Archive for the ‘Portland in the News’ Category

High Density Urban Building Practices, Encouraged by Local Governments, Not So Popular

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

This one was posted up back in January by citing a CFM Strategic Communications survey conducted in Portland back in December that shows Portlander’s aren’t real fond of the local governments push for high density construction (essentially, focusing on condos, townhomes and apartments rather than single family residential homes).

A whopping 46% of respondents, which were the overwhelming majority in this section, felt focusing on condos and apartments instead of single family residences (detached residential homes) was the wrong direction for government with the same percent of respondents not agreeing that these high density projects save local governments money in infrastructure costs.

Hmmm…I’m not a huge fan of high density building either, I mean, if that’s your thing and you enjoy close quarters living, be my guest, it’s just not my cup of tea; but to say it doesn’t save money on infrastructure? Seems to me it would? Would it not?


Another Yes on 79 ad goes out, check it out, and vote yes on 79!

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

As I had mentioned in a previous post on measure 79 I am not aware of any current attempt to enact a property sales tax or “transfer tax” as it’s often called (to avoid calling it a sales tax here in sales tax free Oregon). However, knowing our politicians can and often do pass new taxes feeling there is no need to allow those that would pay it (their constituents, AKA, their boss’ – you and me) to vote on it, i’m all for making sure they can’t pass one like this without a ballot being involved. As such, my mark is going in the yes box on this one to create a solution in search of a problem.

With that said, here’s the latest Yes on 79 ad:


Portland ranked #5 in the country for gains in construction jobs

Monday, October 15th, 2012

The Portland Business Journal citing numbers from AGC (Associated General Contractors of America) shows that Portland Oregon ranked #5 in the country for gains in construction employment, i.e. we’re building folks, yea!

We’ve added close to 5,000 new construction jobs in the last year (between August 2011 and August 2012) and according to the same PBJ article (citing the Oregon Employement Department) we’ve added 1,000 construction jobs in August alone.

Lets keep it going!


Oregon to see bump in foreclosure rates while others are declining?

Friday, October 12th, 2012

There are a number of circumstances that could lead to a slight increase in foreclosures rates in Oregon and they’re centered around judicial foreclosures vs. non-judicial foreclosures. Currently the majority of Oregon foreclosures are non-judicial, meaning lenders can foreclose on a property without a judges approval provided they go through the proper procedures and notifications required. Within the last year or so though federal judges began blocking non-judicial foreclosures citing inadequacies in the process. As a result we’re now seeing an increasing number of judicial foreclosures in Oregon.

So what? Right? Well, when you look at the numbers of foreclosures from reporting sites like RealtyTrac, you’ll see that non-judicial foreclosure states are seeing a decrease in foreclosures (Oregon is one of them) while judicial foreclosure states are seeing a backlog due to the whole robo-signing thing increasing their rates. With Oregon transitioning from a non-judicial to a judicial foreclosure state there is a chance we could see us going from a state where the foreclosure rate is decreasing to a state where the foreclosure rates are increasing.

Judicial foreclosures help to speed up the process of foreclosure which in turns increases the rates because lenders can more quickly turn a sale on a foreclosure once they’ve received approval from a judge, where as with non-judicial foreclosures they do not need such approval, but they do have a lot of hoops to jump through which increases the processing time and lowers the rates.


Portland Homes Guide: Buck’s Stove Palace and Antiques

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Although most of the national media coverage of the Rose City focuses on innovation (like food carts, green energy, and high-tech public transportation) Portland is also full of quirky places with a lot of history. One of our favorite spots is Buck’s Stove Palace at 6803 SE Foster Road in the Foster Powell neighborhood. This neighborhood gem is a veritable museum of classic wood stoves, antique heaters, and cookstoves, and has been a vital part of the community for decades. Having been in business since 1974 and with over 35 years of experience there isn’t anything Buck and his team can’t do, find or replace!  Whether you’re looking to buy a new woodstove or simply need a replacement part, Buck’s has what you need and will deliver it with a smile. The shop also features the largest collection of antique stoves on the west coast.

If you ever have ANY question about purchasing, installing, repairing, or replace parts on a woodstove, the good people at Buck’s are your go-to resource. Got a fixer-upper? Buck’s refurbishes and restores classic stoves to heat you hearth and home in vintage style.  Buck’s Stove Palace is a national resource for Cawley LeMay and Norwegian Jotul Stoves.  The owner, Buck, has quite the personality (and charm) and is always ready to help you find your perfect stove match!

Have an old wood stove that isn’t DEQ certified? Before you sell your home you have to remove it and show a destruction certification!  Buck’s can do this for you with as little as 48 hour notice… only $225!


Portland Historic Real Estate: NE Portland Tudor Revival Mansion Sells for $2 Million

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

One of our favorite historic Portland estates, the Autzen Mansion in NE Portland’s Alameda neighborhood, recently sold for $2 million after sitting on the market for nearly eight years. The historic Tudor Revival home, topping over 10,000 square feet and occupying an entire city block, was built in 1927 by Kirtland K. Cutter for plywood-industry millionaire Thomas J. Autzen and was once home to Portland Trail Blazer Steve Johnson. The Autzen family remains a legacy in the Portland area, and not just in the luxury real estate market – the Portland-based Autzen Foundation supports education and the arts, and the stadium at the University of Oregon bears the Autzen name.

