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
New Listings by Community in the Portland Metro Area
On the market: Houses designed by famous Portland architects
4 July 2015 — Do you know who designed your home? Odds are, a licensed architect wasn't directly involved. According to the American Institute of Architects, only 6 percent of its industry's revenues come from drawing one-of-a-kind plans for single-family residences. Houses in tract developments and even some custom homes are built based on existing plans. These drawings are repeated over and over, tweaked by cosmetic alterations and pick-your-look facades. Portland builders like midcentury master Bob Rummer were known for being flexible with their floor plans. Neighbors in Rummer's seemingly lookalike post-and-beam houses, which were inspired by A. Quincy Jones and other Case Study House architects, discovered that their window placement was shifted to take better advantage of the views. Or a laundry room was given a skosh more room because the lot allowed it. Read more…
Mapping the hourly wage needed to rent a 2-bedroom apartment in every U.S. state
4 July 2015 — Yes, the American economy is improving, and yes, we’re creating more jobs. But the hourly wages for a lot of these jobs are stagnant at best. According to the Pew Research Center, 30 percent of America’s workforce earns a near-minimum-wage salary—that’s almost 21 million people. As a cruel paradox,rents across the country keep rising. A new report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition examines how these opposite trends play out regionally. The work maps how much an American worker needs to earn per hour in each state to rent a two-bedroom apartment. It finds that in no state can a person earning minimum wage afford such an apartment at market rent. Governor Kate Brown of Oregon sums up the problem in the report’s preface. Read more…
Panel adds anti-gentrification planks to city comprehensive plan
4 July 2015 — The Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission agreed last week to start adding a series of provisions to the city’s comprehensive land-use plan to ward off the ill effects of gentrification. Many of the provisions were proposed by an ad hoc coalition of 22 community groups now called Anti-Displacement PDX. The coalition proposed an 11-point plan aimed at preventing the further displacement of low-income residents and people of color from their neighborhoods due to gentrification, and pushing the city to provide more affordable housing. As the planning and sustainability commissioners started taking up the provisions one by one, members of the 22 groups cheered and shared cake to celebrate their triumph. Read more...
Oregon Legislature approves free community college legislation
4 July 2015 — Oregon State Senator Mark Hass made universal access to community colleges his signature legislative goal for the 2015 session. His historic campaign to expand access to higher education passed the Oregon Legislature this week by overwhelming margins in both ends of the Capitol. The final vote for SB81 in the Oregon Senate was an astonishing 28-1. The bill passed 48-12 in the Oregon House of Representatives. With approval from both ends of the legislature in Salem, the bill to waive community college tuition is headed to Governor Kate Brown and is expected to become law in time for the 2016-17 academic year. Read more...
These animated maps of 250,000 Portland drivers parking will mesmerize you
4 July 2015 — When the city of Portland released information from 900,000 parking tickets issued over nearly four years, a few obvious questions popped up: Where and when are you most likely to get a parking ticket in Portland? Do meter officers really keep walking their beats until 7 p.m.? Does the city's parking division target Timbers games for easy money? But no one expected "the daily dip." That's the best way to describe how many of the city's parking officers appear to stop writing tickets between 2 and 4 p.m. "Quite frankly, we don't know what's happening there," said Mark Friedman, the city's Parking Division manager. "Whatever we say would be pure speculation." The Oregonian/OregonLive analyzed every citation issued in Portland from Jan. 1, 2011 to Dec. 1, 2014, trying to spot trends in how the city's 56 officers enforce its 89 parking laws. Read more...
Is American cheese un-American? Tillamook draws criticism for saying so
4 July 2015 — Is it blasphemy to call that processed square of salty, coagulated, orange dairy product American cheese? The makers of Tillamook cheese – or at least their ad agency – think so. The Oregon cheese maker, whose cheddar and "squeaky cheese" draw tourists in droves to its Tillamook factory for free samples, has launched a vendetta against American cheese in its latest advertising campaign. First came the infographic comparing fresh cheese in a favorable light while bashing the processed stuff. Then, Tillamook launched a petition asking the White House to remove America's name from processed singles. It comes with a video of Abe Lincoln riding a grizzly bear and carrying cheese singles he has skewered on a sword. Read more...
Five picks for 2015 Waterfront Blues Festival
4 July 2015 — The 2015 Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival rocks Portland Thursday morning through the rest of the Fourth of July weekend. Now in its 28th year, the largest blues festival west of the Mississippi River doesn’t disappoint. The festival continues to mix legendary performers with local favorites. With the price tag of a $10 suggested donation to the Oregon Food Bank, there’s little reason not to go. Dave Christensen, the program director of opbmusic, sifts through the eclectic line-up to share five must see acts over the weekend. The picks are ordered by the day and time they play. Read more...
Common Core: Oregon students smash expectations in reading, writing
3 July 2015 — Oregon students performed far better than expected on the rigorous Common Core tests they took for the first time this spring, especially in reading and writing, preliminary results show. But high school juniors bombed in math. tate officials had projected that only about 35 percent of Oregon students would conquer the tough Smarter Balanced tests on their first try. But teachers and students smashed those expectations, Oregon Department of Education officials said. About 55 percent of students have met the nationwide standard in reading and writing and about 45 percent have met the nationwide standard in math, preliminary scores show. About 95 percent of the tests have been graded. Read more...
Oregon drought: As snowpack disappears, experts predict another low-snow winter
3 July 2015 — The day has come, as predicted. With the exception of high-mountain glaciers, Oregon's snowpack has disappeared well ahead of schedule. None of the state's 81 SNOTEL snow-density monitoring stations has registered a single flake since early June. By this time in a normal season, most lower-elevation sites would be bare, but the Mt. Hood test site, for instance, would still be snowy for a few more weeks. "Without that snow, the soils are dryer and the water isn't filtering down into the streams," said Julie Koeberle, a hydrologist with the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service. Read more...
Daimler Trucks tax break slides through Legislature, virtually undebated
3 July 2015 — The Legislature's big transportation funding package crashed and burned last week. But one special bauble tucked into the bill – a multi-million dollar tax break for Daimler Trucks North America – was quietly salvaged and passed with little notice this week. Call it a stealth tax break. House Bill 2465, passed Wednesday, puts into statute a unique and somewhat convoluted deal that the state struck with Daimler in 2005 to exempt its fleet of research trucks from weight, mileage and fuel taxes. Read more...
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