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


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 & Urban Life

Urban farming improving the life of seniors

26 January 2015 — Spark Architects has come up with a unique urban farm concept called Homefarm, which is primarily aimed at improving the health and life of seniors at a Singapore retirement home. Homefarm is an aquaponic system, which is easy to manage and therefore ideal for seniors to work on. According to the architects, the greatest potential of Homefarm lies in its ability to bring together two realms that are normally kept separate, namely the accommodation of seniors with urban farming. Singapore has an ageing population, as do most developed countries across the globe, and it imports more than 90 percent of its food. When employed, the Homefarm concept would take care of both of these issues at the same time. Homefarm is a vertical aquaponic farm, in which the plants would be fertilized by the waste produced by fish also farmed alongside the vegetation. The farm would allow for rooftop soil and ground-level planting of vegetables. The retirement home would also have a rainwater collection system in place to use in the aquaponic farm, while plant waste would also be harvested with the aim of using it for biomass energy generation.   Read more…

At the low end, Portland’s housing market rebounds more quickly from its bottom

26 January 2015 — While prices of Portland-area houses have risen across the board over the last year, houses at the bottom of the market have risen more quickly, according to an analysis by Zillow, the online real estate platform. The price gains means owners of many lower-cost houses have improved their ability to sell them or refinance them. This will adds balance to the housing market, notes Zillow economist Stan Humphries. “More lower-end home sellers will help meet demand from entry-level buyers, and these sellers in turn will re-enter the market in search of a slightly pricier home, which will entice more middle- and upper-tier sellers to list their homes,” he said.   Read more…

The secrets of street names and home values 

26 January 2015 — In “Romeo and Juliet,” the young Miss Capulet poses one of literature’s most famous questions: “What’s in a name?” When it comes to a street name, the answer is: a lot. Street names tell stories. They tell us if a neighborhood is expensive or affordable, brand-new or decades old. With street names alone, we can uncover all kinds of insights. This might seem surprising, especially given the relatively random process by which streets get their names. A real-estate developer might come up with a motif that seems relevant to a particular place, or just an arbitrary theme — Caribbean, equestrian, or United States presidents. Some developers hold competitions among employees and then pick the winning names. The local government usually takes a look at the resulting map, just to make sure the names won’t confuse mail carriers or ambulance drivers.   Read more…


Photos of the Oregon Pacific Coast Trail from south to north

26 January 2015 — The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail has been getting a lot of love these days, what with two actresses nominated for Oscars for their roles in the move “Wild.” These photos give you a look at what you may see along the PCT from south to north in Oregon, should the trail be in your summer plans. Most hikers won’t hike the entire thing, but there are a lot of gorgeous places to see on a day hike along sections of the trail. From near Siskiyou Summit (elev. 4,310′) in southern Oregon to the Washington border, this section is both the shortest and the easiest to hike or ride. Oregon’s Cascade Range is a subdued volcanic landscape, with a gentle crest that is fairly constant in elevation. The highest point in Oregon is an unnamed saddle (elev. 7,560′) north of Mount Thielsen. Other volcanoes, including Mount McLoughlin, Mount Mazama (Crater Lake), Diamond Peak, the Three Sisters, Mount Washington, Three Fingered Jack, Mount Jefferson and Mount Hood, punctuate the skyline. The only major elevation change in Oregon is the 3,160 foot drop into the Columbia River Gorge crossing Interstate 84 and the Columbia River on the Bridge of the Gods (elev. 180′).  Read more…

Oregon historical photos:  Outpost Astoria

26 January 2015 — 
In the early 19th century, the fur-rich coastline between Alaska and the San Francisco Bay drew entrepreneurs from many countries. A wealthy New Yorker, John Jacob Astor, financed the first American fur-trade outpost, Astoria, in 1811.  “Fort Astoria” was short-lived. And the fur trade itself declined in the years that followed, due both to over-trapping and to changes in fashion. But Astoria proved to be powerfully significant in other ways. It had been the first settlement west of the Rocky Mountains established by any European or American country. And that “foot in the door” played a big part in the United States’ ultimately gaining possession of what became the Oregon Territory.   Read more…

64,000 people with concealed handgun permits in metro Portland counties

26 January 2015 — Between 2011 and 2014, 46,655 permits to carry concealed firearms in the counties surrounding Portland were issued, according to data obtained by GoLocalPDX. In Washington, Clackamas, and Multnomah Counties, there are a combined 64,308 active Concealed Handgun Licenses (CHL), according to the most recent available data. In Multnomah County alone, the number of active permits grew from 16,090 in 2011 to 22,875 in 2014.  The number of permits grew more slowly in Washington County, from 14,339 in 2011 to 19,965 in 2014. Between 2011 and 2014, 23,347 CHL’s were issued in Clackamas County.    Read more…

