Portland Oregon Home Buying Guide

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Jolynne Ash, ABR CRS

Accredited Buyers Agent
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Portland Oregon House Prices

Portland Neighborhoods & Suburbs

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Eastside Portland| Clackamas and Happy Valley|
Westside Suburbs | Beaverton | Orenco Station | Hillsboro | Lake Oswego | Northwest Portland |
Southwest Suburbs | Sherwood | Tigard | Tualatin | West_Linn | Wilsonville| Typical house prices by area

Orientation of Portland Layout

If you divide Portland Oregon into roughly four sections using Interstate 5 to divide East from West (see map link at left), and Hwy. 26 and I-84 to divide North from South, you would have an approximate layout of the greater Portland Oregon Metro Area. The Westside (includes NW and SW) is the area that we once called the suburbs or bedroom communities of the City of Portland. This is where you would find the largest concentration of Town homes, Condos, and Patio Homes, in addition to single family homes. With the influx of high tech during the 80's and 90's, the area along Hwy 26 (Sunset Corridor) is referred to as the Silicon Forest. The demographics of the area are young and affluent. Most homes are less than 20 years old. This area has certainly been hit by the real estate slow down but mostly in the upper end homes. The Westside has remained more stable than the Eastside this past year.

Our many planned communities are very attractive. The Eastside of Portland contains our older neighborhoods built between 1910 and about 1950. Lots are on a traditional 50 by 100 grid pattern and small neighborhood shops and restaurants make this area very charming. Below is a list of the Average Sales Price of all Homes Sold year to date in the different cities comprising the Portland Metro Area. This is not intended to imply that all homes in a particular area are selling at this price point, but it does give you a general idea. The real estate slow down has hit this area more than others which equates to some great deals for buyers.

Eastside

The Eastside of Portland began growing during the early part of this century. Streets are plotted out in a traditional grid pattern with many 'Old Portland' style homes and bungalows nestled in tree-lined streets with detached garages hiding in the back. In many areas a coffee shop is just around the corner and commuters use MAX our light rail system or bikes to commute the short distance to downtown.

Southeast Portland is home to the Hawthorne and Belmont districts which are filled with single-family homes and apartment buildings. Bakeries, coffeehouses, boutiques, music and bookstores, pubs and restaurants line both sides of the 30 block boulevard. Homes were built during the mid 1920s through the 1950's. Prices vary greatly but start around $240,000. for a small bungalow and average $325,000. for an 1800 square foot multi-floor Craftsman. These neighborhoods are in direct alignment with downtown with the Hawthorne Bridge being the most used for cyclists and walkers.

The Sellwood historic district has more than 50 antique stores and is located just over the Sellwood Bridge a bit South from downtown Portland, making it one of the closer in neighborhoods. The homes were built beginning at the turn-of-the-century with Victorian mansions and more conservative homes for the working class. This neighborhood was revitalized in the 1980's and is home to the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Sanctuary along the river and the Oaks Amusement Park, a Portland landmark. Average sales price in Sellwood is about $285,000.

Some of our wealthy founders built beautiful craftsman houses that were copied for decades and have resulted in areas such as Westmoreland (part of the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood), and Eastmoreland. These highly sought after neighborhoods have tree lined streets, quiet neighbors, and a variety of Portland's' most beautiful homes. Eastmoreland has a wonderful public golf course while Westmoreland has several parks. Average sales price is about $350,000 to $700,000.

Southeast Portland has too many neighborhoods to mention here. Some are just beginning to revitalize and there are still bargains to be had, while others are well on their way to becoming the next Hot-Spot. You can find lots of foreclosures in this area selling for great prices.

Some of the areas most affordable housing can be found in North Portland. This area has seen a huge gain in popularity in the last two years. As we struggle to find affordable housing, an area that was once undesirable, is now seeing investment and rejuvenation. North Portland is located on both sides of Interstate 5, with the west side being the home of the University of Portland and the Saint Johns neighborhood. Some of the areas are still in need of some significant attention, (if you know what I mean) but with a little risk comes big payoffs.

Northeast Portland has long been a great place to live. Located on both sides of I-84, it offers a close proximity to everything including MAX and several high rise office buildings. The three most popular neighborhoods are Alameda, Irvington, and Laurelhurst. This is also home to the Rose Quarter and Lloyd Center. The area was not as hard hit by the recession.

Alameda/Grant Park was laid out as an exclusive sub-division in 1909 and later added to the City of Portland. It has streets of older architecturally interesting homes (lots of tudors), and trendy neighborhood shops. It has a high level of community and school involvement, which has made it a local favorite. Most sales prices are between $300,000 - $500,000.

