I live near Bend (Crooked River Ranch which is about 35 minutes away). Bend real estate is outrageously high and the traffic is pretty bad. Central Oregon is one of the fastest growing regions in the country. Redmond (about 20 miles from Bend) is more reasonably priced. And where I live (Crooked River Ranch) is even better. Much less traffic, and our home course (Crooked River Ranch Golf Course) is an amazing bargain. If you're a property owner, you can become a member for $595/year (7 days a week). We've lived here since November (retired and built a house) and so far, love it. Granted, it's been an incredibly mild winter. Last week we had one day at 65* (and yes, I did play golf). Last winter was apparently the worst in 30 years. Over two feet of snow for over two months straight. More realistic is a winter that is cold with a bit of snow. The locals say they play golf almost year-round at Crooked River Ranch which is a lower elevation than Bend. Summers can be a bit toasty with temps inching toward 100 for a couple of weeks. But like the Southwest, it's a dry heat and bearable. Central Oregon is a stunningly beautiful place. Let me know if you would like more info.