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Renter's Guide to Portland
Known as “PDX” by the locals, Portland contains all of the modern amenities that a big city is expected to offer while still retaining the flowery look and charm of a small town. Located in the northernmost portion of the Willamette Valley (a 150-mile stretch of Oregon lowlands), Portland is surrounded by lush nature on all sides – the Columbia River and Willamette River work together to form two natural borders in the north and south, and the city is flanked with hilly trails that are perfect for long outdoor hikes. On a clear day, the beautiful rising slopes of Mount Hood are visible in the horizon.
Portland is the largest city in Oregon, nearly twice as large as Seattle. For music lovers, Portland is only 173 miles south of Seattle, WA. For those with an interest in Native American history, Portland is 351 miles southwest of Spokane, WA, and if you ever want to visit another equally forward-thinking city, then Portland is 636 miles north of San Francisco, which is about a 10-hour drive.
Portland’s climate is misty – rain is frequent, but also usually light and manageable. The weather in Portland is split into four distinctly moderate seasons. Summer (June-August) averages 85 F with warmer days that usually dip into the high 60s at night. Spring (March-May) averages 52 F and can be mostly cloudy with a fair amount of rain. Autumn (September-November) averages 55 F and has mild temperatures with many sunny days. Winters (December-February) do not tend to get cold until around mid-November. They are rainy with occasional snow, averaging 41 F.
Portland, OR Demographics
- Total Population630,331
Female 312,021Male 318,310
- Median Age36.8
Cost of Living in Portland, OR
TriMet utilizes two light rails and over 100 bus routes to cover all of Portland. A day pass for the bus in Portland is $5. Seniors aged 65 and over, children between 7-17 years of age, and the disabled are all eligible for reduced fares. Children under 7 years old ride free.
Portland’s light rails consist of the MAX and WES rails. The MAX Light Rail is for locals; it’s further split into five color-coded lines that cover everywhere from Hillsboro to the Portland State University. WES is a commuter rail for nearby jobs in the surrounding area (largely for the nearby Beaverton School District). The average cost for light rail pass is $5, with similar discounts as the TriMet bus system. The average commute time for Portland is about 20 minutes – that’s slightly better than the national average of 25.
The cost of living in Portland, OR is comparable to the national average. At $12, a meal at an inexpensive restaurant is $1 higher than the national average, a pound of apples in Portland is $2.08 (compared to $1.94), and a bottle of water ($1.36) is 2 cents cheaper than the national norm at. The average expenses for utilities in a 915-square foot apartment are moderately cheaper in Portland – $122.99 compared to $146.24.
Average Rent in Portland, OR
- Portland, OR Average Rental Price, December 2019 $1,535 /mo
Portland, OR Apartment Rent Ranges
- > $2,00013%
Portland, OR Rent Trends
|Nov / 2016||Mar / 2017||Jul / 2017||Nov / 2017||Mar / 2018||Jul / 2018||Nov / 2018||Mar / 2019||Jul / 2019||Nov / 2019||Dec / 2019|
Average rent is projected to grow by 4% in 2019 compared to 2018.
Please note that projected rent growth is calculated at city level.
Living in Portland
A terrific food scene and environmentally-progressive attitudes accurately describes what’s it like living in Portland, but fashionistas will be disappointed to learn that residents are notoriously famous for dressing down almost always. For some, a lackadaisical dress code may be one of the negatives of living in Portland, Oregon.
While Portland’s population may not be the most diverse, they are very accepting of all cultures, and even have their own cultural contributions as well. Moreover, Portland came in third on Forbes’ list of the best places for business and careers in 2015. It also topped The Washington Post’s list of America’s Best Food Cities in 2015!
Things to do in Portland
Aside from having some of the best food on the entire West Coast (exquisite Peruvian food at the Andina Restaurant, New American dishes with an Asian touch at Portland City Grill, and downhome dining at the Tin Shed, for example), living here is all about visiting the most beautiful places in Portland. For starters, the Portland Forest Park is 5 thousand acres of woodsy trails perfect for hikes, bike rides, and observing nature. The Portland Japanese Garden is another top attraction in Portland with a stunning strolling pond garden, a tea garden, and a sand and stone garden. And then there’s the magnificent International Rose Test Garden in Portland’s Washington Park that features 7,000 gorgeous rose bushes. Entrance is free and open to the public from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. No wonder Portland is called the City of Roses!
If you want to do some shopping in Portland, go downtown! Nicknamed “Portland’s living room”, the Pioneer Square (Portland Mall) offers 40 thousand square feet of premiere shopping, as well as some of the best free things to do in Portland such as mini-festivals, public art shows, and lots of flower shows.
The Edgefield (Portland) is the place to go for couples’ attractions, where historical buildings, organic gardens, and plenty of romantic restaurants will give and your loved one a fun night on the town.
As for things to do with kids in Portland, Oaks Amusement Park offers science-based learning games, animal exhibits, green parks and a host of free things to do as well. The Portland Art Museum is the seventh oldest art institute in the United States, and the annual Portland Marathon has been going for 40 years strong.
As for sports, the Portland Timbers are a Major League Soccer team who plays at the Providence Park, and the Portland Trailblazers basketball team is currently in renegotiation with their contracts.
Working in Portland
Columbia Sports, StanCorp Financial Group, Schnitzer Steel Industries, and Northwest Natural Gas are all headquartered in Portland. In addition, residents are employed at the nearby Nike and Intel locations, and further enjoy richly rewarding educational employment opportunities from the nearby Beaverton School District.
Portland, OR Households
- Total Number of Households260,949
Family 135,543Non-family 125,406
Children 66,497No Children 194,452
- Average People Per Household2.35
- Median Household Income$61,532
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$1,299
Education in Portland
The Portland School District is the largest school district in the state of Oregon, housing 48,500 students in 78 schools. Similarly, the Portland Community College is the largest community college in Oregon, and the University of Portland is a widely-accredited and prestigious university with close connections to the University of Notre Dame. The city is also home to Portland State University (PSU) which offers more than 120 majors, minors, and concentrations across seven schools and colleges.
Portland, OR Education Statistics
- No High School3%
- Some High School21%
- Some College25%
- Associate Degree7%
- Bachelor Degree27%
- Graduate Degree17%
Tips for Renting in Portland
If you are moving from Portland to California, expect a little friendly rivalry and ribbing from the local population. Other than that, their warm friendliness should make you feel right at home. Speaking of, Portland renters’ rights include a right to a “habitable” home, meaning all wiring, plumbing, pest control, and heating repairs must be paid in full by the landlord.
If the landlord fails to comply with an important responsibility, a tenant may withhold rent or exercise the right to “repair and deduct”. A landlord can enter a rental home only in a few specific circumstances - such as an emergency that requires the landlord to enter the unit - and usually must give the tenant at least 24 hours written notice before entering.
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