One reason to move to Eugene: tree-heavy view from Skinner's Butte

Why People Across the Country are Moving to Eugene, Oregon

People from all across the United States are moving to Oregon. In fact, Oregon has more people moving in compared to the number of people moving out than any other state in the country.

Among all the possible destinations in Oregon, it’s not hard to see why people are moving to Eugene. Eugene consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in Oregon and one of best small cities in the United States.

Thinking of moving to Oregon, or better yet, Eugene? Needless to say, before you start looking for real estate in Eugene, you’ll want to come pay a visit. But maybe you haven’t had a chance yet.

Well, we’re here to help: join us as we take a tour of what makes Eugene, Oregon special.

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    Maybe you know plenty about Eugene and are already set on moving–congratulations! We suggest you check out our Beginner’s Guide to Eugene: 5 Steps to a Successful Relocation. If you’re relocating from California, you might also want to read our Guide to Moving to Oregon from California.

    Something in the Air: One of Oregon’s Best Cities for Outdoor Lovers

    Let’s start with a fairly banal observation: there’s something about the air here.

    If you’re thinking of moving to Eugene and decide to pay a visit, that’s the first thing you might notice when you step off the plane. You can pretty much smell the green–appropriate, considering that Eugene is known as the “Emerald City.”

    Riding into town and glancing around at the streets, neighborhoods, and surrounding valley, you’ll certainly see a lot of green. When I was a student at the University of Oregon, my friends from large cities in East Asia would actually remark: Eugene isn’t a city, it’s a forest!

    Climb to the top of one of Eugene’s two main overlooks, Skinner’s Butte and Spencer’s Butte, and what you’ll see is a lot of trees with a few low-rises interspersed. (We’ve featured the view from Skinner’s Butte above.)

    The vista may lack somewhat in glamour, but this forest green runs through the blood of Eugene’s residents. For Oregon Duck fans (they’re not too hard to find here), throw some bright yellow in there too.

    Eugene’s real estate features plenty of green, naturally. Especially in the hills, heavily treed-lots predominate. Down below, you’ll find plenty of pear, apple, plum and fig trees. Ask your neighbor for a bite: they probably won’t mind!

    But let’s get back to the air: it’s not just a particular smell, it’s a whole atmosphere. Even if the other green that you’ll find in the air here–Oregon’s legal recreational cannabis–is of zero interest, you may find that just being in Eugene kind of mellows you out.

    After you’ve taken in your surroundings, it won’t be long before you notice something else remarkable: nobody seems to be in too big of a hurry.

    Take the traffic, for instance. If you need to switch lanes in a hurry, by and large people will let you merge. Wait a few seconds too long at a green light, and people don’t blare their horns. Wait really long, and maybe you’ll get a gentle tap.

    Mind you, this is still a city: stuff is going on. You’ll meet plenty of passionate people here. Missing, though, are the edgy speed of the East Coast, the sun-baked vibe of SoCal and its artificial suburban paradise, and the insular quality of the Bay Area.

    We mean no offense to residents of these other fine locales: naturally, we’re biased. Most people who live here are. And they wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Moving to Eugene from California or from other states, you may soon find yourself singing a similar tune.

    Eugene Homes for Sale: Most Recent Listings

    Defining the Eugene Vibe: Comparing Eugene and Portland

    Probably, you already have some sense that things are a bit, well, different in the Pacific Northwest. Many people move to Oregon for its unique culture and way of life. And Eugene is one of the best places in Oregon to find about the Oregon vibe is all about.

    Maybe you’ve seen the show Portlandia. In some ways, Eugene is Portland’s cool but kind of shy younger sister. She marches to a different beat, but she’s not an exhibitionist like her older brother.

    Get to know her though, and she’s super friendly and unpretentious. At heart, she’s down to earth but kind of deep, and she really cares. She’ll go to a political rally, plant an organic garden, or volunteer at a school. Yet she’s also not afraid to let loose and have a beer or maybe even go to a football game. (People do relocate to Eugene from Portland for these and other reasons.)

    This image is a generalization, of course. To really get to know Eugene, you have to spend some quality time here. We’ll offer just a few suggestions.

    Woman standing on top of Spencer's Butte near Eugene, Oregon

    Things to See and Do Before You Move to Eugene

    Like we mentioned, if you’re looking to move to Oregon, then you’ll want to come here first. We recommend you see firsthand why Eugene lives up to its reputation as one of the best places to live in Oregon. Get out there and explore.

    So, where to begin? We have just a few suggestions for things to do in Eugene. Well, more than a few.

    Tour local wineries, or go to one of the area’s many organic farms. Hit up the Saturday Market, or even better, the annual Oregon Country Fair. Join a block party–the Whiteaker Block Party is the biggest. Go to a local microbrewery, or maybe attend a bluegrass or gypsy folk show at Sam Bond’s Garage. Eat dinner at Grit or Rye and discover the joys of Pacific Northwest cuisine and its locally-sourced, farm-to-table ethos.

