Portland is growing in leaps and bounds as many young professionals head for the greener pastures of the Pacific Northwest. Although shows like Portlandia poke fun at the silly stereotypes surrounding the many alternative lifestyles in Portland, you shouldn’t take the prospect of moving there lightly.
There are several things you need to consider before you decide if moving to Portland is right for you. Here are some factors to mull over prior to scouting Portland modern homes.
It rains in Portland. It rains a lot. According to Sperling’s Best Places, Portland sees rain 154 days out of the year on average. The good news is that this leave 144 days without precipitation (although not necessarily without clouds), and all the rain makes for just about the greenest city you’ve ever seen.
2. Job Prospects
Living in Portland isn’t as expensive as some other major cities and there are plenty of options like affordable Portland lofts to consider. However, it is by no means cheap. It’s wise to line up a job before you move to Portland, as well as do some research on job prospects and growth for your profession.
3. The Housing Market
Portland is currently experiencing something of a housing boom. This may leave you with some trouble finding Portland condos, much less houses. New construction is catching up to demand, but you may have to resign yourself to either making a commute or paying more to live near the city.
The best Portland neighborhoods offer proximity to city amenities (think districts like Hawthorne and Division that offer access to ample eateries, shopping, and public transit). That said, many outlying areas can give you a lot more bang for your buck in terms of space.
5. Living Expenses
The 2014 ACS (American Community Survey) from the U.S. Census Bureau reported a median household income of just over $60,000, while real estate website Zillow puts the median home value at nearly $400,000. In other words, you might need to rent for a while until new construction catches up to demand.
6. Outdoor Activities
Portlanders love to get outdoors, whether it’s sunny or not. In town you’ll have to deal with cyclists and foot traffic and you should prepare yourself for a lot of hiking and biking if you want to socialize.
Portland natives and transplants alike tend to lean toward alternative living of every stripe, from eco-friendliness to alternative food and medicine. If you’re fairly mainstream, prepare to try new experiences.
The Pacific Northwest is known for a relaxed pace. If you’re used to the rat race in other big cities, you’re sure to be pleasantly surprised by the laid back lifestyle.
9. Foodie Culture
Portlanders love their food, and you’ll find not only cuisine of every type, but also alternatives for vegetarians, vegans, and other restrictive diets. Don’t miss out on the phenomenal coffee, craft brews, and spirits either.
10. Alternative Medicine
Anyone interested in holistic medicine will find a treasure trove of over-qualified practitioners in Portland thanks to two top-notch Eastern medicine schools.