If you’re looking to purchase a home in Portland, Oregon but are unfamiliar with the area, it can be a bit overwhelming to decide what part of town to live in. It’s always important to weigh the pros and cons of a new area before deciding exactly where to buy a home. Portland, in particular, has a variety of different neighborhoods even within city limits, so it’s important to assess which neighborhoods will align best with your priorities.
If you’re looking for an investment property, for instance, your priorities will probably be different than if you’re looking for a primary residence for yourself or your family. If you’re interested in finding a house that is in close proximity to shops and restaurants, you’ll probably want to live in a different neighborhood than someone who wants a house on a large lot with more privacy.
If you aren’t familiar with the Portland-Metro area, it’s a good idea to talk to locals (especially Portland natives!) who are usually happy to tell you their perspective on which neighborhoods are their favorites and why. Additionally, do some more expansive research to narrow down your home search. If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few ways you can find out more detailed information about Portland’s eclectic neighborhoods:
1. Look into Portland’s “five quadrants”. Talk to locals and you’ll figure out quickly that the city is divided into “quadrants” – Northeast Portland, Southeast Portland, Northwest Portland, and Southwest Portland. Ironically, there is a fifth “quadrant” as well – North Portland. Dig a little deeper into the differences in these quadrants and figure out which one(s) make(s) the most sense for you to live in.
2. Talk to a local Portland real estate group. Who knows Portland neighborhoods and homes better than someone who shows them to people every day? An experienced Portland real estate agent will have a detailed understanding of local neighborhoods and can provide you with an abundance of information to help you decide which areas and homes will be the best fit for you.
3. Check out Portland’s local publications. Portland Monthly magazine has a handy neighborhood guide on their website that features different neighborhoods in the area. Additionally, there are two free Portland newspapers - the Willamette Week and the Portland Mercury – that can give you insight into what’s happening around the city.
4. Compare local schools. If schools are important to you, a wonderful source of information is Great Schools. You can find personal reviews from parents, educators, and community members that will give you a better idea of what each school’s environment is like.
Ultimately, of course, the best neighborhoods in Portland should be decided by you. Everyone’s goals and priorities are different, and the best neighborhoods for you may be different than the best neighborhoods for someone else.