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Living in Independence Oregon - EVERYTHING You Need to Know

US and Oregon State Flag, Side by Side

Are you Living in or Considering Moving to Independence, Oregon?

Independence, Oregon, located in Polk County, is home to approximately 9,000 people. The city offers its residents a mix of rural charm and modern amenities, making it an attractive location for residents and visitors. Located south of Salem, Independence offers easy access to outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and camping. The city is near Highway 99W, which runs through the Willamette Valley, providing easy access to other towns and attractions. Independence embodies the Pacific Northwest lifestyle with its lush greenery, mountain views, and proximity to the Willamette River. Independence residents and visitors enjoy recreational activities such as kayaking, hiking, and exploring the nearby Spirit Mountain Casino. The Best of Independence includes a historic downtown, modern shopping centers, and residential neighborhoods with stunning views of the Coast Range.     

One of the main attractions in Independence is the Independence Riverview Park, a beautiful park that offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy. It is a popular spot for locals to gather and spend time with family and friends. Another attraction in the area is the Independence Heritage Museum, which offers a glimpse into the town's rich history and culture. Independence has several other parks, including Max Square Park and Independence State Airport Park. These parks offer amenities such as playgrounds, sports fields, picnic areas, and walking paths, providing plenty of opportunities for residents to enjoy the outdoors.  


Independence, Oregon, is home to several major employers, such as the Oregon State Hospital and the Ash Creek Forest Management Company. Additionally, the nearby city of Salem is home to the state government and several other large employers, providing ample job opportunities for residents of Independence and the surrounding area.    


The cost of living in Independence, Oregon, is slightly lower than the national average and relatively affordable compared to other cities in the region. With the city's natural beauty and proximity to Salem, demand for housing in Independence is strong. The average home value in Independence is just under $400,000, making homeownership affordable for many in the area. Various housing options are available to those living in Independence, Oregon, including single-family homes, apartments, and townhouses.      

If you're searching for a small town that offers easy access to larger cities, a delightful downtown area, a slower pace of life, and an abundance of outdoor activities, Independence, Oregon, could be the ideal place for you! Continue reading to discover more about what it's like living in Independence, Oregon, including information about its neighborhoods, schools, cost of living, and some pros and cons of living in this fantastic city. Hopefully, the information in this blog can help you decide if living in Independence, Oregon, is right for you and your family!

Are You Considering Buying a Home in Independence Oregon?

Would you like to buy a home in Independence, Oregon? Let our team of trusted professionals help you buy or/and sell a home in the Independence area. To connect with a local expert/real estate professional in Independence, Oregon, to help you navigate your home buying journey, CLICK HERETo start receiving emails with homes that match your criteria, CLICK HERE and sign up for Listing Alert. With a little info on what, where, and how much, you'll get newly listed homes matching your criteria sent to your inbox as they hit the market. This can give you a big leg up in your home search.

The first step in the home-buying process is getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Todd Davidson is an experienced mortgage broker and can help you get the best financing option for your home purchase. Not quite ready yet? Todd can help you put together a plan to get you there. Whether you're thinking a few months or a year or more if you want to buy a home, reach out to Todd and he can help. CLICK HERE to email Todd and set up a call to get the process started or just call at 971-275-2465. 

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Todd Davidson

Mortgage Broker

What is the Cost of Living in Independence Oregon?

If you're exploring a move to Independence, Oregon, or any place, the cost of living would be a significant factor in your decision-making. I calculated the REAL cost of living in Independence, Oregon, by factoring in today's costs for housing (rent and own), utilities, food, transportation, healthcare, and other necessities to live. To live in Independence, Oregon, and rent, you would need to make $44,000 a year. To live in Independence, Oregon, and buy a home, you would need to make $60,000 a year. Rental amount is based on current low end cost of studio or one bedroom, purchase is based on recent low end sales of a three bedroom and monthly payment with 20% down.

Cost of Living

Living in Independence Oregon Tips/Info/Blog Posts

Helpful Tips for Moving to Oregon and Buying a Home







Top Neighborhoods in Independence Washington

Independence, Oregon, is a small city located in Polk County. While it may not have as many neighborhoods as larger cities, there are several areas within Independence that offer unique characteristics and attractions. Here are six neighborhoods in Independence, along with information on neighborhood attractions, housing types, and other points of interest:

  1. Downtown Independence: Downtown Independence is the heart of the city and offers a charming, historic atmosphere. Here you'll find a mix of commercial and residential properties, including historic homes, apartments, and townhouses. The neighborhood's main attraction is the Independence Riverview Park, situated along the Willamette River, providing scenic views, walking trails, and picnic areas. The downtown area is also known for its local businesses, shops, and restaurants.

  2. Monmouth-Independence Highway: Located on the eastern side of Independence, the Monmouth-Independence Highway neighborhood primarily consists of residential areas with a mix of single-family homes, townhouses, and some apartment complexes. This area offers a quieter suburban atmosphere. Residents can easily access the nearby Central Park, which features playgrounds, sports fields, and walking paths.

