Moving to Salem Guide

Welcome to Salem! We're excited you'll be joining us here in Oregon's capital city.

As you make your transition to living in Salem, you will find an easy pace of life and a relatively low cost of living. Here you are able to focus your energies on graduate school and benefit from a relaxed and uncomplicated life outside of the classroom.

The character of our city is an interesting blend of influences. Salem is Oregon’s capital city and has the state’s third-largest population. Yet within a matter of 20 minutes you can go from the downtown shopping area to rolling acres of vineyards west of the Willamette River. Salem is also about an hour’s drive from the Cascade Mountains, the Oregon Coast and the city of Portland. 


The Statesman Journal is Salem’s daily newspaper. The Sunday edition features the greatest number of rental announcements. Houses, apartments, townhouses and duplexes are listed by category and by geographic area.

The Oregonian is Portland’s daily newspaper. It includes rental announcement for Portland and the city’s suburban areas. It includes a very limited list of Salem rentals.

Property Management Companies

Contacting property management companies that manage rentals is another good way to locate rentals. Here is a partial list. Some charge a fee for their listings.

Eldred Realty
P.O. Box 7173
Salem, OR 97303

(503) 581-3434

(Mainly single family homes, duplex, and triplex units. No apartments.)

Shelter Management
3625 River Road N, Suite 125
Keizer, OR 97303
(503) 585-6176

Ned Baker Real Estate Inc
2339 State St.
Salem, OR 97301
(503) 364-6797 or 1-877-893-6797

Norris & Stevens Realtors Inc
900 SW 5th Avenue (17th Floor)
Portland, OR 97204
(503) 223-3171

(30+ properties here in the Salem area)

*Please note that while the newspapers post many rental listings on Sundays, the property management companies that manage many of these rentals are only open Monday through Friday.

Campus Bulletin Boards

A few rental announcements are posted on the bulletin boards located in the lower level of the College of Law near the locker area. Willamette community members are also encouraged to use Switchboard, which, in essence, is Craigslist just for the Willamette community.

On-Campus Housing

The majority of graduate students secure housing in the Salem community; however, a very limited number of apartments are available on campus in the University Apartments. The University Apartments are located one block from the College of Law. Leases are available in June. If interested, contact Housing & Conferences at (503) 370-6212 or to be put on the mailing list. Graduate student assignments are made on the basis of space availability with preference going to returning students. Assignments are confirmed in mid-July. Click here to visit the Housing & Conferences rates.

Looking for a Roommate

If you are interested in sharing an apartment or house, email our Admissions Office at and we will do our best to put you in contact with other interested students.

Salem is divided by geographic designations. State Street divides Salem into north and south. The Willamette River divides the city into east and west. While students live throughout Salem, many choose to live in central Salem (the area surrounding Willamette University, the Capitol and downtown) and South Salem. Keizer, which adjoins Salem to the north, and West Salem, west of the Willamette River, are also popular among students. Very few graduate students live east of Interstate 5.

Some students commute from Portland and its suburbs including Tigard, Tualatin and Lake Oswego, about 45 minutes north of Salem, as well as Wilsonville and Charbonneau, approximately 30 minutes away. The rents in these suburb communities are more comparable to the higher rents of Portland, but are ideal for those with partners or spouses who work in Portland. The commute south from these locations is pleasant as traffic is generally light. Interstate 5 is essentially a straightaway with a speed limit of 65 miles per hour.

When to Look for Housing

Oregon law requires tenants to give a three-week notice of intention to vacate. The availability of rentals generally increases toward the end of the month. While housing is plentiful in Salem, many other graduate students as well as undergraduate students are looking for rentals at the end of the summer, so you may have to forego moving into your “ideal” apartment or house if you are unable to begin your housing search until July. However, because this is not a stereotypical college town, you should feel confident that you will be able to find a comfortable, affordable place to live before classes begin. Simply allow yourself enough time to seek housing.

Willamette Law recommends incoming students move to the area by the beginning of August.

While the university does not provide temporary housing, there are a number of motels and hotels in the area, as well as bed and breakfasts and a Kampground of America (KOA) campground. You may also contact Travel Salem for more information about local accommodations. Their office is located at 181 High Street NE, Salem, (503) 581-4325 or (800) 874-7012,

The list of hotels below is a partial list of those available in the Salem area, and these facilities often offer special Willamette rates. However, call the hotel directly as rates do change.

