Blog ADU Meet My ADU

Meet My ADU

By Natalie Strom, August 12, 2021

This is my ADU. In 2016, my husband and I conceptualized and hired an architect and builder to transform our single car garage into a detached ADU that functions like its own house. I now run it as a short-term rental on Airbnb and VRBO (as well as lots of word-of-mouth). Being situated only a block off Hawthorne Blvd on a corner lot, the ADU regulations having recently been codified by the City, we wanted to be on the forefront of this type of detached 800-square-foot infill development in Portland.

At the time, it seemed like a winning idea, but I had no idea quite how life-changing it would actually be. After learning about up and coming high efficiency standards of new construction, we wanted to take the building’s envelope way beyond the City’s code to bring the highest level, for comfort, energy savings, and conservation.

I researched design standards and ended up with a great room floor plan with 22-foot ceilings, a centralized staircase, a private living room, TWO full baths, a private master suite, and even an attic! All of the fun stuff came into play when deciding on European appliances, custom cabinets, modern fixtures, while staying away from the gray.

After the long Covid year, travel was back!  This summer, I ended up meeting a truly wonderful family who were traveling here from California. They loved my place and wanted to find their own house on a corner in a great location with ADU potential. We made quick work of it and found the perfect spot for them just weeks later.

Owning and managing an ADU is the perfect side gig for this busy Realtor and mom. If I need a place for family to come, this is it. If a client needs a place to stay in between selling and buying, I love offering it up. If I need a quiet office or a space to meet a client, I’m covered.

For friends and clients who are interested in the process of building an ADU or converting a space into a rentable, income-generating side gig, I’m your lady.

I love finding spaces and places for my people who want “in” on the life-changing, space-maximizing, design-forward living that this housing concept can offer.



Natalie Strom

Broker | Earth Advantage | ADU Specialist | OR


“A Zillion Stars” Natalie Strom is a great communicator and loyal advocate. With superior service and expert advice, Natalie delivers unwavering kindness for every client. With skill, enthusiasm, and knowledge of the industry, Natalie navigates and negotiates real estate transactions professionally from start to finish. An upbeat, yet calm demeanor helps people who work with her feel prioritized and understood. Natalie is versatile and experienced in handling residential real estate of all kinds, whether its buying or selling single family homes, investment property, or condos. As a former marine biologist, Natalie worked on major marine oil spills, most famously the catastrophic BP spill, the Deepwater Horizon in 2010. This background underlies Natalie’s interest in our everyday human impact on the natural world, particularly in increasing energy efficiency standards for homes. Natalie has experience in building her own highly energy efficient detached ADU and has been an Earth Advantage Broker since 2018. Natalie’s passionate about nature-based adventure travel, community, and making new friends. She enjoys time with her two teenaged boys, husband, and goldendoodle and has enjoyed SE Portland as her home base since 2000.
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