Hi Ft. Lauderdalians,
Thank you for your inquiry about Bend and the what you can expect if you decide to move here. Bend is located in Central Oregon in the high desert and surrounded by National Forest and BLM land. It is an outdoor enthusiasts paradise! Year round mountain biking and hiking at the lower altitudes, lift service skiing at Mt. Bachelor (21 miles up the road) for 7-8 months a year, 100's of miles of xc and skate skiing, fishing, boating and your typical water sports at all the high lakes off The Cascade Lakes Highway in the summer.
As you probably know, we have 4 seasons here and you would not have to deal with the humidity (at all!) like you do in Ft. Lauderdale. BONUS! Your hair will inevitably look great! The people who move here are seeking quality of life and to be happy. And, they are! People smile at one another and because a lot of us are here for the recreational opportunities, we are of like-mind, like-kind. This means we have a lot of commonalities.
With regards to real estate, you would be buying at a great time. In the past 4 years, our market has depreciated over 50 percent! It is a little depressing as this has caused a lot of distress for sellers losing their homes to the bank. On the other hand, it offers a lot of opportunity for others coming into our market.
I would have to say that the only 2 negatives about Bend is people do not come here to make a lot of money. It is hard to find a decent paying job unless you own your own company or are in sales. The other is the trails become quite dusty when it doesn't rain. This really is not big deal but sometimes I hop on my road bike if I don't feel like getting super dirty during a ride:) And, the road biking here rocks! Great wide bike lanes everywhere.
I hope this helps.
Team Christine Browning
Bend, OR 97702
541 306 1800