Irvington has an old and quaint downtown that runs along NE Broadway. Lloyd Center, one of Oregon's first Malls is located here. The Rose Quarter, along with the Rose Garden and the Oregon Convention Center are at the Western edge of Irvington. Clusters of small restaurants are within walking distance of most homes. The entire neighborhood of Irvington is a National Historic District, it is one of the oldest established neighborhoods in Portland. The homes tend to be Victorian in style and most have been beautifully restored over the years. Residents of Irvington tend to be managerial types with only 30% of the households having children. Average sales prices are $335,000 - $600,000.

Laurelhurst is a close-in residential area of 1,817 homes with Laurelhurst Park at the heart. This neighborhood has circular medians planted with roses and statues of famous founders. Homes range from modest bungalows (not so modest prices) to Georgian mansions. Unlike Irvington, Laurelhurst is home to families. People chat over the front porch and take life a bit slower. Even though living in this area requires a healthy budget, you won't see many high-end cars here. Residents care more about their families and community, than their wheels. Average sales prices are $330,000-$550,000.

Southeast Portland
 
North Portland

Southeast Portland

 

North Portland

 
Northeast Portland
 
Laurelhurst

Northeast Portland

 

Laurelhurst

 
Eastmoreland

Eastmoreland

Clackamas and Happy Valley

Clackamas and Happy Valley are what I call the East Side Suburbs. Clackamas Town Center, one of Oregon's largest indoor malls, and the surrounding shopping centers are located just off I-205 and at the Western edge of the Clackamas area. Happy Valley is located on the east side of I-205 and was mostly farmland 10 years ago. There are new neighborhoods built for first time home buyers up to some very high-end developments with views of Mt. Hood and prices starting at $450,000. This area is growing rapidly and has a few traffic issues until some major new roads and highways are completed over the next decade or so, but I love the variety and affordability of the homes. The commute into downtown Portland is longer than other eastside communities, but there is great access to the airport and shopping. Average sales price is about $252,500. Due to recent foreclosures I have been able to find several bargains in the area particularly with newer homes.

Westside

The Westside consists of the Cities of Aloha, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, Northwest Portland, Tigard, Tualatin, Sherwood, West Linn and Wilsonville. MAX, our light-rail system runs from downtown Portland through Northwest Portland, Beaverton, Aloha, and Hillsboro.

Beaverton is probably the city that started the urban sprawl. In the early 70'scompanies like Tektronix, Intel and Nike planted those trees that would become the 'Silicon Forest'. Today the population is reaching 82,000 and has the traffic jams to prove it. Beaverton was the first real suburb where people could live and work in the same community. Shopping and errands could be handled during the lunch hour, and there was more time for the family. Much of this still exists in beautifully planned communities that invite neighbors to get out and talk to each other. Prices start at around $220,000 for starter homes in Aloha but you can find a very nice three bedroom two bath home for under $300,000. The average price is between $300,000 and $600,000 for a newer contemporary home in higher-end neighborhoods like Murrayhill. Light rail or 'MAX' connects Beaverton commuters into the city and offers a great way to go shopping in the City for an afternoon.

Beaverton
 
Murrayhill

Beaverton

 

Beaverton

 
Aloha

Aloha

Orenco Station, is a residential community located between Beaverton and Hillsboro. Its design was very progressive for its time and place. The gamble paid off because Orenco has been the recipient of numerous national design awards. The vision was to create a City lifestyle in the center of the suburbs. For Port landers' that meant a high density residential area with shopping and entertainment all within walking distance. The secret was to locate the community along the new mass transit light rail system called MAX. MAX connected Orenco to downtown Portland and the high tech industry of Hillsboro allowing commuters to leave their cars at home. Downtown Portland is the center for all forms of entertainment (food, music, theatre, art etc) in the Portland Metro area.

The residential design took on many forms. Apartments were placed along the busier streets buffering the town homes (some call them row houses and patio homes) from the noise of automobiles. Garages were placed in the rear so the fronts could have small yards with picket fences and not be overwhelmed with garages. This design included sidewalks leading to small parks and play areas shared by all. Retail was placed on the street level with garages under and condos over. Single family detached homes were also included but on small lots contributing to the goal of high density.

