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.

Adidas Campus Renovation Has Not Halted

Photo sourced from LEVER Architecture

Photo sourced from LEVER Architecture

Three years ago, Adidas HQ announced its’ intention to expand its North Portland campus by 2020. If you’ve driven by in the last few months, you’ve surely seen the visible changes that have already taken place along N. Greeley Ave. Adidas plans to more than double its current size three new structures. These three additional structures will total to 425,000 square feet to create more space for its 1,700 employees that were formerly squeezed into 365,000 square feet of space.

Photo sourced from LEVER Architecture

Following a national design competition, Adidas selected local firms LEVER ArchitectureStudio O+A, and GGN to design the expansion. The enhancements to Adidas’ Portland campus, including the new arrival sequence and two signature buildings, will be LEED Gold certified. The winning design positions the two signature buildings around a new central sports plaza, creating a cohesive campus landscape. It will also include the construction of a cycle track on N. Greeley. The improvements focus on strengthening connectivity internally between the existing buildings and altering the connections to the adjoining residential neighborhood. LEVER architecture says, “The project is inspired by the dynamism of small stadium environments where spectators and players engage in an active dialogue. The architecture of the two buildings connects creative work, community, and sport. Construction is expected to cost roughly $1.26 million.

Adidas is one of the hottest brands in athletic footwear and apparel. The expansion plan has considerably grown more ambitious as the brand’s market momentum has continued. In October 2017, the brand’s North America President Mark King said that the company would add an additional 200,000 square feet of space. Five months later, the company decided to more than double that. King also said that the new space would allow Adidas to increase the size of its local workforce from 1,700 to 2,800. This means more employment opportunities for job seekers.

While the COVID pandemic struck in the midst of construction, Adidas hasn’t made any mention that their plans have changed. Things have been quieter around the campus lately, but construction can still be seen off the main street on the new signature buildings.

Not everyone is thrilled about this impending major campus expansion. A number of Adidas’ closest neighbors are upset by these building plans. Locals complain that Adidas is imposing on the neighborhood and feel excluded from the planning process. However, Adidas reports that they are doing its best to work with neighbors and many residents have said they are positive about this expansion. The head of the neighborhood association, Chris Trejbal even said, “…they’re building a lot more parking, which is great. There will be two years of construction that will be loud and annoying and painful, but afterward, hopefully, things will be smoother in the neighborhood.” (Portland Business Journal)

We’re Closed! Cozy Home with Secret Gardens in North Portland

This lovely listing located off of N Polk was initially purchased by a sweet couple I helped back in 2014. It was the perfect starter home for them and boasted a big yard. In their time there, they expertly transformed their gardens into a blooming oasis, and it is nothing short of gorgeous. I was so stunned to see it completely transformed when they contacted me in the last few months to help them sell.

Even though my clients were sad to leave, they have the chance to pick up some traveling nursing gigs and are hitting the road with their 2-year-old daughter. What an amazing opportunity! Now, this cozy home is home to new owners who I’m sure are already in love with this carefully crafted space, from the beautiful hardwood floors & charming gas stove to the gardens outside. The location provides the perfect space to raise a family and is minutes away from historic St Johns and Pier Park.

We collaborated on updates to get the home ready to list.  All new countertops and backsplash are just a few of the renovations added. Within three days, we had multiple offers and sold $20,000 over the list price! I’m so excited to see my clients heading on to new adventures and am overjoyed to be a part of a new family’s home buying journey.

Listing Details: Sweet, move-in ready St Johns ranch! Beautiful hardwood floors and charming gas stove in the light-filled living room. Efficient kitchen with new countertops and backsplash. Three bedrooms with ample closet space and half bathroom off the master. New roof in 2018. New high-efficiency furnace, water heater, electric panel, sewer and water lines in 2014. Upgraded insulation and vinyl windows. Minutes to historic St Johns, Cathedral Park, and Pier Park. Enjoy your summer at home in the lovely garden and pergola covered patio. This one has it all!

MLS: #20017320
Price: $389,464Marissa Sainz

The House That Brent Built: July Update

And just like that, July is over. And we’ve got what looks like a REAL house in our backyard! So much has happened this month—it feels like each day is a hurdle of chooses and we’re quickly approaching the finish line. I can hardly believe our finish date is just a little over 60 days from now!

July Updates

We chose our cabinets mid-month. We’re foregoing upper cabinetry, save for one sidewall of floating shelves, for a more open look in the kitchen. We settled on some sleek, modern black cabinetry and chose our cabinets for the bathroom as well. We also settled on some kitchen hardware and last week we met with our designer to choose tile for the bath and kitchen as well. I think we’re going to go with a hexagonal tile.

The contractors have been here framing around the clock this month and between their early start and sweet Camila’s sleep schedule—let’s just say sleep has not been a regular companion this month. But the contractors truly are busting their butts to get the job done—the start around 7:00 and are usually working Sundays as well. Thanks to them, we flew through framing and even got the roof started this month!

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After seeing their framing work on the 4th floor, we made the last-minute decision to try and keep the top-level an a-frame—more vaulted for a sense of space. We added a skylight on the east side and now we can always see Mt. Hood from our fourth floor. We’re super excited about the update—it’s feels so much more open!

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Up Next

Now that the roof is on, we get to start siding! The upper three levels will be in a hardy white plank, and the lower level will be black. I’m particularly excited about the Shou Sugi Ban siding that will be highlighted on the front door, balcony door, and the deck. Shou Sugi Ban is a Japanese wood preservation technique that involves burning the wood. We’ve decided to go with a dark shade for the doors.

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We also get to choose our window package soon. We’re trying not to do double-hung windows and I think we’ll love being able to just open the whole window.


This month we had a big overage in framing. Our builders received plans that weren’t fully updated on structural framing and the work was done before we could catch it. That was a big bummer and is going to cost a pretty penny.

In general, though, we’ve been having a great experience throughout this build. It’s been. overwhelming sure, but fun every step of the way. On Friday nights, we climb up to the 4th floor with a bottle of wine and just sit and enjoy everything that is happening, and everything to come. It’s been great to have something so joy-filled to focus on.

Big Thanks
I just want to take a minute this month to thank both of the designers who have helped guide us through this process. It’s made all the difference to have an expert to help us focus ourselves in the overwhelm of choosing interior finishes.

Grace Luebke—a colleague and friend of Brents who works at Siteworks did our initial mock-up of the look and feel of the house. She specializes in hospitality but she made an exception for our home and I could not be more grateful for her guidance!

Renee Chambers—We met Renee through our builder and she’s been a saving grace in moving us through chooses tiles, hardware, and finishes. I feel totally confident in her hands and she’s made these last few weeks something to look forward to wholeheartedly.

And thank you for taking a minute to read and follow long on this massive journey of ours. I’m so glad to have this platform to share with you and humbled you’ve taken the time to share our joy with us. See you next month after we have siding and windows! Woohoo!