Buy with friends for instant community!

Coming soon — sneak peek!

Have you wished for more community in your life, and maybe even thought about living with others? But you want your own space? Here are a couple of options!

First, two 1-level 3plexes in Woodstock, next door to each other with a large garden space in between for a total of 6 units. Buy one or both properties with friends for instant, affordable community, with individual apartments for less than $200,000 each apartment for all six!

Each group of three attached cottages has a 2-bedroom apartment and two 1-bedroom apartments, all on the ground floor for great accessibility. It will be on the market by this Thursday July 6. 

Lots of options, including keeping one apartment for common shared space or an onsite support person, cook and gardener if desired. Located on a neighborhood street of single family homes, it’s only a block from a busline. 

Easy owner occupied financing. (Because the 2 triplexes are each on separate lots, they may be financed with conventional or FHA financing. If they were all on one lot they would require commercial financing because there would be more than 4 units.)

If this sort of thing interests you contact me right away for more info. I am also working on a boomer or mixed generation community to be built. The land for this other project backs up to a beautiful forested area. Tiny homes or attached cottages? Musician or artist studio space might be included.

2 triplexes for sale in Woodstock! Buy one or buy both.     









Portland’s New Home Energy Scores

New Portland Energy Score Policy 

This won’t take effect for a year and it will probably be a good thing in the long run. It affects sellers and buyers. A seller will need to pay for a report about the
home’s “energy score”  before putting their home on the market. The report will allow buyers to get an objective look at how efficient a home is before they even go look at it.

It may be a little bumpy in the beginning like any new policy but it will be interesting to see how it all turns out! In the long run it will probably encourage sellers to do more energy retrofitting before they list their home. 


The Value of Working with an Agent

Popular internet-based real estate marketplaces like Zillow, Trulia, and Craigslist have made searching for your dream home a whole lot easier on your own. However, every home is unique (just like these kittens!). There are several important things to remember about why having a real estate professional on your side can make the process much better! Here are just a few ways your M Agent beats the internet:


    • Internet-based real estate marketplaces often give an estimate of a listing based on market prices of homes around the area. While these estimates and pricing calculators have gotten better over the years, especially at identifying trends in an area, nothing beats an agent’s local knowledge and resources in seeking out homes that are within your budget. If you are selling, online services don’t reflect what is really special about your home that makes it stand out from the competition. They can’t take that into consideration when pricing.


    • Your agent’s experience and knowledge can help you put your best foot forward at the negotiation table. You want someone on your side with access to the best facts and figures without undermining either the buyer or seller. While you may have some idea about how the market is playing out, a real estate professional will likely know just a bit more than you. Agents at M also have the benefit of working at a brokerage where there are forums for other agents to offer their support and expertise.


    • Your agent is there to understand your needs and your desires — the internet can’t really do that for you. By putting you first, and gaining your trust, your agent will be able to help you achieve your real estate goals, be it finding your first home or selling your third!


    • Not all homes for sale have an online presence — some homes exist just under the radar. Typically, agents will let each other know of new pocket listings that might be of interest, or share exclusive listings before they even hit the market. (See for yourself and check out my sneak peeks!) This is valuable information, especially in this current market.


    • When you’re working with an agent, especially an M Realty Agent, you know that they have your best interests in mind. The internet may let you quickly search for that house you drove past, but your agent can show you a house that you may have not considered, but is perfect for you.


There are many other things your M Agent can do for you — shuffling through mountains of paperwork is just one of them. If you’d like to learn more about what I can do for you, don’t hesitate to reach out.

River Rd — 986 SE River Forest Rd

$345,000 — 3 Bedrooms, 2 Baths — 1066 SF

Hidden gem in River Forest paradise. Mid-century-modern! Serene view of River Forest Lake across the road. Easy 1-level living. Stunning hardwoods, vaulted ceiling, skylights, 2 baths. Updated kitchen w eco-friendly paperstone counters. Lovely yard w trees & sun. Established natural gardens, 3-room deck & fire pit. Wonderful community near Trolley Trail bikeway, Oak Grove village cafes, and new MAX.

