Moving to Brookings, Oregon: What You Need to Know

Are you considering moving to Brookings, Oregon?

Brookings is located in the extreme southwestern portion of Oregon near the California border. Perhaps you’re seeking retirement in the beautiful Beaver State but desire to be near the California border for potential adventures there as well. If that’s the case, then the small town of Brookings, Oregon is the place for you!

Founded in 1908, Brookings was originally established as an old logging town. Today, the population is 6,300 people. For anyone searching for peace, privacy, and serenity, Brookings is the place. In addition to this, Brookings is bordered by miles of clean beaches, beautiful forests, and consistently warm temperatures.

This Oregonian paradise has plenty of opportunities for fishing, hiking, kayaking, and other outdoor activities. The locals also enjoy downtown festivals, garage sales, and art events.

What is it like living in Brookings, Oregon

Cost of living

The cost of living in Brookings, for the most part, is lower than the rest of the state of Oregon. But It’s even more relevant given its location and given where it gets some of its traffic from California. If you compare Brookings to California, then your cost of living is dramatically less.

Housing Market 

In December 2021, Brookings home prices were up 0.8% compared to last year, selling for a median price of $480K. On average, homes in Brookings sell after 45 days on the market compared to 56 days last year. There were 18 homes sold in December this year, down from 20 last year.

Childcare

For families with children, child care adds thousands of dollars to overall annual spending. In Brookings, the average annual cost of childcare for two children — one 4-year-old and one 8-year-old — is $15,031, about $2,800 less than the comparable average of $17,839 across all of Oregon. Meanwhile, across the U.S. as a whole, childcare expenses for two children average $15,853 per year.

Health care

Out-of-pocket health care costs and insurance premiums assuming at least a basic level of health insurance coverage are far higher than they are on average nationwide in Brookings and also well above what they are across Oregon as a whole.

For a single adult living in the area, average healthcare costs come out to $4,887 per year, compared to an average of $3,908 across Oregon and $4,266 nationwide.

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Groceries

Groceries are another everyday expense that has a significant impact on the overall cost of living. Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that the cost of food varies from city to city and town to town.

In Brookings, a single adult spends an average of $3,364 on food annually, and a family of four spends $9,714 on average. For context, average annual food expenditure across Oregon and the U.S., respectively, are $3,279 and $3,240 for a single adult, and $9,470 and $9,354 for a family of four. These estimates are calculated for a nutritionally adequate diet of food purchased at a grocery store for at-home preparation.

Economy in Brookings, Oregon

Brookings has an unemployment rate of 8.5%. The US average is 6.0% and the job market decreased by -0.7% over the last year. Future job growth over the next ten years is predicted to be 32.2%, which is lower than the US average of 33.5%.

Income and Salaries for Brookings

– The average income of a Brookings resident is $26,786 a year. The US average is $28,555 a year.

– The Median household income of a Brookings resident is $41,704 a year. The US average is $53,482 a year.

Effective Tax Rates

EconomyBrookings, OregonUnited States
Sales Tax0%6.35%
Income/Salary Tax9%13.29%
Property Tax1.04%1.1%

Top industries

1. Utilities

2. Information

3. Education

4. Agriculture

5. Retail

6. Hospitality

7. Healthcare

8. Entertainment

9. Real estate

10. Finance & Insurance

Traffic and transportation

The average commute in Brookings is 14.4 minutes long, compared to the 26.6-minute average commute nationwide. Taking into account the cost of gas, as well as public transit and car maintenance, the EPI estimates that a single person in Brookings spends $10,956 a year on transportation, more than the national average of $9,760. Transportation can also be a significant component of the cost of living. In Brookings, 87.00% of commuters drive to work, compared to 85.5% of commuters nationwide. An estimated 41.30% of workers commute to jobs outside of Brookings, a similar share as the 43.7% share of commuters nationwide who live and work in different cities.

Pros and Cons of living in Brookings, Oregon

Pros: 

Cost of living: The cost of living in Brookings is lower than the national average and most cities in the state. While some areas can be higher than others on a state and federal level, the overall average of housing costs, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services are less expensive.

Crime: In Brookings, crime rates are lower than in other Suburban areas, nationally and statewide. Every day, almost half of the population thinks about crime and safety. If you call Brookings home or are considering moving here, odds are you shouldn’t worry as much, and it is a significant pro and consideration for living here.

