Real Estate

The 10 Cheapest Places To Live in Oregon

· One of the cheapest places to live in Oregon, Albany is known for scenic river views, thriving arts and culture scene, and historic homes along 
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The 10 Cheapest Places To Live in Oregon

The Pacific Northwest is one of the most desirable places to live in the US. This region includes Oregon, whose cities and towns boast natural beauty and a pleasant climate — and affordability. If you’re on a tight budget you’ve come to the right place: Below we give an overview of the 10 cheapest places to live in Oregon.

Oregon Has a Lot to Offer

These days it’s more important than ever to live in an economically savvy town, particularly if you’re on a fixed income. Luckily, Oregon has areas that fit the bill — plus mountains, a scenic coastline, and exciting things to do.

Oregon is listed as the 26th most populous state, and affordability is one of the main reasons. While Portland is quite popular, it’s actually not one of the most desirable cities to live in Oregon, at least in terms of affordability. Instead people are flocking to the top 10 cheapest places to live in Oregon and buy a house or rent.

The Cheapest Places To Live In Oregon

Coos Bay

The largest city on the Southern Oregon Coast, Coos Bay boasts a mild climate and a friendly community. This quaint, pretty town offers gorgeous bay views and plenty of opportunity for outdoor activities.

Enjoy hiking, fishing, biking, crabbing, and more. Nearby, the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area offers ATV riding, while Cape Arago State Park is a great place to spot seals and whales.

The median home price in Coos Bay is just under $200,000, while the median income is a little under $40,000. The downside is that finding real estate in this area is hit or miss. So if you find a home you like in Coos Bay, take action quickly, especially considering its one of the cheapest places to live in Oregon.

Sheridan

If you’re a fan of living in a small farming, agricultural town, Sheridan is worth checking out. Located in Northwest Oregon along the Columbia River and Oregon-Washington border, Sheridan features a small, close-knit community. It’s situated between Portland and the Oregon coast, and homes in Sheridan sell for an average of $227,400.

For a small town, Sheridan boasts plenty to do. Visit museums — there’s a lot of them in the area, including the Tillamook Air Museum and the Portland Art Museum. There are also numerous parks and recreational facilities for fun outings. Or take in the serene surroundings at Huddleston Pond Park. Be sure to visit the Sheridan Days festival, which celebrates the town with carnival rides, a parade, and vendor booths.

How much do I need to live comfortably in Oregon?

To live comfortable in Oregon’s largest city, Portland, you need a salary of around $60,000. For areas that rank among the cheapest places to live in Oregon, you can get by on far less than that — sometimes half that! Still comfortable is the key word here, you don’t want to be pinching pennies to the detriment of your wellbeing.

Baker City

Located in the high desert of eastern Oregon, Baker City is an ideal for home buyers who want a home in one of the cheapest places to live in Oregon. Close to the Elkhorn Mountains and the Powder River, Baker City offers plenty of scenic spots for hiking, camping, and fishing. The town also features cool historical buildings from the Gold Rush era.

With a median home price of $357,500, Baker City has become quite popular in the past year or so. However, the average home price here is still very affordable. There’s also a lot of job opportunities in sectors such as manufacturing, retail, and social assistance.

Albany

One of the cheapest places to live in Oregon, Albany is known for scenic river views, thriving arts and culture scene, and historic homes along with several famous covered bridges. Albany also has lots of colorful Queen Anne Victorian homes and antique shops.

Surrounded by one of the broadest and most level stretches of the Willamette Valley, Albany offers fishing, water skiing, and off-road riding. There’s also a hot-air balloon festival every year. It’s affordable to live here, as the median home cost in Albany is $275,200.

Hillsboro

Located just west of Portland, Hillsboro is a booming place to live, not to mention affordable. Nicknamed “The Hub City, Hillsboro has a high reputation in high-tech industries like Intel, Epson, and Yahoo!.

Boasting an active cultural scene and sequoia trees that surround the historic courthouse, Hillsboro is accessible to nearby Portland through a light rail system. There are also several well-regarded wineries here.

The largest community in northwest Oregon, Hillsboro’s median home price is $396,122. While this may seem high, it’s quite affordable when compared to other cities close to Portland.

Creswell

Located just south of Eugene, Oregon, Creswell has a very low cost of living and affordable homes. With a population of a little over 5,000 people, Creswell is a quiet, quaint retreat with a median home price of $189,500.

Close to Oregon Wine Country, it’s an ideal town for those who love camping, adventure, and serenity. Creswell also boasts an esteemed farm-to-fork dining scene as well as scenic country roads and pastures of sheep, orchards, and vineyards.

Hermiston

In Umatilla County in Eastern Oregon, Hermiston is popular for its watermelons. (They even use them in their branding.) The cost of living in Hermiston is well below Oregon’s state average. In fact, Hermiston’s cost of living is 11.2% lower than the U.S. average. The average home price in Hermiston is $148,200.

Along with being incredibly affordable, Hermiston has plenty of outdoor recreation activities to enjoy. Nestled in the heart of the Columbia Basin, this Oregonian town boasts plenty of parks and recreation facilities, a welcoming business climate, and a lively festival atmosphere downtown.

Dallas

Dallas, Oregon (not to be confused with Dallas, Texas!) offers a sparse suburban feel as well as affordability. The median home cost in Dallas is $301,700, and the cost of living here is relatively low.

Located in Polk County, Dallas is surrounded by multiple vineyards and wineries, and the downtown area features beautiful historic buildings. Enjoy the outdoors in the area’s seven parks, including a 35-acre park with an attached arboretum.

