Is your house a candidate for the National Register? It may qualify if it’s an important part of American architecture, archaeology or engineering, and is at least 50 years old, although there are exceptions.

“The National Register recognizes buildings, sites and other properties significant to our past for their design, their importance in our history, and/or their association with historical figures,” says Diana J Painter, an architectural historian with the State Historic Preservation Office, which administers the federal Register program in Oregon.

There are 2,038 individually listed Oregon buildings in the National Register, and 267 of those are single family homes in Portland, says Painter.


Otto & Verdell Rutherford House in Portland, was listed Aug. 5, 2015. The 1905 modest bungalow served as a family home and support center for civil rights causes for more than half a century, is believed to be the first historic property in Oregon listed primarily for its association with the Civil Rights Movement. Photo provided by the National Register of Historic Places

Once a house is approved, homeowners can hang up a plaque announcing that their house is on the National Register list. But there are also financial perks and local regulations for having a house listed.

Restrictions vary by local county or city governments. Check with your local planning department to determine the level of regulation in your community.

Benefits include tax credits, grants and certain building code leniency.

A federal tax credit program can save owners 20 percent of qualifying costs of rehabilitating income-producing building. Under the Special Assessment program, owners can have the assessed value of the home adjusted. And they can apply for Preserving Oregon grants, which are limited.

The property may also be eligible for waivers of certain code requirements in the interest of preserving its integrity.

Here are the properties that have been listed in the National Register of Historic Places so far in 2016:

The 1929 W. Leland James House in Southwest Portland’s Terwilliger neighborhood was designed by Portland architect Harold Doty in the English Arts & Crafts style for businessman W. Leland James, who founded Consolidated Freightways, a nationwide trucking firm that eventually became Con-Way, and Freightliner, a manufacturer of semi-trucks.

The house, with its steep roof, massive brick chimneys and small-pane casement windows, was later occupied by William Gruber, an organ maker, avid photographer and developer of the View-Master.

According to the National Register registration form, the home’s well-preserved, 2,276 square feet of living space includes servant quarters on the ground floor, four bedrooms on the second level, and a basement level that contains a garage, ballroom with a fireplace and canning/kitchen/darkroom area.

The front door leads to a barrel-vaulted vestibule covered in hexagonal terra-cotta tile and an elliptical stair hall with a curved wood staircase and wrought-iron railing. The wood-paneled living room has arch-top French doors and a diamond-pane bay window.

The house was listed in the National Register on May 23.

The 1915 Fairview City Jail museum in Fairview was also listed on May 23. The rectangular, concrete building was constructed seven years after the new city adopted a series of anti-crime and anti-vice measures. The jail was an annex to the 1912 City Hall, which also functioned as a general store, library, post office, dance floor and theater.

After the City Hall was demolished in 1979, the jail stood by itself in city park. The last, original correctional facility remaining in Multnomah County is now amuseum managed by the East County Historical Organization.

The 1918 Arleta Branch Library (Wikman Building) in Portland was listed on March 15. The brick Colonial Revival-style building was designed by Portland architect Folger Johnson and is one of 31 Carnegie libraries built in Oregon, and one of seven built in the Portland area during the 1910s and early 1920s. The architectural style was influenced by Carnegie Corporation guidelines for library design.

Pilot Butte Canal Historic District (Cooley Road–Yeoman Road Segment) in Bend was listed on Feb. 8. The segment has a rough appearance that reflects the use of native materials, and the speed and difficulty in digging the canal, according to the National Register nomination form.

The canal, which spurred development of Bend, Redmond and other central Oregon towns, was the idea of real-estate investor Alexander McClurg Drake who wanted to irrigate lands surrounding the Deschutes River. During the canal’s construction from 1903 to 1905, workers used horse-drawn Fresno Scrapers and steam-powered drills. The basalt floor and sides of the Cooley Road–Yeoman Road Segment still show the tooling marks.

See a complete list of properties recently listed in the National Register of Historic Places at Oregon Parks & Recreation Department: Oregon Heritage: National Register web page.

