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The 20 Cheapest Places to Live in Oregon

North Bend

Each of the cities, suburbs, and towns of Oregon has different features, pros, and cons. Therefore, each area will appeal to different people, depending on what they are looking for when finding a place to live. People’s priorities vary depending on their stage of life, personal preferences, lifestyle, and individual needs. While some people choose a location based on job opportunities, others focus more on the lifestyle an area can offer. Families often focus on areas that are within the catchment area of excellent public schools and a wide range of family-oriented activities. For those on a budget, the focus is often on the property prices, the cost of renting, and the general cost of living. If affordability is the main priority for you, then here are the 20 most affordable places to live in Oregon.

Junction City

20. Junction City

Although Junction City is last on the list of the cheapest places to live in Oregon, it is still an excellent location in terms of affordability, for both those who are renting and for homebuyers. Niche describes this city in Lane County as having a sparse suburban feel. It is considered a safe place to live, with a diverse community, various job opportunities, and reasonable public schools.

Klamath Falls

19. Klamath Falls

The county seat of Klamath County, Klamath Falls is home to around 21 thousand people. When the city was founded by George Nurse in 1867, it was originally called Linkville. The city is located close to the California-Oregon border, and it is on the southeastern shore of Klamath Lake. Although the affordability of this city is one of its major selling points, there are plenty of other reasons to consider making a move to Klamath Falls. It is an area that appeals predominantly to young professionals due to the lively nightlife, diverse community, and varied range of leisure pursuits in the area.


18. Cornelius

Located in the Portland Metropolitan Area, Cornelius is a City in Washington County. It sits between Hillsboro and Forest Grove along the Tualatin Valley Highway. The city was founded by Thomas R. Cornelius in 1893, and it has grown to have a population of almost 13 thousand residents. Cornelius has a sparse suburban feel, and there are some excellent parks in the city. There are leisure activities to suit people of all ages, there is diversity within the community, and job opportunities are varied and plentiful.

The Dalles

17. The Dalles

Sitting alongside the Columbia River is The Dalles, which is the largest city in Wasco County. However, the population is relatively small at just over 15 thousand. In addition to being within the top 20 cheapest places to live in Oregon, The Dalles is also considered a safe city in which to live, and the community is diverse. The leisure activities are varied, with various outdoor pursuits, family-oriented activities, and health and fitness facilities.

Cottage Grove

16. Cottage Grove

Located in Lane County, Cottage Grove is a small city with approximately ten thousand residents. The affordability of Cottage Grove is just one of the reasons that it is a popular place for people to raise a family. It also boasts above-average public schools and many family-oriented activities to enjoy. However, it is also a great place for a younger crowd as there are lots of health and fitness amenities, excellent transport links, and a great nightlife.


15. Keizer

Keizer has a fantastic food scene, and there are events taking place all year round, including the famous Iris Festival. However, the low cost of living is the major selling point of living in this city. The city is named after Thomas Dove and John Brooks Keizur, who were two pioneer brothers who arrived in the area in 1843. It now has a population of more than 39 thousand people.

La Grande

14. La Grande

La Grande was originally called Brownsville, but another city had that name. Instead, the name was changed to La Grande, because that is how French settler Charles Dause described the area. As it lies below the Blue Mountains in Union County, it is easy to see why he would describe the area in this way. Despite the outstanding beauty of the surrounding area, La Grande remains one of the cheapest places to live in Oregon in terms of the overall cost of living as well as buying or renting property.


13. Scappoose

With a population of a little over seven thousand, Scappoose is a small city in Columbia County. Both buying a property and renting are affordable in this city. Scappoose is one of those all-around types of places to live that will have features that appeal to every demographic. Buying and renting property is affordable, the cost of living is reasonable, public schools are above average, and the crime rates are low. Furthermore, there are leisure activities to suit everyone.


12. Albany

Albany is the 11th largest city in Oregon and the county seat of Linn County. It sits at the confluence of the Willamette River and the Calapooia River in the Willamette Valley. Albany is home to almost 53 thousand people, and it has a sparse suburban feel. Not only is this one of the most affordable locations in Oregon, but it also has varied employment opportunities, especially in manufacturing and agriculture. Albany is an excellent option for raising a family as the public schools are rated above average, and there are plenty of activities for families to enjoy together. Other positive aspects of this city are the relatively low crime rates, the varied job openings, and the pleasant outdoor spaces.


