Pros And Cons Of Living In Bend Oregon

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By Visit Oregon

Apr 6, 2022 / 6:15 pm

Pros and Cons of Living in Bend Oregon
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Welcome to Bend, Oregon!

No matter where you live in the United States, you have heard of the beauty, wonder, and adventures that reside in Oregon. The stories piqued your interest and fed your dreams. If the stories from others failed to do this, you would not be reading this page at this very moment.

The state of Oregon has once again become a place of fulfilled dreams as it once had during the times of the old Oregon Trail. People have rediscovered the endless opportunities, the indescribable beauty of landscape scenery, the allure of family-oriented environments, and the space to grow as a person and HAVE THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE.

In the heart of this increasingly popular state is the city of Bend. The city’s location is in the center of Deschutes County and in the middle of Central Oregon. Bend’s population is increasing at a rate of 20,000 residents every ten years. Yet, the city manages to maintain that sweet small-town feel despite its incredible growth. Therefore, if you desire to move your life to Oregon, I highly recommend Bend. Let’s take a look at reasons to relocate to Bend, Oregon, the pros and cons of relocating to Bend, Oregon, and the history of this fabulous city.

Why Should You Relocate to Bend, Oregon?

Well, I’m not biased or anything, but Oregon is the best place in the country! And in my opinion, Bend is the best Oregonian city overall for living the American dream you see in the movies. Bend, Oregon has a little bit of everything for the family AND for the single person. But I know what you’re looking for in an answer: an organized list of the basic reasons why you should relocate to Bend, Oregon.

Don’t worry. I have my organized list for you below:

1. It is the perfect place to raise a family! If you dream of raising your children in a suburban neighborhood like the ones from Disney movies, then Bend, Oregon has you covered. The kids in Bend literally ride to school with their bicycles and feel safe doing so.

2. The commute to work is super short. (Unless, of course, you work remotely 100 percent of the time. In that case, your commute is even shorter!)The longest commute for someone who lives in bend and works in Bend is a maximum of 20 minutes during rush hour. And even then, that isn’t the norm.

3. Bend has a superb medical community and with top-notch medical centers and assisted living facilities. You don’t have to worry about moving to the “middle of nowhere” and having little to no access to great medical care. Bend’s medical community is one of the best in the state.

4. The cost of living is reasonable. While it isn’t the most inexpensive place to live in the country, it is one of the most affordable places to live in the state of Oregon.

5. It has a fantastic education system. For school age kids, Bend has over 40 schools available to you. Their education system consists of public schools, private schools, independent schools, charter schools, magnet schools, and home schooling. For higher education options, Bend has two schools: Central Oregon Community College and Oregon State University Cascades Campus.

6. Bend has, and is surrounded by, a plethora of outdoor adventures and recreational activities: skiing, bicycling, fishing, and hiking to name a few. This is literally the place to live out your adventurous dreams without having to be on vacation.

7. The city carries this amazing small-town feel even though it has a population of 100,000 residents. I guarantee that you will feel as if you are walking through downtown Mayberry.

8. Bend, Oregon experiences over 300 days of sunshine a year! Who needs the Sunshine State when you can move to Bend and have more sunshine than Florida? (If you prefer cloudy, overcast days, you may want to second guess your move to Bend. I’m just sayin’.)

9. The city of Bend is sectioned into four distinct neighborhoods: Northeast Bend, Northwest Bend, Southeast Bend, and Southwest Bend. (Between you and me, Northeast Bend is the best place for first time homebuyers. The most affordable deals in real estate can be found there. You’re welcome.) The city is organized in this way so citizens can choose a location that best suits their needs and desires. Each section has something unique and different to offer you.

10. Finally, Bend is minutes away from the Deschutes River, Mount Bachelor, Smith Rock State Park, and more! Every cool adventure that you see social media influencers sharing on Instagram is almost always experienced in Central Oregon. It is one of the most photogenic geographical regions in the country.

The Pros and Cons of Relocating to Bend, Oregon

Now that we have covered the reasons why you should relocate to Bend, Oregon, let’s take a look at the pros and cons to moving there. Yes, you can always find cons to anything. I think it is only fair that we review any negative reasons for relocating to this amazing Oregonian city.

The Pros to Relocating to Bend:

1. This place is a dream come true for outdoor adventure seekers. You name it, Bend has it. There are endless amounts of hiking trails and biking trails. You can go mountain climbing, skiing, fishing, boating, exploring, and more. Bend is located in the high desert region of Oregon but sits near the Deschutes Forest. It has the best of all worlds in a geographical sense.

