Vancouver, Washington

The Couve

There's nothing greener than Washington state. They have the most beautiful vegetation on the planet. And the water is so clean. -Fabio Lanzoni

The Best Thing About Vancouver?

Fresh Air Fever

Vancouver (not to be confused with its Canadian counterpart) is less than a two hour drive from every kind of nature most people are looking for: beaches, mountains, deserts, forests and more, with plenty of parks and trails within the city means you can get your outdoor fix any day you’d like.

Here's a summary of distinctions between Vancouver and Portland from a transplant:
I live in East Vancouver and travel to Portland at least two times a week. There is a big difference between Portland and Vancouver, from my perspective. Vancouver is more of a young family town, with good schools, and kid oriented activities. Portland is more of a singles' city, with a lot of cultural activities. You might ask why don't I move into Portland, which is a great question. The reason is taxes. It is much less expensive to live in Vancouver, and there is no state income tax in Washington.

For more reviews of what living in Vancouver is like from locals check out: The Buzz

The Worst Thing About Vancouver?

Inflated Housing Market

We’re not the only ones who think highly of Vancouver. Housing prices were on the rise heading into 2020 and Covid caused a big spike. Houses go quickly in Vancouver and for a lot more than you’ll likely think is reasonable. A lot of Portlandians (and SF’ers and Seattleites) escaped their city (s) for Vancouver during the heat of the great migration. This resulted in increased demand, higher prices and dragged along some of the other excesses of those places.

Here's a local on the market in Vancouver area:
Clark County continues to see huge increases in population. This in general will lead to higher housing prices. Clark County is still cheaper as an aggregate than across the river in Portland.

Do not try to time the market. Buy when you're personally and financially ready, with a fixed rate mortgage on a payment you can pay comfortably and when you plan on living at the house for at least 5 years. Everything else is just guessing to hope you can time the market, which you can't do reliably because no one can. People have been claiming that the Portland metro was in a housing bubble since at least 2017. If people listened to those voices, they'd be pretty screwed.

Lifestyle of Vancouver

As noted the lifestyle of Vancouver for most involves getting outside and doing that healthy thing. Everyone’s into some kind of activity in the stunning natural setting (inside and outside the city limits). It is also considered a calm/chill and pretty safe city relative to its immediate neighbor and most of the pacific seaboard majors. While there is a social scene, including farmer’s markets, bars, restaurants and plenty of live music in Vancouver the lifestyle for many involves staying local for quiet nights and heading across the bridge into Portland for bigger nights.

If you want to see what happens in Vancouver check out the calendar of events:

Worklife of Vancouver

A substantial percentage of Vancouver residents make the thirty minute commute into Portland for work. Known for its growing tech industry, there are also plenty of job opportunities stemming from manufacturing and athletic/outdoor gear companies. Within the city confines, healthcare and business management dominate hiring.

Why You Should Move Here Now?

WFH Haven

If you’re facing a future in remote work, Vancouver fits the bill for what most are looking for in a hometown: no state income taxes, a beautiful and walkable city, and easy access to both a larger city and outdoor recreation. If that sounds appealing, Vancouver deserves a spot on your short list.