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Susan’s Guide to Portland

Let me Help You Find a Home and a Neighborhood

Welcome to my Web site about the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area. It’s my 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 my Web site are always welcome.

If you have questions or if you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Portland area, contact me online or call me at (503) 497-2984.

Susan Marthens

Principal Real Estate Broker/CRS GRI

Oregon standard "tree" plate that has been issued since 1989. This blue-on-yellow baseplate was introduced in 1975 and was issued through 1987 - you still see the plate on a few Oregon vehicles today. Custom salmon plate.  The extra proceeds from sales are used for the following: Litter Patrol Fund, Governors' Watershed Enhancement Board, and State parks. 1947 Oregon plate. Custom Crater Lake National Park Centennial plate - released in 2002.  The extra proceeds are distributed to the Litter Patrol Fund and National Park Foundation.

Homes For Sale

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Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com

Homes & Health

Transforming the sky between buildings into elaborate doodles

20 April 2014 — While many people find wild things in clouds, French artist Thomas Lamadieu finds a whole world of whimsical characters in the blue sky nestled between buildings. For the past year, Lamadieu has been transforming patches of empty sky into intricate illustrations. The ongoing series called “SkyArt” will go on exhibit early next month in Hong Kong, as part of “Le French May,” an annual festival of cultural exchange. In some of his more recent work shown below, Lamadieu’s characters settle into the urban architecture of Germany, Canada, Belgium, and France.  Read more…

Park Avenue West Tower reaches 10 stories and climbing in downtown Portland

20 April 2014 — Portland’s best-known unfinished skyscraper, recently resurrected, is starting to take shape. After the recession forced a hiatus of more than four years, construction on the Park Avenue West Tower, which sits between Park Avenue and 9th, started again at the beginning of 2014. On Wednesday, workers started to erect the steel frame of the tower, and its concrete core — the backbone that will contain its elevators and utilities — had reached 10 stories high. Eventually the building will be 30 stories, with two floors of retail, 15 of high-end apartments and 13 of offices.  Read more…

Ultimate Open House tour showcases new homes throughout Portland metro area

20 April 2014 — The fifth annual Ultimate Open House, a scattered-site home show put on by the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland (HBA), is under way. The six-day show takes place Fridays through Sundays over two weekends: May 13-15 and May 20-22, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The Ultimate Open House features free tours of 43 new homes, including condos, townhomes and detached single-family homes, spread out over a wide geographic range. The idea is to pick what you want to see — from home style to price to location — and map out a day of touring. Although you could go visit each of the listings in the show, it’s designed to offer a more targeted approach. The show also has five vacant home lots in case you’re looking for a place to build your own. The Ultimate Open House has been a winner in the past for the builders who participate. Nancy Haskin — HBA’s head of membership, events and education — said it’s been a good catalyst for home sales, even while the market has been struggling. However, she said there are fewer homes in the show this year than last because the tight lending environment is constraining home-building activity. The inventory of new homes on the market is getting smaller, which is a reason why potential home buyers might want to take advantage of the show.  Read more…

Southwest Portland monthly median rent cost compared by neighborhood and city sector (infographic)

19 April 2014 — The following is the final in a six-part series of infographics comparing rent cost in Portland’s neighborhoods, broken down by six city sectors. Also, see current and historical rent averages in North, Northeast, Southeast, East, and Northwest Portland. Stay tuned for a series roundup to be posted early next week. Data was collected from the Zillow Rent Index, which is the median value of all rent prices in a geographic area. Some neighborhoods were left out due to lack of data and market volatility.  Read more…

News

Oregon historical photo: Two governors compare lapel widths

20 April 2014 — Every week, Oregon Experience shares a photo highlighting the state’s diverse, exciting history. All photos are courtesy of The Oregon Historical SocietyRepublican Mark Hatfield, left, served as Oregon’s governor from 1957 to 1967. He was succeeded by Republican Tom McCall, right, from 1967 to 1975, after Hatfield went to U.S. Senate. Although both men had different clothing styles, they shared the distinction of being iconic, maverick Republicans. Hatfield made waves in 1965 when he became the first prominent Republican to oppose the war in Vietnam.  For his obituary, The New York Times stated: At a meeting of the National Governors Association on July 28, 1965, as his colleagues rallied behind President Lyndon B. Johnson, Mr. Hatfield said, ‘I cannot support the president on what he has done so far.’ He complained that Johnson’s escalation of the war had American troops taking over South Vietnam’s responsibility ‘to win or lose.’ Citing ‘the deaths of noncombatant men, women and children,’ he said the American bombing campaign ‘merits the general condemnation of mankind.’  Read more…

