Is Vancouver Washington a Good Place to Live?
If you’re considering a move to Vancouver, Washington, you’re not alone. Once considered Portland’s neighbor, Vancouver is now a destination in its own right.
At just under 200,000 residents, it exudes a small-town feel while still boasting the bustling town center of a city. Vancouver is the fourth-largest city in Washington state and enjoys being a suburb of the Portland Metro area. The city’s location is a great advantage, as Portland International Airport is just across the Columbia River.
Some famous people have called Vancouver home, including Olympic gymnast Jordan Chiles, singer/songwriter Willie Nelson, and author Chuck Palahniuk. Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th president of the United States, also spent time in Vancouver, back when the Pacific Northwest was known as the Oregon Territory. Months after he arrived in 1852, what was known as “Columbia Barracks” was renamed Fort Vancouver, Washington Territory.
So, if your question is whether Vancouver, Washington is a good place to live, the answer is a resounding, yes! Here are some high points about living in Vancouver:
Nature at Your Fingertips
Outdoor recreation is practically a religion in the Pacific Northwest, and Vancouver is no exception. There’s a proximity to nature within the city itself, whether you’re strolling down a tree-lined street, enjoying any of the many parks, or when the clouds lift so you can see the dramatic Cascade Range. Living in Vancouver, you’re only a short car ride away from just about any type of climate you may want to visit, whether that’s desert, beach, forest, or mountain. There’s even a rainforest nearby the Hoh Rain Forest is a temperate rainforest on the Olympic Peninsula that gets as much as 14 feet of rain every year.
Even if your passion isn’t hiking, mountain climbing, or camping, nature is still all around you. Experience any of the farmers’ markets every summer or take a quick drive up the Columbia River Gorge for a truly breathtaking experience. Outdoor concert venues abound as well, from Esther Short Park to the Clark County Amphitheater.
Inspirational Arts Scene
Art lovers celebrate Vancouver for being full of art, whether it’s in a museum or part of the public art installations scattered throughout the city. The downtown arts district is home to many art walks throughout the year, including First Friday, where you can browse local businesses as they stay open late on the first Friday of every month. You can also take in featured rotating gallery exhibits, including demonstrations and events.
There are multiple murals throughout the city, commissioned by the Clark County Mural Society. Many of these murals painted by local artists tell the story of Vancouver and delve into its rich history.
If you’re interested in stage arts, Vancouver has that too. The Magenta Theater is a non-profit community theater in the heart of the arts district and provides quality shows from every performance genre: comedies, mysteries, dramas, musicals, improv, and staged readings. There’s something for everyone.
Craft Breweries Abound
Craft brewing is a big staple of Pacific Northwest life. There are more than 50 taprooms and breweries in the area, including many award-winning breweries with award-winning beers. Most of these breweries have restaurants attached to their taphouses as well, which means you’ll be able to pair your favorite drinks with incredible foods.
Some of these breweries are located within an easy walk around downtown Vancouver, so you can see why Vancouver is getting some buzz about being the “next beer town.” If you’re overwhelmed with choices, you could visit one of the local brew fests for a tasting. It may not narrow down your choices, but it will offer an opportunity to taste more of those quality craft brews.
Vancouver is pet-friendly, with a wide selection of dog parks to choose from both in the city and in the surrounding areas. There are off-leash dog parks such as Lucky Memorial Dog Park and Ike Memorial Dog Park, but also off-leash areas within county parks, such as Dakota Memorial Dog Park and Hockinson Meadows Community Park.
Restaurants and hotels welcome well-behaved four-legged friends, and you cannot miss taking your pooch for a walk on the Columbia River Renaissance Trail, a dog-friendly and beautiful route. Dogs aren’t just welcome on outside patios of the cafe; oftentimes they will allow dogs inside, which can come in very handy in a place where it rains a good portion of the year.
Quality Home Loan Options
On average, the cost of a home on the Washington side of the river is lower than on the Oregon side. Many residents of Vancouver commute to Portland, both for business and pleasure. Therefore, finding a home that matches your style and budget on the Washington side of the Columbia River is easy.
On top of that, if you get your loan from a great lender such as Solarity Credit Union, you can find flexible loan terms to fit your budget and financial goals. Certain lenders also offer an eSigning option, allowing you to close on your new home from virtually anywhere, using a computer or a mobile device. With Solarity, you get a flat closing fee, which saves you thousands on closing costs. Plus, servicing of your loan stays with Solarity always.
Refinancing is also a breeze in Vancouver, Washington. If your financial situation changes or you’re just looking for a better deal, you can lower your rate or monthly payments or pay off your home faster.
Vancouver, Washington, is indeed a good place to live, from abundant natural beauty to competitive home loan options and beyond. Are you ready to start your Vancouver adventure? Whether you’re new to the city or new to Washington itself, the team at Solarity Credit Union knows that moving can come with a lot to think about. That’s why they aim to make your homebuying experience as seamless as possible. Contact them today for more information about banking with Solarity.