Article Overview: Pros and Cons of Living in Vancouver, Washington
Are you thinking about moving to Vancouver, Washington? Welcome to my hometown.
I was raised in Vancouver and have lived to tell the tale. I’ve laughed my way through cheesy sayings like “Vancouver not BC, Washington, not DC” and cringed the first time I heard the city referenced as Vantucky. Not cool.
There’s no denying that Vancouver has seen a massive influx of new residents in recent years. The city went from being known as Portland’s neighbor to becoming a desirable city in its own right. Quiet, green and full of beauty — there’s a lot to love about this place.
I thought it’d be fun to draft a quick list of the pros and cons of living in Vancouver, Washington to help answer some common questions. If you still have questions after reading this list (or want to offer your two cents), don’t hesitate to reach out — I’m happy to help!
As you read this list, please keep in mind that these pros and cons are based on my personal experience. Not everyone feels the same way about living in Vancouver, WA. And that’s alright! Heck, that’s what the comments are for.
Editor’s Note: As long time readers of this website will know, the fun lives in the comments. Don’t forget to take a look below to see what other locals are saying. We update this post regularly based on feedback received. Cheers!
Living in Vancouver FAQ
Yes, depending on what you’re looking for, Vancouver is a good place to live. The lack of state income taxes is very popular among residents and retirees as well as the access to nature.
Some of the cons of living in Vancouver, Washington include the seemingly endless grey and rainy weather in the winter, the wild housing market (that finally seems to be cooling), and rising homelessness.
Pros & Cons of Living in Vancouver, Washington
Pros of Living in Vancouver
#1. Proximity to Nature
Nestled nicely into the epic beauty of the Pacific Northwest, the region’s natural beauty is a huge draw for folks moving to Vancouver, Washington. But hey, hard to blame them.
This corner of America is defined by the dramatic Cascade Mountain Range and swaths of forest so pristine it’ll make you question the injustice of having to be born elsewhere. Thankfully, those living in Vancouver seem to appreciate the great outdoors and are keen on taking advantage of the teeming outdoor recreation opportunities.
Vancouver is situated a mere 2-hour drive from the beach, desert, forests and mountains. You name it, we got it! The best part? These areas are packed with locals (and visitors) alike during the warm summer months. We know how good we have it around here.
If you’re in the mood for a grand adventure, take a weekend trip to one of the three breathtaking national parks in Washington State. Don’t feel like committing to an overnight trip? No problem, chances are very high you’ll be less than a half hour drive from a hiking trail.
It’s impossible to escape nature while living in Vancouver, WA. Between the lakes, forests and epic views of Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens, you won’t be able to take nature for granted and will seldom be bored. Lucky you.
#2. Vancouver is Environmentally Friendly
Apart from being surrounded by epic nature, Vancouver is home to a whopping 90 parks and 20 natural areas. Including Esther Short Park, the oldest public square in the west.
It’s not just the inescapable nature that makes us “green.” Hardly. Vancouver is recognized as an environmentally-friendly city. Respect for the environment is a big deal around here, made evident by strong recycling and composting habits.
I take great pride in living in Vancouver, Washington because I’m surrounded by like-minded people that strive to keep waste to a minimum. There’s no soapbox or holier-than-though attitude around it. Just regular folks trying to live good lives while considering the impact they have on their environment. How could you not love that?
Stay in the Know: Clark County launched a Green Neighbors Program where new (and current) residents can learn best practices for a most sustainable life.
#3. There’s No State Income Tax
Ever heard that one joke that goes “the only things you can’t escape in life are death and taxes?” The adage rings true, but at least those living in Vancouver, Washington don’t have to pay state income tax — which really adds up.
There’s only 9 states in America without state income tax and Washington is lucky enough to be one of them.
For perspective, our neighbors to the south (Oregon) pay nearly 10% in state income taxes. Put another way, if you got offered the same salary for a job in Washington vs. Oregon, choosing the Washington gig would automatically increase your take-home pay by nearly 10%. Imagine!
That’s why so many folks from Portland end up moving to Vancouver, Washington for retirement.
