Bend is Oregon’s largest city east of the Cascades and is the recreational and commercial center of Central Oregon. It harbors an air of entrepreneurial spirit and opportunity, and is populated with those that have a true zest for life, each other and the outdoors. Offering a scenic setting and year-round outdoor and indoor recreational activities, the city is thriving and current major industries include: craft brewing and distilling, aviation, software/tech, bioscience, outdoor recreation products/manufacturing and of course tourism.
Bend offers big-city amenities with a small-town feel. The city has cultural offerings and the facilities of a larger metropolitan area, but with lower living costs and shorter commutes. It is a stellar place to raise a family, the school system is impressive and you have easy access to trails, lakes, rivers and mountains that provide the work-life balance many dream of.
SO…WHICH AREA OF BEND IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
Bend is essentially divided into four quadrants – NW, SW, NE, and SE. Hwy 97 acts as a division of sorts, splitting Bend into East and West. The East side offers a more ‘high desert’ feel with less trees, more sage brush and better ‘bang for your buck’ when it comes to housing and lot sizes tend to be a little larger overall. This side of town gets a little less snow and is slightly warmer. St. Charles Medical Center, the majority of Bends medical facilities, COSTCO (and a slew of other larger retail stores including Safeway, WholeFoods, Old Navy, Barnes & Noble, Pier 1, Officemax andThe Bend Factory Outlets) are located on this side of town. There are also a few larger indoor and outdoor sports facilities on Bends East side that include Juniper Swim & Fitness Center, Pine Nursery Park and Big Sky Park that are operated by the local parks and rec. district. There is an indoor rock gym if you love to climb and there are plenty of dining opportunities. Honestly, you can still also get to anything on the West side from here in under around 20 minutes, so everything is extremely accessible no matter where you choose to live .
The West side of Bend has more of a ‘mountain town’ feel, with more ponderosas and undulating topography since it is closer to the Cascade Ranges. The majority of Bend’s many events take place on the West side and this is where many of us spend most of our time. This side of town provides access to Mt. Bachelor and a large percentage of Bends trails (both biking and hiking). The Deschutes river, downtown, the Old Mill area, the Les Schwab Amphitheater, the Newport and Galveston corridors (think breweries, shops, restaurants), golf courses, the OSU campus and COCC (Central Oregon Community College) are all on Bends West side. For this reason many consider the NW area to be the most ‘desirable’. Home prices are generally higher here, as are the property taxes.
In September of 2019 the median home price hit a high of $475,000. You’ll find NW Bend offers a median home price that is roughly 50% higher than Bend’s overall median home price and SW Bend about 25-30% higher. Values on the East side of Bend drop to roughly 10% under the overall median home price. This gives you a picture of the value you can find on the East side of town if you don’t mind driving a little more. On the West side, you do pay for the convenience factor.
Every part of Bend has its benefits so it is really a matter of finding the location that best suits your lifestyle, employment and recreational pursuits. If you need help learning about Bend and deciding where to land, give me a call, I am always happy to help.