  3. West Valley Estates: Situated on the western side of Independence, West Valley Estates is a well-established residential neighborhood. It primarily consists of single-family homes in various architectural styles. The area offers a suburban feel, with tree-lined streets and well-maintained properties. While the neighborhood does not have specific attractions, it provides convenient access to other amenities in Independence, such as shopping centers and recreational facilities.

  4. Hilltop Neighborhood: The Hilltop neighborhood is located in northern Independence. It features a mix of housing types, including single-family homes and apartments. This area offers scenic views of the surrounding countryside, and some properties are nestled on higher elevations. The neighborhood is close to Riverview Park, providing residents with opportunities for outdoor recreation and leisure activities.

  5. Sunset Meadows: Sunset Meadows is a newer residential development in the southeastern part of Independence. It primarily consists of modern single-family homes and townhouses. The neighborhood offers a family-friendly environment with parks and green spaces. Residents can enjoy proximity to the Independence State Airport and the beautiful vineyards and wineries in the nearby Willamette Valley.

  6. River's Edge: Situated along the Willamette River in the southwest corner of Independence, the River's Edge neighborhood is known for its waterfront properties and scenic beauty. It features a mix of housing types, including single-family homes and townhouses. Residents of this neighborhood can enjoy easy access to water activities like boating, fishing, and riverside picnicking. The nearby Riverview Park provides additional opportunities for outdoor recreation.

If moving to Independence, Oregon, and you'd like to buy a home in one of these fabulous neighborhoods, CLICK HERE to sign up for LISTING ALERT to be the first to know when a home matching your criteria gets listed for sale in Independence, Oregon. To connect with a local realtor, CLICK HERE. One of the most important decisions you'll make when moving to Independence, Oregon, is picking an experienced realtor who can help you get the house you want at the best price. At living in Oregon, we work with the best realtors throughout the state and can help you get the right realtor to make your move and home purchase as easy as possible.

Independence Oregon Park Fountain

20 Pros and Cons of Living in Independence Oregon

Living in Independence Oregon Pros

  1. Small Community: Independence has a tight-knit community feel, providing a sense of belonging and opportunities for building solid relationships with neighbors and community members.

  2. Affordable Housing: Compared to larger cities in Oregon, Independence offers relatively affordable housing options, making it an attractive choice for individuals and families looking for more budget-friendly living arrangements.

  3. Natural Beauty: The city is surrounded by scenic natural beauty, with the Willamette River running alongside it and the picturesque Willamette Valley vineyards and farmland nearby, providing opportunities for outdoor activities, exploration, and enjoying the beauty of nature.

  4. Mild Climate: Independence experiences a mild climate characterized by warm summers and cool winters, making it a comfortable place to live year-round without extreme temperature fluctuations.

  5. Proximity to Salem and Corvallis: Independence is conveniently located between Salem and Corvallis; both offer additional amenities, employment opportunities, and cultural attractions. It allows residents to enjoy the benefits of larger cities while still living in a smaller community.

  6. Access to Recreation: The area around Independence offers a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, biking, fishing, and boating. The nearby Independence Riverview Park provides opportunities for picnicking, walking trails, and enjoying riverfront views.

  7. Strong Education System: Independence is served by the highly-ranked Central School District. The district has excellent schools, dedicated teachers, and a supportive learning environment for students.

  8. Rich Cultural Heritage: Independence has a rich cultural heritage, with a history that dates back to the 19th century. The city celebrates its heritage through various community events, festivals, and historical sites, providing opportunities for cultural exploration and appreciation.

  9. Local Wineries: The Willamette Valley, including the Independence area, is renowned for its wineries and vineyards. Residents can enjoy wine-tasting experiences, tours, and the opportunity to explore the thriving wine industry in the region.

  10. Community Events: Independence hosts various community events throughout the year, including parades, farmers' markets, art fairs, and holiday celebrations. These events foster a sense of community pride and offer opportunities for residents to come together and enjoy shared experiences.

Living in Independence Oregon Cons

  1. Limited Job Market: You may find Independence has a limited job market, with fewer opportunities across different industries compared to larger cities. Job options could be limited, leading to a potential commute or relocation for employment.

  2. Limited Shopping Options: The city may have a smaller selection of shopping options, with fewer large retail stores and shopping centers. Residents might need to travel to neighboring towns for a wider variety of shopping experiences.

  3. Distance to Major Cities: While Independence offers a small-town atmosphere, it can disadvantage those seeking proximity to major cities. The nearest larger cities, such as Salem or Corvallis, are a bit away, impacting access to amenities, cultural events, or specialized services.

  4. Extreme Weather: While the climate in Independence is generally mild, it can experience periods of extreme weather. Summers can be hot, and winters may bring cold temperatures and occasional snowfall, which could be a disadvantage for individuals who prefer more temperate climates.

  5. Limited Healthcare Facilities: Independence might have limited healthcare facilities, including hospitals and specialized medical centers. Access to comprehensive healthcare services might require traveling to nearby cities.