With that said, it’s worth knowing that the sales tax clocks in at a pretty steep 8.5%. Whereas Oregon doesn’t have a sales tax so it’s not uncommon for Vancouver residents to drive across the border for larger purchases like home equipment and appliances.
P.S. If you live in Vancouver but work in Portland (like tons of people) you will be subject to Oregon’s state income tax. Which means this perk of living in Vancouver won’t apply to you unless you telework. Speak to your HR department to get some clarity on this one.
#4. Vancouver is a Safe City
As of December 2022, Vancouver, Washington is considered the 58th safest city in the country. As someone that grew up in Vancouver, I’ve seen the city shift from sleepiness to energetic.
Nothing happens without growing pains though, and the growth of Vancouver is no exception. I’ve been hearing a lot about how Vancouver has “gone to the dogs” but I think most of it is exaggerated (as are most things these days).
The truth is, my day to day life in Vancouver hasn’t really changed much over the past 5 years. Aside from the pandemic when I spent way more time at home, it’s business as usual. For example, this past summer (2022), my husband and I took on a yard project and ended up mingling and chatting with neighborhoods daily.
I don’t want to paint a false picture though. As with most cities in America, the police force is stretched thin so many non-violent crimes are being put on the back burner. Car thefts are on the rise as are car break ins, but I’ve never once felt unsafe living in Vancouver. Not by any stretch of the imagination
At the end of the day, Vancouver is a great place to live and raise a family. Those moving to Vancouver with the hopes of putting down roots will find a pretty calm and slow way of life.
Editor’s Note: Some readers have reached out to disagree with this point. We’re all about facts at The Honest Local, and while perception is important, without stats it isn’t deemed a fact. To keep the conversation topical, we updated the resource with the most recent WalletHub report on city safety. Enjoy!
#5. People are Kind
One of my favorite things about living in Vancouver, WA is the kindness of the people. Circling back to the yard project I just mentioned, we had so many neighbors swing by just to admire the work or strike up a conversation. It was really encouraging to know that people still want to mingle and connect, contradicting the narrative that the city is going to hell in a hand basket.
But in true Pacific Northwest fashion, people are definitely reserved. Locals can tolerate small talk, but it’s rare for conversations to develop into something more.
Come to thin of it, I met most of my adult friends in high school or college. I find it hard disagree when people say that making friends while living in Vancouver is difficult. I can definitely see that.
Blame it on adulthood (has anyone ever made a friend past the age of 25?!), or the reserved locals, but this is something to brace for before moving to Vancouver. You’ll get kindness, but the friendship part is harder. So in a way, this is both a pro and con of living in Vancouver.
#6. Access to the Portland International Airport
For many people, a huge perk of living in Vancouver boils down to the Portland International Airport (PDX). Sounds like a stretch, but bear with me. Located less than 30 minutes from downtown, PDX is often rated as one of the best airports in the country. Heck, in 2017 it was even rated the most efficient airport in America.
Both my husband and I travel often for work. Last year alone, we spent 7 months abroad. He flies more than me and averages 100,000+ miles per year. Based on his travels (and the plethora of airports he’s visited), PDX is his favorite.
It’s very manageable, easy to navigate, has good food options and tons of direct flights (international and domestic). It’s hard to hate on our local airport, everything from departing to arriving is a pleasant experience.
We scored a phenomenal deal flying direct from Portland, Oregon to Tokyo, Japan for $520 round trip. Read: Kyoto in the Fall (Top 10 Places to See)
#7. There’s No Need for Air Conditioning
Okay, let’s start wrapping the advantages of living in Vancouver, WA with a fun fact: we’re one of the least AC’d cities in the country!
An interesting study found that Seattle is the least air conditioned city (with only 33% of homes equipped with ACs) in the US.Portland doesn’t trail too far behind, either.
Seriously, apart from maybe two weeks a year, there’s no need for AC when living in Vancouver. Granted, the past two summers have been terrible with temperatures soaring past 100°F. I see the trends shifting and anticipate most homes will be equipped with air conditioning in the coming years.
I’m bracing to see what summer 2023 brings before seeing if this information needs to be updated. Climate change is a bear, and anyone drafting (yet another) email to let me know that it isn’t real, I ask one question: How much did you spend on your AC last year?
