Instead of traveling through traffic to reach a scenic spot, just step outside, he says.
“You can also sit back on your porch and observe what nature creates,” says Lydon, who accepted an offer on his property after 12 days on the market. He listed it for $790,000 without a real estate agent.
“Rural living abundantly gives moments of peace and a freedom to simply be,” he adds.
The property has marketable timber and views of rolling hills. “Own your own park-like setting filled with wildlife (elk, deer, turkeys, owls, hawks and bald eagles) and a little river frontage as far as the eye can see,” states the listing.
The coronavirus pandemic instantly shifted many homebuyers’ desires. Suddenly, there’s less interest in walking to downtown eateries and more willingness to live remotely and with extended family.
Brokers Chris Martin and Wes Walton of Land and Wildlife, a partner of LandLeader, specialize in high-end houses on vast acreage that offer “self-sufficiency and a lifestyle that rejuvenates,” says Martin.
His clients are “discerning buyers” who want luxurious rural living where they can grow fresh food and “take a break from the fast-paced world.”
“I can tell you that it’s a 100 percent lifestyle decision to get out of a bigger city and onto a piece of property, with freedom, gardens and animals,” says Martin.
He says buyers at the top of the market are also looking for riverfront land.
The desire for an in-law flat to house more relatives was made clear during the coronavirus pandemic. Many young adults who lost their jobs when businesses were shut down and college students sent away when campuses closed returned to their family home.
During the health and economic crisis, some people preferred to have elderly parents live with them rather than in assisted living facilities that were in lock down.
These realities prompted more homeowners to get serious about wanting a self-contained, accessory dwelling unit (ADU), sharing a lot with an existing house on their property.
Advocates and real estate agents say a compact second home can add to the property’s resale value and pay for itself over time, by consolidating family finances or generating rental income.
An in-law suite could allow an aging parent to be close to family rather than spending what could be $72,000 a year for assisted living, says Portland ADU expert Kol Peterson, who interviewed hundreds of sources for his comprehensive book, “Backdoor Revolution-The Definitive Guide to ADU Development.”
Some new houses include a flexible living space with a separate entrance that grants privacy to a member of a multigenerational family or tenant.
In March, people were able to find remote homes at bargain prices.
Guy Therien saw a house on a five-acre property outside of Sherwood last year that he says was beyond his wildest dreams. The Parrett Mountain estate was for sale, but he couldn’t afford it. This year, he owns the place.
It’s not that his finances skyrocketed, though he did receive a promotion at work. Instead, the high-end house, like many others priced at the top of the market, was being sold at a huge discount after waiting years for a buyer. The coronavirus pandemic added more uncertainty to the economic situation.
In the end, Therien was able to quickly sell his old property in Beaverton, purchase the hilltop home for less than half the price of the original owner’s investment and finance his new mortgage at 3.5 percent. “It was in the stars,” he says.
Terry Sprague of Luxe Christie’s International Real Estate in Lake Oswego calls this “special pricing,” based on the owner’s motives and timeline.
“There has been an attempt to look for one answer for the marketplace but the reality is each seller, each buyer, each location, each home and each transaction is so different,” he says.
He adds there’s a large number of buyers who are eager to lock in a loan while employed and mortgage rates are low. Other buyers who have relocated here are in desperate need of housing and are facing few ideal options due to the Portland metro’s chronically low residential real estate inventory.
In Therien’s case, the original owners were motivated to move and there was a new addition to Therien’s family, resulting in a need for more space: His 90-year-old uncle now lives in the multi-level main house with Therien, his wife and children. His mother-in-law resides in the detached guesthouse.
The family moved in on March 25 and have been safely sheltering in place ever since. Everyone’s enjoying privacy on the acred estate during the day but gather together for family dinners.
If months of staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic taught us anything, it’s that we need more space to live, work, exercise and relax at home.
Interior designers and remodelers are working with people who can’t wait any longer to spread out into underused areas of their home or add a sheltered extension, inside or out.
There is also increased interest in bringing extended family members together under one roof, especially older adults. Basements, attics, garages and parts of the backyard are being converted into compact living quarters, or accessory dwelling units (ADUs).
“People are desperately looking for additional living space,” says Barbara Miller, design director for the Neil Kelly design and remodeling company.
Builders, designers and real estate agents report that other COVID-19 inspired home projects, big and small, include installing easy-to-clean materials and surfaces; touch-less faucets, especially at the kitchen sink; self-cleaning, wall-mounted toilets; and improved fresh air systems such as heat recovery ventilators.
“People want a healthy home with wool or natural materials that can be cleaned,” says Miller.
In any size home, people are placing even more value on storage space, in the garage or pantry, to keep surplus food and water. The push for self-sufficiency in case of a full shutdown promoted more people to plant a vegetable garden.
And although it might not be called a hygiene station, builders are putting in a powder room close to the entry so visitors can wash their hands and a mudroom with a sink and shelves to sanitize delivered or store-bought items.”