Quality of Life in Portland>Question Details

Billye Timbes, Home Buyer in Alabama

May I clarify my question about?

Asked by Billye Timbes, Alabama Fri Aug 8, 2008

I asked a question here last night, but I don't seem to have made myself clear: I asked about the best "close-in" neighborhood, and I had in mind the city of Portland, not a suburb. We want to live in the City. I have been looking(on the internet) at houses in St Johns, Brentwood, Woodstock, Vernon, etc, and would like to get opinions on what it's like there. I don't want to be stuck out in the suburbs, I can find that in Alabama, I want to be part of a city, as much as possible; I don't want to get hit over the head, but I don't mind a bit of scruffiness, can't afford more than say $250,000 and I see houses listed for that price and under. The main thing is a neighborhood with an energy to it, (character?) in which there is room for a garden, near library and grocery and where we won't be always dependent on a car.
Sorry if my original question confused people.

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Billye:

I'm a homeowner in Eastmoreland (20 years) and in my opinion there's nothing like the southeast area of Portland.

We are selling our very large (4100 sq ft) home because our kids are grown and we want a smaller house. But we want to stay in the neighborhood. We've been looking around and here's what we've found:

Eastmoreland: Higher end, however, we just saw a charming 980 Sq ft house go for $306K. Rare, but there are those houses here sometimes.

Eastmoreland Heights: Average home prices seem to be, at least currently, in the $350 K range. But prices may drop. Who knows? It's a good area and worth a look.

Woodstock: We've seen homes in the mid to high 200's.

Reed: Prices vary. You may find something towards 39th and Holgate. Check around there.

Richmond: we are just exploring this area. It has a good feel to it. Ask a broker.

There are also condos around, if you want that. We don't, so we haven't really looked.

Here's a link to a website about my house to compare the feel of our neighborhood.

Good luck with your search. Portland is a great town.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 10, 2008
First of all we need to disclose that we as Realtors are not allowed to steer you toward any particular neighborhood. It is a huge issue and many lose their license by stepping into that gross breech of ethics. A lot of folks moving in have similar questions to yours; however its not the easiest to answer. I can tell you though that $250K won't get you very far IN the city but will give you a good start in areas not a great distance outside the city center...and it may help to note that most of the areas you are mentioning aren't exactly in the city. You'll have bus access and/or the MAX train for commuting. I like the way you explain what you want...not getting hit over the head...however, we couldn't guarantee that in any neighborhood. So we can't use that as criteria. You have to pick an area that has the ammenities you desire; then research the various concerns you might have (use the resources I can provide), then pursue home search if you're satisfied with your own research.

Location: Picture a bulls eye and target circles. The bullseye is city center, The areas you are mentioning are about 2 circles out from the bullseye. How far from the city center ("in minutes to") do you want to be?

I can help you by sending you a list of specific links of places you can check crime stats, police reports, school reports, location of sex offenders, and some helpful relocation assistance etc. As far as 'happenings' or 'ammenities' in and around neighborhoods I can point to resources where you can find this out as well. - then after researching we can begin to search for homes to view around some of the areas you want to consider so you can see what is available in your price range. Then when you see the homes, you can choose the best one for your needs. Let me know if you want my list of resources. When you email (if you choose to) let me know the date of your anticipated move. Contact me via my email at jlizotte@prunw.com for further discussion if you're interested in hearing more or gaining my help and representation. Check out my quality service rating which is collected by a Independently Research Firm and posted at http://www.qualityservice.org/. Just enter my name (June Lizotte) and state of Oregon.
Web Reference: http://www.junelizotte.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008
A few more websites to help you.

I've never met the agent who hosts this site - but love what she has done to describe Portland neighborhoods.

Cricket Forsey
Keller Williams Realty Portland Premiere
(cell) 503-515-1217
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008
Out of the areas you mentioned, the ones with "character" are going to be St. Johns and Woodstock. In those pockets you'll find homes typically built pre-1950 and they are both fairly contained to where you'll have easy access to groceries, library, and public transit. Brentwood is hit or miss for "character" depending on which part of the neighborhood you're in - and many of the streets are still without sidewalks (so a little less urban feeling).

Now, as far as your price point, anything inside of 62nd (in the Woodstock area) or close to the heart of St. Johns will have you closer to the $275K range - and that would be a screaming deal if you could find it. As someone else said, the close in, desirable neighborhoods with energy and character have a median price closer to $345K (and that isn't a lot of house in these areas). Whatever homes you're finding close to $250K in those areas likely have something a little less desirable for the general buyer (i.e. a more busy street, necessary updating, deferred maintenance, smaller lot size, etc)... so, just keep that in mind.

Here are some great resources:

http://www.portlandmaps.com - Simply type in an address of a home you like and you can find all the demographic information for that area as well as general property information and community service information.

http://www.walkscore.com - This is an AMAZING site for determining whether a particular neighborhood will have what you want. Just type in the address and it will show you EVERYTHING - parks, libraries, restaurants, coffee shops, etc - within walking distance to the home you're considering and will tell you how walkable that location will be for you. It even has access to public transit routes, if I'm not mistaken.

http://www.googlemaps.com - this will allow you to see a street view of most homes or (as least) an arial view of the homes location.

Hopefully all the links will help you determine a location perfect for you :) :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008
Billy, you are looking at the right area of town inside 82nd which means 82 blocks to the river and then across the river to downtown. You can find many homes that will fit your needs but the activity is pretty active right now because of the price point you are at and you compete with the first time buyer. There are many areas, St Johns, Kenton, Alberta, Rose City, Hollywood,Beaumont, Brooklyn, Tabor, Powell, Moreland, Woodstock,Hawthorne, Belmont. But you are at the starting entry level home price for most of these areas and there is infill with smaller new homes if that might interest you in that price range? All areas are great for transportation and some areas have light rail. St Johns is about 6-7 miles from town. There are other neighborhoods but until you have a size or style or age or other requirements it will change where you look? The westside is really not possible to find close in homes that are very livable at $250,000 because the land is worth that much. Give me a call and I can pin point some homes and areas for you.
Good Luck,
Tom Inglesby, Broker
RE/MAX Equity Group Inc.1-888-982-6789 x 5416
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008
Depends on how many bedrooms you need & sq ft. As a general rule, the closer in the more money you pay. Give me a ring, and we'll talk more about what you can expect, and narrow in on your options.
Mark Hulsey
RE/MAX Equity Group inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008
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