My Experiences Living in Bend Oregon After 4 Years

Welcome to the most honest blog about moving to Bend. Ever.

Let’s talk about living in Bend and what it’s really like. I’ll run you through my favorite parts and my not so favorite parts. 

The Good:

You’ve definitely heard about all of the good in Bend, and it certainly outweighs the bad any day of the week, but let’s get specific on some of its popular perks.

If you want to check out my Pros and Cons article, it covers an extensive list of separate points to consider.

Outdoor Recreation

Surfing the Deschutes River in the Bend Whitewater Park

Arguably everyone’s favorite part of living here is the outdoor recreation and easy access we are blessed with. Northwest to Southeast, trails, parks, and the Deschutes river will be close and practically in your backyard.

Some of the local’s favorite outdoor activities include:

Aside from those three favorites, there are dozens of other jaw-dropping hikes, trails, and highways to explore all around Central Oregon. I might have to write another blog entirely for that!

I personally take advantage of the river access almost daily. Running and biking next to the river really elevates your day to another level. Even if you aren’t a huge outdoor enthusiast, it’s a big plus to be within 10 minutes of all of the best spots.

Restaurants and Breweries

Stone Pine Pizza – Some of the most delicious Pizza in Bend!

If you enjoy top-notch hospitality and consider yourself a foodie, you’ll love Bend. With 25 craft breweries and countless highly rated restaurants, it won’t leave your taste buds disappointed. Honestly, it’s hard to stay in shape because of the unlimited options and rotating beer menu, but let’s consider that a good thing.

A big reason for mentioning this is debunking the myth that Bend is a small town with no entertainment or food options. I’ve heard this from different clients looking to move into Bend, and it is a big concern for them.

I moved to Bend from Portland, expecting the food scene to be cut in half, and was pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong. 

A few favorite restaurants:

A few favorite breweries:

If you plan to visit and check out the area and communities, feel free to reach out, and I’d be happy to share some of my other favorites!

Cost of Living

A lovely Awbrey Butte home in the heart of Bend

The cost of living is a huge factor when moving to a new area. Overall, Bend is pretty affordable. Groceries, utilities, healthcare, and transportation are all on the lower than Portland, for example.

Expect to have great healthcare options, affordable groceries, and competitively priced utility bills.

Home prices have been steadily rising over the past two years, so it’s smart to have a good gameplan to locate and be prepared to purchase a home. Recent MLS data tells us we should see an increase in pricing consistently for the foreseeable future. Definitely include this into your budget to be prepared.

The median sales price is currently at $549,950 in October 2020.

Here’s a pretty accurate source I like to send clients that shows them an overall living index cost. If you prefer videos, here’s a link to my Cost of Living Video that goes over that same index!

Considering the location, natural beauty, and the lifestyle Bend provides, the cost of living is still competitive to the national average and isn’t blown out to unrealistic standards. If you have any specific questions, I’m here to help! Contact me here.

The Not So Good

I jokingly say “not as good,” but there isn’t anything I HATE about Bend in reality. There are definitely dislikes I have, but they are pretty standard and differ from person to person.

A few things to note I won’t go into detail about:

  • Bend is a high desert climate and gets pretty cold. With winter mornings commonly in the teens, it can be a shock if you prefer warm weather year-round.
  • It’s small. Bend has a growing population of 100,000, but expect moderate to small-town living. We aren’t a sprawling metro area with thousands of options for everything, but that also makes it unique here! P.S. it really doesn’t feel that small.
  • There are a LOT of tourists in the summer, but I only added this because everyone does. It doesn’t bother me, and it’s great for the economy!
There is a stellar remote working community in Bend

Smaller Job Market

This probably won’t surprise you, but Bend has a smaller job pool than other areas. As a growing city, industry jobs are still trying to catch up, and we are eagerly watching more mid-large sized companies move in.

Although a fair share of Bend is employed through the St. Charles Healthcare System and the many resorts in the area, we also see a healthy amount of remote workers and high-level sales rep jobs.

If you’re in the tech industry, keep your eyes peeled, more startups are moving into the Bend market every year.

Lastly! If you own a business or are in the process of opening on, Bend is among the best cities in the Pacific Northwest to do so. No sales tax and low utility costs are just a few perks.

Regardless of plans for the near future, if you’re thinking about moving to Bend, you will need a job. There are some great resources to get plugged into the community regardless of the industry. Reach out anytime, and I can do my best to help you get set up.

Low Housing Inventory

With the demand to move to Bend so high, we are experiencing very low housing inventory. The homes priced correctly fly off the shelf, and new construction is working hard to provide options.

This can make home shopping frustrating if you have to battle 5 other offers in a matter of 24 hours. Although having this problem indicated a healthy housing market, it’s a problem that needs to be met with solutions and action.

Staying ready and quick to move has helped my clients win more scenarios recently. If you can be the first to a showing and first to offer, it sets an excellent impression for the sellers. 

Final Thoughts

It’s not hard to tell Bend is great. In fact, I can confidently say it’s my favorite place I’ve ever lived.

There are pros and cons like any other city, but it’s hard to find anything I really dislike or feel Bend is missing in my four years of living here. My advice would be to visit and tour the area, the communities and get a feel for the people.

It really is a unique environment that is unlike most other areas in the country. For someone that is outdoor-minded and prefers a creative city with lots of spunk, Bend is amazing!

Hopefully, this gives you a picture of daily life in Bend. See you soon!!

Need help moving to Central OR?

If you’re thinking about moving to Central OR, we can help you find your perfect home in the right neighborhood for you. If you have questions about moving, feel free to call, text, or email Brett Williams.

Call/Direct Text: 503-746-3374


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