The Residential Infill Project

Overview, updates, and what to expect!

Source: Planetizen


Portlanders have experienced firsthand the impact of population growth in the city, whether you’ve sat bumper-to-bumper heading into the city or endured a 2-hour wait for your favorite downtown eatery. By 2035 the city is estimated to increase the number of households by 1.4%… that’s 100,000 households!


Aside from the growing population, the housing market has also been leaning towards building larger and more luxury housing. Due to these changes, city officials have proposed and passed the Residential Infill Project, which will allow duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes to be built under restrictions of size. 


These changes aim to address community concerns of housing costs and the diversity of housing options by designing smaller homes that fit Portland neighborhood layouts, creating more housing without overcrowding, and creating clear guidelines for future developments. 


How will this affect the market and current design trends in the Portland Metro? Let’s dig in! 

Source: Sightline Institute

The (Fingers-Crossed) Positive Outcomes!

The Sightline Institute raved, calling Portland’s Residential Infill Project the “most pro-housing reform to low-density zones in US history”! 


The project’s effort aims to address the affordability of housing across Portland neighborhoods by building a range of housing options with affordable units. Although the changes will reduce the average size of each unit, it will allow for more units on each plot of land. They may be slightly smaller than the average family home the project claims the proposed homes are still “family-sized”.

The March update from Portland.gov confirmed the project will include the “deeper affordability bonus and the historic resource demolition disincentive”, which aims to protect historic properties and areas of Portland from demolition during the project’s duration.

 

Source: Miro Medium
A Few Other Considerations

Mayor Wheeler praised the project for offering “significant bonus[es] for affordable housing developers, given the significant need”, and he’s absolutely right. The only concern I raise is the possibility that builders may avoid putting money into these builds if they can’t build luxury, higher priced styles. We know that recent trends have shown the housing market leaning towards luxury builds. I am curious to see how the Residential Infill Project will affect the market. 
An additional resource for any concerns about how the project may affect your property or neighborhood, review the Portland Gov’s interactive map of proposed changes.

Where Does This Leave the Rose City?

In the effort to maintain community involvement, Residential Infill Project staff formed a committee of Portland residents, developers, contractors, and business owners to discuss pros and cons of this project. With feedback from the community, the project staff tailored the project details to attempt to fit the community’s needs. 
This project will officially go into effect on August 1st, 2021. How do you think the project will affect the community and Portland housing market? Head over to my Instagram and let’s discuss!

#HouseThatBrentBuilt Update

A mini update for you all!

All of this hard work and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome! The (mostly)  finished product feels clean, sleek, and inviting — truly a home away from home. 

There are still a few final touches and tidying up to do: a trench dug retaining wall, final sealant, and completion of the balcony. Once these are complete, we have scheduled aerial shots and professional pictures for the end of this month to capture the final product. The final closeout with the contractor is scheduled for the end of this month as well… We can’t wait!

After talking to the property manager, we have decided to pause on the Airbnb process and rent our lovely space for a long-term stay! If you or someone you know find themselves in the Mississippi District for an extended stay, consider us! Smack in the middle of Portland culture, our home is walking distance from EVERYTHING. 

Finally… a HUGE shout out to our designer, Grace Luebke, who formulated an awesome product list, including every detail we may have otherwise overlooked. She made this process a breeze! Check out her work.

5 Things To Consider Before Buying an Older House

When it comes to purchasing an older home, there are tons of perks! Older homes tend to be full of such personality, charm, and hold this magical piece of history. However… there are some VERY important things to keep in mind when you do purchase these types of homes. That’s exactly what I’m going to share with you in this blog post, so let’s dive right in.

#1: Be Cautious of Foundational Issues.

Older homes have a tendency to have settlement cracks, damaged support footings, and more. These problems can be VERY costly. 
A few indicators of potential foundational issues include:

  • Visible wall cracks.
  • Uneven flooring.
  • Doors or windows that have trouble opening. 

If you do see any of these as you’re walking through the home, it’s a sign that there could be some foundational problems worth looking into. 

#2: Electrical Systems.

