Things to know before moving to Central Oregon
Back in 2000, when Lava Ridge Property Management Owner Lynette Remund moved to Central Oregon, Bend looked a lot different. From about 50,000 residents in the 90’s to a fluctuating population hovering right around 100,000 today, the growth of this once small town is undeniable. A combination of limitless recreational opportunities, great beer, small town feel, and desirable climate has moved Bend, and its neighboring cities, to the top of many people’s relocation wish list.
Having been a part of Bend’s many booms and bottoms, Lynette has pretty much seen it all during her 20-plus years managing properties in this desert oasis. Says Lynette, “I have worked in three very diverse and different rental markets. I have years of sales and leasing experience that has given me the knowledge needed to keep properties rented.”
But, as Lynette would agree, one thing that keeps our rental market going is an influx of both investors looking to rent their properties with property managers versed in maintaining and protecting their investment, and a market of potential renters who find the transition to Central Oregon easy, welcoming and sustainable.
Moving to Central Oregon is so much more than hopping in the U-Haul and heading this direction. Our job market is limited, housing market competitive, and cost of living tough. But when newcomers adjust and adapt to the Central Oregon lifestyle, they become residents who contribute to our economy, sustain our rental market and stay for the long haul.
The first step in creating these full-time residents is making sure people know what they are getting into before they decide to move to Bend and the surrounding areas. The second step, is encourage those who want to move here to try living here on a short term basis—a summer, winter or prolonged vacation--to a make sure that Bend is really your home sweet home.
What You Should Know Before Moving to Bend
Bend, unlike Oregon’s capital and its largest city, actually gets very little rain every year. In fact, “300 days of sunshine” is our motto.
Our winters, however, are in dire contrast to other Oregon cities. The winters can be cold, bitter, and filled with snow, meaning a long winter, short growing season and sometimes—snow all the way into April, May, June and even July!
Nights can hover close to freezing even in the spring and summer months and temperatures can swing 40+ degrees from dusk to dawn.
When the temperature does uptick, forest fires are a major concern for residents and most of August is usually spent avoiding thick, smoky air outside.
2. Cost of living.
Bend is known for some of the highest costs of living in Oregon—or even in the US! The median home price is $321,000 (up 58%!) and rents are not far behind at $1240 on average for a 921 square foot apartment.
Add to that high income tax, high property tax and expensive cost of living (remember this is a resort town so meals and entertainment are higher than most places), and most newcomers find they are digging much farther into their pockets than expected and even when they come prepared with large sums of money, often have to stick to a strict budget.
Like many cities with less than 100,000 people and no larger city in commuting distance, Bend does not have a lot of industry which can make finding a high paying job hard.
Like everyone who lives here, residents seek a work/life balance, which means jobs that offer amenities and benefits are highly desirable and competitive.
On the plus side, for those in the tourism, service, hospitality, food and outdoor industries, opportunities abound.
Finally, the reason that people love Central Oregon is the limitless amounts of outdoor activities, from climbing Smith Rock, to skiing Mt. Bachelor to kayaking the Deschutes. With this comes a lot of ebb and flow in population during high tourism months. And, while tourism is a major contributor to the overall local economy, residents feel a little different about it when they move from tourist status to full time resident.
Things that don’t bother you on vacation—backed up traffic on the 97, people who don’t know how to use a roundabout, novice drivers in the snow, packed trails and zero parking downtown when you need to get to work—tend to become a frustration when trying to do the day-to-day. Not to mention, your home will quickly become a vacation haven for friends and family who yearn for the Bend lifestyle, so prepare yourself for lots of company.
What You Should DO Before Moving to Central Oregon
All this said, Bend is a wonderful place to live for the 100,000 people who have made it home. When someone calls our property management service looking at moving to Central Oregon, our biggest piece of advice is to test the waters first to make sure moving to Bend or Central Oregon is right for you.
We offer temporary and short-term rentals for people interested in moving to Bend that want to try living in the community before making the move.
Trying out Central Oregon in a short-term rental is brilliant! It allows potential residents to look for jobs locally, find the right neighborhood for their family, seek out the perfect school for their children and live the Bend lifestyle without making a huge financial and emotional gamble.
Call us to see what we have available or coming available in our short term, corporate and furnished rentals. You can also see our current list of temporary rentals on our website at www.lavaridgerentals.com.
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