Dundee Hills Vineyard Changes Hands After More Than Two Decades

From winebusiness.com

Nicholas Family Vineyards will now be the new name of the estate, Bella Vida Vineyards, after being sold last January 21st for an undisclosed price.

Its new owner, Blair Nicholas, a resident of Olivenhain in San Diego County, settled on Bella Vida after touring multiple properties in the region. A retired attorney, living with his wife LJ, and four children, Blair is looking forward to experiencing the lifestyle and the community of the Dundee Hills.

The sale entailed a residence, which includes a tasting room on the first floor, a barn and farm equipment. However, Blair plans to design a new stand-alone tasting room and a wine cave. The family is also considering building a winery.

On the other hand, the seller, Steven Whiteside, bought the estate in 1996 and planted the vineyard in 1998. Until a few years ago, Whiteside split his time between Arizona, where he made pediatric orthotics and prosthetics, and the Willamette Valley.

Now 70, Whiteside, who loves his community, is now renting a property nearby. He looks forward to seeing the changes the Nicholas family plans to make to the Bella Vida property.

New owners of this vineyard estate were represented by Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty’s very own, Tina Jacobsen and Laura Piccard.

Full article on winebusiness.com

Coronavirus Impact Ripples Across Farm Country

From FB.org

From dairy farmers with nowhere to send their milk and cattle ranchers reeling from plummeting beef prices, the impact of the coronavirus is rippling through farm country. Corn, cotton and soybean futures have tumbled, ethanol plants have been idled, and some fruit and vegetable farmers are finding their best option is leaving produce in the field.

Price forecasts for most agricultural products are bleak. In the past month, dairy prices have dropped 26-36%, corn futures have dropped by 14%, soybean futures are down 8% and cotton futures have plummeted 31%. Hog futures are down by 31%. A surge in demand for beef emptied grocery store meat aisles, but there is no lack of supply. Despite a rise in retail prices in some areas, the prices paid to cattle ranchers have fallen 25%. 

Dairy producers were optimistic at the start of 2020 that it would be a turnaround year, with milk prices on the rise and feed costs holding steady. But hopes were dashed when the coronavirus quickly and dramatically impacted demand, disrupted supply chains and led to the 26-36% drop in prices. Schools, restaurants and universities that were among the main purchasers of milk and milk products were suddenly shuttered, leaving dairy farmers with far more milk than plants are capable of processing. The sometimes-empty supermarket milk coolers reflect supply chain adaptation challenges, not lack of supply. Experts do not expect retail demand for dairy to make up for lost food service and restaurant demand. 

“Farmers and ranchers are determined to deliver on their commitment to provide a safe and abundant food supply, but make no mistake, they are facing make-or-break struggles, like many Americans,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “After years of a down farm economy and damaging severe weather, the COVID-19 ripple effects are forcing farmers and ranchers to face heartbreaking financial realities. Without question, the disaster aid provided in the CARES Act is a lifeline that will help many farmers hold on. We don’t know how many for how long, but we’re grateful.”

The CARES Act provides $9.5 billion to the Agriculture Secretary for financial support to farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus and $14 billion for the Commodity Credit Corporation. Direct food- and agriculture-related provisions in the CARES Act, including the support for USDA and the CCC and additional funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, account for only .02% of the total aid provided in the bill.

USDA has not yet announced how it will distribute the aid. Meanwhile farmers reliant on direct consumer sales, such as farmers’ markets and u-pick farms, are also facing dramatic losses. Often highly perishable, a loss of market at peak harvest has led some to cut their losses by leaving fruits and vegetables in the fields.

Abiding by travel restrictions, people are driving far less, pushing down demand for both oil and ethanol made from corn. A 35% drop in ethanol prices caused some plants to stop production, further depressing corn prices. The sudden change also cut off the supply of dried distillers grains — a byproduct of ethanol production and source of high-protein feed — for livestock producers, who are left scrambling to find a replacement.

While the impact to agriculture has been acute and immediate on many fronts, there is more to come if farmers and ranchers are forced to downsize or stop farming and ranching altogether.

“There are millions of people involved in producing America’s food supply. Fewer farms mean fewer farm workers, truck drivers, processors and manufacturers and potentially higher food prices – not today, maybe not even this year, but farmers won’t be the only ones affected by the long-term agricultural impacts of the coronavirus pandemic if prices continue to drop and markets aren’t restored,” Duvall explained. “We’re all in this together. No one is more mindful of that than farmers and ranchers who keep planting, harvesting and finding new and creative ways to ensure their products reach America’s dinner tables.”

More detailed information about the coronavirus’ impact on agriculture is available on the American Farm Bureau Federation website.

Full Article on FB.org

This Is Home | A New Film by Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty

We proudly present our newest film – This is Home,  a stunning visual showcase of our commitment to local communities and our home here in the Pacific Northwest. Our brokers are real, authentic, and trustworthy. They have deep roots in the communities they serve, know the right places, the right tradesmen, and the right ways to help you. We honor the incredibly diverse lifestyles we serve throughout the region and our brokers are here to find what speaks to you. Whether that’s an oceanfront retreat, a high desert oasis, a high rise condo, or working ranch, we are your partner in fulfilling that dream.  Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty – where luxury is an experience, not a price point.

