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This Week in Portland December 17 - December 25 2011

Welcome to another Portland blog and happy weekend!  It's difficult to believe 2011 is coming to a close. It's difficult to believe it is even December in Portland given this amazing weather we are having. Seriously, if you are new to Portland or just visiting, know this: This is not normal! Get outside...walk, run, bike, feel the sun on your face and en-joy it, my friend. It won't last!

I am excited for 2012. A new year beckons!  I feel myself preparing for it in weird ways: preparing my online calendar 6 months in advance, choosing next spring's flower and vegetable seeds (ok, that one is wishful thinking) and oddly, the most time consuming activity seems to be lightening the load: rummaging through cabinets that haven't been opened in years to discover what can be given away, thrown away or recycled...

Recycled. I think it started for me in an earnest way when the City of Portland put its mighty foot down and Portland Disposal & Recycling changed the rotation and its service offering. For one, trash would only be picked up every other week, putting an emphasis on recycling and compost which would be picked up weekly. Here at our urban homestead in NoPo, we go through what feels like a mad amount of garbage. There are two adults living in the house and another living in the separate "mother-in-law" unit above the garage. Between the three adults, there are three cats and two basset hounds. Somehow this seems to equal a lot of trash.

At first, the idea of making one trash container "last" two whole weeks seemed pert near impossible. It took some study to realize what was actually recyclable. The more that was recycled, the less that hit the trash bag and slowly but surely, we make that two week target with ease. Along this little journey, I've realized that far more is recycle than I had previously thought. Additionally, this has also led me to make better decisions when shopping as I stop to check on every purchase: is this container or package recyclable?  Obviously, I don't make the purchase if the answer is no.

Composting, while heavily argued and debated due to fears of rats and other creatures, has proven to be easy for us even with what feels like a very high concentration of raccoons in our neighborhood. Why the high coon count? This is what happens when you have half a dozen chicken coops on a block. Their presence invites others who might enjoy their food source, eggs or even...the chickens themselves, but I digress. My only gripe is that the composting buckets provided by the city (via our tax dollars) are too small and clumsy, with the lid never latching-- annoying since I'm not leaving this nasty little bucket of food scraps in the house and I don't want it to be easily opened and rooted through on the back porch. My encounters with an old basset hound with a nose full of coffee grinds and egg shell bits are a few too many for my liking, even in the short time frame since late October. I hang the bucket now.

All in all, the new Portland recycling and composting program has required education and change on my part but I did it and I'll admit, I was initially resistant. I now believe that being informed and being earnest are the key and with it, we can enjoy positive results in Portland and beyond. Portland is a model city, you know. We are a unique mass of folks and are often the test case for many new ideas. I think this new recycling and compost program will succeed, and with good outcomes, but we have to want it. I think less trash in 2012 is an awesome new year resolution. How about you?


The Portland Photo of the Week

The Portland Photo of the Week is by Gerry Villani. Anybody know where this cool Portland mural is located?


Our Portland Photo of the Week winner receives a gift certificate to a local Portland business of our choosing. Our giveaway for the month of December is a $20 gift certificate to Coava Coffee Roasters. If you've not been to their incredible roastery and tasting room, stop reading now and go. There is a reason why the New Yorker and The New York Times keep a regular pulse on the happenings at Coava...they are amazing and truly unparalled. Read all about the Portland coffee scene and learn more about coffee, what makes a great cafe and who the cafe rockstars are in our fair PDX.


coava coffee roasters



Portland Nights:  A beautiful journey through Portland.


Featured Portland Events

Here are the featured Portland events this week focusing on events happening this weekend or those just around the corner! Thanks to everyone for adding all the great Portland events to the community events calendar. You can add your own Portland events directly to the events calendar for free (pleased read our terms of service first). Just click "Add an Event" and fill in the details.



