Portland, Oregon

Living in Portland, Oregon


Nov. 9, 2010

Relax! Portland Makes the List of the Most Relaxed US Cities

Just like Frankie Goes To Hollywood once said, Relax!

With all that Portland has to offer, it is no wonder why we are included in the list of the most relaxed cities by Forbes. Portland received the #4 spot with strong ranking in work hours, health and exercise.

Forbes used six different data points to determine the list.  Here are the numbers for Portland when comparing the top 40 Metro Statistical Areas in the country.

Population: 2,166,809
Exercise Rank: 2
Health Status Rank: 3
Working Hours Rank: 9
Commute Time Rank: 16
Health Care Rank: 23
Unemployment Rank: 24

To read the entire article, click here.

Click here for more information on Portland Real Estate!

Rich Peralta is a  real estate professional in the Portland Metro Area.

He can be reached at 503.961.2181 or by e-mail at rich.peralta@exprealty.com

Also published on his Lake Oswego Real Estate page.

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Nov. 9, 2010

New Townhouse For Sale in Red Fox Hills


This one level 2 BR, 1 BA townhome in theRed Fox Hills Townhomes complex, Lake Oswego, OR, is for sale for$169,500!Situated as an864SF end unit, it looks out to lofty redwoods and pine trees, in a delightfully peaceful setting. The grounds at Red Fox Hills are beautifully taken care of to provide lovely surroundings. From inside, through the trees, you can see the pool to which owners can invite friends and family in summertime. Beyond the pool is the Clubhouse where residents can throw parties and have gatherings for a small rental fee. The Home Owners Association, a very strong organization with ample reserves, holds its meetings there, with its many different committees.

As you walk in the tiled entrance to this sweet townhome, you step into the living room and gaze immediately out to the newly landscaped patio, a very pretty sight. The living room with vaulted ceiling is light and bright, and cozy with a wood fireplace. The kitchen is off to your right, complete with eating area and convenient double-doored laundry closet. All appliances stay for the new owners.

The two large bedrooms, also with vaulted ceilings, are in the back with a full bathroom in between. The tub is original cast iron with a shower set up behind glass doors. Nice white tile lines the floor and tub walls. There’s extra linen storage out in the hall.

Additional stats:

  • Built in 1969
  • Fresh interior paint and new carpet
  • Spacious 2 car detached garage
  • HOA dues $237/month for exterior maintenance, landscaping, pool, hot tub , clubhouse
  • Property taxes $2608.35/year
  • Several blocks fromTryon Creek Parkwith its miles of walking trails.

Are you ready to downsize, to simplify your life and live in the wonderful community of Red Fox Hills? This could be the perfect solution for you!

I’m happy to help with your Real Estate needs and am just a phone call away!Jane Leeis a Real Estate Broker with eXp Realty in Lake Oswego, OregonJane@portlandpowersearch.com  503.806.0517

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Nov. 6, 2010

Deciphering your Portland Real Estate Property Tax Statement

Oregon has a complicated property tax system.  Could be the most difficult to understand system in the entire country. 
Oregon real estate property taxes have  two values that appear on each statement.

  • Real Market Value (RMV)
  • Maximum Assessed Value (MAV)

The RMV  is what the county assessor estimates the actual value of the property (or what it would have sold for on January 1, 2010 for 2010/2011 tax statement).

The MAV, as a result of an Oregon Ballot Measure (50) from the mid 1990s, takes the 1995 value, reduced by 10%, then increased 3% every year after 1997.

Add in that Oregon has two tax rates and confusion continues.  The current rate(usually higher) applies to the MAV.  The other rate (Oregon Ballot Measure 5 from  1990)  limits the tax to .5% on education, 1% on government but no limits on whatever voters have approved in each tax district (bonds, levies, etc…).  This rate only applies to the RMV.

You are taxed on whatever value is LOWER.  That becomes your AssessedValue.

