Where can you live if you want to commute no more than 45 minutes to downtown?
It’s impossible to know on any given day how long it will take you to get to work. Perhaps the streets are wet from the season’s first rain, a trailer has fishtailed into a culvert or somebody parked in front of your driveway.
But it’s possible to estimate the average commute time. And people in the real estate market do it instinctively, drawing a mental circle around the key places they expect to be. Those who work in Hillsboro, for example, probably won’t spend much time looking for condos in Fairview or Beavercreek.
One way you can estimate driving times is by mapping commuting distances with some increasingly sophisticated online brokerage platforms. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, for example, lets you set a commuting filter based on your work address and the time of your drive.
For discussion purposes, nearby is the map BH&G generated when I asked it to find available properties no more than a 45-minute drive from 1000 SW Broadway (the coppery downtown tower with the deodorant-top dome), using a start time of 7:30 a.m. (For its list of available properties, I also asked it to factor in budget, size of house and proximity to transit.)
The map generates a generous range of possibilities, from beyond Banks in the west to past Bridal Veil in the east, and from Keizer almost to Kalama, Wash., along the I-5 corridor.
Possibly these drive times are a little optimistic. Then again, maybe they reassure you that you could buy that charmer in Gervais.
In the gallery are a selection of properties that have sold or are available at the far edges of this map. They include a somewhat dated house in Banks on 86 acres, some woodsy retreats in Sandy and Washougal, and a high-end estate on the Willamette in Keizer.
But remember: Your mileage may vary.
— Mike Francis