Twelve plus years later Orenco has achieved its primary goal of creating a strong sense of community and proving that people donít need to have their private fenced backyards to enjoy the outdoors. They found that by consolidating the otherwise private space into parks, pools, playgrounds and plazas, residents joined together rather than apart. As for the use of public transportation over private cars, Orenco hasnít achieved the level they were hoping for. However Orenco does have a higher participation rate in the use of public transportation than any of the surrounding communities. Prices range from $200K to $450K

Orenco Station Craftsman Home
Orenco Station Retail. Courtesy of Portland Ground:Pictures of Portland Oregon
Orenco Station Merchant. Courtesy of Portland Ground:Pictures of Portland Oregon

Orenco Station Craftsman Home

Orenco Station Retail

Orenco Station Merchant

Hillsboro, with a population of 80,000 is the county seat, and maintains a steady population growth due to the huge presence of Intel and other high tech companies. While enjoying the livability of a small agricultural area, Hillsboro is moving into the future as one of Oregon's fastest growing communities. It is a community in which residents, businesses, education and government work together to promote quality living. The average sales price 239,000. Just West of Hillsboro are the small cities of Cornelius and Forest Grove.

Hillsboro
 
Hillsboro

Hillsboro

 

Hillsboro


Lake Oswego, is primarily an affluent residential community (population 33,000), which began as the weekend retreat for Portlandís wealthy families. Over time it became one of the most sought after residential locations. Lake Oswego is located in the northwestern corner of Clackamas County, and is ideally situated close to Oregon's major metropolitan areas--just 8 miles from downtown Portland and 45 minutes from the state capitol in Salem off Interstate 5.

There is a substantial business district along Kruse Way. This Ĺ mile long stretch is one of the largest collections of Class A office space outside of the downtown core. The only problem is the four story brick buildings all look the same. This area also has a few hotels and nice restaurants. My office is on Kruse Way (I recognize the value of a good address)

Surrounding the private lake are many impressive homes ranging from $800K to several million. This is a manmade Lake that was created in the early 1900ís. The Lake Oswego Lake Association does own three or four parks and boat docks that can be used by their members. Membership is determined by your home address and cannot be purchased. Many of the older homes in the more affordable neighborhoods have lake easements. The easements run with the property. The recent downturn has opened opportunities for more affordable homes in Lake Oswego. I sold a couple of great ones for under $350K this past year. The average sales price is just under $450K.

Lot sizes are fairly big with tree lined streets that are perfect for walking or biking. Lake Oswego has very little new construction. You may be able to find a new house here and there on what I call an in-fill lot, but there are no new major developments with multiple homes.

Lake Oswego has the best schools in the State. This is one reason why so many families want to live here. In all fairness to the surrounding school districts (which are very good), Lake Oswego does not have a diverse population when you look at per household income. All of the other districts do. Check them out at: www.loswego.k12.or.us

Downtown Lake Oswego offers fine shops and boutiques, and many different kinds of restaurants. (See www.lofa.org) Outdoor art graces each downtown block, and is enhanced by beautiful hanging baskets, plaza plantings and green trees everywhere.

Spring brings the farmerís market season. Lake Oswego Farmers Market is held every Saturday from mid-May to mid-October. The European style market includes a wide variety of regional produce, baked goods and nursery stock, as well as live entertainment and great food. It is located on the esplanade in downtown.

Moving to Lake Oswego Information Guide

Lake Oswego
Lake Oswego Old World Charm on the Lake. Courtesy of Portland Ground:Pictures of Portland Oregon
Lake Oswego
Lake Oswego Old World Charm on the Lake. Courtesy of Portland Ground:Pictures of Portland Oregon

Lake Oswego

Lake Oswego Old World Charm

Lake Oswego New

Lake Oswego Life Style

Northwest Portland

Northwest Portland consists of an area, located on the north side of Hwy. 26 and West of Downtown Portland. It has excellent access to both downtown Portland and the high tech companies within the 'Sunset Corridor'. With the mountains that rise just west of the city, many of these homes have fabulous views and are highly sought after. There is a large supply of executive homes starting in the mid $300,000s and going up to about $800,000. This area also contains a few small acreage estates located just out side the urban growth boundary. Further west are the communities of Oak Hills and Rock Creek offering homes built in the 70's, 80's, and 90's starting at $275,000 for a three bedroom two bath home. An upscale senior community (55 and older) called Claremont sits on one of our premier knolls and boasts an amazing private golf course and club house. MAX, our light rail system, also services this area. Bethany is a newer area with shopping and a nice retail/residential mix.

