There are always positive and negative things to be found living in any city. Deciding where the best place for you and your family to live can be stressful and difficult. It is rather easy to find reasons why you should want to move somewhere, but it can be difficult to find true information on the negative aspects of life in an area.
This article explains some of the reasons you may not want to move to Hillsboro, Oregon. It will explain 17 different negative aspects of life there. Hopefully, it will help anyone who is considering moving to the area to know whether the city is the best option for them or not.
1. Expensive and Rising Rent Prices
With such an increase in growth in the area, rent prices are increasing exponentially at a rapid pace. Many local residents comment on the high living costs in the area. Renting and buying prices are rising as the interest in Hillsboro grows. This makes sense when you realize how close Hillsboro is to Portland, Oregon. Rent and buying prices are almost always highest in large cities like Portland even though available living spaces are often small.
After people realize that they can work in Portland and enjoy everything it has to offer without paying the ridiculous rent prices that are found in Portland, they choose to move to Hillsboro instead. However, that doesn’t mean that Hillsboro is a lot cheaper than Portland when it comes to the cost of living and rent, especially if you have to commute to Portland daily.
2. Overwhelming Growth
One of the largest complaints amongst locals is the amount of growth in the area and how quickly the population is rising. Traffic is increasingly more common and more congested, all of the seating is filled in public places, and more issues have been caused by the increasing population. Many even said that their favorite local events and locations like a hike or a pumpkin patch are now packed with people! There are even cars parked along the side of rural roads on the outskirts of town!
Peaceful, quiet, and private locations that locals once enjoyed are now filled to the bring with visitors and cameras or newcomers that are out and about. This tranquil city is quickly becoming a big city, but the infrastructure hasn’t been able to keep up.
3. Smaller Community
Hillsboro is an interesting city in terms of population size. It is too small to be a large city and lacks the nightlife, entertainment options, social opportunities, higher-end restaurants, and much more to be anywhere near a boisterous and lively location like Portland or other metro areas.
It is also, however, slightly too large to truly capture a homey small-town feel, even though the community is tightly knit and the residents all know one another. Hillsboro doesn’t appeal to anyone who seeks a big city life, but it also isn’t the kind of place that small-town lovers choose to call home either. The city appeals to a group of people that aren’t on either end of this small-to-big city spectrum. It fits the needs of those who prefer something in between. If that isn’t you, you shouldn’t move to this city.
4. Rainy Weather
On average, Hillsboro receives approximately 39 inches of rain per year. Throughout the year, the city averages a minimum of 173 rainfall days. In the winter, snowfall takes the place of days that would otherwise be rainy if the weather were even slightly warmer. You will most definitely need to purchase an umbrella if you plan on moving to Hillsboro, and you will put it to good use!
Oftentimes, it starts raining without any warning. A rainproof jacket or coat will be of great use to anyone moving into the area, but most residents say that there are many occasions in which the rain is so sudden that you will likely be wet before you can run to your car for the umbrella or other rain protection.
5. Poor School System
The education system and schools in Hillsboro have low ratings online, and citytistics gives them a C- rating. This may not seem to be the greatest, but it is above average and is not terrible in comparison to other schools in the state.
It has been determined that Hillsboro schools do well in areas such as graduation and enrollment rates, extracurricular programs, and the teacher-to-student ratio. Residents Hillsboro can improve in areas like student achievement, school progress, and closing learning gaps.
6. Bad Driving Habits
Nearly everyone will have a different opinion of what a good or bad driver does or is, but several locals commented online that the poor driving habits in the area were one of the downsides they have found to living in Hillsboro. One of these residents stated that drivers can often don’t recognize that a pedestrian is present and keep driving even when pedestrians have the right of way, which means that many Hillsboro drivers are neglectful and don’t pay as much attention to the road as they should.
7. Seasonal Depression
Clearly, this issue does not impact every resident of Hillsboro, but it can pose an issue for some. The majority of days can be fairly cloudy in the city, and the sun won’t be strongly shining every day of the year. Winters are cold and can seem rather gloomy, and even spring and fall tend to be rather overcast. This is rather normal for Oregon and Washington, but many people who come from other states struggle with this.
Being exposed to UV rays can help provide vitamins and chemicals in your brain that help you to feel happy. Those accustomed to more time spent outside and sunny days may find it difficult to be as positive and energetic. This is far from abnormal in such an overcast area such as this. If you often struggle with seasonal depression, if you move to Hillsboro, you will likely want to regularly see a professional that can help you through it.
