Portland architect Ellis Fuller Lawrence was the leading organizer of his profession in Oregon in the early years of the twentieth century. Although he maintained an active practice independently and had several associates and partners over forty years, it was the architect’s zeal for advancing the profession through architectural education that completed his legacy.
My listing on SW Talbot is a classic example of one of Lawrence’s Colonial Revival designs. For more information on this residence, click here.
After a record-setting start to 2016, the region's housing market cooled slightly last month, but – in what by now sounds like a familiar story – the Portland area posted more closed sales than in any February since before the recession, according to the most recent report from the Regional Multiple Listing Service.
The 1,813 closed sales marked a 2.5 percent monthly decline, but they were still 10 percent higher than February of last year. It was the most active February since 2007, the report found.
Inventory didn't budge from the 1.8 months posted in January. The figure estimates how long it would take for all current homes on the market to sell at the current pace. It's only a slight increase over the exceptionally low 1.2 months the region saw in December.
"We're in for another crazy spring real estate market in Portland," said Lennox Scott, chief executive at John L. Scott Real Estate, in an email. "Six months ago, we predicted the major decline in inventory throughout the winter months that would create the intense market we are currently experiencing. It's like déjà vu all over again. We've seen this pattern for the last two years, but the lack of inventory is taking its toll; we are facing the most intense market yet."
In addition to January, December and July of last year also set records for closed sales, and the months in between posted the highest numbers the area has seen since red-hot 2005.
"This is starting to feel a little like a bubble," said real estate broker Dustin Miller.
The average price of a home rose 7.1 percent year-over-year in February, from $333,700 to $357,500. The median price increased by 7.8 percent over the same period, from $287,500 to $310,000.
Dustin Miller, a broker with Realty Trust Group, suggested in an email that there might be cause for concern in the housing market.
"This is starting to feel a little like a bubble, which I know many have hinted on," Miller said. "The key is a long-term hold. If you bought your house in early 2007, it is still worth more than it was when you bought at that height, in general, and that is pretty amazing for the ride we have been on for the past 10 years."
Southeast Portland was again the most active area tracked by the listing service, with 215 closed sales in February. Other hot areas were Beaverton/Aloha (174 closed sales), West Portland (165) and Milwaukie/Clackamas (163).
Work/shop is a new "botanical gift shop and collective workspace" located on NW 19th. If you haven't already, look at their website: http://www.workshop-pdx.com
The most expensive houses sold in Portland in 2015 were more than mansions. Each has a story and sky-high property taxes. Take, for example, the Pietro Belluschi-designed house at 2422 SW 16th Ave., which sold for $2.5 million in August. The listing agent was MJ Steen of Windermere Stellar. RMLS # 12079048. Photo provided by Windermere Stellar
The most expensive houses sold in Portland in 2015 were more than mansions. Each has a story and sky-high property taxes.
Once asking $5.7 million: One Portland house sold for a few million dollars, but even that turned out to be a great discount. Controversial business executiveAndrew Wiederhorn tried to sell the West Hills estate he called The Ivy in 2011 for $5.7 million, which he said was less than half what he put into it.
In April 2014, no bidders surfaced at a foreclosure auction, forcing the lender of the 19,609-square-foot custom house at 4311 S.W. Greenleaf Dr. to continue to hold the $4.3 million note.
Finally, the country manor-style mansion, built in 1930 on two gated acres, sold for $2,047,500 in October with listing agent Valerie Hunter of H & H Preferred Real Estate. That breaks down to $121 a square foot.
There are 10 bedrooms, 12 baths and nine fireplaces throughout the three-level house, plus many luxury perks: A full-size indoor hardwood basketball court that doubles as a ballroom and there's a detached, 2,000-square-foot pool house, the size of the average Portland house.
Annual taxes were $126,419.
$3.6 million: 2681 S.W. Buena Vista Dr. sold in April. The four-level Mediterranean-style house was built in 1930 on a third of an acre. It has five bedrooms, five baths and 7,088 square feet, which breaks down to $462 a square foot. Libby Benz of Windermere Stellar had the listing. Annual taxes were $25,616. The house in the Southwest Hills sold 10 years before for $2 million.
$2.9 million: 2111 S.W. 21st Ave. sold in June. The four-level Colonial Revival mansion was built in 1916 on a third of an acre in Portland Heights. It has six bedrooms, 5 ½ baths and "nanny quarters." At 8,117 square feet, the sale price breaks down to $373 a square foot. Annual taxes were $32,665.
The listing agent was Craig Weston of Windermere Stellar and the buyer's agent of record was Betsy Rickles of Windermere Stellar, who plays a part in 5335 S.W. Patton Road, another one of Portland's most expensive house sales last year (see below).
$2.5 million: 2422 S.W. 16th Ave. sold in August. This Italian-style house, built in 1938 on a third of an acre, was originally designed by the late architect Pietro Belluschi, who helped shape Portland's skyline and was renown for pioneering the Pacific Northwest midcentury modern style. He did, however, learn how to design classical residences at the beginning of his long career. Early on, he worked for A.E. Doyle's architectural firm, which was responsible for many of Portland's grand buildings.
The client here was Charles Francis Adams, who was chairman of the board of the Portland Art Museum. Adams and Belluschi had become friends when the architect designed the art museum building in 1932. The style of the two-story house was dictated by Adams. It has four bedrooms, five baths and 6,245 square feet (which breaks down to $407 a square foot). The listing agent was MJ Steen of Windermere Stellar. Annual taxes were $28,439.
