Moving to Gresham

Welcome to the gateway of Mount Hood, Gresham, Oregon! With its unique blend of urban buzz and quaint small-town charm, it's rapidly becoming the coolest place to settle down in the Pacific Northwest. Known for its gorgeous landscapes, thriving arts scene, and eco-friendly vibe, Gresham holds an appeal for everyone. So, if you've been considering a move to this dynamic city, our comprehensive relocation guide is made just for you. Grab a comfy seat, get a cup of your favorite warm brew, and let's start exploring what life in Gresham has in store for you!

Moving to Gresham, OR landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Gresham

1. Gresham's Green Thumb

If you love nature and outdoor activities, there's no better place than Gresham. This scenic city is located directly next to the Columbia River Gorge, Mount Hood National Forest, and Powell Butte Nature Park. The city also boasts well over a dozen beautiful parks to explore. Gresham's dedication to maintaining urban green spaces is evident in the lush landscapes you'll see around every corner.

2. An Artistic Soul

In recent years, Gresham has made strong efforts to foster the local arts culture. The heart of this movement can be seen in the city's Arts Plaza, which hosts a wide array of concerts, festivals, and farmers markets throughout the year. The local theater troupes and art galleries add further color to the city's vibrant arts scene.

3. A Foodie's Paradise

Food enthusiasts will appreciate Gresham's eclectic mix of locally-owned restaurants serving up everything from mouthwatering barbecue to authentic Mexican cuisine. Visit the Gresham Farmers Market for the freshest ingredients if you prefer to cook at home. And for the wine lovers out there, the Willamette Valley's famed wine trail is just a short drive away.

4. The Surprise Sunshine

Here's a known secret: Gresham has substantially more sunny days than the neighboring Portland. Although it shares the Pacific Northwest's reputation for rainy weather, Gresham enjoys an average of 144 sunny days each year - that's nearly 20 more than Portland sees!

5. Town Fair Fun

Every July, Gresham hosts the annual Teddy Bear Parade. This adorable event has been taking place for over three decades and has become a cherished tradition in the community. The festival features locals - children and adults alike - proudly parading their favorite teddy bears through the streets of downtown Gresham. The celebration is as charming as it sounds, making it a must-experience for residents and visitors alike.

6. A Commuter's Dream

While the city of Gresham has a small-town feel, it's perfectly situated for an easy commute to the big city. Downtown Portland is a quick 30-minute drive away, making it a great spot for those who work in the city but prefer a slower pace of life at home. And let's not forget about the MAX light rail system - it's an extremely convenient way to commute without needing to worry about traffic or parking.

So, there you have it! From its beautiful parks and liveliness in the arts, to a food scene for every palate, Gresham offers a unique blend of small-town warmth and big city access. Don't let the drizzle fool you. Gresham's vibrant community and strong sense of identity make it a wonderful place to relocate. Grab your umbrella (and your teddy bear) and come experience all that Gresham has to offer!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Gresham

Pros of Living in Gresham

Access to Natural Beauty

With the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood within driving distance, Gresham offers great access to natural attractions. Residents have the opportunity to engage in a variety of outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and fishing.

Cultural Events

Gresham holds a range of cultural events throughout the year. From the Gresham Art Walk to the annual Teddy Bear Parade, these activities provide entertainment and a chance to interact with the local community.

Mild Climate

The weather in Gresham, like much of the Pacific Northwest, is generally mild year-round. Summers are comfortable and not extremely hot while winters are milder compared to many other areas in the US. This fosters a variety of outdoor activities throughout the year.

Proximity to Portland

Gresham is a suburb of Portland and is just a 30-minute drive from the city. This close proximity allows residents to enjoy the calm suburban life, while still having easy access to both the amenities and employment opportunities available in a large city.

Low Cost of Living

Compared to other places in the Pacific Northwest, Gresham has a relatively lower cost of living, particularly when it comes to housing. This means that you can enjoy the benefits of living in this area without breaking the bank.

Cons of Living in Gresham

Potential for Crime

Like any city, Gresham has its share of crime. While some areas of the city are safer than others, crime can be a concern. Perspective residents should thoroughly research neighborhoods before deciding where to settle.

