15 Things You Should Know Before Moving to Corvallis, Oregon

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Located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Corvallis is a dynamic university town with a culture that celebrates innovation, green values, and close access to a variety of outdoor recreation. Sounds like a great place to live, but is it right for you? Check out Estately’s list of 15 things to know before moving to Corvallis to decide if it’s somewhere you’d like to live and buy a home.

1. Oregon State University

Home to Oregon State University and its 26,000 students, Corvallis is at its core a university town. OSU was once primarily an agricultural college, but it now has more majors, minors, and special programs than any other university or college in Oregon.

2. Location, location, location

Corvallis is well-situated for those who enjoy outdoor recreation. Not only is it an hour from the coast (surfing, fishing, etc.), but it’s also 86 miles from the nearest ski slope, and there are over 60 miles of biking and hiking trails in town and close by.

3. Child-free living

Corvallis has the lowest percentage of children of any of the 20 largest cities in Oregon. This is great news for those who don’t enjoy the sounds of screaming children while dining out, seeing a movie, riding public transport, meditating in the park, or playing video games at an arcade. On the other hand, if you have small children the city might feel a little devoid of other youngsters.

4. Beaver fever

In other parts of America, “Beaver Fever” is a term for Giardiasis, a zoonotic parasitic disease caused by drinking contaminated water. In Corvallis, “Beaver Fever” is a condition that affects Oregon State University fans, as the Beaver is their mascot. Students and alumni take pride in their mascot being the world’s second-largest rodent and show their pride by rooting for the home team, participating in the Beaver Fever Triathlon, and dressing in orange and black. Corvallis beaver fever is the best kind of beaver fever.

5. Liberal voter enclave

In the 2012 presidential election, Oregon tipped slightly for Obama, and Corvallis’ Benton County had the second-highest percentage of Obama voters after Portland’s Multnomah County. Barrack Obama’s brother-in-law was once the men’s basketball coach at OSU, so maybe that’s why Obama once stopped into town for a slice of pizza…

6. Restaurants

According to Urbanspoon there are 148 restaurants in Corvallis. Of those, 9 of them are sports bars—one for every 6,144 residents. In Eugene, home to the rival University of Oregon Ducks, there’s one sports bar for every 8,378 people. Basically, there’s a shorter wait for a beer in Corvallis. The other great thing about Corvallis’ dining scene—aside from plentiful sushi, Mexican food, vegetarian options, and pizza—is it has two Hawaiian restaurants, including Local Boyz Hawaiian Cafe, which is also a popular local sports bar.

7. Gigantic Burger

The city is home to Juicy’s Outlaw Grill, which holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest commercially available hamburger (777 lbs.). You need to provide 48 hours notice when ordering one, and you need to bring some friends to help you eat it.

8. What’s in a Name?

The name Corvallis comes from the Latin phrase cor vallis, which means “heart of the valley.” What might the city have been named if the founders had chosen a different language? Perhaps… Bailararen Bihotzean (Basque), Coeur de la Vallee (French), Jantung Lembah (Indonesian) Gulshi Kheobashi (Georgian), Herzen des Tals (German), or Plawv Ntawm Lub Hav (Hmong). Corvallis has few nicknames, but a few include:  The Beaver Dam, Winner on the Willamette, The Curve, Tater Salad, IQ City, Big Burgerville, and Castor Town.

9. Reser Stadium

The local football stadium is named for Reser’s Fine Food, a company that began as one grandma trying to make bulk potato salad in her kitchen. Since then, it’s become a large company employing over 3,000 people and making a respectable salsa.

10. Y’all Want to Look at Some Birds?

Bird lovers flock from far and wide to check out the birding hot spots in and around Corvallis, as well as nearby wildlife areas.

11. Famous People Who’ve Lived in Corvallis

Jon Krakauer (author of Into Thin Air) grew up there, UFC champion Randy Couture lived in Corvallis for some time, and former Major League Baseball second baseman Harold Reynolds went to high school there. Also, Carl Wieman—winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics—grew up there, and Ernest H. Wiegand invented the modern method of manufacturing maraschino cherries while living in Corvallis.

12. More men than women

Women make up 49.7% of the population of Corvallis, which is 0.8% less than Oregon as a whole.

13. Easy commute

The average commute for Corvallis residents is 16.3 minutes, which is 34% shorter than the average commute for those in Portland. What do Corvallis residents do with all this free time? They drink craft beer, go birding, ride bikes, and invent new ways to commute to work.

14. Bigfoot

Corvallis is the county seat of Benton County, which has four reported Bigfoot sightings. According to the Bigfoot Field Research Organization, this is one of the lowest in the state (Oregon is the #3 state for Bigfoot). If you long to commune with mythical/hairy creatures in the woods check out Clackamas, Josephine, and Douglas counties because Corvallis just doesn’t seem to believe in it.

15. Finding a home for sale in Corvallis

Since half the population of Corvallis is college students, the housing market is far different than other cities. The city has a homeownership rate of just 43.8%, which is nearly 20% less than the state average. A high number of rental units means there isn’t a large selection of homes for sale in Corvallis. The average listing price for homes is around $355,000, but the median sales price is about $270,000. However, finding a home for sale in Corvallis is easy on Estately.com.

Ryan Nickum