    Float down the Willamette River, go sailing at Fern Ridge Reservoir, cycle along the city’s many bike paths, or hike up Mount Pisgah and admire the wildflowers and other foliage. Heck, tour the dispensaries, if you’re so inclined. Or go to a workshop: watercolor, indigo dying, dance, pottery, gardening, tai chi, bird-watching, home fermentation, fiction-writing, plant identification, West African drumming, Japanese tea ceremony, kombucha brewing, basket-weaving, witchcraft, live-action role-playing, glass-blowing, you name it. There’s a community here for you.

    And don’t forget to explore the surrounding area. Just an hour to the west, you’ll reach the majestic Oregon coast, with its towering cliffs, majestic lighthouses, expansive, completely public beaches, and noisy but somehow endearing sea lions. An hour to the east, you’ll enter verdant rainforest before coming to the foot of the Oregon Cascades and some of the most majestic mountain scenery you’ll find anywhere.

    It’s a lot to pack into a single visit. But once you’ve tried a sampler platter, if you decide to make the move to Eugene, Oregon, you can enjoy the full-course meal and more.

    The Practical Stuff: Finding a Job in Eugene and a Place to Live

    To be fair, you’ll probably want to find a job before you take the plunge. There’s good news in that arena: Oregon’s economy, Eugene included, is thriving. Wallethub recently ranked Oregon’s economy 8th in the nation.

    Lane County, meanwhile, has added new jobs for seven years and counting, one of the country’s most sustained economic expansions. (Most of Lane County’s residents live in Eugene.)

    Education and healthcare are the largest fields, while technology is a growing presence. Go to the Silicon Shire homepage for a convenient guide to Eugene’s tech companies. There’s a lot of them.

    And if you have children, rest assured that Eugene is one of the best places in Oregon for families (heck, we think it’s one of the best places for families anywhere.)

    Eugene’s neighborhoods are close-knit, with a high value on fostering a sense of community. Want to know where in Eugene to look for a home? As Eugene realtors, we’ve toured them all inside and out, and we’re happy to share our findings: here’s our list of Eugene’s 5 Best Neighborhoods.

    They’re also eclectic, particularly in South Eugene, a popular choice for parents looking to expose their kids to progressive values. South Eugene High School, sometimes referred to affectionately as the “University of South Eugene,” is one of the state’s top public schools and certainly one of its most outside-the-box.

    1950s vintage bungalow in Eugene, Oregon

    What You Need to Know about Eugene Real Estate

    We think you’ve heard enough of the “Why” when it comes to relocating to Eugene. Now, it’s time to get more into the nitty-gritty of the “How.”

    You know that this has been coming, and we wouldn’t want to disappoint: you’re going to need a good real estate agent. Scratch that–better get a great real estate agent. Eugene’s real estate market is a tough one for buyers.

    The thing is, other people are in on the no-longer-so-secret charms of the Emerald Valley. The number of people moving to Oregon as a whole continues to swell. As of May 2019, Oregon is the country’s number 6 relocation destination.

    As a result, the Oregon real estate market is soaring to heights unheard of in previous decades. There have been some indications that it has soared too high: recent signals point to a flattening-out in Portland and its surrounding suburbs. On the other hand, 2020’s rock bottom interest rates have created unprecedented buyer demand, causing prices to soar.

    Eugene’s housing market has certainly weathered the storms. We wrote an article recently about why Eugene’s market isn’t heading for a housing bubble or even a slowdown necessarily. Prices continue to increase significantly from year to year, and especially at the lower end of the market, there are fewer and fewer available homes.

    That should be of some concern to most first time home buyers. Eugene recently ranked as America’s second most constrained housing market, trailing only Seattle. It’s crazy but true.

    What that means, basically, is low housing inventory. Like, stupendously low inventory: the most recent figures from
    December 2020 show an inventory of only 0.7 months.

    That will increase through the Spring as more homes hit the market, but we can expect inventory to hover around 1 month through 2021. For the latest picture of Eugene’s market, check out out our 2020 Third Quarter Market Report.

    If you want to get a piece of this pie, you’re going to need some help on the ground. Particularly in desirable neighborhoods, homes often go pending in a matter of days and for prices well above what’s listed.

    We’ve outlined the struggles would-be Eugene homeowners have to face in another article: Tips for Home Buyers in a Tight Real Estate Market. Simply put, it’s a sellers’ market here, and you’re going to need an agent who is willing to knock on doors and create opportunities for you.

    We just happen to be the kind of agents who will do just that. Check out our Why Work With Us page for the lowdown on what we do and how we like to do it. Contact our Eugene office and we’ll get started on your home search right away, or search for Eugene homes for sale from the comfort of our website.

    If you’re still on the fence about whether the Eugene life is the right life for you, then don’t be shy. You can delve further into the Eugene area’s many offerings and learn more about the Eugene real estate market on our Eugene Blog.

    22 thoughts on “Why People Across the Country are Moving to Eugene, Oregon”

    1. Thanks for the article. Our family is considering a move to Eugene from Battle Ground Washington. On a side note, this article could use an editor, and a note to the author on the proper use of a colon. Of the eight colons I counted (not to mention it’s overuse) not one was used properly. A semi-colon would work in those parts, but again, it’s use is overkill. The hyphen is also used incorrectly. Then there’s missing apostrophes, incorrect spacing and inconsistent font size. Kudos to you on the spelling though; nailed it!