Limited Nightlife

Gresham is largely a residential area and does not have a very vibrant nightlife. People seeking a bustling nightlife may find this a drawback and might have to travel to Portland for more options.

Public Transportation

While Gresham does have public transportation, some residents feel there is room for improvement. Difficulty in public transit might be a concern especially for people without a personal vehicle.

Rainy Weather

Gresham receives a significant amount of rain. Although some people appreciate the lush green environment it creates, others may find the frequency and amount of rainfall to be a drawback.

Less Diversity in Food Options

One of the issues regarding living in Gresham is that it lacks the diversity in dining options found in larger cities. Though it has a lot of good food joints, options for international cuisine might be limited.

Modern day picture of Gresham, OR highlighting pros and cons of living in Gresham, OR

Is Gresham a Good Place to Live?

Gresham, OR is a great place to live because of its beautiful natural scenery, vibrant arts scene, and the local friendliness that brings a strong sense of community. It is surrounded by breathtaking outdoor opportunities like Mt. Hood for skiing and hiking, Powell Butte Nature Park for birdwatching and wildlife, and the Columbia River Gorge for sailing and fishing. With its diverse selection of restaurants, great schools, affordable living, and year-round farmer's market, Gresham has a cozy small-town charm with easy access to big-city amenities.

What Is Gresham Famous For?

Historic Downtown Gresham

Home to a delightful mix of local shops, restaurants, art galleries, and more, Historic Downtown Gresham is a hotspot of charm and character. Architecturally significant buildings stemming from the late 1800s to early 1900s give the area a true historical ambiance, making a simple stroll in the area a walk through time.

Gresham Japanese Garden

Main City Park houses the dazzling Gresham Japanese Garden, a small and tranquil spot known for its well-pruned and designed landscape. A beautiful symbol of the friendship between Gresham and its sister city, Ebetsu, Japan, the Garden offers a peaceful retreat for residents and visitors alike to relax and rejuvenate.

Outdoor Recreation Opportunities

Gresham boasts an extensive network of hiking trails, nature parks, and opportunity for water sports. Mt. Hood, Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls, and other natural gems surround the city, making Gresham an ultimate gateway to outdoor experiences in the Pacific Northwest.

Gresham's Artesian Springs

Gresham is home to several refreshing Artesian springs, beautiful natural water features that represent the city's rich geological history. These cool, clean water springs are not just for show; they also serve practical purposes as public water sources for the local community, each one a testament to Gresham's resilience and sustainability.

Capital building of Gresham, OR in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

In Gresham, OR as of 2023, the average property tax rate is approximately 1.07% of the home's assessed value. This is slightly lower than the national average property tax rate of about 1.1%.

Sales Tax

As of 2023, there is zero sales tax in Gresham, OR. This stands out as one of the lowest in the nation when compared to the average US sales tax rate of about 7.12%.

Income Tax

Residents of Gresham, Oregon, are subject to a top marginal income tax rate of 9.9% as of 2023. This is high when compared to the nationwide average, which ranges around 4.6%.

Housing Market

Gresham, Oregon's housing market, is notably more affordable than much of the US, with a median house cost of around $335,600, lower than the national average. Property values increased by approximately 6.1% over 2020, reflecting a steady growth trend. The rental market is also competitive, with average monthly costs of around $1,200 for a one-bedroom apartment. Despite a higher-than-average cost of living, its proximity to Portland and lower house prices make Gresham an attractive location for both buyers and renters who appreciate this dynamic yet cost-effective market.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Gresham, OR is found to be moderate when compared to other cities in the United States. Housing is the largest contributing factor to the overall cost of living in this city. However, healthcare, groceries, and transportation costs are lower than the national averages. While Gresham provides a more afforable living than some major cities in the Pacific Northwest, it's slightly more expensive than the average U.S. city. The exact costs though depend on lifestyle choices and family composition.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Gresham, Oregon, enjoys a climate categorized as Mediterranean, with warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters. The temperatures typically range from mid-30s in winter to high 80s in summer, often resulting in mild and comfortable weather. Precipitation peaks during the winter months, primarily November to February, with light to moderate rainfall being a regular occurrence. Natural disasters in Gresham typically include earthquakes due to its location in the Pacific Northwest seismic zone. The city also faces flood risks due to heavy rainfall, sometimes leading to landslides in steep terrain. Wildfires, particularly during the dry summer months, also pose substantial risk. Gresham's climate and natural beauty attracts those who enjoy outdoor activities, yet its potential for natural disasters calls for preparedness and awareness.