During the Portland real estate boom in the mid 2000?s, some property values were increasing at 10% per year(sometimes more), Portland real estate property taxes were only go up 3%.  Sounds great when values were going up but, now that Portland real estate values are stagnant (with some still in decline), property taxes are still rising at the consistent pace of 3% per year.  Since MAV has been capped since 1997, it should be lower than RMV and that is why your property taxes aren’t going down.

I was in a Oregon property tax seminar and the presenter pointed out a couple of things to look for on your property tax statement.

  • Did your assessed value go up by more than 3%?
  • Is the RMV more than your property is worth as of January 1, 2010?
  • Are you being taxed for something that does not exist?

If so, or if you have any questions about your tax statement, I suggest you to call an Oregon property tax professional to help you decide.  Contact me if you want a name that can take a look for you let you know if you have something to contest.



Rich Peralta is a real estate professional in the Portland Metro Area,  including Lake Oswego and  West Linn Real Estate.

He can be reached at 503.961.2181 or by e-mail at rich.peralta@exprealty.com

Contact him  for more information on Portland,  Lake Oswego or West Linn Real Estate!


Originally posted on West Linn Real Estate.


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Nov. 3, 2010

Days on Market(DOM) for Portland Real Estate - September 2010

Portland Real Estate Days on Market (DOM) – September 2010

According to MLS data, Northwest Washington County homes are selling the fastest in all of Portland real estate.  North Portland which recently had the quickest average closing times in the area, is now 2nd.   Lake Oswego real estate and West Linn real estate are the slowest moving in the Portland metro and also some of the most expensive.

Below is a list of real estate areas with their average days on market for each

Lake Oswego real estateWest Linn real estate – 186

West Portland – 178

Milwaukie, Clackamas, Happy Valley -160

Tigard, Tualatin, Sherwood, Wilsonville – 158

Oregon City, Canby – 124

Gresham, Troutdale – 116

Hillsboro, Forest Grove – 112

Beaverton, Aloha – 107

Southeast Portland – 106

Northeast Portland – 104

North Portland – 92

Northwest Washington County – 86

Click here for more information on Lake Oswego Real Estate!

Rich Peralta is a Lake Oswego real estate professional in the Portland Metro Area.

He can be reached at 503.961.2181 or by e-mail at rich.peralta@exprealty.com

Also published on his Lake Oswego Real Estate page.

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Nov. 2, 2010

Portland’s Top 5 Luxury Real Estate Neighborhoods

portland luxury real estate

Sometimes it is fun to dream about what life would be like if you could live among the most elegant homes and manicured neighborhoods. Sure, most of us probably won’t get the chance, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do a little “virtual window shopping”! With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of the the 5 most expensive neighborhoods in Portland, including each area’s most expensive home currently on the market.

5. Northwest Heights:

northwest heights portland real estateOn the west side of the West Hills, Northwest Heights offers scores of new developments, which boast large new homes, most with views of the Coast Range. The neighborhood’s main thoroughfare is NW Skyline Boulevard, which snakes along the spine of the hills, with pockets of residential development cascading down the slopes to the east. While the neighborhood itself can’t boast of many amenities, it’s close to Northwest Portland and offers the seclusion and peace of living in a forest and perhaps the best sunsets in Portland. Read more about Northwest Heights Real Estate…

  • Average Home Price:$566,300
  • 5 year appreciation: -3%
  • Population: 4,762
  • Median Age of residents: 42
  • Home Ownership %: 83
  • Acres of Parks and Open Space: 275
  • Most expensive home on the market right now: $999,000
  • Bedrooms: 4
  • Bathrooms: 3 full, 1 partial
  • Property type: Single-Family Home
  • Size: 6,637 sqft
  • Lot: 11,761 sqft
  • Price/sqft: $151/sqft
  • Year built: 2003

4. Forest Park:

forest park portland 

Forest Park is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Portland, mainly because of the massive park, aptly named Forest Park. The park is the largest of its kind within city limits anywhere in the US, boasting 5,170 acres and over 40 miles of trails. The area combines rolling green pastures, stunning views East and West, and fine homes in both new developments and on existing large lots.

