Do you dream of waking up to a misty sunrise over the Pacific? Do you want to be in the center of a fantastic music scene, with creative eateries and cool cultural hotspots on every corner?
If so, Oregon is the place to be. From Portland to Springfield, there’s plenty to see and do in these bustling cities.
Think that with these amenities at your fingertips, there’s no way you can keep up with the cost of living? Think again!
To the surprise of locals and visitors alike, this is one of the most budget-friendly states to live in, despite its quick access to recreation. Today, we’re breaking down the most affordable places to live in Oregon, so you can get one step closer to calling this your home.
Ready to learn more? Let’s go!
1. Portland Suburbs
Let’s begin with the spot that sees the most tourism, year after year. The largest city in the state, Portland is a must-see on any traveler’s list.
Sitting along the Columbia and Willamette rivers, it’s a nature enthusiast’s paradise, complete with nearby parks, sweeping bridges, and accessible bike paths. Along with eco-conscious initiatives and a laidback vibe, you’ll also find plenty of microbreweries and coffee houses, along with art galleries, theater productions, and music venues.
While you’ll pay a premium if you want to live in the heart of the city itself, more affordable options exist in the affordable Portland suburbs. These include:
Here, the costs of living are lower. In addition, you’ll find that median home values are more in the mid-range and the percentage of income spent on rent is less than 30% in most places.
Take Hillsboro, for instance. Here, residents spend an average of 28.6% of their monthly income on rent and the median household income is around $75,000.
You can’t research the cheapest place to buy a house in Oregon without considering Springfield. Offering some of the cheapest real estate around, Springfield is replete with things to do, yet somehow manages to keep housing costs low.
While an affordable community, it’s also close to the water, which makes it ideal for those looking to spend their afternoons kayaking or fishing.
Here, the median income is almost $42,000. In addition, the average home value is around $175,000.
Another reason to check out this local favorite? Even if watersports aren’t your thing, you’ll appreciate the proximity to gorgeous parks, along with a bustling events calendar. From outdoor movies in the summertime to its iconic Christmas parade, there’s always a celebration going on here.
Nope! We aren’t talking about Dallas, TX. Did you know that Oregon has its very own little Dallas?
It may not be as big as its southern counterpart, but it’s still full of things to do, and it’s more affordable, to boot.
Dallas serves as the county seat for Polk County, Oregon. Here, the median household income is $53,506 and there are more than 27,500 housing units.
While it’s an affordable spot, don’t expect this locale to compromise on amenities or attractions. Those with a green thumb will have quick access to the gorgeous Delbert Hunter Arboretum and Botanical Garden, as well as the Peavy Arboretum.
The latter is a delight for adults and children alike. Visit during a scheduled educational lab to learn about the different species of native plants!
With a median household income of around $50,000 and an average housing value of $194,300, the city of Keizer is thriving, and for good reason.
There are many local attractions here that are free to the general public, which makes it a more affordable place to live than other cities in the area. For instance, you can take the entire family down to the historic schoolhouse for a quick history lesson, or attend the annual Iris Festival to send your senses into overdrive!
Here, you’re also walking distance to parks, playgrounds, and waterfront attractions along the Willamette River. Only 40 miles from PDX and bordering the state’s capital of Salem, you’re close enough to wander outside of the city, as well.
Here, the median home value is only around $257,000 and rent is less than $1,000. Though the average household income is around $47,500, most of the nearby attractions are available with zero entry fee or at a reduced charge. This means you won’t pay too much to stay entertained.
Visit for the festivals, wineries and art galleries. Stay because this city is almost as quirky as Portland, for a fraction of the cost.
How does a median real estate price of $167,500 sound?
What if we told you when you could snag a piece of property in this idyllic town, you get full access to the nearby Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, along with a month-long Tulip Fest?
You won’t pay much to enter, but the problem is you’ll never want to leave. Kids can play on the children’s exhibits, you can shop for bulbs and cut stems, and you’ll all come home with a bouquet of fresh flowers.
The cost of utilities is low and the population is on the upswing. Join this movement and call Woodburn home. You’ll become a flower child in no time!
7. Coos Bay
Portland may rule the food truck scene, but don’t discount Oregon’s other culinary must-sees.
One of them is Coos Bay. Bordering the city of North Bend, this city is earning quite the reputation for itself, thanks to restaurants like Blue Heron Bistro and 7 Devils Brewing Company.
With a median household income of $43,000 and an average home value of less than $170,000, you’re sure to find an affordable place to call home here.
In addition to great eating spots, you’ll also enjoy the city’s incorporated food festival, as well as a spattering of other foodie fests during the year. From ones that celebrate crab and clams to those heralding blackberries and cranberries, let your taste buds lead the way!
Ready to live like a modern cowboy? In Pendleton, you can do so!
With historic charm and a Wild West feel, this town is home to the Pendleton Round-Up, which is more than a century old. Watch the thrilling (and cheap!) rodeo, then stroll along Main Street and visit the vendors, street musicians, pageants and nighttime shows all vying for your attention.
The best part? Even the most budget-conscious broncos will feel at home here.
With a median household income of $48,000 but plenty around to see, eat and do for cheap, it’s safe to say that residents in Pendleton are living large for less.
The city’s slogan says it all: “It’s Easier From Here.”
Low-cost living shouldn’t have to mean sacrificing the things you love. When you put down roots in Lebanon, you don’t have to.
This is another festival city! Visit the Lebanon Strawberry Festival every summer for plenty of delicious nibbles, along with a fun parade, carnival, and live music.
The average house costs around $152,000 and median household incomes teeter at $40,000. When you aren’t feasting on the World’s Largest Strawberry Shortcake, you can take your pick from almost 20 local parks or unwind on the water at nearby Cheadle Lake.
This is one of the biggest cities on our list, but that doesn’t mean your mortgage will break the bank.
Sometimes, you can marry a low cost of living with the urban high life, and Salem is proof that this is possible.
Median real estate prices come in at just over $201,000 with an average household income of $52,000.
It won’t take long for you to settle in and feel right at home here. The infamous Salem Saturday Market is a great way to kick off any weekend! Here, you’ll find great bargains on everything from clothing to produce, much of it offered by local farmers.
Salem residents also enjoy annual food and wine festivals held across multiple months, along with an Enchanted Forest playground, botanical gardens, a riverfront carousel, pasture park and more!
Discover the Most Affordable Places to Live in Oregon
In some states, you have to shell out your life savings to afford a tiny studio apartment miles away from any city attractions. That isn’t the case here.
While the median household incomes and property prices fluctuate across the state, the most affordable places to live in Oregon aren’t isolated rural towns without anything to see or do.
Rather, they’re busy and popular communities, each with a full calendar of festivals and events to enjoy. When you make any one of these 10 spots your home, you won’t be bored for long!
Need a little help paying for the home of your dreams? That’s where we come in.
We’re experienced mortgage lenders who know the greater Portland area like the back of our hands. Start your loan application online in seconds and let’s find your perfect PNW paradise!