The original article can be found HERE on


PORTLAND, Oregon—Across Portland’s Albina district, chic cafes advertise pour-over coffee and delicacies such as blueberry basil donuts. On Mississippi Street, hollowed-out school buses and roadside stands sell vegan barbecue and bacon jam empanadas. The street signs read “Historic Mississippi,” a nod to the area’s century-old roots, but it’s increasingly difficult to find spots that don’t evoke the decidedly ahistoric hipster vibe that now makes Portland famous.

One notable exception is the neighborhood’s pre-K–8 school, Boise-Eliot/Humboldt—known as Boise for short. Sandwiched between a block of newly renovated bungalows and160607_TEST_Portland-Op-Orray a strip mall with a yoga studio and a combo bar and laundromat, the two-story red brick building hasn’t changed much in decades. Unlike the neighborhood’s new residents, a majority of its students are black and low-income. Many of their families have been priced out of the Albina area and relocated to outskirts of Portland, a move known as going “out to the numbers” because of those areas’ numbered streets. So the students take public transportation to attend Boise, a revered institution in Portland’s black community. Most newly arrived white families, meanwhile, transfer their children out of Boise into schools that they consider better—and which are definitely whiter.

When neighborhoods gentrify, schools often don’t follow—at least not nearly as quickly.
It’s a phenomenon playing out across America as middle-class white families move into urban neighborhoods that real estate agents might have once called “undesirable.” Think Harlem in Manhattan, Oak Cliff in Dallas, the Bywater in New Orleans, the South Loop in Chicago, or the Mission District in San Francisco. They may be hip destinations with attractive amenities, but most of their public schools don’t get the same love from new arrivals. The problem is particularly acute in Portland, which is already the whitest big city in America and growing whiter.

160607_TEST_Portland-Op-Davoisier… Despite the changes in the area, the student body remains a hair under 60 percent black and only 15 percent white. That’s almost opposite of the surrounding neighborhood, which according to the 2010 census is 63 percent white and less than 20 percent black (down from more than 50 percent black in the 1980s, and almost entirely black in the 1960s). School staff say the neighborhood has grown even whiter in the past six years, with the school demographics changing at a much slower rate.

Portland Public Schools previously allowed parents to enter their children into a lottery and select schools of their choice. Now, the district relies on a petition system that allows students to transfer with district approval—a requirement it said would prevent families from fleeing (mostly minority) schools with low enrollment. But the petition policy is lax. Parents affected by the system say they view it as an extra step, but not one that prevents them from getting their children into the schools they want.160607_TEST_Portland-Op-Aaliyah

This system allows many black students who’ve moved away to petition to attend Boise, but Bacon says even more simply fake their addresses—listing the home of an aunt or a grandmother who still lives near the school. “This school has always served Portland’s black community. They have relationships here—trust,” says Bacon. “The school has delivered for their relatives, and they want that for their kids.”

The entire article including larger photos and additional student statements can be found HERE on
Sold homes are seen in the southwest area of Portland, Oregon March 20, 2014. Would-be buyers risk being crowded out by the run-up in home prices and mortgage rates over the past year. Home values nationwide were up 12 percent in January from the same month last year, according to data firm CoreLogic, while mortgage rates have jumped about a full percentage point.   REUTERS/Steve Dipaola  (UNITED STATES - Tags: REAL ESTATE BUSINESS) - RTR3HYA0

PORTLAND—This city that prides itself on being different has been experiencing a problem all too common of late. It used to be unique, people say, a utopia where people could get tattoos and ride their bikes everywhere and just be weird. Portland was so affordable, as the slogan went, that young people went there to retire.

Then the city got “discovered,” people started flocking here, the tech companies came, and Portland became more expensive. Oregon has been the top destination for people to move to for three years in a row, according to United Van Lines.

Companies including Google, eBay, Airbnb, and Amazon have opened outposts here; Simple, an online-banking and consumer-finance company, moved operations here in 2011 after having offices in New York and San Francisco and has grown to more than 300 people. Portland has a great pool of creative employees, Krista Berlincourt, the head of communications, told me, and its relatively easy, low-cost lifestyle makes for happy employees.“We can give people a salary where you have a great life for your kids,” she said. When I visited Simple’s offices in Portland’s Pearl District, they were emptying out: Simple has outgrown its space and, like many people in Portland, is in the process of moving to a different neighborhood.