Carrying guns on the beach may be legal, but it’s not civil: Guest opinion

20 April 2014 — Let us consider the stories of two Oregon Coast men who enjoy walking on the beach but go about it in dramatically different ways. One man, Matt Love from Astoria, walks on the beach at least five times a week with his 15-year-old husky and has been known to build driftwood forts and plunge naked into the ocean. He just turned 50 and works as a writer, publisher and educator. The other man, Dustin Harris from Lincoln City, walks down Highway 101 and across the beach open carrying a rifle, pistol and a permitted concealed weapon and causes multiple people to call 911 and report a potentially dangerous situation. He is 26, has two young children and works as an assistant manager of a restaurant. The older man recently read an article about the younger man open carrying a rifle in Lincoln City and the beach and contacted him via Facebook, requesting an online interview to learn his reasons for doing something that is wholly antithetical to every atom of the older man’s being.  Read more…

Motorcycles roar through Portland back alleys

20 April 2014 — t’s the only motorcycle rally of it’s kind, anywhere. The annual ‘Alley Sweeper’ rally sends motorcycles down Portland’s public back alleys. Organizers say it promotes awareness and safety. But others aren’t happy with hundreds of motorcycles roaring through the alleys. “We get to explore parts of Portland that most people don’t get a chance to,” said ‘Alley Sweeper’ organizer Patrick Leyshock. “You kind of feel like you’re riding on the countryside,” said rider Andy Parker. But it’s not the country. This uniquely Portland motorcycle event runs through the city’s public alley ways.  Read more…

William O. Douglas Wilderness Area has short, easy hike with awesome mountain views

20 April 2014 — High above U.S. 12, between White Pass and Yakima, there is a special place that packs in some of the best mountain views in all of Washington. It’s easy to drive to and the hike is easy, too. You get to see Mount Adams and the Goat Rocks wilderness areas fully revealed to the south, plus Mount Rainier to the west and the peaks of theWilliam O. Douglas Wilderness Area to the north. If it’s clear, you can also see a bit of the Stuart Range. Here’s how to find the hike from the south. From Portland, drive Interstate 5 north to U.S. 12. Go east over White Pass and down the Yakima side to the junction with Bethel Ridge Road (No. 1500). This is 17.5 miles from White Pass. The road is a relatively well-traveled mountain corridor and serves as a divider for designated Washington hunting units. It continues through north to S.R. 410.  Read more…

‘Tween girls run toward self-respect, healthy life

19 April 2014 — The Duniway Park track near Oregon Health and Science University can be an intimidating place. On a wet, April evening, tights-clad runners battle one another at 1,500-meter speeds. Dozens of members of the Red Lizard running club stretch their sinews and strut about. High school girls stand around, deadly serious, with javelins and vaulting poles. Standing quietly trackside, a dozen girls ages 8 to 11 listen to three women, their volunteer coaches. It’s the end of a long school day, but they are rapt. This is Girls on the Run, a national nonprofit whose official mission is “To educate and prepare girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living.” The Portland chapter adds that it uses “Running, games and discussing important issues to celebrate being a girl.”  Read more…

Travel: The nation’s 7 best cities to visit for beer

19 April 2014 — Boasting the highest concentration of breweries of any city in the world — more than 50 in the metropolitan area — Portland tops our list. Large-scale operations have rubbed shoulders with small craft breweries in the Rose City since the 1980s, and micro-breweries and nano-breweries (breweries that generally produce four barrels or fewer) are popular destinations for locals and tourists alike. Deschutes Brewery, Hopworks Urban Brewery, and Upright Brewings are perennial favorites, but there are lots of offerings in this quirky beer-loving, hipster-friendly city.  Read more…

Will family ties hinder or help Kafoury?

19 April 2014 — Al Gore did the Macarena. Mitt Romney did Gangnam Style. Both Clintons and Obamas have danced in public on numerous occasions. But none of them as enthusiastically as Deborah Kafoury. Two years ago, the Multnomah County commissioner took the stage in a red fringed cocktail dress and heels — shaking and shimmying across the stage to the Black Eyed Peas’ “Pump It” — to a rowdy crowd of friends and colleagues. “It was so much fun; I would do it again in a heartbeat,” says Kafoury, 46, the former state legislator, House minority leader, county commissioner, mother of three young children, and now candidate for the county’s top job. “What I lacked in dance skills I made up for in enthusiasm,” she adds. While some politicians obsess about their public image and change their messages to reflect the latest public opinion poll, Kafoury doesn’t care what people think. Her supporters say her fearless enthusiasm — coupled with her commitment to address poverty and residents traditionally left behind — makes her the best candidate for the job of Multnomah County chair.  Read more…