Best Western Mill Creek Inn*
(Off I-5 NE, Exit 253)
3125 Ryan Dr SE
(503) 585-3332 or (800) 346-9659

Comfort Suites*
(Off I-5 NE, Exit 253)
630 Hawthorne Ave SE
(503) 585-9705 or (800) 228-5150

Double Tree by Hilton
(Off I-5 North, Market St. exit)
1590 Weston Ct NE
(503) 581-7004 or (800) 445-4498

The Grand Hotel*
(4 blocks from campus)
201 Liberty St SE (downtown Salem)
(503) 540-7800 or 1-877-540-7800

Phoenix Inn—South (South of downtown Salem)
4370 Commercial St SE
(503) 588-9220 or (800) 445-4498

Red Lion Hotel* (Off I-5, Market St. exit)
3301 Market St NE
(503) 370-7888 or (800) 248-6273

Residence Inn by Marriott*
(Off I-5 NE, Exit 253)
640 Hawthorne Ave SE
(503) 585-6500 or (800) 331-3131

Knights Inn*
(Between 16th and 17th St. NE)
1555 State St
(503) 581-2466 or (800) 578-7878

*denotes a hotel that offers a WU discount

By Freeway

From Interstate 5, take the “Highway 22” exit (Exit 253) and go west. Highway 22 becomes Mission St. After driving about 2 miles you will come to an overpass with an exit that directs you to “Willamette University/City Center.” As you come down the exit ramp, you will be at the intersection of 12th St. and Bellevue. Continue on Bellevue to Winter St.; turn right. The Truman Wesley Collins Legal Center will be on your left.

By Air

Most major airlines fly to Portland International Airport (PDX), which is an hour and 15 minutes from Salem. (If you will be driving from the airport, take the 205 Freeway South until it becomes Interstate 5 South.)

HUT Airport Shuttle and Oregon Express shuttle are available for land travel from PDX. Plan to make your reservations along with your airline reservations. Hut Airport Shuttle can be contacted at (503) 364-4444 and (888) 257-0126. Oregon Express Shuttle can be contacted at (877) 693-3785. 

By Train

The AMTRAK station is located across the street from Willamette University, adjacent to Tokyo International University of America (TIUA). AMTRAK can be contacted at (800) USA-RAIL [(800) 872-7245].

Please observe all posted parking signs/regulations. Nearby government offices have reserved parking and carpool areas. You will be cited and/or towed if you are parked illegally.

Parking On Campus

Graduate students may park on campus if they purchase a parking permit through the Office of Campus Safety. New students are able to purchase Willamette parking permits at Orientation. If traveling to Willamette as a visitor, please contact the admission office to make arrangements for guest parking.

Taking the Bus

Salem transit operates a bus system called “Cherriots.” Discounted Cherriots bus passes may be purchased at the Office of Campus Safety. Cherriots can be contacted at (503) 588-2877. Bus stops can be found on State Street and 12th Street bordering campus.

Oregon DMV

To find out more about licensing regulations in the State of Oregon, contact an Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services office. There are two offices in Salem:

North Salem
3809 Center St NE
Salem, OR 97301
(503) 945-5000

South Salem
4825 Commercial St SE

Suite 120
Salem, OR 97302
(503) 945-5000

Salem has a varied selection of rental housing, some very close to campus and others within a 15–20 minute drive. You are advised to make your housing arrangements in June or July to avoid a last-minute rush.

Most Willamette students choose to rent rather than buy.

Salem Area Apartments

The following is a partial list of rental apartments in the Salem area. We offer this list as a public service to incoming students. While Willamette students have rented many of the apartments below, Willamette University makes no specific recommendation or endorsement of any of the facilities listed.

The list below includes information about cost, distance from campus and other attributes of area apartment complexes. Distances to school are reasonably accurate, as are rents and deposits, but all information is subject to change. Please do some independent investigation to identify the apartment that meets your needs. Apartment owners like to rent to Willamette graduate students, so you may want to mention your connection to Willamette.

Many of these apartments are listed in the apartment search websites such as Zillow, ApartmentList, Padmapper, Apartments, and Craigslist.

Battlecreek Lodges
(503) 399-9642
1690 Madras St SE

Rent: 2 BR $975
Deposit: $400 up to one month's rent (refundable); $45 application fee; $300 deposit/pet; $25 rent/pet; max 2 pets
Features: Pool, tennis, laundry facilities, dishwasher, garbage disposal, gas fireplace, off-street parking, private patio or balcony.
Distance to school: 5 miles

Battlecreek South Apartments
(503) 585-0218
5952 Park Ct SE

Rent: 1 BR $825; 2 BR $900-$925

Deposit: $500 on approved credit deposit; $42 application fee/adult; $300 deposit/pet; $20 rent/pet; max 2 pets 

Features: Laundry facilities, pool, picnic tables, barbeque area, assigned parking, on site maintenance, dog park, and dishwasher in all units.