  • Average Home Price: $628,900
  • 5 year appreciation: 12%
  • Population: 3,882
  • Median Age of residents: 44
  • Home Ownership %: 81
  • Acres of Parks and Open Space: 5,347
  • forest park portland real estate 
  • Most expensive home on the market right now: $2,199,000
  • Bedrooms: 5
  • Bathrooms: 5 full, 1 partial
  • Property type: Single-Family Home
  • Size: 5,983 sqft
  • Lot: 19,166 sqft
  • Price/sqft: $368/sqft
  • Year built: 1932

This is a Roscoe Hemenway original. Magnificently restored in 2005, this estate offers perfected, light-filled rooms, marble entry, 6 fireplaces, expansive views, world-class gardens, all new 3rd floor suite & separate nanny/in-law living quarters. Finished basement features theater/recreation room, exercise room and sauna. Adjacent to Forest Park trails; minutes to downtown Portland.

3. Arlington Heights:

As the neighborhood’s name suggests, Arlington Heights is perched 1000 feet above the city on a beautiful ridge and boasts excellent views of Downtown, the Eastside and the Cascades. It’s also home to theInternational Rose Test Garden because of it’s perfect climate for roses. There are over 700 breeds of roses, giving Portland its nickname, “the City Of Roses”. Read more about Arlington Heights Real Estate

  • Average Home Price:$669,700
  • 5 year appreciation: 5%
  • Population: 505
  • Median Age of residents: 45
  • Home Ownership %: 54
  • Acres of Parks and Open Space: 1
  • arlington heights portland real estate 
  • Most expensive home on the market right now: $1,494,000
  • Bedrooms: 4
  • Bathrooms: 2
  • Property type: —
  • Size: 2,283 sqft
  • Lot: —
  • Price/sqft: $654/sqft
  • Year built: 1962

Interior Features Master bedroom is on Upper Level, Finished basement, Kitchen island, Laundry room, Sound system/wiring, Washer/dryerExterior FeaturesDeck, Garden area, Patio, Private/secluded lot, Public sewer service, Public water supply, Second residence, WoodedListed by: World Wide Realty Inc

2. Hillside:

Hillside is a genteel retreat high above a sophisticated city. Its breathtaking, unobstructed views of the Willamette and the Cascades and proximity to Forest Park (which boasts 5,170 acres) remind you of the wild, rugged nature of the city’s surroundings. If you want both nature and culture, Hillside is an excellent choice. The neighborhood consists of narrow streets and older homes with well manicured lawns shaded by old-growth trees, and an 8 minute commute to downtown. Read more about Hillside Real Estate

  • Average Home Price: $671,700
  • 5 year appreciation: 87%
  • Population: 2,032
  • Median Age of residents: 49
  • Home Ownership %: 71
  • Acres of Parks and Open Space: 131
  • hillside portland real estate 
  • Most expensive home on the market right now: $1,500,000

This stunning traditional on large lot remodelled with elegance and style. Beautiful music room off living room, lge dining room with bay windows looks out to big comfortable porch and magnificent city and 4 mtn view. Spaciousness downstairs family room plus separate playhouse.


1. Southwest Hills:

The history of the Southwest Hills is one of the more interesting and extreme of all of Portland’s neighborhoods. Being a naturally hilly area, in the 1800?s it was virtually impossible to travel to because of the muddy roads. The Portland Cable Railway gave access to the area in 1892. The train service originated in downtown Portland on 5th and Jefferson, and traveled to Canyon Road. It then went from Canyon to approximately Kingston Avenue, then to somewhere around about Fairview Boulevard. The construction of the Vista bridge led to dramatically increased access. Read more about Southwest Hills Real Estate

  • Average Home Price: $718,700
  • 5 year appreciation: 14%
  • Population: 5,365
  • Median Age of residents: 47
  • Home Ownership %: 76
  • Acres of Parks and Open Space: 176

Most expensive home on the market right now: $7,850,000

Bedrooms: 5

Bathrooms: 6.3

Property type: Single-Family Home

Size: 10,685 sqft

Lot: 5.97 acres

Price/sqft: $735/sqft

Year built: 1940

This is a Country estate in the city, located on historic Blueberry Hill, in the heart of the West Hills. Complete with pool, tennis court, separate guest house, formal gardens, manicured lawns, classic details throughout. Upper sq. ft includes 4th level.