10 things you need to know about the new Portland School transfer policy

26 January 2015 — The Portland School Board voted four to one on Tuesday to replace the decades-old student transfer policy, drastically altering the way students are allowed to switch schools. The previous transfer system, which included a lottery system allowing students to move to schools with available space, was accused of draining low-income schools of students, as families left for wealthier one in other neighborhoods. According to a report by the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee for Enrollment and Transfer (SACET), the old lottery system aided gentrification and dropped school enrollment for some schools. Now a petition process, in which families will have to make the case they they deserve a transfer, will be the only way a student can move to a school outside their neighborhood. The Portland Public School District hopes the new policy will make the transfer process more equitable and provide useful data on why students leave certain schools, according to Jon Isaacs, the chief of communications and public affairs at PPS. “It will increase the focus on the heart of the district, and people will be encouraged to attend or at least spend time learning about, their neighborhood school,” Isaacs said. Critics of the new policy say the there has not been enough public deliberation about the policy and that the change could cause families to flee the public school system altogether. Over the last few years, there have been more transfer petitions than students entering the transfer lottery, Isaacs said.   Read more…

Every night is taco night at Goose Hollow’s Uno Mas Taquiza

26 January 2015 — The first location of Uno Mas, chef Oswaldo Bibiano’s taco bar in the Ocean mini-restaurant complex, is barely larger than a shipping container. But when Bibiano, the chef/owner of Autentica and the sadly short-lived Mextiza, sought to expand last year, he went big. The second Uno Mas occupies an oversized corner space of the Civic condo tower on West Burnside Street, boasting an expanded menu and a long, snaking bar perfect for downing micheladas.   Read more…

Portland art-focused school shows gains

26 January 2015 — A Portland elementary school has been recognized for its success in narrowing the achievement gap through the arts. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary in Northeast Portland is part of a federal initiative to boost test scores among at-risk students. The federal effort, Turnaround Arts, provided some cash for materials, but primarily technical support. The school also worked intensively with the regional arts council’s Right Brain Initiative over the same period.   Read more…

PDX’s old carpet ripped from NW folklore

24 January 2015 — With a mechanical tug Friday morning, Portland International Airport’s beloved 28-year-old carpet began being ripped (literally) from Northwest history. Shortly after 11 a.m. Jan. 23, Bill Mackey with 4M Flooring of Portland, and his crew, used a riding carpet demolition machine — a kind of mini-Zamboni for industrial carpet replacement — and began ripping large swaths of the teal  and blue carpet from the end of PDX’s Concourse C, just past gates 22 and 23. It was the start of a $13 million project that could last until November to replace the nearly 13 acres of carpet that was installed in 1987 and has found a place in Portland’s weird folklore. A Made In Oregon store in the airport’s Oregon Marketplace sold T-shirts and bottles of Rogue Brewing pale ale adorned with the carpet’s well-worn pattern. Online, you can buy pillows, ties and smartphone covers with the carpet’s pattern. “We’re a little sad to say goodbye to the old carpet,” said Vince Granato, Port of Portland chief operating officer, as he waited for the carpet demolition crew to begin ripping out sections on the concourse.   Read more…

School choice becomes rally cry across nation, Portland

24 January 2015 — The public education system is a pillar of American democracy — but questions are rising about the method of delivery. The Cascade Policy Institute along with several local alternatives to public school are joining in the fifth annual National School Choice Week, which runs Friday, Jan. 23 to Saturday, Jan. 31, with a kickoff celebration in Jacksonville, Florida. This year’s week boasts more than 11,000 independently organized events across the country. Cascade’s Steve Buckstein, founder of the nonpartisan Portland think tank focused on libertarian values, says parents are increasingly demanding choice in their kid’s school, be it public, private, charter, online or home school.  Read more…

Homes That Just Went on The Market in the City of Portland

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5911 Ne 28th Ave Portland, OR 97211

Price $519,000
Beds 3
Baths 2
Living Area SqFt 2,750
Status Active
MLS # 15556673
Property Type Detachd

10275 Sw Taylor St Portland, OR 97225

Price $450,000
Beds 2
Baths 2 full, 1 half
Living Area SqFt 2,121
Status Active
MLS # 15195200
Property Type Attachd

5125 Sw Illinois St Portland, OR 97221

Price $450,000
Beds 4
Baths 2
Living Area SqFt 1,900
Status Active
MLS # 15033873
Property Type Detachd

4626 Sw Luradel St Portland, OR 97219

Price $439,000
Beds 2
Baths 2
Living Area SqFt 1,008
Status Active
MLS # 15520916
Property Type Detachd


  • When “Days on Web” in a listing is two or larger it’s possible that the price has changed.
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