Real Estate

Property Watch: On Alberta, a Classic Portland Bungalow with Backyard Living Pods

Talk about maximizing every inch: two living units—one modern, one vintage—occupy a single city lot.

By Melissa Dalton May 16, 2022

On Alberta Street, sandwiched between Concordia and the Alberta Arts District, this house looks like a typical Portland bungalow from the sidewalk—and that’s because it pretty much is. Built in 1922, it has a large front porch spanning the front façade.

Inside, the plan includes two bedrooms, a bathroom, a generous living room and kitchen, and even a little sleeping porch-turned-sunroom. Its bungalow charm prevails, including all the chunky Craftsman-era trim, glass door knobs, built-ins, and wainscot and original cabinets in the kitchen. 

Then there’s the backyard, where things take a turn. In 2018, the owners installed three separate living pods that all together make up a 1000-square-foot unit, which previously rented for around $3200/month (partially furnished). Entrance is through a custom wood and metal privacy fence and gate, fashioned by a local artist. The path is flanked by two planting beds, each with a dwarf maple, leading to a central courtyard and hangout zone.  

Three buildings of various sizes and functions surround the courtyard, sleekly styled with white siding, metal roofs, and large sliding glass doors. To the left is the “guest pod,” which has a bedroom, kitchenette, and half-bath, with hardwood floors and skylights and sleek black cabinetry. Across from it, there’s the “flex pod,” which has a built-in sauna, shower, concrete floors, and plenty of empty space that could be an office, movement studio, or exercise room—it's dealer's choice.  

The largest building hosts the “living pod.” There, large glass doors open to the courtyard breeze, while vaulted ceilings maximize the light and sense of space. The living room and kitchen are placed together, with a freestanding stove anchoring one corner, and inky black cabinetry and high-end appliances opposite. Three skylights bring in lots of sunlight. 

Beside this room is a generous bathroom, with soaking tub and glass-walled shower on view, and its other components, like a laundry/water closet and vanity with clothes storage, tucked behind doors. Around the corner, climb a staircase to access the loft, which could function as another sleep spot, lounge, or office, and has four more skylights, and a glass wall overlooking the living room below.  

The palette throughout is a soft black-and-white, tempered by warm woods – all the better to put the focus on the indoor-outdoor views, enhanced by the thoughtful privacy screening from neighbors. As for that empty spot in the courtyard at the end of a path of concrete pavers? This property is BYOHT—bring your own hot tub—as there’s a hook-up wired and waiting. 

Listing Fast Facts  

Address:  3265 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211 

Size:  2,560 square feet/4 bedroom/2.5 bath  

List Date:  4/29/2022  

List Price:  $999,000  

Listing Agent:  Gavynn Wells, Orchard Real Estate


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