It’s no secret that living within a major city like Portland can be costly. The city is renowned for its arts and cultural scene, proximity to outdoor recreation, booming tech industry, and much more. So it’s no wonder the city is a hot real estate market experiencing a steady growth in population and ever-increasing housing prices.
Thankfully, these neighborhoods surrounding Portland are more affordable than others, making a move to the city more attainable for those with a lower housing budget. Spoiler Alert: As a general guiding principle, the neighborhoods east of Portland tend to be more affordable and are quickly growing in popularity in recent years. However, there are a few hidden surprises you may not have considered!
Affordable Neighborhoods in Portland Include:
- Oak Hills
- Pleasant Valley
- St. Johns
Median Sale Price (January 2018): $451,290
Located northwest of downtown Portland, Oak Hills is a pleasant community with a wide variety of home styles ranging in age, style and size. The neighborhood’s position near the highway allows residents to easily access the city for employment, entertainment, dining and shopping. Oak Hills was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013. It was the first mid-century historic district in Oregon and one of the youngest nationwide to be added to the Register.
The Oak Hills Homeowners Association is extremely focused on building and fostering community. The association organizes a number of events throughout the year, including a Fourth of July celebration, an Easter egg hunt, a Halloween party, and various holiday festivities for residents. Plus, the recreation department offers swim classes, tennis lessons, summer activity programs, and more. Residents may access the community’s large and small swimming pools, a gymnasium, a playground area, tennis courts, play fields, parks, walking trails, and more community amenities.
Median Sale Price for Orchards (January 2018): $327,416
While located across the state line in Vancouver, Orchards is a desirable yet affordable neighborhood of the Greater Portland Area. In fact, the area surrounding Orchards (including Sifton) is one of the most affordable areas in Clark County. The neighborhood is comprised primarily of medium-sized and large homes along streets with paved sidewalks and well-maintained landscaping. The neighborhood is well-established yet not too old, as most homes were built between 1970 and 1999, while some were built after the year 2000.
Many residents commute either to Portland or Vancouver for work or other big-city amenities. Both cities are relatively close, providing a myriad of options for residents of Orchards.
Median Sale Price (January 2018): $252,562
Powellhurst-Gilbert is a vibrant neighborhood situated just southeast of Portland. The neighborhood is known for its cultural and ethnic diversity and proximity to some of the best natural features of the city. With the Kelly Butte Natural Area and the Powell Butte Nature Park nearby, there is no shortage of green space for Powellhurst-Gilbert residents to explore. Plus, the neighborhood has excellent schools, canopies of Douglas Firs and other lush foliage throughout, and other attractive features. And above all, the relatively low housing prices in Powellhurst-Gilbert makes this a particularly attractive region for those considering a move to the area.
Median Sale Price (January 2018): $394,746
Located just southeast of Powellhurst-Gilbert, Pleasant Valley is another relatively affordable neighborhood in Portland. The neighborhood’s natural setting provides both breathtaking views and outdoor recreation options for residents. The Johnson Creek watershed and other natural areas, including Powell Butte Nature Park and the Springwater Corridor, are all within reach for residents of Pleasant Valley. Plus, this more high-end neighborhood has more affordable prices when compared to other neighborhoods closer to downtown Portland. Keep in mind that homes closer to Powellhurst-Gilbert are more affordable than those closer to Happy Valley, particularly those in Mt. Scott and along Southeast Clatsop Street.
Median Sale Price (January 2018): $275,546
Centennial is considered one of the most popular and most affordable neighborhoods in Portland. Perhaps it is popular because it is more affordable. Regardless, this is a rare and wonderful combination! This established neighborhood hosts a myriad of homes, primarily older single-story homes. However, there are a number of newer two-story homes in Centennial as well. The neighborhood enjoys an eclectic mix of home styles, a tight-knit community, close proximity to Portland, and beautiful parks, including the 8-acre Lynchwood Park and the 25-acre Parklane Park.
Median Sale Price (January 2018): $299,500
The quaint community of Glenfair is situated on the city’s eastern border near Gresham, Oregon. The neighborhood surrounds Glenfair Park, a 5-acre open space hosting a variety of community events throughout the year. Residents of Glenfair enjoy beautiful scenery, well-maintained streets lined with trees, and of course, low housing prices. This collection of homes on less than 1 square mile of land is one of the more affordable areas to call home in the Portland area.
Median Sale Price (January 2018): $293,740
Located just over 6 miles southeast of Downtown, Lents is one of Portland’s largest, oldest, and most diverse locations. Plus, this hip neighborhood was included in Thrillist’s “12 Neighborhoods Across America That Are About to Blow Up.” The popularity of Lents and its current low housing prices makes this a great area to invest in real estate within the Portland area. The neighborhood is close to downtown but it has its own thriving culture and local hotspots. You will find a mixture of long-standing neighborhood staples and new digs frequented by the younger crowd. I-205 runs north-south through Lents, providing convenient access in and out of the neighborhood to surrounding areas and larger cities.
Median Sale Price (January 2018): $374,838
Located just west of Lents, Foster-Powell is another affordable neighborhood in the heart of southeast Portland. This triangular neighborhood is bordered by three major roads, including Powell Boulevard to the north, Foster Road to the south, and 82nd Avenue to the east. You will discover more affordable prices in this area compared to its neighbors in the inner Southeast Portland area. Plus, Foster-Powell is completely surrounded by a variety of bars and eateries, providing plenty of local hotspots for its residents. The neighborhood has a mixture of older single-story homes and newer two-story homes, most of which are priced lower than those closer to downtown Portland.
Median Sale Price (January 2018): $335,177
Once considered a separate town, St. Johns is a neighborhood in North Portland with an independent small-town feel. This lively area hosts a myriad of locally owned shops, cafes and pubs, all within a reasonable distance of the homes in St. Johns. Yet this tucked-away gem has managed to remain an affordable place to live in the Portland area.
The two 408-foot gothic towers of the St. Johns Bridge signify the entrance of the city, welcoming residents and visitors alike. Historically a blue-collar neighborhood, St. Johns embraces a diverse community of citizens and has attracted a burgeoning artist population in recent years. Home to the University of Portland, rated among the top 10 schools in the West by U.S. News and World Report, St. Johns has a large population of college students, who contribute to an underlying youthful energy.
Travel Portland put together a helpful guide for a visit to St. Johns, which can serve as your neighborhood guide if you decide to call St. Johns your new home!
Median Sale Price (January 2018): $321,680
Parkrose is a neighborhood in northeast Portland east of I-205 along the Columbia River. The community has been transitioning from an agricultural area to an urban environment since 1911. Today, it has a mixture of commercial buildings to the north end of the neighborhood and a collection of homes in the southern portion of Parkrose. Home prices are still affordable in this neighborhood relatively close to the heart of the city. Plus, the close distance to the highway makes travel in and out of Parkrose convenient for residents. They may also use the MAX line to commute to Portland or surrounding areas for work, entertainment, dining, shopping and more.
Median Sale Price (January 2018): $280,625
Located just east of Parkrose, Argay is another affordable neighborhood in northeast Portland. Homes in Argay are more established, with a plethora of single-story ranch homes available, most of which are reasonably priced. This peaceful neighborhood boasts a laid-back, tight-knit feel, but still feels connected to Portland. Plus, there is a Costco in Argay! What else could you possibly ask for in a neighborhood?
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