Is Medford, Oregon A Good Place To Live?

Heather Robbins
by Heather Robbins

Located in Jackson County, Oregon, the city of Medford is the county seat. The town had a population of 78,557 as of July 1, 2014, and its metropolitan area had a population of 208,545, making it the fourth-largest metro area in Oregon. Many residents love it there, but is it a good place to live?

Medford, Oregon is a great place to live as there’s no sales tax, it doesn’t rain much, and many outdoor enthusiasts will love it. However, the downside is that rental costs are high, and the job market is horrible.

In order to understand if this is the right place for you to live, we’ll take you through the details so that you can decide for yourself. Never listen to someone else’s word, as everyone is different and has different preferences. What may be an excellent place to live for someone else may not be for you.

Medford Residents

A median household income of $47,567 and a median age of 37.3 characterized Medford, Oregon, in 2018. In Medford, OR, the population grew from 79,246 to 80,051, a 1.02% increase, and the median household income grew from $45,361 to $47,567, a 4.86% increase.

The predominant ethnic group in Medford, Oregon, is White Non-Hispanics, making up 76% of the city’s population. Following, you have White Hispanic at 13%, followed by other Hispanic ethnicities and Asians. In Medford, OR, 0% of the households speak a language other than English at home, and 95.4% of the residents are U.S. citizens.

Why Is Medford A Good Place To Live?

Whether it is progressivism vs. conservatism or British settlers vs. American ranchers, polarizing conflicts have always been part of life in Oregon. In reviewing the pros and cons of living in Medford today, you’ll find that this is still the case. There are people there who are opposite from you, but they all seem to get along just fine.

1. No Sales Tax In The State

Oregon’s sales tax is 0%. As opposed to taxing purchases, the state places a higher tax rate on personal income to generate revenue. The state also levies vehicle use taxes on out-of-state residents who bring their vehicles into the state.

Before a title and registration can be issued, you must pay that tax. It is possible in some cases to be subject to county taxes as well. Oregonians, however, usually pay the same price you see on the shelf.

2. Weather Is Nice

Medford is in Oregon’s Pacific Northwest region but located in south-central Oregon, near the California border. While one would assume it rains a lot in Medford, it doesn’t. This is because it is away from the coastline and closer to California, so you are in the warmer parts of Oregon.

It doesn’t even crack the Top 10 list for yearly rainfall in the United States. The cloudy, rainy weather usually stays near the coast, so the sun, heat, and less rain will be waiting for you as you travel up the Columbia River Valley.

3. Great For Bikers

Medford is often described as the best city for biking in the United States. As well as Eugene, other communities make the list. The majority of towns offer bike paths, purchasing programs, or clubs that promote two-wheeled transportation. That will cut down on the cost of living, especially in the city, if you’re able to commute to work on your bicycle instead of trying to drive.

4. Perfect For Crab Lovers

During Oregon’s robbery season, things are at their busiest. The abundance of Dungeness crab makes it a popular choice among many households as an alternative to ham and turkey.

The season starts after Thanksgiving, assuming the weather cooperates, and it will cost you surprisingly little to enjoy a meal in Oregon during the holidays. Salmon and other seafood options are more often available and at better prices than in the Plains or the Midwest.

5. Oregon Is A Green State

Even if you don’t live near mountains or beaches, you can enjoy the outdoors in Oregon. Portland is often considered one of the greenest cities in the world, and each city has followed suit, including Medford. In Oregon, you have access to energy-efficiency standards, recycling programs, and renewable energy.

6. Perfect For Outdoor Enthusiasts

If you choose to live in Medford, you’ll have a wide range of adventures at your fingertips. Many adventures are awaiting throughout Oregon, and if you live in Medford, then it’s nothing but a few-hour drive away to get to some of the best areas.

Almost anywhere in Oregon is a good place for a day trip to Crater Lake due to its stunning beauty. No matter whether you want to summit Mount Hood or not, you can go climbing.

In the east, sandboarding is possible on the dunes, while ranch tours and vineyards are popular in the center. Don’t forget the coastal forests and beaches, or take a horseback ride along a lake. There is something here to suit every lifestyle.

7. Low Property Taxes

In Jackson County, where Medford is located, the property tax rates are in the bottom half of all the counties in the state. The average effective rate in Jackson County ranks the 15th-lowest in the state, at 0.95% – compared to the national average of 1.07%.

With the county’s median home value of $261,700, this translates to an average of $2,474 in annual property tax payments for homeowners in Medford. Fortunately, this is lower than what the average American pays in property taxes every year.

Drawbacks Of Living in Medford, Oregon

Each place has its pros and cons, and they’re both equally important when figuring out whether a particular area is an excellent place to live. Therefore, we’ve listed these drawbacks of living in Medford below.