December 8, 2011 at 7pm to January 1, 2012 at 2pm –Imago Theatre ZOOZOO In Portland for the holiday season with the World Premiere of "Cats!" Imago brings to life the antics of our everyday household cat in a not so everyday way. Don't miss the premiere of "Cats!"Organized by Imago Theatre | Type: theatre


Chris Burden: Ghost Ships

November 2, 2011 at 10am to January 22, 2012 at 5pm – Portland Art Museum Ghost Ships is a trio of actual sailboats that have been reconfigured and programmed by the artist to periodically unfurl sails, pivot rudders, and simulate navigation. The sailboats will seem to sai




Zoo Lights at Oregon Zoo

November 25, 2011 to January 1, 2012  "Oregon Zoo" Annual holiday lights display at the Oregon Zoo!   Celebrate the holiday season amid the sparkling lights and brilliant hues of ZooLights.* More than a million lights transform the Oregon Zoo into aOrganized by Zoo Lights | Type: zoo lights




Tannenbaum Madness

November 25, 2011 at 4pm to January 1, 2012 at 4pm – Alberta Main Street Alberta Main Street presents Tannenbaum Madness Tannenbaum Madness is a walking window tour of whimsical, wacky and artistic trees. Over 30 Alberta Street businesses are creating sights not to be misOrganized by Alberta Main Street | Type: holiday, fun



Scavenger Hunt Search Party at the Central Library

November 5, 2011 at 11am to March 3, 2012 at 1pm –Portland Downtown Central Library Turn your Rosetta-stone brain on high and unravel the mysteries hidden in the stacks, on the walls, and places you never imagined existed in a public library. Upon arrival, a highly-trained Run BraiOrganized by Gary Corbin | Type: scavenger, hunt




Epicurean Excursion Walking Tour

October 12, 2011 at 10am to December 31, 2011 at 2pm – Heathman Hotel A unique and delicious walking tour where you’ll taste the foods, sip the drinks, meet some artisans & vendors in their shops - while exploring Portland. If you watch the Food Network or considerOrganized by Gary Corbin | Type: food, tour




"Sherlock Holmes and the Caseo of the Christmas Carol"

November 15, 2011 at 7:30pm to December 24, 2011at 7:30pm – Artists Repertory Theatre - Alder Stage Will Sherlock Holmes crack his own case? Literature’s favorite quirky inquisitor is infused with the spirit of a crotchety Ebenezer Scrooge in an unusual holiday show crafted by Seattle veteran playOrganized by Artists Repertory Theatre | Type:performance



North End Holiday Market

November 18, 2011 at 10am to December 24, 2011 at 7pm – St. John's district, Old Salvation Army Building, across the street from Pattie's Home Plate A craft market with unique, handmade art and crafts such as quilts, jewelry, wood carvings, stuffed animals, high-quality prints of original paintings,  and more! Store Hours: Mon - Sat 10 am - 7 pm;Organized by Laura Woodruff | Type: art/craft, market,for, the, holidays, and, other, occasions




Storybook Lane

December 2, 2011 at 3pm to December 18, 2011 at 6pm – Alpenrose Dairy Winter wonderland fun is back at Alpenrose Dairy as Storybook Lane reopens once again for the first time in six years.  Portland’s family owned and operated dairy is partnering with 4-H of MultnomahOrganized by Alpenrose | Type: holiday




Portland Japanese Garden Holiday Gift Show & Sale

December 10, 2011 to December 24, 2011  Portland Japanese Garden Visit the Portland Japanese Garden during the month of December and find beautifully handcrafted nature-inspired gifts for the home, garden, and everyday living. Choose from a wide selection of one-Organized by Portland Japanese Garden | Type: art,show, and, sale



Looking for something else? We have a ton of other local Portland events on the calendar. Please feel free to add your own as well.


Tuba Christmas

Tuba Christmas by Earl R Thomas


Portland Christmas Lights: Where to go and what to see

Portland Christmas Lights Guide Holidays are a time of tradition, and each year in Portland the Christmas lights and Holiday light displays provide an opportunity to create and renew a sense of tradition once more with your family, friends, and loved ones.  There are several popular Portland holiday lights displays throughout our city, from the Grotto, Zoo Lights, Portland Christmas Ships, Peacock Lane, and Portland International Raceway Christmas lights, to several other streets where Portlanders go to town with the Christmas lights on their homes and in their yards.  

Read the whole Portland Christmas Lights Guide, see more videos and get more tips on where to go!