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A Vision for the Parrott

Heidi Lael had been renovating historic properties for nearly two decades when she took on her most personal — and epic — project to date. A gorgeous historic Queen Anne Victorian home, built in 1891 on Parrott Creek in Roseburg, had gone back to the bank during the economic recession. Lael, who had longstanding ties to the community, could see the house’s future in her mind: a beautifully renovated destination restaurant. Now, in 2011, it was coming up for auction. Lael didn’t know if she could pull it off, but she knew that she had to try.

Parrott House Dining Pavillion
“I built my whole business plan around the house before I even owned it,” Lael recalled. “I still have the original drawings detailing my vision.” Lael won the bidding war, and purchased Parrott House that year. Then the real work began. “When I bought it, there were four-foot-tall weeds all around the house. The lower level windows were boarded over, after they’d been broken out by vagrants. There was no kitchen. And the whole house was gutted.”

In order to try to recoup some of their investment, the previous owners had scraped the home clean of everything, from doorknobs to light fixtures to the fireplace mantel. But the house had good bones, and the previous owners had completed dry rot removal and wiring improvements. And then there was Lael herself, who came to the project with plenty of skill and experience.

Parrott House - Heidi Lael
After graduating high school in Roseburg, Lael had gone on to cut her teeth on home renovation on the East Coast, in New York City and New Jersey, before following the market to Las Vegas and renovating properties there. In the early 2000s, Lael’s mother had been working in real estate in Roseburg, and told her daughter to come back home and buy and renovate properties in the Umpqua Valley. It seemed like the right move, so home Lael had come. “I bought my first house in Myrtle Creek in 2003, and had bought several more in Roseburg’s historic districts by the time of the Parrott purchase.”

Now, more than ever before, the whole community was watching. Lael began scouring secondhand stores and building supply stores for materials to renovate the Parrott House. Astonishingly, she found the home’s original fireplace mantel in Aurora at Aurora Mill, an antique store. The owner agreed to sell it back to her for the price he’d paid the home’s original owners. “I had put everything into the auction—I was totally cash poor,” Lael said. “I paid him layaway for a year.”

Parrott House - Bourbon Bar
The renovation took years. But to gaze upon the completed product today, it’s impossible to say that all of the effort didn’t pay off. Almost all of the details of Lael’s original vision in those early drawings she still has have come to fruition. The Parrott House opened in January of 2017 as a resplendent restoration of its original glory, and a farm-to-table fine dining destination on par with any in Oregon.

The original home houses two dining rooms, decorated in eclectic elegance. The kitchen is upstairs—a compromise so that most of the home’s space could be available to guests. An interior bar is distinguished by a madrone tree that rises from the back wall, as well as more hip-meets-historic décor.

Perhaps the property’s real gem is the semi-detached pavilion out back. Massive reclaimed timbers form the structure that is otherwise entirely glass. Lael’s aesthetic is to use as much reclaimed and recycled material as possible. “The beams came from the original Rainier Brewery in Seattle,” she explained. The room is expansive and gorgeous, marked by a 110-pound crystal chandelier hanging overhead.

Parrott House - Pizza Oven
Through the glass, guests see a brick and stone pizza oven outdoors to one side of the pavilion. To the other side is an outdoor patio and an outbuilding, which was originally the washhouse and is now a bourbon bar. “Originally I was thinking wine, but bourbon is so big right now,” said Lael. “And the rustic shed was perfect for it.” The dark and moody interior holds 130 bourbons, as well as vintage bar mirrors and stools.

A delicious French-European menu draws on produce and products from local farms and vendors. Menu highlights include heirloom tomato carpaccio, wild mushroom risotto and pizzas from the brick oven. The site can host weddings and events, under a lovely white trellis reclaimed from nearby attraction Wildlife Safari.

The Parrott House shines again, and Lael couldn’t be more delighted with the response she’s received from the community. “People just love this old house. When they walk in and cover their mouths in surprise, that’s the reward right there.”

The Parrotts

Moses and Tennesee Parrott built the Parrott House in 1891. Moses Parrott was one of the finest shoemakers on the West Coast. The couple raised ten children in the home, also becoming the founders of the Roseburg Academy, a private school for children. Their youngest daughter, Rosa, was a schoolteacher her entire career, and lived in the family’s home until the 1950s. There is a photo of her in the Parrott House living room near the fireplace.

This article is a feature in Cascade Living – Fall 2018

Cascade Sotheby’s Seizes Market Share in Farm, Ranch and Vineyard Division

Bend, OR – In 2017 Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty hit $1.3 billion in closed sales thanks in part to its robust growth and expansion in farm, ranch and vineyard properties. With growing demand from out-of-state buyers looking to Oregon’s farms, ranches and vineyards for spacious production and recreational properties, Cascade Sotheby’s Farm, Ranch and Vineyard division is booming: the division’s revenue has climbed from $122,165,000 in 2014 to over $200,000,000 in 2018. The average sales price has increased from $2.3 million to over $2.7 million for these working properties throughout Oregon.

FRV - Winery
Part of that growth and volume comes from the brokerage’s unique expertise in the sales and marketing of acreage properties like farms and ranches. Cascade Sotheby’s elite farm, ranch and vineyard team now has 20 dedicated brokers throughout the state of Oregon.  These experienced Brokers have knowledge in agriculture, livestock, soil analysis, hop farming, vineyards, recreational properties, equestrian properties, farm and ranch, fly-fishing, land use, water rights, tax benefits and more.

