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7 Things You Never Knew About Living in Bend

If you are planning on moving to Bend, there are a few things that everyone will probably tell you – outdoor recreation is huge, there’s tons of beer, great place to start a business, etc. But there are also aspects to Bend and Central that can catch people by surprise when they are actually living in Bend. Let’s dispel some of the mystery and talk about the other things you should know when moving to our beautiful city – so you’ll be prepared no matter what!

1. The City is Very Bike-Friendly

Bend is a famed spot for biking competitions, but cycling in general is easy here, especially in the newer or renovated parts of the city where plenty of room has been made for biking paths. If you live anywhere close to your work, biking there is not only possible but often preferable as long as there isn’t snow on the ground, which could make working in Bend even more enjoyable!

2. The Slopes Aren’t Just for Winter

Sure, skiing and snowboarding are huge hobbies here, but the mountains have plenty to offer in the warmer seasons as well. Ziplining, hiking to the summits, exploring the lava fields, whitewater rafting, or grabbing lunch at your favorite lodge with perfect views…all of these are possibilities thanks to our proximity to the Cascades.

3. …And the Trails Aren’t Just for Summer

If you’ve never been snowshoeing, dogsledding, or cross-country skiing, you should really try them some time! The many surrounding trails of Central Oregon can be just as much fun in the snow as under the summer sun, so keep it in mind when looking at what to do in Bend.

4. Water Plays a Big Role in Our Outdoor Fun

The Deschutes River is a core part of Bend’s lifestyle, and residents are often passionate about floating, paddleboarding, fishing, kayaking, and testing out their latest boards on Bend’s own surf wave zone. And that’s just the river inside the city – Central Oregon is packed with lakes and streams that support every type of water activity you could dream of. 

5. There Are a Lot of Trees

We know, many pictures of Bend try to capture the majesty of the mountains and high desert or the iconic view of the river or Old Mill smokestacks. But it’s important to keep in mind that Bend is about halfway inside a deep Cascade forest, and there are a lot of trees here, especially towering ponderosa pine and tough juniper. If you like living under trees and in a forest, you’ll love some of the locations in the city, but if you’re more interested in mountain views and desert hikes, there are plenty of spots perfect for those, too.

6. Get Used to Trying New Things

One byproduct of a city being so open to entrepreneurs and new businesses is that there can be both significant business turnover and new ventures to explore. That means there’s always some new restaurant, café, or artisanal creation to try – which is a great way to keep boredom at bay when you don’t know what to do. It also means it’s important to patronize the places you love the most, so they don’t vanish after several months!

7. Prepare to Enjoy Bend’s Music Scene

It isn’t talked about as much, but Bend has a thriving music scene with many talented bands, some excellent music festivals, and a plethora of venues both large and small for musical performances of all kinds. If you’re a musician or love live music, you’ll find plenty to like here as our music culture soars back from its COVID hiatus.

Meet Family Realtor Mark Holme with Duke Warner Realty

A native Oregonian, Mark has called Bend “home” since 2009. He and his wife, three kids and family dog take full advantage of the Bend lifestyle and enjoy all of its outdoor activities, including running trails, cycling, mountain biking, skiing, hiking and hanging out by the fire pit with friends and family. 

Mark’s approachable personality, professionalism and experience all combine to help seamlessly guide you through the process of buying and selling a home – on your terms and your timeframe. His real estate acumen is built on years of experience and knowledge of the local market and sales process. Mark takes a highly proactive approach to buying and selling homes and will work tirelessly on his clients’ behalf. His high level of integrity, attention to detail, attentive listening and communication skills ensure that the process of buying and selling your home will be a positive one. Whether it’s today, tomorrow or sometime in the future, Mark looks forward to helping you with all of your real estate needs in Central Oregon. You can count on him as your real estate professional.

5 Reasons Why Living in Bend Reduces Your Stress

Yes, it is Stress Awareness Month – and we bet many of you didn’t need the reminder that life can be stressful…especially in the middle of important (and complicated) events like moving to Bend or finding work in a new city.

We’re happy to help make the moving process a little easier, and in the meantime, let’s take a look at some good news: 5 ways everyone agrees that life in Bend is good for your stress levels!