Low Property Rate: There is a lower poverty rate in Brookings than in other cities in the United States. The average poverty rate across cities in America is about 10-13%.

Education: Overall, education for the area is good and ranks high on national and statewide levels compared to other cities. These ranking calculations consider factors such as public school graduation rates, enrollment rates, teacher-to-student ratios, and student and parent reviews. This data and scores are a weighted average of the area’s schools.

Cons:

Population Size: The city only has 6,744 residents which are considered very small. Different surveys have shown that economic conditions are much worse in small towns than in bigger cities.

Top Reasons to Move to Brookings, Oregon

Brookings is the perfect place not only to visit but to live its friendly relaxing atmosphere lends itself to be the absolute best place to move and one of Brookings best features is its small-town atmosphere where else can you live where your librarian and your postman know you by name and the townspeople go out of their way to be friendly Brookings come for the ocean stay for something more and we’ll give you some reasons to move here.

1. Weather: Brookings, Oregon has some of the best weather in the state of Oregon. Just miles away, maybe five or 6 miles away from the California border. So you do kind of have that Northern California weather and is known as the Chetco effect.

2. Safety: According to recent statistics, the crime rate in this town is 83% lower than that of other cities in Oregon and 71% lower than the national average. Brookings gets an A+ for its safety ratings, making it attractive for people who are tired of thefts, burglaries, and violent crimes.

3. Great Public Education: The public education system in Brookings includes 4 public schools and 2 private schools. The teacher-to-student ratio on average is 22 students per class with 89% of the residents in the area completing at least 8th grade, 87.7% have completed high school and 25.3% have gone on to complete their bachelor’s degrees and 3.2% have earned their doctorate degrees.

4. A lot of activities: Brookings paradise has plenty of opportunities for fishing, hiking, kayaking, and other outdoor activities. The locals also enjoy downtown festivals, garage sales, and art events.

Is Brooking A Good Place To Live?

Brookings, OR is a nice place to retire. There is a lot of beautiful scenery here, including beaches, rivers, parks, trails, mountains, etc.

Other than nature, there isn’t much that Brookings has to offer, there are few opportunities for younger people, so most leave once they graduate high school.

Living and Working in Brookings, Oregon

Living in Brookings has a suburban feel, which can be nice for families looking for more space than larger densely packed cities for the money and a good area to raise children.

Main Employers

The main employers in Brookings, Oregon are; Seasonal Seafood Procesor, Park Ranger, E-Commers Clerck, United Parcel Service (UPS), and FT Salesclerk: Sporting Goods & Automotive.

Education in Brookings, Oregon

For the 2022 school year, there are 3 public schools serving 1,596 students in Brookings-Harbor 17c School District. This district’s average testing ranking is 2/10, which is in the bottom 50% of public schools in Oregon. Overall testing rank is based on a school’s combined math and reading proficiency test score ranking. Brookings-Harbor 17c School District has one of the highest concentrations of top-ranked public schools in Oregon.

Here is a short list of some great schools in Brookings, Oregon

Brookings Harbor High School

Brookings-Harbor High School is a public school located in Brookings, Oregon, and is ranked #12,148 in the National Rankings. Schools are ranked on their performance on state-required tests, graduation, and how well they prepare students for college.

Brookings-Harbor High School is ranked 150th within Oregon. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement coursework and exams. The AP participation rate at Brookings-Harbor High School is 15%. The total minority enrollment is 41%, and Brookings-Harbor High School is the only high school in the Brookings-Harbor School District 17C.

How to Enroll

The time for registration for Brookings-Harbor School District students is here! Please find your family’s login information to your PowerSchool account enclosed. The portal for registration opened on June 1, 2021. You will be able to register your student for in-person instruction and you will also have the option to register your student for our full online option, Brookings-Harbor K-12 Academy. Click here for more information, Source.

Kalmiopsis Elementary School

Kalmiopsis Elementary School is a public school located in Brookings, OR, which is in a remote town setting. The student population of Kalmiopsis Elementary School is 699 and the school serves K-5. At Kalmiopsis Elementary School, 32% of students scored at or above the proficient level for math, and 44% scored at or above that level for reading. The school’s minority student enrollment is 35%. The student-teacher ratio is 21:1.

Kalmiopsis Elementary School is ranked #328 in Oregon Elementary Schools. Schools are ranked on their performance on state-required tests, graduation, and how well they prepare their students for high school.