Distance to school: 4 miles

Colonial Apartments
(503) 585-4207
1250 Wallace Rd NW

Rent: 1 BR $795; 2 BR $850
Deposit: $700 deposit (refundable); $45 application fee/adult; $500 deposit/pet
Features: Onsite laundry, onsite assigned parking
Distance to school: 2.8 miles

Eola Heights Apartments
(503) 365-0339
3045 Gehlar Rd NW

Rent: 1 BR $1,030-1,189; 2BR $1,365-1,490; 3BR $1,450-1,700
Deposit: $675 up to one month's rent deposit; $50 application fee/adult; $450/pet deposit
Features: On-site parking, onsite management, W/D hookups, fitness center, pool
Distance to school: 4 miles

The Forum
(503) 371-1412
350 13th St NE

Rent: 1 BR $900-950; 2 BR $1,000; 2 BR + 1.5 BA $1,050
Deposits: $500 deposit (depends on credit); $35 application fee/adult
Features: BBQ Patio, Underground parking, across the street from Safeway, laundry room, gated complex, security cameras, non-smoking facility, no pets. W/S/G/ included.
Distance to school: .5 miles

Francis Building
(503) 364-1641
555 Winter St

Rent: Studio $675; 1 BR $775
Deposits: $400-800 deposit; $40 application fee/adult; $300 deposit/cat; $25 rent/cat

Features: Historical building

Distance to school: <1 mile

Grand Oak Apartments
(503) 588-2841
4078 Liberty Rd S

Rent: 1 BR $785-810; 2 BR $925-960
Deposit:One month's rent refundable deposit; $50 application fee/adult
Features: No Amenities
Distance to school: 4 miles

Lee Apartments
(503) 364-1641
585 Winter St NE

Rent: Studio $725; 1 BR $835; 2 BR $945
Deposit: $400-800 deposit; $40 application fee/adult; $300 deposit/pet; $25 rent/pet
Features: Secured building, roof-top patio
Distance to school: .5 mile

Madras Apartments
(503) 362-8965
1701 Madras St SE

Rent: 2 BR + 1 BA $710-760
Deposit: $500-800 deposit; no application fee
Features: laundry facilities available, no pets, play area, next to I-5
Distance to school: 6 miles

McNary Heights Apartments
(503) 463-5746
892 Foothill Ct NE

Rent: 1 BR + 1 BA $1,075-1,175; 2 BR + 1 BA $1,275-1,375; 2 BR + 2 BA $1,375-1,475; 3BR + 2BA $1,650 -1,850
Deposit: equal to one month's rent, $50 application fee/adult; $350 deposit/pet; $20 rent/pet; max 2 pets
Features: 24-hour fitness center, seasonal pool, water/sewer/garbage paid, washer/dryer installed in every apartment, assigned covered parking, attached storage, section 8 approved, complimentary coffee bar on site, built in microwaves in all units, free wifi at clubhouse
Distance to school: 10.5 miles

North Park
(503) 393-3666
4356 25th Ave NE

Rent: 1 BR $840, 2 BR $935, 2 BR + 1.5 BA Townhouse $1,135, 3 BR + 1 BA $1,190, 2 BR + 1 BA $1,085, 3 BR + 1.5 BA $1,140.
Deposit: $750-1050 deposit
Features: Heated swimming pool, recreation rooms, basketball court, playground, washer/dryer hookups in 2 BR (stackable W/D only), laundry facilities, some storage, up to 2 pets, 40lbs weight limit combined. With $25 pet rent per pet.
Distance to school: 4 miles

Northwood Apartments
(503) 393-3080
600 Lockhaven Dr NE, Keizer

Rent: 2 BR + 1 BA $900-1,000 + $35 W/S/G.
Deposit: Equals one month's rent security deposit (conditionally refundable); $50 application fee/adult; $300 deposit/pet; $20 rent/pet
Features: Half apartments have washer/dryer hookup and half have washer/dryer installed/fitness center/decks available on some unit, non-smoking facility. (Pet restrictions apply, and dogs must be under 30 lbs.)
Distance to school: 5 miles

Park View Apartments
(503) 581-5386
1324 Wallace Rd NW
Contact: Jeff Gibson

Rent: 2BR+1BA $945-995
Deposit: $500-One month's rent security deposit (refundable); $40 application fee/adult; $350 deposit/pet; $25 rent/pet
Features: all units have W/D, one assigned parking for free, additional parking is $20, $15 / month / bike for bike storage.
Distance to school: 2 miles

Rippling Brook Terrace
(503) 399-8696
3758 Mica View Ct SE

Rent: 1 BR $755; 1 BR townhouse: $855; 2 BR + 1.5 BA townhouse $955-995; 2BD + 1 BA $1000; 2 BR + 2 BA $1025-1050
Deposit: $500 minimum security deposit (refundable), $40 application fee $25-35 W/S/G
Features: Up to 2 small pets allowed (40 lbs) $500-700 deposit, $40 pet rent
Distance to school: 5 miles

