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
Modular off-the-grid home
24 October 2014 — The Eco Pod is a new modular home created by the UK-based company Echo. The tiny home measures 96.8 square feet and can lend itself well to a variety of living arrangements. A standalone Eco Pod can be used as a home office, or extra guest bedroom. The design of these units also allows them to be joined together to create an off-the-grid home, which can be as big or as small as the owners require. Each Eco Pod unit sits on adjustable legs, making it easy to place it even on uneven ground. The modular units are also well insulated, using either wood fiber or sheep’s wool. The pods also come with an interior finish and external cladding made of wood. Also, in the UK, the Eco Pods are legally defined as a caravan, meaning that the process of obtaining planning and building permits is likely much easier than it would be for a traditional home. Off-the-grid functionality is available as an add-on extra. The pyramid shaped roof of each module is perfectly suited to be fitted with a rooftop mounted solar panel array, which provide the necessary electricity and hot water. Read more…
Just how affordable is affordable housing in the Pearl?
24 October 2014 — When ground breaks for The Abigail apartments on Monday, the latest affordable housing to join the Pearl District will officially be underway. But just how affordable is affordable? “It’s hard to say what rents will be in 2016 when the building opens,” said Nicole Peterson, director of the Northwest arm of BRIDGE Development, that California nonprofit behind The Abigail. That said, she sent information that shows what 2014 rental rates are for apartments based on 30 percent to 60 percent of Area Median Income, which is currently $20,800 to $41,640 for a household of four, as issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Among The Abigail’s 155 units, 127 will house families with incomes in that range. Read more…
Average time to sell a home plummets in Portland’s 25 fastest-selling neighborhoods (Q3)
24 October 2014 — Speed was, again, the name of the game for Portland’s residential real estate market last quarter. The 7,933 homes sold in Portland in Q3, on average, closed in just under 60 days. That’s 11 percent faster than they did in the second quarter, an already speedy timeframe. Each quarter, with help from the pros at Regional Multiple Listing Service, the Business Journal gathers and compiles home sales data for the greater Portland metropolitan area. Earlier this week we examined the 25 neighborhoods that saw the most home sales in the third quarter as well as the areas with the highest average home sale price. Today we look at the ‘hoods with homes that spent the least average days on the market. Read more…
What will Oregon’s winter be like? Here’s a sneak peek at annual forecasts
24 October 2014 — Are we in for another wild weather ride this winter? That’s the tease from Steve Pierce, president of the Oregon chapter of the American Meteorological Society, heading into this weekend’s 22nd annual Winter Weather Conference in Portland. Members of the chapter will give their best predictions Saturday for what the season will bring to the Pacific Northwest. Although most of us have tried to forget, Pierce was quick to recall two highlights (lowlights?) of last year’s winter: Arctic outbreaks in December and again in February that brought record cold and record snow across the inland northwest from Seattle to Medford. Forecasters use various means to arrive at these forecasts, including comparing weather conditions that have already occurred this year to previous years; sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, which determine whether El Nino conditions (which give the Pacific Northwest drier and warmer than usual winters) or La Nina conditions (wetter, colder winters) are in play. Read more…
The reluctant adventurer: Bikram yoga
24 October 2014 — If you live in Portland, Oregon, chances are at least one person has told you that Bikram Yoga will change your life. And if you take a class, it will change your life, for at least 90 minutes. Bikram is a form of yoga created in the 70’s by Bikram Choudhury, a cult-ish leader about whom a not-so-complimentry Vanity Fair article was written this January. Bikram Yoga classes are 90-minutes long and all contain the same series of 26 postures in the same order, taught by Bikram certified teachers who paid almost $11,000 for a week’s training. But what differentiates it more than the series of postures is that fact that the room is heated to 104 degrees, with a humidity of 40%. Read more…
A real page turner
24 October 2014 —The wooden shelves in the beginning readers’ section at William Walker Elementary School library appear to be brimming with books and board games, but that doesn’t mean Caroline Narvaez wants Robert Thornhill’s regular hand-delivered donations to stop. “We want to keep ‘em coming,” said Narvaez, secretary to school Principal Joann Hulquist. “If we run out of space here, we’ll get them in the hands of kids, and they can go home with them. We have lots of room and lots of homes for lots of books.” Thornhill, 83, a member of the Southeast Portland-based Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1442, has delivered books since 2011 to the Title I school, many of them donated by The Book Corner, 12470 S.W. Fifth St., a used bookstore run by the Friends of the Beaverton Libraries. Read more…
How parks helped shape the new Pearl
