Build new or buy, in todays (sellers) market in PDX?

Asked by marco polo, Portland, OR Sat Mar 8, 2014

Looks like Portland area real estate market is sellers market currently. I am moving to Portland area from Phoenix, assuming I buy some land, would it be better to build or buy existing ($500k max)?
I looked at homes online and I did not see a "perfect" house in ideal neighborhood, so instead of paying a premium for something that is not 100% to my liking I thought it would be better to build. Thoughts?

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Amber Deuchar, Agent, Portland, OR
Sun Mar 9, 2014
My opinion, build. You will pay a little bit more but it will be what you want. After the new year material costs went up. Sheet rock alone by almost 30%. There is so little inventory right now that it would take so long to find the right house, that if you were to finance (which even if you have the cash, I would advise doing a conventional and holding your liquid) rates will be much higher. Again with the time to build we would be looking at the same situation but a more stable rate can be locked. A heads up, lots are being gobbled up by builders. So not iime to waste.

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 (-;
1 vote
John Belmore, , 97035
Sat Mar 8, 2014
Portland is $43K in permits just to build. Portland is one of the most sought after places to live in America. What you might think about is looking away from Portland. The area is so small that often times living where you may have to drive 30 minutes to the city is a great trade off. Portland and surrounding areas are small in comparison to most major metropolitan areas.
1 vote
Jennifer Pet…, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Mar 12, 2014
There is no such thing as a perfect house. Even owners who designed their own said a year later they would make some changes. :)
0 votes
marco polo, Home Buyer, Portland, OR
Sun Mar 9, 2014
Just to clarify a few things... I used to live in Oregon so I know the Portland metro area very well.
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?
0 votes
If you have the time and ability to supervise the construction process as well as search out competent tradesman then you will always be ahead. You just can't step away from the project. Everyday you need to be involved with every decision.
Keep in mind some of the hardest houses to sell are custom built homes that were built with no long term plan of someone else liking their vision.
Flag Sun Mar 9, 2014
Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Sat Mar 8, 2014
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.
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