An Appealing and Affordable Option for First-Time Home Buyers
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Directly south of Portland’s city limits, Milwaukie is an appealing and affordable option for first-time home buyers. A newly-revamped Trimet’s orange light rail train has spurred growing interest in this little-known suburb of riverfront park, continuing revitalization of downtown, and a new commute option into Portland via Milwaukie Bay Riverfront Park recently underwent a major renovation to create a new boat launch, parking, and restrooms. From the water’s edge you can cast a line or just take in the idyllic views across the river. Future plans for improvement include building an amphitheater and a children’s playground.
The park is adjacent to downtown, which has enjoyed something of a renaissance in recent decades with new apartments on the rise and new shops and restaurants transforming formerly idle storefronts. You’ll find artisan tamales and other Mexican specialties at the family-owned Casa de Tamales while Enchanté will entice your sweet tooth with chocolates in a Parisian-inspired shop dripping with chandeliers. On Sunday mornings between May through October, you can wander through the Milwaukie Farmers’ Market, where you’ll find live music and more than 75 booths brimming with fresh produce, flowers, and specialty foods.
Downtown Milwaukie has long been the home to Dark Horse Comics, which occupies three city blocks and is best known for publishing works like Sin City and Hellboy. Milwaukie is also the headquarters of Bob’s Red Mill, where you can tour the mill and stock up on whole grain stone-ground flours, cereals, baking mixes, and gluten-free products.
On summer weekends, you could spend an afternoon at Elk Rock Island, where you can hike among the ancient trees, spread a picnic blanket along the shore, and explore aquatic life in the vernal pools. This 13-acre island in the Willamette River was formed by a volcano 40 million years ago and is considered to be the oldest exposed rock in the Portland area.
Milwaukie offers a mix of condos and single-family homes, including restored farmhouses, traditional ranches, and new construction.