Oregon Real Estate
Real Estate For Sale In Oregon
There’s a reason why the settlers flocked to the Oregon Territory in droves
Real Estate in Oregon is as Alluring as it was in 1850
It’s No Longer Free—But Still an Amazing Place to Make Your Home
There’s a reason why the settlers flocked to the Oregon Territory in droves. In search of the Promised Land, otherwise known as free Oregon real estate, these brave pioneers who made the arduous journey helped shape Oregon and the entire United States into what it is today—a nation that now stretches from coast to coast.
Lured by the offer of free land, and the rich and fertile soils of the Willamette Valley, over 400,000 people living east of the Mississippi River sold what they couldn’t transport by rickety wagon and set out for Oregon. Over the span of a 30-year migration, 20,000 of them died. That’s nearly 10 graves for every mile of the trek, but for those who made it—just look at their descendants now. The State of Oregon is one of the most beautiful, unique, and mostly still affordable places in the nation to make a home. Or homestead.
The Cascade Range and Its Rainshadow
The Cascade Range, a vast mountain range beginning in British Columbia, Canada, that stretches on into Northern California, dictates much of the climate in Oregon. Those searching for a home in Oregon should be aware that the west and east sides of the state offer very different seasonal experiences, and it is this climate and geographic diversity that is one of the myriads of reasons that the state is desirable for Oregon real estate hopefuls.
Oregon’s highest point, Mount Hood, is a stratovolcano that juts straight up into the sky, topping out at 11,249 feet. As part of the Cascades, its presence blocks many of the storms blowing in off of the Pacific Ocean, (Oregon's western boundary), making the west side of the range a wetter, more oceanic climate. The east side of the slope experiences drier conditions with high desert and semi-arid shrubland landscapes.
For example, the annual precipitation near Portland is around 45 inches of rainfall, with the nearby Columbia River Gorge receiving 100 inches or more per year. In stark contrast, the area immediately east of the Cascades, in the rainshadow, receives a mere eight inches in a calendar year.
And to add a twist in climate, the southwest portion of the state, especially in the area of the Rogue Valley, experiences a Mediterranean climate with drier and sunnier winters and hotter summers, akin to its neighbor, Northern California.
History of Oregon
History of Oregon
Archaeological records show that humans have inhabited the area that is now the State of Oregon for more than 15,000 years. Before the radical settlement of the West, the whites forcing the Native American tribes onto reservations to make way for their homesteads, Oregon was home to a vast number of tribes, with coastal tribes subsisting in different ways than the tribes of the eastern part of the state.
An area of Oregon very important to the Indigenous peoples was Celilo Falls, a vital fishing area for the Indigenous peoples who relied on salmon for survival. Celilo means “echo of falling water” as the area was a series of cascading waterfalls.
Celilo used to be an important gathering place, as it was the oldest continuously-inhabited area of North America. But that all came to halt in 1957 when the falls and surrounding settlements were submerged with the creation of The Dalles Dam.
The 33rd State
After California, Oregon became the second state in the West to achieve Statehood, and fittingly was the pioneer of the states comprising the Pacific Northwest. In 1859, Oregon became the 33rd state, after being the Oregon Territory since 1848.
Oregon is large. Really large. It’s in the top ten largest states in the U.S., clocking in at number nine. When buyers are considering Oregon, they often overlook the fact that the state starts at the Pacific Ocean and extends eastward all the way to the foot of the Rocky Mountains.
Its total area is 98,381 square miles, with 95,997 of those being land, and the rest made up of water. The population of Oregon is considerably low though, for its size. Close to four and a half million people call Oregon home today, making for a population density of only 39 residents per square mile. Needless to say, if you’re looking for gorgeous, wide-open spaces to snag real estate, Oregon has them.
As far as industry, Oregon, a state that is covered in 60% timber, (which is hard to wrap your brain around since much of the eastern landscape is desert), is one of the nation’s leading timber producers, and leads the United States in softwood timber production.
Much of Oregon’s northern boundary with the State of Washington is delineated by the powerful Columbia River. This vital waterway is the fourth largest river by volume in the United States and is the seventh-longest river in North America. It’s also one of the most dammed rivers in America, and a large part of Oregon’s industry is generated from hydroelectricity from places like the Bonneville and Dalles Dams in the Columbia River Gorge.
