When the owner took a trip early this year, squatters moved in. They're still there, but the house is 'sale pending'

ONLINE REAL ESTATE IMAGE, SOURCE UNIDENTIFIED - Based on this aerial image of the house illegally occupied by squatters, the new owner of this house will have some cleaning up to do. Soon after the owner of the house at 5256 S. E. Flavel Street left for a brief period of time in January, his Brentwood-Darlington home was broken into and taken over by squatters.

In telephone interviews with reporters, the owner said that when he returned and asked the illegal occupants to leave, they threatened with bodily harm. Fearing for his safety, he didn't go back, but continued to pay his mortgage on the property.

The owner said that, after numerous calls to City of Portland bureaus, he had still received no help in getting the unauthorized inhabitants out of his house

Several nearby neighbors, after being threatened by the squatters for talking with television news reporters about their experiences with the occupied property, declined to be identified when speaking with THE BEE. "We can see what's happening there, but I just keep to myself and stay out of their way," one remarked. "They're a pretty rough bunch," another nearby neighbor commented; "There seem to be a lot of 'very brief' visits to the house, at all hours."

On May 31, Nathan Jones of "Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NW Real Estate" listed the property at $330,000 for the three bedroom, two bathroom, 2,224 sq. ft. residence, originally built in 1940.

Part of the online posting read:

"Unfortunately there are squatters on the property, and seller does not have resources to remove them, and is willing to negotiate the price for a buyer to take the risk of closing."

But, unlike other "zombie properties" in Inner Southeast Portland — those with absent owners, and are now occupied by squatters — this saga may soon be coming to an end.

"Now, after 69 days on the market, we've negotiated a pending sale on August 9, and have a [real estate] contract on this property," Realtor Jones told THE BEE in a telephone interview, shortly after posting the pending sale. "I can understand why the neighbors would be happy about this — but no one is happier than the owner!"

You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.

Have a thought or opinion on the news of the day? Get on your soapbox and share your opinions with the world. Send us a Letter to the Editor!