Our clients are always talking about neighborhoods; with good reason, your neighborhood affects your commute, schools districts, where you shop, get a cup of coffee, and run your dog. This week the Portland business journal came out with the hottest Portland metro areas in terms of real estate sales (read it here).
We thought that we would switch up 5 Questions on Friday, and spend a little time talking about how we love this city, and each of its unique neighborhoods. We spend a lot of time driving around, and meeting in coffee shops with clients around the 5 quadrants, and we see value in all of them.
Portland is divided into North, Northeast Southeast, Northwest and Southwest The Willamette River is the dividing line between East and West, and Burnside divides North and South. From there, the neighborhoods are broken down into smaller sections- we like this map from the City of Portland's Neighborhood Associations, below.
People are sometimes confused by Portland's 5th quadrant, North Portland. The Willamette River isn't a straight line, and the Northern area east of Willamette is North Portland. (This can get confusing, because some areas of North Portland, like St Johns, are still east of the river, but on a map, are further West than NW.)
There are several Portland neighborhood guides, but to really get the feel for a neighborhood, we have five tips to properly explore any neighborhood:
- Go for a walk. Get out of your car, borrow a dog if you feel like you need an excuse (Brigitte at Paris Group will loan you her pup if you need a loaner), and stroll through the neighborhood.
- Check out the local farmer's market and find the local coffee shop. You can find the closest one to your potential neighborhood, here. (FYI: The farmer's market's close in the winter months)
- Once you settle into the neighborhood coffee shop, whip out your smart phone and pull up portlandmaps.com (here) - look up crime, permits and zoning use, school district information, historical permits, zoning information, tax information, how much the property in question last sold for.
- Talk to your (soon to be) new neighbors and ask questions. Why do they like living there? What's their secret favorite haunt? If you're not comfortable talking to strangers, go to the nearest community center. Portland Parks and Recreation has a list here.
- Keep an open mind. Every neighborhood in Portland has pros and cons, but at Paris Group, we know that each one has a secret zest.