FRV - Vineyard
Many of these Farm, Ranch and Vineyard Brokers at Cascade Sotheby’s have worked as ranchers, farmers, equestrians, and vintners and bring their diverse talents to Cascade Sotheby’s clients looking to buy or sell extraordinary rural properties.

FRV Lodge
“We are Oregonians; we’ve been raised here on the land, riding horses, hunting and fishing—we have extensive backgrounds in ranching and we understand livestock, farming, septic and irrigation considerations, State and Federal laws, land use and the lifestyle,” says Patty Cordoni, long-time broker with Cascade Sotheby’s and manager of the renowned Farm, Ranch and Vineyard Division. “Cascade Sotheby’s brokers understand what buyers are looking for whether it’s a working ranch in Pendleton, an award-winning vineyard in the Willamette Valley, a recreational property with access to fly fishing, or an equestrian property. Our brokers are setting the standard for knowledge about working properties and what prospective landowners are looking for.”

FRV - Land

Introducing New Farm and Ranch Brokers in Southern Oregon

Now, the brokerage is recruiting expert talent in Southern Oregon’s emerging destination wine country: Cascade Sotheby’s welcomes the region’s top-producing rural broker, Alan DeVries, to its elite team of farm, ranch and vineyard real estate experts. DeVries, who specializes in vineyard sales and last year alone sold $22 million in properties in addition to supporting the sale of Troon Vineyard, leads Cascade Sotheby’s new farm, ranch, vineyard listings in Southern Oregon with over $22m in active listings. He also recently closed the sale on four properties in Medford and multiple properties in Jacksonville and Klamath Falls.

DeVries Team
Cascade Sotheby’s prides itself on recruiting broker experts in working properties with backgrounds in ranching, the outdoors, diverse land and terrain, irrigation and all of the lifestyle and culture nuances that come with that. The brokerage recently welcomed veteran rancher Matthew Cook and professional jet boat operator, outdoor guide and outfitter Mike Lee to its elite team of farm, ranch and vineyard brokers. The brokers have been immersed in experiential learning that offers the background and expertise they need to better serve clients looking for rural properties.

The Brokerage Has Also Expanded its Presence in Eastern Oregon with New Listings in Prineville, Joseph, Post, Ashwood, Diamond, Canyon City and Dempsey.

Purchasing farm, ranch or land properties in Oregon and SW Washington offers a myriad of opportunities. Every farm and ranch has a unique story whether it be an equestrian or livestock ranch, hay and seed property or award-winning vineyard. As unique as the land, so are the experiences of the specialists who work these types of properties.

To view our Farm, Ranch and Vineyard properties, Click Here.

At Home in the Vines

On his very first visit to Oregon, Rollin Soles fell in love with the Willamette Valley. “I knew in my heart that this is where I belonged.”

That fateful trip happened almost four decades ago, in 1979. Soles was born and raised in Euless, Texas, and earned a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from Texas A&M and a master’s degree in enology and viticulture at the University of California at Davis. His love of the science of grape-growing and winemaking were firmly in place by the time he first set foot in Oregon. Now, he knew exactly where he wanted to grow his grapes and make his wine.

“The next years were a dive to get vineyard and wine experience,” he recalled. “I came up with a plan to grow grapes and make wine in the Willamette Valley.”

In 1986, Soles came to Oregon for good. He purchased land near Newberg the following year, a gorgeous piece of property that drapes down the southwestern slope of the Chehalem Mountain Range at 400 feet elevation. The land would be ideal for growing wine grapes. But planting it would have to wait. Soles was already deeply immersed in another project—Argyle Winery, which he founded in Dundee in 1987.

Roco Winery Owners
Argyle would go on to become one of the most celebrated wineries in the state—arguably, in the nation. But these were early days, long before the Willamette Valley was proven as an ideal place to grow pinot noir, or even before pinot noir was a well-known wine varietal, renowned by critics and beloved by wine lovers. “My joke was that one small California winery produced all of the pinot noir that America drank,” said Soles, who is as known for his wit as he is for his handlebar mustache and cowboy hat.

“We had an extra tough time of it,” continued Soles, speaking not only of his experience but that of all the winemakers in the region. The rich soils of the Willamette Valley were perfect for growing pinot noir. But the vineyards had to be established from scratch. Experimentation was required, which led to failures and new beginnings. “It blows my mind what we were up against. There were so many strikes against us. But there was nobody more creative, with more passion, than Willamette Valley winemakers.”

The collaboration and companionship within the Willamette Valley winemaking community through those early years is what Soles credits with his survival, and that of others, followed by the subsequent development of the region as a verifiable destination. “We always made space in our lives to lift all of us up at one time. We started doing things collectively that would make Americans like pinot noir. All of the hard work was totally worth it,” he said. “Working together—it was phenomenally gratifying and always had an authentic ring of togetherness.”

Argyle grew to an undeniable success, producing dozens of award-winning wines, focusing on sparkling chardonnays and pinot noirs. Soles could easily have rested on his laurels, winding down the years in the barrel room of Argyle. But his Chehalem Mountain land was calling to him. He and his wife Corby had never even gotten around to planting a vineyard, and the land lay in wait.

Roco Winery Vineyard
“Sometimes there are good things about not having immediate gratification,” said Soles. In the decades that had passed, the wine industry had dramatically changed. “At that point, viticulture had completely utterly improved. And, I’d been farming for twenty-five years.”

