The Beaver State, Oregon, holds many of America’s most beautiful views and natural vistas. It is home to countless wildlife reserves and national parks, but that isn’t the only thing keeping residents there. Oregon holds countless iconic cities, but affordable living costs in certain cities is one of the state’s best-kept secrets.
The cheapest place that you can live in Oregon right now is Umatilla, and housing costs are quite low. Umatilla has a median home value of $158,000 and averages $850 per month in rent, but utilities are low at $120 monthly. Other cities such as Milton-Freewater, are affordable and residents pay only $653 each month in rent, on average.
Other affordable cities include Ontario, Sheridan, and North Bend, which are all cheap and comfortable Oregon cities. Affordability is determined by rent prices, median home value, monthly homeownership costs, and everyday living expenses. Let’s take a close look at the cheapest places to live in Oregon.
Table of Contents
10 Cheapest Places To Live In Oregon
- Median Home Value: $158,200
- Average Monthly Rent Cost: $850
- Average Monthly Utilities Cost: $120
- Population: 7,171
- Average Income: $23,464
Housing costs are somewhat expensive in Umatilla, but 63.7% of residents own their own homes and apartments. The median home value in Umatilla is $158,200, and there is another $1,245 per month in monthly homeownership costs. Most of the monthly homeownership costs in Umatilla goes to mortgage payments, but roughly $400 goes to bills and repairs.
Single residents of Umatilla, OR average $23,464 per year, and households have a $51,887 median outcome. The low average wages in Umatilla make owning a home unattainable for many residents, but rent costs are low. You can expect to pay $850 per month, on average, for an apartment in Umatilla depending on floorplans.
Driving costs in Umatilla are on par with most of the United States. Right now, you will pay between $2.27 and $2.39 per gallon at the pump in Umatilla. Many Umatilla residents are commuters, and you can expect to pay as much as $1,489-$1,567 per year in gasoline costs.
- Median Home Value: $118,400
- Average Monthly Rent Cost: $653
- Average Monthly Utilities Cost: $145-$185
- Population: 7,074
- Average Income: $15,104
Milton-Freewater hits everything on the low cost of living checklist from rent and housing costs, to utilities and gas prices. The low cost of living in Milton-Freewater goes hand in hand with the low average income in the city. Single residents average $15,104 per year, and households pull in $33,082, on average.
Luckily, housing costs are quite low in this small city, and the median home value is $118,400. Monthly bills and repairs don’t often exceed $362, and mortgage payments often total $697 or more. Currently, 64% of Milton-Freewater residents are homeowners, and the rest of the population are renters with low average costs.
Apartment rentals range between $320 and $1,500 or more per month in Milton-Freewater. Your typical Milton-Freewater resident spends $653 per month, plus $145-$185 in monthly utility costs.
- Median Home Value: $114,800
- Average Monthly Rent Cost: $666
- Average Monthly Utilities Cost: $123
- Population: 10,994
- Average Income: $18,984
Ontario, Oregon is a low-income city, but rent and housing costs make for a low cost of living. Your typical single resident in Ontario makes $18,984 per year in Ontario, but couples pull $34,940 on average. Since rent only costs $666 on average, you can live comfortably for just about any type of wage in Ontario.
Houses are also inexpensive in Ontario, and there’s a median value of $114,800. You will pay roughly $1,047 per month in monthly costs as a homeowner in Ontario, Oregon. Building houses can cost $160,000-$400,000, but you can save thousands with cheaper materials, or choosing a modular home.
If you are a regular commuter, you can spend as much as $360 per month on gasoline in Ontario, OR. Total yearly gas costs could cost $1,502 at the current cost of $2.29 per gallon in Ontario right now. Ontario, Oregon is worth every penny for the great environment at such a low cost.
4. Baker City
- Median Home Value: $128,700
- Average Monthly Rent Cost: $657
- Average Monthly Utilities Cost: $120-$185
- Population: 9,809
- Average Income: $22,192
Baker City was once a bustling lumber town, but now it is home to a small and happy population. The median home value in baker city is $128,700, and 66.4% of Baker City’s residents are homeowners. Total average monthly bills are $1,126 in Baker City, and that includes mortgage payments.