#8. The Summer Weather is Perfect
All my childhood summers were spent outdoors. As the climate starts to shift, I’m not sure if this will remain true for the current generation, but as it stands, I consider summers in Vancouver dreamy.
With the exception of extreme heat waves, average summer temperatures rarely exceed 90°Fs, and you can count on sunshine from June through mid-September. You can take advantage of the great outdoors without melting, which is a perk you can only appreciate after visiting Arizona.
I have a handful of friends that refuse to leave Vancouver because they can’t imagine spending summers elsewhere. Mild temperatures and no humidity is hard to come by, why mess with perfection?
They’d sooner find a place to rent in winter (those gray skies!) but couldn’t fathom moving altogether because of the blissful summer season.
Another big perk of living in Vancouver? The two biggest surrounding cities (Portland and Seattle) both rank as the least challenging cities in the country for allergy sufferers. Maybe all that rain we have to put up with (I’ll cover that shortly) is good for something.
Cons of Living in Vancouver
#1. The Housing Market is Nuts
Living in Vancouver is not all sunshine and rainbows. Shocking, I know. With median home prices clocking in at a hefty $500,000, moving to Vancouver to buy a home won’t come cheap.
The housing market has really blown up in the past five years and COVID only exacerbated the problem when city-dwellers began moving to Vancouver en masse. Again, hard to blame them, no hard feeling there.
A lot of our friends ended up moving to Vancouver from Portland and found buying a home more stressful than anticipated. The inflated housing market is not unique to Vancouver, I understand that, but the competition to score a home is legendary.
One couple we know was outbid for 8 homes before deciding to look in a different state. They said homes were getting 20+ offers and selling within 2 days for well above asking. I was hoping the market would cool down in 2022, but so far no such luck. Maybe next year?
If helpful, the chart below shows the sharp increase of home prices in Vancouver since 2012. The median home price in 2012 was $179,000 and has risen by 140% to $431,000 in 2021. Excuse me. Can you imagine paying $179K for a house 10 years ago?
#2. It Rains So Much
Is there an award for making the understatement of the century? Because I definitely qualify.
But here’s the thing, when my husband ended up moving to Vancouver (from Atlanta) he thought he was prepared for the rain. First red flag (no one prepares for rain). Within 4 months of living in Vancouver (poor guy moved here in October, amateur mistake), he was clawing at the wall.
Vancouver averages 163 days of rainfall a year. It’s like getting rain every three days, only it’s worse because nature doesn’t spread it out fairly. Nah, she’ll let you “enjoy” the rain daily for 6 months straight. Ugh, she’s the worst.
So let that little number sink in like it will sink into your garden’s root system and keep you on your toes come spring. Granted, it’s always fun to see which new plantings survive the rainy half of the year (my husband and I have started taking bets).
But look at me getting distracted with weird gardening stuff. At the end of the day, it’s safe to say that the constant rainfall should be seriously considered before moving to Vancouver, Washington. It will become a part of your daily life from November through May.
But the rain isn’t the worst part! It’s the constant gray clouds taking permanent residence above the city from fall through spring. That has a tendency to bring folks down the most.
Between the dark gray skies, rain and bone-chill, winters feel long. It’s no wonder Vancouver residents are desperate to take advantage of the quickly-fleeting summer months. All the trails and city parks are packed during summer for a reason, folks.
#3. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is Real
This goes hand-in-hand with the rain and grayness mentioned above. Something people don’t realize before moving to Vancouver is that our residents are prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression related to seasonal weather changes. It tends to keep regular office hours — opening shop in October and closing for the season come May. (This is obviously not a medical definition).
Honestly, between January – March, the gray weather is a lot to handle. There’s two things that have helped me most in dealing with the impossible winter season. First, investing in this bad boy (I use it daily) and secondly, budging a vacation in February.
A Happy Light, you say? Yes, it’s a bright lamp that emulates sunlight and provides benefits similar to sunshine. We use ours every single day, plus it helps our plants grow like crazy, too. I’m telling you, you can’t afford living in Vancouver without it.