Interested in the real estate details? The home features five bedrooms, five full and three half bathrooms, formal gardens, full ballroom, Italian tile murals, and most of the original ironwork and hand-hewn beams. The mansion’s previous owners lovingly spent more than $500,000 restoring the place, including repairs on the chimneys, the oak woodwork in the dining room, and all the leaded-glass windows. The Autzen Mansion is the biggest house in Alameda, a neighborhood in Northeast Portland, but the area has many other amazing historic homes that won’t cost you a fortune but will give the same sense of Portland’s rich early history.

If you’re interested in Tudor homes for sale in Portland and Portland-area suburbs, contact the McDonald Group Portland real estate experts today. Portland Tudor Revival Homes are common in older neighborhoods, including Eastmoreland, Ladd’s Addition, Laurelhurst, Alameda, and Irvington. Many Tudor Revival homes in Portland also incorporate Craftsman- and Colonial-style exterior and interior design features, such as built-in buffets and bookshelves.  While many Tudor Revival homes in Portland were built in the early 20th century, modern architects and neighborhood developers have borrowed elements of the Tudor style and incorporated them into new construction homes with modern amenities and less traditional features.  These “Modern Tudors” are often found in planned developments in Portland Suburbs like West Linn and Lake Oswego, while the traditional Tudor Revival homes are found in close-in, older Portland neighborhoods. We can help you pinpoint the style, size, and location of your dream home in Portland – whether it’s a mansion or a country cottage, you’ll find it in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.


Happy Valley Real Estate: Happy Valley Population Continues to Boom

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau redistricting data, the city of Happy Valley‘s official population is 13,903. That jump up in size means the city of Happy Valley will now receive a larger share of state shared revenue that comes from cigarette, gas and liquor tax – which will help out the burgeoning community’s library, 911 service, and other neighborhood resources. We’ve witnessed the growth ourselves, from the start of new boutiques and restaurants in the area, to the beautiful parks and community green spaces that have popped up around town. Happy Valley is the place to be, and the McDonald Group Realtors are proud to serve as Happy Valley’s most experienced agents.

Our newest new construction project, the Sunrise Heights community, is located in the heart of Happy Valley, one of the fastest growing cities in Oregon! Home buyers will have over 12 unique floor plans to choose from, with more options in the works. We will also be offering homes featuring classic architectural features, inspired by the beautiful vintage homes in the Portland area. There are 50 spacious lots to choose from, so you’re bound to find the perfect spot for your next home.

The Sunrise Heights model home and showroom will be open by May 1st, and we’re so excited to show off the beautiful homes Tom and his team are building. Contact the McDonald Group Realtors today to find out more about these one-of-a-kind homes for sale in Happy Valley – we know they’re going to go fast! They arlready are!


Portland Realtor Fun Tips: National Media Can’t Get Enough of VooDoo Doughnuts

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Chances are, if you’ve seen a national television show or read a newspaper article about Portland, you’ve noticed one business that gets A LOT of attention. Voodoo Doughnuts has only been around since 2003, but from the way the national media talks about it, you’d think it was here when Lewis and Clark showed up. An article in the Los Angeles Times today proves the point yet again: there’s something about Voodoo Doughnuts that sums up Portland to the rest of the country. Sure, there’s something wacky and cool about a doughnut shop that offers marriage certificates and serves up a maple bacon doughnut, but we have to laugh every time we read an article that “discovers” the Portland gem all over again. In 2008, the Portland City Council declared the Voodoo’s Portland Crème the city’s official doughnut, and the flagship store has recently expanded to an eastside Portland location and another in Eugene, Oregon, so the media praise of the Portland darling isn’t going to fade any time soon.

The funny thing is, while the treats are sweet and we’re always happy with good food open late, Voodoo Doughnuts aren’t necessarily the best in town. When locals get tired of the tourist crowds and silly flavor combinations, they turn to other less-infamous favorites, like Annie’s Donuts, 3449 NE 72nd and Sesame Donuts, 6990 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy. Annie’s has the small-town ambiance with a fine selection of donuts – the glazed is our favorite, and they’re under a buck each. Sesame Donuts is famous for the sesame-covered donut – trust us, it’s delicious. Heavenly Donuts at 1915 North Lombard Street is another local favorite, but the real foodies in the know head to Delicious Doughnuts, just south of E Burnside at 12 SE Grand Ave. Trust us, they’ll make you forget all about Voodoo, even if the national media wont!



Portland Real Estate News: Sunset Magazine Votes Portland Best Place to Live Car-Free

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Bike Portland Real EstateIf you’ve been following the McDonald Group Real Estate Blog, it’ll come as no surprise that Portland was recognized by Sunset Magazine as the best American city to “Ditch your Car.” Relocating to Portland gives residents an amazing choice – in addition to the low cost of living and high quality of life, it’s completely possible, even encouraged, to go without a car. Almost every Portland neighborhood is within walking and biking distance to great schools, shopping, restaurants, grocery stores, parks, and libraries.

With over 17,600 bicycle commuters (7 percent of daily commuters in Portland go by bike to and from work) and increasing accessibility throughout town, bikes are more than a trend, they are a fact of life here. In fact, 2010 saw a 12 percent increase of bicycle traffic on bridges and a 7 percent increase in bicycle trips on Portland streets over the past year. Most homes for sale in Portland have access to bike-friendly trails and commutes along streets with designated bike lanes or “sharrows” – arrows designating paths safest for bikes and encouraging car drivers to share the road.

Sunset also gave some serious praise to TriMet and the Portland Streetcar: