What do I need to know before I move from Portland, OR to Vancouver, WA?
You will likely never drive to Portland again unless absolutely necessary or on Sunday at 6am. Why? Traffic. Both the 5 and 205 bridges are nightmares one direction or the other virtually all the time. Then, there’s parking in Portland which you already know about.
You will LOVE that there is no state income tax after OR’s high taxes, of course, you’ll now pay 9% sales tax and pump your own gas.
The housing costs are significantly lower. Rents for apartments are a nice 2 bedroom under $1600, 3 - bedrooms under $2000. Houses a little higher. To buy is significantly less - you can buy nice houses in the $400K price range. You get more space for your dollar as well.
You may have a negative preconceived notion of the Vancouver downtown, but it’s really happening lately. Lots of bars, restaurants and shops. Lots of new building for housing and retail, especially at the waterfront where a huge development of both is underway. It’s not Portland yet, but you’ll be able to chill and hang out at lots of cool places.
It’s not as weird, though still liberal. Vancouver went 90% for Bernie.
The crime and homeless problem is nothing like Portland. I feel very safe here and am rarely hassled by homeless folks.
We also have the Columbia River, and a nice river walk with stunning views of Portland. You can also drive the Gorge on the WA side which is more forest-y and curvy roads. Cross over on 5 or 6 bridges, including Bridge of the Gods, to OR.
All in all, I’m glad I live here. It’s nice. :)