Typical weather in Gresham, OR

Economy & Job Market


* Healthcare and social assistance

* Retail trade

* Manufacturing

* Accommodation and food services

* Educational services

Located on the eastern edge of the thriving Portland metropolitan area, Gresham, Oregon has a diverse and vibrant economy steeped in a historic love affair with industry. From its early rustic roots in farming to the bustling retail trade it's known for today, Gresham's economy has always reflected the hard-working spirit of its people. Today, the healthcare and social assistance sector is the reigning king, employing the highest percentage of Greshamites. Retail trade follows close behind, boosted majorly by the city's large shopping centers and an ever-growing population fond of their services. In addition, Gresham, a manufacturing powerhouse, prides itself on making a plenitude of products ranging from microchips to yummy craft beers. Don't forget about the hospitality and educational sectors - they do have a special place too in this multifaceted economy that is always ready to embrace change and opportunity.

If you're planning on making Gresham, OR your home and you're on the job hunt, you're in luck! The city boasts lower-than-average unemployment rates, providing newcomers with an array of job opportunities that fit various skill sets. The healthcare and social assistance industry is teeming with job openings, perfect for those passionate about making a difference. For the business-savvy newcomers who find rewards in the hustle and bustle of the retail environment, Gresham's thriving retail scene is your playground. If you are a maker or tinkerer, the manufacturing sector has room for your talents. Although Gresham is part of the larger Portland metropolitan area, don't limit your job search to the confines of the city - metropolitan Portland has plenty of opportunities waiting. Always remember that enthusiasm, resilience, and adaptability - the treasured qualities in Gresham's workforce - are your tickets to landing your ideal job in this delightful city.


Traffic and Transportation

Oh, Gresham! Nestled in a breathtaking landscape, this vibrant city offers a smorgasbord of transportation options. Let's talk commute. An average Greshamite invests a breezy 26 minutes traveling one-way to work - a tad shorter than the US average. Not bad, right?

Gots no car? No problemo! Behold, the delightfully efficient Gresham public transportation options. The TriMet Bus system is the superhero you're looking for. Or take a ride on the MAX Light Rail system, your highway to Portland and Beaverton, with frequent services daily. Just hop on and enjoy the view!

If you have your sights set further afield, air travel awaits. The Portland International Airport, just a skip and a jump away, gives you the ticket for adventure abroad! So whether you're commuting, exploring, or jet-setting, Gresham, OR has you covered!

What is the traffic like in Gresham, OR?

Best Neighborhoods in Gresham

1. Downtown Gresham

Quaint and pulsating with life, Downtown Gresham oozes the charm of a historic city with a sprightly twist. Graced with beautifully preserved 19th-century architecture and bustling with trendy boutiques, local eateries, and eclectic antique shops, this neighborhood is as vibrant as the colorful murals that adorn its streets. And that's not all: the local Farmer Market is a massive hit! Downtown Gresham is ideal for those seeking a lively and walkable neighborhood with a strong sense of community.

2. Rockwood

For those who thrive on diversity, you need not look further than Rockwood. A cultural melting pot, this suburban neighborhood boasts numerous international food marts, murals reflecting worldwide origins, and an array of community events showcasing multicultural music, art, and food. Nature lovers admire Nadaka Nature Park for its array of natural beauties including a community garden and a forest that transplants you into a tranquil world, far away from urban clamor.

3. Centennial

If you want an authentic feel of suburban living in the Portland metro area, Centennial might just be the perfect neighborhood for you. With its impressive selection of parks and recreational facilities, this neighborhood promotes a family-friendly, outdoorsy lifestyle. The main highlight of this community is the scenic Butler Creek Greenway, ideal for daytime strolls, dog walks, and cycling adventures.

4. Hollybrook

Hollybrook strikes a delightful balance between residential tranquility and urban convenience. This neighborhood is peppered with family homes, characterful duplexes, and snug apartments. Locals adore the neighborhood's friendly vibe, green lung parks for recreational activities, and its proximity to Downtown Gresham. The community library and the well-run school district are features that keep families rooted in Hollybrook.

