Vancouver, USA, just might be the place for you! Everyday life in this region can be great, especially if you come prepared and informed. That’s why we’ve put together this handy resource: to make your transition smooth and invite a smile to your lips.
About Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver is a bedroom community in Clark County Washington. It may be most notable for a couple of things:
- Confusion with many other places: Vancouver, BC; Clark County, Nevada; Washington, DC; being near Portland, Maine
- Essentially being a suburb of Portland, Oregon
This is perhaps a tad unfortunate as Vancouver has merits all its own that can get overshadowed by these things it can’t control.
After all, Vancouver’s situated in one of the most majestically beautiful corners of the country. Locals can enjoy loads of recreational and outdoor activities. With an inflow of new residents from all over, the city’s growing and evolving constantly — which means interesting people, expanding cultural offerings, and new economic opportunities.
Facts & Figures At A Glance
If you’re one who likes to go by the numbers, we’ve rounded up some informative data and demographics:
- Size: 48.7 square miles
- Population: 187,615 people
- Median age: 37
- Female-to-male ratio: 100:97.9
- Average household annual income: $80.5K
- Median rent per month and house cost: $1,219 / $286,500, respectively
- Days of rain/year: 182.2
- Average annual temperature range: 32.4℉ to 75℉
Best Neighborhoods in Vancouver
Vancouver might not be as exciting, diverse, or weird as its sister city across the river (Portland). However, it’s still got plenty going for it. You have more than a handful of wonderful neighborhoods in which to live the good life.
The five areas below topped several “Best of Vancouver” lists. All are fairly residential and bordered by or very close to more natural zones (like the Columbia River). If you get hungry, thirsty, or restless — you’ll have no trouble finding food, beverages, and entertainment nearby. Have fun exploring!
- Fisher’s Creek
- Cascade Highlands
- Fisher’s Landing
- Village at Fishers Landing
You may notice that the first four neighborhoods are on the eastern side of Vancouver. In fact, they’re within a stone’s throw of each other. It’s a nice part of town with a lot of newer construction and easy access to nature, the airport, and Portland.
This isn’t to say that other parts of The ‘Couve aren’t also desirable. Felida’s on the western side of town. It’s on a gorgeous plot of land.
Vancouver covers a huge amount of territory. It can take a half hour to drive from the southwest corner of the city to the northwest section (past cows, sheep, and fields — it’s delightful!). Point being, you have lots of options and there are simply too many favorable neighborhoods to cover here.
Living In Vancouver, WA: Pros & Cons
As with any locale, Vancouver has its five-star features and its one-star elements. Knowing what they are can help you make an educated decision on where to live and how to go about creating a happy existence here.
It’s a bit subjective, but here are some of our favorite things about Vancouver. What do you think?
- It’s a very community-oriented city. You’ll find a lot of civic, religious, and charitable organizations here. They are very active, so there are events, campaigns, and so on throughout the year. The people of Vancouver take a deep interest in what’s going on here and how the town is faring.
- It’s a good place to raise a family. The myriad events, clubs, programs, and so on designed for kids (and their grownups) — or with them in mind — is impressive. There are some awesome parks and recreational areas within city limits. Heading out a little farther afield and you’ll have your choice of family-friendly outdoor or day-trip fun.
- It’s extremely pet-friendly. Let’s admit it — pets are family, too. This may not rank on some people’s list of perks, but there are enough pet owners out there that we thought it might be helpful to know. Some of the parks have nice fenced-in, off-leash dog runs and many businesses allow well-behaved fur buddies inside (or leave refreshments for them outside).
- It can be financially attractive. Washington state has no income tax. Compared to some other western states, the cost of housing can be quite reasonable. If you shop in Oregon, which is just across the river, you can save on sales tax. Altogether, this might form a desirable cost-of-living profile for your situation.
- It’s growing. Recent trends have shown that Vancouver is gaining population. With new people come new ideas, new business, new opportunities in general.
- There’s a ton to do here. You will not run out of ways to occupy your time and energy. There are frequent festivals, farmers’ markets, music and food events, garage sales and flea markets, sporting events, and more. It would take a lifetime to exhaust the outdoor options. Go a little outside of city limits, you can press your luck at a casino, hit the coast, explore dams and forts, and more. If quick getaways are more your speed, everything from Bend (OR) to Seattle (WA) to Victoria and the other Vancouver (BC) is within reason.
- You’re steeped in natural beauty. We’ve called this out elsewhere in this post. But it’s a truly remarkable landscape here. It deserves to be repeated. It’s green and lush. There are mountains and lakes and forests. Every direction boasts another breathtaking panorama.
- You’re near Portland. Having access to a major city, without the hassles and costs, earns a huge two thumbs up. When you want to enjoy the amenities of Rose City, they’re right there. You just don’t have to also live with the unpleasant aspects of big city life. Also, it’s noteworthy that much of Vancouver is really convenient to the PDX airport (maybe even more convenient than if you lived in Portland).
Again, laying out the not-so-nice about Vancouver is a judgment call. Below are the most common complaints we hear and see.
- The weather isn’t for everyone. It’s frequently gray and some version of precipitation is emanating from the sky. Summers tend to be warm and sunny; they’re just short-lived for the fall/winter/spring you have to cycle through. On a positive note, it rarely gets extremely cold, so there’s not much ice or snow to contend with (i.e., no shoveling or slipping!).
- The sales tax is above-average. The national average combined state+local sales tax rate is about 7.12%. Vancouver rings up at 8.4%. Bear in mind, though, that there’s no state income tax and property taxes are below the national average.
- Poverty and homelessness are on the rise. Certainly, a bunch of factors contribute to the problems. But, the two biggest are an overflow from Portland (typical of other large urban areas) and rents being prohibitively expensive for some people. The pandemic hasn’t helped either.
- Driving to Portland can be a pain. Traffic much? Yes, you’ll experience the stop-and-go or standstill road congestion of any major city. It might seem disproportionately worse, though, because Portland is smaller than some other cities with similar traffic issues. Plus, the roads and bridges are frequently in sub-optimal condition and/or under construction.
- If you work in Portland, you’ll pay Oregon income tax. This defeats one of the key reasons why many people live in Washington.
Relocation Made Easy, With West Coast Moving & Storage
Vancouver’s a terrific gateway to the stunning Pacific Northwest. With so many amazing discoveries awaiting you, the last thing you’ll want to waste energy on is moving. Fortunately, West Coast Moving & Storage can make getting to (and over) the threshold of your new house simple and easy. All that’s left for you to do — settle into your home and plan your next venture out and about.
We’ve been in this area for years, so we’ve got a handle on local life and relocations. It’s our pleasure to help make your move to our neck of the woods a positive experience and as stress-free as possible.
Contact us today for your free consultation.