In 2001, Rollin and Corby planted the Wits’ End Vineyard on what would become ROCO Winery (RO for Rollin and CO for Corby). “I was able to work with clones I’d used for decades,” said Soles. “I planted on root stocks—we never would have dreamed of doing that in the 1980s. We planted rows with close spacing, which means more leaves, which absorb more sunlight.”

The grapes were pinot noir; the wine was excellent. Two years later, ROCO Winery produced the first vintage of Private Stash pinot noir, showcasing the very best of Rollin’s small-lot winemaking skills in a bottle that was eventually served in the White House. “We were so lucky that we didn’t plant until 2001,” he said. “We ended up getting the best out of the Wits’ End Vineyard.”

Roco Winery Tasting
Again, success was in hand. Again, Soles could have simply continued doing what he was doing, but innovation is in his blood. “With ROCO, the saying ‘never say never’ has never been more true,” he said. “I was just going to make pinot noir. But then Corby said, ‘I kind of like chardonnay.’ So, we planted chardonnay. We began doing new things with sparkling wine. Then we made a tiny bit of rosé.” He laughed, marveling at the journey he’s taken and continues to take. “We’re releasing the first ever ROCO rosé this year! I call it ‘mission creep’. I’ve been able to take what I’ve learned and tweak it, give it the unique ROCO style.”

After more than three decades of growing wine businesses from bare earth, marketing wines to the world, adapting and changing and growing, one singular challenge has been a constant for Soles. “The weather,” he said. “The weather of the Willamette Valley has been the most challenging aspect of my work here. The growing seasons are so different in the Willamette Valley, from one to the next.”

Roco Winery Barrels
And yet, ever the seeker of challenge and innovation, Soles sees the flip side of his primary antagonist. “It’s caused me to be a better grape-grower and winemaker. Without the weather, I wouldn’t have attained the same level of excitement. If we have an easy growing season, I love them, but then I feel a tinge of disappointment that I didn’t get to go toe-to-toe with nature and respond.”

As the Willamette Valley has come into the light, wineries have sprung up all around and wine lovers have poured in, but community is still at the heart of the matter for Soles. ROCO donates wine and money to local nonprofits, contributing to the betterment of the Willamette Valley, and Soles continues to speak out for the wines that he makes and that his compatriots make. “If we speak with one voice to consumers, it brings more attention to us all,” he said. “For the tiny size of the Willamette Valley vineyard acreage, we do get more attention. We punch above our weight.”

Roco Winery Logo
The ROCO logo is an illustration of a bird in the style of an early Native American petroglyph. Rollin and Corby Soles have always enjoyed the outdoors and camping with their three children (now grown). “It brings a whole new flavor to camping and enjoying the Pacific Northwest if you think as if you were a human being 10,000 years ago,” said Soles. “Imagining where petroglyphs might be, finding evidence of human life, adds a new layer to our time outdoors.”

Click Here to view our Vineyard Listings.

Cascade Sotheby's Brokers Field Trip to Learn More About Off-Grid Living

On a beautiful fall day in Central Oregon, a dozen of our Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty brokers ventured North to visit Three Rivers Recreation Area at Lake Billy Chinook. The trip, inspired by Meg Cummings and Kent Crook, was set up to educate our brokers about the community and the Off-Grid lifestyle that it represents.
Solar Power Explained
After touring several homes with Meg, the team was enlightened by a Solar Power educational seminar conducted by Kent who is very knowledgeable on the subject. Here are some excerpts from the class:

How Do Solar Panels Work?

When photons hit a solar cell, they knock electrons loose from their atoms. If conductors are attached to the positive and negative sides of a cell, it forms an electrical circuit. When electrons flow through such a circuit, they generate electricity. Multiple cells make up a solar panel, and multiple panels (modules) can be wired together to form a solar array. The more panels you can deploy, the more energy you can expect to generate.

What are Solar Panels Made of?

Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels are made up of many solar cells. Solar cells are made of silicon, like semiconductors. They are constructed with a positive layer and a negative layer, which together create an electric field, just like in a battery.

How Do Solar Panels Generate Electricity?

PV solar panels generate direct current (DC) electricity. With DC electricity, electrons flow in one direction around a circuit. This example shows a battery powering a light bulb. The electrons move from the negative side of the battery, through the lamp, and return to the positive side of the battery.
With AC (alternating current) electricity, electrons are pushed and pulled, periodically reversing direction, much like the cylinder of a car’s engine. Generators create AC electricity when a coil of wire is spun next to a magnet. Many different energy sources can “turn the handle” of this generator, such as gas or diesel fuel, hydroelectricity, nuclear, coal, wind, or solar.
AC electricity was chosen for the U.S. electrical power grid, primarily because it is less expensive to transmit over long distances. However, solar panels create DC electricity. How do we get DC electricity into the AC grid? We use an inverter.
Three Rivers Solar Panel
When the training session was complete, everyone enjoyed a BBQ and had great things to say about the trip:
Big thank you to you and your husband. It was a wonderful day and worth every minute. So much great information and worthwhile knowledge of a super place for those buyers who want something different.
Thanks again,
– Tim Collette
Just wanted to say thanks to you and Ken for putting on such a nice event… not only informative, but also really fun!  After wolfing that (delicious) burger, we did make it back to Bend in time for Frank’s photography session and our movie.
Thanks again!
– Sandy and John
Thank you for a wonderful afternoon! I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never been in your area and I was blown away by the beauty of the setting you live and work in.  I also want you to know Meg how much I enjoyed being with you through the tour.  Your love of your community and passion for what you do and how you do it was inspirational and I was uplifted by the experience.  Kent’s knowledge of solar systems was super impressive and I’m thankful I had the opportunity to learn about how it all works.  And finally, your hospitality in having us all over to your place was the icing on the cake.  I feel very fortunate to have you and Kent as colleagues in our company and office. Thank you again for a wonderful afternoon…
– Phil Arends

Three Rivers Recreation Area offers environmentally friendly living with starry sky views.

