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Pros and Cons of Moving to Oregon from California

The USA is a rather diverse country where every state offers something new and absolutely unique. California is often chosen by many young people as a good place of living, but when they grow older, they get tired of the rat race of the huge cities located here. Many residents decide to look for a happy life in calm, cheaper and measured areas like Oregon state, for example. However, not everyone is able to get used to the style of life characteristic of Oregon after a busy and various life on the coast. That is why it is important to evaluate all the pros and cons of moving from California to Oregon to prevent regrets and disappointment.

Moving statistics

California remains a dream location for millions of people from around the world. However, many residents of the state are seeking relocation to Oregon, Texas, Arizona, Washington, and Nevada. 653,551 Californians left the state in 2019 with 41,100 moving to Oregon. Why are so many CA residents leaving the state? What are the pros and cons of living in Oregon? In this guide, we will discuss why CA may not be one of the best places to live in the country anymore, and why moving to Oregon might be a better decision for a lot of people.
If we look at statistics, we will find that Oregon is one of several American states, where the number of immigrants is almost equal to the number of people who were born in it. However, not everyone enjoy living in the state because of various factors like climate, weather, the cost of living, housing cost, availability of jobs, a good university, and other reasons. They think of moving out after some time. If we compare Oregon Vs. California, we will find that 57% of the current residents of Oregon have moved here from other states, most often from Washington and California. According to a study by Josh Lehner, almost every fifth resident of Oregon was born in California – 18% of the population compared to 43% of born locals. This impressive data seems unbelievable, but there are several apparent reasons for this:

  • The cost of living in San Francisco, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Jose, San Diego, Sacramento, and many other regions is much higher than the average living cost in the US;

  • State income tax is the highest in the country;

  • Lack of public transport and high traffic congestion in the big cities;

  • A lot of poverty and many homeless people;

  • California is on the seismic zone and often suffers from severe disasters;

  • High cost of starting a business;

  • High crime rate in California.

Unfortunately, the biggest part of people who move to California get disappointed with life here rather quickly. That is why both locals and newly arrived people come to the conclusion to leave the state forever.

Oregon Vs. California

California and Oregon are neighboring states, both on the west coast of the US, along the Pacific. However, there are differences.

Why move to Oregon?

So, why do so many residents of Washington and California consider Oregon the most appealing destination for relocation? Let’s see what attracts people from other states to Oregon.

  • Climate and Weather
    A large section of California’s population is thinking of relocation to Oregon because of Oregon’s Mediterranean-style climate. But overall, the state is considerably cooler than CA. Oregon has about 70 days of sunshine, while it is 205 days on average in California. The eastern side of Oregon is dryer, much like California because of the Cascade Mountains. Most of the dry days are in the summer. There are rainy clouds in the winter and fall months.

  • Cost of living
    California is 19.3% more expensive than Oregon. The housing cost, rent, groceries, and monthly expenses – everything will cost more in CA. Housing costs 39.5% in California, transport costs 11.5% more, and the monthly grocery expense is likely to be 11.8% higher. Oregon residents will pay 37.5% less for childcare. The average CA residents earns more money, but it is still very difficult to save because of the high cost of living in the state.

  • No sales tax
    Next to income taxes that vary between 5 and 9.9% and 1% of property tax, there is no sales tax unlike California.

  • Beautiful nature and a variety of leisure activities
    Nobody will feel dull in the state. Oregon coast features many water activities like fishing, surfing, diving while mountains, valleys, rainforests and deserts offer much more chances to rest clod to nature.

  • Laid back style of life
    In Oregon, you can hardly meet people who rush anywhere. There is a moderate style of life: even drivers on the road prefer to move slowly.

  • Public transit leader
    Portland public transit is the fifth best of the nation. There is a Portland Transit Mall, a converge corridor of different means of transport, and a highly-developed system of public transportation. It is famous for its neat and clean look and low crime rates too.

  • A huge percent of the federally owned land
    Oregon is perfect for exploring not only thanks to the unique flora and fauna located here but also the huge territory that is open to residents. 53% of land in the state is federally owned. It means that many beaches and vast forests can be used by everyone.

  • Satisfaction from life
    According to Gallup-Sharecare poll, residents of Oregon state consider themselves the most satisfied with their lives in the country.