Northwest Portland

Northwest Portland

 
Rock Creek
 
Rock Creek

Rock Creek

 

Rock Creek

 
Oak Hills
 
Oak Hills

Oak Hills

 

Oak Hills

Southwest Suburbs

Sherwood is a new City with an old history. Old Town was originally built in the late 1800s and is currently home to a wonderful collection of shops, antique stores, restaurants and City Hall. This was one of the fastest growing Cities in Oregon but the recession has slowed down new construction to almost a crawl. The population currently stands at 17,050 and covers 4.5 square miles (zip code 97140). Sherwood is a new and growing community that has a wonderful long term vision that is quickly becoming a reality. The planned communities are beautiful, the parks are plentiful and the quality of life is suited for those who appreciate a sense of community and pride in their City. The annual Robin Hood Festival is one of my favorite two day events. Most homes average around $230,000 - $400,000.

The Sherwood Schools are excellent and have a high percentage of parental involvement. The average commute time into downtown for a Sherwood resident is currently 29 minutes. The only draw back to this wonderful City is a transportation bottleneck heading East to I-5. With the growing population and demographics, many large retailers, like Home Depot and Target have built new stores in the City, eliminating the need to venture out.

Sherwood

Sherwood

Sherwood
 
Sherwood

Sherwood

 

Sherwood

Tigard is a city of 46,860. Tigard's population has increased 1.5 times since 1980 and includes an area of 11 square miles. This tremendous growth has coincided with the rapid development of Washington County as a high technology center, and more importantly, an attractive place to live. Tigard is located just south of Beaverton and spans both sides of Hwy. 217, and is within 4 miles of Hwy 26 and 2 miles of I-5, offering multiple routes into downtown Portland just 8 miles away. It is also home to Washington Square Mall, one of the largest shopping centers in the area. Tigard has great schools and many parks making it a family favorite.

Tigard offers housing in planned neighborhoods and newly developed subdivisions ranging in price from $240,000 for a 3 bedroom 2 bath home built in the 70's; a new construction 4 bedroom 2.5 bath home in the low to mid $300,000; up to a very large 4-5 bedroom newer home with a view for $400,000. or more. Tigard has two senior communities for those of you 55 years of age. King City and Summerfield both offer a wonderful selection of small to mid-size homes, condos, and apartments with golf course and country club amenities. This is an affordable and convenient place to retire. Prices in the Bull Mountain area which has primarily large homes has dropped considerably in the last year.

Bull Mountain
 
Bull Mountain

Bull Mountain

 

Bull Mountain

 
Tigard
 
Tigard

Tigard

 

Tigard

Tualatin, 'Tree City USA' is just south of Tigard and shares the Tigard-Tualatin School District. Located along I-5, this small City of 33,000 residents enjoy the beauty of the Tualatin River. The City of Sherwood is just five miles to the west and does cause some traffic problems for the locals. Located just 12 miles south of Portland along I-5, it offers an easy downtown Portland commute. Tualatin Commons Lake Plaza is the centerpiece of the retail community with a large man made lake and esplanade. More than 60% of the homes in Tualatin have been built since 1980. There is still very little new construction available because builders have put projects on hold waiting for the economy to pick up. A nice three bedroom two bath home built in the 70's can be purchased for $265K.

Tualatin
 
Tualatin

Tualatin

 

Tualatin

 

West Linn and Wilsonville are one School District and share many of the same attributes. West Linn is located just east of Lake Oswego and has a wonderful mountain offering homes with a view of Mt. Hood and the Willamette River that can not be matched anywhere. The housing ranges from small bungalows for around $240,000, large older homes in the $300,000. to $400,000. range and executive homes in the range of $450,000 to $900,000. The upper end housing has been particularly hard hit by the recession and some great deals can be had. West Linn has a large concentration of upper-middle class families with small children. This area has a real sense of community. Every time I'm in West Linn, whether it's morning, noon or night I see people jogging and riding bikes . Marylhurst College is also located in West Linn along the river.

West Linn
 
West Linn

West Linn

 

West Linn

Wilsonville is the Gateway to Oregon's wine country, and is situated in the lush horticultural growing area of Oregon's Willamette Valley. Wilsonville is also the location of major high technology companies such as Mentor Graphics, Flir, Tektronix and Xerox. With the Willamette River flowing through town and acres of public parks and gardens within the city, Wilsonville is a special place to work and live. Located just 17 miles south of Portland and spanning both sides of I-5, Wilsonville is still a small community. Significant new construction was planned for the next few years in the ultra progressive development called Villebois which broke ground in 2004.. They too are seeing the results of the real estate slow down and are moving much slower than planned, It has a new town square containing shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Surrounded by farmland and expensive small acreage properties, this is the perfect place for country folk and horse lovers. The very exclusive Oregon Golf Club is located on top of Pete's Mountain in Wilsonville.

Wilsonville
 
Wilsonville

Wilsonville

 

Wilsonville

Want to learn more? Visit this site for a listing of all the cities and counties in Oregon.


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