Moving to Corvallis, Oregon
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Thinking about retiring in Corvalis
WE are thinking of retiring in Corvalis, Oregon. Does anyone have any experiences living or vacationing there. Climate, Culture, Crime, things to do, etc.
Disclaimer: I grew up in Eugene so my view of Corvallis is a bit biased. It's quiet there, though OSU helps with making it a bit more vibrant. It has its liberal population because of the school, but also a conservative, more 'redneck' population as well. The weather is typical Oregon: beautiful summers with lots of rain from September - May. Think the Friday after the 'big storm' where it was mostly grey and drizzle. You'll get snow though as well, which is lovely! The weather is definitely changing so the grey drizzle is less than when I was growing up. Nature is everywhere in that area so if you're outdoorsy, most of Oregon is a good pick for you. And farms! I have been so disappointed in the U-pick and 'farm' options around here but that's another story. Personally, Corvallis wouldn't be enough for me, I'd go for somewhere with more going on (Eugene, Bend, Portland area, Ashland) but it really depends what you want in retirement. Oregonian at heart
I have in-laws who retired there. The pluses are that the place is very bikeable, and they had a large yard which my in-laws really liked -- they actually sold surplus produce at the farmer's market which operates in the summer. Culturally, it isn't all that interesting but that wasn't an issue for them. The weather is hotter than here in summer and colder in winter. They had no problems with crime where they lived which was a mile or two from campus and the center of town. I don't think there are any jobs in the area, though she teaches an enrichment class to private students. anon
Considering relocating to Corvallis, Oregon
Hi, Do you live in Corvallis, Oregon, or know anyone that does? I'm seriously considering relocating my family to Corvallis and would love to chat about Oregon (and the Pacific Northwest). I think that once we leave the Bay Area, coming back will be too difficult, so I want to be as sure as possible before taking the plunge! thanks!
I grew up in Philomath, Oregon, which is a small town right next to Corvallis. I know Corvallis well since that was/is the place you hang if you live in a town like Philomath. My family still lives in the area. I also lived in Portland, OR until 4 years ago. Email me if you want to set up a time to talk about the PNW. I really like Corvallis and it has become a great place for families with young kids. There are also a number of other places in Oregon which would be nice for raising a family, including Portland, Eugene and Ashland. Nicola
You cannot go wrong moving to Corvallis, or the Pacific Northwest. I graduated from OSU and loved living in Corvallis. The pace of life is much slower, stores are not crowded, but more importantly, it is a intellectual community. The weather is great too. We just moved from Portland Oregon and I miss it very much. I would definitely consider Portland or Corvallis one of the best cities to live in in the US. The only downside to Portland is that the public school system is not very good, but it is good in Corvallis. Oh yeah, now, if you are particular to East Bay weather, you will definitely be in for a shock because in the PNW, it does rain several months out of the year, it is darker, cloudier and can get very cold and down right depressing. Definitely visit in the winter as fall is perfect time of year. Good luck, and GO BEAVERS~! Oregon, home sweet home
I grew up in Corvallis, lived there 'til I was 17 & went away to college. It was idyllic then. My brother's in-laws have lived there for years and, I'm told, like it very much. They've reared two children there. I sometimes dream of retiring there. Don't know how it would be after living in the Bay Area! I would be happy to respond if you want to e-mail me. Carol
We moved our family to Eugene in May of this year; our goal was to find someplace slower and less expensive than the Bay Area, but with similar political and weather climate. In our search, we also considered Portland and Corvallis. We finally decided that while Portland is a fantastic city, it is still a city, and is too big, expensive, and crowded for what we wanted. On the other hand, Corvallis was nearly perfect. It's gorgeous, fairly liberal, has a USO campus, good schools, etc. What finally swung us toward Eugene was that the size of the city felt better than that of Corvallis (~150,000 vs. ~50,000). We liked the ''culture'' available in the bigger town of Eugene (performing arts center, an opera, a ballet, an annual Bach festival, a gorgeous new library, a UO campus, Trader Joe's, etc.).
But both cities are very similar in temperament, and I think Corvallis would be a great place to live. Both cities are one hour from the coast, and one hour from the mountains; both are an easy trip to Portland (1.5 hours from Corvallis, 2 hours from Eugene) and even Seattle (4.5 hours from Corvallis, 5 from Eugene). Both are extremely family-friendly, with good schools. Both are environmentally progressive. Neither has rock-bottom housing prices, but both are definitely cheaper than the Bay Area.
After working so hard to just pay our mortgage in the Bay Area, it's very strange and wonderful to be able to actually save some money. My only hesitation about moving to either city (as opposed to Portland, for example) is that jobs are not as readily available as in Portland or the Bay Area. My husband was able to bring his Bay Area job with him, and I'm currently a SAHM, so we didn't face that issue (yet, I suppose).
Oh, and if you have seasonal allergies, your allergies might be worse (we're right next to Linn County, the ''Grass Seed Capital of the World'' Achoo!) Otherwise, living in the Willamette Valley is really exceptional. Aside from having to leave most of our friends behind, we really wish we had moved years ago.
I'm not sure I have more Corvallis-specific info for you that you couldn't already find in their relocation packet, but you can feel free to contact me if you have any other questions or would like any more pro-Eugene propaganda. Tori
I grew up in Corvallis and visit my parents regularly, so I may have a distorted view since I have not lived there full time for many years. It is a very nice, small university town. You should be prepared for many cloudy days--some people have a hard time with that when moving from a sunny area. A friend that I grew up with recently moved back to the area (to Eugene since they found housing costs to be lower) and loves it. Another friend who I went to school with at Berkeley now lives in Corvallis (with kids) and really likes it. I'm willing to chat if you like. susan
Bay Area friends of ours moved to Corvallis 9 years ago. They have now added two little kids to their family and consider Corvallis home. We love to visit them there. It's a beautiful college town. Hewlett Packard and OSU bring diversity to the area. There are plenty of things to do, especially if you're physically active. My friends are happy to talk with you. Feel free to email me and I'll put you in touch. latortuga