Woodlawn Neighborhood Real Estate Market Report

by Ross Seligman

The oldest settled area in the Albina area is the Woodlawn Historic District. Initially settled in the 1860s as a rural farming village, it was the only independent town that existed outside the city of Albina. Woodlawn's character changed dramatically in 1888 when the railroad running from Portland to Vancouver located a train station in the center of the village. This connection to a larger market stimulated development. The commercial uses centered around the train station with residential development surrounding it. The depot was located at the intersection of today's Durham and Dekum avenues. The station's waiting room was built in the middle of a triangular park.  To learn more, click here.


Are you keeping an eye on Woodlawn or is it your neighborhood?  Check out this link for a monthly updating real estate chart for this neighborhood.

If you are looking for homes in the Woodlawn neighborhood, visit this link where you can search for homes by particular neighborhood: Click Here

On to the report:

Here is the overall chart of inventory, sold, and pending for the Woodlawn neighborhood in the last 15 months:

In November 2011, there were 29 closed sales, 34 pending sales, and 87 homes on the market in the Woodlawn Neighborhood.

One year change from November 2010 to November 2011:

Inventory (how many homes on the market for sale): Down 40.4%

Homes sold: Down 29.3%

Homes pending sale: Down 15%


Chart for average price per square footage:

In the past 15 months, the average price per square footage in the Woodlawn neighborhood has been between $119 and $142/sq. ft. In November 2011, the average price per square foot in the Woodlawn neighborhood was $128.


One year change from November 2010 to November 2011:

Change in Price Per Square Foot:

Percentage Change: Down 9.9%

Days on Market, Sold/List Price:

This chart is showing us two things. First, how many days on the market that a home is spending, on average, before being sold. In November 2011, the average time on market for a home in the Woodlawn neighborhood was 68 days.

The second thing that this chart is showing you is what percentage of the listing price the owners actually are getting when the house is sold.  This is a great indication of the pressure on prices.  In November 2011, sellers in Woodlawn received, on average, 95% of their original listing price.

More stats for you:

Change from November 2010 to November 2011:

Time on Market: Up 13.3%
Sold/List price % difference: Up 1%

Average price for sale vs. average price of sold:

This chart shows us that the average listing was and what the average sale was. In November 2011, the average price of a house on the market in Woodlawn was $289,000. The average sale was $287,000.

More stats over one year:

Average active price: Down 9.7%
Average sold price:  Up 0.3%

Months of Inventory:

Months of inventory gives a time line of how long it would take for all of the current listings to sell.  Anything above 4 months is considered a buyers market.  This figure is a good indicator of supply and demand.  November 2011 in the Woodlawn neighborhood had 3 months of inventory.

By the way, this does NOT mean that it will take 3 months for your home to sell. That figure was, on average in November, 68 days.  Inventory is a figure that means that, if not another home were to come on the market in Woodlawn from this point forward, in 3 months there would not be another home to sell.  They would all be sold.


In my monthly Portland real estate report, I always talk about how each individual neighborhood is a micro-market. The first thing you will notice about individual neighborhoods as compared to the overall Portland reports are that the numbers can be wildly different month to month. Basically, the bigger the pool of data you are working with, the smoother the stats become. As we focus on smaller areas, many different things can happen month to month.


If you are looking to buy or sell in a particular neighborhood, the most crucial information that you need to know is what is going on in that neighborhood. In this situation, the overall Portland market report is less important and the national real estate report is just about useless. This posting is a real estate report for the Woodlawn neighborhood of all homes in all price ranges. Feel free to request particular neighborhoods in which you are interested in buying or selling and I am be happy to do a report, just contact me on this forum or at

Visit our website where you can contact us and search all Portland Metro Area homes for sale from the RMLS in Portland, OR, including school and neighborhood reports:



Meeting with Santa by Gerry Villani


Homes for sale in Portland

2923 NE 38TH AVE Portland, OR 97212 - Beaumont - $599,900

See the full listing here



6217 NE 21ST AVE Portland, OR 97211 - Woodlawn - $399,900

See the full listing here


2829 NE HANCOCK ST Portland, OR 97212 - Grant Park - $339,000

See the full listing here



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