Best Place To Live In The Center Of Portland Oregon
Best Place To Live In The Center Of Portland
Maybe you’re just starting your research on places to live in Portland, Oregon, or maybe you’ve done a ton of research already. You might be wondering where to move in the Portland area after looking North, South, East, West, and discovering that all of Portland is pretty cool. Northeast Portland looks like a solid area, but Southeast Portland has a ton of new development, or perhaps downtown Portland would be the ticket? Which is the best Portland neighborhood for families? Rightfully so, you want to get the best of all that you’re looking for.
In this post, we’re going to go in-depth and show you a place that’s right in the middle of everything; specifically two neighborhoods that located in both Northeast and Southeast Portland. The epicenter of Portland, if you will. We’ll talk about the different styles of living available in this superb central Portland location. Finally, we’re going to talk a little bit about the steps you need to take when buying a home in the Portland Metro area.
History of the Hollywood District
Just 4 miles, or a 10-minute drive, away from downtown Portland you’ll find the Hollywood district. This central Portland location situates you right by all the public transportation, freeways, and you have the district’s iconic namesake, the Hollywood Theater, right in the heart of it all.
The Hollywood Theater was built in 1926 and still shows movies today. In fact, just a few short years ago, Quentin Tarantino made a surprise visit to the historic theatre to watch the premiere of his movie, “The Hateful Eight”. The movie was the first in 50 years to have been shot in Ultra Panavision 70mm format, and The Hollywood Theatre is one of about a hundred theatres in the nation that has the capability of showing the 70mm film format. Perhaps a cheeky twist on a tradition for Tarantino as the theatre shares the same name as the nation’s no.1 area for movie premieres.
Things to do in NE Portland’s Hollywood District
The atmosphere in the Hollywood District is right-on for the quirkiness of Portland. And, it wouldn’t have the full effect without a great selection of food. There’s sushi, Italian, burgers, pizza, and bbq (with an awesome outdoor smoker), all in the same area. In true PDX tradition, you’ll find something that works for all diets. If you take a quick drive to the neighboring “Kerns” neighborhood, you’ll also find the secret local Voodoo Donuts location, Voodoo Too.
The Voodoo Donuts in Portland Downtown is always packed and always has a line that extends down the street. So, the second location is kind of a sweet spot to know about. As local legend would have it, the cult-classic chain rose to fame when they were told off by the FDA for serving a Nyquil Donut–made with real Nyquil. As such, a huge 24-hour tourist attraction, some Portlandians would say that they don’t frequent Voodoo Donuts, but we all know that everyone does from time to time. No matter how you slice it, their donuts are absolutely delicious and often fairly amusing too.
Back to the Hollywood District and you will find that it’s one of the best Portland neighborhoods for families. The area is also home to many easily-accessible parks, the award-winning indoor playground; The Wiggle Room, and the Hollywood Farmers Market. There are quite a few farmer’s markets in Portland, but this one has free beer samples, which is a nice perk.
Learn More: Cost of Living in Portland
Perks of a Central Location in Portland
Living in the Hollywood District of Portland makes it really easy to get to most places in and around the city. A straight shot down Sandy Blvd, and you’ll be two quick turns from the PDX International Airport.
It’s also an 8 to 25-minute drive to some of Portland’s inner suburbs like Gresham and Happy Valley.
Just around the corner, you have South East Portland with popular neighborhoods Mount Tabor and Sellwood; a quick drive North will take you to the Alberta District. The Hollywood District is also right next door to another one of the best neighborhoods in Portland, Laurelhurst. A great benefit of the Laurelhurst area is that it’s right in the middle of Northeast Portland and Southeast Portland. Both Laurelhurst and Hollywood are close to the Moda Center, where you can watch NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers play basketball, the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks play ice hockey, or you could catch a concert or two by many of the music industry’s top players.
Laurelhurst is a highly sought after neighborhood, and with stunning turn of the century homes, it’s not hard to see why. You’ll find a well laid-out mix of lofts and condos; and right next door from those, you’ll find rows of elegantly-designed detached houses. The architecture, the diversity of homes, and colorful front yards make it a great place to walk around.
The style of living you experience here is really whatever you make it. The tree-lined streets of the Laurelhurst neighborhood are peaceful, and just a quick walk away from restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and the Max station. The walkability of this area is one of its major selling points, and that’s not all; you also have rentable scooters, and you’re just inside the map for Biketown PDX.
On that note, Portland has a large bike scene, and double-checking for bikes on the road becomes second-nature to new Portlandians. Portland has one of the most advanced bike road systems in the nation and was also named one of the Top Biking Cities in the World by Travel+Leisure magazine.
Modernizing a Classic Look
Quite often, you’ll find that people will purchase turn of the century homes, in both the Laurelhurst and Hollywood neighborhoods, and customize them to suit. So you’ll see this unique older style with modern interior finishes and stylish new color-combinations on the exteriors. Ancient, older-growth trees finish the look to make this central area a really pleasant place to call home.
ADU’s in NE Portland
We get a lot of questions from people that are relocating to Portland, and many are very interested in accessory dwelling units (ADUs). Accessory dwelling units can be used to make a bit of side money from renting them full-time or as an Airbnb. They’re also commonly used as nanny quarters.
One of the main reasons that Portland is such a great place to have an ADU is that the City of Portland is currently continuing an incentive program for building them. If you don’t plan on using it as an Airbnb for the next 10 years, the City of Portland will waive a significant portion of the building fees required to develop a new property. The reason they’re doing this is that, as the city continues to grow, they want to be able to provide enough housing for everyone.
The typically large lots found in some of the inner Northeast areas often come with detached garages that are prime for ADU development.
Learn More: Best School Distrcits in Portland, Oregon
What you Need to Know About Buying a House in Portland, OR
We’ve seen time and again just how important it is to use local lenders when submitting an offer. The reason why is that they not only have contacts around the city, but they can also go to bat for you, and can usually push your offer through a lot faster than some of the national chains.
So just like you’re using a local real estate agent, the lender plays a huge role when you’re putting in your offer.
Getting a pre-approval letter is key, particularly when buying a house in a competitive market like Portland. It’s not rare around here to have multiple offers, and some are far exceeding the asking price too. So, if you’re looking to buy a house in Portland, the most critical first step is to get pre-approved.
Now, as we mentioned, a local bank is usually going to be able to get this done faster for you. Even though that’s the case, we still recommend having your pre-approval letter ready to go before you even find your dream house. This makes your offer considerably more attractive because not only are you ready with proof that you can pay; you’re also showing the seller that it will be a smooth and easy transaction for them.
We will only ever recommend people and companies that we’ve personally worked with and approve of. As our preferred lender, we use Addison Nett of Finance of America Mortgage. We use Addison because he’s incredibly knowledgeable about the area and always knows what’s new with Portland’s ever-evolving real estate trends.
We have a lot of clients moving to Portland from places like California, and Addison is able to work with them long-distance while providing them with everything they need to know and need to have to buy their new home.
Not only is he amazing at what he does, but he’s available days, nights, weekends just like us.
If you have questions about lending options and what you need to do to be able to put an offer on a house in Portland, feel free to contact Addison.
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