I was thinking of buying a one bedroom in portland but lots of people say one bedrooms are a bad investment

Asked by Ellie, Portland, OR Tue Jun 10, 2008

and was wondering what your thoughts on this are?

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Paul Johnson, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Jan 16, 2013
Hello Ellie,

Buying a 1 Bedroom condo in Portland Oregon is absolutely NOT a bad investment. The largest demographic of condo dwellers is single and under 30, and Empty Nester's over 55. Many of these buyer's can only afford or only want a 1 bedroom. There will always be a market for this type of space and you should not be worried about putting your money in this type of investment.

Hope this helps!

Paul Johnson
0 votes
Brad Golik, Agent, Portland, OR
Tue Jul 17, 2012
Hello Ellie,
I specialize in the condo and loft markets so I will only direct my answer to your question with regards to the condo market. Are 1 bedroom condos a bad investment..absolutely not! There is always a market for first time buyers that cannot afford to pay anymore than what 1 bedroom units are priced at. The key to any investment is timing! Perhaps the advice you have gotten comes from someone that just had bad timing with their purchase? When you are making a purchase, what is the inventory like? Are there many properties on the market where sellers are competing to get their unit sold? As an example, last week a small 630 square foot unit in South Waterfront went on the maket and was sold in 2 days and had 3 offers. Why? Because there are not many units like that on the market.

Keith below made a good comment about the time frame you are looking to hold it for. If it is very short term, you should not be looking for a strong return on your money...it could happen, but not likely. You should look at your purchase as a place where you will be living and a place you love to come home to at night. Sure, you want to make a great investment when you do make your purchase, and as an agent, my goal is to find you a great place at a good price.

Too many people the last10 years or so started to look at their home solely as an investment. Instead, it shoud be a place of enjoyment and relaxation. As for the investment side of things, I think your timing will be fine. Yesterday the Wall Street Journal published a report about if we have hit the "bottom" of the market? You can read more on this on my blog at http://www.TheCondoPulse.com

So, if a one bedroom is what you can afford and you also find the condo of your dreams at a good price... you will do just fine!

Good Luck

...and to Dirk, with no "disrespect" Ellie was looking for advice, not a report that may...or may NOT be more valuable than what people here have to say.
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Keith Berne, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Jun 18, 2008
Hi Ellie, one bedroom homes can take longer to sell, but you have to decide what your needs are. What is your life stage. Another factor is where in town the one bedroom is. Is it in the burbs or in the trendy Pearl District downtown. Many folks make the mistake of thinking of their home as a bank... that like magic you'll see amazing appreciation overnight. We all know thats not the case anymore. So decide if you will be there for a long time, or not. No home is a good investment in this market if you're leaving in a year or two, or you have an unstable job situation. Good Luck, Keith Berne, Broker, GRI, Re/Max Equity Group, 503-734-6646
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Tom Inglesby, Agent, Portland, OR
Fri Jun 13, 2008
You didn't say one bedroom house or condo? A condo is probably easier to sell depending on the location than a 1 bedroom house. But location is the thing that will help you sell any time and when the market slows but close to town east side or west side always sells first because of location. Work with an agent that is looking out for your best interests like one that has an Accredited Buyer Representative license, (ABR) that will be assisting and helping you thru the buying process. They will have all the facts and information to look for or will let you know how to find statistics with the area or buildings and many building in the Pearl have had design problems when they first opened. Love to help you find that perfect dream home.

Tom Inglesby, Broker
RE/MAX Equity Group Inc
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Cathy Mankus, , Portland, OR
Wed Jun 11, 2008
Hi Ellie-
One bedrooms are not a bad investment at all- for all of the reasons you see below. There are always people just starting out OR conversely who are down sizing and want a smaller place. There are also people who travel frequently to Portland for work and prefer to have a place of their own over a hotel.

What will make it a good or bad investmant is the location and what you pay for it. If you overpay, it doesnt matter what size the unit is- it will take longer to appreciate to the price you paid for it. The most important thing is that you have someone that you trust to point out the pros and cons of the various units you look at.

As a buyer, it is ALWAYS in your best interest to work with a realtor. It doesnt cost you a penny (we are paid by the seller's agent). So, you get the experience and expertise of a professional to assist you in analyzing each property. If you have never worked with a realtor before, talk to a couple. The relationship you have will be a close one and if you dont feel comfortable or that you can trust the first realtor you speak to, talk to another. Just be sure to pick one and stick with them.

Hope this is helpful. Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.