Posted in General
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Nov. 1, 2010

Top 12 Reasons Agents are Joining eXp Realty

eXp Realty is continuing to grow. As of October 2010, we’re now active in 11 States, with more on the way. eXp Realty is turning the real estate business inside out; eschewing traditional offices, training and marketing practices in favor of a modern, technology-driven approach that will pave the way for the entire industry in the 21st Century. The following is a quick list of some of the many reasons that real estate agents are making the leap to eXp Realty. It is no secret that the real estate business is changing…and eXp Realty is leading the charge!

  1. The Industry’s Best Residual Recruiting/Revenue Share Program
  2. Amazing Internet Presence/ Top-Ranked Websites
  3. Multiple Revenue Streams and Business Planning/Accountability Workshops
  4. Collaborative Blogging Platforms and SEO Will Put You at the Top of Google Searches
  5. Lead Generation Programs Will Get You Started On Day #1
  6. Low Split’s and Fee’s Make Business Affordable Again
  7. Cutting Edge Real Estate Agent Tech Tools
  8. Social Media Marketing Training and Coaching Program
  9. Green, Paperless, Low Carbon Footprint
  10. On-demand training 24/7 by Top Facilitators via eXp Virtual and eXp University
  11. eXp Realty is at the Forefront of Sponsoring Local Social Events, RE Camps and
  12. Low Annual Cap!!!

If that got your attention (and if it didn’t, you’re probably not a real estate agent) for a more detailed explanation of eXp Realty’s innovative programs. Or, if you’re ready to make the leap, go ahead and call me so we can get together and talk about your future!

Posted in General
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Oct. 28, 2010

Portland Celebrates Halloween, Creepy Things

October in Portland, Oregon means Halloween.

Whether you are a long-time resident of the city or a visitor, you will be spoiled by the number of choices. From getting lost in the clown maze at Jantzen Beach Center, to watching monsters go head-to-head in a wrestling match at Fright Town, there is plenty of ghoulish action to keep trick-or-treaters of all ages entertained.


One of the most popular things to do is to visit the Pumpkin Patch. Located 15 minutes from downtown Portland is the Pumpkin Patch, a family fun park with a difference. Specializing in rural activities such as hay rides and farmers markets, the park also hosts annual Halloween events. One of its most popular attractions during Halloween is the Haunted Maize;  a maze constructed from enormous corn stalks. Families can explore this eerie setting on evenings through the month of October. Adding to the spooky atmosphere are ghostly creatures who surprise and frighten people as they move around the maze. For those who want to carve a Jack O' Lantern, the pumpkin patches all over the property are open to the public who are invited to pick themselves the perfect pumpkin.

Offering a city block's worth of attractions, Fright Town is a mix of haunted house and horror museum. Operating throughout the month of October and also open to celebrate the Day Of The

Dead in November, Fright Town is a great destination for all the family. Creepy clowns and weird characters await you in the Chop Shop ,while Baron Von Goolo's Museum of Horrors has a collection of freaks that jump out on unsuspecting visitors from darkened rooms. Throughout the month, Fright Town hosts a variety of other Halloween themed events as well. These include a horror inspired art exhibition and Halloween special wrestling events.

A unique take on the haunted house attraction is Elshoff Manor. This creepy and dilapidated mansion comes with its own ghostly legend, and those who explore the many rooms encounter characters from the Manor's grisly past.


One of Portland's largest Halloween attractions, Scream at the Beach is the annual home to many attractions, including haunted woods and a list of shows. Within the grounds are fairground rides, shops and dozens of ghouls and ghosts. During the Halloween season Scream at the Beach organizes a plethora of events such as pumpkin carving competitions, wig parties and costume events.

