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4-Legged Friends Fundraiser brings in over $4000 for local charities!

It’s the season of giving……

4-Legged Friends Fundraiser

Brings In Over $4000 For Local Charities!

4 - Legged Friends Fundraiser brings in over $4000k for local animal shelters.

4 – Legged Friends Fundraiser brings in over $4000k for local animal shelters.

On November 4th, Home Sweet Home Realty, who lists and services the sale of your home for only 4%, held a fundraiser in support of Portland’s homeless animals.  Patrons came and showed their support by dining at any one of 5 Lompoc Brewing locations throughout the day. 

Fundraiser at Lompoc for pets

Lompoc patios are a doggie hangout!

The silent auction table was a hot spot with donations from Portland favorites like Tasty n Sons, Toro Bravo, TesoAria Winery, and Yoga Shala Wellness.  All of the goodies brought in an additional $300+ for the animal shelters.

4- legged friends fundraiser donations

Thanks to all the sponsors at our silent auction!  Here are just a few.

Silent Auction-Portland fundraiser animal shelters

The silent auction was a success, raising some $300+ for charity.

House of Dreams, a no-kill cat shelter, and Family Dogs New Life Shelter were overjoyed to be chosen as the recipients of this event.  Be sure to check out their upcoming events, as well. House of Dreams will be hosting the 15th Annual Pretty Kitty Holiday Craft Bazaar on November 21st.  And, Family Dogs will have their 9th Annual Best Friends Photo Day on December 6th.


Stay tuned for details on Home Sweet Home Realty’s Giving Tree.  We will be inviting our clients to place a wrapped gift under our Christmas tree, these gifts will go to children in Oregon’s foster care system.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we GIVE,” – Churchill

Written by Jennifer Kane, Expanded Exposure LLC.

Portland Public Schools – Facebook Town Hall on Boundary Changes

TODAY: Oct. 29, 2015 -Scenarios posted today from 5:45 pm to 8:45 pm from the District-wide Boundary Review Advisory Committee (D-BRAC) meeting; draft agenda is here. If you can’t attend the meeting, you can watch it streamed live here.

Portland Public Schools Bounday Changes in Elementary schools

Portland Public Schools is taking public testimony for their upcoming changes to the enrollment boundaries. Parents are following closely to find out what the future holds for the children in their neighborhood. Image Courtesy: Brad Flickinger

The recent population migration into Portland has prompted the city and school board to evaluate the enrollment boundaries for local schools. Future growth over the next 10 years is projected to bring another 5000 students from grades K-12.

Who is affected by this change? 

Potentially, any student in the Portland Public Schools system could be affected. 

Any boundary or current protocol that is in place is potentially up for review.  Parents are concerned that their child may have to transfer to a different school, transfer from a higher performing school to a lower performing school, or be split up from siblings who are in different grades.  Those looking to sell or purchase a home soon are diligently monitoring the situation to see where the new lines will be drawn.   

Public testimony has already been gathered in the form of community forums.  A survey was also sent out to over 4000 residents; their opinions are helping to create a value-based strategy moving forward. 

When is the next opportunity for Public Testimony?

The tentative schedule from the District-wide Boundary Review Advisory Committee (DBRAC) is as follows:

Oct. 15: A Facebook Town Hall meeting will be held on this date from noon to 12:30 p.m. on the Portland Public Schools’ Facebook page.

Oct. 29: A draft of the boundary change proposal will be made public.  Opportunity for public discussion will follow soon after. 

Oct./Nov.: Multiple opportunities for discussion will be available at community meetings and Twitter and Facebook Town Halls.  Further dates will be made available soon.

Portland Public Schools’ modus operandi for the enrollment balancing process is “to provide the best possible education at all schools for all students…to have strong schools in every neighborhood, which serves the health and vitality of the city as a whole.” 