Monthly rental costs average $657 in Baker City, and renters are definitely in the minority compared to homeowners. Utility bills vary widely in Baker City, and they depend on personal energy consumption more than anything. You could spend as much as $185 per month in utilities, but that is with high energy usage and multiple plumbing fixtures.
Baker City is a driving town, and you need to figure monthly gasoline costs into your budget. Most Baker City residents have some form of a drive to get to worker, and the average commute lasts 16 minutes. That adds up to a lot of driving, and with prices up to $2.57 per gallon, you can spend $1,685 per year on gas.
- Median Home Value: $155,100
- Average Monthly Rent Cost: $725
- Average Monthly Utilities Cost: $100-$145
- Population: 16,781
- Average Income: $22,893
Just barely over half of all Pendleton residents own their homes, and 46.3% of residents are renters. That is likely due to the $155,100 median home value, which can be daunting considering the average single person’s income. Single residents of Pendleton, Oregon average $22,893 per year, and households earn $45,930 each year.
Monthly housing costs are low in Pendleton, and most homeowners spend $1,246 each month, including mortgage. Houses are currently priced at $120-$125 per square foot, on average, in Pendleton, but building is always an option. Property taxes are high in Pendleton, and there is an annual 1.18% property tax rate.
Apartments are a great, cheap alternative to owning a home in Pendleton, Oregon. You can find 1 bedroom apartments starting out at $480 per month. Larger apartments with 2-3 bedrooms can cost up to $950, or more, per month in Pendleton, Oregon.
6. North Bend
- Median Home Value: $184,700
- Average Monthly Rent Cost: $798
- Average Monthly Utilities Cost: $100-$145
- Population: 9,768
- Average Income: $28,548
North Bend is a beautiful city with a low poverty rate, cost of living, rent, and housing costs. Single residents earn more than many other cities on this list, and average $28,548 per year. The current median household income in North Bend is $49,935, and that is enough to live comfortably.
Right now, 56.6% of North Bend residents own their homes, and the median home value is $184,700. Houses are slightly pricier in North Bend than in other places on this list, but monthly costs are low. You need to budget yourself $1,311 each month, on average, for the mortgage, bills, and repair
Property taxes are low in Coos County where North Bend is located, and there’s an average 0.71% rate for residents. You can expect to spend up to $1,387 per year, on average, for annual property taxes in North Bend, Oregon. There is a property tax deferral system in place for qualifying seniors and disabled veterans in North Bend as well.
- Median Home Value: $165,900
- Average Monthly Rent Cost: $882
- Average Monthly Utilities Cost: $130
- Population: 6,215
- Average Income: $16,629
Sheridan is a small city, and while the average income is low, the cost of living is affordable. Single residents average $16,629 per year, but households earn $48,449, and it is enough to meet the cost of living.
Many of the residents of Sheridan commute to work, and their commute averages 29 minutes. At $2.59 per gallon, regular commuters in Sheridan could spend up to $1,699 on gasoline each year. Budget yourself at least another $1,136 every year for car insurance, but it could be more based on driving history.
The median home value is $165,900 in Sheridan, and residents spend an average of $1,282 in monthly homeownership costs. Just under $500 of that bill comes from utilities, maintenance, and repairs, and the rest goes to mortgage. Currently, 62.2% of Sheridan residents own their homes, and the rest spend an average of $882 per month in rent.
- Median Home Value: $199,700
- Average Monthly Rent Cost: $923
- Average Monthly Utilities Cost: $100-$180
- Population: 5,540
- Average Income: $26,194
Creswell, Oregon boasts a low poverty rate, and great average incomes for both single residents and households. Single Creswell residents earn $26,194 per year, and households bring in $58,279 yearly. Right now, 68.2% of Creswell’s population own their homes, and the median value of them is $199,700.
