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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.
Principal Real Estate Broker/CRS GRI
Homes For Sale
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Homes & Health
City living in a charming condo filled with light and open floor plan
Come live in the very walkable Northwest Portland area that is close to many delights—a French boulangerie and coffee shop, restaurants, food co-op, public library, public transit—and has a walk score of 89. The home is on a bus line and a short walk to the streetcar line. The Mediterranean style building has only ten units; this charming one is filled with light and has a soaring ceiling in the living room, in addition to the fireplace. The open floor plan provides space yet is a comfortable size (total of 991 square feet), with bedroom and bath tucked into loft area above, a half bath on main, two balconies, parking in street-level garage, and extra storage in attic space. The custom lighting is new as are two 7-foot armoires (great storage) included in sale. Light-filled with view from wall of windows in living room; balconies on both levels. Gleaming hardwoods on main. Gas fireplace, central AC. Spacious kitchen with eat bar, quartz counters. Includes built-in dishwasher, built-in microwave, disposal, range, and refrigerator. Price: $319,000. More details at RMLS – #14098700.
A town in North Dakota where the rents are really, really high
7 March 2014 — In the middle of an oil boom, Williston, North Dakota, can’t build housing fast enough. In fact, it’s growing so fast that last year’s Census Bureau estimates that its population doubled from 14,700 in 2010 to 26,700 today. North Dakota now produces more oil than any state besides Texas. Its small towns along theWilliston basin and Bakken formation serving as the face of the growth that has come with it. Williston in particular has become defined by the recent boom; its thousands of newcomers have caused astronomical jumps in rent. ApartmentGuide.com recently tracked the average cheapest rent in every U.S. town as of last December 31 and found that Williston and the surrounding area have a higher entry level price point than even New York and San Francisco. A quick browse through Craigslist this morning shows one-bedrooms going for $2,700. Read more…
Underwater mortgages rise slightly in 2013′s fourth quarter: CoreLogic
7 March 2014 — The share of mortgaged homes worth less than their loan balance rose slightly in the last quarter of 2013, a period when home prices typically sag under slow sales. Nationwide, 13.3 percent of homes with a mortgage were underwater at the end of the year, the real estate data firm CoreLogic reported. Those 6.5 million homes together are upside-down by $398.4 billion. Still, a year characterized by a rapid run-up in home prices chipped away significantly at the negative equity left in the wake of the housing crash. More than 4 million homes that were once underwater regained equity in 2013. Read more…
Rap from the St. Johns neighborhood
9 March 2014 — Since hip-hop arose from New York’s poorest boroughs in the 1970s, rappers have become famous name-checking some of the country’s worst neighborhoods. Portland may not have a Compton or a Bedford-Stuyvesant, but for the young people who live there, St. Johns is hard enough. The North Portland peninsula at the edge of America’s whitest city is home to public housing communities, higher crime rates and a group of rappers who believe music is their chance for a better life. The best-known rapper to emerge from St. Johns is Illmaculate, who canceled his performance with other hip-hop artists at Blue Monk last week to protest the presence of police. He’s also one of few rappers in Portland to enjoy big commercial success. Rap production in this town tends toward DIY: homemade mix tapes and simple videos shot along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. But the music coming out of St. Johns offers an important look at the city. The lyrics recast places many Portlanders know. For these rappers, the St. Johns Bridge is not an Instagram image but a barrier that symbolizes the wide gulf separating their world from the rest of the city. Read more…
Columbia River inspires painters
9 March 2014 — It rises in the Canadian Rockies and flows steeply through the landscape it has created, finally broadening into an estuary of sloughs and islands before its waters meet the salt of the great Pacific. Here, at its mouth, it is an ever-present fact of life with a physical and spiritual power that inspires artists to cluster in homage at its shores. “The river is pervasive in the landscape,” says artist Thomas Benenati, who works as a ranger at Washington’s Fort Columbia State Park. “It’s everywhere I look, almost my whole day.” The Columbia is a presence in well over half of Benenati’s paintings, but it is almost never the subject. It is the textures and tonal values of the river that are the setting for the subject. The river, he observes, “Never goes anywhere, but it’s always different. Its reliability is a place for me to start my work. Read more…
