Living, working and buying a home in Bend, Oregon
As a realtor in Oregon for the past thirteen years, I give tours of the area regularly. I talk about the economic vitality of the community and I educate people about the state of our changing real estate market. Since I moved here in 1995, I have seen Bend transform from a small podunk town with a mountain and a river to a thriving small city. Many of my friends, colleagues, and acquaintances ask me the same question regularly, “Where are all these people moving from and how can they afford these expensive houses?” In other words -- Where do they work?
Who is moving to Bend?
We all know that jobs can be difficult to come by if you are not either in the health care field or willing to take a minimum wage, entry-level job.
So how can people afford to move to Central Oregon and gobble up these expensive homes? First, consider the source of the incoming residents. According to a 2014 Bulletin article,
California has been supplying the bulk of Bend newcomers. With the inflated California real estate market, we are seeing people sell their 1000 square foot ranch homes in the Bay Area for $550,000, leaving them with $200,000 or more in equity. They can live on a fairly meager income but afford a reasonably expensive home here in Bend.
What are Bend residents doing for work?
It seems that a fair number of recent Bend transplants are bringing their jobs with them—they are telecommuting from home or are starting new businesses when they arrive. Many buyers are also making Central Oregon their second home while living and working elsewhere part-time. We are also seeing a moderate number of young, active retirees who don’t need to work any longer and have chosen to live in Bend or the surrounding area for the recreational opportunities and decent health care services.
Yes, our city is changing. Although I sometimes miss the old, small-town Bend. I accept and welcome the vibrant, multifaceted community she is becoming. Bend is still a wonderful place to raise a family, start a business and enjoy all of your favorite outdoor pursuits. If you or someone you know is thinking about moving to Bend, give me a call for information about the Central Oregon real estate market at 541-410-3645 or firstname.lastname@example.org