In years past, the school system experienced declining numbers.  With a lack of funding, many schools were forced to condense to a K-8 system vs. having separate elementary and middle schools.  The DBRAC will be reviewing whether it is possible to make the move back to the old system, which could potentially balance out enrollment between now overcrowded and under-enrolled schools.  Many believe this would better distribute funds and resources across the district. 

The bright spot for Portland Public Schools through all of this is the fact that the city is growing and so is the economy.  This means that, with careful planning and distribution, the increase in revenue could help to rebuild programs and improve lower performing schools.

Superintendent Carole Smith is requesting that the DBRAC evaluate the current boundaries and make recommendations.  The DBRAC is a group of 26 Portland Public Schools teachers, principals, administrators, community members, technical experts, Portland School Board Directors, and students. 

Their proposals will be offered on Oct. 29, and then reviewed by the public.  Final authority on the boundary changes will rest with the school board.  Once a plan is approved by the school board, those changes could go into effect as early as Fall 2016, or they may be phased in over time.

For more information on the current PPS policy governing boundary review changes:

Don’t Forget:

Parent-Teacher Conferences: Oct. 21-23, 2015

Home Sweet Home Realty is closely following the progress of PPS and the boundary assessments.  Our team can assist you in selecting a home and neighborhood that is best for your family.   Please feel free to contact us via email at or by phone at (503) 515-2986.


Written by Jennifer Kane, Expanded Exposure LLC.

4-Legged Friends Fundraiser at Lompoc Brewing!

Do you LOVE your furry 4-legged friends as much as we do?!  Come on out to the 4-Legged Friends Fundraiser on November 4th, and participate in a day of fun and goodwill.  Home Sweet Home Realty LLC is proud to be partnering with Lompoc Brewing to support two local no-kill animal shelters here in Portland. 

Pitbull in pink tutu fundraiser for dogs portland

Doggie Costume Contest happening all day on the patios at Lompoc Brewing. 4 – Legged Friends Fundraiser – Portland Image Courtesy, North Charleston

Kick back on the patio, order a “Brutus the Honorary Cat” muddled mint, lemonade, and champagne cocktail and enjoy the show, all in the name of charity!  You might see a cute Pekingese dressed as Sir Isaac Newton, or a Saint Bernard trying to pass as Jay Leno.  The best part is that Home Sweet Home Realty will be donating a portion of your bill to two worthy non-profits, House of Dreams cat shelter and Family Dog New Life Shelter.

So instead of stressing over the Election Day results that came tolling in the night before, come down to one of any five Lompoc Brewing locations and start your season of giving off right!  The event will include an all day doggie costume contest on the outdoor patios at Lompoc.  To enter is simple.  Just snap a picture of your stylish pooch and post on Home Sweet Home Realty’s Facebook page. ( Winners and prizes will be announced the following day on Facebook. Categories include Small Dog, Big Dog, Most Creative Costume and Silliest Costume.

Stop by one of five Lompoc Brewing locations in Portland for the 4 - Legged Friends Fundraiser. Lompoc Tavern, Hedge House, Fifth Quadrant, Sidebar or Oaks Bottom

Stop by one of five Lompoc Brewing locations in Portland for the 4 – Legged Friends Fundraiser. Lompoc Tavern, Hedge House, Fifth Quadrant, Sidebar or Oaks Bottom

In addition, Lompoc Brewing will be offering a pet-themed cocktail menu and food items all day. Visit one of Lompoc’s five locations at either the Lompoc Tavern, Hedge House, Fifth Quadrant, Sidebar or Oaks Bottom to get in on the action. There will also be a silent auction taking place at the Sidebar location on N. Williams Ave. from 5 – 9 p.m., with items from local businesses along the N. Williams Corridor.

Both House of Dreams cat shelter and Family Dog New Life Shelter were chosen as the beneficiaries of this event due to their no-kill policies. House of Dreams welcomes cats of any age and any medical history; and they pride themselves on being an “assisted living” facility for cats. Family Dog New Life Shelter has rescued and re-homed over 11,000 homeless dogs since 2004; they believe that all dogs deserve a second chance at a new life.

