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 (503) 497-2984
Shelli Gowdy — Real Estate Broker (503) 497-5061


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

Case Shiller data shows home prices take a breather from boom-bust cycle

26 November 2014 — Home prices in 20 U.S. cities including Portland advanced at a slower pace in the 12 months through September as the housing market continued to make gradual progress. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index of property values increased 4.9 percent from September 2013, the smallest gain since October 2012, after rising 5.6 percent in the year ended in August, the group reported today in New York. Nationwide, prices rose 4.8 percent after a 5.1 percent year-to-year increase a month earlier. Housing prices have cooled this year as more properties are put up for sale and investors retreat to the market’s sidelines. Slower appreciation will probably help foster a pickup in homeownership, particularly among first-time buyers and people having trouble obtaining credit, once wage growth becomes more pronounced. “You’re getting to a market that’s a little bit healthier, it isn’t subject to these boom-bust cycles,” said Thomas Simons, an economist at Jefferies LLC in New York. “I view the market as generally being in the process of stabilizing. When prices are stable, the market functions a little better.” The median forecast of 31 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected a 4.6 percent gain in the 12 months ended in September. Estimates ranged from 4.2 percent to 5.2 percent.  Read more…

Scientific proof that bikeshare makes your city cleaner

28 November 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: the district’s 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 vans, which employees use to “rebalance” bikes from places with overflow to those where more sets of wheels are needed. “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,” Cone says at 18:03 in the film. I left the theatre after the premiere very concerned: Was my bikeshare membership actually increasing traffic and air pollution?  Read more…

Right 2 Dream Too is a tent city, plain and simple

28 November 2014 — Right 2 Dream Too is a tent city, plain and simple. Set up in 2011 on a small parking lot bracketed by office buildings, pretty much every structure on the site is made out of plastic tarps, held up by a haphazard assortment of wood and metal poles. At the back of the lot there are tents—about 20 of them, a patchwork of nylon in different colors and sizes, many draped in multiple layers of tarp to keep out the relentless Portland rain.  Read more…


Marijuana legalization: How your neighbors voted

28 November 2014 — With this new interactive map of the Portland metropolitan area, you can see how your neighbors — in aggregate, that is —  voted on marijuana legalization measures on the Oregon ballot in 2014 and 2012. This year’s measure swept most of the Portland region, racking up wins in  precincts throughout Washington and Clackamas counties where a more loosely written marijuana initiative failed in 2012. The widespread acceptance of legalizing marijuana in the suburbs — coupled with sky-high yes votes in many Portland precincts — helped seal the statewide victory for this year’s initiative.  Measure 91, which was approved by 12 percentage points statewide, contained tighter restrictions than the 2012 initiative and was heavily promoted in television advertising. The biggest yes votes came on the inner east side of Portland, in heavily Democratic precincts that are also an epicenter of the city’s hipster culture.  In one precinct, running along both sides of East Burnside Street, the yes vote this year reached 89.9 percent, up from 83.7 percent in 2012.  Read more…

Black Friday 2014: Here’s everything we’ve written so far (links)

28 November 2014 — Maybe you’ve been sleeping under a rock lately and missed all our coverage of store hours, deals and tips for navigating the Black Friday shopping frenzy. Or maybe you’ve just been too busy with Thanksgiving preparations to read any of it. Either way, we’ve got you covered. Just in time for the big day, we’ve compiled links to all our previous Black Friday coverage below.  Read more…

Cannon Beach police dog fired for poor performance

28 November 2014 — A 2-year-old Belgian Malinois was supposed to be the ninth member of the police force in the Oregon coastal town of Cannon Beach, but “Cash” just didn’t have what it takes. The dog was dismissed from the force before seeing any action or gaining any glory. Cash was skittish, afraid of heights and had a barking problem. Noises would scare him. When he had to jump onto counters in search of drugs, he showed too much resistance. He would often bark aggressively rather than go straight to the drugs. Barking is “fine as an alert, but you can’t get anything done when you’re trying to get him to find dope and he’s just barking in your face,” said Officer Josh Gregory, the dog’s former handler, told the Daily Astorian.  Read more…

Annual holiday tradition lights up Pioneer Courthouse Square

28 November 2014 — Portland, are you ready for some holiday music and dazzling lights? The 30th annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony Friday evening in Pioneer Courthouse Square includes a little of both. The ceremony is from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Nov. 28, in the square between Southwest Broadway and Sixth Avenue and Morrison and Yamhill streets. Portland musician and bandleader Thomas Lauderdale will lead a holiday sing-a-long, featuring the 234th Army National Guard Band under the direction of Chief Warrant Officer Ashley Alexander, and the Pacific Youth Choir under the direction of Mia Savage Miller. A 5 p.m., the Northwest Community Gospel Choir, under the direction of Gary Hemenway, performs. It all leads up to lighting the 75-foot, 40-year-old Douglas fir that landed in the square two weeks ago from a Stimson Lumber Co. forest near Hagg Lake in Washington County. For 12 years, Stimson Lumber of Gaston has provided Portland’s “living room” with its crowning holiday glory. Rodney Jacobs, a forester for the company, chooses the Stimson tree every year. Jacobs looks for trees that are straight, with a good shape and color, as well as no kinks.  Read more…

