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Old 07-01-2010, 08:50 PM
 
3 posts, read 9,632 times
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I live in the midwest and I have a job prospect in Bend. I am a recent college graduate. I know that some of the questions have been addressed previously, but I don't really trust an answer from 2006 to be good for my 2010 situation.

1) In reading online I have come across a few things about it being a tough area for people in their middle 20's. However, from looking online there are a good number of restaurants, breweries and bars in Bend. I realize that Bend is not a college town or anything like that, but is there a real shortage of people in my age range (21-24) because of the lack of entry level jobs?

2) When looking up the cost of living on a number of calculators they list home prices as a major difference between the area I currently reside and the Bend area. However, they do not list the source of their data, and it seems outdated. It seems that the housing bubble in Bend has burst? Am I correct in assuming this is the case? I see a number of houses that seem fairly new and nice for less than $150,000. It also seems that apartments are fairly reasonably priced from what I have seen.

3) What other aspects of the cost of living in Bend would be higher than anywhere else? Are groceries and convenience items really that inflated compared to the rest of the country? I realize that everyone lives differently, but would $60,000 a year for a single person in Bend be something a person could live comfortable on?

Also I will be flying out next week to check out the area. Are there some specific things I should put on my list to make sure I see while I am there? I mean, I get all the normal tourist stuff when I search, but I am not looking at this as vacation, more of a scouting trip.

Thanks for any input!

Midwesterner1986
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Old 07-02-2010, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Bend, OR
43 posts, read 46,870 times
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First question, where are you from in the midwest?
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Old 07-02-2010, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,033 posts, read 5,014,209 times
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I'll try to answer your questions as best as I can. I'm a relative newcomer, having lived in Bend for exactly 2 years now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midwesterner1986 View Post
I live in the midwest and I have a job prospect in Bend. I am a recent college graduate. I know that some of the questions have been addressed previously, but I don't really trust an answer from 2006 to be good for my 2010 situation.

1) In reading online I have come across a few things about it being a tough area for people in their middle 20's. However, from looking online there are a good number of restaurants, breweries and bars in Bend. I realize that Bend is not a college town or anything like that, but is there a real shortage of people in my age range (21-24) because of the lack of entry level jobs?

I actually think Bend is a great place for someone in their 20s. Bend does have a community college, as well as a branch of OSU, which actually does attract a fair number of people that are wanting to live in Bend because of the recreational opportunities. As someone in my early 30s, I've found Bend to be a fairly decent town to meet new people. I've lived in some really rural towns though, so I suppose it depends on where your coming from. You will find quite a few younger people also move here to work seasonally (lift operators, etc.). So it might be a bit of a transitory crowd, but there are plenty of younger people.

2) When looking up the cost of living on a number of calculators they list home prices as a major difference between the area I currently reside and the Bend area. However, they do not list the source of their data, and it seems outdated. It seems that the housing bubble in Bend has burst? Am I correct in assuming this is the case? I see a number of houses that seem fairly new and nice for less than $150,000. It also seems that apartments are fairly reasonably priced from what I have seen.

I definitely think the housing bubble has burst and it's continuing to decline. We bought a house for $165K that sold two years prior for $325K. Since then, the prices in our neighborhood have continued to decline. They are building new homes (with no yards, but they are brand new) and selling them for $130K. I would honestly rent for at least a year to make sure you can afford to live here and that your job in secure.

3) What other aspects of the cost of living in Bend would be higher than anywhere else? Are groceries and convenience items really that inflated compared to the rest of the country? I realize that everyone lives differently, but would $60,000 a year for a single person in Bend be something a person could live comfortable on?

We've found that groceries, gas and other things (beer) are definitely higher than where we lived in Colorado. However, if you are able to land an entry level job here for $60K, you will live plenty comfortable. We manage to live on close to that with 2 people. It's very rare to find any entry level, or even mid-level job, that pays that well in Bend. I would jump on that if your offered the job!

Also I will be flying out next week to check out the area. Are there some specific things I should put on my list to make sure I see while I am there? I mean, I get all the normal tourist stuff when I search, but I am not looking at this as vacation, more of a scouting trip.

Hit up the local breweries in town for sure. A relative new one is 10 Barrel Brewing. They have an outstanding patio and are in a very trendy part of town. You'll get a great local's feel there. My personal favorite is Bend Brewing Co. though. Food isn't very good, but there beer is excellent! You might try to catch a concert at the Les Schwab too. There are free concerts most Sundays, with a few paid concerts in between. Pick up The Source free newspaper for all the local happenings. Rent a mountain bike and take a ride out on in the Phil's Trail complex. Drive around town and look at the different neighborhoods too. If I were in my mid-twenties and single, I would definitely want to live somewhere close to downtown/Galveston area. The houses are small, but everything is within walking distance. It has a great vibe to it as well. Enjoy your trip and good luck with the job prospect. Bend is very competitive!
Thanks for any input!