Rolling Hills Townhouses
(503) 399-9730
190 Doone RD SE 97306

Rent: 2 BR $895; 3 BR Townhouses $980-1,035
Deposit: $1,250 deposit (refundable); $50 application fee/adult; $500 deposit/cat; max 2 cats
Features: pool, onsite laundry, W/D hookups, non-smoking facility
Distance to school: 5 miles

Southvista Apartments
(503) 375-9385
435 Vista Ave SE

Rent: 2 BR + 2 BA $1,050; $200 deposit/pet
Features: w/d hookup, garbage disposal, patio, deck, storage

Distance to school: 2.5 miles

TOR Properties
(503) 689-2700
1531 Mill St SE

Rent: 2 BR + 2 BA $875-940
Deposit: One month's rent
Features: Newly remodeled, private patio, on-site parking, fireplace. Pets allowed on a case by case basis.
Distance to school: 3 blocks

Wallace Park Apartments
(503) 588-2996
540 Wallace Rd NW

Rent: 2 BR + 1 BA $850-925; 2 BR + 2 BA $900-1,000; 3 BR + 2 BA $985-1,100
Deposit: $500 refundable deposit, application fee $57
Features: Washer/dryer hookups, one laundry room, fitness center. Cats and small dogs $400 pet deposit per pet (under 20 lbs)
Distance to school: 1.7 miles

Willamette Estates
3900 Santiam Pass Way NE

Rent: Studio + 1 BA $859; 1 BR + 1BA $925; 2 BD + 2 BA $1169; 3 BR + 1.5 BA $1325
Deposit: $400 to 2 times the rent (maximum), application fee $50 per adult, $375 pet deposit
Features: Washer/dryer, gas fireplace, private patio/balcony, reserved parking, pool, fitness center, hot tub, sauna, racquetball court, on-site laundry
Distance to school: 4.3 miles

Willamette Park Apartments
(503) 364-9100
825 Harritt Dr NW

Rent: 2 BR + 2 BA $1,250-1,390; 3 BR + 2 BA $1,450-1,585
Deposit: $300 minimum (refundable); $42 applicant fee/adult; $250 deposit/pet; max 2 pets, breed restrictions apply
Features: balcony, cable/satellite ready, dishwasher, disposal, patio, washer/dryer in unit, clubhouse, 24-hour fitness center, playground, on bus line, reserved parking, onsite management and maintenance for emergencies.
Distance to school: 2.5 miles

Willamette Terrace
(503) 362-7872
357 Owens St S

Rent: 1 BR + 1BA $695-760; 2 BR + 1BA $845-925; 3 BR $1,150-1,195
Deposit: $250-450 refundable deposit; $30 application fee/adult; couples application fee is $35; $350-450 deposit/pet.
Features: Laundry facilities, pool, off-street parking, W/S/G paid
Distance to school: <1 mile

Willamette View

(503) 378-1265
2332 Crestview Dr

Rent: 1 BR + 1BA $895; 2 BR + 1 BA $995
Deposit: $500-750 deposit; $45 application fee/adult; $350-$450 pet deposit; $15 rent/pet; max 2 pets, must be under 25 lbs.
Features: Laundry facilities, party room, outdoor pool, saunas, patios, assigned parking
Distance to school: 2 miles

Other Apartments:

South Block, Woodside Estates, Willamette Landing, Rose Park Apartments, Lockhaven Hill Estates, Keizer Terrace, Gateway Village Apartments, Fairmount Park, and others. This list is not exhaustive, and can be supplemented with other companies and sites.

International students may be interested in seeking a cultural and language immersion experience. Willamette University partners with 2 local homestay providers that match students with host families in the Salem area. Both ANDEO and American Homestay Network screen and interview their host families, ensuring a safe and welcoming environment for students.


ANDEO is a Portland-based nonprofit organization that offers homestays for international students attending colleges and universities in Oregon. A homestay can be a great learning experience for international students who wish to immerse themselves in American culture and the English language as part of a local family. All ANDEO homestays include a private bedroom, all meals, high-speed internet access, and access to public transportation. Please visit or call (503) 274-1776 for more information.

American Homestay Network 

American Homestay Network (AHN) is an international organization that matches students with host families, including in the Salem area. Please visit for more information. 

The following is a partial list of the various utility providers in the Salem area. If you are renting an apartment check with your landlord or apartment management company before contacting these utility providers as some of these services are provided by apartment owners. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, and Willamette University makes no specific endorsement of these providers.


Portland General Electric
(503) 228-6322 or (800) 542-8818

Natural Gas

Northwest Natural
(800) 422-4012

Telephone and Internet Service

Both Comcast and Qwest provide phone and internet service to the Salem area. There are also numerous other internet service providers throughout the Willamette Valley, however these are the main two providers.

(800) COM-CAST

Qwest Communications
(800) 244-1111

Cable Television

(800) COM-CAST