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 us at (503) 497-2984 or (503) 816-8436.

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.

Real Estate News

Check out Real Estate Inc.’s top 10 stories of August 

30 August 2014 — Whether you’re a real estate news junkie or you’ve been too busy enjoying Portland’s too-short summer to sit at a computer, this article is for you. This roundup of Real Estate Inc.’s top 10 stories this month is a one-stop shop for anyone who needs to catch up on what’s been happening in the market over the last four weeks. Those of you who can’t get enough of Real Estate Inc. can relive some of this month’s finer moments.  Read more…

Naming Portland’s everyday houses: From bungalow to ‘Minimal-traditional’

29 August 2014 — Portland is known for its distinctive neighborhoods and substantial housing but it’s not easy to categorize or even name most of the city’s 150,000 houses. Loose terms like ranch, Cape and bungalow are broadly used but are highly generalized and are often not very helpful. While older “historic” homes are often identified by architectural styles such as Queen Anne, Colonial and Italianate, most common houses in a variety of modest stylistic mixtures are not so easily identified. Yet Portland’s common houses can be named and classified. Whatever they are called: popular, common, vernacular, developer-built, everyday homes, they constitute the largest portion of Portland’s housing in any period or neighborhood of the city. Without a means of naming and classifying them, these dwellings tend to be left out of the histories of Portland’s architecture, neglected in preservation and historic surveys and politely marginalized when considering their significant contribution to the over quality of our city’s quality of life. In a series of articles on individual neighborhoods, we will focus on a neighborhood’s most popular types of houses that consistently give unique character to every district of the city, such as Buckman’s creative porch gables, Hilldale’s varieties of the split levels, Kerns’ working-class doubles and Eastmoreland’s  brick, corbelled-gable, storybook houses.  Read more…

Home-sale contracts pick up in July

29 August 2014 — More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in July, a sign that buying has improved as mortgage rates have slipped, the number of listings has risen and the rate of price increases has slowed. The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 3.3 percent to 105.9 last month. Still, the index remains 2.1 percent below its level a year ago. The pressures that caused home sales to stall last year have started to ease. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate has dropped to 4.1 percent, a 52-week low.  Read more…

Mapping America’s new economy in construction permits

29 August 2014 — Here’s a map of America’s new economic geography as seen through construction permits from our friends at Trulia. It shows 2014 construction permits compared to their historical norms. Construction permits are a leading indicator of where growth is occurring and will continue to occur. Permits are way up in the bi-coastal knowledge and tech hubs of the Boston-Washington Corridor and the Bay Area, as well as the energy belt that stretches from Houston to New Orleans. And they are way down in the old centers of the Rustbelt industrial economy like Detroit, and Sunbelt centers of sprawl like Las Vegas.  Read more…


Common Core test, Smarter Balanced, looms large over Oregon schools

1 September 2014 — As nearly 600,000 Oregon teachers and students prepare for a fresh school year to dawn this week, a challenge looms large. It’s called Smarter Balanced and it’s a test of reading, math, writing, listening, research and thinking skills. Slated to be given in April and May, it will test students’ mettle with roughly seven hours of intellectually demanding questions and tasks, the likes of which most of them have never seen. Test officials won’t decide for months how high students will have to score to pass the exam, which will be given to students in grades three through eight and to high school juniors. Nevertheless, scores on the test will be used to judge whether students are on track and which Oregon schools are doing the best and worst jobs. Despite those daunting facts, teachers, principals and curriculum directors in the Portland area project a can-do attitude about preparing students for the test, tinged with anxiety about the unknown. Teachers in most metro districts have been prepared – some extensively, some not – to adapt their teaching so students will be well-practiced at the type of writing, researching, math and question-answering the new test will demand.  Read more…

America’s smartest cities:  How  do Oregon cities rank?

1 September 2014 — How smart are Northwesterners, and which cities are the smartest overall? A ranking from San Francisco-based Lumos Labs took a stab at this question by drawing on information based on performances of its Lumosity online brain-training programs. And it doesn’t look good for Oregon. Instead of looking at IQ scores and investment or enrollment in colleges, Lumos Labs has developed what it calls the “largest database of human cognitive performance. The rankings are based on de-identified data from over 3 million users in the United States between the ages of 18-75 who have played the games, which are aimed at boosting users’ cognitive functioning.   Read more…

The link between schools and property values in Oregon

1 September 2014 — oLocalPDX has released a list of the top high schools in Oregon, and real estate professionals have weighed in on what it means to buy a home in Oregon with an eye on schools. “The property values are definitely more expensive in areas with good schools,” said Claire Paris, principal broker and owner of Paris Realty Group LLC. “I don’t know if the schools are better because the area is more affluent, or if the area is affluent because the schools are good,”  Read more…

Two acres, two neighboring couples and a $200,000 misunderstanding

1 September 2014 —  Last November, a two-acre parcel in Southwest Portland sold for $22,000, one-tenth of what Multnomah County considers its real-market value. And as I revisit that transaction — and the two couples at the heart of it — I want you to reflect on whether something went wrong here … or whether this story is simply further proof that America is the land of opportunity. Elmo and Melitta Marquette have lived in their 1923 house on Southwest Garden Home Road for more than 30 years.  He was a long-time plumber; Melitta spend three decades with Veterans Affairs. They lean on their next-door neighbor, Donna Lee Holmes, now and then, to pick up the new cable boxes, turn off the hazard lights in the new Jeep, and to explain where to file those “free” checks that arrive in the mail. But given their ages — Elmo is 86, Melitta 88 — they are admirably self-sufficient.  Elmo is often walking the neighborhood and feeding the birds. Melitta maintains the checkbook, even though she only enters the check amount, not the running balance.  Read more…

