Price Point: A Mississippi District Condo vs Foster-Powell Farmhouse
WELCOME TO Price Point, our new-and-improved real estate column that explores two different options for the same budget in the Portland area. We're kicking things off with two very different spaces, each for about $550,000. Would you rather have a newly built Mississippi District condo with eco-friendly bona fides or a Foster-Powell farmhouse with a clawfoot tub?
Home 1: Condo life on a bustling shopping strip
When it comes to investing in property, the Mississippi District has been a sure bet for a while. This home is part of a redevelopment of a 1951 duplex fronting North Kerby Ave, with the rest of the lot now hosting two additional detached condos, each with their own fenced yard. Completed in 2022, Unit B clocks in at 873 square feet and includes two bedrooms and 1.5 baths.
Entry is granted via a generous covered patio, through a frosted glass door, and then into the kitchen. Find higher-end finishes there, like quartz counters and rift-cut white oak cabinetry with built-in stainless-steel appliances, all of which gives off a streamlined vibe that syncs with the brand-new construction.
A large island provides prep space and a central dining area, with a closet and half-bath tucked off to the side of the walkway. The kitchen flows directly into the living room, where the ceiling climbs to double-height, and big windows and a sliding glass door overlook the yard, working in tandem to make the compact footprint live larger.
Up a flight of stairs, there’s two bedrooms, a full bath with walk-in shower, and a sweet built-in office nook placed under a window. Matching cabinetry conceals the washer/dryer placement, so no one has to carry an over-flowing laundry basket to the basement.
The home has earned Earth Advantage Platinum status, which certifies new construction according to energy efficiency, indoor air quality, etc. This comes with an “energy bill guarantee,” says the sellers, wherein Earth Advantage ensures your energy bill will be ~$600/year, assuming normal usage. Additionally, the home is “Zero Energy ready”—pop on solar panels and lower those utility bills even more.
The location can’t be beat, as the home is about three blocks from grabbing a coffee at Albina Press, scores an 88 for its walkability, and would make for a great base to explore everything the Mississippi District has to offer.
Listing Fast Facts
Address: 4809 N Kerby Ave, Unit B, Portland, OR 97217
Size: 873 square feet/2 bedroom/1.5 bath
List Date: 5/20/2022
List Price: $549,900
Listing Agent: Chris Dawkins, Keller Williams PDX Central
Home 2: Vintage Charm in a Foster-Powell Farmhouse
On the opposite side of the city, we’ve got a larger, super charming century-old farmhouse in the Foster-Powell neighborhood. Built in 1908, it’s got three bedrooms and one bath across two floors, as well as a sizable unfinished basement. Best of all, it’s been well-maintained to retain all its old school charm while still boasting modern conveniences.
Fittingly, the entry is at a classic covered front porch. This segues into the front hall, which has a set of stairs leading upstairs. To the left is the original sitting room at the front of the house. It has glass French doors to the dining room and an arched doorway to the living room.
The sitting room could be used as a flex space for adults or children alike, while the living room, with its freestanding stove, is more of a cozy lounge space. Throughout, we spy lovely vintage character, via the refinished wood floors, painted trim, and crystal doorknobs.
A U-shaped kitchen with lots of storage and prep space has been updated with quartz counters and built-in dishwasher, includes an eating nook of its own, and leads to a rear sunporch, which the realtor suggests is perfect for getting your greenhouse fix.
The only bathroom is off the dining room—of course, it has a clawfoot tub—while the three bedrooms are upstairs. Outside, there’s a grassed yard for lawn games or more garden beds, as well as a 295-square-foot detached garage at the end of the driveway. Plus, the unfinished basement has laundry and more storage space.
This neighborhood isn’t quite as dense and walkable as Mississippi, but there’s still a lot to enjoy, like the Portland Mercado nineteen minutes away by foot.
Listing Fast Facts
Address: 6104 SE Francis St, Portland, OR 97206
Size: 2,148 square feet/3 bedroom/1 bath
List Date: 6/9/2022
List Price: $559,000
Listing Agent: Jason McEllrath and Maureen Swan, Portland Proper Real Estate
Lots to consider here, starting with the location. Everyone has their preference of city quadrant, for culture and commute, and these homes are on opposite sides of the city. The Mississippi District condo is smaller in square-footage, but there’s a lot to visit in the nearby neighborhood. Still, the Foster-Powell farmhouse has more room overall, both in square-footage and yard, making it ideal for homebodies.
The styles of these homes are also on opposite ends of the spectrum. The condo’s new construction means potentially less maintenance in the short term, and its green credentials are a serious plus; just note the additional HOA fee of $33/month. Meanwhile, the classic features of the farmhouse, like its wood-framed windows, are exactly what gives it its charm, but do need mindful upkeep. Fortunately, Portland is home to many old house lovers and specialists, from Hippo Hardware to window and door manufacturers, that can help homeowners.
Both present future upgrade opportunities depending on the buyers’ goals, since the condo is primed for solar panels, and the farmhouse’s detached garage could be overhauled into extra living space, or an income-generating ADU.
Melissa Dalton is a freelance writer who has focused on Pacific Northwest design and lifestyle since 2008. She is based in Portland, Oregon. Contact Dalton here.