Shelli's & Susan's Guide to Portland
Let us Help You Find a Home and a Neighborhood
Welcome to our website about the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area. It's our way of helping you become acquainted with the neighborhoods and communities of the Portland metro area and to inform you about the Portland area housing market. Your comments and suggestions about the website are always welcome.
If you have questions or if you're interested in buying or selling a home in the Portland area, contact us online or call Susan at (503) 497-2984 or Shelli at (503) 497-5061.
Susan Marthens — Principal Real Estate Broker/CRS GRI
Shelli Gowdy — Real Estate Broker
New Listings in the City of Portland
New Listings by Area in the City of Portland
Homes for Sale in the Portland Metro Area Suburbs
Curve allure: Homes, furniture, fixtures bend with the trend
27 August 2015 — Curves have always been sexy, but recently home builders and designers have been bending to fashion's trend of rounding edges and flirting with circles and curls. Swirl shapes are sensuous, sure, and surprisingly practical. Sofas with a curvature draw people close. Round dining tables make it easier for everyone to join the conversation. Freestanding oval tubs don't have the unforgiving corners of tile-encased rectangular ones and what's a cooler contour for any light fixture than a drum shape? Home designer Ruth Chancellor of Chancellor Designs in Lake Oswego cheers on curves. She says rounded shapes are one of the subtle elements, like the right color palette, that you don't really notice but add to a sense of style and comfort. "A key element in good design is you don't know why, but you feel good," she says. "You want furniture that is beautiful to look and comfortable to be in." Rounded chair arms. Curved seat backs. Arched headboards. She used many of the soft edges in her designer tool box to furnish a traditional-style, two-level residence, called The Highland Couture, which is one of nine luxury homes on the 2015 NW Natural Street of Dreams in Lake Oswego through Sunday, Aug. 30. Read more…
Portland-area home prices climb 7.8% year-over-year
26 August 2015 — Portland-area home prices grew faster in June than they did nationwide, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday. From May to June, housing prices swelled by 1 percent nationally and 1.5 percent in the Portland area. The year-over-year increase was 4.5 percent nationally and 7.8 percent in Portland. Only Denver (10.2 percent), San Francisco (9.5 percent) and Dallas (8.2 percent) posted larger increases from June to June among the 20 cities surveyed. Miami (7.7 percent) and Seattle (7.4 percent) were right on Portland's tail. David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee, said in a statement that national price gains "have been consistent as the unemployment rate declined with steady inflation and an unchanged [Federal Reserve] policy." Read more…
Do you like classic or modern home design? Street of Dreams has some of both
25 August 2015 — European-style architecture is the cornerstone of high-end housing in the United States. Victorians and Georgians as well as French, Spanish and Dutch Colonials popped up in Boston and Philadelphia in the 18th and 19th century, and later, in Portland. The long tradition of adopting high-styled architectural features continues. A new house with pillars, arches and wrought iron in Lake Oswego is one of nine luxury houses on the 2015 NW Natural Street of Dreams home tour through Aug. 30. The homeowners lived across the Atlantic and wanted to import elements of European style to the Pacific Northwest. Consider it the ultimate overseas souvenir. Read more…
Could Major league baseball come to Portland?
27 August 2015 — Speaking at a Baseball Writers Association of America luncheon during major league All-Star week in Cincinnati, Commissioner Rob Manfred said he is open to the possibility of expansion and, if necessary, relocation of existing franchises. “Maybe one of the reasons I got this job is, I’m bullish on the game,” said Manfred, who assumed his position a year ago. “I think we are in a growth business, broadly defined. Over an extended period of time, growth businesses look to get bigger. So yeah, I’m open to the idea that there will be a point in time where expansion may be possible.” As for relocation, Manfred said he doesn’t want to move the Tampa Bay Rays or Oakland Athletics — the two franchises with poor attendance and stadium issues — but if logistics demand a move, the league wants to be prepared. He said MLB’s analysis of other prospective cities will “examine their viability, think about what we can do to make them more viable, so that we have business alternatives if they are available to us.” Read more…
Can this Vancouver-made app help kids love math?
