PENDING – 530 N Russet St, Portland | 3 BR | 1 & 1/2 Baths | NEW PRICE – $389,900
PENDING – 530 N Russet St, Portland | 3 BR | 1 & 1/2 Baths | NEW PRICE – $389,900
1134 SE 60th Ave | 3 BR | 3 BA | 2621 sf | $539,900 | MLS# 14109017
Enjoy this beautifully updated Mt. Tabor just minutes to Division, Hawthorne, and Belmont hotspots. Extensively updated from top to bottom, inside and out. Perched off the street for maximum light, this home retains lots of original charm, with some modern elements thrown in for a smart contrast. Great flow inside, two car attached garage, and the huge private backyard is a sweet retreat.
SOLD. 7828 SE 119th Dr | 2699 sf | 3 BR 2 1/2 Baths
This smartly updated retreat will call you home. Sited perfectly to embrace abundant light & mountain views, just simply unpack and enjoy! Updates include modern cook’s kitchen, powder room, carpet, furnace, exterior and interior paint. Nicely flowing floorplan invites a myriad of living options inside, and outside offers two decks – including one overlooking a peaceful koi pond & lush landscaping. Great proximity to Brookside Park, Leach Botanical Garden and Springwater Corridor; easy commute downtown, Max Green Line, Clackamas, and PDX. MLS#14399145
TOO LATE! But let me help you find your own modern space. I’m an Accredited Buyer’s Agent too.
1131 SE River Forest Rd, Milwaukie | 4 BR, 3 Bath | Over 3,600 square feet | $450,000 | MLS# 13146317
Peacefully sited on a lush 1/2+ acre lot, this immaculate mid-century home is move-in ready. Recently remodeled and updated with new flooring, windows, high-efficiency furnace, circular paver drive & more. Scaled nicely for day-to-day living, yet large enough for any need – open floor plan in main house, expansive daylight basement, separate office, family/music room and guest apartment over garage. Sellers have loved the warm and engaging neighborhood community with monthly book group and potlucks – and being close to the public boat ramp to boot! Enjoy the natural and serene setting, while living within super-easy reach to Portland. Additional MLS detail here.
By Steve Strode, originally published in PQ Monthly, November, 2013
It’s the question always asked at a cocktail party, when one learns there’s a realtor in their midst. People are used to hearing daily news on the macro-level—national foreclosure rates, price appreciation, inventory shortages. But what they really want to know is: How are things in their neighborhood? So now my standard response is, “Where do you live?” While that’s sometimes interpreted as a pick up line, it’s a completely necessary question.
Nothing is more local than real estate. Chiefly, it’s how we build community—one block at a time. Coming out of the recession, the majority of foreclosures were confined to a handful of states. But we still felt collectively paralyzed—that it was doom and gloom everywhere. And then we noticed. Places like Portland were starting to do okay; then later, doing well.
As I’m writing this article, I’m sitting in a hotel lobby in San Francisco, about to attend a Symposium on Sustainable Development. The program reads, “Sustainable development begins from the ground up. The first step is to change the way we think.” And I smile, knowing that what we live and breathe in Portland is not quirky or weird. It’s the future, but we’ve been experiencing it for years.
The National Association of Realtors just published survey results entitled, “Neighborhood Preferences are Changing,” which provides further support that Portland is getting it right—in the big picture. Sixty percent of respondents want a mix of housing, shops and services that are walkable. The majority responded they would give up a larger yard or would buy a smaller home if they could have a shorter commute. Seventy-eight percent said the neighborhood is more important than the house size. Having access to different types of transportation modes also rank very highly.
And what we’re seeing are buyers and renters willing to walk the talk. In major cities everywhere, Millennials are leading the charge. They are trading the car-dependent suburban culture they grew up in, exchanging them for an urban lifestyle, choosing micro-apartments of 400 square feet or less. The apartment is a place to sleep; the neighborhood and its amenities have become the living room.
These trends are playing out daily with buyers and colleagues I know. Professionally-marketed homes in close-in Portland are getting offers soon after hitting the market—often multiple ones. We’re seeing hot building trends in Portland, too. For example, every vacant lot along Southeast Division appears to be an apartment construction zone. A few builders are selling their formulaic “McInfill” homes on every available lot (I’m trying to coin that term as an urban version of “McMansion”—you read it here first). We all have friends desperately seeking an apartment, or know first-time buyers competing for homes.
