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 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 Shelli at (503) 497-5061 or Susan at (503) 497 -2984.

Shelli Gowdy — Real Estate Broker
Susan Marthens —  Principal Real Estate Broker/CRS GRI



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Real Estate & Homes 

On the market: Oregon homes with a private wine cellar

22 October — Pinot noir and other grapes have been harvested from Oregon’s bountiful vineyards. The fruity clusters are being crushed, then pampered to age away in flavor-enhancing oak barrels or tanks for months before bottling. What can you do until you can buy the 2016 vintage? Root into your wine cellar and quaff what you have. Don’t have a wine cellar? Don’t feel dispirited. In this week’s real estate gallery, we look at homes on the market or recently sold that have a room dedicated to storing wine, either underground, where the temperature naturally stays around the preferred 55 degrees, or near the dining room, where it’s easier to show off status labels.  Read more… 

How can your home make you sick?

21 October — When Dr. Rishi Manchanda worked in a clinic in South Central Los Angeles, he saw that patients were getting sick because of toxic living conditions — so he tried a unique treatment approach. Rishi Manchanda is a physician and public health innovator. He aims to reinvigorate primary care by teaching doctors to think about and treat the social and environmental conditions that often underlie sickness.  Read more… 

How to toxins from plastic find their way into our food??

21 October — Ocean advocate Emily Penn has seen first hand how much plastic ends up in the oceans. She explains how the toxins from plastic makes their way into our food chain and how we might be able to stop it. Emily Penn is an ocean advocate and director of Pangaea Exploration, which helps scientists, filmmakers and everyday people visit the most remote parts of our planet. Emily is the youngest and only female recipient of Yachtmaster of the Year, awarded by HRH Princess Royal.  Read more…

The march of second-generation immigrants

21 October — The children of immigrants face enormous challenges, especially these days. Almost 60 percent have a parent with limited English capabilities, so the kids assume the burden of serving as the translators between their families and the outside world. This can have serious academic and economic consequences. More than 40 percent also have a parent who’s not a citizen, which, in the current anti-immigrant environment, can be emotionally stressful.  Read more… 


Explore Deconstruction

21 October — Deconstruction is the systematic disassembly of a structure in the opposite order it was constructed to maximize salvage of material for reuse. Portland City Council adopted an ordinance, including code language, which requires projects seeking a demolition permit of a house or duplex to fully deconstruct that structure if it was built in 1916 or earlier or is a designated historic resource. The new deconstruction requirements become effective October 31, 2016. Demolition permit applications deemed complete prior to October 31st are not subject to this new requirement. Visit the City of Portland’s website for more details about the new deconstruction policy.

Building a better birdhouse

21 October — Larry Schwitters is putting a lot of hope into a five-gallon bucket of bird poop. It’s one of the ways he plans to lure thousands of Vaux’s swifts into his homemade version of the chimneys these birds use as a nightly roost. “The idea is we throw it in the chimney and it has an odor supposedly the swifts can smell,” he said. “If they fly over it and take a sniff, they’ll think, ‘Hey, swifts have used this before. This is a good one. You can smell it.’” Vaux’s (rhymes with “boxes”) swifts are known for the dazzling displays they create as they funnel into chimneys to roost for the night.  Read more…

Lake Oswego’s vote on city-backed internet service could send signal statewide

21 October — Don’t like your choices for internet service? In Lake Oswego, voters have a chance to demand their own. A November ballot measure asks residents whether the city should back a new fiber-optic network that promises superfast, “gigabit” internet service for $60 a month. A private company would build and own the network, but the city would be on the hook if signups don’t meet expectations. Some advocates of making internet service more accessible have called on municipalities to treat broadband service as a utility, like water and electricity.  Read more…

Is pain infectious? Apparently so! New experiments show sensitivity to pain can be spread socially – through SMELL

21 October — Pain could be contagious, a groundbreaking new study claims. Lab mice were put through a series of tests which should not have been painful – ticklish at the most. But the rodents reacted as if their feet were burning. The experiments by researchers in Portland, Oregon, suggested the mice caught this heightened sensitivity from other mice who were primed to feel pain. Both groups of mice were in the same room, in cages approximately 1.5 meters apart from each other – but they could not see each other.  Read more…

Oregon coast has a ghost forest

21 October — At first glance, the Neskowin Ghost Forest, some 15 miles north of Lincoln City, Oregon, looks like the eerie remnants of an old pier. In fact, the beachfront spectacle at Neskowin Beach State Recreation Site is made of a couple dozen barnacle-coated Sitka spruce tree stumps from a decimated 2,000-year-old forest. Most Oregonians were unaware the forest existed until 1997, when big storms created powerful waves that excavated it, revealing the peculiar tree remains. Scientists believe the forest was originally destroyed and buried under sand during an earthquake or the resulting tsunami.  Read more…

Food pantries benefit many people with minimal effort

21 October — About three years ago, someone from the Portland Food Project came knocking at the Cedar Mill home of J. and Judi Wandres to invite them to join the cause. The Portland Food Project collects non-perishable food for 19 metro-area food pantries by using volunteer neighborhood coordinators who sign up their neighbors to collect one item per week, which the coordinators pick up once every two months. “We had done it in New Jersey before we moved to Oregon,” J. Wandres said. “We liked the program because it’s convenient for everyone.”Last spring the couple moved to the 55-plus Summerfield community in Tigard and decided they wanted to keep donating food, but to their surprise, the closest neighborhood coordinator lived in the Sellwood area.  Read more…

Study” ‘Patient-centered primary care homes’ save Oregon millions

20 October — A Portland State University study has found that Oregon’s new system of primary care homes is saving the state millions of dollars. Patient-centered primary care homes are clinics where the needs of seriously ill patients are met holistically. Staff members make sure patients attend all doctor appointments, take medications, eat well and exercise. The director of policy at the Oregon Health Authority Leslie Clement, said she’s pleased with the study’s results, “It just confirms what we have always said, that the investment in patient-centered primary care really yields great outcomes both in terms of quality and cost.”  Read more…