27 August 2015 — Amey Laud, is ready to release its latest app. The math education app, called Learn and Earn, is designed for students in grades 1-4 to practice basic math skills. The app has some expected elements: a game feel, a cute mascot and a curriculum built by educators based on U.S. standards. What sets the app apart is its focus on a child’s motivation to use it daily. The app allows parents to tie it to an Amazon account. Parents select how much they are willing to spend and children select a “prize” within that price range. Children work toward the goal and the app keeps track of use. Read more…
City tackles master plan for off-road bikes
27 August 2015 — There’s an informal truce in effect between mountain bikers and Portland officials, while the city creates a master plan for expanding off-road biking opportunities in town. But now comes the hard part: Plotting new mountain biking paths within city parks and other natural areas that don’t disturb nature — or arouse conflicts with hikers and other park users. Mountain bikers, who are growing increasingly vocal and numerous in Portland, were enraged in 2010 when Portland Parks & Recreation decided against adding mountain biking trails in Forest Park. They grew livid on March 2, when Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish abruptly banned mountain biking in River View Natural Area, which, with seven miles of dirt trails, was the city’s best mountain biking spot. Read more…
The first landscape photos of the Columbia Gorge
27 August 2015 — Two years after the Civil War an internationally renowned landscape photographer turned his lens to Oregon. In 1867, Carleton Watkins traveled along the Columbia River Gorge by steamship to capture the first comprehensive images of this breathtaking 100-mile stretch. This month, OPB’s new series Greetings From The Northwest focuses on our region’s dynamic rivers. Watkin’s photos capture Columbia River Gorge in a way that’s both familiar today and lost with time. What’s truly remarkable are the sheer size of these prints — 18 x 22-inch. Watkins was the first American landscape photographer to construct a camera that could create such large negatives. Read more…
Facebook wins Prineville data center tax deal worth millions
27 August 2015 — Facebook won approval for a big new data center in Prineville Wednesday, with the city council and Crook County commissioners signing off unanimously on the deal. The social-networking company will save tens of millions of dollars, or more, over the 15-year-life of the deal if it proceeds with construction. Facebook says it has been considering an alternative site and will make a decision by the end of the month. Facebook has given every indication, though, that it plans to build a third big data center in the central Oregon community of more than 9,000 residents. The company already has two large server farms there, and a smaller "cold storage" facility that holds older photos and Facebook posts rarely accessed by the social network's visitors. Read more…
A local author joins the fight to save the great Sequoias of Eastmoreland
26 August 2015 — Last night two drunks came to visit the trees. It was 3 am, and they parked their car so the headlights shone on the massive trunks as they stumbled around, gazing skyward.“These things are huge, man.” “We can’t let them cut ’em down…” They woke me up, and I stood at our bedroom window tempted to tell them to shut up. But the thing is, I sympathize with those guys. The trees are indeed huge, over 150 feet tall. There are three of them, all planted in a neat row supposedly back in the 1800s, giant sequoias with trunks so thick you could drive a small car through them, just like they do in those national parks on the California coast. It would indeed be a shame to cut them down, especially just to make room for one more big house that no one in particular has asked for. Even Vic Remmers, the developer who plans to build it, agrees with the drunk guys, to a certain extent. “I really wish we could find another solution,” he wrote me. Read more…
Oregon's tax 'kicker' rebate, explained (video)
26 August 2015 — In 1980, voters approved a law to return — or "kick" — excess tax money back to the people. Here's how it works: At the start of a budget cycle, state economists estimate how much tax revenue they expect to collect over the next two years. If, in the end, it turns out they low-balled it by more than 2 percent, the entire surplus is returned to voters in the form of a tax rebate. How much? That's a more complicated question. Read more…
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