This includes things like looking out for outdated knob and tube wiring, mainly common in houses built from 1880-1950. Although the wiring itself is not dangerous, there are extra steps to ensure the prolonged safety and value of the home. 
Since knob and tube wiring is not constructed with a grounding wire (one a hot and neutral wire), the wiring has a higher risk of causing a fire or electrical shock in outlets. For this reason, knob and tube wiring cannot come in contact with insulation, at the risk of sparking a flame. Modern homes use significantly more electricity day-to-day — older homes with knob and tube electrical wiring are unable to support the load, often resulting in short-circuiting or electrical fires.  
Most homes function with 60-amp electrical servicing, which outdated electrical systems are not apt to handle. For this reason, and those listed above, insurance companies often raise concerns about homes with knob and tube wiring.  In order to insure a home with dated knob and tube writing, an electrician must replace and renew the step-up 60 days obtaining homeowner insurance. 

#3: Oil Tank and Heating.

Well-maintained heating oil tanks have a life expectancy of 10-15 years. Make sure you exercise caution when considering a home with an oil tank — these have the potential to leak, cause house fires, and create insurance liabilities for homeowners. According to Oregon DEQ oil tanks used to heat homes are a significant source of soil and groundwater contamination. 
Thoroughly inspect the tank for damage, unstable legs, signs of leaking, unprotected oil lines, and evidence of pipe clogs. It is also important to search for evidence of a buried oil tank.  Many older homes used underground tanks to store oil that have since been converted to gas.  Finding a buried tank and making sure it is decommissioned will save you cost and potential soil contamination in the future. For oil tanks exposed to outside elements, refer to Oregon’s Alpha Environmental’s resource for underground oil tank decommissioning for further information! 

#4: Galvanized Plumbing.

Common in houses built prior to the 1960s, galvanized pipes have been coated in zinc to prevent rusting and corrosion. However, after decades of use, these pipes have (ironically) shown to rust and corrode on the inside! 
Beyond internal corrosion, galvanized pipes are known to cause low water pressure, leaks, water discoloration, and impure water quality. Here in the PNW, we take pride in our drinking water, sourced straight from the mountains — enjoy it impurity-free and replace your outdated plumbing. Consider installing copper pipes (which last 50+ years and are free of harmful materials) or polypropylene pipes (which are less expensive and can be recycled when they are eventually replaced). 

#5: Single Pane Windows + Insulation.

Although single-pane windows add to the historic character of the home, they function as poor insulators of temperature and sound. In a chilly and temperamental area such as Portland, residents rely on quality insulation to keep warm during the blustery months. If you want to maintain the classic aesthetic of the home, there are methods of insulating single pane windows without replacing them:

  • Install dense curtains to limit chilly drafts and block hot sunlight.
  • Monitor the quality of the caulk trim by replacing it periodically and prevent air leaks. 
  • Install low-E (low-emissivity) glass coating to increase temperature insulation. This invisible coating reflects heat and minimizes the amount of ultraviolet light that enters your home. 

To recap, you should be mindful of the following when it comes to purchasing an older home:

  • Potential foundational issues.
  • Electrical systems.
  • Oil tank and heating.
  • Galvanized plumbing.
  • Single pane windows and installation.

Purchasing an older home may have its perks, but there are certainly a few concerns and factors to keep in mind when doing so. Hopefully, this blog post can be a tool and resource for you as you find yourself in this situation! 
If you are looking to make a move in the near future in the Portland area, I’d be happy to help assistant in any way that I can. Don’t hesitate to reach out and connect! 

Women In Business: Network, Network, Network

Put your business and personal brand on the map through networking! As businesswomen — as women, truly — we encounter stereotypes left and right. The stereotypical female business moguls are stern and extroverted, often because these traits mimic the “cutthroat businessman”. It’s time to step away from these assumptions, embrace our unique traits, and bring them into our professional lives. As an introvert, this was difficult for me! However, my advice is to embrace your individuality, identify your favorite personality traits, and use your strengths!

Deslonde Harvey of Adorn Studio said it beautifully:“When you finally embrace who you are, you hold yourself accountable, and you learn about your strengths as well as your weaknesses. Don’t try to force yourself to be someone you’re not, but at the same time, you can still challenge yourself in uncomfortable situations. If I didn’t challenge myself, I would have never made the leap.”