Now, housing prices are skyrocketing in this city of 600,000, as more people move in and new high-rises and apartment complexes go up. Apartment rents are rising at an annualized rate of 14 percent, one of the largest increases in the country. More than half of the city’s tenants spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent. News stories abound of whole buildings raising their rent by 20 percent or by $500, or more. Evictions have skyrocketed as landlords make room for new residents with bigger salaries.

It’s all the newcomers, some say. They’re driving prices up and they’re pushing long-time residents out. They’re why Portland was determined by Governingmagazine to be the place in the country with the most gentrification over the last decade.

A mural in East Portland highlights the neighborhood’s diversity. (Alana Semuels / The Atlantic)

But that narrative isn’t quite right. Portland prices are skyrocketing, yes. And newcomers are generally the type of people who want to live in the center of the city, near transit and bike lanes, which drives up prices for those areas. But it’s not tech or newcomers that are solely to blame. Portland hasn’t been able to slow its rental crisis because in a city that prides itself on progressivism, many of the traditional tools used to create more affordability are off the table.

“I think that there’s a general sense that Portland is progressive enough to be assumed to be doing the right thing, and that’s not the case,” Cameron Herrington, the anti-displacement coordinator at Living Cully, a coalition of neighborhood groups in Northeast Portland, told me.

Until March, the state banned inclusionary zoning, which mandates that new buildings include a certain number of affordable units. There’s no rent control in Oregon, and efforts to pass just-cause eviction laws have, thus far, been futile. The city has embarked on big urban-renewal projects in the past few decades without putting measures in place to ensure that tenants in those neighborhoods won’t be displaced. In September, the Community Alliance of Tenants, a nonprofit advocacy group, declared a renter state of emergency, asking for a year-long moratorium on no-cause lease terminations, and demanding that tenants receive a year’s notice for rent hikes over 5 percent.

The city has tried to respond. In October, the Portland City Council declared ahousing emergency, focused more on helping the city’s growing homeless population by waiving some city laws to allow the creation of temporary homeless shelters. Later that month, the city council unanimously approved a law that requires landlords to give 90 days notice for no-cause evictions and for rent increases of more than 5 percent. Mayor Charlie Hayes has set aside $20 millionfor affordable housing in North and Northeast Portland. People who have lived in Northeast Portland, which was for decades majority African American, or who have family roots in the area, will get first preference.

But there has been pushback on these efforts, too. Many Portlanders say theydon’t want more density in their neighborhoods, that they oppose big housing complexes and in-law units in neighbors’ backyards. (There is a similar attitude evident in some San Francisco residents’ responses to that city’s housing crisis.)  Some neighborhoods are actually trying to downzone to decrease density.

“There are limits to white urban liberalism,” Justin Buri, the executive director of the Community Alliance of Tenants, tells me. “When it comes to housing and schools, all of that goes out the window.”

… Many longtime residents, particularly minorities, are being pushed to east Portland, a neighborhood referred to as “The Numbers” for its high-numbered streets. It can be a 30-minute drive—depending on traffic—and is full of strip malls and poor air quality and fast-food restaurants and other things that seem distinctly un-Portland. Now, people are being pushed out of there, too.

A map of Portland. East Portland is generally considered the area east of I-205. (Google Maps)

… Neighborhoods that would have traditionally been too far for gentrification are preparing for a flood of new residents, and rising prices. Living Cully, the coalition where Cameron Herrington works, is rushing to create affordability before prices spike. Living Cully is trying to “move as much land and housing out of the system as possible into some kind of community-controlled model,” says Hetherington. Right now, about 14 percent of the land in Cully is shielded from the market in some way, to maintain affordability, twice as much land shielded from development than in the rest of the city, he says. Because Cully is farther out, groups such as Hacienda Community Development Corporation, which is a member of Living Cully, have been able to take advantage of the relatively low land prices by buying land and building affordable housing on it. Habitat for Humanity also acquired land there and is building homes.

They’re also working with other community groups to ensure the city follows through on affordable-housing commitments in a way it didn’t in the past. The group Anti-Displacement PDX meets every other week and tries to make sure policies are in place to protect every neighborhood from the churn that the city experienced in the past.

… The city’s 20-year growth plan anticipates 260,000 new residents will be moving to Portland, largely because, even with housing price spikes, it’s more affordable than San Francisco or Seattle.

