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The 5 Most Affordable Places to Live In Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest is an exciting part of the country and its population is booming. Unfortunately for prospective transplants, parts of the region have grown exceedingly expensive. Luckily, there are still some great affordable places left to explore.

The Pacific Northwest is an exciting part of the country and its population is booming. Unfortunately for prospective transplants, parts of the region have grown exceedingly expensive. Luckily, there are still some great affordable places left to explore.

The Pacific Northwest is hot, as far as real estate goes. People in general and millennials in particular have been flocking to this area in droves.

In such a desirable region, there are some cities that aren’t affordable for many people. The median home values in San Francisco and Seattle are $1.375 million and $723,300, respectively. Yikes!

But don’t worry — there are some wonderful cities in the Pacific Northwest that won’t break the bank. No matter where in the region you want to be, there should be somewhere that fits your needs.

Here are our top five affordable places to live in the Northwest corner of the United States.

1. Coos Bay, Oregon

Coos Bay, Oregon is one of the most affordable cities you’ll find on the Pacific Ocean. The median home value in Coos Bay is $191,100, placing Coos Bay home prices nearly $155,000 below the Oregon median. SmartAsset has ranked Coos Bay the most affordable U.S. Pacific coastal community.

With around 16,000 residents, Coos Bay is the largest community on the Oregon coast. Formerly an industrial city focused on mining, lumber, and shipbuilding, Coos Bay is now a center for healthcare jobs.

Coos Bay has a lot to offer in terms of culture and natural beauty. It’s home to the Coos Art Museum, Egyptian Theater, Coos Historical and Maritime Museum New History Center, and the Oregon Coast Historic Railway. And the Oregon Coast Music Festival has been taking place in Coos Bay since 1978.

With its excellent location, Coos Bay is a great place for people who like to spend time outdoors. The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and Umpqua Dunes are closeby, as are the state parks which surround the bay.

2. Ephrata, Washington

Located in Central Washington in the Columbia River basin, Ephrata is the county seat of Grant County

Although home values in Ephrata have gone up considerably in recent years, and rose 10.4% last year, Ephrata remains affordable. The median home value in Ephrata is $162,900, which is less than half of the normal state median.

If you enjoy spending time outdoors, Ephrata just might be for you.Ephrata is home to outdoor activities year-round, including Basin Summer Sounds, the Sage-n-Sun Festival, the Beezley Burn mountain bike race, and Splash Zone.

3. Blackfoot, Idaho

Blackfoot is a city of around 12,000 in Bingham County, Idaho. It is the county seat and main city in the Blackfoot metro area, located on the south side of the Snake River. Like Ephrata, Blackfoot is still affordable despite recent real estate price jumps. The median home value in Blackfoot is $170,600, 14.1% higher than one year ago.

In a word, Bingham is known for potatoes. It has the largest potato industry of any single area and is called the Potato Capital of the World. Blackfoot is the home of the Idaho Potato Museum and the world’s largest potato chip and baked potato. During the first two weekends in September, Blackfoot is also the site of the Eastern Idaho State Fair.

4. Willows, California

Willows is one of the few affordable cities remaining in Northern California. Located in Glenn County, California, Willows is a small town of around 6,000, with a close-knit, western feel.

The median home value in Willows is $200,600, compared to the statewide median of $548,000. The median income in Willows is just over $50,000.

Willows is the county seat of Glenn County, and home to many regional government offices. It’s also home to the main office of the Mendocino National Forest, which takes up around one million acres of land in the mountainous region west of Willows.

5. Umatilla, Oregon

Umatilla is located in Eastern Oregon, on the south side of the Columbia River, and is the place where the Umatilla River meets the Columbia. Umatilla, home to around 7,000 people, is in Umatilla County and is part of the Hermiston-Pendleton metro area.

The median home value in Umatilla is $154,200, nearly $200,000 less than Oregon’s statewide median. That’s after an 11.6% increase in property value over the last year.

Umatilla is great for outdoorsmen. It’s the home of the Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge, the McNary National Wildlife Refuge, and a short drive from the Pacific Salmon Visitor Information Center at McNary Lock and Dam.

Next Steps

If you’re thinking about buying property in one of these cities or another part of the Pacific Northwest, you should work with an experienced buyer’s agent. Clever Partner Agents are all top-rated in their areas and can help you navigate every aspect of the home buying process while also helping you find additional cost-saving opportunities.


Jamie Ayers

Jamie is the Director of Content at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents and helps you save thousands on commission. In the past, Jamie has managed columns for clients in a variety of leading business publications, including Forbes, Inc., CEO World, Entrepreneur, and more. At Clever, Jamie's primary goal is to provide home sellers, buyers, and investors with the information they need to successfully navigate the ins and outs of the real estate industry.

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