Listed by: Laurie Sonnenfeld @ M Realty LLC

SOLD — 5 Days on Market

The River Forest neighborhood is a peaceful natural watershed paradise. Residents make up a lively and interactive community including a fine assortment of artists and musicians. Look forward to the series of neighborhood art shows, a 4th of July parade and the Valentine’s Day stroll. Several homes have been awarded certification for sustainable landscaping or backyard wildlife habitat.

River Forest Lake and the Willamette River are in close proximity, while a variety of shops and cafes in Oak Grove Village provide a place to bump into your neighbors while having coffee, lunch, or browsing for treasures. The nearby Trolley Trail bikeway and the upcoming 2015 MAX Light Rail stop offer a variety of commuter options. The Trolley Trail bikeway is a 6 mile trail from downtown Milwaukie to Gladstone. Its north end is close to the Springwater Corridor, a convenient way to bike downtown.

At night the quiet stillness underscores the occasional sounds of wildlife. The level of darkness makes the stars pop out, encouraging sky watching and peaceful sleep.  You’ll feel like you are miles outside of civilization, even though you are only a short drive from downtown Portland.

The Residence: This 1965 mid-century modern home is nestled in the River Forest neighborhood of Oak Grove. An enticing view of River Forest Lake across the road can be enjoyed from the dining room and the cozy front porch. The lovely south-facing backyard features an established natural garden, a tool shed with water and electric, and a three-room deck and firepit–a serene retreat excellent for relaxing and entertaining.

Enter the threshold into the bright and airy living room. Stunning hardwoods are illuminated by skylights and a sliding glass door to a secret courtyard retreat, open only to you, the sun and the sky.

High, vaulted ceilings open up the space and carry into the dining area. The beautifully updated kitchen boasts eco-friendly paperstone counters, stainless steel appliances, a sizable pantry and a counter depth fridge. A master suite with bath, along with second and third bedrooms and bath are tucked away down the hall for privacy.

Embrace the Rain

The rainy season is here in the Northwest, and “Oregon Sunshine” is drizzling and pouring on our lives and our homes. Now is the time to enjoy beautiful waterfalls at full force and cozy up during a storm or downpour. Some may dread the damp blanket of moisture that covers the sky, but here in Oregon, locals have learned to embrace the rain and positively harness its power. Rain barrels and rain gardens are excellent ways to utilize the 40 inches of fresh precipitation we receive each year; saving resources, money and energy is sure to put a smile on any Oregonian’s face.

Rain barrels allow homeowners to collect water for their house plants, gardens and lawns. For every inch of rain that falls on a 1000 sqft roof, a whopping 600 gallons of water can be collected. Simply utilizing this free resource can save a significant amount of money in a season, and will help conserve water usage during the drier months. Rain barrels are easy to make, and readily available to buy, so embrace the rain and start collecting that good ol’ “Oregon Sunshine” –after all, it’s free!

Rain gardens are another excellent way to make use of the drizzle. Planting native trees, shrubs, flowers and other vegetation in a natural or landscaped basin positioned near a runoff source will collect rain water like a sponge. These gardens are a beautiful way to conserve h2o, reduce stagnant water in your yard and create a wonderful habitat for wildlife. The water slowly filters into the ground before becoming stormwater runoff –that means healthier urban waterways and habitats.

However you choose to welcome the wet weather, remember all the positive ways you can embrace the rain.

Also, here’s an excellent rain garden How-To Video.

And for creating your very own rain barrel, there’s a comprehensive Do-It-Yourself Guide.

