Pearl — 810 NW Naito Pkwy #F19

$405,000 — 2 Bedrooms, 1 Bath — 901 SF

Outstanding river view just blocks to The Pearl, MAX, streetcar, more. Rare upper 2 bdrm on the river. View from LR, private balcony and 1 of 2 bdrms. Watch bald eagles, osprey, otters, 2 bridges & more. Open plan w solid hickory floors, granite & stainless. Heat & cool average less than $55/month. Bikescore 99. Transit 97. Pool. Don’t miss this gem on the river, with superior views, layout, finishes and community.

Listed by: Laurie Sonnenfeld @ M Realty LLC

SOLD — 5 Days on Market

Outstanding river views!

This waterfront home takes full advantage of its stunning, straight-on view of the Willamette River, seen from the living room, the private balcony, and the upper bedroom. This is the rare find of a top upper unit with a direct view up and down the river. From inside your home you’ll also see abundant greenery, river traffic like tugboats, wildlife like river otters, ospreys, and bald eagles, a large firepit, common areas, a miles long greenway path, and two bridges.

Just blocks from downtown, you’ll be close to MAX light rail, the Streetcar, NW 23rd, Saturday Market, Waterfront Park, and, via streetcar: OHSU, PSU, and the inner East side. The Pearl District begins 3 blocks north, with its upscale galleries, night life, and cafes. A bike lane right out front on Naito Pkwy and a Bikescore of 99 rank it as a biker’s paradise, with a Transit Score of 97 opening up endless possibilities.

Tastefully updated throughout, the appealing open design is enhanced by beautiful solid hickory wood floors, a granite and stainless steel kitchen, and glass-fronted built-ins. Stairs lead up to the two sunny bedrooms, an updated bath with granite, and laundry area. The neighborhood schools are highly rated (9 and 10/10). Enjoy a deeded covered parking spot, pool and hot tub. The HOA of $391 includes water, hot water, garbage, pool, insurance and more. Heating and cooling have averaged less than $55 a month year-round.

These sought-after, river view, 2 bedroom condos are seldom listed for sale; don’t miss this one for its superior layout, finishes.

Leaky basement? Adapting to this rainy year.

Wow what a winter we’ve had. 

If you haven’t had water in your basement or crawl space before, this may have been the year that you did. In fact, if you have a crawl space instead of a basement and you haven’t looked in it lately, it would be a good idea to check it during or after the next heavy rain and see if it is dry. 

I’ve gathered some resources for you for moisture issues and I may post more of them in upcoming newsletters, but feel free to email me if you need the whole list sooner rather than later. I am not an expert in these areas; most of what I have learned is gleaned from listening to hundreds of home inspections over the years. I like to learn something new at every home inspection. 

First the basics. Keep your gutters clean and your downspouts unclogged. Go outside in a heavy rain and look at how they are flowing. Are the gutters overflowing? All the water should be flowing down the downspouts without backing up or spilling over. This can mean cleaning your gutters and downspouts more than once or twice a year. If your downspouts are disconnected from the storm sewer, the water should be directed away from house, first touching the ground at least 4 to 6 feet away from the house or going into a “drywell” in the ground or other storm management system. rain garden design

Some people use rain gardens or beautifully arranged pebbles to guide the water away from the house. 

If your downspouts are still connected to the storm sewer, and you suspect they are backing up or broken, you might try checking out Grumpy’s Drains. One of their specialties is clearing rain drains, the drains that go from your downspouts to the street or storm sewer. 

Another drainage company my clients have gotten help from in the past is Ability Plus Drainage (Greg Brimhall). They, like many drainage contractors, get very busy at times like these and can be challenging to reach and schedule with.  But keep trying. This company is very knowledgeable and can sometimes design creative solutions that are more affordable than a complete waterproofing job, including french drains and other methods.

If keeping stormwater away from your house doesn’t do the job, many contractors will recommend a sump pump. These have a variety of features, and sometimes more than one is needed, so do the research before having one put in. Other steps may include sealing the foundation from the exterior, which usually involves digging down to get access to the foundation. 

Keeping water out of your basement or crawl space is an important step in preventing mold in your home and resolved basement moisture problem is a plus for resale. Check with me for a list of contractors for this or other projects. I’d be happy to help. 

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. 


How’s the Market? December 2016

How’s the market? As always, it depends on your plans. Inventory is still low. We don’t have enough houses for sale to meet the buyer demand.  But interest rates have been going up since the election. The fed is expected to raise the bank’s rate this week which down the road could impact mortgage rates further. In my experience, when rates rise, prices may eventually soften because buyers will not be able to afford as much of a loan.

So if you are considering selling, call me sooner rather than later to discuss a plan.

Buying? The note above makes it sounds like buyers should wait because prices may soften. But if you are financing a purchase and rates rise, you will probably get more house by buying sooner than by waiting. If you are a cash buyer, then you could wait it out and see if prices soften. Confused? Happy to clarify, just give me a call.

