Top 5 – Most Affordable – Portland Suburbs
Portland has never been a better place to live and work. Our schools, parks, transportation and homes are top-notch — but the one downside is that affordability has suffered. An influx of new residents combined with a slow construction industry means that the typical home value is tens of thousands of dollars more than what it was just five years ago. The median home price in Portland is now up to $438,000, or $246 per square foot. What is the first-time home buyer to do?
Get savvy. There are plenty of suburbs, pocket neighborhoods and outlying cities close to Portland, with home values that are within reach. Homeowners here report similar or better quality of life without the urban congestion, and with access to Portland via transit or highway, you can have the best of both worlds. Here are some places you and your real estate agent should start your home search.
Heard of the Silicon Forest? Although the term has come to refer to the entire Portland metro region, it all started here in Washington County, a mere thirty minutes from downtown Portland. Dozens of major tech companies call this area home, bringing with them good-paying jobs and a progressive culture.
When most people think of Washington County, they think of Hillsboro and Beaverton, the county’s two largest cities. Not many people know about Aloha, despite its welcoming name!
With a population of less than 55,000, this unincorporated area enjoys the benefits of living among Oregon’s most affluent communities, without the sky-high home values. As of January 2018, the median listing price in Aloha, according to realtor.com, was $350,000.
Aloha ranks #1 in niche.com’s listings for Most Diverse Suburbs in all of Oregon, and is in the top ten for Best Suburbs for Millennials. Nice says thirty-six percent of its residents have gone to college, better than the national average of 29%. Students here are served by the top-rated Beaverton School District, and all people enjoy Aloha’s great parks and low crime rate.
From downtown Portland, head southwest toward Tigard, then keep going. Soon you’re in the quiet little town of Newberg, a city of 26,000 centered around George Fox University.
Newberg residents praise its community atmosphere and family friendliness. Thanks to its proximity to the Willamette River, it was one of the earliest cities to be built in Oregon and still maintains its historical charm. Today the top employers are the University and the farms and wineries that surround Newberg’s hills. Homeowners here love that the coast and the mountains are both a couple of hours away, while being within an hour of Portland. Of course, recreation opportunities abound within city limits, including swimming at the river in the summertime! Crime rates are also very low here — niche.com ranks Newberg as the #4 safest suburb in Oregon.
With a median home price of $352,000, Newberg could be a great place to make a home investment in a well established Oregon community.
The community of Bethany lies just Northwest of Portland and Beaverton, close to the neighboring suburbs of Rockcreek and Oak Hills. These super-desirable neighborhoods are great places to shop for a home if you’re looking for livability and accessibility to the metro centers. In addition, Bethany is a nature lover’s dream, just a mile or two away from the famed Forest Park, where hundreds of miles of trails await.
While median home price data is not available from the National Association of Realtors for this unincorporated area, Bethany has been a hotspot lately for new construction. Last year, Metro (the governing agency for the Portland metro region) reported that, “Since 2014, about 800 single-family houses and 370 apartments or condos have been permitted in the North Bethany area. Some neighborhoods, like the 290-home Bethany Creek Falls, are largely complete.”
While newly constructed homes are not always the most affordable, they do spark the “moving up” effect, where current residents of these suburbs begin listing their older homes on the market so that they can invest in a newer home.
Nobody wants to leave Bethany because it is one of the highest ranked cities in Oregon for quality of life! Again, the highly rated Beaverton School District is a big factor in Bethany’s rave reviews, and the fact that the median household income in the area is more than double the national average.
Gresham is one of the largest suburbs of Portland, with a population of 106,000, but residents still praise its small-town feel (especially in its quaint downtown shopping area). It lies alongside Portland’s eastern boundary, close to the recreational haven of Troutdale. There’s really something for everyone in this quiet Portland suburb, from luxury homes on spacious parcels of land to affordable starter homes. In recent years, we have seen an increase in the number of condos and apartment units available. However, there are still many unbuilt lots, and a friendliness toward new construction in both Gresham and Troutdale. As of January, the median home price in Gresham was $349,000.
Gresham has a huge variety of schools to choose from, parks to play in, and shops and restaurants to enjoy. For a slower pace of life and access to the great outdoors, ask your real estate agent to take you on a tour of homes in Gresham!
If you don’t mind a bit of airplane traffic noise and want to be reasonably close to the heart of Portland, check out the neighborhoods east of 205 in Northeast Portland. Parkrose, Argay, Parkrose Heights, and Russel all have median home values similar to the more far-flung suburbs mentioned here. School choices are plentiful, and the feel is more urban than suburban, especially with the city’s cultural hotspots along Alameda and Alberta streets nearby. Homes here are older with a lot of charm and character, although newer construction homes are also available.
Ready to start your Portland home search? Contact our top 1% buyers’ agent today. We’re fully equipped to answer your questions and get you into a home you love!March 5, 2018