I have worked with many builders, Legend Homes, Renaissance Homes, Black Diamond, Arbor and many different lower level builders. The few I mentioned build quality homes. A $500k budget, depending on the home and lot size, could go a long way in different areas . Not very far of course in the West Linn, Wilsonville, Sherwood, Lake O Areas, but Beaverton or even Happy Valley Areas would get you quite a stead.
Hope this helps! And bring some sunshine with you when you come (-;
Also when I say "Portland area" I meant Portland and surrounding areas (Beaverton, West Linn, Clacamas and even Oregon City and Gresham).
So again, if I was to buy some land (say in West Linn "area"), would it make more sense (money wise, nevermind the timeframe it might take) to build a house or does it make more sense to buy something that is (in my personal opinion) overpriced and not quite to my taste.
I understand that there might not be such a thing as a "perfect house" but at least by building my own I would not have to settle down for a $500k existing house with a 10x10 living room and another $20k needed in updates... thoughts?
I wish it was that easy. Have you built a home before? Finding the land, getting the utilities in, plans drawn, submitted and approved, site prepped, contractor(s) hired, fired, re-hired, etc. You're looking at a 2 to 3 year project if you plan on starting from scratch. During that time, material costs and labor will change, rates will change and you'll be paying rent to live somewhere else while your home is being built.
Building from scratch is many peoples dream, but very often it turns into others nightmares.
My suggestion is to visit the area and view some homes that are ready and available. What you see online may be gone before you're close to ready and new ones will come available.
Check out some new construction sites where you may find something close you can buy as a pre-sale. This may be as close as you can come to meet your indicated goals.
Welcome to the Northwest.