Susan’s Guide to Portland
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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 us at (503) 497-2984 or (503) 816-8436.
Principal Real Estate Broker/CRS GRI
Real Estate News
House flipping slows in the Portland area
22 August 2014 — Portland house flippers tapped the brakes in the year’s second quarter amid slower price increases and a slim pickings for houses to flip. Real estate data company RealtyTrac singled out houses bought then sold again within 12 months. Its analysis found 393 Portland-area houses were flipped between April and June, down 12 percent from the same period a year earlier and 30 percent from the previous quarter. Flipping activity has also declined nationally as home-price gains have slowed. When home prices were increasing more rapidly in 2012 and 2013, flippers could lean more heavily on appreciation to pad profits, RealyTrac said. Read more…
Trees may play a big part in the urban healthcare of the future
21 August 2014 — It has long been known that trees – with their soothing emerald hues and mesmeric asymmetries – afford us psychological benefits. They make us feel good. But trees may also make us better, physically better. A new study from the U.S. Forest Service and Davey Institute has shown that living near trees will improve your physical, and not just mental, health. The root of this benefit lies in the fine particulate pollution which trees remove from the air, and which otherwise cause pulmonary inflammation, accelerated atherosclerosis and a host of other horrible conditions. These ailments especially affect those in cities, where carbon emissions and contaminants are highest. Hence, those of us living in concrete jungles are precisely the ones for whom a tree canopy could be a real lifesaver. For their study, the Forest Service and Davey Institute examined the kind and quantity of trees in 10 major U.S. cities, ranging from San Francisco to Syracuse, NY. The ultimate conclusion of the study is that, once demographic variables like income and education are adjusted, more urban trees aligned with fewer deaths. Specifically, “urban trees and forests are saving an average of one life every year per city,” and for cities like New York, this number can reach as high as eight people annually. Read more…
Affordable housing hits Metro docket
21 August 2014 — Metro leaders want to get serious about examining the city’s affordable housing stock. The agency, which oversees regional planning matters among other tasks, is crafting strategies to boost affordable housing options, according to a Metro-staff written report. The moves follow a call by Council Sam Chase to address the situation. Metro will reach out to community-based organizations, advocacy groups, affordable housing developers and market-rate housing developers on the effort. Read more…
July 26-August 24: Five houses to view at 2014 NW Natural Street of Dreams
Take your shoes off and pretend you’re home. That’s the best compliment you can give the builders and designers of five new custom homes displayed during the 2014 NW Natural Street of Dreams, July 26-Aug. 24, in Happy Valley. Although large – one’s 5,600 square feet or four times the size of a standard Portland bungalow – these dwellings don’t feel like cavernous mega monsters perched on a hill. And although designed by professionals using contemporary and traditional decor, the spaces don’t look fussy or like overly polished magazine spreads. Surprisingly, sustainability is a big factor on this Street of Dreams; all of the builders are members of the Building a Better America Council, which commits to reducing the industry’s waste and carbon footprint. Read more…
Animals can be ‘victims’ just like people, Oregon Supreme Court says
22 August 2014 — In two landmark rulings earlier this month, the Oregon Supreme Court said that animals — whether they be horses, goats, dogs or cats — shall be afforded some of the same basic protections as human beings. The dual rulings are expected to make it easier for police to rush to the aid of ailing animals without first obtaining a warrant. They also could result in harsher criminal repercussions for those found guilty of abusing or neglecting animals. “These are hugely helpful to the prosecution of animal-cruelty cases,” said Jacob Kamins, a Corvallis-based prosecutor assigned to pursuing such cases across Oregon. Specifically, in State v. Arnold Nix, the supreme court ruled that a Umatilla County man who was convicted of starving 20 horses and goats on his property could be sentenced — not just on one count of second-degree animal neglect — but on 20 different counts, meaning each animal counted as a separate “victim.” For defendants in general, that could result in longer jail or prison sentences, and make it more difficult for defendants to — years later — expunge such convictions off of their criminal records. Read more…
Portland may have closed neighborhood schools too early
22 August 2014 — Remember about 10 years ago when Portland Public Schools, in the face of widespread objections, began closing all those neighborhood schools? Turns out that may have been short-sighted. An excellent analysis this morning from Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Rob Manning reveals that enrollment forecasts used to determine which schools should close may have been way off. The district’s current enrollment director,Judy Brennan told Manning Portland is, today, “a growing enrollment district after being a declining enrollment district for many, many years.” Read more…
‘Hood to Coast’ racers hit the roads this weekend
