We’re Closed! Lovely Milwaukie Ranchalow

Our newest closing is a special one. My friend Mark, a native of Chicago, like myself, came to me looking for his next home. After some searching, we were able to find the perfect one!

Located in Milwaukie, Oregon, this ranch bungalow fusion styled home was just the right size and in just the right place—recently updated with all new stunning hardwood floors, this home was move-in ready too! Three bedrooms and two and a half baths afford plenty of space to grow and we were really sold experiencing the abundance of natural light and large backyard. The outside area is .21 acres and already has some garden boxes ready for next spring. To top it off, there is a large covered patio with beautiful stonework which makes it the perfect space to host family and friends.

This home is right across the street from Stringfield Park and only a few minutes away from the city. With such an ideal location, I was surprised that it hadn’t been snatched up earlier!

When we talked with the seller and her agent, they were kind, flexible, and exceptionally communicative which allowed all parties to work through what otherwise would have been complicated hiccups with ease. Even though the seller had just welcomed a newborn, we were able to get in to see the house when needed. Likewise, Mark was super flexible and the sellers were able to finish updates on their new home before moving out. I fully credit great teamwork on all parts for what has been a super successful transaction!

As always, I am grateful to be a part of finding the ideal home for my client. Plus, there is nothing like getting to help your friends. Huge congratulations to Mark—thank you for letting me be a part of this process and I look forward to seeing what personal touches you add to your new home!
Listing Details:

Rare 1 level Milwaukie/Oak Grove hone-new to market! Expansive corner level lot boasts a beautifully remodeled cottage- ranchalow 3 beds 2.5 baths with all new floors and tasteful updates throughout! Across from Stringfield family park this is the ideal place to live close enough to the city for shopping and restaurants, yet quiet and tucked away enough to garden and take your zoom and conference calls in peace!

Price: $409,000

Bedrooms: 3
Bathroom: 2.5
Sq. ft.: 1373
Are you looking to buy or sell in the Portland area? Get in touch! There are new homes hitting the market every day and I’d love to help you find, or sell, yours!


This wonderful property has closed! When my clients first contacted me years ago, they were looking for their first home, in an affordable and well-connected neighborhood of Portland. They were immediately attracted to this home, located in a community called Graham Street Commons, an intentional community in NE Portland (more on that below). My clients have loved living in the community and have become such good friends with their surrounding neighbors. This home was built in 2009 and was the start of a grand vision.

Now they’ve expanded their family and had the vision of more room and space to grow. We found them an awesome home in West Linn that I shared a few weeks back. It’s nothing short of impressive.

Their NE Portland home was built in 2009 and was the start of a grand vision. Graham Street Commons is a “common green” project that has 4 planned buildings. The initial vision was developed by Jeff and Susan Hartnett. They pictured a “pocket community” that would provide residential living in the heart of urban Portland. These homes were to be high quality with a low environmental impact, all at an affordable price. The Commons now has three single-family homes with a duplex yet to be built. They were ahead of their time by trying to add density in Portland’s city core, an effort now finally met by city legislature, just this year. Jeff and Susan Harnett’s approach has been repeated several times since.
It is so important to create affordable and green homes in our city. I’m excited to see more options like this one for families in the future. I am incredibly lucky to be a small part of this process. Congratulations to the new homeowners, who have an amazing community to grow into, and to my clients who have growing of their own to do! It was a pleasure working with you all!

Price: $695,000
Bedrooms: 4
2 Full, 1 Half
Sq. Ft.: 

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

Two Months To Go On Our Home Build!

If you have been keeping up with our home build, you know that we’ve encountered some delays. With the devastating PNW fires and COVID and the resulting busy season for contractors, I suppose it’s to be expected. Our new date is in early November and hopefully, we can stick to it. I’m happy to say that we are still pushing through and have made some very exciting updates! With each step closer, we get more and more excited to be in our new home.

What’s new? This months’ progress:

  • Drywall is installed
  • Painting has begun
  • Lighting ordered
  • Cabinets delivered
  • Shou sugi ban ordered
This month brought cabinetry, which I love! Everything behind the walls is finished and the drywall is up. We’ve decided on some shades of white for the interior walls to start.

Brent and I have learned so much about throughout this process—the biggest of which is to expect delays. It’s part of the process and is next to impossible to avoid. Plan accordingly and factor in buffer time for those projects that end up taking longer than anticipated.

When building your own home, there are a thousand different small choices to make and each one feels just as important as the last. We just finally completed our design decision-making process, but let me tell you, it was not easy. First, it’s incredibly overwhelming and I found myself getting too deep in all of the little details. In the end, it was the easiest to start with the large design decisions – cabinets, countertops, paint, etc. Once you have those key components in place, pick one small piece at a time. Will the process be perfect and work exactly as you wanted it to? Fortunately, we had the guidance of our designer every step in the way and she was skilled at keeping us focused in each decision.

On top of juggling the new house construction, we have also been doing some kitchen remodeling in our old house.  I totally wish I would have done a kitchen update years ago.  We tried to do some DIY updating a few years ago and ended up with a failed attempt at cabinet painting.  Lesson learned—hire experts when needed!
Now, we are looking into getting renters moved in. To say this process is stressful is an understatement. Luckily, we have amazing help from Living Room Realty Property Management to help us. Now is not typically the time of year that most people are on the hunt for new places to rent, but single-family homes are really desirable at the moment. With Living Room Realty’s help we shouldn’t have any problem finding renters. Living Room has coached us on prepping the house, checking that we have records of the state and making sure things are in working order. With all the new rental Laws like pet rent and security deposit, Living Room has been critical in making sure we are successful. We are so appreciative of their services and hard work.
So what can we look forward to next? We have ordered our lighting from Destination Lighting and we are absolutely stoked to see the beautiful pieces installed! The exterior of our home has also been making some progress. We decided to go with some Shou sugi ban details on the exterior (examples below). If you are not familiar with this design, it is a bold method of preserving wood by charring it with fire. Typically, this process is used with Japanese cedar and helps to weatherproof the material. The surface of the wood is first charred and then coated with natural oils to give it a beautiful finish. It’s all been ordered and is on its way!
Perhaps most exciting of all—Brent and I are thinking of commissioning a local Portland artist to design a mural for one of our retaining walls. Retaining walls are a pretty typical feature of homes in our area, and many sport a mural. When we were walking through our neighborhood, we were struck by a dynamic abstract mural on a neighbor’s wall and decided to reach out to the artist to see if they would be interested in adding their art to our new home. We can’t think of a better way to bring a piece of Portland into our own space. I’ll update you when we hear back and make a decision on the artist!

Two more months to go! Make sure to come back around Halloween to see what October has in store!

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.