1. Remote Work is Easy and Encouraged

Bend was already one of the friendliest remote-work cities in the very friendly remote-work state of Oregon. Thanks to the 2020 remote work trend, that reputation has increased even further, making it easier than ever to find the right work-life balance that involves working from home or taking more frequent home days for yourself and your family.

Not only can this help reduce work-related stress, it also makes your life much easier to plan around. And if you’re working in Bend, keep in mind that it’s also one of the most entrepreneurial cities in the country, so if you’re feeling a lot of stress in your current position and would like to strike out on your own sometime in the near future, Bend has an excellent support network waiting to help you out during the early days!

2. Outdoor Recreation Offer Both Playtime and Me-Time

The wealth of outdoor options in Central Oregon allows everyone to find what’s most fun for them. If you feel like hitting the slopes or going camping with friends, there’s no end to the possibilities. Are you more into a quiet hike or relaxing kayak session to help reduce stress? Options still abound throughout the city and beyond. Wherever you feel most centered, you’ll be able to find plenty of outdoor options to meet your needs.

3. There’s Always an Option to Find a New “Favorite Spot”

Bend’s microbrewery and cuisine scene gets plenty of credit, but there’s a hidden benefit for those who are looking to manage their stress levels and take more time for themselves: There’s always something new to try and explore! Whether you are looking for a spot to cozy up with a new book, a taphouse to relax by a fire and schedule your week, or a brewery that has a tasty new seasonal meal to try, Bend is packed full of options for your next favorite spot.

Plus, since navigation in the city is easy, you don’t need to take a lot of time to reach your destination, which cuts down on the stress of planning extra me-time when you really need to go decompress.

4. The City is Family and Pet Friendly

Whether you desperately need some time with your favorite furry friend or would love to find an activity to keep the kids happy for the day, Bend is friendly to families and pets alike! Plentiful parks and dog parks are located throughout the city and beyond, each unique and filled with opportunities for play, walks, and more. Multiple summer and winter activities, from the slopes to educational opportunities in the High Desert Museum, make it easy to find something for the kids to do when they’re looking for what to do in Bend on their next adventure.

5. You Can Finally Get Away from the Rain

Rain and dreary days certainly don’t help with stress levels or depression. That’s why it’s such a great benefit that Bend is one of the sunniest spots in the Northwest, with more than 155 clear days per year and an additional 105 days that are mostly sunny. The beautiful high desert climate could be just what you need to start feeling great!

Top 5 Industries in Bend, Oregon

One question we see all the time about moving to Bend is where to start looking for jobs, if you need to have a job set up before you move to Bend, and what sort of industries do the most hiring in Central Oregon. Great questions! We offer a number of resources for finding a job or starting a business in Bend, but for a broad overview, let’s go over the top industries in the area that are popular options for new employees.

1. Healthcare and Medicine

Healthcare is responsible for some of the largest employment numbers in Central Oregon, and St. Charles Health System on its own is one of the biggest employers in the area around 5,000 employees, plus many additional medical clinics and specialists that may be looking for hires. This makes St. Charles and others a great spot to start looking for a job, but it can also be a competitive field (made all the more complex by long-lasting reworks due to the 2020 pandemic). Training and qualifications are very important when considering healthcare or adjacent positions!

A special mention should also go out to Central Oregon veterinarians: Bend and the surrounding areas love animals, from dogs to horses, and there are a high number of vet clinics that may also be looking for help.

2. Technology

Bend has developed into a hotbed for technology startups and incubation, with a mix of content creation studios like Sony Bend to spice things up. Incubators like FoundersPad and EDCO can help new tech ventures find ways to thrive in the area, but it’s certainly an industry for those with big ideas. Alternatively, telecom also has a strong employment history in the city thanks to groups like Bend Broadband/TDS Telecom and Consumer Cellular.

3. Tourism, Recreation, and Hospitality

These three industries broadly blend together when it comes to Bend’s employment options, and skillsets in any category will be very useful in finding jobs across Bend. That can include major resorts here like Mt. Bachelor, Eagle Crest, Sunriver Resorts, or Black Butte Ranch, which are closely connected to recreational opportunities and classes offered throughout the area. Other businesses may be looking for those with experience in specific types of recreation or sports equipment to help with sales and maintenance.

