WELCOME BACK TO PRICE POINT, where we look at two very different homes at around the same price point. This month, we’re setting our sights on $699,000. With that budget, would you choose the house in Montavilla or the Pearl District condo?
Home 1: A Well-Appointed Montavilla Ranch
Given that this 1950 ranch house was built over 70 years ago, it feels much more contemporary than you’d expect. That’s because it’s been remodeled recently to clock in at three bedrooms/two baths in a tidy 1290 square feet. Still, the remodel retained key characteristics from its original era, like its low-lying exterior form, refinished wood floors, and tongue-and-groove wood ceilings with beams.
Alongside that, there’s an open floor plan, with the living room, dining, and kitchen merged together at the front. Thoughtful touches include a refinished gas fireplace in the living room, built-in buffet with tile accent in the dining room, and an expanded kitchen with quartz-covered island, lots of cabinetry, and pantry.
On one side of the kitchen, a bedroom with a big West-facing window, and on the other, the laundry tucked behind a sliding barn door. A main hallway connects the other two bedrooms and bathrooms to the living room. There’s plenty of closet space, new tile and fixtures in the hall bath, as well as a private en-suite with a wet room—meaning the soaking tub is combined with a walk-in shower—unheard of in a home of this vintage, as they usually just have a single bathroom for all of the bedrooms.
A detached garage offers more space and utility, whether it be used to park a car or as a workshop. And at 5,662 square feet, the corner lot is on the larger side by Portland standards.
Now, Montavilla is actually quite a big neighborhood, stretching roughly between I-205 to I-84 from East to West, and Burnside to Division from North to South, but this house is quite well located. It’s within easy walking distance to the South side of Mount Tabor Park, and less than a mile from the fantastic commercial strip on SE Stark Street, which has a great mix of old and new storefronts, including the vintage Academy Theater, which plays both summer classics and new blockbusters.
Listing Fast Facts
Address: 1906 SE 76th Ave, Portland, OR 97215
Size: 1,290 square feet/3 bedroom/2 bath
List Date: 6/29/2022
List Price: $699,000
Listing Agent: Matt Ortiz, ORMACK Realty, INC.
Home 2: A Chic Pearl District Condo
For being just under an acre, Tanner Springs Park in Northwest Portland makes a big impression. The design concept, executed around 2005, is urban park-meets-native wetland, with a grassy meadow that segues to a pond dotted with sedge and wooden walkways, and lined with a rippling art wall made of railroad tracks. One of its neighbors is the six-story Bridgeport, built in 2004 with 123 condos, and unit #217, a second-floor corner unit currently for sale, overlooks the park below.
This condo being a corner unit is important. That means the main living spaces, which are connected in an open concept, have two walls that glory in natural light and views, conveyed via big windows, additional transoms, and sliding double glass doors to the wraparound balcony.
The kitchen has quartz counters and built-in stainless-steel appliances, as well as a breakfast bar for casual meals. The dining room has a built-in buffet and window-encased nook with sliding doors that open to the outside, and the living room sits around a cozy fireplace with gas insert. Hardwood floors, high ceilings, and plenty of storage round out the 1393-square-foot floorplan, as well as two bedrooms and two baths, with one set combined into a private en-suite. Both bedrooms have walk-in closets.
This quiet pocket of the Pearl District is right on the streetcar line, so there’s no need for a car to access everything the area has on offer, which is, well, a lot. (And the building does have parking if you need it.) From chain stores to artsy boutiques, Portland classics like Powell’s City of Books to cult coffee faves like Barista. It’ll take a while to make it through all the restaurants and bars within walking distance. But when you’re ready for a rest, there’s always those park views.
Listing Fast Facts
Address: 1133 NW 11th Ave #217, Portland, OR 97209
Size: 1,393 square feet/2 bedroom/2 bath
List Date: 6/29/2022
List Price: $699,000 with $846 monthly HOA fee
Listing Agent: Andrew Pienovi and Brian Pienovi, Windermere Realty Trust
Portland Monthly has called the Pearl District “Portland’s resident glamazon,” so that tells you something about the character of the condo’s neighborhood. The location really can’t be beat as far as proximity to city conveniences go. But of course, condo-living comes with an additional cost in HOA fees, which are about $846/month here.
What the Montavilla neighborhood lacks in density, it makes up for in the quality of the selection: there are a lot of neighborhood faves lining the Stark Street strip. Take the options for imbibing alone, which includes throwbacks like Thatchers, the craft cocktails at the Vintage, and the monthly beer summits at Roscoe’s.
Both homes are about the same size, although the Montavilla ranch has that extra bedroom, and both boast all the modern amenities we’re told are so sought after by buyers, like open concept living areas, primary suites, and lots of closet space, the latter which is such a rarity in older Portland homes.
The Montavilla house is also all one level, making it ideal for aging in place, although the same could be said for the Pearl condo, since there’s an elevator in the building. Perhaps this comes down to a question of how you like to spend a free afternoon: grilling in the backyard, or perched on a balcony above the city streets. It’s all a matter of point of view.
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.