2019 Street of Dreams

Last week I enjoyed Realtor day at the Street of Dreams. This years show is in Wilsonville, a really nice location that easily supports these home values. I always like to look for trends. Last year my big take away was textured walls and tile. This year several things stood out for me as well.

*Sliding barn-style doors are still really popular. One house has a set of two that come together to form the corner of the room. Very cool

*Chrome and nickel finishes were nowhere to be seen. It was all either matted black or brushed brass

*Lots of wall paper that looked like it was straight out of my parents house from the 1970s.

*Amazing light fixtures! Some from repurposed items like bottles and pulleys, but also really cool geometric shapes

*One house had old-fashioned painted brick. What’s old is new again.

*Sinks continue to be very inspiring with several homes that had one huge sink that served two faucets.

Hands down my favorite house was “Farm to Table” built by Renaissance Homes. The kitchen had a secondary kitchen designed to serve the back patio (this in addition to the kitchen on the back patio), a pantry, an amazing utility room with an island and massive amounts of storage, and, topping it off, a she-shed in the back yard! This house is just the sort of layout that a family that loves to cook and to entertain dreams of.

The show runs through August. Prices range from about 1.2 to 1.9 million.


2013 Street of Dreams

The 2013 Street of Dreams is just outside of Lake Oswego off of Rosemont Road. It runs until August 25th from 10am to 9pm, daily. Admission is $15.

Summer 2013 135The last 5 years the Street of Dreams barely had a pulse. Builders simply did not have the resources to build spec houses (built without having obtained a buyer, so speculative) that were over-the-top expensive. In addition, the market for million dollar homes was soft. This created a down-sized Street of Dreams experience with fewer homes and less expensive homes.

Well, the real estate market is back, big time. Evidence of this is the fact that this year’s Street of Dreams has 9 houses, all around $2,000,000, and 7 of the 9 houses have already sold. Demand is obviously high for luxury, high-end homes. This is your chance to see these amazing houses, get your own ideas, and see what $2,000,000 will buy.

Tried and True
Summer 2013 122Luxury homes do have an effect on standard housing. By standard, I mean homes in price ranges that more of the population can afford. Standard homes may be smaller, but they still have some of the features that are first seen at the show-case home tours. Several trends remain strong:
*Great room floor plans that allow big, open spaces for living and entertaining
*Luxury baths and kitchens with top-of-the-line granite, tile, and stainless steel
*Backyard entertaining areas, often covered, to allow interior and exterior spaces to blend
*Heavy use of stone, slate, granite, and natural materials

New Trends
Summer 2013 120Being homes at the high-end of values, I expect there to be some interesting trends. Here are just a few:
*Wet bars are everywhere. One house had 4 wetbars, in addition to the main kitchen. The difference between a wetbar and a kitchen is that the wetbar has some components of a kitchen, but not all. So it likely has a refrigerator and a sink, but not a cooktop or range. House #1 on the tour has 4 wetbars: dining room, great room, back yard and the master bedroom.
*Kitchens and baths are back to black, white, and shades of gray. No earth toned colors in any granite in any house on the tour. Many cabinets are white or painted gray rather than natural wood that has been so popular for the last 10 years.
*Walls of windows that can be opened or folded back to really expose the interior of the house to the back yard
* Swimming pools. Two of the houses had just spectacular back yards with swimming pools.
* Secret rooms. One house has a pantry that looks like kitchen cabinets. You don’t know it’s a door until you push it open. Another house has a secret passage (disguised as built-in shelves) that leads to a staircase to a 2nd-floor retreat.
* Second refrigerators in the pantry. Such a good idea.
* Craft areas in the laundry room and even on their own. House #5 had two entries from the garage. One came through a HUGE laundry room and the other came through a room that was equipped for art and hobbies. It was just incredible. There was a huge work station in the middle, a potter’s wheel and kiln to one side, and walls of organizational cubbies and shelves for every manner of supplies.
* Hard wood floors have rough/non-shine surfaces.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Summer 2013 126* Two houses have Kitchens off of kitchens. This is in addition to having walk-in pantries. These kitchens have the ability to handle some serious cooking, baking, and entertaining. Just amazing.
* Barn wood is everywhere: on walls, on counter tops (yes, on counter tops), on doors, just everywhere. Nearly every house has what I call a sliding barn door. It is a door hung on a rail that slides along the wall. Made of heavy wood with heavy steel hardware, I am just not sure what to think of this trend. It is interesting to look at, and even functional in a few situations, but mostly I think it’s a fad. Five years from now these heavy doors will be screaming “This house was built in 2013!”
* These houses are all built by the areas leading builders. They are gorgeous and stylized. But even in this circumstance there are a couple of homes that fall flat. The colors seem off with dark cabinets, the tile choice seems average, they are nice homes, but just not in the running with the quality of the better homes on the tour.

Summer 2013 115My favorite idea? The recycling shoot that is in the pantry of one house. Open a little door and drop your recycling down a shoot that ends in the rolling recycling cart in the garage. How brilliant is that?

The Street of Dreams is great fun and this year’s tour does not disappoint. How often do you get inside of such spectacular real estate? Now is your chance. I highly encourage you to attend.

Summer Real Estate Tidbits

  • DucksAccording to the latest Market Action Report for the Portland area “Closed sales in the Portland metro area for July 2009 eclipsed last July’s total by 8.6%, marking the first time same-month closed sales have increased since April 2007.  Pending sales also grew 8.3%.  New listings dropped 25.4% .  Comparing July 2009 with June 2009, closed sales increased 11.9% (1,988 v. 1,776) and pending sales were up a slight 0.3% (2,170 v. 2,164). New listings fell 8.2% (3,907 v. 4,257).”
  • RMLS now offers a “Short Sale” search field for Agents to search using this criteria.  It seems as though Agents are slow to be updating their listings to reflect this, but once all records are updated, this should be a helpful tool.
  • Amtrak may soon be cruising through Lake Oswego if feasibility and other studies yield positive results. The opportunity has come about as a direct result of avaiable funds from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which has earmarked $8 billion for high-speed rail.  It appears that going this route would be less expensive than repairing the line AMTRAK is currently using, which takes it through Oregon City.  The benefits also reportedly include projected increased ridership, increased timliness, and reduced carbon emissions. This change would replace the Oregon City stop with one in Tualatin.  ODOT has decided to apply for the funds to do a 2-year Environmental Impact Study.
  • The NW Natural 2009 Street of Dreams is underway, running from August 1 – 30.  This year is a little different than most in that it showcases four premier condo home developments in Portland’s “Pearl District”, including nine incredible penthouses ranging in price ffrom $1 to $2.5 million.  This year also focuses on LEED standard and eco-friendly building.  Check it out and buy your tickets at: http://www.streetofdreamspdx.com/home/home.php
  • Lake Oswego is in the middle of discussions with citizens regarding proposed “Sensitive Lands” changes.  To learn more about sensitive lands & view an FAQ page on this subject, visit: http://www.ci.oswego.or.us/plan/Nature/FAQ_Handout_080609.pdf Opinions run the gamut and there is currently lively debate on all sides.