My husband likes to joke that Vancouver weather has two settings: rain and bliss. If he makes the joke in the summer, I laugh. If he tries it in the winter, I threaten him with Hallmark movies and Christmas music.
#4. The Constant Traffic
Since a decent majority of Vancouver residents work in Portland, the nightmare traffic you’ll experience on a daily basis should be taken into account when considering moving to Vancouver.
For reference, my 15-mile commute from Vancouver to Portland took one hour each way. It was absolutely brutal and got tiring after a mere three months. I dreaded the drive to work and the long drive home.
Because of the mass influx of folks moving to Vancouver (while working in Portland), the highways simply cannot keep up with the unexpected demand. I mean, you’ll never mistake Vancouver’s traffic for L.A. but it’s pretty bad.
In fact, Portland’s nightmare traffic has officially clocked in as the 6th worst in the country, with an estimated 89 hours a year spent in traffic for the average commuter.
#5. Lack of Public Transportation
When you live in Vancouver, Washington you quickly learn that it’s a very car-centric city. The small downtown core is far removed from the suburbs and since most folks work in Portland, a car is practically required.
There’s a handful of bus lines that service the downtown core and provide direct routes from Vancouver to Portland but they normally increase commute times by 50-60%, at least they did for me. I’m just going to say it: public transportation is abysmal, I gave up on it pretty quickly and opted to use my car.
It doesn’t chance the fact that lack of decent public transportation is a big con of living in Vancouver, Washington and a huge contributor to the terrible traffic. You can’t escape the nightmarish traffic.
#6. Lack of Diversity
After moving to Vancouver, Washington you’ll notice that it’s not a very diverse city. 72% of the population identifies as white, but the demographics are slowly shifting with the influx of new residents.
However, which Vancouver most definitely lacks in ethnic diversity, one thing it doesn’t lack is being considered an LGBTQ+ friendly city.
In fact, with more than 5.4% of residents identifying as gay, lesbian, trans or bisexual, the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro region has the second highest LGBTQ+ community in the country!
#7. Homelessness is on the Rise
As mentioned earlier, growing pains are part of daily life and Vancouver is experiencing its fair share. There’s no denying that homelessness is on the rise. It’s most felt in the downtown core (like all cities) but many neighbors are starting to complain that they’re seeing more homeless in neighborhoods too.
Homelessness is a tough humanitarian issue to solve and the city is working on it, but I have no idea what the solution is and doubt it’s an easy fix. As such, I’d love to contribute to the conversation in a helpful manner and am open to learning more about the issue. If you have resources (or advice) please let me know in the comment below. I want to stay informed and am always looking for ways to learn.
Pros & Cons of moving to Vancouver Washington (Post Summary)
In short, here are the honest pros and cons of living in Vancouver, Washington:
- Proximity to nature
- Vancouver is green
- No state income tax
- Vancouver is a safe city
- The people are kind
- Access to the airport
- No need for A/C
- The summer weather
- It rains a lot
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is Real
- Lack of public transportation
- Nightmare traffic
- The housing market
- Lack of diversity
Until next time!
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Hi. Thank you for sharing all of this wonderful information. My only critique: Yes, many people make friends after the age of 25. Washington gets it’s ‘freeze’ reputation because of this attitude. Therefore, not surprising, but disappointing.
Very best of luck to you.
HI! I enjoyed your article so much. I love the idea of nature and rain. I spent a year in Germany (a loooong time ago) and 7 years out of 12, there was absolutely no sun. I loved it!
I noticed your section on lack of diversity. Do you consider Vancouver locals to be at least nice to immigrants? I’m looking to relocate to the US from Mexico but I often feel nervous of how I would be treated. Thank you!
teri truax says
Hey, everyone – question for you. My hubby and I currently live in Southern Minnesota. We are so tired of the cold. I have been really researching Vancouver, WA. It, to us, sounds like a lovely place. We are used to the dreary, cloudy, no sunshine days of winter, so transitioning to rain in the winter sounds so much better to us. The crime, etc, seems to be happening everywhere.