2. Bend is not only family friendly, but it is also dog friendly! In fact, the city loves doggie pals so much that it was named the BEST dog friendly city in the country by the popular publication, Dogster. In Bend, you will find numerous dog parks and off-leash areas for your favorite pup.

3. It has some of the most beautiful weather in the country with over 300 days of sunshine a year! This fact only intensifies the temptation to go hiking and biking ALL THE TIME. I mean, who wouldn’t with weather like that? Seriously, I don’t know why Florida gets named, “The Sunshine State” when Central Oregon has more sunny days.

4. Bend has incredible restaurants. The folks in Bend know how to COOK. You will find food trucks scattered throughout the city, and let me tell you: They have the TASTIEST foods, ever. Honestly, it is a foodie paradise. You will also find restaurants with healthy foods, vegetarian and vegan foods, and comfort foods. You won’t starve in this city!

5. Bend is a wonderful place to raise a family. The city has a fantastic reputation for being laid back, reserved, safe, and friendly. You will never feel safer anywhere else!

6. It LOVES the arts. You will find art galleries, theater groups, music scenes, and more. If you possess artistic talent, you can cultivate that talent in Bend and watch it flourish.

7. Bend is known to be one of the top five beer cities in the United States. My friend, if you enjoy a good craft beer, look no further than Bend. You will find some of the tastiest, most unique craft beers in the country!

8. The city has a superb education system. As I previously mentioned, the city offers over 40 school options for school age kids. Furthermore, the city has two higher education institutions: Central Oregon Community College and Oregon State University Cascades Campus.

9. Bend offers a reasonable cost of living. In other words, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to purchase groceries for the week or to pay for energy costs

The Cons To Relocating To Bend:

1. The job opportunities within Bend city limits are not as plentiful as those in larger cities. It is not a guarantee that you will find work within the city of Bend. There is the chance you may have to commute to work outside the city, or you may have to find a fully remote job. This isn’t to say that Bend does not have hiring opportunities; it just means that you may be limited in what job opportunities are offered to you.

2. Unfortunately, Bend has a wildfire season. Yes, I know. It comes as a price to having an abundance of sunshine every year. However, it is extremely important that you educate yourself on fire safety and what to do should you ever need to evacuate the area.

3. The city of Bend is located in a very remote area of Oregon. To give you an idea of how remote Central Oregon is, the nearest large city is Portland: a three hour drive. Once you are outside of the city limits, the landscape gets fairly empty of humans.

4. Bend is a small city. If you are relocating to Bend from a smaller populated area, then this won’t be a con to you. However, if you are accustomed to large cities and appreciate their value, then you may be greatly disappointed in the size of Bend. With only 100,000 citizens, it is considered to be a small city or large town. I’m just sayin’.

5. Some of Bend’s current residents are not too happy about the increasing number of new folks. They are pretty set in their ways and enjoy the Mayberry vibe to their town. It is perfectly reasonable for them to fear losing the small-town vibe to higher population numbers. As with most cities, the more people you have in a city, the more crime that can be had.

6. Bend real estate is getting pricey. While the city has a reasonable cost of living, the prices of homes are rising. Be prepared to spend a pretty penny on rent or home purchasing. However, the sooner you purchase a home, the better your price will be than if you wait. It is just something for you to seriously consider before making that big move.

At least the number of pros outweighs the number of cons, right? I tried my best to cover every single negative attribute that came to mind. Being transparent and realistic is absolutely needed when you are trying to make a large life decision.

If I had to choose three favorite pros to moving to Bend, it would be these:

* Family friendly and dog friendly.

* Great education system.

* Outdoor adventures galore.

If I had to choose three most concerning cons with moving to Bend, it would be these:

* Real estate prices are rising quickly.

* There is a wildfire season

* Job opportunities inside the city may be very limited.

Overall, if I were in your shoes, before relocating to Bend, I would first secure a job in the city or in the area. I would determine how far I’d be willing to travel for work everyday and then start the job hunt. Once a job was secured, I would immediately shop for my new home before prices had the chance to climb. Finally, I would do some research on the wildfire season and learn ways to take care of myself, my family, and my new home. In fact, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to research the wildfire season BEFORE purchasing a new home. I’m sure that location may have everything to do with your home surviving a wildfire.

