Big house, low price: More bang for your buck by the square footage?
The price of Portland area homes continues to climb: Comparing 2022 to 2021 through May, the median sale price has increased 12% from $490,200 to $549,000, according to the latest report from the regional listing service RMLS.
How can home shoppers find the most bang for their buck? Location is always the number one factor in evaluating residential real estate, followed by condition, age, number of rooms, lot size, upgrades and renovations.
When comparing similar homes in a neighborhood, professionals also consider the size of a home and the asking price per square foot.
In the Portland area, the average sale price per square foot is $349, up 13.5% since last year, says the real estate marketplace Redfin.
The price per square foot is calculated by taking the price of the home and dividing it by the square footage of living space. An example: The 1965 ranch-style house at 8221 S.E. Marigold St. in Milwaukie is for sale at $450,000. Divide the price by the square footage of 1,290, and the price per square foot is $349.
What can you find for less than Portland’s average sale price of $349 a square foot? Fixer-upper homes typically have the lowest price per square foot as seen with:
- A 63-year-old, daylight ranch-style house with 3,976 square feet of living space is in need of restoration. The 0.28-acre lot at 6754 S.W. Canyon Dr. in Southwest Portland’s West Slope neighborhood is for sale at $498,500, which breaks down to $125 a square foot.
- For $153 a square foot, a buyer can make an offer on the property at 7123 S.E. Rhone St. in Southeast Portland’s Foster-Powell neighborhood. The asking price for the 1913 Foursquare fixer-upper with 2,548 square feet of space: $390,000.
- The $369,900 asking price for a bungalow with 2,370 square feet of living space in need of upgrades at 8523 N. Newman Ave. in North Portland’s Portsmouth neighborhood is $156 a square foot.
Not all homes with low square footage prices are fixer-uppers. A 2009 Craftsman-style house at 2840 N.E. Rocky Butte Road in Northeast Portland’s Madison South is $236 a square foot.
See the list of homes for sale at less than Portland’s average per square foot by using Redfin’s sorting filter.
Here’s a sampling of Portland houses for sale that have a low price per square foot of living space:
$167 a square foot: 2924 N.E. Glisan St. is listed at $525,000. The bungalow, built in 1909 on a 4,356-square-foot lot in the Kerns neighborhood, has two bedrooms, one bathroom and 3,148 square feet of living space.
The attic and basement can be finished for more living space, according to marketing materials. There is a covered patio and the fenced backyard has space for gardening and outdoor activities.
“Charming bungalow that’s close to everything with ample opportunities for sweat equity and creating a space of your own,” says listing agent Jordan Matin with Andy Wilcox of Matin Real Estate.
$196 a square foot: 1605 N.E. 47th Ave. is listed at $499,900. The bungalow, built in 1924 on a 4,356-square-foot lot in the Hollywood neighborhood, has five bedrooms, two bathrooms and 2,547 square feet of living space.
The home has hardwood floors, a formal dining room and a fireplace.
The finished garage could be a home office or studio, and the finished basement could be a vacation rental or private living space for a member of a multigenerational family, according to marketing materials.
“This charmer is ready for a rehab,” says listing agent Carmel Siler with Tyler King of Windermere Realty Trust. “The flexibility of this home makes it a great investment for any buyer while also enjoying all the amenities Hollywood has to offer.”
$226 a square foot: 2034 N.E. Flanders St. is listed at $750,000. The Craftsman bungalow, built in 1913 on a 4,791-square-foot lot in the Kerns neighborhood, has five bedrooms, one bathroom and 3,323 square feet of living space.
The original list price was lowered by $49,000 on June 6, 2022.
The home has century-old details such as box-beam ceilings, built-in cabinets, wood floors, leaded glass windows and vintage fixtures. A seismic retrofit as well as energy-efficient insulation, wood windows and a new roof in 2020 are some of the recent upgrades.
The basement has enough ceiling height to finish it as extra living space, according to listing agent Teresa Toner of More Realty. There is also a two-car garage.
“Located close by some of the city’s best dining, the property with commercial-mixed use 3 (CM3 zoning) gives potential for other uses,” says Toner.
$231 a square foot: 523 N.E. Knott St. is listed at $675,000. The two-story house, built in 1900 on a 5,662-square-foot lot in the Eliot neighborhood, has three bedrooms, one bathroom and 2,920 square feet of living space.
The garage and basement might be permitted as an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) for additional living space, according to marketing materials.
“This perfect, well-maintained Victorian has soaring ceilings, Douglas fir floors, a newly renovated kitchen, spiral stairs, skylights, a cozy breakfast nook overlooking the Edenic backyard and spacious bathroom,” says listing agent Claire Paris of Paris Group Realty.