Woodburn

Located in north-central Oregon in Willamette Valley, Woodburn offers a small-town atmosphere. Just 50 miles south of Portland, Woodburn takes pride in a rich culture. A small but beautiful town, it has a quaint downtown area with lots of shopping. Enjoy an exciting hot air balloon ride for views of the heart of the Willamette Valley.

Home of the Wooden Shoe Tulip farms and a month-long Tulip fest, Woodburn has a low cost of living. A home in Woodburn will cost an average of $264,800.

Pendleton

One of the most budget-friendly towns in Oregon, Pendleton prides itself on heritage. An old cow town that’s situated between the steep hills along the Umatilla River, Pendleton is one of the cheapest places to live in Oregon. Plus, there’s nothing short of fun things to do — there are multiple local city parks and recreational offerings, as well as a Native Cultural Museum.

Nationally famous for its annual Pendleton Roundup, the town borders the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation which contributes positively to the economy and culture of the region. The Pendleton, Oregon average home price is $162,900, making it cheap as well as an ideal place to buy a home and raise a family.

What is affordable housing in Oregon?

Whether you’re looking for the cheapest places to live in Oregon or a more affluent area, Oregon offers a plethora of affordable housing options. The income requirements are based on each area’s median salary. Families and individuals can qualify for affordable housing options if their gross income is 30 percent or 50 percent of the areas median gross income, depending on what they’re trying to qualify for.

Make Sure You Can Afford a Home in Oregon!

Before you look at homes anywhere in Oregon, you need to know whether you can actually afford to own one. Mortgage payments are generally higher than rent in most states. And even when the prices are close, there are other costs associated with owning your home instead of renting.

Your property taxes will be added to your monthly mortgage payment. And if you put down less than 20% for a down payment, your lender will probably require you to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI) as well.

You’ll also have to pay some costs that you might not have had to pay while renting: utilities, cable, garbage pickup, and any necessary repairs.

Make sure you can comfortably afford not just your mortgage but also any additional expenses before buying your first home.

If you’ve run the numbers and decided that yes, you can afford homeownership, your next step is to meet with a mortgage lender. You can discuss the different types of mortgages and decide which would be best for you. You’ll also want to be pre-approved for a mortgage before you begin house-hunting.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you’ll have to share your financial and employment information with the lender. They’ll require documentation such as tax forms, pay stubs, and more. Once they review and verify your information, they’ll determine whether to approve you for a mortgage. If they do, they’ll let you know your mortgage options and terms.

The lender will also issue a pre-approval letter. You can show this to sellers when you’re looking at homes, to let them know that you’re able to secure financing.

Be Prepared to Negotiate

It’s more than likely that the seller will come back to you with a counteroffer. That’s just part of the negotiations. It’s up to you whether you can comfortably accept their counter, respond with your own counteroffer, or walk away.

Keep your finances in mind and don’t let yourself get carried away in the excitement of buying your first home. No matter how much you might think a house is perfect for you, if you can’t comfortably afford it, it’s time to think twice.

Remember buyers: you need to know what a home will require in order for it to be up to your expectations of build quality. Houses may need a few things fixed either prior to purchasing a home or immediately after. It’s important to be aware of these issues, as it may cause a headache further down the road after you’ve purchased the house.

Often, if the seller is motivated enough to sell the house, they might work with you and include fixes and light renovations as a stipulation in the contract for the sale of the house. Making sure you have inspectors and independent contractors to inspect the house for any major issues can help save you a headache in the long run.

You also need to be aware of the market surrounding the house. If you look around at the neighborhoods close to the home you’re considering, you may find other locations that may be a better price, closer to an important location, or simply newer than the one that you’re considering. Ensuring that you’re aware of the area and not focused on one house can help make sure that you’re making the best choice possible when putting in an offer, and not necessarily choosing the first one on the list.

Ensure you don’t bid either too high or too low on the house. Bidding too high will probably get you the house quicker, but you may end up paying over market value for the home and will probably have to recoup that cost before you can be in a suitable position to generate equity into the home.

Offer too little and the buyer may outright refuse and will greatly decrease your chances of landing the home that you want to purchase. When in doubt, consult a professional Realtor who knows the market.

Find a Realtor to Help You Buy a Home

Oregon is truly a beautiful state, and if you’re looking for affordability, it’s a great place to move. UpNest can help you find the right agent to help you with your Oregon home buying or home selling experience. Get a Realtor who can offer advice and assistance throughout the whole buying or selling process.

Above all, remember that your Realtor should be there to aid in your home buying process, not just to show you listings. Helping you avoid the wrong time to buy, the wrong location or the wrong house for your budget can all go a long, long way in making sure that you’re happy with the end result. Beyond that, realtors aren’t all the same, and you will need to find one that gels with your interest as a home buyer before choosing to go the length of the field with them.

UpNest, which is owned by parent company Realtor.com, uses a proprietary agent matching system that considers closed listings, location of listing, and other factors to provide the customer with 3-5 individual proposals.

The proposal includes commission information, marketing techniques, a Q&A about the agents, local trends, reviews, and more. Once agents start using UpNest’s platform, the matching system evaluates their performance with UpNest, including conversion rates and response time.

UpNest is a no-cost service for home sellers and buyers to find the best real estate agents locally. The UpNest platform allows you to compare multiple agents in your area so you can compare reviews, commission rates, previous sales, and more.

Our agents have been carefully vetted and often offer competitive, lower than average commission rates to UpNest customers. There is no obligation to sign up with one of our Realtors, but when you can potentially save thousands on commission – why wouldn’t you? If you’re ready to get started, just enter your zipcode below!

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