All is not perfect. Re-development and new urban development is often viewed as a zero-sum game. The LGBT community is often associated with gentrification. We’ve moved into areas that have been maligned by the majority, renovated homes, and created vibrant neighborhoods. But these same neighborhoods have also been home to other groups for generations—and they often reach a tipping point where it becomes too costly for long-term residents to remain.
In the nationwide public radio show “State of the Re:Union,” host Al Letson featured Portland, discussed the North Williams corridor and interviewed African-American residents who have experienced the changes. In an only-in-Portland fashion, it was the bike lane proposals that helped bring racial issues to the surface, but also brought an opportunity for dialogue. Imagine being a multi-generational black resident, getting frequent calls to sell your house. You see this as your family’s neighborhood—and while the white callers meant no harm, they are not realizing that same call has been received dozens of times previously. (Disclaimer: as a realtor I am not suggesting “black” and “white” neighborhoods, but sharing an anecdote from Letson’s program.) As affordability has waned, we see various population shifts. And unfortunately, the same things that people like best about living close-in are not yet prevalent in neighborhoods on the periphery. Children have lost their sidewalks. Commute times are longer.
Local community is built through local involvement, and as someone on that radio show quipped, “If you don’t have a seat at the table, you don’t get fed.” Engagement has to be at the neighborhood level. If surveys indicate that we want walkable neighborhoods, this cannot be tied to income. On the whole, we’re getting it right in Portland and we’re well-poised for the future. But to create a sustainable model for all, we have to create that same sense of “local” in all Portland neighborhoods.
Steve Strode is a realtor in the Portland metro area, and co-founder of rEqual – an LGBT housing and advocacy organization. Steve is also President of Portland Frontrunners. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published in PQ Monthly, August, 2013.
Maybe it’s because the campaign for “Hillary 2016” already seems to be full swing that the title of her 1996 book came to mind. But it does tie in nicely to the theme for this month’s article. Over the course of the our queer civil rights movement, our tent has continued to enlarge (and get more fabulous); in my lifetime I’ve seen the evolution from “Gay & Lesbian,” to LGB, to LGBT to LGBTQ — and the initialism continues to grow.
On the home front, our needs and wants continue to evolve, too. No longer marginalized to specific neighborhoods, our housing choices tend to mirror the public at-large. Some of us want to walk/bike/bus to work, some want that extra space and privacy in the suburbs, while others seek a little place in the country — “Brokeback Mountain”-style. And more commonly, our households have become more multi-generational; we’re having or adopting children, or moving in parents during their final years. And in higher cost-of-living places like Portland, countless of us have housemates to share expenses.
Portland is city of in-migration. How often do we find ourselves simply asking, “Where are you from originally?” It’s almost presumptive that that person came from elsewhere. “I’m a Portlandia interloper, so you must be too!” Many of us have biological families far outside of Portland, which we visit as often as we can. But on a day-to-day basis, it’s our chosen family that we see, rely on, and love as our own. We form these chosen families through joining groups or getting involved in community organizations. In my case, one of those is Portland Frontrunners. Most of the group has moved to Portland from elsewhere, so newbies are warmly welcomed. The same can be said for groups like the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus, the Amazon Dragons, OutKayaking, our synagogue, and so on.
We also embrace the concept of intentional living. Intentional living is the desire to live in a manner that is consistent with our core beliefs and values. Whether it be an ecological consciousness, concern for fair trade, or social equality, Oregonians see the global big picture in how we live locally. Basically, we want to walk the talk.
In the world of real estate, nowhere are the ideas of “chosen family” and “intentional living” better manifested than in cohousing. Cohousing is not a hippie commune. With cohousing, people buy and sell their homes just as any other condominium. But there are inherent features that set it apart from most condos; for many this is exactly what they are looking for in their community. Recently, my running buddy turned client, Bill Cunnighame, bought a unit at Daybreak Cohousing. He offered to share his reason for buying and his experience thus far.
Steve: Why compelled you to buy?
