JUST CLOSED: Stunning West Linn Home Filled with Custom Details!

Can you believe this gorgeous West Linn home that we just closed on!? I first helped my clients purchase their starter home in NE Portland a few years ago. Now that their family has started growing, they were in need of a little more room, and a space they could grow into. We started the hunt for the perfect location and a home with plenty of space and special modern touches. Spoiler—We found it!

After several home tours, the couple toured and fell in love with this property. The home itself was initially constructed by a builder for his family and showcases a open and bright concept. Even the finishes are unique and not the normal “new construction” finishes you usually see. It is so rare to find a home this beautifully constructed and perfectly unique.

Finding this home was such a joy to me. I geeked out as much as my clients did! They truly scored with this one of a kind West Linn home. Congratulations to you both! It was a pleasure working together again and I can’t wait to see how you make this space your own!

Listing Details: Impeccable home w/views of St. Helens, Mt Adams & the valley from 3 lvls. Fall in love w/the open & bright concept, high-end finishes. Gourmet kit w/ss gas apps, quartz & lg island. Spacious en suite w/private deck, lg walk-in closet, soaking tub, dbl sinks & lg concrete shower. Lg lot & private setting. Workshop in garage allows for creative projects. ADU potential & unfinished 4th lvl. Local builder built this home for his family. Great care to detail & no expense spared! Listing courtesy of Ariel Sasser with Property Group NW.

Price: $850,000
Bedrooms: 3
2 Full, 1 Half 
Sq. Ft.: 

Looking to Buy, or Sell? Get in touch!
Marissa Sainz—512.736.6111

Just Listed: The Sprague-Marshall-Bowie House, a Portland Landmark!

I am elated to be listing a Portland home listed on the National Registry of Historic Places with more history than I can wrap my head around! This home has seen nearly 150 years of Portland—if only the walls could talk! Meet the Sprague-Marshall-Bowie house! (Read on for a little history and skip to the bottom for listing details and a link to the 3D tour!)
The Sprague-Marshall-Bowie (SMB) is two-story historic Italianate style house, built in 1882. It’s one of two of the earliest homes of the style still standing in Portland! Originally located at NW Everett and 17th, it was moved to its current location after 22 years. The SMB was part of the 640-acre Donation Land Claim Act filed in 1846 by Captain John H. Couch (of Couch St.), a pioneer sea captain and city developer, and his brother-in-law. The cost of the 4 lots, 100’ x 200’, parcel was $3,000 in gold coin.

It was later in possession of Mary H. Couch, the captain’s youngest daughter, when purchased by John Marshall, a marine engineer who worked for the Oregon Railroad & Navigation Company, and served on several steamers including the Wide West, Willamette Chief, Wellington Chief, and the Harvest Queen.

Two years later, Captain Clark Woods Sprague, believed to be the father of Marshall’s wife, Sarah, acquired two of the four lots, where he built two houses. Captain Sprague, a then ship captain for the O.R. & N. Co., deeded the house to his daughter in 1885, but lived in the corner house at 17th and Everett Streets with the Marshalls until 1886. The Marshall family lived in the house until 1902, also the year it was sold to Henry A. Moore of Moore Investment Company. Two years later, the house was relocated to its present site and sold to Charles W. Bowie who was listed in the City Directory as a “Capitalist.” The home was purchased again in 1980 by George T. and Barbara Gray. In the same year, the G.T. Gray House was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It’s stood for over a century, and with all of its architectural details in place. Today, history blends harmoniously with modern luxuries. Generous bay windows bring in natural gleaming light throughout the space. The cast iron fireplaces, picture molding, and plaster ceiling medallions remind of its sophisticated history. A grand formal dining room with a fireplace elevates the space, truly perfect for dinner parties. Walking through the unit’s wooden floors, you are greeted with a cozy receiving area, fresh white quartz countertops in the remodeled kitchen that is designed in a mid-century modern theme. Also, a private backyard and deck await, and even these portions are pleasant to see. In addition, there is an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) downstairs that provides the comforts of today, with its modern furniture and appliances. It also has off-street parking and is located within walking distance from NW 23rd and NW 21st. Imagine owning a piece of Portland history with all the conveniences of the 21st century.
It’s an honor to list such a priceless home and I’m dedicated to finding the perfect buyers. If that might be you, I have something for you to check out—a 3D Tour of the SMB you can see right now from the comfort of your living room! And if you want even more info, read on below for a look at more listing details, or check this home out on the Living Room website, here.

