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Lisa Ratzlaff's Blog Posts

It’s a Portland Bungalow, Says Eric 

Portland Bungalow

What Kind of House is This? That’s a question I asked myself often when I first moved here. I still vividly remember how I felt when I saw all the old neighborhoods, full of old houses with such character and style. The neighborhoods felt almost magical. I’d heard the terms bungalow, craftsman, and tudor before, but I... More

Make Time To Live 

Make Time

I believe there is value in simplicity and organization, but it can be hard to get there. How do we make time to organize? Casey Hazlett of Sustainably Organized is who I call. She is more than a brilliant organizer, but also an amazing person, Her enthusiasm will have you wanting to get organized. I... More

Are You Ready to Downsize? 


Downsize Has Its Upside I recently attended the Upside of Downsizing Conference here in Portland. While the conference was designed for seniors, I sat there thinking the topics we discussed were also applicable to members of other generations wishing to downsize or thinking of their loved ones. We all have different reasons for wanting to... More

Diversity is for Celebration 

Celebrate Diversity Now, more than ever, I want to celebrate our diversity – those things which make us unique and make our communities so rich. It’s like the many voices of a choir, which needs sopranos and altos, basses and tenors. No two voices are the same. Yet working together, they create beautiful music. Likewise,... More

Age in Place With Eastside Village PDX 

Age in Place

Eastside Village PDX is a plan whose time has come. It’s a community – not a place – that describes itself as a group of like-minded people who live in the same geographic area and who have developed resources to help the community age in place. According to a recent survey by the American College of... More

Live Where You Ride and Love It 

Live Where You Ride

Live Where You Ride Rich and Ruthellen are an inspiration. They ride their e-bikes just about everywhere. In fact, they own and operate an e-bike shop here in Portland. It was obvious their new house needed to be in biking distance from their shop. In fact, when we met to discuss shopping for their new... More

Driving Without GPS 


Where’s My GPS At first, GPS seemed like an indispensable tool for real estate. With it, I could go from here to there on a moment’s notice and not get lost. No more looking things up in maps and stopping to ask for directions. What a time saver! So, I began using my GPS for... More

Streetcar to Montavilla 

streetcar to montavilla

Montavilla is bustling. Every time I walk down Montavilla’s commercial strip on SE Stark Street I notice changes. New eateries, new pubs, and new businesses. The streets are busy, parking is getting harder to find, and the sidewalks are full. Streetcar Neighborhood Montavilla is one Portland’s “Streetcar Neighborhoods.” Portland is famous for its pocket neighborhoods,... More

What Dreams Are Made Of 

Dreams are sometimes made of Streamline trailers. When I first met Karen several years ago she was talking of simplifying and getting rid of stuff. She talked of tiny houses and the freedom to move around. She just about salivated when a tiny house moved in next door to me. In fact, she was already... More

Start Your Project with the SE Tool Library 

I recently got a tour of the Southeast Portland Tool Library. This place is amazing. It’s similar to walking into your friendly neighborhood hardware store or tool shop that carries most of the tools you’re going to need for just about any at-home project. The library has lawn mowers, weed eaters and shovels and hoes. It... More