WHAT: A four-bedroom two-bath lodge-style house
HOW MUCH: $469,900
SIZE: 2,408 square feet
PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT: $195.14
SETTING: This rustic house is set on three wooded acres near the southeastern border of Portland, about 14 miles from downtown. Most of the nearby properties are two- to five-acre wooded parcels, secluding them from subdivisions with smaller lots in the area. The house is six miles on a major freeway from a shopping mall, though slightly closer to a couple of commercial stretches that have grocery stores, pharmacies and other amenities. The house is about 40 miles from ski slopes, hiking trails, and other outdoor activities on Mount Hood, just east of the city, and about 90 miles from the Pacific Ocean.
INSIDE: The two-story house was built in the early 1940s and extensively renovated by its current two owners who make and sell lodge-style furniture. The house was originally a white clapboard box, and by the time the owners bought it in 1982, the structure was abandoned and home to stray dogs, cats and goats. During renovations, the owners used vintage and repurposed materials from such varied sources as a 1920s dance hall, estate sales, and a barn they dismantled when they bought the property.
On the main level, there's a kitchen, dining room, and great room with a wall of exposed river rock and a wood-burning stove. In a 1998 expansion, the owners added 260 square feet to the great room, an adjoining sunroom and a studio with French doors overlooking the forest. The kitchen's fir cabinets have knobs made of deer horn. The master bedroom is on the main level, while the other three bedrooms are upstairs. There's also a shed on the property.
OUTDOOR SPACE: The house is on three mostly wooded acres, surrounded by cedars, firs and maples as well as a small orchard with apple and Bosc pear trees. The current owners added a front porch and back deck. Behind the house is a creek with a bridge made from branches. There's also a gazebo on the side of the house.
TAXES: $4,881 a year
CONTACT: Pamela Miller, Exit Realty Advantage (503) 805-7212; exitportland.net.
WHAT: A four-bedroom three-bath condominium in a 1930s mid-rise building
HOW MUCH: $474,000
SIZE: 2,400 square feet
PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT: $197.50
SETTING: This condo is in Lake View, a neighborhood a block east of Lake Michigan, and about four miles north of downtown Chicago. Along the lake, there is a bike path that extends for nearly 20 miles. The building is surrounded by mostly mid- and high-rise condo buildings, many built in the 1920s and '30s. Within a couple of blocks, on Broadway and Halsted Street, there are a variety of businesses and eateries; from laundromats, jewelers, bodegas and a Whole Foods store to artisanal cheese shops and upscale seafood restaurants. Several bus stops are within a block of the building, and a stop for the Chicago Transit Authority public rail is three long blocks west.
INSIDE: The 15-story building, called the Barry, was built around 1930 and converted to condos in 2006. This 11th-floor apartment has retained its original hardwood floors, crown moldings, doors and living-room fireplace, which now uses gas logs. The apartment has four bedrooms. One bedroom functions as a study or den, and shares a bathroom with the current owner's master bedroom. Another has carpeted floors and an en suite bathroom. The smallest bedroom, off the kitchen, has an attached full bathroom and is used for storage. The renovated kitchen features bleached-oak cabinets and black Corian countertops. A former butler's pantry, adjoining the kitchen, is now used as a dining nook, though the apartment also has a formal dining room. The living room and two of the bedrooms face south, allowing ample natural light.
The building has a 24-hour doorman, a workout room and a party room.
OUTDOOR SPACE: The building has a shared interior courtyard with grills, a children's playground, and a seating area with tables and chairs for parties.
TAXES: $6,611 a year, plus $1,548 a month in homeowners' association dues
CONTACT: Marlene Saint George, Baird & Warner (312) 953-1617; bairdwarner.com.
WHAT: A two-bedroom two-bath house in Coconut Grove
HOW MUCH: $475,000
SIZE: 1,668 square feet
PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT: $284.77
SETTING: This house is on a corner lot in Coconut Grove, a neighborhood near the southern end of Miami. The neighborhood has some of Miami's oldest homes, including many two-story Spanish-style houses and cottages. The house is within 10 blocks of a concentration of restaurants, sidewalk cafes, boutiques and small galleries one block from Biscayne Bay. Pharmacies and grocery stores are also nearby.
INSIDE: The single-story house, built in 1921, is at the end of a brick path off the street. Its wooden floors, a rare Dade County pine, and limestone fireplace in the living room are original. The entryway is a screened-in porch with a ceiling mural of clouds in a blue sky, painted by a local artist. The front door leads to a living room with a fireplace and mounted wall shelves. The formal dining room is through the living room.
In the back of the house, there's a family room with windows on three sides. The renovated kitchen has a Jenn-Air stove and grill, tiled countertops and a breakfast bar. During renovations, which included the bathroom, the current owner removed a wall, opening the kitchen to the family room. A bay window was built in the kitchen to make a dining nook, and an adjoining butler's pantry was created by removing a wall in a back hallway. There are two bedrooms. One is open to the family room.
OUTDOOR SPACE: A fountain, flower garden, and a small pond with a waterfall are on the side of the house There's also a deck and pergola, which can be reached from doors in the kitchen and family room. The property also has a two-car garage.
TAXES: $3,745 a year
CONTACT: Nerisse Trombetta, Esslinger Wooten Maxwell Inc. Realtors (305) 491-1813, ewm.com..
This article originally appeared in The New York Times .