Listing Details
Listing details: History blends in harmoniously with modern luxuries! The Sprague Marshall Bowie house is a registered Portland landmark, built in 1882, with all of its architectural details in place. Generous bay windows bring in natural gleaming light throughout the space. The cast iron fireplaces, picture molding, and plaster ceiling medallions remind you of its sophisticated history. A grand formal dining room with a fireplace elevates the space – perfect for dinner parties! Walking through, you are greeted with a remodeled kitchen with fresh white quartz countertops, private backyard and deck, and a downstairs ADU that provides the luxuries of today! Located walking distance from NW 23rd and NW 21st with off street parking. You can own a piece of Portland history with all the conveniences of the 21st century.
Price: $1,399,900
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 2.1
ADU: 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom
Sq. ft.: 3,624
.11 acre lot
MLS#: 20324566

Don’t wait to see more—take the 3D Tour!

Get in touch to see and perhaps own this invaluable piece of Portland history!

Marissa Sainz

Portland’s Residential Infill Project Just Passed!

Portland has recently passed a law allowing up to four homes on practically any residential lot. After almost six years since the concept was presented by a local micro-developer, the Residential Infill Project was finally approved by the Portland City Council by a 3-1 vote. The road to this approval has since been long and controversial, having been delayed, and then sent back several times. “Who knew putting people at city council, testifying, writing letters, and convincing their elected officials could change public policy?”  Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty said. Five years in the making, it’s finally passed!
Through legalizing different housing types – duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, and even cottage clusters – in residential neighborhoods, the Residential Infill Project (RIP) offers a solution to accessibility and affordability in Portland. Over the next 20 years, it’s predicted that the city will be able to add 20,000+ more housing opportunities across Portland neighborhoods. In addition, RIP also offers a “Deeper Affordability” option, wherein four to six homes on any lot are allowed, if at least half are available to low-income Portlanders at regulated, affordable prices.

In summary, the RIP as passed, will:

·         Remove all parking mandates from 75 percent of the city’s residential land, making home driveways optional citywide for the first time since 1973

·         Ensure an expanded and accessible range of housing options, creating a pathway to homeownership that would otherwise be unattainable for many Black, Indigenous, People of Color communities
·         Re-legalize smaller scale middle housing types in all neighborhoods, expanding access to usually exclusive, higher-opportunity areas

·         Utilize a scaled approach, letting the size of buildings adjust with the number of homes (then maximum square footage of 6,500 sq. ft. is now reduced to 2,500 sq. ft.)
·         Provide more place for Portlanders to live and address shortage of housing – a huge factor why there are escalating rents

·         Ban new “McMansions,” and discourage one-for-one redevelopments

·         Provide more opportunities to age in place, including allowing two accessory dwelling units (ADU) per lot and greater flexibility to accommodate mobility aids

·         Address the climate crisis by residential redevelopment to be more supportive of transit, biking, and walking. thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution

Formerly, Vancouver has re-legalized duplexes, Minneapolis triplexes, Seattle has passed landmark ADU reforms, and Austin has conceptualized six-plex for affordability. These measures taken by different U.S. cities may seem similar to Portland’s, but RIP is considered the most likely to create results, making the city the leader in zoning reforms. It’s actually recognized as the best low-density zoning reform in the history of the U.S.
A great victory—yet Portland remains hard at work on even bigger solutions to the housing crisis. The city is looking into a more comprehensive Anti-Displacement Action Plan as well. The law is scheduled to take effect in 2021, upon acknowledgment by the state government.

Learn more about RIP here.