Just one of the deserving kitties at House of Dreams no-kill cat shelter in Portland, Oregon.

Just one of the deserving kitties at House of Dreams no-kill cat shelter in Portland, Oregon.

To participate, simply order any food or drink item, and Home Sweet Home Realty will donate 100% of the days proceeds, up to $4000, to the rescue missions of these shelters.

Home Sweet Home Realty is a low fee, high service real estate firm operating in Oregon and SW Washington – where Sellers list for 4%. “Home Sweet Home Realty cares deeply about rescued animals, and we want to do our part to support these organizations” said Kelly Stafford, Managing broker at Home Sweet Home Realty.

You Eat, We Give at the 4 - Legged Friends Fundraiser. Please join Home Sweet Home Realty and Lompoc Brewing on November 4th

You Eat, We Give at the 4 – Legged Friends Fundraiser. Please join Home Sweet Home Realty and Lompoc Brewing on November 4th.


Written by Jennifer Kane, Expanded Exposure LLC.

Milwaukie- Gaining Speed With The Max

What the New Orange Max Line Means for Milwaukie:

It’s here!  A major bridge has not been added to Portland’s skyline since the Fremont Bridge was completed in the early 1970s.  That is until this past month when the Tilikum Crossing was officially unveiled.  The bridge’s construction came about to accommodate the city’s other major addition – The New Max Orange Line!   

The new Orange Line is spurring growth and attracting investors to the outlier neighborhoods and towns to Portland’s south, namely Milwaukie.  Nestled against the Willamette River, this quaint town of only 4.85 sq. miles has always had its appeal. But, now the commute just got easier and greener.   Instead of grinding their gears through traffic in their gas guzzlers, happy residents are zipping along via the Max to downtown Portland in only 27 minutes!

New max orange line to portland's south

“Catch the Orange” is the newest slogan around town. Residents in Milwaukie are taking full advantage of this perk that takes them into downtown Portland in no time at all. Neighbors to Portland’s south are getting a bump in their real estate values too. Image Courtesy: Sam Churchill

As prices in Portland continue to rise, young families and other 1st-time homebuyers are looking for an affordable option.  Their eyes are turning to Milwaukie.  With a slew of amenities, they’re discovering that this alternative town is the solution they’ve been looking for!  Milwaukie’s schools and healthcare are ranked well, and crime is comparatively low. In fact, this riverside town of about 20,000 inhabitants has been haled by local sources as one of the best places in Oregon to raise a family.

The Willamette River in Milwaukie, Oregon.

The Willamette River in Milwaukie, Oregon. Image Courtesy: Jeff Hart


Buyers can still find great homes in the 200k range, allowing you to get more home for your money.  There is limited inventory, however, so professionals recommend striking now while the iron is hot.  Since the opening of the Orange Line, investors are also clamoring to pick up property along the transit’s route.  Home values in Milwaukie have risen about 12% from 2014 to 2015, and home sales increased 24%.

As of September 2015:

Average Price/ sq.ft.: $167

Median Sales Price: $280,000

Average Listing Price: $315,768

Popular Neighborhoods’ Average Listing Prices:

Lake Road: $282,553

Lewelling: $286,800

Come Tour this Sweet one level bungalow just blocks from the new Orange Max line. Located at: 2324 SE Park Ave.   Contact Home Sweet Home Realty: (503) 515-2986


Local Schools Overall Grade – B+ (according to

Local School Rankings (according to

Milwaukie is making a name for itself for a safe environment and good schools. They've been named one of the best places in Oregon to raise a family.

Milwaukie is making a name for itself for having low crime and good schools. They’ve been named one of the best places in Oregon to raise a family. Image Courtesy: Ryan Harvey

Riverside Elementary School

4 stars

Oak Grove Elementary

5 stars

Whitcomb Elementary

4 stars

Milwaukie Academy of Arts

5 stars; 9 out of 10 ranking

Milwaukie High School

3 stars

Putnam High School

4 stars


Now that the orange line has improved accessibility, many people are day tripping down to explore this quaint neighbor to the south.


