While it might be considered a suburb of Portland, Vancouver, WA, has many things going for it. For example, Vancouver is located in one of the most beautiful parts of the United States. The city offers a wide variety of outdoor activities, recreation, and green spaces. Nightlife in Vancouver, WA, is exciting, and the diversity level is high. However, no city in America is perfect, and neither is lovely Vancouver. Knowing the good and the bad is essential if you’re moving here soon. To help, Northwest Self Storage put together this list of the notable pros and cons of living in Vancouver, WA. If that’s the information you desire before you arrive and settle in, read on.
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
MOVING TIP: Reserve a Northwest storage unit in Vancouver before you arrive. Clean, safe and secure, self storage is usually much cheaper than storing with a moving company. Plus, you can easily access your things whenever you like. You can’t do that if your stuff is in a mover’s gigantic warehouse!
PRO of Living in Vancouver: It’s Great for Families
With good public schools and plenty to do outside, it’s no wonder Vancouver, WA, is highly rated for families. The nightlife is exciting and fun for parents, and commute times are relatively low. The job market, while tight, is still strong in Vancouver, WA. Plus, as we’ll see further below, summer is comfortable and inviting. Crime rates, while not perfect, are only slightly higher than average. In short, raising a family in Vancouver, WA, is a splendid idea!
CON of Living in Vancouver: High Sales Taxes
At 8.4%, there’s no denying that Vancouver has high sales taxes. (The national average is 7.1%.) If you’re moving here from a city with much lower sales taxes, that’s a big pill to swallow. The good news is that it’s not placed on food, although prepared food, alcohol, and supplements are taxed. Luckily, as we’ll see next, Washington state has no income taxes.
PRO: You’ll Get Excellent Tax Breaks in Vancouver
Living in Washington state has one perk that’s very helpful for all working folks; no state taxes. That goes for income from Social Security, retirement accounts, and your pension, too. You will have to pay property taxes in Vancouver, but, luckily, they’re below the national average. Many retirees come to Vancouver to take full advantage of all these tax breaks, which isn’t surprising.
CON of Living in Vancouver: It Rains an Awful Lot
Depending on who you ask, the rain is a big con about living in Vancouver. You’ve likely heard about Seattle, WA, and all the rain it receives throughout the year. Vancouver is very similar, with only a brief respite during summer. From October through May, though, you’ll be wearing galoshes and using your umbrella all… the… time. If you’re not a big fan of cloudy days, living in Vancouver can often seem weary and long.
PRO of Living in Vancouver: It’s Next to Portland!
Vancouver is a small city by any standard. As a small city, we have fewer perks than, say, Los Angeles, New York, or Portland. However, although LA and NYC are hours away, Portland is right next door! That means, as a Vancouver resident, you’ll get all the big-city perks without the big-city drawbacks. Museums, nightlife, culture, dining, you name it! Plus, it’s easier to get to Portland International Airport from Vancouver than it is from Portland!
CON: Portland’s Homelessness Problem is Spreading
Unfortunately, the homeless problem facing Portland right now is coming to Vancouver, WA also. One reason is that housing and rental prices are so high. Another is the opioid epidemic, which has been brutal in this part of the country. There are other factors as well, but, at the end of the day, the problem is getting worse.
PRO: Summer Living in Vancouver is Comfortable
Best Places gives Vancouver a comfort index rating of 9.4, which is outstanding. It means the weather stays between 70 and 80 degrees F, which is admittedly quite comfortable. It rains a lot less in summer, too, so you can get out and have some outdoor fun! Our suggestion; get out as much as humanly possible! Once the rainy season starts again, it won’t let up for about seven months!
CON: Housing Costs in Vancouver, WA are High
With a housing cost index of 137/100, a home in Vancouver costs 37% more than the U.S. average. Also, the median home cost in Vancouver, WA is $430,000, about $140,000 more than comparable American cities. Apartment rentals are considerably higher, too, making it difficult for many to afford a nice place to live.
PRO: There’s a Lot to Do Living in Vancouver, WA
One thing about Vancouver we love is there’s so much to do, see and enjoy here. From weekend farmer’s markets to live music, sporting events, and more, there’s never a dull moment! Just outside the city are some excellent casinos, as well as dams, forts, and beaches to explore. Even the other Vancouver in British Columbia is within driving distance! Plus, you have your choice of mountains, forests, and lakes to enjoy. When it comes to the pros and cons of living in Vancouver, WA, outdoor amenities are a top pro!
Vancouver, WA, is an Attractive U.S. City!
What do you think about moving to Vancouver now that you’ve seen the good and bad sides of the city? We hope you agree, there are more pros than cons here, making Vancouver very attractive indeed.
We love Vancouver and everything the city offers here at Northwest Self Storage. Speaking of offering, we offer safe, clean, and secure Vancouver, WA storage units throughout the metro area. Many new arrivals store their things in a Vancouver self-storage unit when they get here. That way, they can search for their new Vancouver community at their own pace.
If you have questions about reserving a Vancouver, WA, storage unit, please chat with us at your leisure. Better yet, drop by one of our 7 self-storage facilities in Vancouver, WA, and meet the on-site manager. They will help you with any questions or concerns you may have. Plus, they can help you choose the Vancouver, WA storage unit that fits all your stuff perfectly.
We hope you enjoyed today’s information about Vancouver, WA, and all our lovely town offers. Until you arrive, we wish you the very best with your move here! If you need our assistance, the team at Northwest Self Storage will be waiting to help you!
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This post was orginally published on 9/23/2021. It was updared on 1/31/2022.