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How far out of Portland will you go to buy a house for $500,000 or less?

While historically low mortgage rates in the 2.9% range are a boon to home buyers, the low number of Oregon houses for sale favors sellers.

Higher prices and little availability in Portland, along with the desire for more space, are turning home shoppers’ interest to the outskirts: The suburbs and rural areas.

“A trend we’ve seen is people moving out of cities,” says Scott Halligan, vice president of residential operations in Oregon and Southwest Washington for John L. Scott Real Estate.

Residential properties listed under $500,000 are selling quickly and often receiving multiple offers, he says.

“We’ve seen an increase in applications and recommend anyone looking to purchase a home to work with a qualified agent to prepare, which includes getting pre-approved from a lender,” he adds.

First in a series

The latest real estate report from the local listing service RMLS found that the median sale price for a Portland metro home has risen 4.5% when comparing 2020 to 2019 through July, and inventory of homes for sale in July decreased to 1.2 months, offering the fewest choices for potential buyers in years.

With competition heating up, what must-haves are home shoppers willing to give up? One house for sale at $425,000 in Oregon City only has a partial bathroom.

Is it worth investing $499,900 in a teardown in Milwaukie?

How far out of Portland will people go to buy a house? It’s an hour’s drive from the city’s southwest Washington Park neighborhoods to Vernonia, Colton or Hood River. Some are searching 40 minutes away in Eagle Creek.

We looked at listings in Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Columbia and Hood River counties for houses priced around $500,000. Here’s what we found:

Home for sale

2909 S.W. Upper Dr. in Portland is listed at $499,000 by Lorna Murray of RE/MAX Equity Group.RE/MAX Equity Group

2909 S.W. Upper Dr. in Portland is listed at $499,000. The property was first listed for sale for more $200,900 on Sep 20, 2019, and has been pending twice but is back on the market, according to public records.

The remodeled, two-story Craftsman house, built in 1912 on one acre, has oak floors, Bluestone Tile floors and fireplace, slab quartz counters, walnut cabinetry, three bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,772 square feet of finished living space and 403 feet of unfinished space.

“Development possibilities for additional single family home. Build an ADU [accessory dwelling unit]. The lower level is a possible Airbnb [rental]. Buyer to verify all uses,” says listing agent Lorna Murray of RE/MAX Equity Group.

See more listings for Portland

Home for sale

5212 S.E. Thiessen Road in Milwaukie is listed at $499,900 by Gina Bany of Better Homes & Gardens Realty.Better Homes & Gardens Realty

5212 S.E. Thiessen Road in Milwaukie is listed at $499,900.

The single-level house, built in 1935 on 1.22 acres, has two bedrooms, one bathroom and 934 square feet of living space.

The house is in need of significant repairs or could be torn down, says listing agent Gina Bany of Better Homes & Gardens Realty, who also has the property listed as land for sale (#20363200).

“Fantastic opportunity to build your dream home … utilities already to property. Or divide and build-develop to make a subdivision. Lots of opportunity … Buyers to do their due diligence regarding property use options,” says Bany.

See more listings for Milwaukie

Home for sale

65586 Nehalem Hwy. in Vernona is listed at $495,000 by Andrea Grant of John L. Scott Market Center.John L. Scott Market Center

65586 Nehalem Hwy. in Vernona is listed at $495,000.

The updated, two-story farmhouse, built in 1916 on 3.08 acres, has a country kitchen, utility room, four bedrooms, two bathrooms and 2,320 square feet of living space.

There are two large shops with electricity and an exterior office for possible work-from-home use.

“There is a clawfoot tub in the main bathroom and a slider in the master bedroom to a deck. The upstairs features original hardwoods and wood ceilings Enjoy the quiet of the country,” says listing agent Andrea Grant of John L. Scott Market Center.

See more listings for Vernona

Home for sale

30621 S. Oswalt Road in Colton is listed at $488,750 by Jim Doak of John L. Scott RE Portland South.John L. Scott RE Portland South

30621 S. Oswalt Road in Colton is listed at $488,750.

The bungalow, built in 1930 on 14.90 acres, has two bedrooms, one bathroom and 1,152 square feet of living space.

“Appears that the property is mostly level, fenced and cross fenced with some outbuildings. Cash only. Property is occupied and occupants are not to be disturbed or contacted under any circumstances. Interior inspections not available; property is being sold as occupied and as-is. Property sold through auction,” says listing agent Jim Doak of John L. Scott RE Portland South.

See more listings for Colton

Home for sale

800 N.E. Evans Road in Corbett is listed at $483,000 by Jesse Barkhurst of Realty First.Realty First

800 N.E. Evans Road in Corbett is listed at $483,000.

The remodeled ranch-style house, built in 1978 on 1.28 acres, has four bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and 2,084 square feet of living space.

“The kitchen features stainless-steel appliances and white cabinetry with granite counters. Cozy den with large fireplace wall and a slider to a raised deck. Lots of recent updates including the roof, siding and paint. Great location in town close to everything with easy access to I-84,” says listing agent Jesse Barkhurst of Realty First.

See more listings for Corbett

Home for sale

37765 S.E. Trubel Road in Sandy is listed at $479,900 by Valerie Gillum of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NW Real Estate.Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NW Real Estate

37765 S.E. Trubel Road in Sandy is listed at $479,900.

The single-level house, built in 1971 on 5.37 acres, has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,368 square feet of living space plus decks in the front and back.

There is an 84-foot-by-40-foot shop and 15-foot-by-15-foot barn.

