Rent prices in Portland are high no matter where in the city one chooses to live, but the costs involved do decrease as one moves further from the centre. As the transport networks do span the entire city and its neighbourhoods, one can happily live on the outskirts of Portland for a cheaper price and still have access to the city centre without too much hassle.
Types of property in Portland
There are many different types of accommodation in Portland. From luxury high-rise apartments to houses with a view of the river, newcomers to the city will definitely be able to find something that suits their needs.
Newcomers will have a choice between one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, as well as between simple spaces and more luxurious ones. Many of the more upmarket apartment buildings also have communal amenities on site that are available to the tenants, such as a pool or even a gym.
While standalone houses are less common as one moves closer into the city centre, newcomers will discover a wide range of houses available in good neighbourhoods that are close to public transport. Modern houses with spacious open plan interiors sit alongside old architectural style homes in Portland’s neighbourhoods. Quite a number of the city’s homes are large enough to be regarded as mansions, but those wanting something small and simple will also be able to find exactly what they’re looking for. Houses with large gardens for pets or children to run around in are also common in Portland.
Townhouses and condos
Townhouses and condos are becoming more and more common in Portland. While townhouses share exterior walls with their neighbours, each home is still a singular space, most having their own outside area, driveway and garage that they are responsible for maintaining. Condos, on the other hand, are generally a singular apartment but share many common areas and amenities among the other tenants in the building. The cost of maintaining these areas is also shared among all the residents, and they are generally cheaper to rent. Both townhouses and condos can be found all over the city.
Finding property in Portland
Finding a house to rent in Portland is not difficult, but there are a number of things to keep in mind when choosing a neighbourhood. As schools are allocated according to districts, parents should assess the schools in the city and keep their district preferences in mind when choosing a home. Access to transport is another factor that should be considered, especially for those wanting to live outside of the city centre. Those choosing to use public transport, as opposed to owning a car, should look for homes near transport stops, although the city’s outlying neighbourhoods are very well serviced by the MAX light rail and the bus system.
Once a couple of neighbourhoods have been selected, browsing through online property listings should be easier. There are a number of websites with property listings online that should give prospective buyers a good idea of the homes available as well as the price-ranges for the different types of property.
Alternatively, one could use a real estate agent to help with the process. These professionals will know exactly what to look for, as well as the most suitable areas in the city. They will also be able to assist with finding the best deal for their clients.
Once a couple of properties have been selected, it’s best to contact the realtor or landlord as soon as possible to request a viewing. It isn't recommended to rent a property without seeing it first.
Renting accommodation in Portland
Making an application
It is important to request an application quickly after making a selection as there is an extremely high demand for property in Portland. The application process includes a credit check, proof of income, a rental history in the form of references from previous landlords, and a form of identification. A small screening fee may also be required.
Those lacking rental history and credit scores may be able to get around this by having their employer vouch for them.
A standard rental agreement is signed for a term of one year, which can be renewed at the end of the term. Depending on the landlord, however, tenants may be able to sign a shorter or longer-term lease.
Landlords generally request a security deposit of around one month’s rent before the tenant can move in. The deposit is meant to cover any damages caused by the tenant or a lapse in rent payments. The landlord is required to give the tenant a receipt for the deposit, and then return the money at the end of the term if it has not been used to cover damages or rent costs.
Tenants will generally be able to find apartments that do not include utilities in the monthly rent, as well as apartments that do. Tenants may also be able to negotiate with their landlord to either include or exclude utilities from the rent. Utilities are expensive in Portland whether a tenant pays them directly or through their landlord, but renting an apartment that includes them may save tenants some time and hassle.
►See Healthcare in Portland to learn more about the hospitals and health insurance in the city.
"It has become difficult to find good rentals lately. The prices on houses are very high here so as far as I know, it's not that easy finding bargains but I still recommend Portland highly as a place to live unless you're addicted to the sun. The climate ain't fantastic here but still better than Denmark's." Read more about Danish expat Peter and his experience of expat life in Portland.
Are you an expat living in Portland?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Portland. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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