Everything You Need to Know About Moving to Bend, Oregon
With stunning mountains, a thriving culinary scene, and plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures, it’s easy to see why people love Bend, Oregon. In fact, as more and more people relocate to Bend, the city expects its population to exceed 150,000 by 2040.
If you’re thinking about making the move to Bend, you’ve come to the right place! We’re proud to be headquartered in Bend and have been building homes and making dreams come true for people moving to beautiful Central Oregon for decades. So if you have any questions about relocating to Bend, we’ve got you covered.
From honest housing market expectations to things to do and weather tips, here’s everything you need to know about moving to Bend, Oregon.
What It’s Like to Live in Bend
Once a quiet logging town, Bend has grown into one of the country’s best small cities for nature lovers. Situated on the eastern edge of the Cascade Range and along the Deschutes River, Bend is the perfect launch pad for outdoor adventures.
Hiking and Biking
With more than 80 public parks and easy access to hundreds of scenic trails, hiking is a popular pastime for Bend residents. Newberry National Volcanic Monument is one of our favorite spots, with waterfalls and lava caves to explore. Prefer a set of wheels with your daily dose of nature? Thanks to Central Oregon Trail Alliance, a local non-profit that’s been building and maintaining mountain biking trails since 1992, Bend is also a mountain biker’s paradise.
Watersports and Winter Fun
When the sun is out and the weather is hot, the Deschutes River provides plenty of options for fun on the water. Grab an innertube and a cold beverage and float the river with friends. If you’re more of an adrenaline junkie, Bend Whitewater Park is an exhilarating spot for kayaking and surfing. Yes, you read that right — surfing on the river!
And the fun doesn’t stop when summer’s over. A short 30-minute drive takes you to Mt. Bachelor, which boasts some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the state. There’s also Meissner Nordic, a trail network between Bend and Mt. Bachelor which Outside Magazine listed as one of the best cross-country-skiing trails in the U.S.
Restaurants and Breweries Galore
All that outdoor adventuring is sure to make you hungry. Luckily, Bend is a hub for delicious restaurants and food trucks. From satisfying pub grub to gourmet breakfast spots, there’s a lot to love about the Bend food scene. You’ll definitely want to check out Spork, a global fusion restaurant with tasty tacos and creative cocktails that the New York Times described as “culinary magic.”
Maybe even more than its food, Bend is known for being a capital of the craft beer world. With so many great breweries in the area, the best way to experience the city’s beer culture is by following the Bend Ale Trail. We recommend you swing by Sunriver Brewing, Crux Fermentation Project, and Silver Moon Brewing, for starters.
Shopping and Entertainment
Need a break after that long hike you took yesterday? Take it easy and stroll through Bend’s walkable downtown. There are plenty of galleries, bookstores, and souvenirs to discover. There’s also the Old Mill District, a fun mix of big-name stores and local shops right on the river.
If arts and culture is what you’re after, the Old Mill District is also home to Hayden Homes Amphitheater, which features an exciting lineup of concerts and events throughout the summer. For an educational experience the whole family will love, you can’t beat the otters and the “Raptors of the Desert Sky” exhibit at the High Desert Museum.
Preparing for Weather in the High Desert
Bend sits at an elevation of 3,600 feet in Oregon’s high desert. If you’ve never lived in a high desert climate, there are a few important things to know before moving to the area.
Summer: Sun, Heat, and (Sometimes) Smoke
Living in a desert, you’re sure to get lots of sun, especially in the summer months. This is great for all of our outdoor enthusiasts, as your trips to the lake or the mountains aren’t likely to get rained out. But all that sun and dry air also create ideal conditions for something not so fun: wildfires.
Wildfires are a natural occurrence in Central Oregon’s dry forests, and they can even be an essential part of a healthy ecosystem for areas adapted to regular fire. But if you’re unfamiliar with wildfires, the prospect of living in a region prone to them can be unnerving. That’s why it’s crucial to educate yourself on wildfire risk and preparedness. This guide from the City of Bend is a great resource.
Winter: Snow, Ice, and Slippery Roads
You read that right. Even though it’s a desert, Bend’s high altitude means cold temperatures in the winter (and sometimes even on summer nights after the sun goes down). During a typical Bend winter, you’ll see lots of snow, ice, and wind. If you’re coming from a warmer climate, you’ll want to make sure you know how to care for your home in the freezing months.