$2.15 million: 2421 S.W. Arden Road sold in June. The two-level, English-style house was built in 1926 on a half-acre lot, which includes a guest carriage house, Japanese tea house, Hansel and Gretel treehouse, gardens and paths. The house has four bedrooms, four baths and 5,574 square feet ($389 a square foot). The listing agent was Suzann Baricevic Murphy of Where. Annual taxes were $24,545.
$2.05 million: 2558 N.W. Marcia St. sold in August. The modernist-style home was designed by owner/architect Ned Vaivoda, who co-founded Thompson Vaivoda & Associates, the firm responsible for the first and second phase of the Nike World Campus.
Vaivoda considered the neighborhood's historic landmark houses when selecting red brick as a main component of this residence in Nob Hill. The house was built in 1999 on an 8,276-square-foot lot on a cul-de-sac with only four dwellings. It has four bedrooms, 3 ½ baths and 3,982 square feet ($497 a square foot). The listing agent was Dan Volkmer of Windermere Stellar. Annual taxes were $13,441.
$2 million: Here's a happy story about a woman who lived in a custom house until she was 110. Elizabeth "Betty" Leadbetter Meier was the granddaughter of Henry Pittock and was accustomed to traditional-style houses, including Portland's French Renaissance chateau, the Pittock Mansion.
But she and her second husband, Jack Meier of Meier & Frank department stores, "jumped into a modern home," says granddaughter Rickles, a real estate agent who listed the property.
The couple, who wanted a Northwest Regional midcentury house with an open floor plan, floor-to-ceiling windows and living space on one level, hired architect Walter Gordon, who had worked in Belluschi's architectural firm.
The 1971 house is the rare time Gordon designed with brick instead of his signature wood exterior. Sitting on 3.4 acres at 5335 S.W. Patton Road in the West Hills, the house has 5,113 square feet on one level and 2,900 square feet of unfinished basement. It sold in May. Annual taxes were $24,675.
A list of the most expensive houses sold in Multnomah County in 2015 was compiled, at our request, by Escrow Officer Brooke Lahman of WFG National Title Insurance Co.
– Janet Eastman
Portland-based interior designer Lynne Parker, of Lynne Parker Designs takes us behind the scenes of her latest project: transforming a simple midcentury ranch house into a colorful, eclectic space with lots of personality. Below, Parker shares her tips for getting the right look in your own home. Click here to see images of the finished project in the 2014 August/September issue of GRAY.
|Downstairs, Parker transformed a dull room that led to the laundry into a bedroom for one of her 20-year-old twin daughters, each of whom have a space downstairs.|
The "in-process" shot of the image to the left shows the replacement of the lighting panels and faux wood siding with smooth white walls—one of which will be covered in wallpaper from Flat Vernacular.
|Before the remodel, the galley kitchen in interior designer Lynne Parker's mid-century Portland ranch was cramped and dark, peppered with dated appliances and not conducive to entertaining.|
The ceilings in the living room (as well as the rest of the upstairs) were vaulted to bring in more light and give the space a more expansive feeling.
|Located on a hill in Portland's Council Crest Park neighborhood, the home offered great existing views, especially from the living room.|
|Working with architect Kevin Fischer of Portland's Alice Design and contractor Hammer &Hand, Parker took out the walls of two small bedroom and two small bathrooms, combining them to create a spacious master suite.|
|The master suite one step closer to furniture.|
1495 SW Clifton
What: A four-bedroom, 4.1 bath renovated historic residence with a guest cottage
How Much: $2,250,000
Size: 5,040 sq. ft.
Price Per Square Foot: $446
Setting: This 1926 house sits on .39 of an acre in the heart of Portland Heights. Neighboring properties are residential and large in size. Shops, cafes, and downtown Portland are all extremely close in proximity.
Indoors: The three-story traditional was designed by noted architect Ellis Lawrence. While the hardwood floors and classic details are still intact, modern amenities have been introduced through the open floor plan, state of the art kitchen and updated bathrooms.
Outdoors: A private walkway at the end of a dead end street leads to the front door. The front yard enjoys manicured gardens while the rear boasts panoramic views of the city and mountains.
Contact: MJ Steen, Windermere Cronin & Caplan, 503.497.5199, www.mjsteen.com
0455 SW Hamilton Court #603
What: A three-bedroom, 3.1 bath unit at the Avalon Penthouses
How Much: $2,400,000
Size: 5,512 Sq. Ft.
Price per Square Foot: $435
Setting: Enjoy the expansive views of the Willamette River from your luxury penthouse. Downstairs, the Avalon Hotel offers the perks of a concierge, valet, spa, athletic facility and more. Downtown is a quick drive away, and the neighborhood is a combination of residential and commercial properties, characteristic of an urban environment.
Indoors: The custom, one level interior focuses on bringing the stunning views and natural light in. The contemporary, high-end finishes; four fireplaces, updated kitchen and spacious floor plan make this a great alternative to Pearl living.
Outdoors: The multiple balconies offer pleasant spaces to enjoy the panoramic views.
Taxes: $29,151.33, HOA $315 / Month
The new year brought more of the same in the real estate market, with the slim supply of homes for sale driving prices higher. Nearly 1,400 Portland-area homes sold in January, according to numbers from the RMLS, an increase of 3.9 percent from a year earlier.