Moving to Bend? This Is What It’s Like to Live Here.

If you’re thinking about making a move to Bend, you probably have many questions; I know I did. That’s why I wanted to put this article together. After moving here three years ago and learning the in’s and out’s of this city, I know I’ll have some relocation info that will help.

Bend, Oregon is a quickly growing, beautiful place for all walks of life to come together— with quick access to the mountains, rivers, and desert, you’re in outdoor nirvana. Along with the recreation benefits, Bend offers you that quaint small-town feel, clean neighborhoods, and plenty of great food and drink. What’s not to love?

Pros and Cons of Living in Bend, Oregon

Bend is popular for countless reasons, but it has its ups and downs like any other town. Here are a few of my client’s favorite and not so favorite things I have jotted down over the years!


1. We have all four seasons. Yes, I know, right! It might not seem that exciting, but with all of the outdoor sports possible here, you never get bored. Ski and snowboard in the winter, hike and mountain bike in the Spring and Fall, and enjoy a bit of everything during the summer.

2. Food and drink! Bend and Central Oregon, in general, have a great foodie scene. With 22+ craft breweries and unlimited restaurant options, there is always a new local spot to try out and fall in love with. Over the years, this has helped many my clients acclimate into a smaller city; you don’t feel trapped and underwhelmed, which is a huge plus.

3. Short commutes. If long commutes aren’t your thing, you’ll never want to leave Bend. Even if you live on Bend’s outer edges in any direction, you are still within 15 minutes of work, the Old Mill District, Downtown, and our unlimited parks. You won’t have to worry about that large metro area traffic anymore!


1. The weather may come as a shock. Positioned East of the Cascades, Bend has a high desert climate, meaning we have ranging temperatures, cold winters, warm summers, and less rain. Overall this isn’t a huge factor. Bend has excellent weather, and I rarely complain, until around February. By then, it’s been cold for a few months, and the days can get long. Mt. Bachelor is still full of snow, and there is plenty to do, but spring is welcomed with warm arms unless you enjoy the cold!

2. Finding a viable career can be difficult. As a growing town, Bend is experiencing plenty of industry growth, but we still aren’t employing a large percentage of high-income earners. St. Charles, Les Schwab, and our vacation resorts (Sunriver, Brasada Ranch, Black Butte, Tetherow) are the main attractors.

If you can work remotely, Bend has a thriving community of sales and tech employees who come here for all lifestyle advantages. As a realtor, I’m seeing a growing number of clients choosing where they want to live, and Bend is at the top of the list!

Long story short, Bend is growing quickly, but we still aren’t an employing machine like you would see in larger metropolitan cities.

3. Some may prefer closer access to larger cities. For some, Bend can be too remote. South of Portland by around 3 hours, and East of Eugene by 2 ½ hours, there are no major surrounding cities near us!

Personally, this is something I love. We don’t experience heavy commuter traffic, and it keeps tourism to manageable amounts. But – if you are a city dweller and enjoy those different amenities, acclimating into Bend may take some time.

P.S. Bend doesn’t feel small, but it also doesn’t feel big. Weird, right?

Neighborhoods in Bend Oregon

There are many neighborhood options in Bend, which is great, but narrowing down your favorites can be challenging. I always try to help my clients by establishing their wants and needs. Generally, you can find the location pretty quickly.

With a quick search on Google, you can probably tell there are a lot of neighborhood options in Bend. This is great for many reasons but can make the narrowing process more challenging. 

Here is a list of a few of my favorite neighborhoods in the area. I also separated them into Bend’s four sections to make them easier to navigate.

If you want to learn more about neighborhood options, here is my in-depth blog!


Brief Introduction: Northeast Bend is a crowd favorite with a mix of older developed neighborhoods and newer, modern-esque subdivisions. The community is a mix of long-time residents, younger families, and everything in-between. If you are searching for a private, luxury golf community, Pronghorn is also a fantastic option that is north of town.