On to my question, what would be a reasonable neighborhood to start looking for a place to live in Vancouver? What neighborhoods would you stay away from? We will be in our 60s when we move, so I am hoping for realistic expectations, low maintenance without breaking the bank. I had a stroke 12 years ago, so health care is also a concern. Any thoughts? Thanks so much.
Melizea Marie says
I have lived in the Vancouver, WA area for the last 32 years and the Pacific Northwest certainly is very beautiful. I always felt fortunate to call it home, and bought a house in 2015 as I planned to grow roots here.
Our neighborhood was quiet, safe and primarily had many friendly people who already raised their families there and were preparing to retire. I loved my home and my neighbors but after a few years we quickly noticed the area was deteriorating. There was an uptick in stolen vehicles being dropped off and parked in front of our houses, graffiti and homeless camps took over the beautiful trail that ran along a nearby creek, my daughter was assaulted at a nearby park and finally after three drive by shootings at a house two doors away, we decided it was time to go.
Like many others, we moved in 2020 to Ridgefield, WA which is about 15 minutes North of Vancouver which is safer and we are surrounded by others raising families, as well as retirees. It is very sad to see how Vancouver has continued to decline since we moved and we’re considering relocating to another region in the US altogether due to the high cost of living and the area continuing to worsen.
Vancouver truly used to be a slice of heaven on earth with the surrounding scenery while only being a jump and skip away from gorgeous mountains and the beautiful coast line and it was affordable to boot! Unfortunately, it is no longer the beautiful City I once knew and I honestly wouldn’t recommend anyone to move here now 😔
Jay Reuter says
I currently live in the Orchards neighborhood and love the area. My cousin relocated to Vancouver from Portland and settled down just at the border of Camas (by the Costco). That area seems like it’s growing every day. It has tons of restaurants, stores, cafes and great parks.
Orchards is calmer, great spot for retirees but that area near Camas has a lot of fun stuff to do. I would recommend either of those! Vancouver is a great place to live, but I agree with the comments about breakins and crime being on the rise. Hopefully that turns around soon.
I was going to suggest the area by Camas too! Love how much that part of town has grown recently. Especially love the Chickfilla, but it’s always busy.
If you move to the area by Camas, my favorite grocery store is New Seasons. I think they’re only in the pacific northwest so you may not know about them. It’s a great grocery store and they have good sales.
Hi thanks for this blog. You wrote, “But the rain isn’t the worst part! It’s the constant gray clouds taking permanent residents above the city from fall through spring.”
You typed ‘residents’ but of course you meant ‘residence.” Just FYI about this little typo! See ya -JS
The Honest Local says
Thank you for letting me know. Typo has been fixed 🙂
DANIEL HARRIS says
I’ve lived here my whole life and we have a great public transportation system with multiple lines taking you almost anywhere you need to go plus two train lines for traveling almost anywhere in the US.
Also the people here are rude and not LGBTQ friendly. My best friend is trans and is always getting dirty looks and comments made. Granted it’s unusually the young people, for some reason teenagers here are the worst people.
Crime may not be bad but vandalism is, again it’s the fault of the unruly teens we produce. I blame the relaxed parenting methods that are often found in this city and the Grey weather isn’t any help.
The people here seem friendly at first but they really aren’t. It’s almost impossible to make new friends here. Almost everyone has a dark side.
Abby Persson says
It has been getting increasingly hot for the past few years, exceeding 112 degrees EASILY (thanks global warming) and because it didn’t used to be this way, NO ONE has AC and no one is prepared to handle it.
Crime and homelessness is rife as well, and the government isn’t offering ANY real solution. What we need is subsidized housing, and instead we’ve got actual slums popping up everywhere. I live by the mall, in a nice neighborhood, and we just had someone break into our garage.
Additionally, cost of living has risen EXPONENTIALLY and now people who work full time are finding themselves sleeping in their cars and on the street. Whole families are living in these slums simply because wages have not risen nearly enough to keep up.
And because healthcare is such a joke in this God forsaken country, people who have an addiction, or are homeless due to severe mental health issues, are living along side these families and getting thrown in jail and released again in a never ending and totally intellectual cycle. I’ve lived here most of my life, and it’s really tragic honestly.