Indeed, despite the affordability crunch, companies can still move to Portland and pay their employees well, and ensure that their employees can have a good lifestyle. The median home price in Portland is $345,000; in San Francisco, it’s $1.12 million.

That’s one reason why tech companies like Simple are listening to the debates over affordability and housing, and they want to be cognizant of the changes, Berlincourt said. Companies moved to Portland to avoid the high prices and rat-race lifestyle required in San Francisco and New York. They don’t want Portland to change, either.

The entire article can be found HERE on

-26669323748e2973A West Linn mansion listed for $18 million comes with bidets, a Benihana hibachi table and bragging rights that Bruce Willis slept here.

It’s not the most expensive residential listing ever in Oregon, but the Mediterranean palace on 35 acres, named Villa de l’or (house of gold or mountains), is at the very top right now.

Listing agent Tina Wyszynski of Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty has been quietly trying to sell the ritzy compound at 1707 S.W. Schaeffer Road since November.

Four days ago, she listed it on the Regional Multiple Listing Service’s searchable real estate database, and on Wednesday, she’s inviting journalists to take a tour inside the mansion with marble floors, gold-colored fixtures and crystal chandeliers. Qualified buyers or their representatives can see it anytime.

The house, with 14 bedrooms (not to mention servant quarters) and 10 bathrooms, would be sold furnished. Furniture and decorative accessories cost more than $550,000 when new in 1996. Drapery and upholstery fabrics alone were several hundred dollars a yard.

A member of Wyszynski’s sales team, who asked not to be named, said they are looking for a very specific buyer: Perhaps someone who might want it as a boutique resort.

Or the home could be a “repository for art,” he said, for a deep-pocket collector who sees value in Oregon’s absence of sales or use taxes.-5d80dc4f7591db6d

Elaine Wynn, the co-founder of the Wynn casino empire in Nevada, avoided paying as much as $11 million in use taxes in her state by lending the $142.4 million Francis Bacon’s triptych “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” to the Portland Art Museum before shipping it to her Las Vegas home.

Most likely, Wyszynski will find a buyer outside of the state, since, according to research her team has conducted, there are only about 330 people in Oregon who have investment assets of $30 million or more. That’s the bottom line the team decided would be needed to purchase and maintain the 16,359-square-foot residence – larger than the Pittock Mansion — as well as the private soccer field, tennis court, gym, pool, pool salon and horse arena.

Unlike most extreme estates with a sprawling main house, this one doesn’t have detached guest houses or large outbuildings. “It’s not Hearst Castle,” in central California’s coast with casitas as large as 5,875 square feet, said the sales member.

But there is an enormous stone Tuscan-styled wine vault that can store imported bottles and estate wine made from grapes grown in four acres of vineyards.

Don’t worry if the family that built Villa de l’or will be struggling to find a replacement. According to the sales team, they have other homes “just like this one” over the world, including in London, England, and Nice, France.

The husband and wife attended Portland State University and have business interests in the area and donate to local causes, according to documents, but they are only here two weeks a year, said the sales team member.

The complete article and additional photos can be found HERE on

SEATTLE, WA – Denver, Seattle and Portland, Oregon are the hottest real estate markets so far in 2016, according to Redfin, the next-generation real estate brokerage. In its latest report, Redfin measured housing markets’ hotness based on the percentage of listings designated as Hot Homes, those likely to go under contract within 14 days according to the company’s proprietary Hot Homes algorithm. In Denver, Seattle and Portland, more than 60 percent of homes listed so far this year were Hot Homes, outpacing all other markets Redfin tracks.

imagesA limited supply of homes for sale has led to strong demand from homebuyers in these markets, accelerating the pace at which homes sell. In April 2012, a typical home in Denver found a buyer in 36 days. In Portland it was 65 days and in Seattle it was 50. This April, the median time on market fell to 10 days in Denver, and eight days in both Seattle and Portland.

In Denver, it is not unusual for a home to have more than 100 showings in a single weekend, with sellers having their pick of up to 30 offers, reports Redfin agent Karla Kirkpatrick Adams.