A few neighborhoods I recommend to my clients:

  • Boyd Acres
  • Northpoint
  • Lava Ridges
  • Pronghorn


Brief Introduction: Northwest Bend is arguably the quickest growing, most desirable location in Bend. Well maintained neighborhoods, proximity to Downtown, The Old Mill, Box Factory, and schools are a popular option for many of my clients.

The Phil’s trail complex, Mt. Bachelor, Tumalo Falls, and more is in your backyard, so over the last few years, we have seen this section explode. The community is a rich mix of families, retirees, and snowbirds.

A few neighborhoods I recommend to my clients:

  • NorthWest Crossing
  • Awbrey Butte
  • Broken Top
  • Tetherow
  • Northrim


Brief Introduction: Another established community, southeast Bend has room for everyone. There are larger lot sizes, cattle ranch opportunities, and new development, all mixed in harmony.

Home prices in this area are among the most affordable in Bend, and there are fewer CCR’s which can be a pro for some. You are also conveniently placed near the Western portion of US-97 for easy access to grocery stores, gas stations, and all of the other amenities.

A few neighborhoods I recommend to my clients:

  • Southeast Bend
  • Lakespur
  • Old Farm District


Brief Introduction: Great location, desirable, and more affordable! Southwest Bend is an excellent spot for families, creatives, retirees, and those looking for a prime location. If you hop on Brookswood, it will take you directly east of 3rd street and south towards the Bend city limits.

Most neighborhoods are near the Old Mill District and the Deschutes river making it popular with water sports enthusiasts or those that want proximity to Bends many parks! 

Here are a few of the amenities near Southwest Bend.

The Les Schwab Amphitheater

The Box Factory

The Old Mill District

A few neighborhoods I recommend to my clients:

  • Southern Crossing
  • Southwest Bend

Top Employers in Bend

Bend’s population is growing year after year, but industry positions are still working to catch up. Currently, there are five different employers with over 1000 employees:

St. Charles Health System – 4500 employees

Bright Wood Corporation – 1130 employees

Les Schwab – 1100 employees

Sunriver Resort – 1000 employees

Mt. Bachelor – 1000 employees

There are around 45 other businesses that are actively employing different positions. In Bend, we see massive employment in the healthcare industry, travel & hospitality, construction, and now tech is starting to expand.

Along with Bend, Redmond has a growing job market with more businesses popping up year after year. If you haven’t checked out Redmond, here is my blog post comparing living in Bend vs. Redmond!

Here is a great resource for different tech companies that are consistently expanding!

Along with the in-person positions available, remote work is becoming more popular and accepted, especially in Bend. If you are one of those individuals, there are plenty of great places to work.

There are over 20+ individually owned coffee shops, and Bend ranks no.3 nationally for our coffee selection. You can also find co-working spaces here.

If you have any questions surrounding employment in Bend, contact me, and I can get you directed with a few of my peers who have the latest information regarding open positions!

Dating Scene in Bend, Oregon

This may seem odd to some, but I am commonly asked about the dating scene in Bend. I want to spend a few sentences breaking down what I hear from peers and those who have moved here.

With so many activities and hobbies, it is easy to meet new people. I always recommend getting involved in a weekly group meetup that interests you and creates a community through that sphere!

Being that Bend is smaller than Portland, Los Angeles, or Seattle, finding your core group of friends won’t take much time!

Education in Bend, Oregon

Moving here with a family can add to the relocation challenge, and chances are you have questions regarding education in Oregon and what to expect.

Bend currently offers 26 public and magnet (also known as focus) elementary schools and several private school options. Zoning varies on the neighborhood, section, and even streets; making sure you check that information before moving.

There are 14 public and magnet middle schools with varying zoning requirements as well.

There are nine options mixed between public and private for students heading into or who have already started high school. Four are considered mainstream feeders.

Bend Senior High

Summit High

Mountain View

Caldera High

From what I hear from parents and people in the community, the Bend-La Pine school district does an excellent job of treating their students and teachers well and creating a friendly environment for all children.

Need help moving to Bend OR?

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

Call or Direct Text: 503-746-3374


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