How to Enroll

Enrollment open for new and transfer students to Kalmiopsis Elementary School. Click here to begin enrollment for your students | K-12 in-person and online options available. Source.

Azalea Middle School

Azalea Middle School is a public school located in Brookings, OR, which is in a remote town setting. The student population of Azalea Middle School is 372 and the school serves 6-8. At Azalea Middle School, 16% of students scored at or above the proficient level for math, and 40% scored at or above that level for reading.

Azalea Middle School is ranked #208-277 in Oregon Middle Schools. Schools are ranked on their performance on state-required tests, graduation, and how well they prepare their students for high school.

How to Enroll

The time for registration for Azalea Middle School students is here! Please find your family’s login information to your PowerSchool account enclosed. The portal for registration opened June 1, 2021. You will be able to register your student for in-person instruction and you will also have the option to register your student for our full online option. Click here for more information about enroll to Azalea Middle School.

Retired in Brookings

According to City Tactics, seniors make up a quarter of the population in Brookings. And it’s no surprise. Brookings reflects the picture that comes to mind when you dream of an ideal retirement. Think miles of pristine beaches, palm trees, and year-round warm weather. And like many parts of Oregon, Brookings can serve as an outdoors enthusiast’s paradise. 

Recreational activities include fishing, kayaking, and backpacking. It also boasts an active downtown area where festivals, yard sales, and gallery events are the norm. So you’d be hard-pressed to find yourself bored in Brookings. This figure is on par with the state median. However, there are plenty of Oregon first-time homebuyer programs you can take advantage of.

5 Things to do in Brookings, OR

1. Harris Beach State Park

The lovely state park protects a National Wildlife Refuge within its boundaries on picturesque Bird Island, the largest island off the Oregon state coastline, which serves as a significant breeding ground for rare bird species like the tufted puffin. Lovely rocky outcroppings and sea stacks dot the park’s gorgeous shoreline, which is open to the public for year-round recreational fun, including chances for kite flying, swimming, and wildlife watching. Day-use picnic sites offer restrooms and waterfront views, while camping areas feature tent and RV hookups and pet-friendly yurts.

2. Samuel H. Boardman

Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor is a stunning linear waterfront state park stretching 15 miles north of the city of Brookings along Oregon’s Pacific Ocean coastline. The park is named in honor of former Oregon Parks superintendent Samuel H. Boardman, featuring beautiful sandy beaches and rugged coastline panoramas. 

The beautiful Oregon Coast Trail rambles for more than two dozen miles throughout the corridor, passing scenic wonders like natural bridges, arch rocks, sand dunes, and panoramic viewpoints. Visitors can also explore the park’s natural wonders and make use of day-use picnic sites from several parking area access points leading to the public beachfront.

3. The Oregon Redwood Trail

The Oregon Redwood Trail is a gorgeous loop trail meandering through stunning mixed upland forest habitats in Brookings, offering chances to see some of the area’s amazing old-growth redwood trees. 

The trail embarks from within the city and is tucked within one of the state’s two old-growth redwood groves, offering a less-crowded alternative to its neighboring grove habitat. All trail sections are well-maintained, perfect for easy hiking experiences for novice hikers and families.

4. The Chetco River

The Chetco River is a gorgeous rugged river stretching 56 miles throughout southwestern Oregon, flowing throughout the lands of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. 

It begins its course near Chetco Peak within the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, descending more than 3,000 feet to sea level at its mouth at the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, large undeveloped portions of the river have been designated as a Wild and Scenic River. Visitors can enjoy a wide variety of recreational opportunities on the river throughout the year, including chances for salmon and trout fishing, swimming, and boating.

5. Azalea Park

Azalea Park covers 33 acres adjacent to several Brookings residential neighborhoods, offering locals a wonderful green space and many recreational facilities. 

The park is named for the ancient native azaleas which were already well established in the early 1800s. After being neglected and becoming totally overgrown, the ancient Azaleas have now been pruned and are once again delighting local residents and visitors with their stunning floral displays. The park has well-paved paths for walking/running and there are picnic tables, restrooms, water fountains, and a volleyball court. Younger visitors love the children’s playground.

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Henry Blok
As a Moving Advisor for our client base, I am in charge of helping with logistics and moving counseling at realmovers.org
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