“The market is moving so quickly that I can no longer use recent sales as a guide for what my clients should offer on a home. Instead, I call listing agents of similar homes that are under contract but haven’t yet sold. I ask them the contract price, which is a more up-to-date reflection of the current market than the prices of homes that have already sold. That way, I can advise my clients accurately,” said Kirkpatrick Adams.

In all three metros, home prices are shooting up faster than the national pace, though Portland and Denver remain relatively affordable compared to other hot markets.

“Strong job growth and relatively affordable home prices have been lightning rods of buyer demand for Denver and Portland,” Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson said. “Their economies have a lot in common with the tech enclaves to the west, Seattle and San Francisco, but there’s a big difference—home prices.”

The typical home in Denver and Portland costs an incredible $850,000 less than a home in San Francisco. Portland and Denver also offer a respite from Seattle, where homes typically sell for around $90,000 more than in those two cities.

“The combination of jobs, affordability and a desirable western lifestyle is a triumvirate that buyers are flocking to this year,” Richardson said.

This article can be found HERE on and the original report can be found HERE on Redfin

house-foreclosure-carousel-750xx315-177-0-51When it comes to staying above water in terms of their mortgages, Portlanders are staying afloat much more than homeowners in other metro regions across the country.

According to a new report from real estate firm Zillow, Portland has the third-lowest rate of negative equity in the United States. Negative equity is when a homeowner owes more on a mortgage than the home is worth.

The negative equity rate in Portland was 5.2 percent in the first quarter of this year, according to Zillow. That’s down from 5.6 percent at the end of 2015 and from 9.3 percent in the first quarter of 2015.

Zillow noted that only San Francisco and San Jose had lower rates of negative equity than Portland. Those cities were at 4.4 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.

Nationally, the negative equity rate fell to 12.7 percent in the first quarter, down from 15.4 percent in the same quarter of 2015. The rate hit an all-time high of 31.4 percent in 2012.

According to Zillow, Chicago is the largest housing market with the highest rate of negative equity, with just over 20 percent of homeowners underwater.

The firm noted that the overall drop in negative equity is being driving by “a consistent recovery in home values.”

The original article can be found HERE on the Portland Business Journal website.


It’s not (just) a façade: Portland’s tourism market really is supercharged. Here are 10 hotel projects—some brand-new, some retooled—that will soon cash in on that demand.

You thought the Portland skyline couldn’t possibly pack in any more condos, cranes, and high-rises? Bear witness to the storm about to hit: Portland’s next big hotel boom. As the Portland Business Journal reports, tourists in Oregon spent a record-breaking $10.6 billion last year. In the Portland metro area, that meant 8.9 million overnight “person-trips” in 2015, according to Travel Portland. (Read: a lot of hotel bookings.) Many developers are betting—big time—that Portland stays popular, including the deep pockets behind the 10 hotel projects in this slideshow. Most are already being built (or expanded) at this very moment, with a few opening for business as early as this summer. So that dust over downtown? For some, this is how you make it rain.

The original articles with additional photos can be found HERE on Portland Monthly’s website.

Quick Hits: If you’re planning to buy a home, do it now before prices go higher. If you’re thinking of buying a urban-living2
rental property as an investment, be careful how much you pay. Investments in housing developments will do well in the next couple of years, especially apartment projects. Mortgages written now will be protected by rising prices for a year or so, but will be riskier after that. It’s a good time to invest in retail businesses, especially in Clark County.

The local economy leans heavily on Nike, Intel, and international trade and for many years has grown much faster than the US average. Dependence on a computer chip manufacturer is a vulnerability these days but right now the high wages support a strong real estate market. International trade, especially with Asia, could be more volatile in the future as political opinions about imports change with the upcoming elections.

Even though population growth has been modest, home prices rose sharply in recent years, 34 percent since 2012, partly because of speculation in foreclosed homes. You can bet they’ll keep rising near that pace for the next few years, which means you’d better buy the home you’ve wanted now rather than next year.

Home prices are already high compared to rents, so apartments will be in greater demand – but with home prices so high, good returns on single-family rental properties you buy now will be difficult to get unless you buy at a very good price and don’t need to do much rehab work. Be conservative in your property income projections because rents – although protected by higher home prices – won’t rise as fast as they do.