Bill: I knew I wanted to downsize so I went to an open house. It was conducted by both the homeowner community and the realtors. The room was packed with interested parties.
Steve: What caught your attention about cohousing vs. a regular condo?
Bill: The intentional way of living in the community. You have to buy in to the concept. You’re not just sharing common walls — but share maintenance, landscaping, garden spaces, group dinners. Everyone knows the children.
Steve: What do you like most about the community?
Bill: The pleasant surprises — it’s truly multi-generational. I work from home during the day and I crank open my windows just to hear the kids playing. In some ways it’s an extension of my First Unitarian Church community — inclusiveness, concern for sustainable environments, or shared spaces like the woodworking room, which minimize excessive possessions.
Steve: What appeal do you see for the LGBTQ community?
Bill: It’s very diverse — straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual. A single lesbian just had a baby and the community offered to chip in with babysitting. I wanted it to be a mixed environment with all ages and types of people, with lots to learn from each other.
Steve: Any advice or things you would’ve done differently?
Bill: Just be very thorough. Attend group dinners before buying; ask tons of questions. Meet everyone.
As Bill summed up, cohousing is not for everyone. You interact much more with neighbors than a conventional condominium, and there is an expectation that everyone is engaged in operations to the best of their ability. But it fills an important niche for the homebuying segment who seeks something just a little bit different and a little bit more. How Portland indeed!
Steve Strode is Portland-area realtor with Meadows Group Inc., Realtors. He is also co-founder of a newly forming non-profit organization called rEqual, a nationwide LGBT real estate coalition.
I am also an Accredited Buyer’s Representative. Please contact me to find your next home.
4242 SW Condor Ave | 3 BR, 2 and 1/2 Baths | 2 Car Garage | $550,000 | MLS 13597446
Dialed-in and ready, this sweet contemporary is priced to move. Complete renovation & stellar addition completed in 2008. Perfectly scaled with open floorplan & loaded with goodies – 11′ ceilings, malaccan floors, quartz countertops & extensive tilework. Owners’ en suite is a true delight. Making an irresistible home even more irresistible – unobstructed Mt. Hood views, and great proximity to OHSU, downtown and waterfront.
4878 SW Garden Home | 3 BR | 2 Bath | MLS 13120446
Attention modern lovers! Multnomah Village, Northwest Contemporary – nestled on over 1/4 acre private wooded lot, overlooking Woods Creek. All the right updates inside – walnut hardwood floors on main level, remodeled kitchen and baths, new wool carpet upstairs, and freshly painted throughout. Excellent proximity to downtown.
***SOLD, $160,000 | 11834 SE Pine | Portland | List Price $159,900 | MLS 13385323
Bring your ideas for highest & best use (buyer to do due diligence). Scrape or renovate. Buildable up to four units, in area with many newer properties. Or, update this cosmetic fixer with good bones; nice clearance in basement for additional square footage – on a large lot for urban-gardening types. Great proximity to MAX, one block to park.
I attended the BC Real Estate Convention last week in Vancouver, BC. In addition to a number of informative educational sessions, the Expo included a nice mix of private business professionals and public officials. If you’re interested in diversifying your real estate portfolio, or take advantage of dynamic investment opportunities, please call or email me. Great options abound!
***SOLD. $555,000, closed 2/19/13*** I am also an Accredited Buyer’s Representative and love working with buyer clients. Please contact me if you need assistance finding your next home.
7208 SW 34th Ave, Portland | 3 BR, 2.5 Baths | $539,900 | All the Work Has Been Done – And Done WELL
Every so often, a home just speaks to you. This pristine Multnomah Village bungalow is one of those times. Seller has overlooked no detail in this top-to-bottom, inside & out renovation. You will appreciate the perfect flow for entertaining, quality materials, meticulous workmanship, and thoughtful details in every room. You’ll love it all – cook’s kitchen, sweet owner’s suite, and spacious living spaces. Freshly remodeled lower level offers additional space for theater or game room. Completing the package is an expansive deck & gorgeous gardens.
And to boot, you’re just a stone’s throw from the heart of Multnomah Village shops, restaurants and services. Enjoy!
MLS # 13316113