We’re Closed! Rare End Condo Unit in Liberty Oaks

We just closed on a rare end condo right in Tualatin last week, thanks to some quick-moving buyers who wrote a strong offer even before the open house. I put up the listing live on Friday at 4 pm, had the showing at 6 pm, and by 8 pm, an offer was already made and accepted! That’s how fast homes are moving in Portland right now.

We put in a lot of work to get this home ready for listing, but renovating the flooring and updating the kitchen with granite countertops, subway tile backsplash, and a large island were clearly worth it—we sold $12,000 over list price! I’m sure the buyers are going to love the towering ceilings, cozy gas fireplace, and carefully landscaped yard.

The House That Brent Built: August Update

I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear that our house build hasn’t always been a walk in the park. But I hardly even realized quite how frustrated we got this month until I had a chance to sit and reflect. While we’ve made so much progress this month, we’ve also been overwhelmed with the number of decisions flying at us and combined with some unwanted budget adjustments and a setback or two, it’s safe to say that WE ARE IN THE THICK OF IT.

First, the progress! This past month:

  • The sprinkler system went in—yes, sprinkler system. Most homes don’t have them but the treehouse does because of how tall it is
  • We ordered our tile and hardware
  • Windows went in
  • We chose our lighting layout and the fixtures are on their way
  • Drywall is dropped off and insulation is going in soon
  • Exterior siding is going up and we get to paint next!


Insulation in the truck in front of the house

Guys on the pump jack working

Exterior with house wrap and windows

Top floor windows waiting to be installed

We’ve fallen a bit behind. It’s the busy season for builders and contractors and we’ve definitely experienced that as well. Drywall is only now going in and the exterior was supposed to be painted TODAY, but that isn’t happening. Some delays make sense and others don’t and overall I will say that we walked in expecting this so we felt prepared.

The toughest part of the month was having to do some major realignments on our budget. We got our original bid from the builder and it was too high for us. We asked for a readjustment and most of that was taken out of our budget for finishes. But when we head into the showrooms, the designers very candidly tell us that unless we want the barest subway tile, it’s going to cost us more. I think in part we could have been a little more realistic about our original budget and what we would eventually want. It’s one thing to give yourself x amount for tile, when you haven’t gone into a showroom and seen all of the amazing tile there is to choose from. The other part comes from miscommunications with the contractors or having to adjust for unforeseen circumstances. It’s all to be expected but we’ve had to be a bit hardass with our team and ourselves this month and it’s definitely not been the most fun we’ve had on this project.

If I were to do it all over again, or you’re reading this and you’re about to, I would advise a few things:
1. Plan for digressions in your plan and have proactive discussions around what rooms and items you are and are not willing to compromise on. We’re going over on the kitchen counters because we decided it’s essential, but we’re also getting more carpet put in than expected because of the cost of hardwood.
2. Be prepared for a million choices at every turn and find yourself providers who can ground and guide you towards the right ones. For example, we’ve been able to stay within our budget for cabinetry all thanks to the amazing salesperson at General Builders Supply who was able to find us the right manufacturer and material to actualize our dream of flat slab cabinets (GBS, you are wonderful!)
3. Be prepared for A LOT of communication. With your partner, with your contractors, your designers, your service providers and salespeople. All in a loop for months on end. It’s a lot of coordination and we’ve all been schooled in communication through this process.

Lighting comes next, and I’m sure we’ll go through all of this again!

This house build has become a full-time job, especially for Brent, but despite the overwhelm I can feel the bubble of excitement rising in my chest at the thought of moving in less than two months. There is so much to do in our current house before we make that transition and it’s given me a lot of pause for thought, going through the process I help others go through every day—especially my sellers.

We need to pare down our stuff and start packing. I have a ton to get rid of now that Camila is 6 months old. And most importantly, we have to get our kitchen remodeled before, or right after, we move out. It’s hard to even process.

Even though we are well and truly in the thick of it, I just keep reminding myself how fast this next month and a half will fly. Before we know it, we’ll be heading up to the 4th-floor balcony to watch the first sunset from our completely finished home that we built ourselves. Nothing tops that.