Aaron Cain bought a four-bedroom house on a wooded hillside in Portland, Oregon in 2010.
He purchased the property with the intention of making it a family home.
After having renovated it three times, Cain sells it for 1.47 million dollars – without ever having lived there.
When Aaron Cain bought a four-bedroom house in Portland in 2010, he was still living in Shanghai. He made an offer without seeing the house, but planned to come back and move in with his family.
“An old friend of mine named Paul McKean, who was an architect, came to view the house for me instead, and he loved it,” Cain told Insider. “He said it was a really special place and I decided to make an offer even without seeing it myself.”
The house is named Campbell Residence in honor of its original owner, local architect Richard A. Campbell, who built it in 1966 for his personal use, according to the listing. Situated on the side of a hill, the home sits on less than an acre of land in the Sylvan-Highlands neighborhood of Portland, Oregon.
This is the second time the home has come up for sale, listing agent Jeff Weithman of Real Estate through Design told Insider. The first time was in 2010, when Cain bought the house for $672,000, property records show.
Priced at $1.47 million, Campbell Residence is in the middle price range of homes currently on the market in Sylvan-Highlands.
A decade and three renovations later, Cain sells the house for $1.47 million. Due to work commitments, life changes and delays, he never had the chance to live there.
“For the past two months I’ve been coming here and taking Zoom calls for work. When my wife got COVID, she self-isolated here for a few days,” Cain said. “So while there were all these different things that happened, we never really lived in the actual house.”
After buying the house, Cain, a Nike executive, extended his stay in Shanghai until 2013. Later that year, the company moved him to the Netherlands, where he lived with his family. until 2018.
“When we came back from the Netherlands, we had planned to live in this house, but the renovation schedule was pushed back,” he said. “We couldn’t move in, so we ended up buying another house.”
Cain has remodeled the two-story home three times over the past decade, in 2011, 2015, and 2018. Different parts of the home were remodeled each time.
The renovations were primarily focused on maintaining and updating the home, Cain said.
“Architecturally, nothing has changed since the original design,” he said. “But the owner before me hadn’t maintained some of the basics.”
The first round of renovations took place from 2011 to 2013 and were completed by her father, who is a carpenter.
“Although he never acted as a general contractor outside of my brother’s house, he took charge of the renovations, including water management and repairing some of the rails in the house. “, did he declare. “Because it was built in the 60s, nothing was certain. There would just be bridges without rails.”
Cain also added a black steel fireplace to the living room and installed a new lighting system as listed.
The open concept kitchen, located across the foyer from the living room, was updated in the second phase of the renovation.
In 2015, McKean – who runs his own practice – and Cain’s father completed another round of renovations while Cain was living in Amsterdam.
“They redid the kitchen and the floors, even put in a window. It was a fairly large project, since they basically redid the entire floor in the spirit of the original house while modernizing it” , said Cain.
The old kitchen was almost completely scrapped, with new carpentry work done by his father, he added.
Along with the kitchen cabinets and counters, they installed new appliances including an induction cooker, dishwasher and electric oven.
The dining room is located near a wall of windows that overlooks the surrounding greenery. A sliding door leads to the patio.
The two ends of the upper floor are walled by bay windows. Cain said it was one of his favorite parts of the house.
“There’s something about sitting in the living room with the kitchen and having this kind of warm wooden space with glass at both ends,” he said. “It’s such a unique piece; I can’t think of another piece like this that I’ve ever seen.”
The last phase of the renovation took place between 2018 and 2019 and was concentrated on the lower floor, where the four bedrooms are located.
The master bedroom has been fully updated during this phase as per the listing. Besides the new floors, all the original built-in furniture has also been restored by hand.
The house has strong Japanese design influences, as evidenced by the use of natural materials such as exposed wood, Cain said. Large windows throughout the residence blur the line between indoors and outdoors.
The ensuite bathroom, which is separated from the master bedroom by a vanity, has been completely renovated to include a circular freestanding tub and shower area with heated floors.
There is another bathroom in the residence and it is also located on the lower floor, according to the listing.
The master suite is a close second when it comes to Cain’s favorite spots in the house.
“There’s a little sauna and there’s a shower that looks out over the woods. You could spend a whole weekend in that room and really have fun,” Cain said.
The spacious master bath even has a sliding door that leads to a private outdoor patio, according to the listing.
The roof terrace includes a shelter that was not included in the building’s original 1966 design.
When the house was built in 1966, the large roof terrace was left completely exposed, according to the listing. However, in 1979 another local architect was commissioned to add a shelter at the end of the exposed deck.
The design of the shelter reflects the original roof of the house.
Although Cain and his family never managed to live in the Campbell residence, the house was occupied by a few different tenants between the three renovations.
After the first renovation, a filmmaker and his family rented the house, Cain said. After the filmmaker moved to Brooklyn, a friend of Cain moved into the house. The most recent tenants, a family of four, lived in the house until January, when Cain was preparing to sell the property.
“It’s very sad for me that I never managed to live here, because I love this house,” he said. “When the sun is up, the birds are singing and the doors are open, it just feels like you’re almost in the woods. It’s such a peaceful and quiet space that feels like magic.”
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