8. Not Very Walkable
The city of Hillsboro, Oregon is approximately 25.49 square miles. While it is far from the world’s largest city, Hillsboro spans a significant amount of land. To travel from one side of town to the other or make your way to a variety of locations throughout the city will be rather difficult and tedious to do without a car.
There is good public transportation traveling from Hillsboro to Portland, but the city itself does not have a large variety of transit methods. Keep in mind that when moving to Hillsboro, you will most likely need to purchase a vehicle if you don’t already have one.
9. Everyone Works for Intel
Intel has been innovating in Hillsboro for nearly 50 years! As of 2022, the company has approximately 22,0000 employees in the Hillsboro area alone. The city is the company’s central operation of research and development and is home to 4 campuses belonging to the Intel company. While this does provide jobs for many residents of Hillsboro, it can be difficult to live in a city where one employer claims such a large portion of residents.
Sometimes, when so many people work for the same company, they will group together and others can feel like outsiders. In extreme situations, these employees could also become recipients of benefits around the city that are not made available to others. This may or may not cause an issue in your personal situation, but it is a good thing to be aware of when entering town culture and being incorporated into the community.
10. International Air Show
Hillsboro hosts the Oregon International Airshow. It draws more than 75,000 people to the city and features an incredible airshow display. Unfortunately, the sounds of so many airplanes can be difficult for children and animals who are accustomed to peace and quiet. The event will also bring an incredibly large amount of visitors from other cities, which means that traffic increases around the time that the event is hosted, making it hard for residents to move about as normal.
11. Weird Name
Hillsboro is an extremely weird name, and it may become frustrating for you to constantly have to correct the pronunciation of the town when your family or friends from other cities come to visit you or want to send you something in the mail. If you don’t want to constantly be telling people how to spell the name of the city that you live in, don’t more to Hillsboro, Oregon.
12. High Tax Rates
If you live in Hillsboro, Oregon, you won’t have to pay any sales tax when you go shopping in the city. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have to pay any taxes. Instead of paying sales tax, you will instead have to pay income tax, which means that taxes will automatically be taken out of your paycheck. It can be hard to see that you earned more than what you are being paid. The income tax that you will be charged while living and working in Hillsboro varies between 4.75% and 9.9%, which is quite high.
13. Moderately Liberal
Clearly, this may be a positive aspect of the city for some, but it is considered negative by others. Regardless of your personal stance, it is included because it does impact the entire community. Washington County, the county that Hillsboro is in, leans liberal in political views and voting trends.
In fact, 65.5% of the city’s residents supported the Democratic party candidate in the 2020 presidential election. Only 30.9% of residents in the area voted for the Republican party candidate, leaving the remaining 3.5% that voted Independent in the election. If you don’t like living near a lot of liberal people, you don’t want to move to Hillsboro, Oregon.
In terms of natural disaster risk, Hillsboro is a rather safe and well-protected area. Mountains keep tornadoes from posing a threat, an hour-long drive from the coast rules out hurricanes, it is not located on a large fault line, and the area has a low risk of volcano damage as well. Hillsboro is, however, susceptible to flooding. In fact, the city has experienced approximately 81 floods in a 20-year period that spans from 1950 to 2010! This makes sense because of how much it rains in the city, but you will definitely want to invest in flood insurance if you move to this city.
15. Snow in the Winter
Although the city is located only about 1 hour away from the coast, this isn’t a California beach. Hillsboro does get rather cold in the winter, and it does receive snowfall! The most common time period for snowfall is from November through February. January is the month in which Hillsboro receives the most snowfall, getting an average of approximately 2 inches every year. So, if you were hoping for a warm California coast, Oregon is not the place to be. Hillsboro definitely gets quite cold during the winter.
16. What’s That Smell?
Washington County is known for being environmentally friendly, which is most likely attributable to the liberal majority in the city. A compost facility nearby creates a strong odor that fills the city when the organic materials are mixed together. In a single day of this compost mixing, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality received more than 24 individual reports of an unpleasant odor in the area. Long story short, be prepared for some compost in the air occasionally while living in Hillsboro!
17. Lacks Entertainment Options
While Hillsboro is located a convenient 30 minutes from Portland, the city itself does not have a lot of things to do for entertainment. Some of the best activities offered include wineries and breweries, the public library, a rocks and minerals museum, and a few farms. This doesn’t exactly sound like an extended stay kind of entertainment provider. These activities also are not all family-friendly, either. When living in Hillsboro and looking for a fun day activity, you will most likely find yourself driving into Portland.