Relationship Building

In Your Company

As you make your bed, so you must lie in it.  Whether you ignored your unmade bed, lazily fluffed the blankets, or crisply tucked your nurse’s corners, you have to sleep there when the day is done. The same is said with your business!

The most important business relationships are internal. You may network your heart out, but these relationships are meaningless without a consistent, sturdy internal team. Build a committed and passionate team by treating every member like you, the head-honcho, expect to be treated. Maintain equal respect and open communication across the team. And, remember… you sparked the flame of your business, but your team maintains the fire!


In Your Community
How and where are you presenting yourself online? Networking with individuals holds merit but forming a positive relationship with your target demographic can make or break your business. Evaluate your market: which platforms are most heavily trafficked by your customers, and how can you form an emotional connection online? For many, social media outreach is placed on the back-burner. Consider hiring a social media team or a savvy marketing intern searching for part-time experience.


In Your Field

Maintain communication outreach across all levels of your field. As your business blossoms, don’t limit your networking outreach to similar-sized businesses. Maintain community connection through local, small businesses and start-ups. You have the opportunity to provide support to a small business that will appreciate your positive guidance. Similarly, reach out to larger businesses to gain insight and ticks-of-the-trade. Never refrain from connecting to a larger business because they seem unattainable. Innumerable opportunities await you when you remember your worth and potential!

Know Your Resources!

Browse these resources for the modern business mogul:
Podcasts

Nicaila Matthews Okome is a business pro, “passionate about helping other multi-passionate side hustlers find their voice and share their message with the world”. The Side Hustle Pro podcast is sitting at 3 Million downloads and has been earning praise since 2018. 

Additionally, check out The Strategy Hour Podcast and grow your creative business through innovative marketing and productivity strategies that helped these hosts grow their 6-figure business.


Influencers

Financial moguls on Tik Tok? Who knew! Tori Dunlap is gaining fast fame with 855,000 followers and innovative advice on personal finance. Much of her content is tailored towards women and forming financial confidence.


Seminars

Not only does Ms. Okome host the Side Hustle Pro podcast, but she offers a multitude of courses from Master the Gram to The Goal Getter Action Plan.CO, an editorial website published by The U.S Chamber of Commerce hosts regular online seminars for passionate, entrepreneurial business owners. Check out their most recent seminar, The Roadmap for Rebuilding: Planning Your Financial Future, focused on financing small businesses for long-term growth. 


Focus Groups

The connections I made in Women in Financial Services (WIFS) and Women’s Council of Realtors (WCR) have truly stood the test of time. WIFS’ Portland Chapter offers valuable webinars, mentorship, and a vast library of resources for novice and experienced women in finance. WCR is an amazing resource for networking in the Portland area. With virtual seminars and in-person networking events, the organization offers resources for members and non-members. 

I hope that these tools and resources are incredibly valuable for you as you continue to scale and grow your business. At the end of the day, your solo efforts can only take you so far. However, if you throw in a mix of connections and relationship building, now that’s a game-changer! 

CATHEDRAL VILLAGE AFFORDABLE HOUSING ST. JOHNS

Affordable housing for all! Catholic Charities and Related Northwest have made a collaborative effort to bring a multifamily construction project, Cathedral Village Apartments, to fruition. This will ultimately offer more than 100 affordable new apartments to families, communities of color, immigrants, refugees, and those at risk of homelessness in St. Johns. With recent approval and funding support from The Portland City Council, construction has already begun and we should see completion in 2022.

All future residents of Cathedral Village will have accessibility to nearby local amenities and natural greenspaces. Units that are designated as Permanent Supportive Housing will provide chronically homeless families with access to whole-person healthcare as well as a range of onsite social services.

In summary, here’s what we can expect from the Cathedral Village Affordable Housing project:

-Safe, secure, and affordable housing. (More than 100+ apartments will be offered to those with low-income and experiencing homelessness.)
-Sense of community. (Social events, resources, and public spaces to encourage the uplifting of those in need.)
-Access to health care. (Whole-person physical, mental, and social well-being services.)
-On-site resident support services. (Housing stability, financial resources, after-school youth programs, and more will be offered.)
-Convenient urban location. (Local shops, libraries, and green spaces all around.)

Read more about Cathedral Village here and learn more about ways you can get involved to support this project here.