Christopher Thompson says
The safety situation in Vancouver, WA has rapidly declined and reached a point of terminal apex. Violent crime (assault, burglary, vandalism, arson, murder, and destruction of public property), homelessness, and illegal hard drugs has reached untennable levels. Coupled with high cost of living, no available housing (which is improving), and traffic problems consider revising your review. Presently, Vancouver is rank in the worst 10% of American cities to live for good reason, not the best. We having been receiving major fallout from Portland inability to deal with their problems for over 4 years and the changes over the last 20 years is substantial.
Hi Christopher, I live in Vancouver, WA and can’t understand where your fear-drenched comment is coming from.
The Vancouver you describe sounds like a very dangerous place, I’ll make sure to mention it to my neighbors when we grab brews in my front yard later tonight. Thanks for passing that along, we didn’t know we were unsafe and may need to reconsider our daily walks.
As for Portland, I love that place. My partner and I just had a date night in the city and I’m heading back this afternoon to catch up with a girlfriend at a wine bar. I’ll ask her if we should reschedule because of the issues you raise. Maybe there’s something I’m missing? I don’t know, feels like my life is moving on and I’m still very much enjoying Vancouver and Portland (but would hate to live in your version of our city).
Jessica G says
Christopher isn’t off the mark here, but it does seem to depend on the neighborhood. I’ve lived in Vancouver on and off for 40 years and honestly couldn’t believe that we would be 14th safest city based on this article…unless ALL cities have gone to he## in a hand basket.
Since it was written if you click the link she’s got on here, we’ve plummeted to 43rd, which seems more accurate, sadly…. Seems like gang violence and drug use has skyrocketed here. Shootings and human trafficking are also becoming a weekly thing. I really hope this is just a post-pandemic phase because I’m considering moving 😥
Gayle L Dodge says
with all the rain and dreary weather – are mosquitoes a problem if you try to be or need to be outside?
In the summer months, yes. But it’s pretty bug-free the rest of the year. 🙂
Nick Price says
The take on summers not being too bad is generic/outdated. For years now we are breaking records for days over 90 F and days without rain. Summers are projected to get longer, hotter, drier, and smokier.
I think what you say has truth to it, but I have to tell you — I still find summers in the Pacific Northwest to be some of the best in the country. I currently have the option to telework and still find myself flying back to Portland/Vancouver for 3 months every summer. It’s hard to beat, but the smoke is bear!
Born and raised here, with the exception of 20 years in the Navy/Army. I will retire in 5 years, and I hope to find someplace that will remind me of how Vancouver used to be prior to 2000. For now I will be nice to the new people, but inside I resent the overcrowding, higher spike of crime, and over price standard of living it has caused.
I was born and grew up here. Currently I live 3 blocks from the hospital I was born in. While I and others who grew up here think crime, homelessness, traffic, and prices have skyrocketed here; I guess this must seem like paradise to a S. Californian. I feel that this city and county is a victim of its own success. The small town feel is gone, and more people are moving here all the time. If not for family and my job, I would have moved ten years ago. It won’t be long until the whole West Coast is like S. California; over taxed, excessively regulated, crime ridden, and over run with homeless. And don’t be surprised if the new people help vote in a income tax to go with the sales tax.
Carol Wozniak says
I live in Sunny Florida but would love a new adventure. I work with Special Education and it sounds like a wonderful change of pace for a few years
Susan Odenbach says
Housing costs are making our community an elitist enclave. There is no room for seniors, families and single parent families to live here, crime and homelessness are rapidly increasing. What used to be a “little paradise” for our diversity has disappeared. Senior Sue
After moving there from NYC, and living in Vancouver Washington for over 40 years, I’ve watched it turn from a small city that was awesome into a cesspool. The police, bless their hearts, try to do a good job but are sabotaged and neutered every step of the way. I was a hardcore environmental activist and liberal progressive and I’m telling you, that what has taken over is not liberal or progressive, it’s something else entirely. No one with any sanity would move to Vancouver or any where in Washington, Oregon except in the very rural areas (even those are getting bad) . I lived downtown in one of the nicer neighborhoods in Vancouver for 20 years. It was great until the last few years as the gang violence from portland to california was in Vancouver to the point I wouldn’t walk my belgian sheperd dogs at night anymore. Then the corrupt politicians started effectively started defunding the police and guess who owns the prosecuters that let murderers, drug dealers, rapists and child molesters out if they even arrest them at all? Portland and Vancouver make Gotham look nice by comparison. Some parts of Portland/vancouver look like a war zone.