      1. Thanks for the writing tips, Pamela! We do all of our own content, and because real estate is our main gig, this kind of stuff slips through. Hope you enjoyed the article apart from all of that, and be sure to let us know if you’d like to start a conversation about your move. We’re here to help!

        1. Kevin L McMahon

          I would highly recommend deleting Pamela’s comment. It’s really detracts from the entire purpose of your site. Hoping she doesn’t move to Eugene!

      2. Pamela, if you’re going to complain about lack of proper editing, you might want to rethink your use of “it’s.” (I’ll let “there’s” pass.)

      3. To Pamela Tracy..

        You’re obnoxious. ????

        To Ryan, thank you for this article. ???? I’ve been wanting to move away from New York for a long time. I want mountains over water, low humidity, good public transportation, all four seasons, affordability and walkability. My main problem is I don’t drive, so I’m limited to where I can live.. ???? but I really enjoyed reading about Eugene, Oregon, just the same. Thank you.

        1. Hi Jo, I spent much time in Eugene without a car, and i can tell you the bus system is AMAZING!!! Way way better (and friendlier) than San Francisco where I live. You can get anywhere quickly, including all the way to the coast or to the far reaches of the Willamette Valley.

      4. Yeh, hopefully they don’t misspell “dining” (dinning) like every other realtor…..
        We moved to Eugene Oregon in 2014 and moved back to California in 2016.
        I would suggest anyone who desires Eugene “from a distance” stay there for an extended
        period before moving. Be more specific?….it really needs to be “understood”, we just didn’t
        find it a match. It’s not just the weather, or smoke from fireplaces and legal burning…but you
        might get “my drift” just by that assessment.

      1. Thank you Stephen. Eugene is certainly lush and green, and it rarely gets too hot or too cold. Just let us know if you’re looking to go into any more detail about what it’s like here.

      1. Hi Cindy,

        Thanks for asking. Eugene does have it’s share of clouds and rain late fall through late spring. From early May through early October though, we have in our opinion some of the finest weather in the country. Summers are dry but not too hot, and early Fall is just lovely. People can find the wet and cloudy weather in the winter difficult, but it doesn’t get too cold and snows just once or twice on average.

    2. This sounds amazing! I’d love to escape the So. Calif heat! I’ve been looking at real estate and I love the lush green atmosphere! Gorgeous!

    3. Sally P. Editor

      Great piece, thanks Ryan!

      Pamela’s post could use an editor.

      1. Battle Ground [insert comma] Washington
      2. not to mention it’s [its] overuse
      3. A semi-colon [delete hyphen]
      4. it’s [its] use is overkill

    4. Lillith (mother of monsters)

      To all those this may concern:
      Just because something someone said about the grammar in an article bothers you, you should not post online about it! Seriously. You should also not advise said person that “Maybe Eugene isn’t the place for you. You seem to be rather up tight.” Finally, it is certainly not appropriate to say “Hoping she doesn’t move to Eugene!”
      I know that it is rather obnoxious to write almost a full paragraph about the grammar in an article, but frankly, it is also pretty obnoxious to respond by posting about how you don’t want to actually meet said author in person, as opposed to judging a single post online, no matter the mistakes in the editing attempt.
      In conclusion, watch what you write online, and what you are actually doing by writing said words: judging someone without ever actually hearing their voice, or their side of the story.
      Yours truly,
      Lillith, mother of monsters.

      1. Ryan,

        Thank you for all of the relevant information on Eugene. My wife and I have been enamored with the city for some time now. We are from Austin (Texas) and have been stalking the weather there for the past couple of years. Locally, Austin is said to be the allergy capital of the world. What is the allergy situation in Eugene from the local level?

        As for all above who forgot what the article was about…living in Eugene…it’s about living in Eugene.

        1. Hi Shane,

          Thanks for the comment! Where the capital is seems a matter for debate, but Eugene is definitely up there in terms of pollen counts. That’s mainly due to grass seed pollen–the Willamette Valley is pretty much the grass seed-growing capital of the world. We also get a fair amount of tree pollen. I personally suffer a little bit of tree pollen allergies and not much with the grass seed, though for those prone to allergies, it’s definitely something to keep in mind.

    5. Moving is always a hassle 😉 But it is definitely worth the effort. Recently, I helped move my friend to Eugene. He had his own checklist to make sure he didn’t forget anything, as well as many different tokens that helped a lot:) My friend was madly happy to move, because the proximity of nature and the lack of noise made his life better and calmer. Did anybody have the same experience of a successful move?

    6. I am done and done with Atlanta. Eugene OR sounds like it has a lot of what I need. Only west coast state I’ve been to is CA, but it’s not my style. Thanks for the info.

      1. You’re very welcome, Linda! Oregon and California definitely have different “styles.” Hope you’ll be able to visit sometime, and let us know if we can help with anything.

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