Moving to a new city is always a mix of excitement and apprehension. And if that city is Bend, one of the best places to live in the United States, then the excitement multiplies tenfold! The checklist for moving to Bend, Oregon below will make your transition smoother, ensuring you’re well-prepared for this new adventure.

Bend has rapidly gained popularity for its scenic beauty, outdoor activities, and vibrant culture in recent years. Before you pack your bags and head to this popular destination in Central Oregon, let’s break down everything you need to know.

Ticking off the Essentials: Your Pre-Move Checklist


Moving to Bend, Oregon, especially from out-of-state, requires meticulous planning. The last thing we’d want is for you to arrive and realize you’ve forgotten something crucial. Here’s a handy checklist to ensure you’re on track:

1. Housing and Accommodation

Before setting your foot in Bend, secure a place to live. This may sound obvious, but the housing market in Bend can be competitive due to its growing popularity.

  • Make a List of Rental Must-Haves: Renting is a common option when first moving to Bend, but it’s important to know what you need, so start with a list. What is your rental budget? Does the rental need to be pet-friendly for a specific kind of pet? Does it need to have a yard? Does it need to be kid-friendly or toddler-proofed? How many beds and baths at minimum? Do you need to do your own decorating or hang your own décor? Let us know your must-haves and we can help locate a rental that works best for you.
  • Find a Relocation Company in Central Oregon: Bend Relocation Services help make relocating to Bend easier by taking care of the details as you plan your move and make the important preparations. Whether you are interested in an a la carte moving package that can develop along with your plans, hourly consulting, or specific solutions like finding the right rental for your situation, we can help enable your move during the most important steps – managing some of the harder tasks and allowing you to focus on important work/life details. As a corporate relocation company, we can also help companies seeking to move operations or teams to the Bend area!
  • Research Neighborhoods: Bend offers diverse neighborhoods, each with its unique flavor. From the bustling downtown area to the serene outskirts, spend some time researching to determine where you’d feel most at home. Would you prefer the artistic vibes of the Old Bend District or the family-friendly atmosphere of Larkspur?
  • Secure Your Lease or Purchase: Once you’ve chosen a neighborhood, it’s crucial to lock in your housing. Reach out to local realtors or property management companies. Given Bend‘s popularity, properties might get snapped up quickly, so it’s best to be proactive!

2. Understanding Local Regulations

Every city has its rules and regulations, and Bend is no different. Familiarizing yourself can save you from potential headaches down the line.

  • Check Zoning Laws: If you’re planning to start a business or make modifications to your new home, understanding Bend‘s zoning laws is crucial. These regulations can impact everything from where you can operate a business to the type of fence you can install.
  • Register Your Vehicle: For those moving to Bend, Oregon from out-of-state, you’ll need to register your vehicle with the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 30 days of your move.

Immerse Yourself in Bend’s Lifestyle

A female hiker sitting at the top of Pilot Butte in Bend and looking out over the landscape of Bend, Oregon

Bend is more than just a picturesque location; it’s a way of life. And the best way to feel at home is to immerse yourself in its unique culture.

3. Explore the Outdoors

Bend and the surrounding area is a paradise for nature lovers. From skiing and snowboarding on Mount Bachelor in winter to mountain biking in the Deschutes National Forest to hiking the Deschutes River Trail, there’s no shortage of outdoor recreation.

  • Get the Necessary Gear: Given the variety of activities available, ensure you have the right gear. Whether it’s hiking boots, a mountain bike, rock climbing or ski equipment, having these on hand will let you jump right into the action.
  • Respect Nature’s Rules: Remember, while enjoying Bend‘s natural beauty, it’s essential to follow local guidelines and respect nature. This means sticking to marked trails, not disturbing wildlife, and always leaving no trace.

4. Connect with the Community

One of the joys of moving to Bend, Oregon is its warm and welcoming community. Engage, participate, and make lasting connections.

  • Attend Local Events: Bend hosts numerous festivals, markets, and community events throughout the year. These are perfect opportunities to meet locals and familiarize yourself with Bend‘s cultural scene.
  • Join Community Groups: Whether you’re passionate about arts, outdoor activities, or community service, there’s a group in Bend that shares your enthusiasm. Joining can be a fantastic way to make friends and feel more integrated into the community.

Checklist for Moving to Bend, Oregon

Follow these top 10 tips for packing to move to make the transition easier.

Research and Preparation:

  • Research the city’s neighborhoods to determine the best fit for your lifestyle and needs.
  • Check the cost of living in the city.
  • Research job opportunities or secure a job before moving.
  • Look into local schools, hospitals, and other essential facilities.
  • Understand the public transportation system.
  • Get a map of the city or download a reliable navigation app.