I got out the state, and I miss the beauty of the mountains, oceans and the gorge, but I don’t think I’d go back there in this lifetime.
We moved to Vancouver from SD last May (2021). The homelessness is concentrated in downtown, so if that’s a concern, avoid that area. We’re in the east close to Camas. Coming from the southern climates of FL/SD, I’d say your biggest challenge will be the oppressive clouds and gray weather during winter. The rain is fine, but not seeing sunshine for over a month really got to me. Having said that, the change of seasons keeps things feeling like they’re moving along. We’re actually getting snow right now – second week of April – so this feels off. 😉 It’s far sleepier than Portland and SD. If you’re looking for quiet and calm, this could be your place. I agree with all of the follow up comments and find them to accurately depict current life in Vancouver.
I’m a WA native and have lived in Vancouver & Camas for over 30 years.
Chris A says
Just a minor quip, Oregon’s state tax on 50k income is 6.8% effective tax rate. I see people make this mistake all the time of taking the highest marginal tax bracket and then applying it to the entire income. 9.9% is taxed on every dollar over $125,000. Yes, that’s still a lot higher than Washington’s $0, but just for the sake of accuracy wanted to point that out.
I have been here 25 years
Yes, the summers are great but you have to water your yard in the summer as we get virtually no rain in the summer. Homelessness has become major and tents are set up all over the city. Thefts are on the rise. 20 cars a day per our local police officer. Medical care is available for emergencies but you have to wait to get an appointment with a doctor. I personally do not find people friendly here…actually quite the opposite. Just waiting for the husband to retire so we can leave here.
Hello, where are you planning to move to?
Looking for less rain and crime for sure
Vera Nikolaychk says
Hi there, I loved reading this. I’ve been in Vancouver my whole life and I can say I’ve learned to love the rain. During the warmer months my family always drives out to the beach or hiking or something of that nature. I think its worth mentioning the photo from above is Washington state university vancouver. On a clear day you can see 2 mountains and on an even clearer day a 3rd hiding behind the trees. Nature and the amazing summer weather has made me fall in love with vancouver and I dont think I’ll ever want to leave.
I plan on living in Vancouver but my company is located in Portland. Will I really be liable for state income tax if I live in Vancouver but work in Portland? I see the P.S note stating a person is subject to Oregon state income tax if they live in Vancouver WA.
Yes, this is true. I lived in Vancouver for a few years while working in Portland and was subject to Oregon taxes. But it’s worth noting that if you telework from home you won’t be subject to Oregon taxes because you’re not technically working in Oregon those days. Let me know if that doesn’t make sense or if you have any more questions!
Quietly Speaking says
Yes Very true , no way around it !
Hello Goodbye says
You pay tax for the days you are physically working in OR. Even if your company is based solely in OR. Ex. You commute to Portland 2 days out of the week and work from home the other 3, 40% of your income will be subject to OR state income tax.
This sounds lovely!
Are the volcanoes or fires a concern?
I’ve heard that Portland has a big drug problem, which leads to homelessness and crime … if that is true, does that affect Vancouver in any way?
Our family is considering making a move away from SoCal and Vancouver was brought up, it sounded so magical until a handful of people brought up the proximity to Portland and the issues mentioned above … which is exactly what I’m trying to escape from in San Diego
Did you ever make the move? I’m in the same exact position but from NorCal!
I’m thinking of doing same. Left SoCal after 40 years, now want to leave Marin for Vancouver
I live in Oakland, CA and have family in Marin county! Would love to hear if you ended up moving and what you think or why you want to move 🙂
We just moved to Vancouver from outside of the region last year and I found this to be very accurate.
