Though home prices have dropped in the past year, the rate is slowing and the end may soon be nigh for bargain basement deals, so smart market watchers should act fast to nab the house of their dreams. Jeff Yarbrough, a top-producing real estate agent in the Los Angeles area (and a former editor in chief of The Advocate), compared two similarly priced properties in two wildly popular lesbian hoods in Portland, Ore., and Northampton, Mass., and chose the best deal for LGBT house hunters:
3112 N.E. 25th Ave.
In the Northeast district of Portland
Listed at $449,000
This 1925 Craftsman-style bungalow typifies Portland's Roaring Twenties era of urban sprawl. On a tree-lined street in one of the city's hottest (and most heavily lesbian-populated) areas, this renovated house comes with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a usable basement. The 2,050 square-foot Crafty sits on a 4,791-square-foot lot with a deck, grassy lawn, and two-car garage. Trendy shops are nearby, as are Portland's numerous cultural offerings. (For more information contact Ronda Joseph at Hasson Company Realtors,  228-9801.)
10 Hampton Terrace
In the South Street neighborhood of Northampton
Sold for $510,000
This turn-of-the-century Victorian mini-manse comes with four bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, and lots of original details like built-in shelves, screened-in porch, and a three-car carriage house. The two-story residence sits on an acre-plus of lushly landscaped land, adjacent to a number of walking trails. Smith College is just a short jaunt away. And this is one of the few homes in the hood with a golf course view. (For similar properties contact Pauline Fogel at Pauline Fogel Real Estate,  585-0050.)
BEST BET: NORTHAMPTON Aside from Hampton Terrace's obvious shout-out to lesbians (nature trails, Smith, golf), the gays will appreciate the home's revved-up Grey Gardens-style appeal. Nothing goes with gay like a good-boned Vic. Additionally, the 1.35-acre parcel provides room for on-site peak fall color viewing or grand holiday Nativity installations and the possibility of adding square footage without dealing with setback limitations.