A grand opening ceremony was held on May 1, 2015, for Phase II of this park.  The Milwaukie Riverfront Park is located on Milwaukie Bay between McLoughlin Boulevard and the Willamette River. Officials anticipate the project will provide a region-wide attraction, and an opportunity for family-fun recreation for local residents. The park offers a boat ramp, a riverside path, a public lawn for festivals, and twice as many trees as before!

The city is currently raising funds for Phase III, which will include a playground and an amphitheater for live performances.

The New Milwaukie Riverfront Park outside of Portland is a family friendly place.

The New Milwaukie Riverfront Park outside of Portland is a family-friendly place. Image Courtesy: Ian Collins


Set to run along the old Portland Traction Company’s Oregon Line streetcar route.  The Trolley’s glory days took it from Milwaukie to Gladstone back in 1893 until 1968.  The trail, when complete, will be part of a 20-mile loop connecting Portland to Milwaukie, Gladstone, Oregon City, and Gresham.  There is currently a 6-mile stretch completed for use by pedestrians and bikes, and it can be accessed through the Milwaukie Riverfront Park.


Almost 80 vendors take the stage at this eclectic and fun farmers market.  Find local produce, freshly baked treats, plants for sale, wood workers and other crafters, and more!  Check their site for more information and musical lineup.  Winner of “Best Small Farmers Market” 2012 by The Oregonian.

EVERY SUNDAY from May through October. 

Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Located at: SE Main Street & Harrison Street, Milwaukie, OR


This park has it all!  There is a lap pool for the serious swimmer, Jacuzzis, a wave pool, numerous waterslides and a rock-climbing wall.

Located at: 7300 SE Harmony Rd, Milwaukie, OR


Fun with animals above and below the sea can be had at the Portland Aquarium.  See sharks, stingrays, coral, giant octopus, tropical fish, reptiles and birds.  Great for young children!

Located at: 16323 SE McLoughlin Blvd, Milwaukie, OR


Bob's Red Mill offers tours of their Milwaukie, Oregon, headquarters.

Bob’s Red Mill offers tours of their Milwaukie, Oregon, headquarters. Image Courtesy: cheeseslave

Milwaukie is home to Bob’s Red Mill headquarters.  Take a tour and learn how the magic happens behind these whole grains.  Bob himself may even stop in to say hello!

Located at: 13521 SE Pheasant Ct., Milwaukie, OR

Written by Jennifer Kane, Expanded Exposure LLC.

Ceiling Douglas Fir wood in POrtland home stylish modern

5 Uses for Douglas-fir In the Home

Douglas-fir, the Pride of the Pacific Northwest, done 5 Ways in the Home.

Ceiling Douglas Fir wood in POrtland home stylish modern

The warm amber colors in this Douglas-fir ceiling soften this modern motif. Image Courtesy: Jeremy Levine

Locally grown with pride, the Douglas-fir is arguably the most favored by builders and carpenters due to its strength and beauty.  Homeowners in the Pacific Northwest are known to incorporate this spectacular wood into every aspect of their building, remodeling, and even landscaping.  And, it shows!  Douglas-fir accents in a home instantly warm up the space, making it more inviting and adding a richness to the appearance.  

Adding character and charm, these Douglas Fir accents and moldings can be found throughout Portland homes.

Adding character and charm, these Douglas Fir accents and moldings can be found throughout Portland homes. Image Courtesy Tall ChrisThe Look:

The Look:

Doug-fir has a gorgeous warm tone, and comes in a golden yellow to amber or reddish brown color.  The grain is relatively straight, and sometimes has a slight waviness.  It offers a medium to coarse texture. Both grain and texture will vary based on where the tree was grown and its age.  Many woodworkers will be careful when cutting the wood to capture the distinctive grain pattern.  Whether stained, or reclaimed and varnished, this lumber’s natural beauty is a showstopper.

