Portland, Beaverton among 10 best cities to live in America, according to magazine

Beaverton in top 10 of Best Places to Live

Portland is one of the six best large cities and Beaverton is the ninth-best small city in the country, according to Money magazine's annual list of the best places to live.

Money's small-city rankings of cities with populations between 50,000 and 300,000, are determined from a list of 60 factors, including job market, economic opportunity, housing affordability, and median high temperatures

Beaverton was ranked No. 9 on Money's list of the top 50 best small cities to live. The magazine lists the city's median home price at $319,950, average property tax at $4,399 and unemployment rate at 4.7 percent.

The magazine wrote the following about Beaverton:

Portland may be the top foodie hub in this neck of the country, but private chef and sommelier Tân Huynh says that Beaverton is a worthy culinary contender. “You have so many ethnic populations here,” says Huynh, a lifelong resident. “With that comes culture—and restaurants.”

It’s fitting that Nike, Beaverton’s most famous resident, took its name from a Greek goddess. One in five Beaverton residents was born outside the U.S., and nearly 100 languages are spoken in the public schools—which, incidentally, rank among the best in the state.

But one of Beaverton’s prime selling points—value—translates easily into any language. The median home price is $320,000, up about 11% from the year before. Property taxes are about 85% of what you’d pay in Portland. Another reason you’ll find extra money in your pocket: Oregon is one of only five states with no sales tax.

The magazine's "6 Best Big Cities" list is for cities with populations of more than 300,000 and was narrowed down from an original group of 63 contenders. The list is determined by factors such as culture, street life, job growth, housing prices, school rankings and crime rates.

Money named Portland its "Best of the West" selection . It listed the median home price at $349,000, average property tax at $4,285 and unemployment rate of 4.7 percent and job-growth rate at 3.3 percent.

The magazine wrote the following about the city:

Portland is the place where Portlandia seems more documentary than satire. Farm-to-table restaurants, stretched earlobe rings, craft-beer-swilling hipsters, and cries of “Bicycle right!” are common in this burgeoning Pacific Northwest city. But that quirky spirit, coupled with a vibrant tech culture, is precisely why people are moving here—or moving back.

“When I graduated from the University of Oregon in the ’80s, my college counselor told me to leave the state because there were no jobs,” says Leslie Carlson, a partner with Brink Communications, a small firm that combines social activism and marketing. That’s not a problem today. Portland’s unemployment rate stands at 4.7%, and its 3.3% job-growth rate puts it in the top 10 of large U.S. cities. The arrival of technology companies including wind-power giant Vestas, home-sharing site Airbnb, and venture-backed Puppet Labs has earned treelined Portland the nickname “Silicon Forest.”

Increasingly, leaders from that other tech hub, Silicon Valley, have relocated here for the lifestyle. With amenities like Forest Park, an eight-mile-long urban forest reserve designed by the Olmsted Brothers (sons of famed Central Park landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted); an extensive network of neighborhood greenways (a.k.a. “bicycle boulevards”); and a world-class food scene, Portland culture caters to the green life-work balance. “We can ride our bikes almost anywhere,” says Carlson, who lives in Southeast Portland.

Not surprisingly, the city has seen an attendant surge in home prices. The median price is up $30,000 year over year, to $349,000. Then again, that’s still less than half the median in San Francisco, where a lot of new residents hail from.

If you don't live in Beaverton or Portland and want to see how your town matches up, try out Money's compare-your-town tool.

KGW


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