Some homes are not selling as quickly as they were earlier this fall, and we have seen some price reductions this fall. Savvy buyers are considering these “leftover” homes that are sometimes ripe for a price reduction or have a motivated seller. 

Homes that are marketed with panache are attracting the people who will love (and buy) them. Homes that are appropriately priced, prepared and marketed are still eliciting multiple offers. Here’s an example of one of M’s listings that sold over asking price, and in less than a week.

We are working with many buyers who are looking for their dream home.  Call me if you’d like to get your home treated with our superior and unique marketing service called TrueView. I’d love to hear about your real estate goals and help you determine the best way to meet them.



6828 SE Ash St – $750,000

Sold in 3 days, $30k over asking!

Beds: 3 | Baths: 2.1 | 2,719 sqft.
This fantastic Mt Tabor contemporary home has been beautifully updated! Enjoy quick access to tons of SE Portland dining and entertainment options, while the nearby I-84 and I-205 are perfect for commuters. Neat landscaping decorates the front yard, welcoming guests to the home. A two-car garage offers tons of space for parking and storage. Entertain with ease in the backyard, where a sizable deck overlooks the lovely garden. A large patio sweeps around the side, leading to fruit trees and another garden space!








Adventures in Milwaukie and Oak Grove!

Christmas Ships in Milwaukie Bay, Milwaukie Oregon, coming around again this Saturday at Milwaukie Riverfront Park.

Adventures in Milwaukie and Oak Grove

Did you know Milwaukie and Oak Grove are just south of Sellwood?

Both Milwaukie and Oak Grove have many beautiful woodsy areas with larger lots and a mix of vintage homes from the 1910s through the 1940s, and many mid century and new homes as well. There is a long stretch of waterfront homes along the Willamette Riverin Oak Grove and Jennings Lodge. A little known haven for many artists and musicians, Oak Grove continues to grow a warm but informal sense of community, where many artists and musicians have been developing their crafts for years. Neighborhood street fairs, open mikes, art shows, potluck groups and more make Oak Grove a sweet place to call home. The end of the line light rail station at Park and McLoughlin is making Oak Grove even more convenient. Many cyclists are moving to the area because the new Trolley Trail bike and pedestrian way connects to the Springwater Corridor and easy and direct routes to downtown.

Outside of rush hour, the beautiful bayfront Milwaukie Riverfront Park is a short 15 minute drive from Hawthorne and SE Martin Luther King Blvd. Getting to town by bike is easy too! And the Portland Metro area welcomed the MAX Orange Line a year and a half ago–a 7.3 mile stretch of easy-to-access public transit aiming to alleviate congestion on the McLouglin/Highway 99E Corridor and serve a growing residential community. The new transit option has opened up more home buying opportunities on the east side of the river, particularly in up-and-coming Milwaukie and Oak Grove!

Prices are up in this blossoming area, but there are still good deals to be had in both Milwaukie and Oak Grove. With large lots and big trees, this area can feel like a welcome retreat, yet it is 5 minutes to Sellwood cafes and shops. I’ve been selling homes in this area for quite a long time and I have some favorite areas and hideaways, so don’t hesitate to ask me if you’d like to know more.

Perhaps unbeknownst to many folks, Milwaukie is home to a world class comic book publishing house, Dark Horse Comics, and the purveyor of organic ingredients, Bob’s Red Mill. A fantastic large farmers’ market meets every Sunday in the warmer months along with a First Friday celebration that fills downtown with people. It includes salsa dancing at one end and varying live music at the other, with sidewalk cafes, booths, and more. The lively downtown scene is seeing an uptick in new businesses.  With the Orange Line providing an easy way to get into city without the hassle of traffic, Milwaukie or Oak Grove may just be the the right option for you!

With lower home prices on average than Portland, both Milwaukie and Oak Grove might belong on your radar next time you’re poised to enter the market. I know this area very well. If you’d like to know more about homes in this burgeoning real estate market, give me a call. I am always happy to help!


MAX Orange Line Map

The Cost of Waiting


You’ve heard that “time is money” and it actually applies to our current real estate market. If you’re considering buying someday soon, there’s a definite cost to waiting.

For most people, the true cost of purchasing a home boils down to the property’s purchase price and the interest rate you can secure for your loan. This past year both those factors have been on the rise:

Rates have been rising since the 2016 election.

That might not sound like it would have a significant impact, but let’s take a look at an example of a $250,000 home with a 1% increase in interest rates. Those increases are likely to result in an extra $188.50 in your monthly payment, according to one of the mortgage pro’s we work with. That’s $2,262 a year and a total of $67,860 extra over the life of a 30-year loan. This is, by no means, reason to panic. But it’s absolutely something to consider if you’re thinking of buying in the near future. Looking for a $500,000 home? Double those numbers. (Of course the impact will vary depending on the percentage you put down).

What’s important here? If you’re not ready, don’t let these factors sway you. But if you’re on the fence, it might be wise to consider hopping into the market.

Are you thinking about a move? I’d love to answer any questions you have and help you formulate the best strategy for getting you into your ideal 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.

