The high cost of living in Oregon makes it difficult for single parents to make it and this is especially true in major cities like Portland.
A recent article in MSN Money listed the entire state of Oregon farther down on the list than we'd like when it comes to affordability for single parents. It's the 8th highest average home listing price coming in at $409,270 and it's not dropping anytime soon. We also have the 4th highest in grocery costs and child care. The state's median household income of $51,234, which is below the national median, HOWEVER, many low-income families can take advantage of the state's earned-income tax credit and of course, we don't have sales tax - so there is that.
But what can single parents do?
There are great places just south of Portland OR in Vancouver that have a much lower median home price. For instance, in Vancouver, the median home value is only $285,000 and rents are also cheaper. It is a hot market right now, which bumps up the price slightly but overall, it's much more affordable than Oregon if you don't mind the commute across the bridge if you need to.
Rents are closer to $1700 compared to $2150 in Portland. This makes even renting much more attractive.
And then there are the schools. The highest rated schools in Vancouver are the Eisenhower, Lake Shore, Pleasant Valley elementary schools and the Jefferson, Pleasant Valley, and Laurin middle school, and the Columbia River and Prairie High School with ratings of 6-8.
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Portland schools do rank higher with several boasting a 10 out of 10 including the Richmond, Laurelhurst and Llewellyn elementary school, the Laurelhurst, Riverdale and Lake Oswego middle school, and the Lincoln, Riverdale and Sunset highschools.
No, we are not the cheapest place to live in the country and that's okay. That's why a lot of people are coming here. They like the higher standards but if you're looking to live a little more affordable, it can be done. You can enjoy all that Portland has to offer without the big price tag.