• 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 Shelli at (503) 497-5061 or Susan at (503) 497-2984.

    Shelli Gowdy — Real Estate Broker
    Susan Marthens —  Principal Real Estate Broker/CRS GRI



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  • Real Estate News

    U.S. home prices climb in April; Portland leads the way

    New home construction in Portland's Boise neighborhood.

    28 June — U.S. home prices scaled new heights in April, with seven cities — including Boston, Charlotte, Portland, Oregon, San Francisco and Seattle— setting record highs. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index increased 5.4 percent in April compared with a year earlier, just a tick down from the 5.5 percent annual gain in March. Home values are now just 9.6 percent below their peak nearly a decade ago, according to the report released Tuesday. Shrinking inventories of homes for sale have boosted prices, while a healthy job market and historically low mortgage rates have kept demand from potential buyers strong during the spring months associated with the highest volume of sales.  Read more...

    Home bidding wars reach outside Portland

    30 June — With so few homes for sale in the Portland region, multiple bids are now being made on houses far away from the most popular close-in neighborhoods. According to Michie Megan, a John L. Scott real estate agent in Lake Oswego, more and more buyers are willing to make compromises, like a longer commute, to own a home. “Because of the shortage of homes, people who work in Portland are bidding against each other in cities that are many miles away,” including Gresham, Wilsonville, Woodburn — and even Washington cities north of Vancouver, Megan says. A good example is one of her clients, Sara Forrest. When the 30-year-old military veteran decided it was time to buy her first home, she wanted to remain in the kind of walkable Southeast Portland neighborhood where she was renting a small apartment.  Read more... 

    Portland OKs construction tax to pay for affordable housing

    30 June — The Portland City Council unanimously approved a new tax Wednesday projected to raise more than $12 million a year for affordable housing. "The lack of affordable housing is the greatest crisis facing our city right now," said Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who oversees the Portland Housing Bureau, recycling the same line he used during a meeting two weeks ago. The construction-excise tax – 1 percent of the permitted value of commercial and residential projects – will ensure that "growth pays for growth," Saltzman said.  Read more... 


    Tigard vote could decide fate of Southwest Corridor light rail

    30 June — Tigard voters will have a chance this fall to weigh in on a proposed light-rail line to the city, a decision that could topple the project after nearly a decade of planning. The Tigard City Council on Tuesday referred a measure to the November ballot asking whether the city should support the Southwest Corridor light-rail project. Without the city's formal support, it's likely the plan would be shelved. The light-rail project as planned would connect downtown Portland to Bridgeport Village. It would would cost $2.4 to $2.8 billion in 2025 dollars, reflecting the time when construction would be underway.  Read more... 

    Support slips in Oregon for international trade treaties

    30 June — Support for international trade slipped in Oregon while the major candidates for president criticized the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that Congress could consider later this year. According to two polls conducted by DHM Research, the percentage of Oregonians who believe foreign trade is more of an opportunity for economic growth dropped from 65 percent in March 2014 to 53 percent in April 2016. During that time, the percentage of Oregonians who believe trade is more of a threat to the economy increased from 19 percent to 36 percent.  Read more... 

    Hewlett-Packard is hiring in Vancouver

    30 June — HP Inc. — the printing and personal systems side of the historic split of Hewlett-Packard — is hiring. To highlight that fact, the company opened up its newly completed 58,000 square foot expansion at its Vancouver campus. The company now has 275,000 square feet in Vancouver housing teams working on wearable devices and printing innovation. The print focus includes both traditional 2D printers but also the company’s 3D printing line, which it views as a huge part of its future.  Read more... 

    Lawsuit aims to end toxic Grand Coulee Dam pollution

    30 June — Columbia Riverkeeper is suing the federal government to stop oil pollution from the Grand Coulee Dam that the group says is a danger to public health and a threat to the fish and wildlife. Columbia Riverkeeper, an environmental nonprofit, Wednesday filed its lawsuit against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to force the agency to check the toxic pollution from Grand Coulee, bringing the dam into compliance with the Clean Water Act.  Read more... 

    Exit Interview: Oregon Tech president Chris Maples on recession, growth and state funding

    30 June — Chris Maples is ready for the next gig. The 60-year-old is leaving the Oregon Institute of Technology after eight years as president. In the topsy-turvy world of higher education, Maples was one of the old hands at the state's public four-year universities. He arrived from the Nevada System of Higher Education in 2008, the same year as Portland State's Wim Wiewel. Only Oregon State President Ed Ray has a longer tenure.  Read more... 

    The worst job In Oregon (If you're a woman)

    30 June — Jenna Smith remained remarkably calm on the day she came to work and found a company locker room display made to look like she was performing oral sex. Maybe it was because the tableaux was not a surprise, just “one more thing” in three years of harassment and abuse she suffered in her attempt to become an electrical lineman for the Eugene Water & Electric Board. As a single mother, Smith badly needed to get through her apprenticeship so she could begin earning the $44-an-hour wage that journey-level workers make. So she kept quiet, figuring her supervisor would take down what she calls “the shrine.” He saw it, but it stayed up in the locker room about three months. And maybe, just maybe, that message from the hierarchy was received loud and clear by the all-male crews, because later Smith says she was sexually assaulted by one of her own supervisors.  Read more... 

    Breaking from custom, one small Oregon farm pays pickers by the hour

    29 June — Add this to the many pressures facing the Oregon strawberry: a growing clamor to stabilize wages for migrant workers whose sweat brings Americans their food. Unlike a lot of fruits and even other berries, strawberries must be handpicked, which makes labor one of the biggest costs of doing business for farmers. Javier Lara, 43, is throwing a wrench into the uneasy accord between growers and labor. His experiment? Paying strawberry pickers by the hour.  Read more...  

    Inch by glacial inch, Tualatin River Greenway became reality

    29 June — More than three decades ago, park planners started talking about and planning for the Tualatin River Greenway Bicycle and Pedestrian Shared Use Path. In all the years since, a grand total of 4.7 miles of trail have been developed along the river, stretching from Tigard to Durham and Tualatin. The pace of planning, acquiring land, negotiating agreements and building pathway has worked out to a fraction of a mile per year. That may sound like a glacial pace. But every step of the way has been worthwhile to Paul Hennon, Tualatin community-services director. Hennon recalls one of his first assignments in 1987 was working on the trail design and construction – four years after planning started.  Read more... 

    Waterfront Blues Festival July 1-4: How much it costs, and what you should leave at home

    Heading to the Waterfront Blues Festival? Here are the key things you need to know before you go. Admission: Unlike previous years, when admission was a "suggested donation," everyone will need to purchase a pass to get into the festival this year. Single day passes are $10. Four-day passes are $40, and there are additional pass options with various perks, running $85-$1,250. Festival hours: The music starts at noon July 1-4; gates open at 11 a.m. Location: The festival takes place in Tom McCall Waterfront Park, just to the north and south of the Hawthorne Bridge on the west bank of the Willamette River.  Read more...