Hottest real estate market in Portland? Mid-century modern homes

“Buyers are taking a higher risk to own something special,” said MCM’s premier Portland realtor, who said more are coming to the market after the original owners moved in.

Portland, Oregon – Most Instagrammed Homes and Mid-Century Modern Real Estate Market. Think “mad men” style: homes built in the late 1940s to mid-1970s that have a certain “retro” style – quite Palm Springs.

Homes are popular here in the Northwest, too; There’s even a whole new book on the history of Middle Oregon.

“The big windows, the vaulted ceilings, the natural wood, the stone, you know, the connection to nature,” said Marisa Swenson of Modern Homes Portland of Doyle Realty, a median home realtor in the Portland area.

“The market is hot,” Swenson said. “The mid-century market though is on a completely different level of heat.”

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Buyers are looking to take it back with modern updates, great furniture, old tiles but new appliances. It’s the floor-to-ceiling brick fireplaces and exposed beams. Triangular roof lines that let in plenty of light. inner atrium. Courtyards and straight lines gathered.

First made famous by photographer Slim Aarons for his iconic 1960s photographs of elegant backyard encounters, mid-style homes are now seen as a piece of art, and buyers see their value.

“People are willing to risk a lot more, so they wave contingencies and wave serious money, sort of put in a little bit more upfront, and take a bigger risk to own something very special,” Swenson said.

When Swenson posts photos of homes like this on her Modern Homes Portland Instagram account, she gets likes and DMs from buyers in China, Japan, Switzerland, New York, Chicago, and, of course, California.

“A lot of these vintage, architectural homes are coming to the market because the original owners are moving in to help with living or downsizing, things like that,” Swenson said. “They are unable to take care of them. Suddenly we see hidden gems we didn’t know existed coming to the market and starting a fire.”

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All of that popularity is now also being printed in a new book from the historical preservation nonprofit Restore Oregon. It’s called “The Making of Oregon: A Tour of Mid-Century Modern Regional Architecture.” The 100-page book features 45 medium-sized homes in the metro area. It’s the culmination of eight years of tours that brought 10,000 Oregonians to five to six homes each year before the pandemic.

“You’ll see beautiful, integrated photos of the interior and exterior of mid-century modern homes in this area,” said Catelyn van Gendren, director of conservation programs at Restore Oregon. “And you’ll read a lot about what architects did, their careers and where they came from and why they decided this was where they wanted to do their craft.”

“When you enter a mid-century home, it is a very different feeling than when you enter a Craftsman or Victorian, and we have a great stock of them here,” Van Genderen said. “It’s really worth spending our time analyzing, studying, and educating people about it.”

The book is $35 and you can order your copy here.

Restore Oregon recently wrapped up its latest tour of the middle of the road, and more should come as the pandemic recedes.

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