  • Decide if you’ll rent or buy.
  • Contact local realtors or Bend Relocation Services for assistance.
  • If renting, understand lease agreements and terms.
  • Secure housing before moving, if possible.


  • Create a moving budget.
  • Open a bank account in your new location.
  • Update or acquire home insurance.
  • Understand local taxes and potential tax breaks for relocating.

Moving Logistics:

  • Decide if you’ll use a moving company or move yourself.
  • If using movers, get quotes from multiple companies.
  • Schedule a moving date.
  • Pack your belongings. Consider decluttering and donating items you no longer need.
  • Ensure you have packing supplies: boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape, markers.
  • Label boxes by room or category.
  • Secure important documents in a safe box (e.g., birth certificates, passports, etc.).

Utilities and Services:

  • Disconnect utilities at your current home.
  • Set up utilities in your new city (electricity, water, gas, internet, cable).
  • Update your address with the post office for mail forwarding.
  • Inform banks, credit card companies, and other institutions of your new address.

Health and Safety:

  • Find a new doctor, dentist, and other essential health professionals.
  • Transfer medical records to your new health providers.
  • Refill prescriptions and understand where your new pharmacy is.
  • Locate the nearest hospitals and emergency services.


  • If moving from out of state, update your driver’s license and vehicle registration.
  • Understand local parking rules, regulations, and costs.
  • Explore public transportation options, and consider getting a monthly pass if applicable.

Social and Lifestyle:

  • Join local community groups or clubs to meet new people.
  • Discover local points of interest: parks, museums, theaters, restaurants.
  • Check out community events or city-held activities.
  • Locate nearby grocery stores, gyms, and other essential businesses.

Children and Pets:

  • Enroll children in school and understand school transportation options.
  • Find local pediatricians and vets.
  • Locate nearby parks and recreational facilities.
  • Ensure pets meet city registration and vaccination requirements.


  • Unpack essential items first: toiletries, clothes, basic kitchen items.
  • Familiarize yourself with the local emergency numbers and services.
  • Introduce yourself to neighbors.
  • Explore your neighborhood and city to get acclimated.

Remember, moving to a new city is a significant life event, and while it can be stressful, it’s also an opportunity for a fresh start. Use this checklist as a guide, but also be sure to tailor it to your specific needs and circumstances.

FAQs about Moving to Bend, Oregon

1. Why is Bend, Oregon so popular? Bend, Oregon, has gained immense popularity as a place to live because of its perfect blend of outdoor recreational opportunities, from skiing at Mt. Bachelor to kayaking in the Deschutes River. The city boasts a vibrant arts scene and cultural events, making it a hub for creativity and community engagement. Its relatively mild climate, with four distinct seasons, appeals to those looking for a mix of sunny summers and snowy winters. Furthermore, the growth of local businesses and a tight-knit community vibe give residents a sense of belonging and a high quality of life.

2. Is Bend, Oregon expensive to live in? Real estate in Bend, Oregon, has seen a surge in demand, leading to a notable increase in property values over recent years. With its growing popularity as a desirable place to live, home prices in Bend are often higher than the national average. On the rental front, the influx of new residents and limited housing inventory has pushed rental rates upward, making it a competitive market for potential renters. As a result, both potential homeowners and renters are advised to conduct thorough research and act swiftly in the Bend housing market.

3. What’s the weather like in Bend, Oregon? Bend, Oregon, experiences a high desert climate, characterized by distinct seasonal variations. Summers are warm and dry, with temperatures often reaching the mid-80s to low 90s Fahrenheit, while winters are cold and can bring substantial snowfall, ideal for winter sports enthusiasts. Spring and fall act as transitional periods, offering mild temperatures and the city’s most colorful landscapes. Despite its desert classification, Bend‘s year-round weather offers a mix of 300 days of sunshine, with both warmer and cooler periods, catering to a variety of outdoor activities.

4. How is the job market in Bend? Bend, Oregon, boasts a dynamic job market that has witnessed consistent growth, particularly in healthcare, education, and tourism sectors. The city’s reputation as a hub for outdoor enthusiasts has also led to a surge in tourism-related businesses. Furthermore, Bend‘s entrepreneurial ecosystem is thriving, with many startups and small businesses finding success in the community. This diverse mix of industries offers a range of opportunities for job seekers and business investors alike.

5. Are there good schools in Bend? Absolutely! Bend offers a range of quality education institutions in the Bend-La Pine School District, including public schools, private institutions, and higher education options. The community places a strong emphasis on education, ensuring quality learning experiences for its residents. School applications can take some time, so as soon as you know what school district your kids will be in, download the available materials and start preparation. The same is true of many kid-friendly activities, from sports leagues and science camps to climbing or skiing classes – sign up early and start preparing. If you don’t have the right supplies, there are many shops around Bend that can help, including affordable sources of renewed equipment.