Pros and Cons of Living in Bend, OR

No matter where you live, most people have heard that Oregon is a beautiful state with adventures and wonder. The city of Bend, Oregon, is part of that wonder, sitting in the center of the state and located in Deschutes County. If you’re moving to Bend and want to know all the good and bad things about the place, the information below is perfect. It’s a list of the pros and cons of living in Bend, OR, brought to you by the friendly folks at Northwest Self Storage!

Bend, Oregon Pros and Cons

While Bend is a great place to live, work and raise a family, like almost all American cities with nearly 100,000 inhabitants, it suffers from some issues.


  • Summer in Bend is one of the nicest in the United States, with warm days and comfortable nights.
  • The commute time in Bend is very short. Most people commute less than 20 minutes 1-way each day.
  • There are many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and nature in Bend.
  • Public schools in Bend, although not perfect, are well-ranked and rated.
  • Bend is a highly diverse city with many different peoples and cultures.
  • Bend sees over 300 days a year of sunshine.


  • Housing prices in Bend are nearly double the U.S. average, making it difficult to afford a home for many.
  • The cost of living in Bend is 31% higher than the American average.
  • Median incomes in Bend are lower than average.
  • The job market in Bend is weaker than in many comparable cities.
  • Wildfires are an annual problem in this part of Oregon.
  • Bend is about as remote as most Oregon cities get and 3 hours from Portland.

What is Bend, OR, Known For?

If there’s one thing Bend, OR, is known for, it’s the pristine beauty of the Cascade Mountains and for having over 300 sunny days a year. The city is also known for its world-class recreation opportunities, including fishing, hiking, camping, skiing, and much more. (The nation’s first whitewater surf park? Yes, please!)

Closer to home, Bend is known for being a foodie’s paradise and one of the best cities for craft beer in the United States. Lastly, thanks to the plethora of golf courses, Bend is also known affectionately as the “Palm Springs of the North.”

What It’s Like Living in Bend, OR?

Waterfall with many trees surrounding it

Those who already live in Bend will tell you that the city offers everything you need to live a fulfilling, exciting, and exceptional life. Because it’s so remote, Bend suffers from far fewer issues plaguing larger cities like Portland, OR, and Seattle, WA. The air is cleaner, the crime rates are lower, and the weather is lovely for a good portion of the year.

Many folks live here just for the outdoor adventure opportunities that Bend provides and spend most of their time outdoors. Many find an overwhelming feeling of pride in the city and a spirit of entrepreneurship appealing. Plus, as mentioned earlier, the food and beverages here are some of the best in the country!

Quick Facts about Bend, OR

The Weather

Bend has a comfort rating of 9 out of 10 in summer, which is practically perfect! The days are sunny and warm but never sweltering, and the humidity there is never overwhelming. Winter does see a fair amount of snow, but not enough that you’ll be cursing to yourself every time it starts to fall.

The Cost of Living

If there’s one drawback that stands out in Bend, it’s the higher cost of living. With an overall cost index of 131/100, you’ll pay 31% more to live here than in the average U.S. city.

The Public Schools

The public school system in Bend gets a B from Niche, which most students will agree could be better but is far from abysmal. Of the 29 schools in Bend, 8 get an A- or higher, so choose your new neighborhood wisely.

Recreation Opportunities

This is where Bend truly shines! There’s much to do and enjoy here throughout the year, from golf and fishing to wine tours, white water rafting, gorgeous hiking and biking trails, and fishing in pristine, clear waters!

Real Estate Prices

The main reason Bend is more expensive than other cities is the real estate prices, which are more than double (yes, double) the U.S. average. Compare the median home cost of $666,200 in Bend to the U.S. average of $338,100, and you’ll immediately see why living in Bend is more expensive than many other cities. Even the Oregon real estate average is nearly $200,000 less than Bend, genuinely saying something about the housing costs here.

Top 10 Neighborhoods in Bend, OR

Aerial view of the Mill District in Bend

Bend is small, so you won’t find dozens of neighborhoods. Most, however, are attractive, safe, and well-kept. According to locals, the Top 10 neighborhoods in Bend are the following:

  1. Orchard District- Relaxed and leafy
  2. River West- The hip, young, and urban center of Bend
  3. Century West- One of the most popular communities in Bend
  4. Southeast Bend- Laid-back and friendly
  5. Awbrey Butte- Desirable but expensive
  6. Southwest Bend– Home to many lush parks
  7. Old Bend- Beautiful but expensive
  8. Southern Crossing- Many parks and events are held here
  9. Old Farm District- Quaint, quiet, and small
  10. Larkspur- The best community for young families

Store with Northwest Self Storage in Bend

If you’re planning to move to Bend (or have just arrived) and need to find storage, Northwest Self Storage is your #1 choice! Our 5 storage facilities in Bend offer all the features and benefits you need to store your valuables and household belongings safely and securely. Many businesses also keep overstock, supplies, gear, and tools with Northwest. Not sure what size storage unit you need? Use our convenient and easy storage unit size guide for a better idea, or talk with the on-site manager at the Bend storage facility nearest you. When you’re ready, reserve your Bend, OR, storage units online or call today!