Home Selling in 97203>Question Details

Pattiann, Home Seller in Portland, OR

I live in the University Park neighborhood and own a 6 bedroom home with a joining build able lot next to it.

Asked by Pattiann, Portland, OR Sat Apr 26, 2008

I'm getting it ready to put on the market and would like to know what would be the best way to sell the lot and home. Together? Or Separate?
I'm a widow, and concerned about the capital gains tax because I'm only able to use the 250,000 tax credit once.

Thank you for your advice!

Help the community by answering this question:


Your question is posed to Realtors and yet it is actually out of the realm of our expertise as it is a tax question. Realtors do not have expertise in tax consulting, nor are we qualified or permitted to give tax advise. Please be advised that you should consult with a tax specialist who is an expert in the area of capital gains and other estate tax planning issues. As you see, you've received varying opinions from the realtors who have answered. Those opinions won't do your question justice, nor will you be satisfied seeing so many varying opinions. You need sound tax advise and that can only be given from a qualified tax specialists.

When it comes time to actually list your properties I would recommend you contact an agent who will be sure to 'help' and 'serve' you and put your best interests first, After you consult with a tax professional indicate to your realtor how you want to list your properties. You should be in control of that decision based on more than a realtor's opinion on how the properties will sell.

I wish you the best as you prepare to sell. I am here in Portland if you would like further assistance. Contact me at 503-310-8032 or email me via my web site below. In advance of contacting me I would recommend you may also want to check my quality service rating from information gathered by an independent research company who collects data from surveys they send to my past clients. Go to http://www.qualityservice.org
You simply insert my name June Lizotte and Oregon as the state into the search window. You will see my rating is the highest possible; I am a Platinum award recipient. (best possible rating awarded) This comes from fulfilling my personal motto: Providing 'REAL' Service (SM). You may want to look to see if other agents who contact you are being monitored by and are accountable to an independent research firm for their quality of service.
Web Reference: http://www.junelizotte.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 30, 2008
Talk to your accountant since their are rules when you became a widow as to the tax gains? Does the lot give the house value? When the lot is included in the price does it put the price out of reach for most buyers? These are the questions that we cannot answer and your agent should be asked. Good Luck, Tom
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 12, 2012
I would say best case scenario.......marry someone QUICKLY! I would put the property on the market as a dividable lot. Investors eat this sort of thing up. You'll have it sold, be able to take the highest profit margin possible and not have to deal with fees from the county for separations.

I wish you the best of luck with your sale. Remember to use an agent who includes professional staging & professional photography with their listing. These two things are making the difference between "for sale" and SOLD in this market.

Take Care,

Wendy Boso
John L. Scott Real Estate-NE
Professional Staging & Photography Included
Is it time for a change?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 29, 2008

You can use the Tax Credit as many times as you want. You just have to live in the home 2 years out of 5.

You make a great point. You should sell the lot and home as one package. This will be the easiest way to have a tax free sale. If you sell them together it will be treated as one.

Having said that the ultimate way to go here is to build on the lot with the proceeds from the sale of the home. Move in for two years and you can sell that home and take another $250,000 free and clear!

You need to have one of us come out. I think the lot might make a perfect situation if you want to sell the current big home but do not have to move out of the area. Construction costs have gone way down and if you build a nicely designed smaller home you can do that for $100,000.

The new home should be worth $250K easy. So you have some pretty good things going for yourself.

That is a big home in a nice area. I think you have just a ton of options here. Let me know if I can help.


Dirk Knudsen
Re\Max Hall of Fame
#1 Rated Re\Max Team in Oregon
Web Reference: http://www.nwhomecenter.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 26, 2008
Again thank you for all your advice.

I was able to get in contact with my tax agent (they were on vacation after the tax crunch of April 15th!) My agent was able to answer my questions and now I feel I can make a better decision on how to put the property and home on the market.

This has been a big learning curve for me, thank you all for your help!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 30, 2008
Hi Home Seller,

You will maximize value by selling them separately.

If these two properties are already separate, for example as separate tax lots or legal descriptions such as parcel 1 & parcel 2, to market them together may likely complicate the typical loan process required by the typical purchaser and which will require the typical appraisal for lender underwriting of the loan. The appraisal can only consider them as one home site and consequently not giving maximum value to the two buildable lots you have. For example, one .50 acre home site is worth less than two .25 acre homesites.

If they are not separated yet, consider the expense to do so and plan to ask a maximmum price based on what homes in your neighborhood are selling for with as near similar as site size as yours. From your description, it sounds as if the lots are already separate? Consider that any purchaser may choose to split the lot if they are not already split, and there is nothing wrong with this unless you don't price accordingly making the property to expensive (such that no one buys it), or to cheap such that you may lose return.

The taxable event is always best explained by your accountant, and it sound as if you have an understanding as to your taxable event. But consider keeping the 2nd buildable lot as land prices will only increase and in the future you may realize a greater price than in today's market where construction lending has become tighter owing to credit markets, especially for speculation constuction lending.

I have 15 years of State Certified Residential appraisal experience and invite you to contact me for a greater explanation of your potential situation. If I understood where the property is, I can obtain a present plat map situation with the 1 &/or 2 lots, as well analyze for you surrounding sales in the neighborhood that would support appraisal for both single family and bare land. Upon this, I am confident you would have greater knowledge of present market conditions to assist a sound decision.

I was just in Portland today!

Sorry I may have missed you, but I travel there often and am familiar with the markets there.


State Certified Residential Appraiser
Principal Broker
541-284-2511 tel
541-912-1405 cell

Good luck and let me know if I can help, it's what I do best :)
Web Reference: http://www.HouseNow.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 26, 2008
I am very familiar with the area and I think you would be much better off selling them separately because of the shortage of buildable lots in N Portland. If its a 50 x 100 or close I have a buyer I worl with who might be willing to buy the lot from you before you even list it. Please let me know if you are interested.

Web Reference: http://www.eduardshomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 26, 2008
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