A couple helpful tips? Cover your outdoor spigots to prevent your pipes from freezing, and be sure to shovel off your roof after a big winter storm to keep ice dams from forming in your gutters.
Also, and we can’t stress this enough, don’t forget to buy your winter tires ahead of time! When the snow starts falling and the roads get treacherous, you don’t want to be running to the auto shop only to discover every set of studded tires in the city is sold out.
Top Neighborhoods in Bend
So, you’re sold on the Bend lifestyle, and now you want to know more about where to live once you get here. When it comes to determining your “ideal” neighborhood, there’s a lot to consider. Here’s a quick overview of some of the top neighborhoods in Bend to help give you a lay of the land.
Sweeping mountain views, beautiful landscaping, and large lots are just some of the features that make this neighborhood in Bend’s prestigious northwest side one of the area’s most exclusive. Our River’s Edge community located on Awbrey Butte embodies the sense of luxury felt throughout the neighborhood.
Downtown Bend & Westside
The quaint, historic charm of the homes in Downtown Bend immediately stands out to anyone walking around this part of town. Close to restaurants, shopping, and Drake Park — a lovely stretch of paths and greenspace along the river in the heart of the city — the convenience of this neighborhood really can’t be beat.
Just across the river is Bend’s Westside, which will be the future home of Collier, one of our newest communities. Westside (and Northwest Bend in particular) strikes a nice balance between proximity to town and a feeling of peaceful seclusion. Gorgeous parks and nearby trails make this neighborhood a great place for getting outdoors.
Bend’s Eastside is a growing, diverse pocket of the city. Here, you’re close to popular shopping centers, one of the best hospitals in Oregon, and Pilot Butte, a lookout with 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains. You can find our Easton and Petrosa communities in Southeast and Northeast Bend, respectively.
The Old Mill District
As we’ve already mentioned, the Old Mill District is a bustling hub of high-end shopping, lively entertainment, and riverside fun. All of this can be right at your doorstep if you choose to live in one of the Old Mill District’s luxurious townhomes.
Housing Market Expectations in Central Oregon
Alright. You’ve packed your skis, you’ve watched some paddleboarding tutorials on YouTube, and you’ve fallen in love with a particular neighborhood. Now all that’s left to ask: What will it actually take to buy a house in Bend?
It’s important to remember that although it’s not Los Angeles or Seattle, Bend is still on the West Coast. That means home prices here tend to be higher than in other parts of the country. Prices will vary across neighborhoods, so it’s important to look around if you have a specific budget in mind.
While buying a home can be expensive, renting a home is another option to consider. In addition to building homes, Pahlisch also builds mixed-use commercial properties that feature luxurious apartments and townhomes with high-end amenities. You can check some of them out below:
These developments allow residents to live the fun and convenient Bend lifestyle without the pressure of purchasing a home right away.
Additional Communities Outside Bend
We know what you’re thinking. You got all excited about Bend, and now we’re telling you to look elsewhere? But hear us out!
If you’re worried about Bend prices being out of reach, nearby cities like Redmond, Prineville, and La Pine offer great opportunities to enjoy all that Central Oregon has to offer without breaking the bank. And you’re only a short 30-minute drive from everything in Bend.
Want to learn more? Click the links below to view Pahlisch communities outside of Bend:
Buying for Short-Term Rentals
Before we go, we need to talk about investment properties. More specifically, we need to talk about short-term rentals. The phenomenon of individuals and investors buying up homes and turning them into short-term rental properties has played a big role in driving up home prices and limiting housing inventory. The City of Bend is trying to address this issue by putting limits on who can buy houses and use them as short-term rentals.
At Pahlisch, we’re committed to building lasting communities and places that people and families can call home. That’s why we don’t allow any Pahlisch homes to be used as short-term rentals. Long-term rentals, on the other hand, are greatly encouraged, so everybody has a chance at calling a Pahlisch community “home.”
Find Your Dream Home in Bend With Pahlisch
We may be a bit biased, but Bend truly is a magical place. If the snowy mountains, clear blue skies, and vibrant outdoor culture are calling your name, we’d love to help you find your dream home here! Reach out to one of our New Home Specialists today to learn more.