Author Topic: What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon  (Read 29970 times)

Dee 72013

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What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon
« on: February 12, 2015, 08:47:10 PM »
We were wondering what the pros and cons of living in Bend Oregon are since we notice quite a few Mustachians are from there and weighing the possibility of a move there in a few years. So here are a few questions I'd love some honest feedback from. Thanks!

Do you think the new University will change Bend for the positive or negative? Will it really impact the housing market and force people moving in to live in surrounding towns or are they preparing for the growth? The main reason we're looking at Bend is to free ourselves from driving as much and so moving to Redmond would defeat the purpose. Would you move to Redmond if no housing in Bend, why or why not?

How is traffic when you do use your car and are drivers courteous to bikers? How hard is it to bike there in the winter, do they maintain the roads?

It looks like Bend is made up of four quadrants, which do you prefer and why? Which is closest to trails?

We noticed there is an airport in Redmond, how is the road from Bend to Redmond in the winter? Is it always accessible?

How much snowfall do you get in a year and is it true that you only have two seasons, summer & winter?

I've read how expensive it is to live there but I think it's true of any city or town depending on your lifestyle.
What are the more expensive things about living there and what do you save money on? We happily noticed a Costco, is there anything you miss living there that a larger city has? We rarely shop so I don't know what it would be lacking but excited to see enough breweries to keep us happy :)

Would love some feedback on kayaking there also.











MrsPotts

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Re: What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2015, 11:12:48 PM »
Bend is really remote,  whether that is a pro or a con is up to you.   I find it congested, traffic wise, and it is highly yuppified and full of tourists.   Plus, Oregon has occasional school funding difficulties that can result in truncated school years, as well as income tax.

It's been a few years since I've driven through but I seem to remember Highway 97 being two lane and full of slow moving semis and RVs. 

Personally, I would take northeastern Washington or the Idaho Panhandle over central Oregon. 




Glenstache

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Re: What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2015, 09:50:06 AM »
You might also consider Wenatchee, WA. Low COL, access to lots of outdoor stuff, bicycle friendly, good climate. A bit more under the radar than Bend.

zoltani

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Re: What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2015, 09:52:47 AM »
Pro: Close to Smith Rock and Trout Creek, good beer

Con: Expensive for a small town

I liked Redmond when I passed through.

Dee 72013

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Re: What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2015, 02:41:33 PM »
Thanks for the feedback, will have look into the other areas.

zoltani

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Re: What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2015, 03:07:44 PM »
What is it about Bend that attracts you?

Glenstache

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Re: What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2015, 03:08:24 PM »
Maybe you should have a post with the criteria you are looking for (kayaing, less driving, etc) and ask where mustachians recommend. I happen to like Bend quite a bit and could happily live there. The mountain biking is superb. But, it is largely a tourist town at this point and all that comes with that.

Christof

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Re: What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2015, 03:18:35 PM »
Lots of questions... Bend and Redmond are close. The whole area is high desert. It's a relatively flat area surround by mountains (the three sisters). Within the area you have snow in the winter and heavy winds throughout the year. Because it is flat, the streets are almost always accesible. However driving towards the coast or to Portland might not be possible at all times.

Bend is a very popular and hence expensive area (great brewery), so people with less income settle in the surounding areas, especially Redmond. Redmond is still significantly cheaper, but is catching up.

The area around Bend and Redmo nd is mostly farmers. The majority of which does not share the same values as people living in Bend or Redmond, especially those who moved there in the past decade, or so.

The airport is one of my favorites. It takes two or three minutes from entering the airport to go to the gate. The airport is right in the city of Redmond.

Expensive in Bend is housing, especially in areas like the old mill district, and going out, if you are into restaurants, bars, and the like. Cost of living is otherwise average ranging from Costco to Wholefoods.

Kayking can be difficult in the immediate area. Being in the high desert it is not like the are plenty of rivers in a bikable distance. There is the Deschutes that is in Bend, Tumalo Creek a bit outside and Crooked River that goes through Smith Rock and doesn't have a lot of water in the summer.

Dee 72013

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Re: What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2015, 03:22:13 PM »
We need to be close to an airport still for hubby's job for the next few years, West Coast only.
 Good hiking trails and places to kayak close by. We're looking for a more outdoorsy lifestyle and Bend looks like Disneyland with all the hiking & biking opportunities.
Living near shopping isn't important but we do like having a Costco nearby.
I guess we're look for a place that will give us more of a lifestyle experience than a place that will give us more shopping potential.
We don't need to worry about schools but good medical facilities are a plus.

Reyes01

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Re: What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2015, 12:00:37 AM »
Eugene is about three hours west (northwest?) and might fit the bill. Bend is a cute town as well.

huzar

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Re: What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2015, 11:26:10 AM »
Just come to Seattle. Fantastic kayaking (both sea and whitewater). Hiking galore, as close as 20 minutes away. No state income tax. Good airport. Very good medical facilities.

RE can be more expensive than Bend, and the sales tax in King County is 9.5%.

Syonyk

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Re: What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2015, 12:42:12 PM »
Just come to Seattle. Fantastic kayaking (both sea and whitewater). Hiking galore, as close as 20 minutes away. No state income tax. Good airport. Very good medical facilities.

RE can be more expensive than Bend, and the sales tax in King County is 9.5%.