  • Experiencing all 4 seasons
    Oregon has a rather diverse climate from the Mediterranean in the south to Subarctic in the north. Here you can feel all the seasons with hot summers and snowy winters. Moreover, air is fresh and clean here too thanks to the variety of plants growing here and fewer detrimental factories.

  • Friendly and pleasant people
    As many local people are satisfied with their lives, they also treat other people well. They are friendly and smiley and never ignore other people’s troubles.

  • The best beer is produced here
    Oregon is a home to more than 200 breweries and there are several annual festivals organized to honor this drink.

Reasons not to move to Oregon

However, next to the positive sides of relocation, there are several things to know before moving. They can be called cons and must be considered by everyone who wants to reside there:

  • There is one of the highest income taxes in the country (between 5 and 9.9%);

  • Farmer food produced here is more expensive than in California;

  • The weather is often rainy and cloudy in Oregon;

  • There is a lack of international airports apart from Portland or Salem;

  • Cost of living is higher than an average one in the country;

  • None of the Oregon beaches can be compared to ones located in California;

  • Very slow driving and narrow roads with sudden turns make newcomers feel nervous.

These are the main reasons that can prevent you from moving to Oregon, though some of them may seem insignificant.

Most popular places to move to in Oregon

When you come to the conclusion that Oregon is undoubtedly the place you want to live in, you may be puzzled by another question: where should you move to Oregon? The state is rather big, though there are not many large cities here. It means that the choice of cities and towns to move to is not very vast. There are top 7 most popular places where to move to in Oregon.

Portland

With the population of 647,805, Portland is considered to be one of the world’s environmentally conscious city that is often called the “City of Roses”.

Eugene

The population of Eugene is 166,575. Being a city of natural environment and recreation, it offers great outdoor activities and has a focus on arts. It is also often called an emerald or track town.

Salem

A huge number of the population that is equal to 167,419 people are students of multiple colleges and universities located here. Today it is one of the main agricultural and food processing centers of the state.

Corvallis

Being not very big, Corvallis has been chosen as a permanent residing place by 55,298 people. It is home to Oregon State University and offers great opportunities for small businesses.

Astoria

Astoria is a port town with the population of 9, 527 people. There are several museums and an airport located here.

Medford

The population of Medford is 81,780. The biggest number of people work in healthcare as the city is a popular retirement destination. Another industry flourishing in the city is agriculture.

Beaverton

A quite impressive recent increase in population resulted in 97,590 people living in the city. The reasons for that is being an important economic center with several large corporations and a two of one of the best small cities to live in.

*Median home listing price - November 2018 / Resource: zillow.com

Despite quite a small size of these cities, except for Portland, of course, several of them have been ranked ones of the most comfortable cities to live in, so it is not surprising why their population is constantly growing.

Moving to Oregon – How Much Does It Cost?

Interstate moving will always cost more than a local move. However, Oregon and California are neighboring states. So this means that the cost won’t be that high. Of course, the cost will also depend on the location. For example, Portland is at the northern corner of Oregon so the cost will be higher. Medford, on the other hand, is on the CA border. It also depends on the location in CA. San Francisco and Sacramento are closer, but LA is farther away.
There are several ways of moving to Oregon:

  • Hire a truck with a driver and load your belongings;

  • Buy or rent a trailer and transport everything alone;

  • Deliver valuables by airplane. Hire a truck to transport them to the new dwelling;

  • Work with a professional moving service.

The first way may be the cheapest one, but you should also remember that all the other responsibilities like organization, packing and unpacking, loading and others lie on your shoulders. Moreover, you entrust your belongings to a person you see for the first time and who knows if he keeps his word to deliver them to the final destination. Transportation by air is rather costly and you need to deliver all your valuables to and from the plane, so the chances to damage or lose anything are more than just high, while a trailer is owned by a few number of people. That is why the most reliable and safe way of relocating is to hire a long-distance moving company. You will get not only a well-organized moving process with the consideration of all moving services needed but also insurance of your valuables.

From To Moving Average Price, $
Sacramento Portland 4 000
San Francisco Portland 5 000
Los Angeles Portland 7 000
San Diego Portland 8 000

**Moving costs for 1bdrm apartment. Includes: Truck + gas, mileage, etc. 2 professional movers + tools. Blankets. Wardrobe Boxes. Assembly/Reassembly. Tax&Insurance.