Douglas Fir Cabinetry stylish

Douglas Fir Cabinetry. Image courtesy: Tall Chris


Unlike most softwoods, Douglas-fir does not readily expand and contract with the weather. Because of this stability in the elements, it is often referred to as “waterproof”, even though it is water permeable.   Its “waterproof” nature makes it an excellent choice for doors and windows.

Windows of Douglas Fir Wood in POrtland Home waterproof wood

The “waterproof” nature of Douglas-fir allow for safe and durable use around windows and doors.  Image courtesy: Tall Chris



Douglas-fir is technically a softwood, but it has an incredible stiffness and is very resilient. It boasts a very good strength-to-weight ratio, making it the highest rated softwood in North America.  These high marks make it a superb choice for building in areas with intense winds or earthquakes.

Douglas Fir is a very stiff soft wood, which makes it a great choice for a flooring.

Douglas-fir is a very stiff softwood, which makes it a great choice for  flooring in Portland homes. Image Courtesy Pat (Cletch) Williams.

A very plentiful and beautiful “hard” softwood, Douglas-fir is one of the most widely used commercial woods in all of North America.  There are gorgeous, custom homes throughout Portland.  Talk to an expert to find your dream home.


Written by Jennifer Kane, Expanded Exposure LLC.

Our Realtors Dish – Sweet pick me ups

There’s something about a good sugar rush that can perk up that mid week slump. Whether you go for the natural sugar from fresh blueberries, or crave that creamy first bite of gelato, an indulgent treat makes the work week a little bit more fun.  Our team loves to reward themselves for a job well done.

Sweets provide that pick me up for that mid week slump.

Sweets provide that pick me up for that mid week slump. Our team shares some of their favorite indulgences around Portland. Image courtesy: Derek Key

Kelly Home Sweet Home Best Realtor in Portland Oregon top sales

Kelly loves a little detox action to kick her system into high gear. Over achiever? You know it!


Kelly – Any drink at Kure.  And, POA on Williams has “so matcha good” and “detox mango mint” that are delish!  What’s The Scoop is one of our favorites, and it’s within walking distance from our new office.

Poa Cafe serves hot espresso, delicious breakfast items, and healthy bowls for lunch. Grab a grasshopper, which is a mix of coconut water, pineapple, maca, mint, cucumber, lime, spinach, ginger, and agave. This place is healthy and inviting, located on the Hot N. Williams Corridor in Portland, Oregon.

Poa Cafe serves hot espresso, delicious breakfast items, and healthy bowls for lunch. Grab a grasshopper, which is a mix of coconut water, pineapple, maca, mint, cucumber, lime, spinach, ginger, and agave. This place is healthy and inviting, located on the Hot N. Williams Corridor in Portland, Oregon. Image Courtesy: Janice Grube.

Who doesn't love local?! Leslie loves the flavor of the Oregon hazelnuts in Burgerville's chocolate hazelnut shakes. Portland Oregon realtor

Who doesn’t love local?! Leslie loves the flavor of the Oregon hazelnuts in Burgerville’s chocolate hazelnut shakes.

Leslie – Don’t get me wrong, I love being healthful, but when I head out for a refreshing beverage, somehow I usually end up with a fresh seasonal shake from Burgerville.  Strawberry! Chocolate hazelnut! Yum!


Luda recharges with the wholesome goodness of freshly juiced veggies.

Luda recharges with the wholesome goodness of freshly juiced veggies.

Luda – Sometimes I reward myself with freshly made juice at Green Zebra Grocery! I stop by after especially challenging workouts or when feeling absolutely wipe-out and order their beet, carrot, apple with a touch of ginger juice. It never fails to regenerate my energy level and feel me up with its’ wholesome goodness.


