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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

Fewer Portland homeowners are underwater compared to other states

18 April 2014 — The percentage of homeowners who are underwater on their mortgage is significantly lower in Portland than the rest of the nation. About 17 percent of homeowners around the nation are holding a mortgage significantly bigger than the market value of their property, according to the Internet real estate company, RealtyTrac. That 17 percent is down from last year, when 26 percent of homeowners were underwater. RealtyTrac spokesman, Daren Blomquist says the percentage is dropping fast because prices are rising. But he says, the Portland market is much healthier with only nine percent of homeowners underwater.  Read more…

Oregon experiences largest decline in uninsured children

18 April 2014 — Since October, Cover Oregon has been toiling through technological hiccups to make sure more Oregonians have affordable and quality health insurance. Behind the scenes, even before the Affordable Care Act became law, efforts to have more children covered by health insurance have been quietly successful, especially in Oregon. According to a new report, “For Kids’ Sake: State-Level Trends in Children’s Health Insurance – A State-by-State Analysis,” the percentage of uninsured children in the U.S. dropped from 9.7 percent in 2008 to 7.5 percent in 2012. The report, conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health’s State Health Access Data Assistance Center and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, also documents recent coverage trends at the state level using data from 2008 through 2012, the most recent year available.  Read more…

Brothers turn an abandoned silo into a cabin

18 April 2014 — Brothers Rehan and Josh Nana recently converted an old, disused grain silo into a quaint cabin. The silo was located on their family’s farmland in Missouri, so the new structure is in no way out of place in its surroundings. One of the primary reasons they opted to complete this conversion was the desire to repurpose something that would otherwise be left to rot and rust. They were helped in making their idea become a reality by architect Kyle Davis of Blue Earth Projects. The silo-turned-cabin is located a few hours’ drive from the brother’s main residence, and therefore makes for a comfortable weekend getaway space. Most of the wood and other materials they needed for the conversion came from an old barn, 3-story that had collapsed a few years ago. They repurposed its structural beams for the cabin steps, as well as for loft support and bin support next to the large window.  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

Portland’s best happy hour: Readers name their favorite

19 April 2014 — On Wednesday, we asked readers to pick their favorite Portland happy hour. With the sun beginning to peek through the clouds once again, it seems out poll couldn’t have come at a better time. With more than double the votes of its nearest competitor, Rae’s Lakeview Lounge, which was also victorious in our earlier brunch poll, came in first place as our readers’ favorite local happy hour. Gold Dust Meridian and Red Star Tavern rounded out the top three spots, with Lincoln, Portland City Grill and Lake Oswego’s Stickmen Brewery all landing honorable mentions. (In case you were wondering, Rae’s doesn’t actually have a lake view. Instead, Rae’s patio overlooks the former site of Guild’s Lake, which was filled in after the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition.) Readers pick their favorite happy hour:1. Rae’s Lakeview Lounge 2. Gold Dust Meridian 3. Red Star Tavern These happy hour results and others from upcoming polls will be rolled up into a Reader Picks section in The Oregonian’s 2014 Restaurant Guide. And we’ve got a doozy coming next week: we’re looking for your pick for Portland’s best pizza. (I’m not sure if they serve pizza, but I hereby declare Rae’s ineligible.)  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…

Spring wild turkey hunt holds surprises, rewards, liberal Oregon season

19 April 2014 —  It was a soft gobble; the kind a jake makes in a half-jest, half-serious way and hopes the larger tom won’t thrash him. Or perhaps it was just my bad hearing. Or that I was so tired. Opening day of the 2014 turkey season began Tuesday at 1 a.m., after just four hours sleep, following two consecutive long (and successful) days on the Columbia River with our son, Bill Jr. But who can sleep on any opening eve? I met Chris Middleton of Tualatin at 3:30 and by daylight we were in place in the south Willamette Valley, waiting on dawn to tickle the toms’ alarm-clock gobbling as they stretched and left the roost.  Read more…

What are Portland’s top biking neighborhoods?

18 April 2014 — The newest trend among news and livability researchers is to go hyper-local on their findings. That is, it’s become stylish to offer data based on neighborhoods as opposed to entire cities or metropolitan areas. Depending on the report, that’s worked to Portland’s advantage. For instance, a Redfin report yesterday listed three of the city’s neighborhoods as among the nation’s “greenest.” Today, the website CityClock.org tackles the nation’s top bicycling neighborhoods, as measured by bike trips and bike shares.  Read more…

Google Fiber reaches preliminary franchise agreement with Portland

18 April 2014 — Google Fiber has hit a major milestone with Portland, inking a tentative franchise agreement for hyper-fast Internet in the city. The deal doesn’t guarantee Google will bring its fiber-optic service to Portland – the company still must evaluate local regulations, topography, existing utility networks and other factors that will influence its decision. The 29-page, 10-year franchise also needs sign-on from the city council – the franchise is scheduled to go before commissioners May 7. Additionally, Portland and Google must reach agreement on the company’s desire to put big “network huts” on public property in parts of the city, and small utility cabinets on parking strips in neighborhoods throughout Portland. But the franchise agreement brings service a good deal closer, outlining the terms under which Google would operate in Portland. “This franchise agreement is an important step along the path to Fiber.  Read more…