The largest corporation in Oregon is the Nike shoe and athletic company, with its headquarters located in Beaverton, Oregon. The tech sector in Oregon is growing too, especially in eastern Oregon with companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Intel operating facilities there.
Western Oregon Highlights
Western Oregon Highlights
Oregon highlights are so numerous, it's hard to choose which to spotlight. The obvious are the numerous coastal cities like Portland, centered in the Willamette Valley, where the rallying cry, “Keep Portland Weird” is plastered on bumper stickers and billboards throughout the region.
Portland is also the state’s economic driver with its port, and ability to export all of the state’s timber, but also other Oregon goods like hazelnuts, blueberries, and the Willamette Valley’s world-famous Pinot Noir. Portland is also a beer-lovers paradise with a higher concentration of microbreweries and beer pubs found here than in any other city in the world.
With 300 miles of coastline to explore, Oregon's western edge is often misty, windy, and craggy. But in the south, where the beaches soften and give way to massive sand dunes, the Oregon Sand Dunes National Recreation Area with dunes that tower 500 feet above sea level are a haven for off-road vehicles.
Crater Lake is a not-to-miss sight in Oregon and boasts the honor of being the deepest lake in the U.S. And down in the Columbia River Gorge, you practically trip over magnificent waterfalls. The most popular and easiest to access is Multnomah Falls, but for a great hike and one of the finer specimens in Oregon, head to Eagle Creek (an area now recovering from a horrific forest fire) and hike into Punchbowl Falls.
Eastern Oregon Highlights
Eastern Oregon Highlights
The central and eastern areas of Oregon hold some of the state’s best-kept secrets. Want to know a favorite one? It’s the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. This hamlet in deep northwestern Oregon is home to the Wallowa Mountains and Oregon's rugged Eagle Cap wilderness. Take a ride up the tram at Wallowa Lake, the steepest tram in North America that affords a view of the surrounding mountains and area as far as the eye can see.
In central Oregon, you find many of the same snowy peaks, but the area is made up of high desert, rushing rivers, volcanoes, and sun-soaked sagebrush. Sunriver is a popular destination. It's great for families with tons to do outside. Most Oregon residents do not take the spectacular weather and scenery for granted and generally spend a lot of time outdoors.
In the John Day area, the Painted Hills and fossil beds expose earth from a bygone era. The still-evident Oregon Trail wagon ruts that crisscross eastern Oregon are also relics from the past.
Whether it’s Oregon’s rich history that captivates you, or its keen eye on the future, the good life in Oregon makes Oregon real estate something to dream about. But if you’re ready to turn those dreamscapes into landscapes, a little plot of land in Oregon, or a condo in Portland, or even a cozy mobile home in Oregon alongside one of its many rivers, lakes, or ocean beaches makes the old proclamation “Oregon or Bust” more true than ever.
Oregon Fun Facts
Oregon Fun Facts
Oregon actually has two time zones: Pacific and Mountain Time. The mountain time zone is just a sliver of Oregon, only found in Malheur County, and was adopted because of the town’s proximity to Boise, Idaho, (also on Mountain Time), back when railroads ruled commerce and confusion during conference calls was not even a fathomable consideration.
The State of Oregon has no sales tax—so shop away.
Pumping your own gas in Oregon is illegal.
Residents of Oregon really want you to know it's pronounced “or-uh-gun” and not “or-ee-gone.” They are such zealots about it, they sport bumper stickers on their vehicles.
The largest living organism lives in Oregon. Armillaria ostoyae (Armillaria solidipes), known as the Humongous Fungus, lives underground in the Malheur Forest and the contiguous specimen covers 3.7 square miles and possibly weighs 35,000 tons.
The most affordable Oregon real estate along the coast is in Coos Bay. The cheapest place in the east to snag land for sale in Oregon, or even an Oregon mobile home is in Pendleton. (A place famous for their woolen mills, whisky, and rodeo, the Pendleton Round-Up. “Let ‘er Buck!”)
Oregon Climate Risk
Air pollution risk
Total weather risk
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