Knezic-residence-exterior-rectangleWith home prices already above income levels, in another few years we’ll see an over-priced market, which will mean riskier mortgages. If you’re buying or holding property to sell, that will be the prudent time to cash out – or you could hold for a couple of years after that and ride the boom tiger.

The metro area is growing at an uneven pace, with the fastest growth now in Clark County, across the river. I expect 10,000 new homes built in Clark County over the next three years, and  8,000 new apartments. In much larger Multnomah County I expect 10,000 new homes and 13,000 apartments.

The original article can be found HERE on Forbes website.

The supply of homes for sale in Portland has declined 31.6 percent since last April, the largest drop of any major city in the country, according to a new report.

And the resulting shortage has helped push Portland home prices up 15.1 percent to $325,400 over the past year, the second-highest increase reported by the April Zillow Real Estate Market Report. Only Denver was higher with a 15.2 increase.

The report also says the biggest decline in the Portland supply occurred in the most affordable homes. The number of homes in the lower third of the price range fell 39.8 percent since last April, compared to 39 percent for those in the middle third and 21.6 percent for those in the top third.

portland-homesAlthough the situation in Portland is extreme, it is not unusual. According to Zillow, the number of home for sale have dropped and prices have increased across the country. There were 3.4 percent fewer homes for sale in April than last year, and prices have increased 4.9 percent to $187,000. Nationally, the number of entry-level homes for sale is down almost 8 percent over the past 12 months.

“The struggle will continue for home shoppers this summer,” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, the chief economist for the online real estate resource. “New construction has been sluggish over the past year; we’re building about half as many homes as we should be in a normal market. There still aren’t enough homes on the market to keep up with the high demand from every type of home buyer. In many markets, those looking to buy a home in the bottom or middle of the market will need to be prepared for bidding wars and homes selling for over the asking price. This summer’s selling season’s borders will most likely be blurred again as many buyers are left without homes and will need to keep searching.”

In addition to low inventory, the Zillow report says home prices are rising in response to a strong job market, higher-than-expected wage growth and persistently low mortgage rates.

Dave Nielsen, CEO of the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland, says some local issues are affecting the Portland housing market.

“While there are some common factors our market shares with other markets facing similar issues around the country, two things that make our market worse are a lack of functional land supply and high government regulations and fees,” says Nielsen. “Our National Association did a study and found that, on average, regulations add almost $85,000 to the price of a new home. That amount has increased over 30% in the last five years, meaning government is accelerating fees and costs faster than people’s incomes are rising. The best thing government can do is to put more certainty into the development and building process, streamline regulations, and reduce fees and costs charged for new housing.”

You can read the Zillow report at

The original article can be found HERE on The Portland Tribune’s website.

Picture of a Luxury Home Swimming Pool and Back- yard

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland’s housing market is booming right now, but apparently so is the luxury housing market.

In a new report from Christie’s International Real Estate, Portland comes in at number 8 on a list of the world’s hottest luxury housing markets.

“This house is listed at 2.7 million,” said Terry Sprague, as he showed a luxury home in Lake Oswego. He’s the Founder of Luxe Platinum Properties and the owner of Christie’s International Real Esatate in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

There are a number of multi-million dollar homes on the market, but they may not stay available for long.

“In Portland we enjoyed a 40 percent increase in our luxury sales last year and we’re already off to a very quick start this year,” said Sprague. “We actually doubled our business last year.”

The report said premiere properties in the Portland area were selling in less than three months.

So who’s buying? Sprague said in the last few months, he’s already done $10-15 million in sales. International buyers made up about 70 percent of that.

“They’re actually specifically advertising our properties to their billionaires in China right now,”

Overseas buyers are buying homes for all sorts of reasons. Some want to live Oregon, others want to have a vacation home, and still others want an investment they think will go up in value.

“Real estate is becoming a new currency,” Sprague said.

The rest of the luxury home buyers are often younger, successful people who many times have a well-paying tech job. The report points out that Portland is attracting entrepreneurs and highly paid workers from Silicon Valley.

“Most recently I had two-million dollar, three-million dollar properties that have sold to 25, 30 years olds,” he said.

Sprague said if trends continue, he expects to see more growth in the next four to five years, especially when it comes to international buyers.

The original article can be found HERE on KGW’s website.