$248 a square foot: 1734 N.E. 47th Ave. is listed at $699,000. The Craftsman, built in 1917 on a 4,791-square-foot lot in the Rose City Park neighborhood, has four bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and 2,820 square feet of living space.
There is an income-producing accessory dwelling unit (ADU) with a side entrance. Original features include built-in display cabinets, etched glass and wood floors.
Outside, there is a covered porch, deck, gazebo and two-car garage.
“Close to hospital, freeways, eateries and Max line,” says listing agent Lisa Mehlhoff of Chastel Real Estate.
$252 a square foot: 3510 N.E. 19th Ave. is listed at $850,000. The Colonial Revival-style house, built in 1925 on a 4,791-square-foot lot in the Sabin neighborhood, has four bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and 3,369 square feet of living space.
A separate accessory dwelling unit with one bedroom, full bathroom and a living area can be rented for income, according to marketing materials.
The home also has original picture rails, period French doors and built-in features. The newly updated kitchen has granite countertops and freshly painted cabinetry.
The garden has berry patches and fruit trees.
“Opportunity galore with this beautiful Colonial in the perfect location,” says listing agent John McKay with Renee King of Premiere Property Group.
$252 a square foot: 3413 N.E. 33rd Ave. is listed at $849,000. The Craftsman house, built in 2013 on a 4,791-square-foot lot in the Alameda neighborhood, has three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and 3,366 square feet of living space.
The open floor plan leads to the kitchen with stainless-steel appliances. The primary suite is positioned to frame views and the third floor has a bonus room.
The backyard deck allows for outdoor entertaining.
“Welcome home to easy living in one of Portland’s most sought-after neighborhoods,” says listing agent Susie Hunt Moran with Josue Velasquez of Windermere Realty Trust.
$254 a square foot: 3517 E. Burnside St. is listed at $1.3 million. The English Tudor-style house, built in 1933 on a 7,405-square-foot lot in the Laurelhurst neighborhood, has four bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and 5,116 square feet of living space.
The kitchen opens to a family room and nook area. Decorative leaded windows were installed in the den. The primary suite has a dressing room. The basement has a Prohibition-era speakeasy-style bar and lounge.
There is also an oversized garage.
“Designed by Ewald T. Pape, the house has curved archways, coved ceilings, mahogany woodwork, custom wrought-iron railing and curved stairways,” says listing agent Leslee Dirk of ERA Freeman & Associates.
$256 a square foot: 1833 N.E. 48th Ave. is listed at $765,000. The Arts & Crafts bungalow, built in 1925 on a 4,791-square-foot lot in the Rose City Park neighborhood, has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and 2,993 square feet of living space.
The list price was just lowered by $10,000 on June 17, 2022.
The renovated house with a large porch has hardwood floors, a wood-burning fireplace and French doors that lead from the dining room to the entertainer’s deck. Neil Kelly remodeling company updated the kitchen.
“With a big basement brimming with potential and a massive garage, this home is ready to expand,” says listing agent Hope Beraka of Think Real Estate.
$257 a square foot: 3514 N.E. Fremont St. is listed at $695,000. The English Tudor-style house, built in 1929 on a 4,791-square-foot lot in the Beaumont-Wilshire neighborhood, has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and 2,701 square feet of living space.
Cedar siding clads exterior walls and inside, the front rooms have coved ceilings and picture molding. The main level has hardwoods like oak flooring and Douglas fir stair steps, and a mostly original bathroom with a porcelain tub and linen closet. The lower level is partially finished with 7-foot-tall walls.
“Transform this sophisticated living space into an eye-catching English home,” says listing agent Doug Landers with Carol Ann Landers of John L. Scott NE Portland.
— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072
[email protected] | @janeteastman
More on the Portland and Oregon real estate market:
• Rebuilt West Hills fixer-upper with ‘defund the police’ and graffiti on crumbling walls is for sale at $2 million
• Portland lumberman’s preserved 1907 Colonial Revival mansion is for sale at $2.4 million
• A tycoon, then Russians owned the Queen Anne-style mansion in Portland’s affluent King’s Hill district
• Bootleggers are part of the fascinating history of the 1893 Levi Hexter mansion in King’s Hill
• Architect Richard Campbell’s 1966 modern chalet in SW Portland is for sale at $1,465,000
• Off-grid estate near Roseburg is on the auction block at $2.5 million
• Modernist architect Neutra’s rare, restored Oregon house is for sale at $3,750,000
• Architect John Storrs’ midcentury modern house for sale in Hillsdale’s fabled ‘Storrs Quadrant’
• Midcentury modern architect William Fletcher’s first Portland house is for sale for the first time
• Portland homes designed by Pietro Belluschi come with camaraderie
• Oregon’s ‘Terrible Tilly’ lighthouse on private island for sale at $6.5 million
• Two Pearl District townhouses in former train station are for sale, starting at $1,575,000