Most home buyers who target the Sabin neighborhood are looking for a charming, restored historic-style home with 3 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths and an urban lifestyle that’s close to downtown, says local real estate broker Suzanne Clark. Part of the draw is Sabin Elementary School, which has achieved the International Baccalaureate Program designation. Plus, Sabin homes typically list for up to $100,000 less than comparable homes in nearby Irvington.
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