Charter school enrollment in Oregon hits new high, 5 percent of public school students

28 November 2014 — Enrollment in Oregon charter schools set a new record last year, with fully 5 percent of Oregon public school students enrolled in one of the state’s many and varied charter schools. The Oregon Department of Education reported the record Tuesday. Charter school enrollment has nearly doubled in the past five years, from 15,400 in 2008-09 to 28,600 last year, the state said. Charter schools, which were made legal in Oregon in 1999, are publicly funded but operate free from some of the constraints that govern other public schools, as long as they honor their agreement, or charter, with the school district that authorizes them. They are open to all students, regardless of where they live, and generally have to accept students via a lottery if more apply than can get in.  Read more…

PPS Superintendent recommends ending neighborhood transfer lottery, keeping some sibling preference for focus schools

28 November 2014 — Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith has released her recommendations for changes to the district’s enrollment and transfer policy, supporting that nearly all committee proposals are implemented. The Superintendent’s Advisory Committee for Enrollment & Transfer, known as SACET, spent the past 18 months crafting recommendations for how to make the district’s policies more equitable. The committee first presented their report to Smith on Nov. 4. Some of the proposed changes include ending neighborhood-to-neighborhood lottery transfers and creating a quality review process for focus option schools. Smith will present her response to the recommendations at tonight’s board meeting,according to the agenda. The meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. at the Blanchard Education Service Center, located at 501 N. Dixon Street.  Read more…

Master planning to proceed for Benson, Lincoln, Madison high schools, up next for rebuilds

28 November 2014 — Pending the passage of a bond in 2016, Benson PolytechnicLincoln and Madison high schools are next on the list to be modernized.  At the Portland Public Schools Board of Education meeting on Tuesday night, members voted to move ahead with master planning for the three schools. A 2016 bond, if passed by voters, would finance the modernizations. Jefferson High School – Middle College for Advanced Studies, Cleveland High School and Wilson High School would be considered for a 2020 bond. Funded by a bond passed in 2012, Grant, Franklin and Roosevelt high schools are already slated to be rebuilt.  “We are at the beginning of a 30-year program to re-build all of Portland Public Schools facilities, most of which are 60 years or older,” Superintendent Carole Smith said in a statement. “We have been able to begin this historic effort thanks to the overwhelming support of Portland voters in 2012.”  The district’s citizen Bond Development Committee brought forth the recommendations to the board. The committee used three criteria- facility condition, overcrowding and high enrollment and the number of historically underserved students- in choosing which high schools should be considered for a 2016 bond.  Read more…

AmberGlen neighborhood construction underway; population continues to increase

27 November 2014 — Happy Thanksgiving, Hillsboro! From all of us at The Oregonian and the Hillsboro Argus, have a safe and relaxing holiday. While you’re waiting for dinner, let’s get caught up on the latest local news. The Orenco neighborhood isn’t the only one in Hillsboro where a new skyline is emerging. Construction is underway on a 352-unit, 10-building apartment complex in Hillsboro’s AmberGlen area, and a recently completed 203-unit development is now leasing. Developer Arbor Custom Homes is behind both projects. The just-completed complex, along the west side of Northwest 206th Avenue between Cornell Road and Amberwood Drive, boasts a pool and is pet-friendly, and the surrounding sidewalks smell of freshly laid mulch. There are studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units available. The incoming complex is farther south, on the northeast corner of 206th and Wilkins Street.  Read more…

The 16 most beautiful metro stations in the world

27 November 2014 — The chore of commuting is one of the most mundane, and hence one of the least glamorous, tasks which we undertake on a daily basis. Metro stations seem to be especially unstylish places, situated as they are underground and attracting throngs of people desiring only one thing: to be released back into open air as soon as possible. Their charms, if any, are utilitarian – a clean convenience store here, a spacious public restroom there. The architectural and aesthetic features that define them are, like the padding on your subway seat, designed to be durable and inexpensive.  Read more…

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

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904 Sw Plum Dr, Portland, OR 97219

$389,900 - 4Br/3Ba -  for Sale in Northrop Acres, Portland
Price: $389,900
Status: Active
MLS #: 14330191
Beds: 4
Baths: 2 full, 1 half
Living Area SqFt: 2,408
Property Type: DETACHD
Listing Office Name: Keller Williams-PDX Central

5547 Nw 180th Pl, Portland, OR 97229

$299,800 - 3Br/3Ba -  for Sale in Portland
Price: $299,800
Status: Active
MLS #: 14539200
Beds: 3
Baths: 2 full, 1 half
Living Area SqFt: 1,613
Property Type: DETACHD
Listing Office Name: Yintian Zhou Realty

10328 Ne Sacramento St, Portland, OR 97220

$169,500 - 2Br/1Ba -  for Sale in Sacramento Add, Portland
Price: $169,500
Status: Active
MLS #: 14268109
Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Living Area SqFt: 1,152
Property Type: DETACHD
Listing Office Name: Better Homes & Gardens Realty

rmls logoThe 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.

All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. This content last updated on November 28, 2014 9:36 pm. Some properties which appear for sale on this web site may subsequently have sold or may no longer be available.

The above information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Data courtesy of the RMLS, Portland, Oregon. Last Updated November 28, 2014 9:36 pm.


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