Come to the Joanne Rand concert at Bamboo Grove

“Rand’s voice raises your hair, elegance and fierceness in the same deep breath” Gary Snyder

 Joanne’s music brings an uplifting sense of possibility and community. Here’s what another fan had to say:

“this woman changed how i listen to music. her voice filled my soul like no instrument ever. and every time i see her it is the same. ….brave, and full of passion and joy….and a great musician as well….if you ever get the chance to see her….DO SO…”

Come celebrate the release of Joanne’s 13th CD, The Nashville Sessions, in an intimate setting at Bamboo Grove. Friday April 26, 7:30 pm., SE 2nd and Taylor with entrance on 2nd.  See videos of Joanne below!

Dubbed “Psychedelic-Folk-Revival,” California singer-songwriter Joanne Rand comes to Portland, OR for a Concert on Friday, April 26 at 7:30 PM, celebrating the release of her 13th CD, “Stories from the Inside Out, The Nashville Sessions.” Her music spans environmental activism, earth-based spirituality, traditional folk, and more.

Details here and reserve your spot here or contact me at 503-750-1630. Videos below.

Donation, sliding scale $10 to $15. No one turned away.




Got books? Share with our Little Free Library

Outside of a dog a book is man’s best friend. Inside a dog it’s too dark to read. –Groucho Marx

Have you seen a Little Free Library in your neighborhood? Neighbors walk by, and who can resist checking to see what is new in their own neighborhood library?

This one is in Sunnyside, not far from Sunnyside Environmental School. My friend who started it is really enjoying watching the books come and go. She loves knowing that she has contributed something very positive to her neighborhood. Some people leave a book, others browse and then take a book. The contents changes all the time. It gets neighbors talking to each other, too.

My friend started with a big load of books collected by a voracious reader, my late husband Jim Andrews. The supply is now dwindling. To keep the library going, she needs more books. All kinds of books are welcome, as long as they are in good condition. If you have books to share, please contact me, or 503-750-1630.

The mission of Little Free Library: 

To promote Literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide. To build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations. To build 2,510 Libraries–as many as Andrew Carnegie–and keep going!


Progressive in Portland, December Events.

Warming December Events:

Friday, December 7, 2012: 15th annual Portland Clowns Without Borders Benefit Show!

Clowns Without Borders Benefit Dec 7

Hilarious comedy-circus variety show. Clowns Without Borders strives to relieve trauma through laughter in areas of crisis around the world. 7:30 pm, Da Vinci Middle School Theater, 2508 NE Everett, Portland 97232

Tuesday, December 11, Friends of Family Farmers

At their next InFarmation & Beer, Friends of Family Farmers is presenting a screening of the latest rough-cut of Gaining Ground, a documentary film about food justice by Elaine Velazquez and KBOO talk show host, Barbara Bernstein. 5:30 to 8:30 pm at Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison.

The feature length documentary shows how growing healthy food can be a catalyst for igniting hope and empowerment in rural and urban communities. Here’s a clip: 28554508

Saturday December 8, OCCUPY Portland Holiday Free Store! 1-5 pm.

Contribute and/or attend the Occupy Holiday Free Store at St. Francis Church, 1131 SE Oak just north of Stark Street (in the basement room). Bring/get anything that would make a nice holiday gift – tins of cookies, fruit cakes, knitted mittens, crocheted throws, books, DVDs, CDs, flower vases, games, puzzles, toys, stuffed animals, earrings, necklaces, frisbees.
Write a personal gift certificate for: skills, hours of work, consultation, empathy, concert tickets, whatever you want to offer for a gift. Email for more information or if you want to volunteer or have things to donate. Thanks!

MORE on FaceBook:

Hawthorne — 3554 SE Alder

$389,000 — 3 Bedrooms, 2.1 Baths — 1846 SF

Tiny House + Big House! Amazing opportunity to get into Hawthorne/Belmont & Sunnsyside Env School! Legally rent out 1 house to make it affordable! Exceptionally bright, charming 1-level studio cottage (ADU), PLUS 3 bdrm 1.5 bath *fixer* bungalow with refinished wood floors, open stair, big kitchen & all 3 bdrms up. Updated furnace, roof, more. Walkscore 95!