24 October 2014 — Almost as key to the neighborhood’s development as the condos and apartments have been the parks of the Pearl District. The first city-built park in the neighborhood, Jamison Square, opened in 2002 and fast became a bustling hub, particularly during the warm summer months. It draws not only neighborhood residents, but visitors from around the metro region as well. Tanner Springs Park, more of a natural open space with a walking path, public art and water features redolent of the natural wetlands that used to occupy the space, opened in 2003. Developers and residents had high hopes for a third city park in 2007, but construction stalled for years for a range of economic, environmental and other reasons. Tiffany Sweitzer, president of Hoyt Street Properties, said the absence of the park did little to help her company attract buyers to The Encore, a 177-unit condo building adjacent to the park’s proposed location that sat relatively empty during the recession. That changed in 2012, when the city moved forward and built The Fields Park. At the time, there was little around it save for The Encore. But that’s changing, too. With a new phase of the Pearl going up, The Fields is now the focal point of some of the rising projects. Read more…
Three Oregon companies land top national workplace honors
24 October 2014 — Three Oregon companies have made a top 25 national list for providing top-notch workplace environments. The Families and Work Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management revealed this week that Rose City Mortgage, Ultimate Staffing Services and Oregon Humanities all landed spots in the groups’ top 25 rankings. Rose City ranked third while Ultimate Staffing landed in the No. 7 spot. Oregon Humanities was 17th. The three companies were among 18 Oregon award winners announced by Family Forward Oregon. The honors are based on “effective and flexible” office practices. Read more…
Oregon: 150 years of statehood; 150 million year in the making
24 October 2014 — In 2009, Oregon celebrated 150 years as a state. Oregon’s landscape has a much longer history — geological processes have been building the state’s landscape for more than 150 million years! The windows in this traveling exhibit illustrate how geology crafted Oregon’s landscape and natural resources and continues to shape the land and lives of its citizens. The most iconic of Oregon’s landscapes — Crater Lake, Multnomah Falls, Newberry Crater, Steens Mountain, the Painted Hills, and so much more — display Oregon’s geologic splendor. Read more…
Portland property owners, developers, builders face new tree policy this winter
23 October 2014 — As Portland prepares to roll out a set of long-contemplated new rules governing tree planting, cutting and planning, the city is inviting landscapers, building permit applicants and others to a series of classes to explain what will change beginning in January. The Bureau of Development Services has posted a schedule of the classes, which begin Nov. 7. For homeowners, the new rule that may be most noticeable is the one governing the removal of trees. If you want to take out a tree with a diameter of 12 inches or greater after Jan. 1, you’ll have to get a permit. The city hasn’t yet published a schedule of permit fees. The city’s Parks and Recreation Department has posted a list of changes under the new policy. The new rules are intended to preserve and promote trees on private property throughout the city. They cover such items as “minimum # of trees per site” and permit “limited reductions in parking, housing density, amenity bonus etc. without review process.” Lauren Wirtis, a community service aide in the Bureau of Development Services, said the city is “making the case for trees” in the city, especially the importance of preserving an urban canopy. She said the city approved a new tree code in 2011, but has held off implementing it until this winter. Read more…
The fight for Damascus: Land-use struggle heads to ballot
23 October 2014 — What does a 1980s religious cult in Eastern Oregon have to do with the legal battles broiling 30 years later in Damascus? More than you might expect. Oregon land-use expert Ed Sullivan was an attorney for Rajneeshpuram, a theocratic city formed by the 2,000 followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in 1981. An odd moment in Oregon’s history, the city sprang up practically overnight on The Big Muddy Ranch near the Warm Springs Reservation. It lasted for four years before imploding socially and being dismantled by the state on the grounds that it was, as argued by then-Attorney General Dave Frohnmeyer, an “impermissible fusion of religion and government.” Now a teacher at several university law schools and a city attorney for three cities, Sullivan says the experience made the Oregon Legislature re-examine its incorporation laws and make them more strict. Read more…
Pot legalization: What one Hazelden addiction specialist thinks you ought to know
23 October 2014 — Upon commenting on cannabis legalization in Oregon, I acknowledge this issue is complex and will remain so. I embrace the truth (with deep gratitude) that most people who recreationally use drugs and alcohol do not develop substance use disorders. I treat individuals with a wide range of substance use disorders and physical health challenges. Nobody is happy to meet an addiction medicine specialist. Typically, something has gone dreadfully wrong, usually for a long time. Most individuals who suffer from substance use disorders are fairly functional. Less than 4 percent will ever receive treatment. 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 October 25, 2014 9:37 pm.