Portland’s East Side Older Homes – Either a bidding war or sitting on the market

Portland older house

Portland east side real estate market has cooled down recently.  The price point is very high in inner SE and NE Portland neighborhoods, so naturally there are fewer buyers for homes over $600K when the market median is around $425K for detached single family homes.  Houses sit on the market longer nowadays also from the general cooling down of the market unless they are under $400K.  In neighborhoods like Alameda, Irvington, Ladd’s Addition, and Laurelhurst, the median sold house value is over $700K.  These are some of the most expensive neighborhoods on the east side.  Despite the general price point being high, there is still a lot of demand for the right house.  Let me emphasize the phrase “right house”.  The demand is for a good old house.  Houses in these neighborhoods are older homes from 1920’s.  Despite the amazing locations, older homes come with more physical issues in general that can be daunting for home buyers.  There is a whole array of old home issues including foundation settlement, work done without permits, no garage, radon gas, and general “funkiness” that many buyers don’t quite seem to agree with.  Buyers these days spending $700K or more are very careful in what they are buying these days more than ever.  If a right house comes up, it’s still a bloodbath. 

I have been involved as a buyer’s real estate agent recently for a few deals in these neighborhoods including Alameda, Irvington and Ladd’s Addition.  The houses my buyer wanted were nice houses that put a checkmark in all the boxes.  I’m talking about houses with a great structure and foundation with updated components and features throughout the house but also feel very inviting and warm. These houses also have a nice bathroom upstairs and a detached garage with a nice and private backyard.  Sloping floors are minimal throughout the house and the finish quality is high.  The problem is that a house this attractive is very rare in these neighborhoods.  Many older houses have been flipped too but even with these flips, you can tell that fundamental problems still exist or the job was done in a hurry.  So many flipped houses put in nice new bathrooms without pulling any permits for the work.  It’s insane to see the knuckleheaded approach of some home flippers. 

When you do find the unicorn, it’s a bloodbath.  You are still competing with five other offers.  A few houses that I have been involved in those neighborhoods literally had 4 to 6 other offers.  It’s crazy but old houses that highly desirable are still somewhat rare.  Other homes in the neighborhoods sit on the market for many months.  As a buyer, even though you see an opportunity to negotiate the purchase price down if a home has been sitting on the market for a while, many of these homes may be either way over priced and/or undesirable period. 

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Peter Park

I'm a realtor with attorney experience representing buyers and sellers throughout the Portland metro area.
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