  6. Potential Limited Social Scene: The smaller size of Independence might result in a more limited social scene, especially for individuals seeking a vibrant nightlife or a wide range of entertainment options.

  7. Limited Public Services: Due to the smaller size of the city, public services, such as libraries, parks, or recreational facilities, might be more limited compared to larger cities, potentially affecting access and variety.

  8. Potential Slow Pace: For individuals seeking a fast-paced urban lifestyle, Independence's small-town atmosphere might feel slow-paced or lacking in excitement.

  9. Reliance on Personal Transportation: With limited public transportation options, residents of Independence may rely heavily on personal vehicles for commuting and daily activities, which could increase expenses and environmental impact.

  10. Lack of Cultural Diversity: As a smaller community, Independence has a more limited range of cultural diversity compared to larger cities. This can impact access to diverse cuisines, cultural events, and various perspectives.

FAQs About Living in Independence Oregon

What is Independence Oregon known for?

Independence, Oregon, is most known for its annual Hop & Heritage Festival, which takes place every September and celebrates the rich history of hop farming in the Willamette Valley. The festival attracts visitors from all over the state and features various events and activities such as hop field tours, beer tastings, live music, and a street fair. The lush hop fields are a sight to behold and have become an iconic symbol of Independence and the surrounding region.


What cities and attractions is Independence Oregon close to?

Independence, Oregon, is located in Polk County, part of the Willamette Valley region in the western part of the state. The city is approximately 15 miles southwest of Salem and 70 miles south of Portland. Independence is close to several other cities in the area, including Corvallis, about 20 miles to the west, and Albany, about 15 miles to the north. The city is also within easy driving distance of other popular destinations in the region, such as the Oregon Coast, Silver Falls State Park, and the Cascade Mountains. Independence's central location in Polk County makes it an excellent starting point for exploring the surrounding natural beauty and nearby cities.


What is the weather like in Independence Oregon?

Living in Independence, Oregon, you can expect mild weather throughout the year. In the winter months, the average high temperatures range from 45°F to 50°F, and the average low temperatures range from 32°F to 35°F. The city occasionally experiences light snowfall during the winter, with an average of 7 inches of snowfall annually. Summers in Independence are mild, with average high temperatures ranging from 70°F to 75°F and occasional hot spells in the 80s and 90s. The city receives around 33 inches of rain yearly, with most precipitation occurring in the fall and winter months.


Does Independence have good public schools?

Students in Independence, Oregon, attend public school in the Central School District, which serves the city of Independence and some surrounding areas. ranks the Central School District #68 out of 197 school districts in Oregon, giving it an overall B rating. The district is committed to providing a well-rounded education, including arts and athletics, and offers a variety of programs for students with different interests and needs. The district has a diverse student body and strong partnerships with local organizations and businesses. Families living in Independence, Oregon, can feel confident that their children will have access to a quality education in the public school system.


Is Independence Oregon safe?

Living in Independence, Oregon, you'll find it a pretty safe place. Property crime rates in Independence are lower than the national average, and violent crime rates are significantly lower than the national average. states Independence has a crime rate lower than 68% of all US cities. Independence, Oregon, residents should feel relatively safe in their daily lives.


What is there to do living in Independence Oregon?

Living in Independence, Oregon, you will always have things to do. The city is surrounded by natural beauty, including the Willamette River and the Cascade Mountains, offering ample opportunities for hiking, biking, and fishing. Independence boasts several parks, including Riverview Park and Independence State Park, which feature playgrounds, picnic areas, and scenic walking trails. The city hosts several annual events, including the Hop & Heritage Festival, which celebrates the city's history as a hop-growing region, and the Fourth of July Celebration, offering fireworks, live music, and food vendors. If you're looking for a day trip, Independence is located near attractions like Silver Falls State Park and the Oregon Coast. Whether you enjoy outdoor activities or cultural experiences, there is always something to do in Independence, Oregon.


Who are the large employers in Independence Oregon?

If living in Independence, Oregon, some of the top employers include the Central School District, which employs over 200 workers, the City of Independence, which employs over 100 people, and the Independence Health and Rehabilitation Center, which employs over 80 people. Other notable employers in Independence include the Oregon State Hospital, Ash Creek Forest Management, and various agricultural companies. With a diverse range of employers, residents of Independence can find opportunities in education, government, healthcare, forestry, and more.

I want to relocate to Independence.  How do I make it happen?

You've come to the right spot if you're considering relocating to Independence, Oregon. There's some good information on this website about moving to St. Helens, Oregon, and living in Independence, Oregon, We've also assembled a a good group of professionals, locals, and recent Oregon transplants in our Facebook Group > Moving to Oregon, to help answer any questions you might have. They can fill you in on what living in St. Helens, Oregon, is like and give you some good information on moving to Independence, Oregon. If you're looking to buy a home in Independence, getting pre-approved for a mortgage should be your first step. For Mortgage Info, contact me. I would love to tell you more about what living in Independence, Oregon, is like and help with your mortgage if you decide to purchase a home.

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