22 August 2014 — Thousands of athletes will be on the roads this weekend for Oregon’s 33rd annual Hood to Coast Race, which starts Friday. Racers start at Mount Hood’s Timberline Lodge, running some 200 miles, around the clock in 12 person teams, finishing Sunday at Seaside. This year there’s more than 14,000 runners. Another 4000 walkers will go from Portland to the coast. Dan Floyd, chief operating officer for the race, says the race doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Read more…
Now we have scientific proof that bikeshare makes your city cleaner
22 August 2014 — Back in March, D.C. filmmaker Tim Cone premiered the docu-short Rebalancing at the Environmental Film Festival. (Check it out, along with an interview with Cone, here.) The film takes a critical look at an amenity most D.C. urbanists universally love: its cheery red bikeshare system. The film is certainly not a hit piece, and I don’t mean to imply that Cone had any malicious intent. But he does show a lot of uncomfortably long shots of idling rebalancing vans, which employees use to drive bikes from places where they’ve piled up to places where they’re needed. At 18:03 in the film, Cone says, “Until bikeshare finds a way to rebalance its stations without a fleet of bike-filled vans constantly roaming the city, it will be, for many, a glass half empty.” I left the theatre after the premiere very concerned: was my bikeshare membership actually increasing traffic and air pollution? Thankfully for my conscience, we now have a scientific consensus that, at least in D.C., it is not. Nor is it in Minneapolis, Minnesota, or in two cities in Australia. Researchers from Utrecht University in the Netherlands and Queensland University in Australia studied bikeshare data from five cities: Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, MN, Melbourne and Brisbane, Australia, and London. Read more…
Lake Oswego’s Development Review Commission formally rejects Wizer block proposal
22 August 2014 — Lake Oswego’s Development Review Commission formally rejected a proposal for a 290,000-square-foot, mixed-use development on downtown Lake Oswego’s Wizer Block this week, adding detailed amendments in advance of a likely appeal to the City Council in September. Monday night’s final decision affirmed the DRC’s 3-2 vote in July to deny developer Patrick Kessi’s request to replace the former home of Wizer’s Oswego Foods with three four-story buildings at the corner of A Avenue and First Street. The development would have included 207 residential units and about 36,000 square feet of retail space. In July, the commission was divided on whether Kessi’s proposed design reflected downtown Lake Oswego’s “village character,” and also whether the residential/commercial split he proposed was appropriate for the city’s so-called “compact shopping district.” Read more…
Want to share that ride? Not so fast, city says
22 August 2014 — Mobile ride-hailing applications such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar are getting rave reviews from users in cities across the globe. But Uber drivers are not navigating the streets of Portland just yet. Portland is the largest U.S. city without the service, despite the company’s efforts to drum up public support here. Already the Uber Portland Twitter account has more than 1,600 followers — and people are talking. Just look up the hashtag #wewantuberpdx or #pdxneedsuber. But for city officials, it is not as easy as hitting “follow” to voice their approval. Read more…
City aims to calm traffic on busy bike corridor
21 August 2014 — Portland transportation officials unveiled last week their plans for traffic and bike changes on North Williams Avenue. Two lanes of vehicle traffic will become one in what has become the city’s primary north/south biking corridor, and the bike lane will expand to more than twice its current width. The incredibly complicated plan involves dozens of other modifications, including moving the bike lane from the right side of Williams to the left and adding traffic signals and turning lanes for cars. Abraham Sutfin is taking a wait-and-see approach. Sutfin opened his Abraham Fixes Bikes shop at ground zero of the North Williams biking scene, at the corner of Williams and Fremont Street, four years ago. His business has grown steadily each year and he hasn’t even needed to advertise. About 4,000 bike riders pass by his shop every day on Williams — up from 3,000 when he started. Sutfin recognizes the resources the city is putting into making biking safer on North Williams and he appreciates the effort. But on his daily commute to his shop and back home to North Portland, Sutfin avoids the very street that has brought so much business to his door. Read more…
Cider thirst grows; apples in hot demand
21 August 2014 — Two 500-gallon, stainless steel tanks nicknamed Geraldine and Boris made the temporary switch this summer from grape juice to apple juice. The tanks had been used to chill and produce wine for the past six years. But in June, Helioterra Wines owner Anne Hubatch repurposed the tanks to make hard cider under a new label, Alter Ego. She and her partners Nate and Kris Wall moved the tanks, a “chiller” and other equipment to Coopers Hall, the Southeast Portland wine bar and restaurant that opened in April. Read more…
Homes That Just Went on The Market in the City of Portland
Listing content is copyright 2014 RMLS, Portland, Oregon.
The content relating to real estate for sale on this web site comes in part from the IDX program of the RMLS of Portland, Oregon. Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Windemere Stellar are marked with the RMLS logo, and detailed information about these properties includes the names of the listing brokers.
The above information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
Data courtesy of the RMLS, Portland, Oregon. Last Updated August 22, 2014 5:38 pm.