Posted in Featured, Things To Do
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Oct. 28, 2010

Comfort Food at Chez Jose Café in Burlingame


Thank your lucky stars that Chez Jose Mexican Café is easy to get to from anywhere in town. It’s right off the I5 Terwilliger exit, located at 8502 SW Terwilliger Blvd, in the small Portland neighborhood of Burlingame. Wherever you live or are staying, you need to know that you can quickly get yourself to the yummiest Mexican food in town at family friendly Chez Jose!!

Chez Jose had its humble beginnings in 1987 (23 years ago!!), created by owners Howie Schechter and Tom Midrano, who live in the Burlingame neighborhood. Their mission was to raise the quality level of comfort food in Portland. Howie feels that for East Coast folks it’s Italian food that warms the soul, while in our area of the country it’s Mexican fare.

I was introduced to Chez Jose by my mother who loves to lunch out, experiencing her noon getaways as mini vacations.  She’s been frequenting Chez Jose since practically the start up of the popular restaurant, first going there for its convenient location midway between Lake Oswego, where she lived, and Portland where she went several times a week.  She was comfortable sitting at the bar by herself, reading over lunch and listening to the chatter of the wait staff, or sharing a table with one of her many friends.   Over the years she’s gotten to know the people who work there very well.  She says they’re the main reason she keeps going back.  I thanked Sean, one of her favorite waiters, for taking such good care of my mother and he said that she’s the one taking care of them!

I also know that the black bean soup (black beans, rice, pico de gallo and lime crema) is a heavy draw for my mom.  I asked her what’s so good about it?  She replied that you can’t get it anywhere else; that everything about it is good.  She says it changes with every chef, but is always still the best.   When I had lunch with her at Chez Jose the other day, though, she ordered a tostado.  Our waiter, Matt, had already written down black bean soup.  He was astonished at her change of plans.  Later, Sean came by and asked her what she was eating!  Then Howie stopped by our table and let her know that if she was going to change her order, she needed to call first!

The most popular item on the menu is the lime chicken enchilada, my standard order since I first sampled it years ago.  Made with fresh lime-garlic marinated chicken, jack cheese and smothered in a lime sour cream sauce, it is deliciously addicting.  You can find the recipe online at here.  I got really adventuresome my last visit to the restaurant and ordered another favorite, the unique butternut squash enchilada, featuring mushrooms, carrots, jicama, onions and cheese, topped with a scrumptious peanut sauce.  It was incredibly tasty, much to my surprise, and an item I will certainly order again.  I’ve heard they make a mean margarita.  I need to try one of those soon!

When I asked Howie where he got the recipes, he explained they’ve been compiled from different ideas from the different chefs that have worked there over the years and so they keep getting tweaked, although the menu items have remained much the same from the beginning.  There was one time that my mother didn’t like her bean soup and called in to ask about it a few days later.  It turned out the chef had left a week earlier.  The next time she had lunch there, it was back to being perfect, although a bit changed from before. They figure things out in that kitchen!!

You’ll find that the prices are good, the service fast and friendly and the atmosphere comfortably bustling, with the exposed kitchen and open seating.  Smells of delicious food greet you upon entering the restaurant. There’s a warm ambience created by the rich wall colors.  The restaurant had to start over after a fire burned it to the ground in 2001.  It came back with a more contemporary look.  You’ll find convenient parking in the lot out front, shared with Market of Choice next door.

I think my mother’s weekly visits can attest to the outstanding quality of the restaurant experience you’ll find at Chez Jose!  She even agreed to pose for a photo with Howie and myself, even though she dislikes being photographed.  “Anything for Chez Jose,” she says!!

Oh, and when you go there, look for the Elvis look-alike waiter!

Click here for more information on Lake Oswego Oregon Homes For Sale!

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Oct. 26, 2010

A Great Home For Sale in Portland's Woodstock Area!

Welcome to Woodstock, one of Portland’s oldest neighborhoods, sporting many homes built in the 1880’s. I have a newer home for you, currently on the market for $299,500, located on a quiet section of SE Steele St. at 5506, just east of 52nd.  Built mid-century and well taken care of, you can be confident this 1628SF, 3 BR, 2BA home is in tip top shape.  Its beautiful hardwoods are reminiscent of the older homes, yet it’s all on one level for comfortable living.