Written by Jennifer Kane, Expanded Exposure LLC.

Open House in Portland Oregons hot real estate market

Open House Weekend!

Come check out one of these beautiful properties in and around Portland this weekend.   Step inside and try one on for size, it might be the perfect fit for you and your loved ones.  We’ve got days and times listed below with lively videos of each home’s interior.

Saturday 8/29 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

1611 N Jarrett – Come visit Leslie

2324 Se Park, Milwaukie, OR – Come visit Tammie

Saturday 8/29 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

4535 NE Prescott – Come visit Leslie

2735 SE 70th – Come visit Tammie

Sunday 8/30 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

SW 107th Ct. in Tigard – Come visit Tammie

Read more about Tigard here: “Tigard – The City Of Trails! Who Knew?”


Please view the interior of each home here.  But, be sure to stop by in person to get the full experience of each, and the surrounding neighborhoods.

1611 N. Jarrett – This terrific Overlook home has been immaculately cared for & is move-in ready. Fresh paint inside and out, refinished hardwood floors, new kitchen flooring and original tile-work is intact, appliances are included. Fantastic bonus space in the basement with new FLOR carpet along with additional space for tons of storage. Outside you’ll find new cedar fencing and the greenest of grass. Welcome Home!

2324 Se Park, Milawaukie, OR. – Sweet one level bungalow just blocks from the new Orange Max line. Wonderfully large kitchen has been remodeled and includes an large pantry and appliances are included. There’s Fir Wood floors under the carpet and a bonus space perfect for office or nursery. Large detached garage has space for a shop area and the storage shed holds all the toys. Completely fenced and a custom pet patio for your furry friends. Welcome Home!

4535 NE Prescott – Wow, what a lovely English cottage on almost a quarter acre! Imagine what you could do with this size of lot – it could have up to 3 houses on it! Hardwood floors, sweet Juliet balcony and windows in the 3rd bedroom. The Upstairs bedroom is fantastic with lots of space. Eat-in kitchen is right sized with ample cabinets/counters. There’s even some bonus space above the garage. Welcome Home!

2735 SE 70th – Remodeled bungalow in a fantastic neighborhood! Updated kitchen with very efficient design, stainless appliances, fun chalkboard painted walls and it even has extra storage in the bench of dining nook. The bathroom has also been remodeled with a nod to the period while keeping it modern. Downstairs you will find a bonus family or media room as well as the laundry room and extensive storage. Welcome Home!

SW 107th Ct., Tigard, OR – Wonderfully large home on a beautifully landscaped oversized lot in quiet neighborhood. Conveniently located near parks, walking/biking trails, schools and freeways. RV parking and plenty of space for all the toys. Inside you will find large living spaces, bonus space and tons of storage. Enjoy the backyard oasis with large deck and patio for entertaining and a waterfall/pond. Welcome Home!

Read More about Tigard here:

“Tigard, The City of Trails! Who Knew?”

Written by Jennifer Kane, Expanded Exposure LLC.

Tigard, The City of Trails! Who Knew?

Many people haven’t caught on yet, to the amazing trail system that is being developed throughout Tigard.  The city boasts a plentiful network of paved trails, suitable for pedestrians and bikers, which connects neighborhoods and destinations throughout the city.   You can travel almost anywhere, off road and through nature!

Biking trail. Portland Fantastic Paved Trails mingle throughout the entire town of Tigard.

Fantastic Paved Trails mingle throughout the entire town of Tigard. Image Courtesy, Rachel Kramer

Imagine this, a beautiful town with great air quality, low traffic, fun nature education, and safe routes for your child making their way to school.   Not only is the city interconnected, forming a friendly and energetic community; but, through Tigard’s Greenway Trails System Master Plan, Tigard’s trails are now beginning to link up to a larger system that joins many of the towns southwest of Portland.  And, they continue to expand everyday!  The city’s goal? To become known as the “Most Walkable City”.