Central Oregon is one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country. With the increasing number of residents comes more infrastructure—and more light pollution. But there is one neighborhood in the high desert that still offers the chance to see the Milky Way on a clear night. It’s the Three Rivers Recreation Area, a 4,000 acre community near Culver.
Three Rivers view of Mt Jefferson
Three Rivers is known for being entirely off-grid. Originally created as a vacation home destination in the mid-20th century, the neighborhood slowly developed a year-round group of residents who were drawn to the rustic lifestyle and close access to some of Central Oregon’s best recreation opportunities. Even as more residents moved in, the area was never developed with traditional city utilities. Today, the eighty-five full-time residents rely on solar or wind energy to power their homes. Given the recent growth in solar and movement toward living more sustainably, it’s also become an easy option for homeowners who are looking for a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Three Rivers Listing 1
“We are totally off the grid,” said resident and Cascade Sotheby’s broker Meg Cummings. She and her husband started visiting a vacation home in the area in the 1970s, and bought property and built a home in 2003.
Off-grid living can have many connotations, but in the Three Rivers Recreation Area community, off-grid living doesn’t sacrifice luxury living. There are about 600 deeded properties in the private community, and about 200 are developed with homes. Each property boasts a five-acre minimum size, and undeveloped properties sell for a price between $100,000 and $150,000. Housing styles range from small manufactured homes to large custom homes.
Three Rivers Wakeboarding
Three Rivers has a disc golf course, a shooting range, common land for ATV and dirt bike riding and private access to Lake Billy Chinook. The community is also gated, and a community center is being built from money raised by collecting deposits on recyclable bottles.
The amenities and the location make Three Rivers more than competitive in the tight Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook County real estate markets. “Real estate goes priced under the market in Deschutes County and Jefferson County,” said Cummings. And the area is popular; 2017 marked the biggest year for sales in the neighborhood in a decade.
Three Rivers Listing 2
The better technology for solar power, as well as private internet and reliable cell phone service, have made it easy for people to live there full time. Combined with convenient access to Madras less than an hour away, the community is a desirable place to live for people looking for a more sustainable lifestyle and a quiet neighborhood, without sacrificing city access close by.
Three Rivers Recreation View
Gary Sweet lives in Three Rivers with his wife and runs a part-time insurance business from his home. They’ve lived in their home since 2006, and Sweet has installed a well for their water and uses solar power for electricity. Sweet said he enjoys the small community and unique lifestyle there. “It’s a relatively close-knit community,” he said. “At Three Rivers, you do a lot of things together. We rely on each other. You get more of an old town, small community atmosphere.”
To find out more about Three Rivers Recreation area and view property listings, click here to visit the community page.

Open Your Mind to Creative Living Spaces

BEND, OREGON – In many ways, the space in which we choose to reside often defines us. Yes, we decorate our humble abodes in ways which reflect our personal style and translate our personality through furnishings, art and color. But, in what one ultimately views as a literal money pit with the only solution being serious demolition, others are able to visualize the inner beauty of unlimited potential.

Brick House
There’s a special something about the inherent charm of something man-made, which wears its age well, like a distinguished old soul with stories to tell. Whether it be an old school house, barn, fire house, or even an old silo or water tower, these unique structures have history, unique features, and spark the imagination. They may be fun to visit and tour, but they’re even more intriguing to live in.

Many people have renovated old, often abandoned structures into new lives as homes. Most projects retain as much history as possible, keeping the charm and old functional appeal of the structure intact. And often, the unusual designs of the structure lead to interesting living spaces, such as completely round silo homes, church houses with choir lofts, and barns with wide open spaces and original rafters.

The mere idea of living every day in an elementary school classroom or abandoned church may seem like a bizarre nightmare, but in some cases, it’s a dream come true. What once were candidates for demolition, these nip and tuck dwellings now boast extremely eclectic interiors, plenty of old school charm and modern interiors worthy of HGTV.

Stained Glass
Best of all, these all but forgotten, dilapidated properties, in most cases, may be purchased at significant savings, far below market value, and once restored, with more than a few major upgrades, these uniquely charming homes will net historic profit. Not your average flip, one brave renovator noted, “My favorite part of owning a schoolhouse has been saving this beautiful old building and giving it new life, while at the same time preserving its rich history.”

Church Glass
Beautiful old buildings with highly detailed, well-preserved architectural elements, like stained-glass windows, custom period hardware and authentic light fixtures create truly unique experiences for those able to see past decades of neglect. Wide open layout concepts, vaulted ceilings, original hardwood flooring, tile and handcrafted moldings contribute to the exquisitely curated interior design, complimented by fully renovated kitchens and baths with all the modern necessities.

Compared to the soaring rent prices and cost of living in more popular cities, there has been a revival in the interest to renovate your very own piece of nostalgia, as a primary residence, investment property or even a business. A rare opportunity awaits, to transform truly historic properties into a visionary residence, where outside the box thinking is a prerequisite when it comes to unique real estate opportunities.