Then you have hospitality options from lodges and dining at the resorts to a wide array of popular breweries, starting with Deschutes Brewery but also filled with smaller employees looking for those who know their hops or can offer food with a smile.

4. Automotive and Construction

Central Oregon’s high desert weather provides plenty of work opportunities whether you are changing seasonal tires at an employer like Les Schwab, helping the city fill in potholes, or updating local construction to make sure it’s ready for the elements. Bend has a lot of development projects currently ongoing that can provide temporary construction opportunities for experienced workers.

Special mention: If automotive isn’t quite for you, look into local grocery stores. Brands like Safeway, Fred Meyer, Costco, Whole Foods, and Market of Choice are big employers in the city and excellent places to look for employment opportunities.

5. Startups

Bend is one of the entrepreneur capitals of the country, so it’s no surprise that one of the most important industries are the self-employed and those starting their own businesses in the city. That means starting a venture of your own is always an option or joining a new venture with like-minded people could be a possibility. There’s also a network of experienced entrepreneurs across Bend that can help you get started and understand what you need to succeed in the business of your choice.

If you are looking for other business resources in Bend to help you find the job you need while you focus on other life matters as well, we recommend stopping by our working in Bend page to find more info.

Buying Vs. Renting in Bend: A Guide to Finding Your New Home

If you are moving to Bend or currently making plans to do so, you are probably also making plans about whether to buy or rent, depending on your situation. This is also a long-term decision: Do you want to buy a home as soon as you can, or are you happy to rent for the foreseeable future? If you’re comparing both options, we have several tips that can make your decision a bit easier.

Renting a Home in Bend

Renting is a popular option in Bend, especially for young professionals who have recently moved here. Rentals in Bend, however, can also be challenging to find at affordable prices, as there is high demand and low vacancy rates throughout town. Here are several points to keep in mind:

  • While finding a vacancy may be a challenge, renting is still the fastest way to arrange a place to move to in Bend. Options like Airbnb are also well-suited for renting for just a few days or weeks while checking out the city or arranging for other accommodations.
  • If you want to find a rental, work with a relocation service or property management company in Bend.
  • Homes for rent in Bend span a broad range of locations and types, from cabins and farmhouses to townhomes and condos. This makes renting one of the best options if you want more choices about where to stay in Central Oregon.
  • Always check if a rental is pet-friendly, and what kind of additional fees may be required for pets.
  • Rental prices in Bend start at around $1,500 but increase for larger spaces or single home rentals.
  • Life gets busy: Moving To Bend can help you locate rentals in your price range and more options to save time! If you are looking at rental sites on your own, don’t stick to just one site: You may be able to find other options by consulting a variety of listings.

Buying a Home in Bend

You can check out our page on buying property in Bend to learn more details, but real estate inventory in the city is very low – particularly at this point in time – so buying may be a bit more of a challenge. It’s important to start looking for properties early and be willing to act fast if you find a home you want to purchase. Here’s what else you should know about purchasing a home in Bend:

  • A key step in purchasing a home is arranging for a mortgage and getting pre-approval, which will make putting an offer on a property much easier. Get started on this process early, too!
  • What prices are we talking about? New lots are regularly selling for $100,000 over the asking price. Price per square foot in 2020 averaged around $400.
  • Keep in mind that a mortgage payment can be fixed, and may even be adjusted down with a refinance in time, but rental payments can rise, which is one reason why buying a home may be a better long-term plan for you.
  • If you are looking for the best neighborhoods in Bend, it’s common advice to start in the northwest area of the city and work outwards. The good news is that there aren’t any “bad” neighborhoods in the city to warn against, and new spots like Summit West tend to have more new development options.
  • Cash, patience, and flexibility” is what the Bend Bulletin advises for potential homebuyers. All three will make the process easier.
  • Keep in mind that Bend now has a new high school zone for Caldera High if you are looking for a new home based on school options.
  • Your own property remains the best option for keeping a garden or just finding a home that you can really make your own.
  • Many homes in Bend sell before even going on the market, or once listed often sell within just a couple of days. It’s important to have a contact on the ground in the city, ready to act on your behalf or seek out properties for you.