Real Estate

Price Point: Custom Floating Home or Design-Minded Midcentury

Do you want breakfast by the water, or in the trees?

With Melissa Dalton September 14, 2022

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 around $850,000. With that budget, would you choose the floating home in South Portland, or the design-minded midcentury modern in Crestwood? 

Home 1: Custom Floating Home 

Located at the Macadam Bay Club on the Willamette River in South Portland, not only is this a floating home, but it’s comprised of four brand new shipping containers, making it potentially the only floating container home in the city right now. Designed by the owners, it was engineered and built by a Canadian firm, HonoMobo, in 2020, before being shipped here and craned onto a custom float by Mark Evans, a well-regarded builder of floating homes in the area.

With two-bedrooms and two-baths across 1250 square feet, clever features maximize the one-story plan. Namely, a wall of windows in the combined living areas that frames the deck and the river passing by, so every main room benefits from the water view, whether curling up on the couch, sipping coffee at the dining table, or prepping at the kitchen’s central island. Wood-clad ceilings and heated tile floors further cozy the interior, and in the kitchen, find custom cabinets, quartz counters, and black stainless-steel appliances.  


The home’s more artsy details include metal privacy screens wrapping the exterior perimeter of the float, and inside, bespoke doors. Both bathrooms have large walk-in showers, with the primary suite adding a luxe soaking tub. The price includes the slip, one of 37 in the moorage, which has gated access.


Listing Fast Facts

Address: 7720 S Macadam Ave Slip 1, Portland, OR 97219

Size:   1250 square feet/2 bedroom/2 bath 

List Date:   8/31/2022 

List Price:  $875,000 ($490/month HOA)

Listing Agent: John and Michelle Leiby, Allison James Estates and Homes of OR LLC

Home 2: Design-Minded Midcentury

 This 1957 home in Crestwood has been tastefully updated and remodeled by a professional interior designer, both inside and out. The upstairs, which hosts the main living spaces and two bedrooms and bath, received refinished hardwood floors, new paint, lighting, and trim. Light pours in to the open plan, thanks to large corner picture windows.

But the focus of the changes was in the hardest working rooms. That’s the kitchen, which now has new quartzite counters, tile backsplash, and Beko gas range, alongside cheery aqua cabinets and a refreshed eating nook looking into the trees. Not to be outdone, the bathroom has a new double vanity, tiled floors, and glass shower door.

 The lower level has another bedroom and bathroom, utility spaces, and vestiges of the home’s midcentury era, with the second fireplace and a swanky wood bar in the family room.


At 10,454 square feet, the corner lot is oversized, and was equally transformed to create space for multiple outdoor rooms, with a new wraparound deck that connects to a patio. There’s a dining area for meals al fresco and a lounge area for relaxing, all under the trees and string lights, and steps away, a more secluded firepit area surrounded by landscaping. For additional park vibes, Dickinson Park is a short walk away



Listing Fast Facts

Address: 5431 SW Alfred St, Portland, OR 97219

Size:   2237 square feet/3 bedroom/2 bath 

List Date:   8/22/2022 

List Price:  $850,000 

Listing Agent: Christopher Barnes, Windermere Realty Trust

Final Thoughts

With the floating home newly built and the midcentury freshly updated, both homes are move-in ready, so this is a matter of picking the lifestyle that appeals most.

Depending on the size of your household, the Crestwood midcentury seems like it has more room to spread out. With almost a 1000 more square feet, an extra bedroom, and the oversized lot, it would be ideal for a family who needs their own spaces, as well as family areas to gather.

But while the midcentury is larger, the floating home offers the unmatched experience of living on the water, while still being so close to the city’s amenities. You could spend the day kayaking or lounging on the deck, and still have dinner covered, either by stopping in the Zupan’s two minutes away, or zipping over to a restaurant in Sellwood, which is only a little further.

The question is, where would you like to take your morning coffee, dipping toes in the water, or sitting beneath the trees?



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