Mt Tabor — 7644 SE Clay

$401,000 — 2 Bedrooms, 1 Bath — 923 SF

East Tabor eco-friendly garden retreat near the Park! Huge glorious trees, & sun for pesticide-free & organic gardens too! Updated bath & cool checkerboard kitchen. Loft space above garage. Two bdrms + study opens to patio & sunny backyard w abundant berries, natives, herbs, rain barrels, view of park, & tiny art shed. Majestic Giant Sequoia and Western Red Cedar trees. Sewer 2008. Newer metal roof & newer furnace!

Listed by: Laurie Sonnenfeld @ M Realty LLC

SOLD — 6 Days on Market

Cully — 4729 NE 78th Ave

$275,000 — 2 Bedrooms, 1 Bath — 774 SF

Nestled in the blossoming Cully neighborhood on a quiet street near Roseway delights & Sacajawea off-leash park! Bright, sunny 1950 cottage maintains much of its original charm. Hardwood floors. Enjoy native plants, fruit trees, a sweet garden with strawberries, a rain barrel & a deck in the fenced yd. Attached garage. Appliances included. Updated furnace, insulation, fresh paint & some new windows. Room for more improvements & updates.

Listed by: Laurie Sonnenfeld @ M Realty LLC

SOLD — 8 Days on Market

A lush yard and established plantings adorn the front of the home, while an attached garage (with bike hooks) opens to the back yard and provides room for your car, tools, and toys.

Around back, a large grassy area and a raised deck call for relaxation amidst the fruit trees and strawberry garden. Rain barrels help make good use of rain water, and the disconnected downspouts come with a rebate on your water bill.

Besides the apple and pear trees, the site boasts vine maples, rhodies, disease resistant dogwoods, budlea (butterfly bush), a honey locust, a black willow, snake bark maple, a bamboo leaf oak, spirea, a raywood ash (turns burgundy in the fall) and a golden chain tree!
Inside, the living room is light and bright, with gleaming hardwood floors illuminated by generous windows. The cozy kitchen is equipped with ample storage, corner display shelves, a gas range, a pot rack, and a sun-splashed dining area.

Guide to Listing Your Home

If you’re thinking about selling within the next few months, here are a few things to keep in mind. There is an increase in inventory during the summer—get your home listed before more hit the market and you’ll find yourself in a sea of serious buyers on the lookout for their dream homes. Springtime also brings in significant price increases, and your home will likely sell for the best value.

If you decide to sell soon, get in touch with me and follow this simple guide to get your home on the market this coming year!

Meet with me.
-Set listing plan
-Set list price of your home
-Schedule Trueview marketing

Begin or complete deferred projects.
-Clean-up landscaping
-Interior/exterior painting
-Unfinished DIY projects

De-clutter Home.
-Garage sale
-Donate items
-Begin packing

Choose your next destination.
-Conduct neighborhood research
-Are you upsizing or downsizing?
-Determine price range

-Final cleaning for photo and video shoot
-Review and approve marketing materials
-Prepare for Open Houses and showings

Ladd’s Addition — 2145 SE Ladd Ave.

$654,000 — 4 Bedrooms, 2 Baths — 2782 SF

Much bigger than it looks! Beautiful *bright* 1924 bungalow in historic Ladd’s Addition near Hawthorne & Division cafes. Stunning vintage built-ins. Lovely cherry wood kitchen w Silestone quartz countertops. Generous light shines through a multitude of windows. Possible art studio in shop/garage that has plumbing. Sunny yard. Possible sep living quarters. Park 2 cars off street. High-rated, high achieving schools.

Listed by: Laurie Sonnenfeld @ M Realty LLC

SOLD — 15 Days on Market

Westmoreland — 1306 SE Yukon, right on the Bluff

$408,500 — 2 Bedrooms, 1 Bath — 1694 SF

On the bluff in Westmoreland! Fabulous rare opportunity for gorgeous, sunny view of Oaks Bottom Wildlife Sanctuary & river (river mostly in winter). 2 blocks to cafes. Watch abundant birds & wildlife from living & dining of 1915 cottage. Update & make it your own! Hardwoods in entry and maybe under carpet. One level + unfin basement. Sunny yard & decks. Estate. As-is price.

Listed by:  Laurie Sonnenfeld @ M Realty LLC

SOLD — 135 Days on Market

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.

Woodstock — 6534 SE 41st

$298,000 — 2 Bedrooms, 1 Bath — 1632 SF

Light-filled Woodstock mid-century bungalow on quiet part of 41st, south of Woodstock! Original 40s charm and details. Lovely treed street near cafes, shops and Berkeley Park! Hardwoods. Classic fireplace. Many updates including furnace, central air and windows. Tall basement w office and potential for more living area. Beautiful yard with privacy, sunny raised-bed garden and patio. Detached garage with opener.

Listed by: Laurie Sonnenfeld @ M Realty LLC

SOLD — 3 Days on Market

If we are lucky we’ll see the neighborhood peacock!

Sweet back yard with patio and tall raised bed garden for tending plants without bending.