The History Of Bend Oregon

Now that we have covered the basics on Bend and the pros and cons to moving to this amazing city, let’s review the history of the town and get better acquainted with its beginnings.

Bend and the area around the city is often referred to as Bend Country. It is believed that the first white explorers were Peter Skene Ogden and his men during the years 1825 to 1826. However, they just missed the area of Bend and instead hunted for beaver on Crooked River near current day Prineville. It was Nathaniel Wyeth and his followers who first explored the Bend area in 1834. They were some of the first white frontiermen to scope out the land while also in search of beaver. Nathaniel and his people had been camping out near the Columbia River to the north when they ventured south. Unfortunately, their earthen trail is practically gone, but historians know precisely where it is. Another famous settler to roam the area of Bend is John C. Fremont. He and his men are most known for hauling a heavy iron cannon through the area. You will hear stories of Fremont and his men hauling it across Tumalo Creek, and Klamath Marsh to Summer Lake, in which they named.

And you can guarantee to hear plenty of gold mining stories! During the Gold Rush of the 1800s, folks travelled to John Day Valley near Bend in hopes of making it rich. However, many of them left around 1862 and so, Bend was yet to become a settlement. Interestingly, the US Land Office in The Dalles recorded where a man claimed a portion of land at the current site of Bend in 1874. While the original person is unknown, we do know one of the earliest land settlers. His name is Tom Greer. Three years later, John Y. Todd came to Bend to buy the land off of Tom Greer. He named his ranch, Farewell Bend. (I’m assuming by the ranch’s name, you can guess where the city’s name originated from.)

During this time period, there were no official plans to create a town. It was simply a place for pioneers to cultivate the land and build a life. Twenty years went by until a businessman and capitalist named Alexander M. Drake arrived to Bend in a covered wagon. The year was 1900. He saw the area and saw tremendous opportunity. It was here where he started the company, Pilot Butte Development Company, and thus, Bend was placed on the map. One by one, buildings were constructed to slowly form a town that supported his company. The more jobs he offered, the more people came. And would you know it that by 1904, the good people living in Bend voted for it to be incorporated. The town council began their duties in January of 1905 and the growth of Bend was well on its way. The first mayor of the town was A.H. Goodwillie. Should you relocate to Bend, you will hear his name a lot.

The town of Bend changed up things in 1929 when they formed the City Commission. As the town was growing, a more formal city government was needed. Thus, the hired three city commissioners. With this particular change, it introduced a new mayor, George P. Gove, and the city’s first City Manager, C.G. Reiter. This was a huge advancement for the city of Bend given the timeframe of the stock market crash. The city still found ways to grow despite the struggles of the country’s economical system. It wasn’t until 1995 when the city charter was adjusted once again to approve the need for seven city commissioners instead of only three city commissioners.

Looking back at the creation of the town’s name, it had an interesting controversy surrounding it. During the 1870s, a man named William H. Staats had filed a claim to the land near the original Bend settlement called, Farewell Bend. Staats land was near the Deschutes River and given its close proximity to the ranch Farewell Bend, both places became a popular stop for travelers. In fact, both places had their own post office! Willam H. Staats wanted to call his town Deshutes. However, other people called it Staats and preferred that name. And other folks preferred the name Pilot Butte. Many travelers placed a bid to have the area called Farewell Bend. Clearly, the two separate locations become one settlement as they were extremely close together. While the people were busy fighting and arguing over what the name of their combined settlement should be, the United States Post Office Department in Washington D.C. had enough of it and decided that the most logical name for the settlement should simply be Bend. Once this became established, the area lost one of its post offices as two were not needed. Many of the locals in Bend take great pride in how their city became to be. It is only helpful for you to know the history of the beautiful town that awaits you in the remote area of Central Oregon.


Now that you have been given every reason as to why you should move to Bend, Oregon, what are your thoughts? You now know how wonderful it is and all the fun adventures that are to be had. Imagine owning a home with the white capped Mount Bachelor gleaming brightly from your back yard. Imagine walking down town where everyone nods their head in kind greetings and gives you the feeling that you are in Mayberry, North Carolina. Imagine drinking the best craft beer known to man in one of the best restaurants in all of Oregon. I am really not biased at all, but I know how amazing the city of Bend is and you will never want to leave it should you decide to move there. It really is the most beautiful place in the country as no paintbrush could ever replicate it perfectly than the raw eyesight of any one person.

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