Neighborhood transfers led to limited changes at Portland Schools 

31 August 2014 — A new analysis by Portland Public Schools shows some neighborhood schools would’ve looked quite different, had the district restricted transfers in recent years. Portland may soon make it harder for students to transfer from one neighborhood school to another. A new model shows that most neighborhood schools would’ve changed little if students had stayed in their own local school. Forty-six schools would’ve changed by fewer than 30 students. But transfers had a big effect on a few schools, adding about 60 students to both Beaumont and Mount Tabor middle schools.   Read more…

Astounding Astoria:  Portland’s cool coastal cousin

31 August 2014 — Manhattan has Brooklyn, and more specifically Williamsburg. Portland has the Oregon Coast, and most importantly, the port of Astoria. It might seem strange comparing the two, what with Williamsburg just being a subway stop or two from the Big Apple and Astoria being…well…around a two-hour drive from downtown Portland. But the comparison sticks if you look at how both have become hipster havens for city folk looking for a new place to crash. Astoria has always been a haven for guys with great mustaches. Way back, say two centuries ago, wealthy New York industrial magnate John Jacob Astor sent out the Astor Expedition that founded Fort Astoria as its primary fur-trading post in the Northwest, and made it the first permanent U.S. settlement on the Pacific Coast.  Read more…

Third-graders must know how to type, drop-n-drag to succeed on Smarter Balanced test

31 August 2014 — Lots of Oregon schools, including some in the Portland and David Douglas school districts, plan to introduce formal typing lessons and drag-n-drop practice sessions for 8- and 9-year-olds this year. Why? The debut of the Smarter Balanced test. It turns out that to succeed on that challenging new test that Oregon students as young as third grade will take beginning this spring, students need to know how to type on a keyboard and  drag and drop using a computer mouse. But in the increasingly swipe-and-tap world of phones and tablets, plenty of students who took the practice test last spring got hung up by the typing demands  and drop-n-drag function. “We were surprised by students who were challenged at the third-grade level by some of the tasks that were technology-related,” said Portland Assistant Superintendent Melissa Goff. State officials asked for feedback from teachers and students who took part in the practice test and got three loud answers.  Read more…

Oregon hits 4th highest homelessness rate in country

31 August 2014 — In 2013, 360 out of every 100,000 people in Oregon were homeless, making it the state with the fourth-highest homelessness rate in the U.S., according to a report by the Washington Post. The data is gathered from the U.S. Department ofHousing and Urban Development (HUD), which provides state-level estimations of homelessness every year. In 2013, 195 out of every 100,000 people in the U.S. were homeless, placing Oregon well above the national level. A government street count in 2013 showed that in Portland there were 1,895 unsheltered individuals, a 10 percent increase since 2011.  Read more…

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

Property listings 1 - 6 of 9 1 2
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2038 Se 32nd Pl, Portland, OR 97214

$489,500 - 4Br/1Ba -  for Sale in Richmond / Chestnut Hill, Portland
Price: $489,500
Status: Active
MLS #: 14315858
Beds: 4
Baths: 1
Living Area SqFt: 2,386
Property Type: DETACHD
Listing Office Name: Hasson Company Realtors

130 Sw Thomas St, Portland, OR 97239

$449,900 - 3Br/2Ba -  for Sale in Lair Hill, Portland
Open House
Price: $449,900
Status: Active
MLS #: 14231571
Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Living Area SqFt: 1,698
Property Type: DETACHD
Listing Office Name: Windermere Stellar

5049 Sw View Point Ter B, Portland, OR 97239

$394,900 - 3Br/4Ba -  for Sale in John's Landing, Portland
Price: $394,900
Status: Active
MLS #: 14088596
Beds: 3
Baths: 3 full, 1 half
Living Area SqFt: 1,788
Property Type: CONDO
Listing Office Name: Go Green Realty

3704 Se Francis St Se, Portland, OR 97202

$389,900 - 3Br/3Ba -  for Sale in Williams Addition, Portland
Price: $389,900
Status: Active
MLS #: 14669888
Beds: 3
Baths: 2 full, 1 half
Living Area SqFt: 2,092
Property Type: DETACHD
Listing Office Name: Keller Williams-PDX Central

6424 Se Franklin St, Portland, OR 97206

$299,500 - 7Br/3Ba -  for Sale in South Tabor, Portland
Price: $299,500
Status: Active
MLS #: 14088666
Beds: 7
Baths: 3
Living Area SqFt: 2,736
Property Type: DETACHD
Listing Office Name: Premiere Property Group, LLC

9014 Se Clay St, Portland, OR 97216

$270,000 - 3Br/2Ba -  for Sale in Portland
Price: $270,000
Status: Active
MLS #: 14565588
Beds: 3
Baths: 1 full, 1 half
Living Area SqFt: 2,001
Property Type: DETACHD
Listing Office Name: Knipe Realty NW, Inc
Property listings 1 - 6 of 9 1 2

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 September 1, 2014 7:38 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 September 1, 2014 7:38 pm.


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