5. Wilkes East

Tucked away in the northeastern part of Gresham, Wilkes East has an invitingly tranquil atmosphere. The neighborhood is replete with well-appointed homes and is popular for its abundance of green spaces. Columbia View Park, with its stunning vistas of the Columbia River and Mount Hood, is a treasure worth discovering. And let's not forget Wilkes East's fantastic eateries and coffee shops waiting to be explored when you need to eke out some urban flavor.

So, whether you're drawn to the vibrancy of Downtown Gresham, the multicultural extravaganza of Rockwood, the suburban comfort of Centennial, the balance of Hollybrook, or the tranquility of Wilkes East, Gresham has a neighborhood that will suit your lifestyle and resonate with your heart. Continuous growth, a rich history, and a sense of community make Gresham a place where you would love to hang your hat.

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Things to Do

Get ready to fall in love with Gresham, Oregon! This charming city in the heart of the Pacific Northwest has a plethora of attractions, outdoor activities, and unique local experiences to offer. Whether you're moving to this friendly city or simply planning a visit, here are seven must-do activities guaranteed to give you a taste of Gresham's undeniable charm.

1. Explore Historic Downtown Gresham

Delightfully old-fashioned yet teeming with modern boutiques, bars, and eateries, downtown Gresham is both a fascinating snapshot of the past and a vibrant hive of activity. Wander its quaint streets, admire the well-preserved architecture, and indulge in some retail therapy at the local businesses. Don't forget to try the mouthwatering local cuisine at the numerous cafes and restaurants!

2. Experience the Gresham Japanese Garden

A peaceful oasis amidst the city bustle, the Gresham Japanese Garden, also known as Tsuru Island, is the epitome of tranquility. This meticulously crafted space is perfect for leisurely strolls, meditation, or simply appreciating beautiful landscapes. The traditional Japanese aesthetic combined with the natural beauty of Oregon is truly a sight to behold.

3. Unleash Your Inner Adventurer at Mt. Hood

Just a short drive from Gresham is the breathtaking Mt. Hood, a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Depending on the season, you can hit the slopes, go hiking, or enjoy a picnic while taking in the awe-inspiring views. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, try an overnight camping experience under the stars.

4. Visit the Gresham Pioneer Museum

History buffs rejoice! The Gresham Pioneer Museum provides a captivating glimpse into the city's past. Housing a collection of artifacts, photographs, and personal narratives from early pioneers, it's sure to spark your interest in local history.

5. Discover the Hidden Hogan Butte Nature Park

Here's one you may not know about. Hogan Butte Nature Park is a hidden gem offering breathtaking views of the Cascade Range, including Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Jefferson. The park also has interpretive signs detailing the area's geological history, adding an educational twist to this scenic adventure.

6. Venture into the Gresham Farmers' Market

Experience the freshness and diversity of the local produce at the Gresham Farmers' Market. This Saturday market is a delight for foodies, featuring a mix of gourmet treats, fresh produce, and food stalls serving delicious bites. Live music and a friendly atmosphere make this a weekend treat not to be missed.

7. Marvel at the Local Art Scene at the Gresham Art Walk

Another lesser-known treasure, the annual Gresham Art Walk, showcases the city's vibrant art scene. With open-air displays of artwork ranging from watercolors to sculptures, and live music to enjoy, this exciting event brings the community together through a shared appreciation of creativity.

There you have it, a whirlwind tour of the must-see sights and must-do activities in Gresham, Oregon! Between its rich history, natural beauty, and lively local culture, this charming city has something to offer everyone. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore. Gresham awaits!

Things to do in Gresham, OR?

Find Movers for Your Gresham Relocation

Transitioning to Gresham, with its eclectic shopping, verdant parks, and robust cultural scene, promises an exciting new chapter in your life. To ensure a smooth transition, a reliable, reputable moving company is significant. Great Guys Moving simplifies the process by connecting you with the most reputable movers within your budget. By providing basic information about your move, Great Guys will quickly connect you with the perfect movers to handle the task, all licensed and insured for confidence and peace of mind. Spending less time on finding movers means more time to embrace your new city. Start simplifying your move today by requesting a free moving quote.

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