Lighthouse Mission Church
Such an opportunity exists in a popular Northeast Portland neighborhood, in the midst of a development revival. Adorned with historic homes, tree-lined streets, city parks and walkable local businesses, 337 NE 47th Avenue offers the best of urban living. While close to downtown, the diverse Rose Quarter area feels well-insulated from the bustle of the city. Though, there is a catch – the property offered for sale is formerly a fully functioning congregational church, listed by broker Tiffany Shleifer of Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty.

Church Interior
Teeming with good karma, this former church showcases original design elements such as stained-glass windows, custom lighting fixtures, oak banisters and woodwork, as well as vaulted ceilings. Structurally sound, with infinite possibilities, the floorplan boasts large open rooms, which may easily be sub-divided into specialized or living spaces. The building includes an expansive social hall with stage and a spacious kitchen just waiting for your personal touches.

323 NE 47th Avenue is a detached 4-bedroom, 1 bath home, with 1,619 finished square feet and unfinished basement. Built in 1928, the residence building provides additional living or storage flexibility, as well as great potential for rental income. Totaling over a half acre, the lot also includes a large paved area for parking.

Commercial Ave
Another rare property is 110 Commercial Street in Adams, Oregon, listed by Broker Heather Osgood. A charming 1918 brick schoolhouse on nearly 2 acres of beautiful lawn and gardens. Fully remodeled from top to bottom in 2002, including wiring, plumbing, windows and new septic. The home boasts 7 bedrooms and 5.5 baths with a finished daylight basement and two full kitchens. It also has a 5000 sq ft ‘gym’ with a raised stage, sports court, laundry and more. This property presents amazing opportunity for weddings, events or a B&B.

Commercial Ave Interior

Tips for Converting a Historic or Other Unique Structure into a Home

Don’t expect it to be cheap: Some structures are old, abandoned, and have little value, so they can be picked up for bargain prices. But others may have significant real estate values, especially if they’re located in a central part of town that gives the structure land value. This may be the case with old banks, school houses, churches, and other structures.
Plan to spend time and money on renovations: Most people wouldn’t expect a 19th century school house that’s been sitting vacant for 50 years to be move in ready, but it’s still important not to underestimate the amount of work you may be looking at. Electrical and plumbing systems may need serious updates, walls, fixtures, and kitchen and bathroom equipment may need to be brought in, and older structures may have unusual surprises that pop up in the renovation process.
Heating: With such high ceiling and with some building having outdated heating systems; an important consideration is; financially, how much will it cost to efficiently heat the building? If new ceilings are installed and rooms are created to optimize heat circulation, this is less of a problem. Rooms are often big enough to feature stunning log burners and fireplaces. Another option is to choose which rooms to heat. Another possibility is underfloor heating, which allows for greater residual warmth. If you are unable to make alterations on the building in terms of the construction of new floors, it is worth seeking advice as to what your options are and which would be the most beneficial.
Research zoning: Many repurposed homes are former commercial or industrial buildings. You may need to petition to change the zoning on the structure before you’re able to use it as a residence.
Accept that the building isn’t like regular homes: Converted structures often have unusual shapes, such as completely round silos or even missile bunkers. Traditional furniture may not work, and you may have to build your own or hire someone to create custom pieces for you.
Preserve the building’s historic charm: Part of what makes converted buildings so appealing is their history. Be careful not to bulldoze right through replacing original fixtures, ceiling tiles, or wood flooring unless it just can’t be salvaged.


First Impression Curb Appeal Tips for Fall

BEND, OR – Though, many lament the dwindling days of summer, most of us are open to turning the page with great anticipation of falling leaves, 24/7 football and best of all, pumpkin-spice overdose. Most climates do, however, experience an unfortunate limited window of opportunity to thoroughly immerse themselves in the autumn spirit. For homeowners, the mere thought of raking leaves, yard work and maintenance rekindles memories of lower back pain, but for others, it’s time to take stock and make the most out of your outdoor living experience and prep the space so that it easily springs to life next season. If you’ve been contemplating a potential move, now’s the time to ensure that your property’s curb appeal will maximize your asking price.

Mowing Lawn

Spruce Up That Lawn

While brilliant fall foliage can automatically make your home look more attractive for showings, that doesn’t mean you can slack off on lawn maintenance during this season. Keep falling leaves at bay with frequent raking and patch up any brown spots in the grass to keep things lush. This time of year, weeds aren’t the only thing standing between you and the turf of your dreams. You’ve also got to watch for pests, fungal diseases—and even Fido.  Fall is the ideal time to fertilize and seed. Don’t regret addressing your tattered yard or wishing that your patch of dirt were a blanket of soft blades. “Seeding is the easiest thing for a homeowner to do,” says This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook. “It just takes a little soil preparation, the right mix of seed, and lots of watering.” Lastly, consider performing lawn aeration to provide improved drainage, and keep things neat and manicured with some edge trimming and weeding of any paths or walkways.

Plant Something

Plant Something

Once the dog days of summer hit, flower gardens generally start looking tired. Colors wash out, edges brown, blossoms become fewer in number. In addition to getting your lawn looking its best, spice it up with a splash of color. As your summer plants start to fade, replace them with vibrant mums or other colorful flowers. To keep your garden blooming well into the fall, consider a few of the many varieties of fall-blooming perennials. Note, that spent blossoms on these summer-flowering perennials can be clipped to encourage blooming long into the fall.

