If you’ve set sights on Springfield, Ore. as your next moving destination, you’re in for a treat. The acclaimed TV show The Simpsons may have used the name Springfield because it sounds like a typical American town, but the show’s creator, Matt Groening, is actually an Oregon native! Besides this, the city is renowned as the birthplace of Nike, as the revolutionary waffle sole was most likely brought to life in a Springfield lumber mill workshop – a claim that stirred some rivalry with the city’s neighbor, Eugene.
Before you take to the road to make Springfield your new home, take the time to investigate some of the facts that make this city unique.
1. Diverse Neighborhoods for All Wallets
Springfield is Eugene’s more affordable neighbor as the housing market offers more reasonable prices. As it happens, Springfield doesn’t have officially established neighborhoods. The city is informally divided into a handful of unofficial ones, for example West Springfield, Downtown, East Springfield (Thurston) and North Springfield. Springfield really does have a bit of everything.
Living in West Springfield – especially in Kelly Butte, Glenwood or Downtown Springfield – gets you the best of two worlds: you’ll be a stone’s throw away from the hip city of Eugene while still having access to plenty else nearer home. Close to Downtown, West Springfield is one of the most desirable areas of the city, with homes that range from moderately priced ones to some more expensive houses.
Just north of Downtown, the Washburne Historic District oozes with charm, as many homes that adorn its streets were built around the time when the 19th century turned into the 20th. The Kelly Butte neighborhood west of Pioneer Parkway and South of Centennial Blvd. features scenic views as well as close proximity to the Willamette River and Island Park, a perfect spot for family events and community celebrations.
If walkability is what you’re looking for, then look no further than Downtown. Bustling with a variety of different spots to suit a variety of tastes, this is the place to be if you want to get a taste of Springfield. Not content with coffee shops, organic grocers, yoga studios and pizzerias, downtown Springfield also has a performing arts venue, all within a half-mile radius. If a little excitement is what you’re looking for, then the axe-throwing studio could be the place for you. The city’s tapestry of diversity wouldn’t be complete without the Simpsons mural in Downtown, a public acknowledgement of a secret but generally known fact: Springfield, Oregon is the real Springfield.
As it covers the area south of Highway 126 between Mohawk Boulevard to the west and 42nd Street to the east, Midtown is not your prime real estate area in Springfield. The neighborhood offers, however, more affordable homes, especially between Mohawk and 28th Street.
- East Springfield
Thurston, to the far east, is an East Springfield neighborhood featuring newer construction that will be easy on your wallet. As far as the rest of the neighborhood is concerned, homes built in the 70s, 80s, and 90s are a lot more common. With more upscale homes that cost a lot more, the hillside homes south of Highway 126 and east of Bob Straub Parkway bring an exciting modern vibe.
- North Springfield
Bounded by I5 to the west and Marcola Road and the MacKenzie River to the east, North Springfield has a charm all of its own. The streets north of Hayden Bridge Way and to the east of MLK Jr. Parkway are a real estate hotspot, with scattered luxury properties and desirable new construction that’s close to the downtown buzz. As you head east, the neighborhood has a more rural feel – an ideal location for those seeking a suburban setting that isn’t too far from the city.
2. Looking for a Steady Job in Springfield? Healthcare Has You Covered
With its connections to the timber industry, Springfield has traditionally been a blue-collar city. However, the city added new jobs in other industries. Healthcare workers can rejoice: the Sacred Heart at Riverbend, the region’s main hospital, is a recent addition to the area. Additionally, the midtown McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center also employs healthcare workers. Other employment opportunities include administrative, office and sales positions alongside tech jobs.
3. Living Here Won’t Break the Bank
Springfield, Oregon’s cost of living is significantly lower than that of its neighbor to the West, Eugene, largely because its housing market is not as hot. Would-be home buyers take note, however: Things may not stay that way forever.
Since real estate properties are in the affordable range compared to neighboring Eugene, Springfield’s cost of living tends to be lower. If you’re moving from a big city, your wallet will definitely notice the difference.
As part of Oregon, Springfield has no sales taxes. You might be used to finding out the final price of an item once you arrive at the cash register, but that won’t be the case here – the price tag is what you will actually pay.