I think traffic is bad if you’re a 9-5 Portland commuter, but rarely even slow outside of rush hour. I recommend living in Vancouver for almost everyone, except those who aim to commute to Portland, primarily for that reason.
Myrtie Sullivan says
To mention having a National Park within the City along with Officers Row is definitely a plus. It has a lot to offer via public activities besides a tour of the historical site including Officers Row. Until recent years, it was also an active Military Army base with stationed military personnel. Pearson Airport is an advantage within City Limits for private planes. Shopping is a plus. Having Vancouver Mall is centrally located.
As I read the article I said all of what you said! Spot on!
Born and raised here. There is a lot people. Continuing growth. There are also a lot of crowding on the streets here, we do welcome but we also help. We are very friendly people, but we also have a backbone. If you do choose to live here, please don’t be mean. It’s ok to smile here.
lee h bowker says
We live in a very nice neighborhood but there is a quite a lot of front porch theft and car / truck catalytic convertors’ being ripped off in the darkness of night. Wood piles ripped off that sort thing. Major crime, violent crime does not occur often here. The grey skies around 6 – 7 mos of the year create a very dreary environment indeed, but their are beautiful days in the Spring, Fall and Winter.
I disagree strongly regarding this writer’s opinion of Summer weather though. Truly, it is lovely in general during the Summer, but the last 4 years we have had heat waves in the high 90s and sometimes into the 100s. Last year was one of the worst heat waves in the country, many days in the 100s. So you do need air conditioning especially as global warming continues. Also fires aren’t mentioned but are actually a real concern.
For our family we have been surprised at the number of far right wing ‘conservatives’ when we moved here in 2017. That has been very alarming as we moved from a more middle-of-the-road democrat leaning community in California. Kaiser is packed to the gills but overall healthcare is adequate.
James Clark says
Thank you for the additional information. Coming from Texas, high heat temperature is more to my liking (I actually am used to being under the sun as long as I don’t dehydrate!), but forest fires are not.
Even though I was born and raised in Texas, I do not lean conservative. On the other hand, I think I am used to being around conservatives, never had any issues (maybe being 6’4 football player build helps, although I’m really pretty friendly!) with people who don’t think outside THIER boxes.
I’ve been considering moving to Vancouver from the bay area. Currently in Oakland, Ca but I can no longer deal with car theft, break-ins, violent crime, crazy drivers, litter, garbage everywhere and the cost of living. I’m spending $1800 a month for a small 1 bedroom and that’s on the lower end! while not feeling safe most of the time. I hope Vancouver is much better, imagine it is though sounds like it might not be that much different, just cleaner and more far right folk lol.
Lefranz Knighton says
Thus was awesome… we have family that lives in Vancouver. We are planning to visit but I want to find out about Vancouver, and you really put things in perspective. We live in Georgia so I’m not sure if I can handle the gloomy weather, the housing is similar. Thank you so much for the information.
The rental market is insane! A 1 bedroom is from $1200 to $1700. How about the retirees living on social security? Drive around Vancouver and see all the homeless people. Maybe these property owners need to live on a little less. These places are 20 years old and rent on them has trippled. Yes, food is going up along with utilities but rent is never considered. People living in the homeless camps have no way to live, except rob and steal. Let’s get affordable housing and make it a safe place to live. Get people off the streets!!!
Sadly the rent hike seems to be country-wide. I agree though that rent needs to get under control
I don’t doubt rent hikes aren’t country wide but our city has always usually found itself on the lists for places with high average rent cost.
Jim boot says
In 40+ yrs living in Vancouver and often commuting to Portland (sometimes 4x/ day), I have been able to avoid traffic snarls except during a few weather events (you can usually plan route and hours around traffic).
Airport offers great sun escapes. For a few years, direct flights to San Diego were $19.90, down at 5am, return at midnight. No rental car or hotel required. AC is a must for some (not for me), I flew to SF today since it was hot in Vancouver.
Might add community events and support (farmers market, colleges, variety of public schools and one of the largest home schooling support resources in USA + Free college instead of HS!!! (WA Running Start, since 1991)
How about the new constructions coming up at Vancouver ? Are they affordable ?