The current sellers have made significant improvements to add to the quality of the home:

  • The 2 full bathrooms have been delightfully updated
  • The kitchen boasts granite counter tops
  • The previously wild backyard has been newly landscaped, giving it beauty, variety and focus
  • A sweet retreat space was created out in the garden with a charming new stone patio complete with beckoning bench
  • Off in the corner of the fenced backyard is an attractive and handy storage shed
  • A partially covered deck off the family room provides a wonderful outdoor space, fine for entertaining

Woodstock house for sale

Additional stats:

  • 1 car attached garage, newer appliances that will accompany the home purchase
  • 3 year old roof, newer gas furnace
  • Updated electrical and plumbing

The inside scoop from the sellers is that the neighbors have been as friendly and helpful as can be.  Isn’t that comforting to know ahead of time?!

View Map


Many of Woodstock’s restaurants and shops line Woodstock Boulevard, about 8 blocks to the South, but there’s a popular restaurant just down the street at 5222 SE 52nd St. called Toast that deserves mention.  The sellers report that it’s especially hopping on weekends, mornings into the afternoons.  I recently brunched there on a late Sunday morning.  My ½  hour wait for a table was well worth it, the food being scrumptious.  I would order again the “No Meat for You Omlette” that was brimming with fresh fall vegetables and herbed ricotta cheese, accompanied by potato rosti (delicious hash browns).  The coffee (local Courier Coffee Roasters) was particularly tasty.  My dining friend enjoyed “The Occasional Hedonist”: a sweet onion tart topped with 2 poached eggs and hollandaise sauce.  We were treated to 2 tiny raspberry scones upon being seated.  I’ll go again even though I know I’ll have to compete with a multitude of neighborhood fans!

Feel free to contact me if you have an interest in my listing at 5506 SE Steele St.!  Or if there is other Portland real estate that you want to see, I’m available for showings!  I happily represent both sellers and buyers.

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Oct. 22, 2010

Portland Ranks #1 Among Pet-Friendly Cities!

Dog and owner happy to be at a pet friendly park in Portland, OR.

According to Livibility.com, Portland, Oregon ranks #1 in Pet friendly cities. The cities that made the list obviously had to have most of the amenities a pet would want, good and available veterinary care and facilities, stores for all of their toys, food and other needs, and places to go like trails, parks, open spaces and restaurant seating (outdoors of course). “But to make the list," Livability.com reports in a prepared statement, "these cities also had to offer an incredible quality of life for pet owners as well.”

One of the biggest reason my wife and I moved to Oregon in general but specifically to the Portland Metro Area was for our (two at the time) dogs.  Of course we wanted a nice piece of Lake Oswego real estate, a great place to raise a family and a good quality of life, but our dogs are the world to us and love to include them in our daily lives outside the house.

Portland Metro ranked high in the number of off leash dog parks.  In fact, Portland has 31 parks dedicated to dogs, the most in the country after New York, and the most per capita by a wide margin.  Before I moved to Portland, off-leashed dog parks were not a part of my life.  Now I can tell you where almost every one in the metro area is located.  I have tried to visit as many as I can get to.

Lake Oswego has a very new and nice off leash dog park almost on the border of West Linn.  It used to be just a large field with a fence around it with dirt (mud when it rained too much) parking.  People walking the fence line created a path around it. Now there is a soccer field, ample paved parking, restrooms, child play area and two dedicated off-leash dog parks.

click here to see the entire list of pet friendly cities.


Search Portland real estate

Rich Peralta is a real estate professional in the Portland Metro Area West Linn Real Estate and Lake Oswego Real Estate.

He can be reached at 503.961.2181 or by e-mail at rich.peralta@exprealty.com

Contact him  for more information on Portland Real Estate and Lake Oswego Real Estate!


Originally posted on West Linn Real Estate.


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