Hunt for frog eggs
9 March 2014 — The Duck Lake Wetlands in Scappoose, just east of Highway 30 near Means Nursery, is an expanse of invasive reed canary grass choked by various dykes that restrict the area’s water from interacting with the Multnomah Channel. While native salmon are mostly blocked from the wetlands, a number of amphibian species have established a strong presence. Chas McCoy, coordinator for the Scappoose Bay Watershed Council, said the group is hoping to draft a “passive restoration plan” for the area, one that would allow salmon to return without hindering the amphibian habitat. McCoy said the plan, which involves reconfiguring nearby Joy Creek into the wetland, would be slated for implementation in 2015. On Tuesday, March 4, surveyors from various agencies and organizations, equipped with thigh-high waders, trekking poles and large spoons, waded into the wetlands in search of amphibian egg masses. Read more…
Cornelius teen loves to collect specimens and plan field trips for the Tualatin Valley Rock & Gem Club
9 March 2014 — Collectible teddy bears used to fill the shelves of Tina True’s Cornelius home until a rockslide (of sorts) swept them away. More specifically, they were crowded out by the hundreds of rocks her son, Brian, and husband, Dave, have brought back from all over the Northwest. “I’m hoping the house doesn’t sink,” quipped Tina, pointing toward not only the rocks — which weigh an estimated 10 tons and line baseboards and window sills as well as shelves — but the bulk of trophies Brian, 13, has scored by winning the junior division of the Portland regional rock and gem competition three years in a row.Brian, 13, is a confirmed rockhound, a hobby his dad and his mom are only too glad to encourage. “I’m happy to put up with rock dust,” Tina said. “They are out there making memories.”It all began about six years ago, when Brian stumbled on his father’s rock collection from childhood, discovering rocks wrapped up and stored in boxes. His father told him about collecting rocks when he was a kid and described each rock — sparkly samples, specimens with deep black centers, oddly-shaped ones — as Brian unwrapped it. He was hooked. “I started going to rock shows,” he explained. Read more…
New game lets you build your own subway system
9 March 2014 — Fed up with your city’s metro? Think you can do better? Here’s your chance. New game “Mini Metro” lets you design your own subway system. Train speeds and commuter behavior are automated, so your task is simple: draw the routes that’ll get the trains to run as efficiently as possible. You start with a small city of three unconnected stations. But as new neighborhoods pop up and the population swells, you must grow the system accordingly before everything grinds to a halt. Read more…
A Portland mailman’s last stop is the most rewarding
8 March 2014 — Long before Dave Burgeson arrives, residents gather in the expansive lobby, sitting in chairs to keep an eye on the front door for the visitor who connects them to the outside world. Although Burgeson is just a mail carrier, he receives a greeting worthy of a dignitary, the crowd applauding and calling out his name when he steps inside the building. He repays them by pretending to look startled, then smiling and offering a theatrical bow. The receptionist – used to this game – goes about her business and simply places a sign on her desk reading: “The mail is here.” Read more…
Coca-Cola and Nestle are sucking us dry without our even knowing
8 March 2014 — The droughts currently ravaging California, which will likely send food prices soaring down the road, have highlighted the importance of available freshwater supplies. As 17 communities in California are within 60 days of running out of drinking water, the ability of companies like Coca-Cola and Nestle to effectively privatize water supplies feels awfully disconcerting. While the rains that just began to fall out west may bring some measure of relief, the fact remains that the world is coming up hard against a water crisis. In thirsty regions of the world, Coca-Cola and Nestle have repeatedly clashed with communities over the perception that the companies were commandeering scarce water supplies at the expense of small farmers and poor villages. While both companies have deployed aggressive water conservation campaigns, with an understanding that water is an essential input to their businesses, Nestle and Coca-Cola have long faced accusations that they suck vulnerable communities dry in pursuit of their profit motives. Read more…