Pedestrian trails make walking to school safe and fun for kids in Tigard, Oregon. Image Courtesy, Loren Kerns.

Pedestrian trails make walking to school safe and fun for kids in Tigard, Oregon. Image Courtesy, Loren Kerns.

One of our realtors, Tammie, shares her delightful discover while prepping for a recent open house:

I discovered something very exciting today. I was asked to do an open house in Tigard just SW of Walnut on SW 107th Ct.   As I was walking back, after placing my open house sign out at the main road, I noticed a very official looking sign for the City of Tigard Greenways. I knew there was a walking path across the street from our listing, and I simply assumed it was a short little path primarily used by neighbors.   

Little did I know……After a bit of research, I identified the path as the Pathfinder Genesis Trail, which is part of the city’s Greenway Trails System Master Plan and connects this area into the Fanno Creek Trail. The Fanno Creek trail system will take you through various neighborhoods, parks and green spaces. 

The best part of my discovery is knowing that whoever happens to be the new lucky home owner, will simply be able to step across the street and go for a relaxing walk or even ride their bike up to Denny Road.   

I’ll be back this Sunday, August 30th from 2-4 p.m. for another open house. And, I’ll be setting aside some extra time to stroll along this path up to my favorite restaurant, Cafe Allegro, in downtown Tigard for some incredible Cumin Gulf Shrimp Ravioli! 

What Fun! I am loving my new discovery of Pathfinder Genesis trailhead at SW 107th Ct.!  See you soon at the open house!

OPEN HOUSE:  Sunday, August 30th from 2-4 p.m. 

12840 SW 107th Ct., Tigard, Oregon

You can explore The Greenway Trails System Master Plan here.

Written by Jennifer Kane, Expanded Exposure LLC.

July Record Sales! – Portland

Think we’re slowing down?  Not a chance!

Portland’s Real Estate Market continues to heat up, hitting record sales for July 2015.

Portland Home sales were up by nearly 30% when comparing July 2015 to the same period last year.  An increase in home prices shows that Portland is still a hot market; and that’s great for investors.   Recent studies also reveal that families and first-time home buyers will benefit from investing in homeownership.  Zillow just announced that it is actually now 10% less expensive to buy than rent in Portland metro.   Low interest rates and a more favorable lending environment have buyers snatching up homes at record rates.

Portland Home with bike Portland Oregon for sale in a hot real estate market

The Portland real estate market remains hot, hitting record sales in July. Residents love the biking culture, the food, the ample parks, events, and conscience environmental city directives. Image courtesy, Tomas Quinones

The latest Market Action findings from the Regional Multiple Listing Service report that 3,452 home sales closed in July.  As of this publication, the area has another 3,494 pending sales.  July’s inventory of homes available for sale represents a 1.7 months supply, with the total Days on Market around 45.

“There are only 1.9 months of inventory on the market, a normal market condition is 6 months of inventory!  This is why home values are increasing each month.  If a homeowner is considering selling, there has not been a better time to speak to a Realtor about their home’s value.” – Kelly Stafford, Owner and Principal Broker at Home Sweet Home Realty llc

Average HOME EQUITY of Greater Portland- 6% INCREASE!

Portland Year Over Change 2014 2015
Average Home Price (6.1% increase) 331,400 351,600
Median Home Price (7% increase) 284,900 304,900

A Great Time To Sell:

“This is an incredible time to sell.  Portland homeowners who are deciding to sell are receiving multiple offers and we are seeing winning bids of up to 10% over list price.  Almost 30% of all sales are to cash buyers and to people relocating to Portland,” says Kelly.  “The pace of the market has slowed just a bit, but we think this is the regular August lull.  Everyone is focused on enjoying the last bit of summer and then they will be back at the hunt for a home.”