If you’re on the hunt for a home in Creswell, you will probably spend $210 per square foot. Mortgage rates are slightly higher in Creswell, and that brings monthly homeowning costs up to $1,505, on average. Owning a home is not in the cards for every Creswell resident, and luckily, rent is relatively low in Creswell.
Creswell residents spend an average of $923 per month on rent, and there are many options available. There are apartments currently listed for as low as $400 per month, and up to $2,137 per month, in Creswell. Utility bills are higher for 2-4 bedroom apartments and can reach $180 or more on the high end each month.
- Median Home Value: $156,500
- Average Monthly Rent Cost: $737
- Average Monthly Utilities Cost: $145
- Population: 17,782
- Average Income: $23,906
Hermiston, Oregon is a homeowner’s city, and 59.8% of its residents are homeowners. Monthly bills and maintenance costs rarely exceed $417, plus an additional roughly $834 in mortgage payments. Hermiston sits in Umatilla County, and homeowners pay a 1.1% property tax rate yearly on a median home value of $156,500
The other nearly 40% of Hermiston residents rent homes and apartments, and they pay $737 per month, on average. Utility bills generally cost $145 per month, but you could spend another $100 on cable and internet costs. Large apartments with 2-3 bedrooms can cost up to $1,065 or more per month in Hermiston.
There are many drivers on the road in Hermiston, and they spend an average of 18 minutes for work commutes. Gas costs between $2.49 and $2.69 per gallon in Hermiston right now and can cost $300per month with regular driving. Car insurance costs more in Hermiston than Oregon’s average, and you’ll spend up to $1,670 each year in premiums.
10. La Grande
- Median Home Value: $162,100
- Average Monthly Rent Cost: $756
- Average Monthly Utilities Cost: $145.52
- Population: 13,614
- Average Income: $25,635
La Grande is an affordable, comfortable, and welcoming Oregon city with a moderate population. The population is La Grande is split almost equally between renters and homeowners. There is a median home value of $162,100 in La Grande, and homes come with $1,125 in monthly costs, or more.
Houses on the market in La Grande generally sell for roughly $130 per square foot, but it varies by location. You will often pay up to $470 or more for monthly bills and repairs on your home in La Grande, OR. Residents of La Grande can benefit from the 2.81% appreciation rate on homes that can help you sell it.
You can find apartments for as much as 28% of the national average in La Grande with an average of $756. Utility costs are also below the national average, and you’ll spend $140-$150 monthly, more than $20 below the American average. Apartments can start out just below $500 in La Grande, Oregon, and that gets you a comfortable one bedroom.
What is the safest city in Oregon?
The safest city in Oregon is currently West Linn, and there are only 8 property crimes per 1,000 residents. Violent crime is exceedingly rare in West Linn and occurs at a rate of 1 out of 1,000 people. Last year, there were only 261 total crimes reported in West Linn, and only 25 of them were violent.
What is the most affordable city in Oregon?
Umatilla is the most affordable city in Oregon, but there are 9 others that are close in affordability.
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Does Oregon have wildfires?
Yes, Oregon does experience wildfires, and they can be at their worst between December and January. There are dry forests in Oregon that can have wildfires somewhat regularly, and they often do not spread or become destructive. However, other types of wildfires in Oregon have become worse over the last few years for destruction and growth goes.
Summing It Up
The cheapest place to live in Oregon is Umatilla, and the median home value there is $158,200. Apartment rentals, utility bills, mortgage payments, and monthly homeownership costs are also low in Umatilla. Other affordable cities include Sheridan, Baker City, Milton-Freewater, and Ontario, where rent averages $666 a month.
Many of the median home values and average rent prices are far below the national average in these affordable cities. Single resident income averages $22,00-$24,000 per year in many of them, but household income is generally higher.
You can make a great and happy home for yourself in any of these affordable Oregon cities. Whether it be Umatilla or Sheridan, homeowners and renters can live comfortably in Oregon.