Price Point: Urban Farm vs. Updated Farm in Southeast Portland

WELCOME TO PRICE POINT, where we’re looking at two very different homes at roughly the same price. This month, we’re aiming for around $600,000. With that budget, would you choose the farmhouse in Woodstock or the mid-century modern style in South Tabor?

House 1: An updated farmhouse in Woodstock

Steps from restaurants, shops and new seasons on SE Woodstock Boulevard, this 1908 farmhouse has undergone a top-to-bottom renovation that combines key vintage details with strategic updates to the kitchen, bathrooms and mechanics. A significant addition, along with a skylight on the second floor, increased the square footage to a comfortable 1,730, so it now has three bedrooms and two bathrooms over two floors.

Beyond the newly expanded porch, the living areas meet front to back, with large picture windows complementing the preserved hardwood floors and an arched doorway connecting the living room and dining room.

The kitchen is a powerhouse, with its butcher’s island, vaulted ceiling with skylights, tile floors and quartz countertops, and white Shaker cabinetry perfectly suited to the farmhouse vibe. In the back, a small mudroom connects to the backyard, as well as the stairs to the finished basement.

The master bedroom is on the ground floor, opposite an equally beautiful bathroom, which syncs well with the kitchen, thanks to its tiles, wooden walls and skylight. Upstairs, find two more bedrooms flanking the updated bathroom. In addition to the aesthetic changes, there is all new electrics, plumbing and the roof.

If you are not cooking up a storm in this kitchen, there are a fantastic number of places to explore in the neighborhood, which has a Walk Score of 91.

List of fast facts

List of prices:$579,000
Location:5721 SE 49th Ave, Portland, OR 97206

Cut:1,730 square feet/3 bedrooms/2 bathrooms

Year of construction:1908
Listing agent:Tracy Wiens and Kristin Fitzgerald, John L. Scott NE Portland

House 2: Mid-Century Charm and Urban Farmhouse

This south Tabor ranch house was originally built in 1951, and there are many well-preserved details from that era to enjoy. For starters, the linear ground floor layout measures 1,100 square feet: the front door opens into the living room, complete with brick fireplace and two sets of corner windows.

Proceed to the dining room, with its own built-in sideboard, before connecting to the kitchen or a back hallway with two bedrooms and a bathroom.

The kitchen and bathroom don’t look like they’ve been recently updated, but what’s not to love about the latter’s vintage pink and red tiling? The right lighting and accessories could spice things up considerably. And the kitchen is perfectly functional, with plenty of storage cabinets, new stainless steel appliances, and a separate dining area. Beyond the kitchen is a 327 square foot garage, which serves more utility and is a link to unexpected bonus spaces.

The first level is the lower level, which acts as a self-contained 794 square foot unit in its own right, with a kitchen, bathroom and separate entrance. The main draw, however, has to be the yard spaces, including an organic vegetable, herb, and flower garden in the front, and a custom chicken coop in the back. There is also an attached veranda/studio at the back of the garage, perfect for lingering by the woodstove and getting away from the world.

List of fast facts

List of prices:$625,000
Location:7320 SE Franklin St, Portland, OR 97206

Cut:2,081 square feet/3 bedrooms/2 bathrooms
Year of construction:1951
Listing Agent:William Jackson, John L. Scott NE Portland

Final remarks

Our picks may be in the same postcode, but the experiences they offer are quite different. The Woodstock Farm is more walkable, while the South Tabor Mansion offers larger grounds, with more to do, if gardening and raising chickens are your thing.

The extra living space in the basement of the South Tabor home is a godsend if you want to rent it out for extra income. But if the relations with the tenants are too important, the independent farm will be faster. The mid-century ground floor layout would also appeal to buyers looking to age in place.

There’s always the matter of aesthetic preferences: some buyers will swoon over the vintage pink and red tiles, while others want the latest finishes. Maybe it boils down to how you like to spend a Sunday afternoon: picking up produce at the seasonal Woodstock Farmers’ Market or tending to your own garden?

Melissa Dalton is a freelance writer who has focused on Pacific Northwest design and lifestyle since 2008. She is based in Portland, Oregon. Contact Dalton here.

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