Economic Health:

  • Portland/Vancouver metro area’s GDP ranks 20th in the nation (Bureau of Economic Development).
  • We have the 6th largest economy on the West Coast.
  • Over the past decade, Portland’s economy grew faster than any other West Coast metro area.
  • Our High-Tech industry has 30% more skilled workers than the U.S. average, with local companies hiring more than 86,000 high-tech workers.

Long Term Health of the City:

What does all this mean?  Portlanders, transplants and our original townies, love their city. Even with the recent grumblings about more traffic and the “old gritty Portland” dying out to gentrification, the truth of the matter is that Portland is still a mecca for funk and creativity in all spheres.

Portland colorful home real estate sale Oregon

Portland homes are known for being vibrant and charming all in one. Image courtesy, Megan Coughlin

Fear Not! Portland preserves it’s unique character:


Rest assured, beautiful Mount Hood still overlooks the city, waiting for her weekend warriors. Our coffee is still rich and robust; and our craft beers await you and a good book companion. So, settle in and find a bungalow of your own in this enriching and vibrant city.


TRIVIA – Homes near which grocery store boasted higher increases in property values?

Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods



July Home Sales Set Record – Portland



Written by Jennifer Kane, Expanded Exposure LLC.


Rent vs. Buy in Portland?

Should I Rent or Buy in Portland?  Zillow economists say Buy!

Rent in Portland is growing at TWICE, yes TWICE, the national average, reports Zillow.  How does the cost of renting compare to buying?  You better sit down.  Homeowners will spend about 21% of their monthly income on their new mortgage, while renters will cough up a whopping 31%!  Zillow also reports, that as of May, the average rent in Rip City tipped in at $1,629 per month.   

Rent vs Buy in Portland

Is it better to Rent or Buy in Portland? The rental market is currently skyrocketing. Zillow recently reported that local renters will spend an average of 31% of their monthly hard earned cash on rent alone.  Homeowners will spend drastically less, at only 21% of their monthly income going toward their new mortgage.

This year has been particularly hard on renters.  Many have seen monumental 30%+ rent increases and no-cause evictions, while developers capitalize on the sizzling hot Portland real estate market.  In an effort to give voice to the disenfranchised, members of the local community have organized to form the Portland Renters’ Assembly.  Their prominent goal is to enact a rent control policy, a tool used in some cities that sets a cap on the amount that a landlord can raise rent. 

The Alternative –  Fight the Power! 

And, Become a Proud Homeowner.

Consider The Following:

  • Mortgage rates are still at historic lows.   
  • Real Estate is a solid investment – Portland home values are expected to increase almost 6% in the next year. Home values rose nearly 7% from 2014 to 2015.
  • Cost Analysis might show that you are paying more in rent than you would on your new mortgage. Not sold?  Try out Trulia’s awesome Rent vs. Buy Calculator.  Plug in your rent and the value of the property that you are eyeing; and, voila, Trulia spits out an instant comparison. It’s an approximate figure, of course, but come out of the clouds and get some concrete numbers under your feet!    
  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans are set up to bolster first-time homebuyers by requiring only a low 3.5% down payment. And, they recently lowered the insurance premium, making your monthly mortgage payment even lower.
  • The Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) offers an assortment of assistance programs for first-time home buyers.  To lower your monthly mortgage payment and create more disposable income, ask about the Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC).

Break Even in 1.2 years –

Many first-time home buyers get nervous at the initial investment that comes with securing a mortgage.  So, in a more apples to apples approach, Zillow analyzed the costs, transaction fees, inspections, insurance ect. of buying a new home in Portland.  That amount was then compared to the true cost of renting, including rent and deposits.  Considerable line items, such as future home-value appreciation, tax breaks, and rent growth, are factored in as well.   The analysis shows that, when buying, the “breakeven point” in some areas is as low as 1.2 years.

A qualified realtor can assist you in securing a loan officer, scoping neighborhoods and home values, and evaluating where the local market is headed.   For more information, contact the team at Home Sweet Home Realty.


Written by Jennifer Kane, Expanded Exposure LLC.