A note from the next generation:
We bought our home last winter. It sits on a corner lot overlooking beautiful trees and has the most wonderful neighbors you could hope for. It was a prime candidate for a Portland “remodel.” That species of speculative development by bulldozer that razes a quality smaller home and replaces it with two or three plastic mansions. What the replacements lack in character they make up for in square footage and height. Fortunately for my family the seller chose our offer and we have begun the restoration of our forever home.
The reason a young family like mine could afford this home in this neighborhood was because it needed some TLC. Multiple layers of outdated wallpaper, water stains from old leaks, wall to wall 30 year old carpet, clogged galvanized piping, rusted out gutters, a basement that leaked when it rained, and energy inefficient windows. Even so, the pluses far outweigh the negatives. The house exudes simple quality. Built during the depression it has solid brass hardware, Oregon White Oak hardwood floors, old-growth timber, and lath and plaster throughout. Simply put the quality of materials and craftsmanship are not attainable today at any price. We are truly blessed and feel that we are stewards of the house, preserving it for the future while it provides us a wonderful home.
The developers opposing the historic district have made some interesting claims. I choose to stand by my neighbors in support of the historic district. Outsiders with a financial incentive to “redevelop” our neighborhood are funding a sophisticated campaign full of fake news, push polls, and scare tactics. While alternative facts may play in Washington (or Beaverton for that matter) I am not interested. When we bought the house knowing that the historic district was a possibility we researched what would have resulted in a design review fee and what wouldn’t. The following would have resulted in NO design fee; some new siding, new roofing, repointing the chimney, conversion of oil to gas furnace, a kitchen remodel, every surface in the house was going to need to be refinished or painted, and the windows needed to be fixed, or made more efficient. This was all interior, improvement, or maintenance. There are NO FEES for ANYTHING INTERIOR, IMPROVEMENT OR MAINTENANCE. The point of the historic district is that they (WE) want us to keep up the integrity and beauty of our homes, and that’s been quoted. Even in the case of our windows, if anything we made them more contributing because we were able to remove the vinyl storm windows by having our original wood windows rebuilt; this is less expensive then replacing a homes windows and there is no chance of the windows failing because we used the original windows made for our house.
Speaking for the next generation this is what we look for in a home; a fixer upper, this is what we can afford. We look for a home we can afford in the neighborhood of our dreams and we put in the labor, the sweat and the time and fix it up. We knew buying this home the neighborhood was pursuing a historic district and we thought that was pretty cool and unique. Also there are a lot of us who don’t want a new home made out of PVC vinyl and other plastics. These homes are made of cheap toxic materials. That’s not quality.
As an example: 7110 SE Reed sold for $495,00 7611 SE 31st sold for $645,000 both of these homes were in our price range. 7110 Reed is now on the market for $1,870,000 7611 se 31st was split to add 7607, both sold for over 1,000,000. These are definitely not in our price range. If we want a diverse neighborhood with young families and kids feeding into the elementary schools we are going to have to have smaller older homes to buy. As a historic district WE will control the growth and change together as a community.
A home is as much about its past as its present…
7244 SE Reed College Pl