Southwest: You’ll find lots of apartment
options in Southwest Portland, where the
majority of high-rise buildings stake their
claim on the skyline. Three college campuses
also dominate this part of town; Oregon
Health & Science University, Lewis & Clark
College, and Portland Community College.
Those who appreciate a quieter alternative to
downtown, with close enough proximity to
enjoy all of the city center’s options, will find
Southwest Portland fits the bill.
You’ll find yourself within a stone’s throw from
the river, where you can enjoy fresh air and
waterfront walks. The newest Portland bridge,
Tilikum Crossing, connects bikers and pedestrians in Southwest Portland to the Southeast
side of town, without the stress of cars.
Northwest: A mix of various residential
and industrial areas make up Northwest
Portland. Beautiful homes cover the hills
that climb towards Forest Park, where you
can get meander along miles of trails and
forget you’re in a major city.
The Pearl District and Portland’s West Hills
are two of the priciest and most desirable
places to live, if you enjoy the finer things
in life like high-end shopping and sweeping
views of the city. The Pearl District is home
to many converted warehouses, as the area
once served as the city’s industrial zone.
Northeast: Northeast Portland is often
considered more settled and grown-up than
its neighbor quadrant to the South. It’s still
a great place for families, but the hipness
factor is going up these days — thanks to hip
families and singles, alike.
Mississippi Ave and Alberta Arts District
are two of the newest trendy neighborhoods,
with young, artsy crowds flocking to both.
You’ll find Portland’s favorite chains on these
strips — drool-inducing storefronts include
Salt & Straw ice cream and Little Big Burger.
But there’s much more to Northeast Portland than the newest cocktail bars and
boutique clothing shops. Some of the more
diverse areas of Portland inhabit this part
of the city too, like the King neighborhood
along Martin Luther King Blvd.
HOW TO FIND A PORTLAND
Finding an apartment anywhere can be an overwhelming process. Finding an
apartment in a popular city like Portland can be even more daunting. But with
a little patience and determination, you’re sure to find a neighborhood and
an apartment that suits your needs.
Craigslist is the go-to option for apartment hunting in Portland. The popular
listings website is used by private landlords, management companies, and
renters looking for roommates and subletters, giving you the ability to search
for a variety of housing situations.
Pet owners will find the apartment hunt a little extra difficult. Despite the fact
that Portland is a very pet-friendly city, and a visit to any of the city parks would
give you the impression that every Portlander owns one, landlords can afford to
be picky with animal restrictions. Many buildings and management companies
have strict rules against specific animals, like cats or dogs. Others have weight
limits on pets, or required pet deposits.
Craigslist offers the option of searching specifically for cat or dog friendly
properties, making it easy to narrow them down.
Other options for finding apartments include the classified sections of
OregonLive ( www.oregonlive.com), the online version of The Oregonian, and
the Willamette Week ( www.wweek.com), a free weekly newspaper.
To avoid an onslaught of applicants, some landlords won’t bother listing their
properties online and will simply put a “For Rent” sign out front. If you have the
option to walk around the neighborhoods you’re interested in, this can be an
effective approach. Of course, those who are moving from out of town will
have less flexibility and knowledge in terms of searching by foot. If you have
friends in the area, have them keep an eye out for good deals.
When it comes to renting from homeowner landlords versus property
management companies, consider the level of involvement you want from
the person who owns your home. You’ll often find a more personable handling
of the rental process with landlords who only deal with one or two properties.
As the owners of these properties, they care about who is in them, and might
be more interested in meeting the potential applicant, rather than scrutinizing
On the other hand, management companies often come with more reliable
resources. Some management companies allow you to pay your rent or file
maintenance requests online.
You can browse property listings directly through management company
websites. Some to consider are Greystar, American Property Management,
Rental Management Services, and Capital Property Management. These offer
a mix of apartment buildings, condos, and houses.
Ultimately, the key to finding an apartment in Portland is being ready to act
fast. If you can give yourself flexibility to search once you’re here by staying with
friends or finding temporary residence in a vacation or short-term rental, you’ll
be able to establish a better understanding of the options available to you. If
that’s not an option, a little research into the neighborhoods, and a willingness
to apply for something without hesitation will help, too.
Portland does offer plenty of month-to-month rental agreements. If you’re
unsure of your decision, a month-to-month lease will leave you with the option
to find something better in the future.