Best Neighborhoods in Salem Oregon


Cambridge area home. Where are the best neighborhoods in Salem Oregon? One of the most difficult things about relocating to a new area is figuring out where to live. Neighborhoods are all different and appeal to different types of people. The best neighborhoods are the ones that feel most like home to you. Some home buyers are new construction kind of people and some love the old lush nature feel of our older, established neighborhoods.  If you stopped locals on the street and asked them, this is likely what they would say.


Some of you may have heard about the solid schools in our south Salem neighborhoods or west Salem neighborhoods. With long histories of good school test scores, low crime, and good home resale, these neighborhoods are often considered desirable by home buyers.

Best neighborhoods in Salem Oregon that are walkable

Fairmount Hills Neighborhood Home

Fairmount Hills Neighborhood Home

Want to walk to local restaurants? Maybe you work for one of the state offices, or just like the idea of being around everything? Then the downtown core and walkable neighborhoods might be what you are looking for.  What is walkable will be different to different people, but there are a variety of walkable neighborhoods to the downtown core, but there are also a couple of neighborhoods that aren’t surrounding the downtown core that are walkable to grocery stores, a couple of eateries and medical facilities that might work for you as well.

Most of the walkable neighborhoods will contain old housing stock as that is what was built around the historic Salem downtown core.  Neighborhoods like Gaity Hill, Bush Park, and Fairmount Hills have more upscale historic homes whereas Grant and Capital Park/Richmond have some smaller housing stock.  The Court Chemeketa Historic District is also an incredibly walkable neighborhood as well. You also get the added benefit of being able to get to Word of Mouth Bistro easily.  If you don’t mind a bit of a further trek then Highland and Englewood are both bus accessible and walkable.


Best neighborhoods in Salem Oregon that are affordable

best neighborhoods in Salem Oregon-Ironwood Estates

Ironwood Estates Neighborhood

If you want to consider homeownership but your budget is tight, then the best affordability is in our East Salem neighborhoods.

Jan Ree has long been a nice affordable neighborhood in East Salem.  You will read online about how bad East Salem is and that isn’t true. Yes, there are some neighborhoods with unkempt housing stock, but there are really good, well-kept neighborhoods all over the East side of Salem. Jan Ree, Northstar, Santana Village, Homestead, and others are all more affordable areas with generally well-maintained homes.



Best neighborhoods in Salem Oregon for commuters

Maybe quick access to Portland is what you need as a home buyer, one member of the family works in Portland, and one in Salem. Consider the Keizer neighborhoods to take time off your commute. Keizer is a highly desirable city for commuters as you can access the freeway from Lockhaven Dr. or Brooklake Rd.  All of the Clear Lake area neighborhoods like The Vineyards, The Meadows, Hidden Creek, etc. have good access either way so if you are heading north, getting on the Brooklake Rd. exit will save you time coming and going. Clear Lake also feeds into desirable schools so they are popular neighborhoods.

You can also consider neighborhoods that have fast and easy access to I-5 in a variety of price ranges. Jan Ree and Northstar have excellent highway access and commuters can be on the road in about 5-8 minutes. Meadowlawn also offers easy access to I-5 and the 22 exit.

You can still head farther south into Salem and have fast highway access with Cambridge, Nottingham, Woodscape, and Foxhaven.  If you are heading south to Albany or Corvallis for a commute then Battlecreek Heights and Creekside Estates would be easy access to jump on the highway in minutes.


Best neighborhoods in Salem Oregon that are luxury/upscale

best neighborhoods in Salem Oregon-Inland shores

A Inland Shores Neighborhood Home

If luxury and upscale is your thing, Salem/Keizer has neighborhood options from golf club neighborhoods to acreage subdivisions to a handful of gated communities like Circuit Rider and Forest Lake Estates.  For more information on upscale neighborhoods see our upscale neighborhoods in Salem page. Most of these will be neighborhoods with Home Owners Associations (HOA), but there are a couple of upscale neighborhoods that have Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions but not a HOA governing body. I know some of you coming from other states are used to HOAs and planned communities, but they are not as desirable in the Salem Oregon area so we don’t have many of them.  We do have many neighborhoods with Conditions, Covenants and Restrictions with no HOA so that is very common here.

The real estate agents at Tomson Burnham have been in all the nooks and crannies of our city taking videos and writing about each neighborhood to make your search for a new home a bit easier, from the comfort of your chair and a nice cup of hot cocoa. So sit down, click on the map, and start to explore where you might want to buy your next home.

You can also watch some of our short YouTube videos for some of the neighborhoods.

Ready to get started?


East Salem


South Salem

South Central

West Salem