club.
In this area, you can find houses available for rent at around $1,250, making it a highly affordable option whereas buying two bedrooms can cost around $ 4000,000 – $600, 000.
Things to do in Caufield:
- Have a picnic planned at Hillendale City Park
- Chill out with your friends over a burger at Burgerville or Queen Chili
- Population: 110, 097
- Cost of living index: 114.2 (US average of 100)
- Crime rate: 33.25 (per 1,000 residents)
- Household income: $61, 826
- County: Multnomah County
Situated to the east of Portland, Gresham is a beautiful place to live in Oregon, offering excellent school options and promising employment opportunities. This area is predominantly inhabited by families and young professionals who relish the benefits of a thriving economy.
Families often reside on W Powell Boulevard, SW Towel Avenue, and S Troutdale where the crime rates are very low and they can easily plethora of secondary and post-secondary schools.
Students are so fortunate to get jobs within the community at Boeing of Portland Aircraft, ON Semiconductor, US Bank Processing Services, manufacturing, and hospitality industries. Gresham Chamber of Commerce also significantly plays an important role in its economy.
However, Gresham is not very affordable in small towns in Oregon but with good economic turnover and wise spending, you can live comfortably. A median home value is around $267, 000 whereas renting can start from $800 per month.
Things to do in Gresham:
- Go for camping, tubing, boating, or kayaking at Sandy River at Oxbow Park
- Bring your camera to click pictures of Gresham’s agricultural fields, pastures, and wetlands, along The Spring Water Trail
- Attend their famous three days Mt Hood Jazz Festival with food, beers, wine, and music
9. Klamath Falls
- Population: 22, 420
- Cost of living index: 85.8 (US average of 100)
- Crime rate: 39. 62 (per 1,000 residents)
- Household income: $60, 857
- County: Klamath County
With the temperate weather, fresh air, natural open space, close to wilderness, low cost of living, and an array of recreational activities, Klamath Falls is the cheapest rural area to settle in South Oregon. But, you’ll be astonished to know that this place can offer you a great future.
Oregon Institute of Technology and a lot of job opening and investments by start-up companies is making its economy booming. The community is part of the Blue Zones Project, which focuses on improving health and helping residents incorporate healthy choices with regular check-ups and plans for getting better.
The advantage to living in Klamath Falls is it is the most affordable neighborhood in Oregon with a single adult expense of around $34, 024 annually and a median home value is around $155, 600.
Things to do in Klamath Falls:
- Watch the crystal-clear Crater Lake National Park
- Take the Link River Trail for hiking and enjoy the gorgeous view of Crater Lake National Park
- Lake of the Woods is another great lake to check out in the area
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FAQ: Cheapest Places to Live in Oregon
1. Which rural areas in Oregon offer the lowest cost of living?
A. Klamath Falls in South Oregon offers the lowest cost of living with average monthly rent around $550. Also, the efforts of the community to improve livability, walkability, and well-being are very high making it one of the best places to reside.
2. Are there any budget-friendly neighborhoods in Oregon’s urban areas?
A. Pendleton in Umatilla County, Oregon is frequently characterized as a town with an Old West charm and rich heritage. Residents on average warn minimum of $51, 315 monthly with an average expense of $35, 774 annually.