Listed by: Laurie Sonnenfeld @ M Realty LLC

SOLD — 160 Days on Market

Near cafes and shops, in the heart of the Belmont District. Perfect for frequent guests, rental, or home office.

Near Laurelhurst Park, the library and the Belmont and Hawthorne District cafes and Hawthorne New Seasons too!

Cottage plus fixer 3 bedroom bungalow. The big house has beautiful refinished fir floors. Great big kitchen ready for your re-visioning, with a vintage range. Three bedrooms, all upstairs. 1.5 baths.

Plus, reap the benefits of the utterly adorable guest cottage in the back (official ADU!), sunny deck, and garden. Contact me for showing information.

John McCutcheon, live on KBOO 11/11/11

John McCutcheon will be playing live on my show on KBOO this Friday, 11/11/11.

Laurie Sonnenfeld hosts John McCutcheon live on KBOO
Mike Seeger, Pete Seeger, John McCutcheon

John writes a lot of activist songs, leaning fully to the left, though he has also been a prolific singer and songwriter of kids songs and spiritually tinged songs of the seasons.  “Christmas in the Trenches” (from his 1984 album Winter Solstice) tells the story of the Christmas truce of 1914.  Hail to the Chief is made up entirely of malapropisms from George W. Bush. I especially love his rhythmic and inspiring “Step by Step” (the longest march, can be won).

John appears live on the 11th at the Alberta Rose Theater.

Movin’ On runs from noon to 1:30 every Friday and features live and recorded folk, political, and women’s music on Portland’s only community radio station: KBOO, at 90.7 fm or streaming live at www.KBOO.FM

Laurie Sonnenfeld hosts most first and third Fridays and Don Jacobson hosts on most 2nd and 4th Fridays.

Howard Wade, Trad Blues, Folk, Live on Portland’s KBOO

Lots of live in-studio folk music performances

Coming up in April on my KBOO Folk Music Show, Movin’ On

Fridays from noon to 1:30 pm.

Tune in to KBOO 90.7 fm or listen live on the web

Friday April 1st  — I welcome Howard Wade, a guitarist of nearly half a century, who shares his traditional fingerstyle blues, folk and ragtime. His influences include Rev. Gary Davis, Misssissippi John Hurt and Jorma Kaukonen. “The music we make tells the story of America. It’s not the story we were told in school. … It carries the hope, despair, love, hate, triumphs and tragedies of us all. It’s our job as musicians to honor the story and carry it forward.” –from

Howard Wade live on KBOO. Laurie Sonnenfeld hosts.
Live on KBOO Friday April 1

Howard performs Friday night April 1st at Artichoke Music’s Friday coffeehouse. For those of you who don’t know, Artichoke is a non-profit dedicated to acoustic music. They have a store, offer workshops and lessons and have a live performance space.  Every Friday they host a coffeehouse with 5 or 6 up and coming musicians.

Friday April 15 — OMG It’s Peggy Seeger, in person, herself. Interview live by Michael O’Rourke and my co-host Don Jacobson (filling in for me that day). Friday night she’ll perform at the Folk Music Society Third Friday concert at St. Phillip Neri on SE Division. Saturday a workshop opportunity with the Folk Music Society. More later on this.

Peggy Seeger on Portland's KBOO April 15
Peggy Seeger live on KBOO April 15

Friday April 29 — Nancy Curtin and Nancy Conescu bring a riveting program of live Irish music.

Privatize Our Campgrounds and Hotsprings?


The forest service is proposing to privatize 27 remote and beautiful campgrounds in the Mt. Hood National Forest.  The proposal includes privatizing Bagby Hot Springs, the only free hot springs in the area.

Bagby has had its share of problems, but I wonder if privatizing the places we go to relax is the best idea. Listen to a story about privatizing Bagby from OPB radio:

Here’s where you can go to email a comment to be included in the public record on this proposal.
To learn more about Mt. Hood National Forest actions and issues, check out BARK.

Deadline for public comment was February 14.