Highlight That Front Door

Highlight That Front Door

Making your front door the focal point of your home’s exterior is a good tactic no matter what time of year you decide to sell your home. During the fall, a simple wreath of fall foliage and flowers can add an inviting touch. A fresh coat of paint–possibly vivid color choice if you’re daring, can also make your entrance stand out when potential buyers drive by. Don’t forget not to neglect the general maintenance often required of wooden doors. Even custom, high-quality construction will need some form of upkeep. Fill any spacing caused by temperature swelling with a paintable/stainable putty or fill material. This may be necessary on the interior as well and will ensure that your entry is well-insulated and cared for.

Clean Things Up

Clean Things Up

When fall rolls around and the trees shed their leaves, your home becomes more exposed, making its exterior appearance extra important. Before putting your home on the market, pressure wash the exterior and clean the windows. If the paint is chipped or faded, applying a fresh coat will do wonders to revive your home’s appearance and will often increase your resale value. Don’t forget to address the surfaces of your porch, railings, sidewalks, driveway and other hardscapes. A thorough pressure wash, scrub or even a simple sweep will make an immense difference. You’ll be amazed at the transformation! Also, be sure to clear your gutters and downspouts of leaves and other debris, which will protect your home from water damage and reduce the threat of sagging from sitting water unable to drain properly.

Lighten the Mood

Lighten the Mood

As the days get shorter, it becomes increasingly important to not only provide potential homebuyers with a safe path to your front door, but strategic illumination will provide ambiance on tours, as well as in your listing photography and video. Use decorative lights to illuminate walkways, and install flood lights or lanterns to brighten up entrance areas. Make sure that all exhausted bulbs are replaced and cleaned of insects and cobwebs. Investing in fresh, new modern fixtures that enhance the architectural style of your home will add immediate curb appeal to any space and surely add value.

Check the Mail(box)

Check the Mail(box)

Many newer subdivisions and housing developments now have banks of mailboxes located in central locations to make distributing the mail easier on the postal carrier. But, if your mailbox is located on the street, there’s a good chance it’s seen better days. In fact, it could look more like it was used to house a pipe bomb, and you’ve just stopped paying attention. If it’s affixed to your house, you’ve probably forgotten about it, aesthetically speaking. Paint it, polish it, replace it or simply just perform a clean-up. The trick is to keep it low-key and unassuming. You don’t want to draw attention to something that acts as a receptacle for your bills and junk mail.

Keep Decorations on the Down-low

Keep Decorations on the Down-low

The autumnal season presents many opportunities to decorate and showcase our love for the holidays, or even our alma mater’s big game. While subtle fall decor – a wreath on the door or pots of seasonal flowers – will make your home look inviting and fresh, going overboard will distract buyers from your home itself. Save your scarecrows and spooky Halloween decorations for another year if you’re serious about getting a buyer’s signature on a contract.

If you do decide to add your home to the market during the fall, or are ready to take advantage of some potential savings on a listing that may be lingering, the highly experienced, exceptional Associates with Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty are prepared to assist you. With 10 offices strategically located throughout Oregon and SW Washington, the brokers of Cascade Sotheby’s are prepared to respond to client needs amid the ever-changing trends of the Pacific NW real estate market. View available listings.