Midwesterner1986
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Old 07-02-2010, 02:24 PM
 
427 posts, read 681,579 times
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Hi Delta7 - I take it you may be from the west slope, but if you spent time in the Front Range, I was wondering how living in Bend might compare to Fort Collins? I know its not a college town and doesn't have a lot of diversity, but from the recent vote that passed, it seems like a 4-year college may be in the cards?
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:27 PM
 
3 posts, read 9,632 times
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First off, thank you everyone for the input. Especially delta07, that information was extremely helpful. Thanks man!

I agree that I plan to rent for the first year at least that I am there. However when I have run cost comparisons the big cost of living difference I've seen is housing prices. It seems that rent in the area for an apartment is similar to where I currently reside. Also I realize that I will want to be sure my job is stable and secure before I buy, as jobs don't seem that easy to come by in Bend at present.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jesterseven View Post
I love how you typed all this out without mentioning what your degree was or what kind of job you were looking for. how are we supposed to help you man?
jesterseven, I think you misunderstood my situation. I am not looking for a job in Bend. I have a prospect with a company that is recruiting me to Bend at present, and is bringing me out to see the area next week.
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:40 AM
 
3 posts, read 9,632 times
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Oh, I didn't see Nestvine's question. I am from a medium sized city in Ohio.
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Old 07-03-2010, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,033 posts, read 5,014,209 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docwatson View Post
Hi Delta7 - I take it you may be from the west slope, but if you spent time in the Front Range, I was wondering how living in Bend might compare to Fort Collins? I know its not a college town and doesn't have a lot of diversity, but from the recent vote that passed, it seems like a 4-year college may be in the cards?
Doc, most recently I lived in Grand Junction before moving to Bend, but I'm actually from the Front Range. I went to school in Ft. Collins, although it was over 10 years ago. I think it's somewhat comparable to Ft. Collins, but very different for me. Bend has a very cute downtown area, which is similar to Old Towne in Ft. Fun. Lots of hip shops, restaurants, brew pubs, etc. However, Bend is very touristy, which I didn't feel was the case in FC (with the exception of new students arriving in the fall, and graduation in the spring). Bend is also farther off the beaten path so to speak, in that we don't have a major interstate running through town, and we are not within close proximity to a major metropolitan area. I think that's why FC has a bigger population and more jobs.

If a 4 year college is in the cards, it's still a long way off. That bond measure that passed this past November took several years to do so, and it's money needed to improve and build new facilities at the Bend campus, as well as some of the other satellite campuses in Central Oregon. They will not be using the money to expand programs to my knowledge.
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Old 07-07-2010, 06:27 PM
 
427 posts, read 681,579 times
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Thanks, Delta. Bend sounds nice ... Having lived in Fort Collins, how does the social climate compare? I notice Bend isn't a college town but there is a weekly paper (unusual in a non-college town), brewpubs, etc. Will there be enough educated / moderately liberal people, particularly for a couple in their 30s, to connect with? Despite the lack of jobs, are there entreprenuers in various fields (especially green-related, arts, technology)? Or is it just tourism and adventure sports and retirement real estate and resource extraction?
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Oceanside and Chehalem Mtns.
714 posts, read 1,715,250 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midwesterner1986 View Post
I think you misunderstood my situation. I am not looking for a job in Bend. I have a prospect with a company that is recruiting me to Bend at present, and is bringing me out to see the area next week.
I'd suggest you really try and understand the company you're applying for. (ie their culture, business model, financial statement, management, etc). That's much more important then restaurants, bars and supermarkets!!

If the job is not secure you could be stuck in Bend without any employment alternatives.

Yes, definately rent until you feel secure.
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Old 07-08-2010, 12:10 AM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,033 posts, read 5,014,209 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docwatson View Post
Thanks, Delta. Bend sounds nice ... Having lived in Fort Collins, how does the social climate compare? I notice Bend isn't a college town but there is a weekly paper (unusual in a non-college town), brewpubs, etc. Will there be enough educated / moderately liberal people, particularly for a couple in their 30s, to connect with? Despite the lack of jobs, are there entreprenuers in various fields (especially green-related, arts, technology)? Or is it just tourism and adventure sports and retirement real estate and resource extraction?
I think it fares somewhat well, especially compared with other non-college towns its size. There are numerous street festivals, outdoor summer concerts (some have been big name acts too), and other local events to keep us pretty happy.

My husband and I moved to Bend two years ago, both of us are liberal and well educated. We've met a pretty good group of people here, although it's been hard breaking outside of connections he has through work. I am unemployed, so I often get stuck talking about hospital politics (his field, not mine) with our friends. Bend is a pretty green community, at least compared with Grand Junction. I would say there are some entrepreneurs here, but it can be hard to make it unless you really have something people want. It's still a pretty small town and there really isn't the infrastructure or industry for companies to get big. The local economy definitely relies heavily on the outdoor community, tourism and retirement. Bend used to be a big timber hub, and while there is still quite a bit of logging (especially compared with CO), it's certainly not what it used to be. It's a welcome change for us leaving the oil and gas behind on the western slope of CO.
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