“Open floor plan in the kitchen, dining and living room. No showings on Sundays. Beautiful rolling horse property. Tax def,” says listing agent Valerie Gillum of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NW Real Estate.

See more listings near Sandy

Home for sale

5517 S.E. Railroad Ave. in Milwaukie is listed at $478,000 by Kathy O’Malley of Better Homes & Gardens Realty.Better Homes & Gardens Realty

5517 S.E. Railroad Ave. in Milwaukie is listed at $478,000.

The house, built in 1920 on 1.04 acres, has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and 2,584 square feet of living space.

“List price was lowered by $11,000. Rare acre inside Milwaukie city limits perfect for the urban farmer with tons of potential. Plenty of room for your garden, pets and toys. Onsite well for irrigation purposes only,” says listing agent Kathy O’Malley of Better Homes & Gardens Realty.

See more listings for Milwaukie

Home for sale

28310 S.E. Highway 224 in Eagle Creek is listed at $469,900 by Alexander Sorokin of Kelly Right Real Estate of Portland.Kelly Right Real Estate of Portland

28310 S.E. Highway 224 in Eagle Creek is listed at $469,900.

The updated, double wide manufactured home, built in 2014 on five acres, has birch hardwood flooring, three bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,568 square feet of living space.

“Welcome to your country living at its best! A porch to enjoy the sunrise and the deck to enjoy the sunset will make you fall in love. RV parking and a lot of space for your shop. Don’t miss it out,” says listing agent Alexander Sorokin of Kelly Right Real Estate of Portland.

See more listings around Eagle Creek

Home for sale

22435 S Kamrath Road in Oregon City is listed at $445,000 by Dianna Pelster of Equity Oregon Real Estate.Equity Oregon Real Estate

22435 S. Kamrath Road in Oregon City is listed at $445,000.

The two-level, manufactured home, built in 1972 on one acre, has three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and 2,352 square feet of living space.

“The daylight basement home in a truly special setting on Beaver Creek. Mature landscaping and plenty of privacy yet close in. Tremendous opportunity to create the home of your dreams,” says listing agent Dianna Pelster of Equity Oregon Real Estate.

See more listings for Oregon City

Home for sale

37775 S.E. Trubel Road in Sandy is listed at $442,800 by Daniel Mal of Mal & Seitz.Mal & Seitz

37775 S.E. Trubel Road in Sandy is listed at $442,800.

The ranch-style house, built in 1971 on 5.43 acres, has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,574 square feet of living space plus an attached two-car garage.

“Price reduced. This home offers the combination of masterful construction, generous room sizes, intelligent flow, with a living and family room. The yard features park-like grounds with surrounding trees for privacy,” says listing agent Daniel Mal of Mal & Seitz.

See more listings near Sandy

Homes for sale

17342 S. Henrici Road in Oregon City is listed at $425,000by Norman Rice of First Class Properties.First Class Properties

17342 S. Henrici Road in Oregon City is listed at $425,000.

The house, built in 1938 on 4.02 acres, has four bedrooms, a partial bathroom and 1,330 square feet of living space.

“Build your castle with a view. Value based on land value. Current home is a major fixer or tear down. Home is not currently hooked up to public water, although public water is on Henrici Road. Present best cash offers for consideration. New homes being built in the area,” says listing agent Norman Rice of First Class Properties.

See more listings for Oregon City

Home for sale

1490 N. Broadway St. in Estacada is listed at $424,900 by Brinda Doyle of Premiere Property Group.Premiere Property Group

1490 N. Broadway St. in Estacada is listed at $424,900.

The contemporary-style, single-story house, built in 2018 in Campanella Estates on a 7,871-square-foot lot, has four bedrooms, two bathrooms and 2,072 square feet of living space plus a three-car garage.

“Open floor plan encompasses a sleek gourmet kitchen that flows into the family room, which has a vaulted ceiling and tile-surround fireplace. The dining area opens to a rear patio for outdoor entertaining,” says listing agent Brinda Doyle • Premiere Property Group.

See more listings for Estacada

Home for sale

4595 Riordan Hill Dr. in Hood River is listed at $440,000 by Mel Ahrens of Kelly Right Real Estate of Portland.Kelly Right Real Estate of Portland

4595 Riordan Hill Dr. in Hood River is listed at $440,000.

The house, built in 1905 on 2.75 acres bordering Phelps Creek, has two bedrooms, one bathroom and 1,300 square feet of living space plus a deck and a one-car garage.

The property has a small, year-round stream.

“The exterior has recently been updated with a new roof, siding and windows. The interior has not been updated. Seller will do no repairs; being sold as-is. Riordan Hill Drive cuts through the property. Westside biking/hiking nearby. Hood River just a few minutes away,” says listing agent Mel Ahrens of Kelly Right Real Estate of Portland.

See more listings for Hood River

Homes for sale

42890 N.W. Hidden Mountain Dr. in Banks is listed at $355,000 by Stephen Mead of Oregon Country Property with Jason Elstrott of Weichert, Realtors on Main Street.Oregon Country Property

42890 N.W. Hidden Mountain Dr. in Banks is listed at $355,000.

The house, built in 1995 on 4.95 acres, has three bedrooms, one bathrooms and 1,512 square feet of living space.

“Beautiful private setting with about two acres cleared balance in timber. Price includes a rehab loan to get conforming for financing. Or do a land loan. Could do new home or a multifamily dwelling,” says listing agent Stephen Mead of Oregon Country Property with Jason Elstrott of Weichert, Realtors on Main Street.

See more listings around Banks

— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072

jeastman@oregonian.com | @janeteastman

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