Salem, the capital of Oregon, is about 50 miles south of Portland. With 141,449 residents, Salem is a mid-sized city, but it retains a small town feel with historic and pleasant undernotes, most evident in the Bush House Museum, Deepwood Museum and Gardens, Oregon State Capital, Reed Opera House and Historic Elsinore Theatre. What makes Salem even more unique is its placement on the map. The city sits on the 45th parallel, which is equidistant between the equator and the North Pole, making it the halfway point between each major intersection.
What does it cost to live in such a distinctive setting? The median age of homeowners in Salem is 41, and the average list price last year was $267,448 - an increase of 6.22 percent from 2014. While Salem home values increased, the number of homes on the market also declined marginally by 2.25 percent. Inventory reached 870 listings in 2015, but given the small size of the city, buyers looking to move to Salem should have a reasonable scope of homes to explore.