Absurd cost of living, traffic that is literally so bad you're better off biking (the only public transit of any value is busses, which are still stuck in traffic), a government that has no idea what it's actually doing (but they'll sure spend a lot of money to do whatever it is they want this week), and an incredible entitlement attitude.

Hiking involves a lot of "conga line up the side of a mountain" if the weather is nice.

There is literally no comparison between high desert areas and Seattle.  I'm stuck in the Seattle area right now (people insisted we'd love it... we don't) and my wife & I are actively making plans to get out of here and back to a desert area.

"From the 600s" is considered a bargain price for poorly built houses stacked on top of each other, with a lot of stuff on the east side being $700+.

If you're willing to live in the city, pay $2k/mo for a tiny place, and stay within easy walking/biking range of your apartment, that might be doable.  Or you can pay $800/mo for a "micropartment" of 150 sq ft.

But it's not similar at all to Bend or Wenatchee or such.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 12:43:43 PM by Syonyk »

Bracken_Joy

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Re: What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2015, 01:04:14 PM »
We need to be close to an airport still for hubby's job for the next few years, West Coast only.
 Good hiking trails and places to kayak close by. We're looking for a more outdoorsy lifestyle and Bend looks like Disneyland with all the hiking & biking opportunities.
Living near shopping isn't important but we do like having a Costco nearby.
I guess we're look for a place that will give us more of a lifestyle experience than a place that will give us more shopping potential.
We don't need to worry about schools but good medical facilities are a plus.

What you are describing is definitely Eugene. Very bikeable, lots of outdoors, passable public transit, two rivers to kayak (Willamette and Mackenzie), Costcos a plenty, has an airport (although slightly outside of town, I think busses run out there sometimes though). Starting to get more breweries and cider houses. Has an REI and used sporting equipment stores, etc. Indoor climbing gym in addition to outdoor climbing right in town- not nearly as good as Bend's climbing, but not bad. Has a brand new really nice hospital (Peace Health River Bend). Interesting people there.

Glenstache

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Re: What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2015, 10:33:46 AM »
http://www.justgetout.net/wenatchee/

Leavenworth (about 25 min from Wenatchee) is also nice, but the core of town is overrun with tourist kitch. In that area, you could potentially kayak out your back door, bike to world-class climbing, etc.

Dee 72013

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Re: What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2015, 07:51:26 AM »
Thanks for all the great suggestions and feedback. Now we just need to compare housing costs with each one and eventually try to visit the major contenders when we can. We hadn't thought of Wenatchee or Eugene before but will definitely look more into those two.

zoltani

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Re: What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2015, 12:07:11 PM »

Hiking involves a lot of "conga line up the side of a mountain" if the weather is nice.


Here's a thought: Stop hiking rattlesnake ridge, snow lake, and Mt Si. Have you tried exploring the alpine lakes, north cascades, or tatoosh range? Solitude can be found, just get off the I-90 corridor.

Syonyk

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Re: What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2015, 12:24:50 PM »
We've found some decent hikes, but right now, with a kid on the way, we've not been doing as much.  Depending on how she is with getting hauled up mountains, we might do more this summer.

That doesn't fix all the other problems with the area, though.

zoltani

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Re: What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2015, 12:55:03 PM »
We've found some decent hikes, but right now, with a kid on the way, we've not been doing as much.  Depending on how she is with getting hauled up mountains, we might do more this summer.

That doesn't fix all the other problems with the area, though.

There are solutions to the "problems" you see around you, first step is to not see them as unfixable.

City government I can't help ya with though!

Syonyk

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Re: What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2015, 01:40:20 PM »
I can't fix:
Traffic being terrible
Cost of housing being obscene (or way out, so I'd have an hour plus commute)
Overly paranoid neighbors with regards to unsupervised kids
Aggressive tolling

Obviously people like the area. My wife and I don't, and are planning to move far away.

Chuck

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Re: What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2015, 01:49:18 PM »
I would suggest Banks, OR as an alternative.

Close enough to the Portland Metro Area to enjoy many of it's pleasures, but undeniably rural and cheap.


Taran Wanderer

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Re: What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2015, 12:07:48 AM »
Why not Hood River, OR?  45 minutes to PDX - all interstate freeway.  Lots of hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, and you could learn to windsurf.

Glenstache

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Re: What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2015, 09:24:57 AM »
hood river is a good recommendation, as is Stevenson or other towns in that immediate vicinity. Bellingham, WA might also be an option, though not close to major airport.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2015, 10:33:52 AM »
hood river is a good recommendation, as is Stevenson or other towns in that immediate vicinity. Bellingham, WA might also be an option, though not close to major airport.

I would love to learn more about Stevenson. It always looks so cute and pleasant when I drive through there. Anyone have any idea what schools are like there? And what about weather- I feel like anything in the gorge would have awful wind pretty often? Any feel for the people culture- conservative vs liberal, religiosity, etc?

Thanks!

Dee 72013

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Re: What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2015, 09:06:06 PM »
Now I will  look into Banks, Or, Stevenson &  Bellingham WA. I've been to Hood River OR before and it's a beautiful area also.
Thanks for giving us more places to choose from.
Washington State  looks really good with no state income tax so maybe we so also revisit the Seattle area.

Syonyk

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Re: What are the pros and cons to living in Bend Oregon
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2015, 09:27:29 PM »
Stay east of the mountains in WA.