11. Stayton

Stayton begins the second half of the list of the cheapest places to live in Oregon. Located in Marion County on the North Santiam River, Stayton is approximately 12 miles from Salem, and it is part of the Salem Metropolitan Statistical Area. The area has a population of just over eight thousand, and the city is a regional light manufacturing and agricultural center. Some of the plus points of Stayton are the low crime rates, the community’s diversity, and the vibrant nightlife. This town has a dense suburban feel and approximately eight thousand residents.


10. Sheridan

Sheridan is a fantastic place to live due to the wide range of activities and attractions to enjoy. According to Trip Advisor, some of the best things to do in Sheridan include Norsk Museum, Norwegian Settlers Memorial, Pirate’s Cay Indoor Water Park, and Concept Haulers Motor Speedway. In addition to having a wide range of leisure activities, Sheridan is also one of the cheapest places to live in the state. The median house price in this city is just under $166 thousand.


9. Ontario

Although Oregon has some of the highest rental prices in the United States, that is not the case in Ontario. The median rent in this city is significantly below both the state and national average. Likewise, the house prices are exceptionally low, with the median house value at under $115,000. Ontario is in eastern Oregon, and it is home to almost 11 thousand people. Some of the benefits of living in Ontario are the nightlife, outdoor activities, and excellent transport links.

North Bend

8. North Bend

Those who want to live in an affordable place with water access should consider North Bend. This city is surrounded on three sides by the water of Coos Bay on three sides, says List with Clever. It is also just a half-hour drive to the ocean and to Shore Acres State Park. Although house prices have risen a little over the last year, North Bend remains one of the most affordable places to live in Oregon. There are also plenty of employment opportunities in North Bend, especially in the food services, accommodation, retail, and healthcare sectors.


7. Creswell

Although the property prices in Creswell are only the ninth most affordable and it is the 19th most affordable area for renting, there is a higher median income in this area, and the general cost of living is low. These statistics combined mean that it is the seventh most affordable place to live in Oregon overall. Creswell is located just south of Eugene, and it has a population of just over five thousand residents.


6. Dallas

On Q Financial lists Dallas as one of the cheapest places to live in Oregon. Not to be mistaken with Dallas, Texas, Dallas in Oregon is a suburb of Salem. It is known for its botanical gardens and beautiful outdoor areas, such as Baskett Slough Wildlife Refuge. Although the median house price of $205 thousand is high compared to other areas on the list, the income to property price ratio is low as the median household income is more than $56 thousand. It is also worth noting that the rental prices in Dallas are the third-cheapest in Oregon.

Baker City

5. Baker City

A wonderful place to live for those who want to live in an affordable place and spend a lot of their time enjoying outdoor pursuits is Baker City. The city is high up in the desert and close to the Elkhorn Mountains and the Powder River. Therefore, it is great for hiking, cycling, and other outdoor pursuits. Baker City is also known for its historical buildings and breweries. The median house value is under $122 thousand, so it is an affordable place to buy a property. There is an abundance of employment opportunities in sectors, including manufacturing, retail, and social assistance.


4. Milton-Freewater

Milton-Freewater is a small city in Umatilla County with a population of slightly more than seven thousand residents. The cities of Milton and Freewater merged in 1951 to form one city. One feature of this city for which it is particularly well-known is its growing wine industry. In terms of affordability, it is the second most affordable place for those who are buying a property, and the 17th cheapest in Oregon for renting. Milton-Freewater also has a relatively low unemployment rate at under seven percent.


3. Pendleton

Third on the list of the cheapest places to live in Oregon is Pendleton, which is a city in Umatilla County with a population of almost 17 thousand people. The median house value in this city is a little over $155 thousand, while the median household income is almost $50 thousand. There is plenty going on throughout the year in this city, and one of the most famous events that take place in this area is the Pendleton Round-Up rodeo, and there are many other activities to enjoy in this city. Pendleton is also considered a safe place to live.


2. Hermiston

Hermiston is somewhere that has consistently been featured on lists of the most affordable places to live in Oregon in recent years. It is the fourth most affordable place for buying property, the fifth cheapest for renting, and the general costs of living are significantly below the state average. There are plenty of outdoor recreation activities to enjoy in the area, and the unemployment rate is relatively low. The biggest industries offering employment opportunities in this area are distribution and food processing.


1. Umatilla

Umatilla is not only the most affordable place to live in Oregon, but it also has a lot of other things going for it, says Home Snacks. It is the cheapest place to buy a house in Oregon in terms of the ratio between the average household income and the median home value. It is also the 12th most affordable place to live for those who intend to rent a property. This city, which has a population of a little over seven thousand, is home to Hat Rock State Park. Therefore, you can spend lots of time outdoors walking the trails, fishing in ponds, and spotting eagles. Another appealing feature of this area is that it is the second safest place to live in the state.

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Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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