My objective in writing these blogs is to help answer questions or shed light on issues from an insider’s perspective about living in Bend Oregon. I don’t get a kickback or referral fee from any place or any person mentioned in my blogs. Therefore, you can rest assured that my opinions are entirely altruistic and that I don’t have an ulterior motive or hidden agenda.
For this blog, I have compiled a list of questions about living in Bend Oregon that I hear most. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I am honest and blunt. So, in true, unfiltered Melissa Gottlieb fashion, here are some authentic answers to frequently asked questions.
1. Bend is in the middle of nowhere, but it’s growing fast. So who is moving here?
Those who have the money or those who telecommute and make money.
New residents are often cashing out with a salary from a city where there’s a higher cost of living, making a living in Bend Oregon very affordable. The current unemployment rate is great compared to the national average. The combination of comparative affordable real estate and a family-centric, slower-paced life with access to unparalleled recreation make this a prime destination.
Those who prioritize recreation over materialism.
Bend residents would rather have roommates and live paycheck to paycheck in order to have access to the recreational opportunities and live the “Bend Lifestyle.” I equate it to those who live in larger cities like a 200-square-foot studio in NYC with bars on the windows because they LOVE living in the city. Like NYC, Bend has an outdoor activity cult following and being here is the priority.
Those who have a two-salary household income, with or without kids, and want a safe, healthy lifestyle where the work/life balance is attainable.
2. I hate the cold weather and snow. How bad does it actually get in Bend?
I hated winters back East. They felt long, depressing, and I was always cold. I’m one of those people who gets cold and can’t warm up. Surprisingly, since we moved to Bend, I like winter. It does get cold, and there is definitely snow, but the lack of humidity makes winters manageable. You need to wear layers and obviously, you’re aware of the low temperatures, but if you’re dressed appropriately you don’t get cold. Nevertheless, cold weather gives Bend residents a perfect reason to throw on their winter coats and ski down Pilot Butte and Mount Bachelor. The snow here is also so beautiful that it sparkles like diamonds on a clear day. If you scoop out a hole in the snow, it actually appears blue because it’s just that clean.
3. How is the food in Bend?
This answer has to be taken with a grain of salt (pun intended) considering I’m from New York City. The food here, in general, is adequate. There are a lot of restaurant-style dining options in downtown Bend, but I can’t say that many of them are fantastic. The small businesses lack of food quality and variety have been a disappointment, I have to admit. If you are a foodie, this might be something to consider.
4. Is there diversity in Bend?
Again, coming from a bigger city my answer is probably skewed. It’s definitely improved since I lived here in the ‘90s, but Bend still has a way to go before it’s considered “diverse.” Bend still feels very much like living in a bubble. From a diversity and cultural aspect, it’s still pretty limited.
5. If I’m not an exercise addict, will I feel out of place?
This question is my favorite! Yes, it’s true that Bend is filled with some of the best athletes and outdoor attractions. People come here from all over the world to train, face the high desert, scale our mountains, and venture the Deschutes river, which is impressive to watch. Honestly, it took me about two years of living here not to feel guilty that I wasn’t participating in outdoor recreation doing something “active” when the weather was beautiful. However, like everything around you, you get used to the active lifestyle seeing everyone out running, biking, and hiking all of the time; it becomes white noise. I gave up my dream of keeping up with the Joneses a long time ago considering my neighbor trains triathletes and Iron Man competitors.
6. Is Bend a good place for a family?
From toddlers & kids to adults & seniors Bend is the ideal place for the entire family. For children, Bend’s has outstanding public schools and educational opportunities. For the adults, Bend is home to famous craft breweries such as the Deschutes Brewery and Barrel Brewing. For seniors, Bend has a great retirement community with many assisted living options within Bend and the surrounding areas of Deschutes County. Our independent living and retirement homes are the perfect alternative for seniors who aren’t able to live on their own. Favored assisted living options include Regency Village, Aspen Ridge, Awbrey Place, and Fox Hollow. Bend’s retirement community is publicized for their excellence and well-known for their staff members memory care and overall compassionate care for residents.
I would be happy to answer anything in my blogs if anyone has questions. My goal is to answer the masses about living in Bend Oregon, but if there is something that I haven’t touched on, please feel free to ask in the comments below!