Portland, Oregon, used to be the best city to grow up in. Housing, traffic, and restaurants shot up in the past decade as Portland became more desirable for its aesthetic and sustainability. All of this added up to be the frustrating effects of urbanization on my beloved city. The familiarity, culture and weather are why I want to move back, but nowadays, I wonder if it’s even possible.
The housing market in Portland is currently exploding. The average value of a home in Portland, Oregon, is $464,496 according to Smartasset.com. With price levels this high, it would be nearly impossible to support myself if I came back to Portland fresh out of college. Being new to the work force and fully independent, how could I support myself in the city I love? Is it even possible?
Landing a new job always requires transportation to get there. Public transportation in Portland has never been the safest, so having a car is crucial. With driving a car comes the most frustrating part of living in Portland: traffic. Going less than fifteen miles away is enough to make the gas bill skyrocket. Gas prices in Portland, Oregon, hover around $3.40 per gallon. This adds up to hundreds a month for gas. (This is just another factor that makes Portland impossible to live in when planning to live there after college.)
Restaurants in Portland, although cute and usually fantastic, are usually not worth the price. Portland’s rent rates are extremely high and wage rates are high as well,, so restaurants can’t help but have high prices. Another factor of high restaurant pricing is Portland’s aesthetic at many of the locations. Lots of places in Portland don’t settle with the average atmosphere for their restaurant. Having bright colored walls, murals or something special that another place doesn’t have, gives them an edge in winning over customers. Thus, consumers are paying a price not only for the meal, but the experience.
With Portland’s current cost of living, moving back home seems nearly impossible as a new college grad. But I’ll keep my hopes high for change or at least a great job offer. Portland has room to change and seems to be making progress, or trying to at least. With two years left in my time at Arizona State University, I hope to be able to leave ASU with a plan to return to the rainy city that I love.