The Portland Police Bureau has received hundreds of reports of slashed tires, primarily in the Alameda, Irvington, Rose City and Grant Park neighborhoods. The vandal or vandals appear to be primarily targeting SUV's, trucks and vans parked in the street. Some victims have been hit multiple times. The vandalism occurs during nighttime hours, every day of the week.
More than 300 reports have been filed so far and, on average, 20-25 new reports are filed each week.
Residents are advised to keep their vehicles parked in a garage, carport or driveway, if possible. Anyone seeing suspicious activity consistent with these reports is asked to immediately call 911.
“We don’t have the $800,000-to-$1-million homes that you see in Irvington and Alameda,” Clark points out. “The most expensive home on the market in Sabin right now is listed at $739,000. It’s a total rebuild, and it’s been on the market for a while.” Although Portland home sales have been brisk this summer, Sabin lacks a large inventory for agents to show. With just 11 active homes on the market in late August and 16 home sales in July, Sabin has less than one month’s inventory. The national real estate industry measures an area’s monthly inventory by dividing the number of active listings by the number of homes sold in the last 30 days.
As a comparison, the entire city of Portland has 2.8 months worth of inventory. However, economists generally consider 6 months of inventory to be a balanced market, with anything below indicating a seller's market. “That means we are a super, super seller’s market right now,” says Clark. For Sabin homeowners considering selling their homes anytime soon — or even in several years — Clark suggests talking to an agent who can advise them how to maximize their profit on a prelisting fixer-up investment. “We might suggest replacing a countertop and flooring, and adding new fixtures rather than spending $30,000 on a whole-kitchen redo,” she says. “It’s going to be difficult getting that entire $30,000 out of the sale.”
Home prices are definitely up from last year. In 2012, Sabin had 106 homes sell with a median price of $368,500. The median price means half the homes sold for more and half sold for less. As of Aug. 20, Sabin’s 11 active listings had a median asking price of $475,000. Clark notes that even during the recent recession, Sabin home owners didn’t have to take much of a hit on their asking price. Her historical data shows that from January to August in 2009, Sabin homes sold for 96 percent of their asking price. During those same months this year, sellers got 101 percent of their listing price. "Sabin is a great, walk-able neighborhood, and it’s very community focused,” adds Clark, who knows the neighborhood well. She’s lived here for eight years. “Personally, I’d rather live in Sabin than in Irvington or Alameda. I like the diverse culture here.”
— Susan Goracke
is happy to spend time in the garden, where she grows kale, cucumbers and tomatoes in addition to basil in her small raised-bed plot. “It’s been therapeutic for me,” she says of spending hours each week at the garden. “It’s much more than just a garden for me. It’s my main outdoor experience.”
The Sabin Community Garden is among a number of community assets featured on Sabin Community Association’s website. This time of year, most of the Sabin Community Garden’s 50-or-so well-tended plots are lush with plants and ripe produce ready for harvest. Willwerth, a professional landscaper, admits his day job has gotten in the way of faithfully tending the 20-by-20- foot community garden space he’s rented for a number of years.
"I hope to do better next season,” Willwerth says as he picks a handful of almost 100 garlic plants. Earlier this summer, he harvested rhubarb and asparagus, and soon his ‘Russian banana’ fingerling potatoes will be ready. “In general, I like to grow things in the community garden that don’t require a lot of hands-on work.” He also grows a variety of herbs and tomatoes in a vegetable garden at his Sabin home. “But this garden is such a wonderful community resource,” he adds.
The Sabin Community Garden opened in 1995 and was expanded in 2008. All plots were rented for this year, but anyone interested can sign up for next year’s season, which runs from March through October. Because demand for community garden plots is high within inner Northeast Portland, there often is a waiting list.
Plots rent for $21 a year for a 100-square-foot space, $42 for a 200-square-foot space and $85 for a 400-square-foot space. Rental fees pay for land and water. Gardeners provide their own tools, plants, seeds, soil amendments and other supplies. Gardeners are required to use organic growing methods, and each gardener must volunteer 6 hours a season on general community garden upkeep.
For more information about the Sabin Community Garden or to sign up for a plot for next season, call 503-823-1612 or go to www.portlandoregon.gov/parks and type in “community gardens” in the search field.
— Susan Goracke