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Field Guide Part 1: Holdouts

Last updated July 24, 2000

A holdout is a property more than ten years old that is surrounded by newly developed communities and homes. The owners of these older properties held out when all their neighbors sold their land to developers and moved away. Some of these folks simply didn't want to leave the area, and they gladly stayed behind. Others hoped to score big dollars by being the last ones in their neighborhood to sell, but they held out too long- developers just built around them.

As a result, many Oregon neighborhoods are now strange patchworks of old and new architecture, of blue-collar and white-collar sensibilities, of utterly hideous and somewhat tolerable yards and houses. Many holdouts are uninhabited (by humans, at least), which makes matters even worse- yards grow out of control, roofs cave in, animals come to nest. The more decrepit these abandoned properties become, the more overpriced the new homes that surround them seem to be.

The house next door

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The red arrow points to some brand new houses just a couple hundred yards down the road in this up-and-coming Hillsboro neighborhood. Notice that house poking up over the bushes there, behind the sign? Let's go around the corner and see who would be your next-door neighbor if you moved in to one of the new homes down the street!

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Oh... uh, let's keep driving, shall we?

A hidden treasure

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Just south of the Blair Witch residence featured above, we encounter this promising little oasis of new landscaping, freshly-lain sidewalk, and a brand new privacy fence. What wonders await us on the other side?

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Well, what do you know? An Easter egg! You can certainly understand why they need the fence- rare gems like this must be protected. And if the delightful colors aren't enough, the Christmas lights still up in the second week of May add a subtly festive flair to the neighborhood.

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So festive, apparently, that other fun lovers are flocking to the area, no doubt inspired by the bold spirit of the little lime house on the corner.

Ready to move

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The owner of this property wants to sell the land for commercial development, but recognized what a shame it would be to destroy the house that has stood there for so many years. So determined to protect the historic building was the owner that he paid to have the house prepared for removal, ready for immediate delivery to a lucky buyer's neighborhood. I know what you're thinking- must be some house, eh?

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Indeed it is.

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Some house. Imagine what this place could do for your neighborhood!