1. You Can’t Pump Your Own Fuel

A change to the state’s full-service fuel laws will allow self-serve gas pumps at stand-alone fuel stations in counties with fewer than 40,000 residents starting in 2018. In the rest of the state, full-service fueling is required. You’re going to pay a little more for your fuel in this state than in other states because you’re also paying for assistance provided by employees.

Having a full-service station has some benefits. They’ll clean your windows for you, check your fluid levels if necessary, and you won’t smell of gasoline since you were fueling up.

2. Medford Traffic Is Congested

Medford has its fair amount of traffic congestion. The I-5 Corridor gets backed up, as well as the other highways. If you’re coming in from the east, you’ll notice pockets of traffic that will surprise you.

Also, due to the state’s lower speed limit (65 miles per hour) on highways, it takes longer to get to your destination legally. Despite the increase in speed limits from 55 mph in 2016, the routes remain slow compared to other states.

Check this out if you want to weigh the pros and cons of living in Bend, Oregon.

3. Rental Costs Are High

Medford’s rental vacancy rate for 2014 was 3.6%. Finding a great apartment, condo, or house to rent in the city would be challenging, even if you could afford it. In all of the states, it had the lowest vacancy rate. The monthly rent for some rental units was over $1,200 for just 400 square feet.

If you want to move to Medford, you’ll find the housing market in the state to be equally challenging. At the time of writing, demand has outstripped supply for almost four consecutive years, with homes often selling from $300,000 to $500,000 for square footage below 1,500. Inventory levels are at their lowest point in over ten years, and most properties receive multiple offers.

4. Hard To Earn A Living

Oregon ranks 49th out of 50 states when you factor in high income and property taxes, as well as workplace safety, to rank the cost of living. In May of 2021, the unemployment rate in Medford, Oregon was higher than the national rate. Though, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Medford’s unemployment rate is declining steadily.

Getting a good job in the state before moving gives you a good shot at enjoying your time in the Pacific Northwest. It is difficult to find a job in Medford if you moved here based more on whims.

5. Earthquakes

Across the West Coast of the United States, large earthquakes appear imminent and are a similar threat to Oregon. This event is expected to have an earthquake magnitude of over 8. There is also an expected tsunami that will inundate the entire coast.

It could become the worst natural disaster in North America if it occurs, say those who look at the possibilities of such an earthquake. One in ten households will experience the Big One, and one in three will experience a large shaker, but many are not prepared.

How Dangerous is Medford, Oregon?

Crime in Medford ranks among the highest in America, at 56 crimes per 1,000 residents, compared to all communities of all sizes – from small towns to urban centers. Both the violent crime rate and the property crime rate are higher than the national and state average, with total crime being a whopping 103% higher than the rest of the country.

Violent or property crimes here have a 1 in 18 chance of being committed here. However, as long as you use common sense and lock up your property, you should be fine.

Is Medford, Oregon a Nice Place to Live?

Overall, Medford is a great place to live if you aren’t looking for perfection. It’s a city with many things to do for people of all ages; outdoor enthusiasts have year-round activities, and there are several arts and cultural events.

Residents love the tight-knit community that it has to offer. Furthermore, neighbors keep an eye on each other, and it’s not that hard to make friends with the people of this city. So, one would say those factors coupled with the location make this city a nice place to live.

Related Questions

What is the cost of living in Medford?

The overall cost of living index in Medford is 100.6, meaning it is pretty on par with the national cost of living (100). The state of Oregon’s cost of living index, however, is 113.1. So, this means that Medford is 11% cheaper than the rest of the state. There are a number of factors that play into the total cost of living in a particular area, including housing, transportation, health, utilities, and food and grocery costs.Medford’s median home cost is $359,400, which is nearly 18% cheaper than the state average but 23% more expensive than the national average. Meanwhile, healthcare and food and grocery costs in Medford are in line with the rest of the country, but utility costs and transportation are quite a bit cheaper.

What is Medford known for?

The entire state of Oregon is known for its stunning, rural country drives, landmark views, and breathtaking sights. Medford is no exception.Medford is most known for its snowboarding and skiing seasons, and then when it warms up, it’s also known for its outdoor life for camping, hunting, and fishing. However, you’ll want to check the rules and regulations regarding hunting season as they change frequently.Take a look at the 5 best neighborhoods in Eugene, Oregon to see what else the state has to offer.

Related Guides

Heather Robbins
Heather Robbins

Heather is a passionate writer who loves anything DIY. Growing up, she learned everything from home repairs to design, and wants to share her tips with you. When she's not writing, she's usually hiking or searching for her next DIY project.

More by Heather Robbins