Cathy Mankus, MS, GRI
The Hasson Company

If there is anything I can do to assist you, I would be delighted to.
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June Lizotte,…, , Portland, OR
Tue Jun 10, 2008
Ellie, Hello; it's true that a one bedroom will be tougher to sell when you're ready for the next move, which is what most are referring to when they say it's a bad investment. However, you'll still see appreciation if you are well instructed and have great representation (Realtor) who will do the work necessary to insure you are able to make a great decision on price to offer. There are many available 1 and 2 bedroom places and you may also find the difference in price worth the investment for a 2 bedroom. If you would like to see the availability of all one and two bedrooms in the area and price range of your interest please check out my web site. You can set up your own secure login, save searches and more. Or I can set up a custom Home Finder, which will automatically send you listings that match your criteria as they come available, including price reductions as they happen. If you would like help please email me through my web site and I'll be happy to assist you. I suggest you check my quality service rating out also on http://www.qualityservice.org- where my clients report the quality of service they received to an independent survey company. My ratings are posted for all to view. There is a box at the top of that home page to 'search for real estate professional'. Just check the box, add my name June Lizotte- and location 'Oregon'. You won't be disappointed. I would love to help you when you are ready to begin looking for your new place.
Web Reference:  http://www.junelizotte.com
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Dirk Knudsen, Agent, Hillsboro, OR
Tue Jun 10, 2008

Right now it is all about the deal. A one Bedroom can be tought to sell. Let's all be honest here. Unless it is a condo they are almost unheard of. If it has a den or some other spaces maybe a good investment. The real question is what would it take to get a 2 or 3 br and why would you not look at those as well?? Know what I mean?

The best thing I can offer to you is my 25 years of experience and market leading knowledge. Thes eare tough times and there are some great buys. Lets make sure this is a good value before you pull the trigger.

Call me anytime and I will offer you some time free of charge and we will chat and I will email you a meaningful report online! That is worth more than 100 of these free sdvisiory opinions. No disprespect to these fine folks at all.... but true.

All my best to you!


Dirk Knudsen
Re\Max Hall of Fame
#1 Rated Re\max Team in Oregon
Web Reference:  http://www.nwhomecenter.com
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Allison James…, Agent, Portland, OR
Tue Jun 10, 2008
Hi Ellie - buying real estate is always a good investment. If starting with a one bedroom is what you can afford now - it's a much better choice than renting something. And it could be your first step up the property ladder to getting to the home of your dreams. Down the road you've then got some options with this property - and a good one is to keep it and rent it out and use your equity to move up. The other thing to consider is what your priorities are. I worked with a buyer that chose to buy a small home considerably under what he could afford because he was single and more interested in having money to travel & ski and play and didn't want to buy high and be short on money to live the lifestyle he wanted - when he got married and they decided to start having a family...I sold the small home for them and found them one 3 times the size as a replacement property. Another buyer I worked with was more interested in a higher end location (like downtown) and was willing to live in a smaller space as long as he could live in his first choice area. So.....just like pretty much all the other folks responded to you - there are many variables to consider with lot of options. And like all the rest - I'm more than happy to help in any way.

God Bless!
Kelly Gebler
Commonwealth Real Estate & DeMark Financial Services
415 17th Street, Suites 5-7
Oregon City, OR 97045
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Ed Burnham, , Portland, OR
Tue Jun 10, 2008
Hi Ellie-
There's a saying that smart investors make their money on the purchase, not the sale. Do your homework on researching values of one-bedrooms in your area. And use a good buyer's agent who is familiar with the area where you want to buy.
In my opinion, and as the other writers have pointed out, there is a market for one-bedroom homes. Just make sure you're buying in an area that's attractive to other buyers. In Portland's current market, that's usually close-in neighborhoods, especially those with amenities within walking distance and good access to mass transit.
Happy hunting!

0 votes
Cricket Fors…, Agent, Portland, OR
Tue Jun 10, 2008
Hi Ellie,

I think you could look at what the the "big players" in real estate developement for this answer. If one bedrooms were a bad investment ,developers wouldn't build them. There is a certainly a demand for one bedrooms - basically for people who can't afford or don't need a second bedroom. There are many single people and couples who want to live downtown where that is all the space they need.
Do your homework in your purchase. Make sure you do some research on the building you intend to buy in. Make sure there are no pending lawsuits, check the status of the HOA, ask how many units are owner occupied and how many are renters.
When buying a condo - the investment is as much in the building itself as it is in the unit.

If you need some guidance - I'd love to help!

Cricket Forsey
Keller Williams Realty Portland Premiere
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Deb Counts-T…, Agent, Portland, OR
Tue Jun 10, 2008
There are so many variables...is it a 1 BR detached home, or a 1 BR condo? Is there a bonus or guest room? What's the square footage? Could it be built out someday? How long are you planning to stay?

I'd be happy to listen what you're looking for and help negotiate your way through all of these questions!

Web Reference:  http://www.welcometopdx.com
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The Hagley G…, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Tue Jun 10, 2008
It all depends....1 BRs are a great way to get into the real estate market. As an investor, a few of my first investments (Palm Springs, CA) were 1BRs because that's all we could afford. My thought is that thre will always be a need for entry level housing.....and entry levewl rentals. Good luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.cindihagley.com
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Ron Ares, , Portland, OR
Tue Jun 10, 2008
I agree, when it comes to single-family residences. It really limits your available market when it comes time to sell. You're basically marketing to single people or a couple without (or not planning to have) children. No guest quarters, either.

Condos, particularly in the downtown core, are probably more immune.
Web Reference:  http://www.repdx.com
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