Right now in the Portland area (and really in most cities) we’re seeing a major trend of people wanting a home with more space both inside and out. Of course, this is largely due to the pandemic and staying home so often. If you need to stay close to Portland but you want to find a home with more space, you’ll likely need to move out of the city and live in one of Portland’s suburbs.
Portland Real Estate Agent Lauren Goché has been hearing this from clients pretty much weekly since the pandemic began: People are moving to Portland but don’t want to be IN Portland. They want to be within a 45-minute commute to Portland. They also want to have 1-2 acres with maybe a cabin, and/or the possibility for multi-generational living. (In addition to the conditions the COVID-19 pandemic has created, Boomers are aging and many Gen Xers are wanting to house their aging parents.)
If you want more land in the Portland area, look in areas around Mt. Hood. Below, you’ll find recommendations on areas to look for properties where you can own more land.
But before we dive into all of that, a quick warning!
A lot of the time, Lauren will have her real estate clients get really excited about a cute cabin they found in the Mount Hood area, and it’ll be really (surprisingly) affordable. And this is likely because the cabin is on leased forestry land. This means that you will only own the cabin, NOT the actual land. It’s like owning a boat but not the water. This is just a bad investment. (If you have a ton of extra money to just toss at something and you’re ok to lose this money down the road then fine, but if you’re scraping it together to buy a property, this is a hard NO from Lauren!) In fact, she knows someone who had their family cabin on leased land for generations, and they lost it because the lease with the Bureau of Land Management ran out. It was devastating.
Ok, back to our scheduled programming. If you’re searching for a property with more land, here are the best areas to look around Mount Hood:
Corbett is gorgeous but expensive. This community is right on the Columbia River, and it is absolutely gorgeous. Corbett is about a 30-minute drive into the heart of Portland. Learn more about Corbett here.
Here’s an example of a property that recently sold (listing by
This small city has a really cute little downtown area, and you can live out of the town but still come in and find everything you need. Estacada is about a 40-minute drive into the heart of Portland.
Here’s an example of a property that recently sold in Estacada (listing by Duff Main of RE/MAX Equity Group
This small community is right in the foothills of the Cascade mountains, and why yes, Boring is home to the North American Bigfoot Center! Boring is also only about 30 minutes into the heart of Portland.
Sandy is in the foothills of the Cascade mountains, and it’s known as the western gateway to Mount Hood. You can enjoy small town vibes here, but it’s not too small—there’s a Fred Meyer, a movie theater, and tons of other amenities so you don’t have to go far when you need something. Sandy is 37 minutes into the heart of Portland.
Other Areas Outside of Portland Where You Can Find Homes with More Land
Canby is right along the Willamette River and Oregon Route 99E runs right through it, giving an easy option to get into Portland. Canby is about a 30-minute drive into the heart of Portland.
Scappoose is northwest of Portland, and right along the Washington border. It’s conveniently on a highway that’ll take you straight into Portland; you can be in Downtown Portland in just 26 minutes.
Here’s an example of a property that recently sold (listing by Debra Parmley
Molalla is south of Portland and this little city is surrounded by farmland. Molalla is a 40-minute drive into the heart of Portland.
Banks, Oregon is west of Portland, and this small community is surrounded by scenic farmland. Banks is only a 25-minute drive to the heart of Portland.
Areas in Washington State Close to Portland Where You Can Find Homes on More Land
Located right across the state line and along the Columbia River, Washougal is a city surrounded by parks and greenspace. Washougal is a 25-minute drive into the heart of Portland.
Camas is right in between Washougal and Vancouver and situated along the Columbia River. From Camas you’re just a 25-minute drive into Downtown Portland.
Would you like to learn more about buying a home in the Portland suburbs? Portland Real Estate Agent Lauren Goché is ready to help. Get in touch with her here!