Portland homes come in all styles, so you are sure to find one that you like. You name it, Portland houses--from ultra-modern contemporary urban lofts, to turn of the (previous) century Victorians, there is a style of home in Portland to please everyone. The styles of Portland homes largely depends on their age and when the communities were built. Generally speaking, the oldest Portland houses are found on the East side of the Willamette river, and also "close in" near downtown. As Portland expanded, home styles changed with the times and more ranches and modern styles appeared. More recently, with the urban growth boundary controlling Portland sprawl, there is a focus on using all available space in the city, so there is a resurgence of redevelopment with new lofts and townhouses springing up. Whatever style of home you enjoy, if you love houses, you'll love Portland.
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This romantic home style evokes a sense of old England. American Tudor style homes are built with visible timbers exposed as a design element (usually not structural, but decorative), with steeply pitched rooflines, and may have ornamental windows and leaded glass. These homes almost always have an exterior of stucco or brick. Tudor homes were typically built from the late 1800s through to the 1940s.
Old Portland Foursquare
You've no doubt seen these big solid homes lining our streets. Two or more stories high, these homes are based on a square foundation, with a dormer window on the second story. They usually have a nice, broad covered porch. Old Portland homes were typically built in the timeframe of about 1895 to the 1930s.
Portland Cape Cod
A classic and popular style, the Cape Cod home is 1.5-2 levels high and typically has a steeply pitched roofline, which may include dormer windows. These cozy homes were typically built around the 1930s to 1950s.
Portland Craftsman or Arts and Crafts, Portland Bungalow
This is a wonderful Portland style home that can be found in many neighborhoods. These houses look and feel solid and comfortable. With wide, low slung rooflines, and inviting overhung porches, these home are generally 1-1.5 stories high, and usually come with fireplaces and craftsman touches like built-in shelving and cabinetry. Smaller versions of this home found throughout Portland are typically called Bungalows or Cottages.
Colonial homes are impressive, solid, two-story homes, usually broad, symmetrical, and rectangular in design. They are often decorated in a classic style with pillars or pilasters over the door and entry, dentil molding, and shuttered windows. These homes were built from about the late 1800's to the mid 1950s. Similar names and styles are Colonial Revival, Federal and Georgian styles, all sharing in common understated refinement of detail, and a solid, conservative appearance.
Depending on the period, there are several different Victorian style homes, but they are typically ornamented and may include boldly colored paint and fanciful trim. Whimsical fretwork, gingerbread shingles, balustrades, spindles, turrets, and heavy use of ornamentation can be commonly found on this style of home. These homes were typically built around the mid to late 1800s through to about 1900.
Ranches are one-story homes that come in any number of floor layouts depending on the size and shape of the lot--rectangular, L-shaped, U-shaped with a courtyard, etc. A daylight ranch is a ranch home with a basement or lower story that is partially underground and at least partially open to ground level--typically built on a slope or to take advantage of a view. Smaller ranches often make great starter homes as they are economically designed. In addition, ranches are excellent homes for small children, or those with physical disability as there are no stairs to navigate. Ranches have been popular homes since the 1930s.
A loft is typically a home built on the second floor or higher in an urban area. Usually one-story, but not always, the design varies but usually takes advantage of the history or buildings of the area to suggest design elements such as glass and steel, brick work, old beams, etc. The higher you go, the better the views, and the higher the price. In Portland, lofts are cropping up in all sorts of redeveloped urban areas such as in Irvington/Hollywood, however the original increase in popularity of lofts came about with development of former industrial area now known as the Pearl District.
Portland Townhouse, Rowhouse
A townhouse is typically two-three stories high, and is usually built to take advantage of a narrow space, such as a city lot. When built in rows, they are called row-houses. You will find townhouses in Portland in the Pearl District, suburbs, and also on inner city urban lots that have been cleared for redevelopment. When sold as a condominium, there are typically condo association privileges and amenities such as a community area, parking garage and gym or other living services.
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