Located in the Pacific Northwest region, Vancouver brings in plenty of attraction with amazing scenery and affordable living options. If you are considering a relocation to Vancouver, WA, find out everything about housing, utility, healthcare, food, and tax, costs in this guide. Here is the outlook for the cost of living in Vancouver.
Vancouver, WA Housing Options
Vancouver has much more to offer than location, scenery, and great recreation. It also offers a wide array of housing options, and desirable cost of living numbers. With a diverse population that includes college students, commuters, young families, and retirees, you’ll find great housing choices. The city has supported affordable housing options with zoning and other initiatives that allow Accessory Dwelling Units and the addition of Renters Protection ordinances.
Another piece of landmark legislation was the approval of the Affordable Housing Fund. This resource serves families and individuals who earn up to 50 percent of the area’s median income, and offers direct funding to help people secure homes.
On the developer’s side, The City of Vancouver provides an opportunity to assist in meeting housing needs in two specific areas of the city: Vancouver City Center and the Fourth Plain Corridor. The Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE) Program allows for an 8, 10 or 12-year tax exemption on the approved value of newly constructed or rehabilitated residential units. Additionally, Vancouver may approve a waiver of up to 80 percent of park and traffic impact fees for housing affordable to households at 80 percent AMI or below.
With so much going on in Vancouver and Clark County, it’s a great deal for homeowners and renters. Despite steady demand, housing costs are quite affordable, coming in at 3% below the national average! Median home prices are $202,900. Rolled in with other costs of living, this city creates a highly desirable destination for home buyers. It’s a win-win situation for those relocating with an eye towards balancing a vibrant community life, access to well-paying jobs, and entry into a thriving real estate market.
Food and Groceries in Vancouver, WA
Blessed with a great location for obtaining access to commodities, Vancouver, Washington has food and grocery prices that are also below the national average. The city supports small businesses, making food shopping a more affordable, diverse and appealing experience.
At the time of this article, the cost of living calculator indicates that a trip to a supermarket would yield a gallon of milk for $1.86, a dozen eggs for $1.74, and a large loaf of wheat bread for $3.19. Proximity to local agriculture keeps costs down for staples like fruits, vegetables, and other raw foods, and seasonal farmers markets are both extremely popular and great ways to round out your shopping.
Utilities and Transportation
Utilities in Vancouver are also lower than the national average, with a median energy bill of $156/month for residences. The mild climate is a definite plus! Residents of the City did receive an increase at the beginning of 2021 to cover inflationary costs and improve aging utility infrastructure. For a typical residence within the city, the total increase per month was about $3.47, which includes water, sewer and stormwater services.
Transportation is another expense that is a part of daily life for many residents. Although the City offers a variety of public transport options, such as buses around town and into Portland, many choose to use their own automobiles to shop or work. As of February 2021, about 78% of the area workers use their own cars to get to their jobs.
As such, gas and other expenses may contribute to slightly higher monthly expenses – about 8% above the national average.
Access to healthcare in Vancouver is excellent, but somewhat higher than other parts of the US. Expect an average medical office visit to run about $120, dentist – about $105. These costs are about 9% over national averages. As many Vancouver residents visit their healthcare providers in Portland, it’s also good to know that the average healthcare costs are similar across the river. And don’t forget your family pets: Average Veterinary office visits will run you about $60.
Washington state taxes are an interesting contrast to those in adjoining states. As Vancouver lies just across the river from Portland, Oregon, it’s important to note some advantages in owning property in the city. Vancouver’s property taxes are lower than average – but the city sales tax, at 8.4%, is higher than the national average. On the other hand, Portland has no sales tax – making it a popular place to shop. A big bonus for living in Vancouver is Washington’s lack of a state income tax. On the other end – the thriving “Silicon Forest” tech sector pumps a lot of tax dollars into the local economy, helping to improve a variety of community improvements. For many residents, Vancouver provides the perfect sweet spot to take advantage of tax rates and maximize their budget.