Let’s look at the rundown of the common expenses in Springfield, with data on housing from Point2Homes, rent information from RENTCafé and information on other expenses from Numbeo:
- Average house value with mortgage in Springfield – $203,400
- Monthly average rent in Springfield – $1,391
- Monthly utilities – $226
- Gasoline (1 gallon) – $2.87
- A dozen eggs – $2.00
- Milk (1 gallon) – $2.75
- A three-course restaurant meal for two – $45.00
You might, of course, see your utility bills going up in winter — or in August, when the air conditioning is running full blast.
4. Commuting Here Feels Like a Breeze
Springfield spells good news for the morning commute – it takes about 20 minutes to get to work in the city. As it happens, that’s substantially shorter than the national average of 26.4 minutes, according to data provided by BestPlaces. Most residents choose to drive their own car to work, while a small fraction of them carpool with others.
Not so many people take public transit, but if you choose this option, you should know that you can easily get to Eugene using the EmX line. If you’re a bike enthusiast, Springfield also offers miles of beautiful bike paths.
5. Have Your Pick of Public or Private Schools
There are 23 schools in Springfield – 20 of them are public and three schools are private. With Eugene so close by that the two cities are practically fused together, it’s easy for all residents to have access to the University of Oregon, Pioneer Pacific College and Lane Community College.
6. The Vibrant Cultural Legacy Will Rope You in
Springfield’s signature features are all over the city – from the life-sized Simpsons family at the Emerald Art Center to collections of public art and outdoor murals that are well worth visiting.
Here are some outstanding landmarks worth touring:
- Opal Whiteley Outdoor Mural
This is the most celebrated mural depicting the former Springfield resident who infused her work with mysticism. She penned the “Journal of an Understanding Heart,” a best-seller in the US. While her story was challenged, her portrait still enchants.
- The Oregon Trail Outdoor Mural
Adorning the Emerald Art Center, this painting honoring the pioneers was created by the brush of Ann Woodruff Murray in 1993.
- Ken Kesey Statue by Peter Helzer
While the famous writer who authored “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” wasn’t born in Springfield, he made the city his home after moving here early in life. A bronze statue representing him and his three grandchildren pays tribute to the writer in the Broadway Plaza now known as “Kesey Square.”
Besides all this, you can find out more about the city’s vivid past if you visit Springfield Museum, where you can peruse the exhibits about the regional’s timber industry and other subjects. Additionally, you can see first-hand how commercial filbert (hazelnut) is being processed at the Dorris Ranch Living History Farm, the oldest farm in the country of its kind currently still operating.
7. Nature Enthusiasts Rejoice: It’s an Outdoor Heaven Here
Springfield’s unique geography offers a plethora of opportunities for outdoor activities. The breathtaking cascades of the Willamette and McKenzie rivers appeal to all nature enthusiasts. And you can camp riverside by the Willamette Water Trail, for example. More than 200 miles of rivers flowing towards Springfield make for a nice day trip through a leafy mix of cottonwoods and willows.
Just southeast of Springfield, you can go fishing or enjoy a relaxing boating trip if you choose Dexter and Lookout Point reservoirs. If whitewater paddling is your go-to type of outdoors adventure, there are a lot of great spots along the Willamette River, Row River, Calapooia River and Fall Creek. Other state and recreation areas include the Lowell State Recreation Site and Splash! at Lively Park, where you can have fun inside with a year-round water park with a wave pool, waterslides and a spa.
If hiking is more your idea of fun, Mount Pisgah Arboretum is close by. Winding along riverbanks and forests, trails here are the perfect places for your next outdoor adventure. Look no further than Eagles Rest Trail and the Teeter Creek Loop for some of the best trails the area has to offer. Also, for your picnic time, find the perfect spot in Willamalane’s numerous parks and playgrounds. For golfers, Emeralds Valley Golf Club, Oakway Golf Course and Laurelwood Municipal Golf Course offer plenty of options.
8. Time to Move? Pick the Right Springfield Out of Over 40 cities With the Same Moniker
With the multitude of cities bearing the same name, make sure you put in the correct city in your GPS when you are headed to Springfield, Ore.! As you actively plan your move, remember to look for local self storage solutions to temporarily keep your belongings until you are ready to find a permanent home in this charming city. And after you complete your move, self storage might come in handy to temporarily house some items, especially if you are the outdoorsy type. You will most likely pay $64 for a 5×5 self storage unit in Springfield.
Did you find out everything you needed to know about Springfield, Ore.? If there’s anything you’d like to know, please let us know in the comments section below.