News / 

Buyers willing to live with a longer commute find bigger spaces

Save Story
Leer en espaƱol

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Sep. 18--NEWBERG -- By the time child No. 3 arrived, Rob and Lisa Croskrey's 1,300-square-foot house was starting to feel mighty cozy.

But they quickly realized that while they were starting a family real estate prices in their Rock Creek neighborhood of Washington County had skyrocketed. They couldn't afford anything with the space they wanted for their growing clan.

During a visit to friends in Newberg, the Croskreys saw a solution: They could spread out in a big house if they were willing to live 23 stop-and-go miles from central Portland.

So in summer 2004, they joined the growing ranks of Oregonians who move up by moving out to towns on the metropolitan fringe.

For $280,000, the Croskreys purchased nearly 3,000 square feet of house -- space they use now that a fourth child has joined the mix.

But they recognize the tradeoffs.

Rob Croskrey puts 20,000 miles a year on his sport utility vehicle, shuttling between his jobs as a mortgage officer in Tigard and a golf instructor in Oregon City. And friends closer to Portland's core sometimes balk at driving so far to visit.

But Croskrey says he is glad to live in Newberg. The family's backyard is big enough for a play set and patio furniture, with space to spare.

"For coming out to Newberg, you get this," Croskrey said while 2-year-old Conner pedaled his tricycle in the driveway.

So committed are the Croskreys, they are on a waiting list to buy a bigger home in a golf course subdivision down the road.

Real estate agent Shelle Winkler knows plenty of other families like the Croskreys who have saved money by venturing to small towns. Though she works in John L. Scott's Lake Oswego office, she recently listed a handful of far-flung properties.

On a recent Sunday afternoon, Winkler set up shop in a four-bedroom, two-bathroom Newberg ranch. At just 1,300 square feet, it was small. But it also was neatly kept, with a wraparound yard on a quiet street close to shopping and schools. And, these days, its $207,500 price tag sounded downright vintage.

During a breather, Winkler chatted with her 24-year-old daughter, who's a real estate agent in San Diego. When she rattled off the price, her daughter laughed. You could hardly buy a run-down, one-bedroom apartment for that in California, she reminded her mother.

Winkler shook her head, thinking about how much Portland real estate prices have skyrocketed since she moved to the area eight years ago.

"Where do you get a house for $207,000 anymore?" she asked.


To see more of The Oregonian, or to subscribe the newspaper, go to

Copyright (c) 2005, The Oregonian, Portland, Ore.

Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.

For information on republishing this content, contact us at (800) 661-2511 (U.S.), (213) 237-4914 (worldwide), fax (213) 237-6515, or e-mail

Most recent News stories


Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast