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March 28, 2017

Rent on the Rise in Portland Oregon

It’s not secret, Rent is on the Rise again in Portland. Renters are finding it more cost effective today to purchase a home then to continue to spend their money on monthly rent.   Take a look at the average cost of rent… 

Rent prices are rising in portland oregon

 It’s the same price as a $300,000 home mortgage payment would be for most of us.  If you know anybody who’s still renting, please share this with them.  Most people who have yet to purchase a home only wait because they are under the impression that they need a large down-payment, or their credit score is not high enough.  The fact is that lenders have programs that require no loan down payment, and credit scores in the low 600's can still qualify for a home loan. 

Feb. 28, 2017

Oregon is top moving destination 3rd year in a row.

For the third consecutive year, Oregon holds on to the No. 1 spot as “Top Moving Destination,” as Americans continue to pack up and head West and South. 

Oregon is the most popular moving destination of 2015 with 69 percent of moves to and from the state being inbound. The state has continued to climb the ranks, increasing inbound migration by 10 percent over the past six years. New to the 2015 top inbound list is another Pacific West state, Washington, which came in at No. 10 with 56 percent inbound moves.  

This year’s data reflects longer-term trends of people moving to the Pacific West, where cities such as Portland and Seattle are seeing the combination of a boom in the technology and creative marketing industry, as well as a growing ‘want’ for outdoor activity and green space.

Moving in

The top inbound states of 2015 were: 

1. Oregon 

2. South Carolina 

3. Vermont 

4. Idaho 

5. North Carolina 

6. Florida 

7. Nevada 

8. District of Columbia 

9. Texas 

10. Washington 

Moving Out 

The top outbound states for 2015 were:

1. New Jersey 

2. New York 

3. Illinois 

4. Connecticut 

5. Ohio 

6. Kansas 

7. Massachusetts 

8. West Virginia 

9. Mississippi 

10. Maryland


Will we see 4 years in a row, wait and see. 

Posted in Market Information
Feb. 13, 2017

The World's Greenest Home

Running a building off rain and sunlight sounds like an ecological fantasy. But the Desert Rain House, situated on the high, dry desert of Bend, Oregon, has managed to achieve a standard for sustainability that no other residential project in the world has met.

As the first Living Building Challenge certified home, it not only generates more power than it uses, but recycles and reuses all its own water, leaving the most minuscule of footprints. According to architect Al Tozer of Tozer Design, the project architect, the process, an eight-year journey of resourceful design and refinement, was far from simple.

Green homes oregon“This is the first home in the world to get such a challenging certification,” says Tozer. “And it was worth the year wait.”

Tozer designed the home to reflect both the Oregon landscape, and the southwestern home where co-owner Tom Elliott grew up. A compound of five buildings supporting extensive solar arrays, the project includes a 2,200-square-foot main home and two apartments, a 500-square-foot studio, and a two-story utility structure with a top floor apartment. If this type of project could be built near downtown Bend in central Oregon, the owners felt, it could be done anywhere.

While the shed roofs, butterfly roofs, and straight lines of the structures give the buildings a sleek, modern look, they also have an earthy, organic side, from the natural tones to a wall that snakes through the home and across the yard. Curved like a canyon wall, it’s the backbone of the home, offers a distinct separation between open, sun-drenched spaces and the more contemplative east side of the home Elliott and Barbara Scott, both staunch environmentalists who moved to Bend from Montana, had asked for a “super-green” design, not knowing that the Living Building Challenge existed. Sited near the Cascades, in an area that receives plenty of sun, Tozer felt that with well-placed solar panels and efficient design, he could create a net-zero home. But once the owners heard about the Living Building concept, they decided to aim higher.

Green home building

“We can’t continue thinking we are building a better world by making a “less bad” version of the world we have created,” said Elliott in a statement about the home’s certification. “The Living Building Challenge forces us to think in terms of a new paradigm.”

From the outset, Tozer and a large team of sustainability experts had to find creative solutions to sustainable designs. To meet LBC goals, myrtlewood from the old homes that previously stood on the building site was re-purposed to make stunning lofted ceilings, and stone underfoot was pulverized and transformed into the sleek concrete flooring found throughout the compound. “The very warm, organic, and modern forms on the site speak to the owners’ love of the outdoors and the history of the project,” he says. “There’s a story behind every material you touch, it’s pretty cool.”

For Tozer and his team, the most challenging aspect of meeting the challenge was water: the Red List of banned substances included PVC, found in nearly every commercial plumbing system, the desert environment meant every drop needed to be conserved, and implementing and designing a self-sustaining water system ran into regulatory and design hurdles. The eventual solution included cisterns and rain collection, a focus on conservation, and the installation of a series of vacuum-powered toilets, like the ones found on cruise ships, that transports waste water to an above-ground, evaporation composting system.  Going this green wasn’t quick or easy. Tozer, who had been working on the home since 2008, recruited a team of dozens of sustainability experts, contractors, specialists, and landscape architect. The eventual $3.48 million price tag—which is still below the most expensive homes in Bend—is roughly three times the cost of a new, high-end modern house ($640 per square foot versus $225-$250).portland oregon, green home builders

Scott and Elliot, who moved in over the winter of 2013-2014 after roughly six years of construction, have spent the last few years working out home’s energy and water systems to eventually meet the conditions of the Living Building Challenge. But they now feel it’s more important to live by their ideals and set an example. Desert Rain isn’t just a living building, it’s a living teaching tool that can push more designers and architects to adopt sustainable practices.

“It’s an intense process,” says Tozer. “Full certification is something that you have to think about every day. But it’s wonderful to visit this home. It feels, and smells, incredibly fresh and natural.”

Article provided by; Tour the world's greenest home in Bend, OR. as posted on

Posted in Market Information
Feb. 13, 2017

Where have all the good homes gone?

Inventory of available houses has dropped again, currently at 1.8 month and decreasing, the lowest level since 2005.  So exactly what does this mean?  If no additional home were to be placed on the market for sale from here forward we would have enough inventory to satisfy the housing demand of Buyers for less than 2 month.  A balance market would allow for 5 to 6 month of inventory, however with this excessively low inventory we are now experiencing an incredibly strong Seller’s Market.  Does that interest you enough to consider selling your home?  Well, if not consider this…

Imagine listing you home for sale, receiving multiple offers all at once, and accepting an offer that was $15,000 above your asking price.  It seems to be more common than not in today’s market.  Every week we are witnessing this very event take place, either from representing our Sellers during the listing, or when representing our Buyers as we council them in making the best offer possible to secure their next home.

What will the future hold?  For those Selling today, you will look back on this year as great opportunity in which you sold at the highest levels of demand that we’ve seen in over a decade.  Interest rates were still low and you had the greatest amount of control over the transaction due to the Seller’s Market, and an overwhelming supply of Buyers wanting your home.   For Buyers, if you do purchase now, you will remember that although the competition was fierce in finding your home.  You needed to move quickly on offering.  Your spending power with today’s low interest rates meant that you were able to secure a loan for maybe even one percentage lower than if you waited, resulting in a saving of over $52,000 on the life of the lone, (based on a $300K home with 20% down and a 30 year fixed rate – considerably more homes in Portland carry a higher home sale price).

Either way, we at Lifestyles of Portland are here to work with you, your family, and friends in this ever changing market.  Your business, and referrals, are always valued and appreciated.  Please let us know how we can help with all your Real Estate needs.  

Posted in Buying a Home