Tour the Best of Tumalo Luxury Homes

TUMALO, OR – Tumalo, it’s quite a special place where you’ll find tranquility, diverse landscapes, postcard worthy views and abundant wildlife. In addition, this high desert oasis hovers on the outskirts of Bend, a short drive from downtown, and some of the finest homes in the area. One can see why this area has become such a sought-after place to live.
Historically, Tumalo has been known primarily as a farming community. In the early 1900’s, the area held potential to become a larger urban center, until the railroads passed it by in 1911. From there, Bend went on to become Central Oregon’s most populated city, and Tumalo continued to host farms, ranches and family residences.
Tumalo Acreage Views - Open House Tour - 20180922
Today, Tumalo and Central Oregon remain a popular destination for vacation properties and relocation potential. With an average of 300 days of sunshine per year, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy their outdoor lifestyles year-round. From the majestic Cascade Mountains, with their alpine forest and crystal lakes, to the spectacular Deschutes River and vast high desert open lands, residents and visitors can enjoy skiing, fishing, horseback riding, golfing, rock climbing, river rafting and more right outside their doorstep. Add to that world-class restaurants and cultural activities, plus a thriving business community, and one can see why so many national publications and organizations have anointed the region as one of the top places to live year after year.
Tumalo Tour Map
On Saturday, September 22, Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty will play host to the Luxury Homes Tour of Tumalo, hoping to gain exposure for our clients and allow the public a glimpse into these special acreage properties. This special event will begin at 11am, with the open house tour concluding approximately 4pm. Tour organizer Korren Bower, a Broker with Cascade Sotheby’s has included a special wrinkle into Saturday’s outing. Upon visiting the first home on the tour map, all guests will receive a “passport”, on which they will receive a validation stamp. When all homes on the passport are stamped, the guest will then be eligible to be entered into a drawing to win a tablet. Partnering with Cascade Sotheby’s for the tour will be Academy Mortgage.
Homes located on the tour include:
1. 63820 East Quail Haven Dr, Bend (MLS #201709917) – 4 BD | 4 BA | 5,798 SF | $1,795,000
Top of the line finishes, 10 peak mountain views, gourmet kitchen with 270 degree views, built- in surround sound indoor/outdoor, peace, privacy and tranquility.
Natalie Vandenborn & Laura Blossey | Brokers
949.887.4377 | laura.blossey@sothebysrealty.com
64420 Old Bend Redmond Hwy, Bend (MLS #201802147) – 5 BD | 4 BA | 6,345 SF | $1,895,000
Huge Cascade Mountain views, 13+ acres, soaring ceilings and arched windows, grand staircase and hand painted murals, floor to ceiling, mossy rock fireplace.
Nancy Melrose | Principal Broker
541.419.9293 | nancy.melrose@sothebysrealty.com
3. 20660 Sunbeam Ln, Bend (MLS #201800071) – 5 BD | 5 BA | 5,236 SF | $1,495,000
9+ ac w/underground, automated irrigation, water features, walking trails & fenced pastures, efficient & fully equipped gourmet kitchen, impressive vista views & old growth Junipers, two master suites/dual living areas.
Darrin Kelleher | Principal Broker, 541.728.0029 | darrin.kelleher@cascadesir.com
Shelly Swanson | Broker, 541.408.0086 | shelly.swanson@cascadesir.com
4. 20152 Tumalo Rd, Bend (MLS #201806308) – 4 BD | 2.5 BA | 2,965 SF | $799,999
“Best Interior Design” 20033 Tour of Homes, views of Cascade Mountains & Deschutes River, great room with 19 ft. vaulted, beam ceiling, kitchen w/knotty alder cabinets, tile counters, RV parking.
The Julie Moe & Jared Chase Group | Brokers
541.312.4042 | julie.moe@cascadesir.com
5. 65420 Swalley Rd, Bend (MLS #201804537) – 4 BD | 3 BA | 2,523 SF | $899,90065420-Swalley-Rd
5 acres of land with 4 acres of irrigation, lovingly well-kept home, shops and garages, 2 master suites, one upstairs/one downstairs, 40’x48’ shop with additional 26’x36 shop/barn, fenced & cross-fenced with 3-car garage.
Nicolette Rice | Broker
541.241.0432 | nicolette.rice@cascadesir.com
6. 19980 J W Brown Rd, Bend (MLS #201804136) – 5 BD | 4.5 BA | 5,328 SF | $1,895,000
18.75 acres, surrounded by horse and hay pastures, Cascade Mountain views, guest studio over garage, 4-car garage, barn and storage shed.
Sandy & John Kohlmoos | Brokers
541.408.4309 | sandy.kohlmoos@sothebysrealty.com
7. 19088 Dusty Loop, Bend (MLS #201804828) – 3 BD | 2.5 BA | 2,487 SF | $1,695,000
Designed by PIQUE Collaborative, featured on HGTV Extreme Homes, vast views from 3 separate decks, 9+ acres, 11 ft. Fleetwood sliding glass doors
Geoff Groener | Broker
541.639.5551 | geoff.groener@cascadesir.com
8. 18290 Plainview Rd, Bend (MLS #201806379 – 4 BD | 3.5 BA | 3,810 SF | $1,995,000
24 acres, 2-Story Northwest-style contemporary, gated entry, off Fryrear Rd., 2 masters with walk-in closet, deck/patio with outdoor Fireplace and hot tub.
Phil Arends | Principal Broker
541.420.9997 | phil.arends@cascadesir.com
9. 67134 Gist Rd, Bend (MLS #201801899) – 3 BD | 2.5 BA | 2,690 SF | $925,000
29+ acres, hosted by Tim Collette, 48’x60′ shop w/RV parking & guest quarters, 2nd detached garage/shop, swimming pool and hot tub.
Ken Renner | Principal Broker
541.280.5352 | ken.renner@cascadesir.com
17955 Plainview Rd, Bend (MLS #201805978) – 4 BD | 3.5 BA | 4,339 SF | $999,999
High quality engineering and design, 23+ acres, captivating views from all rooms, shop with car lift, 12′ roll up door & living, updated interior paint and appliances.
Joanne McKee & Korren Bower | Brokers
541.480.5159 | joanne.mckee@cascadesir.com
18281 Couch Market Rd, Bend (MLS #201803899) – 3 BD | 2.5 BA | 2,316 SF | $1,100,000
19.94 acres with 2 acres of irrigation, Cascade Mountain views, canal, ponds and greenery, surrounded by wildlife wetlands, peace and privacy in Pueblo-style home.
Sheila Balyeat | Broker
541.280.5964 | sheila.balyeat@sothebysrealty.com
12. 64601 Horseman Ln, Bend (MLS #201806286) – 3 BD | 2 BA | 1,986 SF | $849,900
9+ acres, 3 acres of irrigation, single level with Cascade Mountain views, landscaping, shade trees, pond, and canal, barn/shop with bathroom, 36′ metal RV storage
Carol Osgood & Korren Bower | Brokers
541.504.3839| carol.osgood@cascadesir.com
13. 19129 Pinehurst Rd, Bend (MLS #201805564) – 2 BD | 2 BA | 2,160 SF | $1,199,000
Single-level with Cascade Mountain views, Northwest-style beams, 39.54 acres, 16.3 acres TID irrigation, beautiful barn with tack, 3 stalls, & more, open gourmet kitchen and dining.
Carol Osgood & Korren Bower | Brokers
541.504.3839 | korren.bower@cascadesir.com